What Are Top Speed Ratings?

If you’re new to racing, a race card can look like gobbeldygoog at first, but if you take your time to look over it carefully you’ll find that most of the information is fairly self explanatory.
However, there are some numbers on there that even some of the more seasoned punters don’t understand fully.

Such as the column marked TS, filled with what might seem like arbitrary numbers.

TS stands for top speed and is a rating compiled by the Racing Post that is designed to rate a horses ability based on how fast a horse has ran in a race. According to the Racing Post, a mature horse, carrying 9 stone, with a top speed rating of 100 would have the ability to meet the Racing Posts standard time on good going in a race that is truly run.

These ratings are measured in lbs and all TS ratings are adjusted back to 5 furlongs where 1 second at 5 furlongs = 22 pounds.

Top Speed ratings are calculated by comparing the time it took for a horse to finish a race. This figure will then be compared to the racing posts standard time for that course and adjusted by a few factors such as distance,going, weight carried etc.

The theory behind these ratings is sound and in a perfect world Top Speed ratings would be a fairly accurate way of comparing the ability of horses.

There are however a few flaws with these ratings, such as the difference in track configurations and going corrections.

Whilst, Top Speed ratings can be a very useful tool to use when analyzing a race, they are far from perfect and shouldn’t be treated as gospel.

Until next time,
Kenny Turnbull

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