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Using Beyer Speed Ratings

Beyer Speed Ratings are some of the most powerful statistical tools you have when handicapping horse races.  These ratings are comprehensive and take into account factors such as speed, depth, and track length.  As such, the numerical value you derive from the rating system can be applied to races across different distances and on different types of tracks.  Read more about what the Beyer Speed Figures are and why they are so powerful.


Now I want to talk about actually using Beyer Speed Ratings to bet on horse racing.  While these are pretty comprehensive statistics, they do not account for all factors, so there are some limitations.  Here are some factors that can botch your interpretation of the ratings:

  • Track bias
  • Trainer conditioning
  • Pacing
  • Post position
  • Conditions on the race day
  • Health conditions


You can start your handicapping process using the Beyer Speed Figures, but you cannot complete the process there (yet as you can guess, many casual punters do).  One metric on its own does not provide sufficient context to steer you true.  You need to ask yourself questions about the upcoming race so you can make adjustments to the numbers as needed.  This generally goes back to reviewing the recent races which contributed to the current Speed Figures. 


You could for example find that the races used to calculate the Beyer Speed ratings were influenced by unusual factors which will not apply to the upcoming race.  For example, perhaps the conditions at the track of a recent race were drastically different than the conditions at the upcoming track.  Or maybe a horse was injured during a recent race (or is injured now).  Or perhaps the trainer excelled at a particular situation in the past, but you have no reason to expect the same level of excellence in the present situation.  In short, any number of flukes can impact ratings in either direction.  Flukes are not always spur-of-the-moment surprises; sometimes they just take the form of unusual conditions which can impact performance. 


Basically, you want to look at the rating for a horse, then try to understand why that rating is what it is.  Based on your findings, ask yourself whether the upcoming conditions are more or less favourable to the horse than those it faced in the previous races that went into calculating the statistic.  Once you figure that out, you know roughly how to adjust the number to give you an accurate assessment of the future. 


The power in deepening your analysis like this is twofold.  Firstly, you are giving yourself the best possible chance at picking the true winner.  Secondly, you are putting in the extra effort that the betting public is not going to bother with, and as such, there will be times when you are able to pick a winner that no one else does.  In these situations, you can sometimes find incredible value and place some very lucrative bets that pay off in extraordinary ways.


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Gambling on the Internet

A few things to consider when gambling online:

  • Take advantage of first deposit bonuses
  • Have a budget and stick to it
  • Don't lose more than you can afford
  • When drunk, don't bet!
  • Don't chase losses
  • Bet on markets you know well
  • Don't abuse bonuses