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Having been making my own tissue prices for over 35 years for many of the leading bookmakers I thought I would share my strategy and thoughts. As to any serious punter the ability to be able to put your own opinions into odds form can be vital when attempting to get one over on the old enemy.

There is a small amount of general arithmetic needed to relate a horses chance into a percentage figure.

The first thing to understand is that every book is compiled to 100% with any thing over that the bookmakers profit margin (or over round). If you can back every runner in the race to under 100% (thus meaning with a staking plan you can’t lose, a perfect book) then this is called over broke.

Every price has a percentage to match which can be worked out by dividing the price plus stake into 100. So for example 2/1 is 2/1 plus 1 = 3 divided into 100 which equates to 33% or 6/4 is 1.5 plus 1 = 2.5 divided into 100 which equates to 40%. The best way to learn these is to write them all out and like anything in time you’ll get to remember them. Below is a chart with the majority of odds and their percentages.

So every price has a percentage which when added together with all the others in the race must add up to 100% plus any extra margin you like. I’ve always worked to the 2% a runner for the first ten runners then 1% any others. So a 12 runner race would be 122% (that’s 10 runners x 2% plus 2 runners x 1%). Obviously the better the race or meeting the less the margin over 100%. For example if that 12 runner race was at Royal Ascot you would more than likely be looking at 112%.

If you are just pricing a race for your own good and not as a bookmaker looking to lay them then it is advisable to bet to the 100% mark.

Now you know the basics we can start the fun of something we all like doing which is getting our heads stuck in the form book.

Personally I work from the top of the race card and after form study put a price next to each horse, changing them as I work down the field as I begin to get a ‘feel’ for the race. I know of many odds compilers that like to have a brief look at the race and put them in some sort of order before pricing up. There’s no exact science as to where to start and finish and it really is a personnel preference.

I don’t really need to elaborate as to how to read the form book as once again that really is something which everyone has their own ideas on but I would say that for me the most important factor is the ground followed by trip. Nowadays the punter has so many tools and help to hand that if you put in the hours you’ll certainly be able to put one over the bookmakers.

Once you’ve compiled your list then compare it to the odds that the bookmakers produce and remember just because everyone is for example 10/1 a certain horse that you made only a 5/1 chance doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Far from it in fact. Nowadays William Hills normally will price up the majority of the handicaps at the 48 hour stage and others will follow suit at the overnight stage. Surprisingly a lot of the bigger companies are quite happy to just follow the firms that have already issued odds and it’s not un-common for a horse to be the same price right across the line of oddschecker (or any other price comparison site).

Like anything in life the more experienced at pricing races you become the more confident you become. There’s no better feeling then pricing a race and having a strong opinion on one and seeing that it’s significantly bigger with the bookmakers. Then it’s time to test your judgement against theirs!

I’ve tried to make this piece as user friendly as possible as if you can understand the percentages of each price and can bash them into a calculator then it really is that easy and fun. Please try it and I would love to know your successes (or failures, as they’ll be plenty of those along the way I assure you!).

Finally Simon Rowlands, an esteemed and very well respected form analyst who works for Timeform produced an article regarding pricing a race back in 2015 if anyone wants further reading https://www.timeform.com/horse-racing/features/rowley/the-timeform-knowledge-pricing-up-a-race-15102015

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Rough Tide ........ WON 40/1 think I'll retire now ....... 😃

One of the questions I've seen most on forums is how do you determine value ????.....so let's try an value experiment and see how it goes .... First of all you need to decided what is important a

Having been making my own tissue prices for over 35 years for many of the leading bookmakers I thought I would share my strategy and thoughts. As to any serious punter the ability to be able to put yo

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One of the questions I've seen most on forums is how do you determine value ????.....so let's try an value experiment and see how it goes ....

First of all you need to decided what is important and assign a percentage of importance ( which can be changed ) ....but the total must come to 100% so for this example I've assigned ....

Last time out form  (40 % )

1st or 2nd  10pts 

3rd or 4th 8pts 

5th or 6th   6pts 

7th or 8th  4pts 

9th or worse 2pts 

So that assigns recent form and what points the horse scores later we will come back to that 

 

Last win official rating +-lbs ( this is for hcaps for this example )   (15%) 

Off this hcap mark ....

Won    10pts 

1lb above last win   8pts 

2 or 3 lbs above last win  6pts 

4 or 5 pts above last win 4pts 

6 plus lbs above last win 2pts 

So that assigns how well hccapped the horse is 

 

Form on ground     ( 15% )

Won on ground    10pts 

Placed on ground 8pts 

Won on near to today's ground I.e good if today's gd/soft       6pts

Placed on near today's ground  4pts 

Ground not close  2pts 

 

Distance form  (20%)

Won dist    10pts 

Placed dist    8pts 

Won within 2f   6pts 

Placed within 2f  4pts 

No form 3f+  2pts 

 

Fitness    ( 10% )

Last run 14 to 28 days    10pts 

Last run 8 to 13 days 8pts 

Last run  29 to 42 days 6pts 

Last run 1 to 7 days  4pts 

Last run 43days plus   2pts 

 

Right that's all values assigned ....the percentage in brackets is the importance I've assigned to each section ....this can be changed by yourself but must total 100% overall 

We now come to the formula that works out value 

Value =  ( 40 * last time score ) + ( 15 * last win o.r score ) + (15 * ground section score ) + ( 20 * distance score ) + (10 * fitness score ) 

Looks complicated but the first number in each bracket is the percentage you assigned to each group at the top .....multiplyed by the score your horse achieved in each section ......

So in the last time out section at the top if your horse finished 2nd last time it would score 10pts so the first bracket of the value formula would be ( 40 * 10 ) ...you carry on for each section to complete the formula 

Let's do a working example as this will make it clearer 

My horse finished 2nd last time ......is 2lbs above last win ......has placed on ground   ......won at distance ......last ran 42 days ago 

Scores for each section are 

Last time  10pts 

2lb above win 6pts 

Placed on ground  8pts 

Won at distance   10pts 

Last ran 42 days    6pts 

Now you plug those numbers into the value formula 

Value = ( 40*10 )+( 15*6)+(15*8)+(20*10)+(10*6)

Next stage is to convert the first number in each bracket ( the percentage )..to a decimal by dividing it by 100 

Value =( .4*10)+ (.15*6)+(.15 *8)+(.20*10)+ (.1*6)

Note the first number is a decimal   .5 etc

Now work out each bracket with your calculator and add up 

Value = (4)+(.90)+(1.2)+(2)+(.6)

Totals for all brackets = 8.7 so this is the value score for horse 1 

You now do the same for other horses ....of course this can be done on computer or spreadsheet for speed and you just plug the numbers in 

Just for this example let's pretend it's a 3 horse race so each horse rated as follows 

Horse 1   8.7

Horse 2   7.8 

Horse 3  8.1 

You now add up the scores for all horses.....in this case its ...24.6 

We are now gonna create a price for each horse by taking the score for each horse and dividing it by the total score 

Horse 1   8.7 /24.6 =0.353

Horse 2   7.8/24.6 =0.317

Horse 3  8.1 /24.6 =0.329

Times each score by 100 to get your final percentage value figure 

Horse 1 35% 

Horse 2 31%

Horse 3  32% 

You can now convert this percentage to a price using brigadier chart above and compare your value price with the actual price on offer .....if the odds on offer are far higher then your onto a winner long term ......and that's value in a nutshell 🤣

If you cant find the exact percentage price just go as close as you can and round up preferably to be safe 

 

Edited by richard-westwood
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Some elements there of how I was rating my horses, and I managed to figure out how to price up a race, but the more accurate your ratings, the more accurate your odds. I’m a sucker for giving up too early when it comes to methods in horse racing, but I thinking  most days of how to improve my way of finding winners. 

Edited by Villa Chris
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Yes .....I did consider adding a class section but I didn't want to overload the criteria ....the more you add the harder it is to assign importance to each section .....but I think class probably should be added as many horses are only at home in certain classes of race 

Likewise ...jockey .....it does have a bearing sometimes its definitive in some races 

You could have 10 or 12 sections but how do you percentage that ??.

The recent form thing is something I use .....that flat rule top 6 last time generally provides 80% of winners regardless so I just use it blindly .....I wouldn't just use this value  on it's own though I'd couple it with my own ratings and that compensates for the difference ....so if a horse finished 6th in a lower race it might score a value rating of 7.5 .....but my rating might be 255 ......whereas a higher class horse might have a value rating of 7.5 but have a rating of 270 on my form because of his stronger form so I tend to pick it up that way but a class and or form rating would help do the same 

Edited by richard-westwood
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This is very much a work in progress for me but hopefully the approach I will use is logical. To start off with I am going to limit my analysis to handicap chases (excluding novices).

Thanks to @richard-westwood as I am following his approach.

Initially I will give each factor equal weight, I will experiment with these at a later stage. I will use strike rates to determine the points I give to each selection.

I am going to start off with some basic factors that are available on a standard race-card. These are:- Weight, DSLR, Jockey Claim, Age, Couse Winner, Beaten Favourite, Sex and FPLR.

I will split each factor in to a maximum of 5 categories in the same way as Richard has done, with each category comprising 20% of the base data.

As an example for FPLR (last time out) the categories are :-

1st - 17 points

2nd - 3rd - 14 points

4th - 6th - 11 points

> 6th - 9 points

DNF - 10 points.

I will look at applying this to some races over the next few days to see how accurate / useful it is.

 

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4 hours ago, MCLARKE said:

This is very much a work in progress for me but hopefully the approach I will use is logical. To start off with I am going to limit my analysis to handicap chases (excluding novices).

Thanks to @richard-westwood as I am following his approach.

Initially I will give each factor equal weight, I will experiment with these at a later stage. I will use strike rates to determine the points I give to each selection.

I am going to start off with some basic factors that are available on a standard race-card. These are:- Weight, DSLR, Jockey Claim, Age, Couse Winner, Beaten Favourite, Sex and FPLR.

I will split each factor in to a maximum of 5 categories in the same way as Richard has done, with each category comprising 20% of the base data.

As an example for FPLR (last time out) the categories are :-

1st - 17 points

2nd - 3rd - 14 points

4th - 6th - 11 points

> 6th - 9 points

DNF - 10 points.

I will look at applying this to some races over the next few days to see how accurate / useful it is.

 

Yes that formula is just the "framework" that allows you to change it as you will ....as you said it's getting the choice and percentages right thats the key ......if you get that right though then it's literally a money machine ....I'm gonna have a good play with it myself over the next few days .....especially the percentages .......im personally toying with .......last time out  finishing position ( reason being on I'd say 80% of my trends for big races that is a huge one ....around 80% finished top 6 last time regardless) but it makes sense if you think about it 

Then I think I'll use my form ratings as some sort of general form measure which you need and that includes class so that adds a bit extra 

Does the horse go on the ground ??...im thinking that's just 3 options ....yes .......has run close to today's ground .....or no  so that could be 10 ...6..and 2 maybe 

Distance I think needs to be addressed......is that a straight forward yes or no ???.....and diff for jumps flat obviously .....2f diff on jumps is ok ....but 2f on flat is huge etc 

Finally I think how well hccapped the horse is a factor .....because although form rating partly addresses ....if all other factors are high but horse is 6lb above last win then that has a bearing on the value imo ...so needs to be included ......and I think that's enough 

So for me it would be 

Last time position (recent form)

Form rating (includes class )

Ground (won) or placed 

Distance won or near 

Hcap mark 

So that's 5 .......I think the easier you make it .....the more likely you'll be able to get the percentages right later on ....work in progress .....but very interesting and something to keep me occupied in quiet times 🤣

 

 

Edited by richard-westwood
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I've had a crack at the 12.40 at Lingfield ....... ratings compiled based on points for recent form, C and D, Age & Going, then used the above to convert into odds

Value selections (10 runners) - Bet365

Accomplice - my odds 9/2 (my Favourite), current odds 13/2

EW shot

Rogue Tide - my odds 12/1, current odds 33/1

 

The main problem is that this has taken me nearly an hour ......... so it's not practical to look at many races. Therefore pre-starting race selection is a big component. I just chose the first handicap on the AW but some thought would have to go into this aspect to pick 2 or 3 races maximum

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1 hour ago, Trotter said:

I've had a crack at the 12.40 at Lingfield ....... ratings compiled based on points for recent form, C and D, Age & Going, then used the above to convert into odds

Value selections (10 runners) - Bet365

Accomplice - my odds 9/2 (my Favourite), current odds 13/2

EW shot

Rogue Tide - my odds 12/1, current odds 33/1

 

Rough Tide ........ WON 40/1

think I'll retire now ....... 😃

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22 hours ago, Trotter said:

I've had a crack at the 12.40 at Lingfield ....... ratings compiled based on points for recent form, C and D, Age & Going, then used the above to convert into odds

Value selections (10 runners) - Bet365

Accomplice - my odds 9/2 (my Favourite), current odds 13/2

EW shot

Rogue Tide - my odds 12/1, current odds 33/1

 

The main problem is that this has taken me nearly an hour ......... so it's not practical to look at many races. Therefore pre-starting race selection is a big component. I just chose the first handicap on the AW but some thought would have to go into this aspect to pick 2 or 3 races maximum

well done Trotter - doesn't matter if it took you an hour if you found a 40/1 winner ! Like everything in life with experience you'll get quicker and what a start 👏👏

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I'm sticking with AW handicaps for this and had a look at the 7.20 at Kempton

Bit disappointed as nothing really stands out

The market leaders look about right.

I had Aldrich Bay as 4/1 Fav and the current price is 10/3
I had Coquetta as 7/1 joint second Fav and current odds are 8/1

The current 2nd Fav is My Boy Sepoy at 4/1. I had him as a 16/1 shot last night and to be fair he was much bigger odds last night .....  he's been heavily backed today from double figure prices and may well go off Favourite. This is probably the one if you're watching the market !
 

The ones that look bigger odds than my estimate are

50/1 Ithabella  Fact - my odds 16/1
20/1 Nicks Not Wonder - my odds 7/1

Both of those are not very appealing so for my selection I've gone for

20/1 Twpsyn - my odds 11/1. 
 

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19 hours ago, richard-westwood said:

Had a go at 415 kemp tomorrow ....used recent form ...form rating ....going ...dist ...

Iesha   should be 8/1 ....can get 16.0 betfair 

The good ting should be 6/1 ...can get 9.0 betfair 

I

Good ting backed into 9/2 fav and wins ...iesha backed into 7 and finishes 3rd ......they are not always going to win but its pretty obvious it's doing a good job of measuring the value and  the rest is luck but I'm looking forward to tackling some big races once things settle.....certainly worth the effort 

Just for the record I used 

30% recent form 

30% form rating 

10 % dist 

10% ground 

20% handicap 

 

Edited by richard-westwood
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1 hour ago, richard-westwood said:

Good ting backed into 9/2 fav and wins ...iesha backed into 7 and finishes 3rd ......they are not always going to win but its pretty obvious it's doing a good job of measuring the value and  the rest is luck but I'm looking forward to tackling some big races once things settle.....certainly worth the effort 

Just for the record I used 

30% recent form 

30% form rating 

10 % dist 

10% ground 

20% handicap 

 

Percentage on distance could be increased as it becomes more important in longer races perhaps.

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On 1/10/2021 at 5:35 PM, richard-westwood said:

One of the questions I've seen most on forums is how do you determine value ????.....so let's try an value experiment and see how it goes ....

First of all you need to decided what is important and assign a percentage of importance ( which can be changed ) ....but the total must come to 100% so for this example I've assigned ....

Last time out form  (40 % )

1st or 2nd  10pts 

3rd or 4th 8pts 

5th or 6th   6pts 

7th or 8th  4pts 

9th or worse 2pts 

So that assigns recent form and what points the horse scores later we will come back to that 

 

Last win official rating +-lbs ( this is for hcaps for this example )   (15%) 

Off this hcap mark ....

Won    10pts 

1lb above last win   8pts 

2 or 3 lbs above last win  6pts 

4 or 5 pts above last win 4pts 

6 plus lbs above last win 2pts 

So that assigns how well hccapped the horse is 

 

Form on ground     ( 15% )

Won on ground    10pts 

Placed on ground 8pts 

Won on near to today's ground I.e good if today's gd/soft       6pts

Placed on near today's ground  4pts 

Ground not close  2pts 

 

Distance form  (20%)

Won dist    10pts 

Placed dist    8pts 

Won within 2f   6pts 

Placed within 2f  4pts 

No form 3f+  2pts 

 

Fitness    ( 10% )

Last run 14 to 28 days    10pts 

Last run 8 to 13 days 8pts 

Last run  29 to 42 days 6pts 

Last run 1 to 7 days  4pts 

Last run 43days plus   2pts 

 

Right that's all values assigned ....the percentage in brackets is the importance I've assigned to each section ....this can be changed by yourself but must total 100% overall 

We now come to the formula that works out value 

Value =  ( 40 * last time score ) + ( 15 * last win o.r score ) + (15 * ground section score ) + ( 20 * distance score ) + (10 * fitness score ) 

Looks complicated but the first number in each bracket is the percentage you assigned to each group at the top .....multiplyed by the score your horse achieved in each section ......

So in the last time out section at the top if your horse finished 2nd last time it would score 10pts so the first bracket of the value formula would be ( 40 * 10 ) ...you carry on for each section to complete the formula 

Let's do a working example as this will make it clearer 

My horse finished 2nd last time ......is 2lbs above last win ......has placed on ground   ......won at distance ......last ran 42 days ago 

Scores for each section are 

Last time  10pts 

2lb above win 6pts 

Placed on ground  8pts 

Won at distance   10pts 

Last ran 42 days    6pts 

Now you plug those numbers into the value formula 

Value = ( 40*10 )+( 15*6)+(15*8)+(20*10)+(10*6)

Next stage is to convert the first number in each bracket ( the percentage )..to a decimal by dividing it by 100 

Value =( .4*10)+ (.15*6)+(.15 *8)+(.20*10)+ (.1*6)

Note the first number is a decimal   .5 etc

Now work out each bracket with your calculator and add up 

Value = (4)+(.90)+(1.2)+(2)+(.6)

Totals for all brackets = 8.7 so this is the value score for horse 1 

You now do the same for other horses ....of course this can be done on computer or spreadsheet for speed and you just plug the numbers in 

Just for this example let's pretend it's a 3 horse race so each horse rated as follows 

Horse 1   8.7

Horse 2   7.8 

Horse 3  8.1 

You now add up the scores for all horses.....in this case its ...24.6 

We are now gonna create a price for each horse by taking the score for each horse and dividing it by the total score 

Horse 1   8.7 /24.6 =0.353

Horse 2   7.8/24.6 =0.317

Horse 3  8.1 /24.6 =0.329

Times each score by 100 to get your final percentage value figure 

Horse 1 35% 

Horse 2 31%

Horse 3  32% 

You can now convert this percentage to a price using brigadier chart above and compare your value price with the actual price on offer .....if the odds on offer are far higher then your onto a winner long term ......and that's value in a nutshell 🤣

If you cant find the exact percentage price just go as close as you can and round up preferably to be safe 

 

Might be good to provide a spreadsheet some users could use for ease. My systems are all database type and use spreadsheet for the records after that.

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25 minutes ago, Wildgarden said:

Might be good to provide a spreadsheet some users could use for ease. My systems are all database type and use spreadsheet for the records after 

I really want to do one ....I'm doing 50 60 hour  weeks at work currently but I have some holiday coming up in feb ....I really want to do one it would make things much easier ....shouldn't be too hard to do ....I think 🤣

Edited by richard-westwood
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50 minutes ago, Wildgarden said:

Percentage on distance could be increased as it becomes more important in longer races perhaps.

I've been sitting in my quiet moments thinking just that .....but then I have to reduce form ....or handicap rating etc ....each seems equally important .....I mean ....if a horse gets the distance ....but is not in form ....or badly hcapped then it doesnt win ......see the dilemma 🤣....but I agree it does make a big diff especially in the longer dist races .......maybe steal 5% from the hcap section ?....that might work ?.....do people think distance is as important as being well hcapped ??

Edited by richard-westwood
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8 hours ago, Trotter said:

I'm sticking with AW handicaps for this and had a look at the 7.20 at Kempton

Bit disappointed as nothing really stands out

The market leaders look about right.

I had Aldrich Bay as 4/1 Fav and the current price is 10/3
I had Coquetta as 7/1 joint second Fav and current odds are 8/1

The current 2nd Fav is My Boy Sepoy at 4/1. I had him as a 16/1 shot last night and to be fair he was much bigger odds last night .....  he's been heavily backed today from double figure prices and may well go off Favourite. This is probably the one if you're watching the market !
 

The ones that look bigger odds than my estimate are

50/1 Ithabella  Fact - my odds 16/1
20/1 Nicks Not Wonder - my odds 7/1

Both of those are not very appealing so for my selection I've gone for

20/1 Twpsyn - my odds 11/1. 
 

Nick's not wonder hcap debut ....you had him on your list .....so the maths is working ok 

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11 minutes ago, richard-westwood said:

I've been sitting in my quiet moments thinking just that .....but then I have to reduce form ....or handicap rating etc ....each seems equally important .....I mean ....if a horse gets the distance ....but is not in form ....or badly hcapped then it doesnt win ......see the dilemma 🤣....but I agree it does make a big diff especially in the longer dist races .......maybe steal 5% from the hcap section ?....that might work ?.....do people think distance is as important as being well hcapped ??

Distance and weight more important in longer races form all my systems...

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8 hours ago, Trotter said:

The ones that look bigger odds than my estimate are

50/1 Ithabella  Fact - my odds 16/1
20/1 Nicks Not Wonder - my odds 7/1 .......... WON 28/1

Both of those are not very appealing so for my selection I've gone for

20/1 Twpsyn - my odds 11/1. 
 

I think I'll have to dump this 'not very appealing' malarky and just go with the 'value' ..... which is the point of this

 

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3 minutes ago, richard-westwood said:

Can I ask trotter ....when you rated them was Nick's not wonder in the top 5 on percentage ....??

yes ........ he was joint 2nd

Aldrich Boy 20.4%
Nicks Not Wonder 12.24%
Coquetta  12.24%

the next 3 were all on 8.6%

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