November 14, 2017 – How to read the ratings…

A walk through the Ratings PDF

Below is a screenshot of one race from the daily ratings.

Every race has two lines to describe the race.

The first line (in bold) shows the course the time of the race, the title of the race and the race prize.

The next line shows more specific details about the race such as distance, number of runners and going.

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November 14, 2017 – Who was Clive Holt?


A rather haphazard gambler, Clive Holt is best know for the books that he wrote and, of course, his legendary ratings system, FineForm.

Before becoming a professional gambler, he worked at the Electricity Board in England.

His father introduced him to gambling and Holt started going to race courses in the early 1960s.

Although he didn’t keep track of his bets, he experienced moderate success, sometimes winning as much as £1,000 (a lot of money back then.)

After a losing streak, Holt decided to start keeping better track of how he was doing.

“It probably had the greatest influence on my future success. As the figures and the percentages built up before me, it was clear that I was becoming more and more analytical.”

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November 14, 2017 – How the ratings were created…


I actually run another ratings agency, Focus Ratings (which you may have heard of.)

However, I never stop looking at ways of improving Focus Ratings and realised that I need another layer of ratings to sit on top of the current Focus Ratings strategy (call R4) to create a new and improved strategy (to be called R5.)

So, to create this extra layer I decided to start again from scratch loosely inspired by Clive Holt’s Fine Form strategy.

What I didn’t expect was to find that the ratings I produced would be “out of the box” profitable!

Using 2016 as a data set, the top rated horse has a strike rate of 25.76% and returned 13.77% level stakes profit (to ISP) on the stakes.

I am in the process of working out how to add the new ratings to Focus Ratings (to improve the accuracy of that service) but…

With results this good I decided to publish Advance Ratings as a stand alone service (whilst also adding it to Focus Ratings.)

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November 14, 2017 – Why use Ratings?


I am going to try to explain why horse racing ratings have a real place to pay in every punter’s arsenal and why you should be using ratings in addition to your normal horse selection process.

So, let’s start with the obvious…

1). Filter out the non-contenders.

With Advance Ratings, in 2016 50% of all winners came from the top three rated horses. And that was for all field sizes; imagine if you have a 17 horse handicap race and know that you can reduce it into a three horse race by just looking at the three real contenders.

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