A system can be defined as a formulated, regular, or special method or plan of procedure.
A horse racing system follows the same principle. People often believe horse racing systems are complex, but actually they can be extremely simple.
If you consistently back every selection that meets a certain set of criteria, then this is a horse racing system.
Of course, a profitable system is the aim! The HorseRaceBase System Builder V4 is designed to assist those wishing to find a longer term betting strategy
and is an invaluable tool for anyone interested in horse racing systems. It allows you to perform extremely complex and indepth operations
on a huge amount of data instantly!
Welcome to the System Builder V4
Version 4 includes some huge enhancements based on member feedback, including -
- Hundreds of new categories including Penalty, Jockey Race Type, Bends, Fence Type, Festivals, Dam Info, First Run Info and Profit/Loss categories.
- Significant improvements and additions to user customisation.
- Introduction of Betfair SP.
- Easier layout and building steps including ongoing calculations in Overview.
- Improved calculations.
- New feature Sliders
- Instant My Systems performance report
- Downloads improved and CSV option added
- NOT option added to meet popular demand
- New options for loading data including from Cards/Results and Fast Start
- Improvements to existing features and all current functionality maintained.
Please be aware of the following -
Select All Options
A common request in the v3 builder was a select all option. In other words tick all the boxes listing criteria for a category.
This has now been replaced with the addition of the NOT option (you will never need to tick more than half the boxes).
Odds in the V4 Builder
Taking account of the introduction of Betfair SP and to avoid confusion, all
odds in the v4 System Builder are presented as numerical including the stake - for example 4/1 would be displayed as 5.00.
This format will be available throughout the site in due course.
Fast Start Feature
Designed to be as simple as possible to use, the Fast Start Feature lists the most commonly
used categories/criteria when system building. It can be used primarily for the two following purposes.
- Building extremely simple systems.
- As a start point for a more complex system.
Initially the options are all set to include everything, in other words if you did not make any changes to the
page then your system would involve backing every horse in every race!
To apply the criteria you require, simply change the set criteria in any of the areas as required, for example
if you wanted to include Horses who had won at the track you would go to the Horse Form section and change the dropdown
beside Form at Track to "Track Winners - horse has previously won at the Track".
When you have finished setting your criteria just press the Go button.
You will be presented with the performance of your system in the V4 Builder.
Should you wish you can use the tabs to analyse or refine the system further. Users of the Fast Start Feature should be aware of the following -
- Items included in the Fast Start feature are based on user feedback.
- For systems requiring more complicated criteria, you should use the Add/Edit Tab.
- The criteria you have specified will be confirmed in the Overview tab of the V4 Builder after you have clicked Go. In some cases the way it
is displayed may differ from the 'easy to use' descriptions in the Fast Start Feature.
Your system will only be updated if you save it. Failure to do so will mean no changes are recorded.
Automatic Load From Race Cards/Results/Data
Quite often you may be studying the form or analysing the result of a particular race/individual and decide it would be advantageous
to investigate some particular aspect of similar races. The Automatic Load features available in all race cards and results make doing so a quick
step. To get to the Automatic Load area click the V4 tab in any race card, result, jockey, horse, trainer, stallion or dam
and you will be presented with a list of available options.
Choose the criteria you wish to automatically load in and confirm, it will then be loaded as a start point in the v4 Builder.
When you first access the V4 Builder you will be on the Overview tab.
If you are starting a new system you will be presented with some available options for getting started.
For help with these options please see the Getting Started submenu.
If you have criteria specified in your system then you will be shown how many categories are currently set and
when appropriate shown some statistics of the performance of your system. You will also be displayed a list of each set category
with the criteria displayed alongside. Each category has beside it a red x, which you can use to remove (delete) that specification.
There is additionally a small pencil image, which allows you to edit the criteria for the category.
This area is used to show detailed analysis of your system criteria by categories of your choosing.
You can select up to ten categories by ticking the boxes. After you press Go you will be presented with the appropriate breakdowns.
The Breakdown tab is an extremely powerful tool, using it you can break down any set of criteria by any category.
To clarify this - it does not matter what criteria you have set in your system, it can literally be anything. Using Track as an
example, here are a couple of scenarios to further illustrate the point.
1 - Your criteria is Favourites. The Track breakdown shows statistics for favourites by Track.
2 - Your criteria is 3 year olds, ridden by a claimer who won last time out. The Track breakdown shows how many 3 year olds were
ridden by a claimer and won their last race at each race track alongside how they performed.
Obviously the purpose of the breakdown is to try and identify key statistics giving a potential advantage
when future runners share the same characteristics. It is highly likely you may wish to break the data down several times, adding in
information as you proceed (or in many cases realising there is nothing relevant so simply ignoring).
You choose the categories you wish to break the data down by following the same process as the Add/Edit area
(ticking appropriate categories). If you choose only 1 category there are options to select criteria and add it in to your system.
If you choose several (up to 10) there will be an option alongside each breakdown to 'Close In' (where criteria can then be set).
The breakdown presentation is in accordance with the calculations you have specified in the Customise area.
The page can be reloaded to change the data display, for example by sorting it in a certain manner or by stating only criteria
producing a certain number of qualifiers is shown. For certain types of data such as number of runners, percentage categories and prize money
there are numerous groupings that can be used to break the data down (via the group by dropdown).
The Breakdown(s) displayed apply the system rules you have specified and show analysis of each of the variables of the chosen category
that have produced qualifiers. The data shown uses your settings in the customise area & the Apply & Reload form can also be used.
As an example if you have system rules stating UK,favourites and choose to breakdown Track, the analysis displayed is for performance of favourites at each
race track in the UK.
If you decide you wish to add some of the criteria in to your system, you do so by either ticking boxes or setting
the minimum and maximum range (depending on the category). Upon completion you will return to the Overview
tab and your system criteria will have been updated.
You may wish to have a look at the horses who have ran previously meeting the criteria you have set in your
system. These can be viewed and downloaded from within the Qualifiers tab. The presentation shows data relating to each of the
qualifiers such as the starting price, the race date etc. Where appropriate the data will be presented as a link, which if clicked
will open up a new page with the relevant full record (for example click a jockey's name and his full record will open in a new window).
Qualifiers are shown 200 at a time, there are Next and Previous buttons at the foot of the page to navigate
through the records. If you prefer to download the qualifiers, there are two options available. Click either the CSV or Excel button
and the data will be transferred to the appropriate file type of your choosing. Note the number of qualifiers included
in your download is dependent on your account type.
Each Way Tab
A traditional betting option revolves around backing horses each way. This is when you place 2 points on the
selection, one as a win bet and one as a place bet. The place terms in use vary by race. This tab shows the return you would have
made had you backed all the selections each way. The official starting price is used for this calculation.
There are a couple of options you can use for further personalisation - these are the minimum odds you would
back at (it is unlikely you would back a short priced runner each way) and the minimum number of runners in the race
(small fields pay less places).The statistics are shown for backing all, handicaps only and non handicaps only.
You can analyse multiple categories with the digger feature.
By taking the existing system criteria you have already set and analysing your chosen categories
you can instantly create a report to help analyse and spot horse racing trends or patterns.
This is done by bracketing data into segments, for some of the categories this is straightforward (such as jockey)
as the programme can simply separate by each criteria type, for others (such as odds) a more complicated behind the scenes
procedure is required in order to provide meaningful stats
Lets take an example to show what the digger does. If you had set your existing criteria as trainers
Richard Hannon or Aidan OBrien & jockeys Richard Hughes or Johnny Murtagh and chose to break down (dig)
by Going/Track/Distance what you would be searching on is -
- Hannon/Hughes - all combinations of Going/Track/Distance
- Hannon/Murtagh - all combinations of Going/Track/Distance
- OBrien/Hughes - all combinations of Going/Track/Distance
- OBrien/Murtagh - all combinations of Going/Track/Distance
When starting the digger you need to choose between 2 and 7 categories and apply settings to two important factors.
Sort By which stipulates the order data will be displayed to you and Min Qualifiers, which tells HorseRaceBase the number
of qualifying horses (those who match all criteria) required before it should be included in the output.
Each time you click Run you will open a new page and automatically be at the stats tab. This is to quickly offer opportunity to analyse whether
it is of further interest to you.
Sliders allows you to test the criteria of the categories set, which are using a between range. For each appropriate category
you are presented with 4 "sliders", clicking any will instantly change and update the performance of the system criteria, which is always
shown at the top.
For example, if you had Race Distance set as part of your system criteria with values of Between 6f and 7f you will have
4 "sliders" avaliable - the values will be 5.5 furlongs, 6.5 furlongs, 6.5 furlongs and 7.5 furlongs. Going through each of these in turn, is the
easiest way to explain.
- Slider 1 - 5.5 furlongs. This will change your Race Distance criteria to Between 5.5 furlongs and 7 furlongs
- Slider 2 - 6.5 furlongs. This will change your Race Distance criteria to Between 6.5 furlongs and 7 furlongs
- Slider 3 - 6.5 furlongs. This will change your Race Distance criteria to Between 6 furlongs and 6.5 furlongs
- Slider 4 - 7.5 furlongs. This will change your Race Distance criteria to Between 6 furlongs and 7.5 furlongs
The advantage of the Sliders function is you can quickly test different ranges and immediately view how it affects the system performance and in the
process maximise the potential of your system. Below are some further notes and points to be aware of.
- If your criteria is already at the bottom or top of the range, there will be no slider to move further up the scale.
- If your category range includes the specification NOT, then this shall remain in place as you slide
The "NOT" Option
It may be the case your criteria is easier applied by stating the category DOES NOT equal something, rather than the normal way
of stating it does. For example if your system includes a certain trainer but you only wish to include horses not ridden by the main stable jockey
this is far easier to set up by stating "Jockey IS NOT X" instead of "Jockey equals A,B,C,D,E,F etc etc".
Another example is if you wish to include all tracks in your system except Kempton and Newbury, it is easiest to set this up as
"Track - NOT Kempton, Newbury" rather than listing all the other tracks.
The NOT Option should be straight forward to understand but here are some further points to be aware of.
- Categories that only have a few options (for example Favouritism) do not have a NOT option as it would be pointless.
- Everything other than the values specified in the NOT rule are included in your system criteria. As an example if you have specified
the race distance is NOT between 6f and 1 mile then all race distances below 6f and all distances above 1 mile ARE included
Using text boxes to enter values
In certain categories, entering values is done by manually typing into a textbox. The reason is there are a huge number
of possible values. For example Betfair SP has a massive range and a dropdown box with 1.01,1.02....1.99,2.00,2.01 etc etc would not be user friendly
and as I do not wish to limit the users input, text boxes are used. To set your criteria just enter the appropriate numeric values in the boxes.
Note that entering invalid characters will cause an error and the automatic removal of the criteria.
Calculations in the System Builder
As part of the customise area you choose the calculations you wish to see in different areas of the
System Builder. The calculations all work on the basis you would have placed a selection on every horse matching specifications.
All available calculations are listed below with a description of each, for any exchange calculations it is vital to be aware Betfair SP came
into effect on 13th December 2007 for UK Win Bets and 10th February 2008 for Irish Win Bets. For place bets the dates were 18th February 2008 (UK)
and 28th February 2008 (Ireland). For dates prior to this then figures of zero will be used (no bet) - originally I was going to
use an estimation process for exchange prices prior to this time, however analysis of actual exchange vs official SP show this would ultimately
be complete guesswork and totally unreliable because the exchange price vs trade SP varies dramatically depending on so many circumstances
and factors, our tests have shown to use a 'guess' for previous data can be very misleading indeed in certain systems
and I have therefore chosen not to do so.
If you wish to use an estimate process there are various methods you can use including using the
percentage difference between 'PL (SP)' and 'PL (BFSP)' for the years there are data or using a standard percentage.
The minimum liability for a bet placed at Betfair SP is £10 for a lay bet and £2 for a back bet (or the currency equivalent in each case).
If you wish you can set the units staked for the appropriate calculations using the dropdown menus in the customise calculations area.
Explanation of available calculations
- Bets - The total number of bets. (Count of all).
- Wins - The total number of winning bets. (Count of all horses finishing first).
- Win% - The strike rate of winning selections. (Wins/Bets displayed as a percentage).
- PL (SP) - The profit/loss assuming a level stake of 1 was placed on all bets using the official starting price. (Sum of all winners starting prices minus stake and minus losses).
- Places (Std) - The number of selections who placed using standard place terms. (Count of all placed horses).
- Place% - The strike rate of placed selections. (Places/Bets displayed as a percentage).
- Races - The number of individual races. (Count of unique races included in the Bets).
- Race% - The strike rate of races containing the winner. (Count of unique races where the winner was backed divided by Count of unique races).
- ROI (SP) - The return on investment percentage figure when backing all selections at SP. (Profit/Loss (SP) divided by bets).
- PL (BFSP) - The profit/loss assuming a level stake of 1 was placed on all bets using Betfair SP. (Sum of the Betfair SP minus stake for all winners minus commission and minus losses).
- ROI (BF) - The return on investment percentage figure if all selections were backed using Betfair SP. (Same process as SP except using Betfair SP).
- LAY (BFSP) - The amount you would have returned had you layed all selections at level stakes of 1 using Betfair SP. (Sum of winning lays (1 point) minus commission, minus cost of losing lays).
- ROI_LAY - The return on investment of laying all selections at Betfair SP.
(Profit divided by risk times 100). Using a specific example, there are 3 lays with prices of 4.14, 3.70 and 4.19 meaning the risk is 9.03
(the total amount you would have lost had they all won the race). The selection at 4.14 was unplaced making a profit of 0.95 (1 minus 5% commission).
The selection at 3.70 also lost meaning running profit of 1.90. However the lay at 4.19 won the race making a final loss of -1.29 (1.90 minus 3.19).
The ROI_LAY figure is thus calculated as -14.28 (Profit of -1.29 divided by Risk of 9.03 multiplied by 100).
- Places (BF) - The number of winning places using the places paid on Betfair. (Count of paid places on Betfair). Note the difference between this
and Places (Std), for differences it is normally the case that a race originally had a certain number of runners and this subsequently changed.
Example a race has 16 confirmed entries and is a handicap therefore it is set up to pay 4 places, despite the fact there are subsequently several non-runners
the market will continue to offer the same numer of paid places. Also be aware even if you have changed your account settings to ignore wins in place
calculations THEY ARE included here as in Betfair place markets winners are regarded as finishing placed.
- Place% (BF) - The strike rate of winning placed selections on betfair displayed as a percentage. (Count of winning place bets divided by total bets).
- PLBF (Place) - The same process as PL (BFSP) but using the Betfair Place SP. Note the dates above.
- Lay (Place) - The same process as Lay (BFSP) but using the Betfair Place SP. Note the dates above.
- Max Odds - The maximum betfair SP of any selection included in the statistics.
- A/E BFA/E - A figure based on actual versus expected return. This is calculated as the total number of wins versus the expected number of
wins. The expected number is based on the official starting price, for example a horse at 1/10 has an expectancy of 0.91,
an Evens money shot has an expectancy of 0.50, 2/1 is an expectancy of 0.33 and 10/1 is an expectancy of 0.09.
- Chi / BFChi - A calculation used by some people to check whether the system results are 'a fluke' or consistent. There are differing opinions
as to how the figures can be used and ultimately it as the users discretion. The exact calculation is as follows (note that ace stands for actual vs expected)
runs*power(sum(wins)-sum(ace),2) / (sum(ace) * (runs-sum(ace)))
- ExpWins / BFExpWins - The number of expected wins as described in the A/E calculation above
- Avg Win Odds / Avg Win BFSP - The average price of winners in the statistics using either SP or Betfair SP
- Num_Horses - The number of distinct horses in the statistics. Useful if for example you are using a Dam or Stallion and the same horse may have appeared several times
- Num_Seconds - The number of times selections finished second
- SPWAX / BSPWAX - The total number of wins minus the expected wins (as described in the A/E calculation above) using official SP or Betfair SP
- WAXDIFF - The difference between SPWAX and BSPWAX as above
Static & Non Static Categories
The Builder allows members to save systems and retrieve daily qualifiers in the My Systems area.
In this regard, it is vital you are aware which of your categories are static and which are not.
Failure to understand can lead to significant problems. As an example the most
difficult category to monitor is Odds because the odds market changes throughout the day and right up to the off. If you check
the qualifiers and have a criteria specifying the horse must be exactly Evens - it is unlikely it will stay at that
exact price all day and then go off at the same price. Therefore if you checked the qualifiers every hour for this scenario it is
highly likely you would see the qualifiers list changing.
To confirm exactly what is meant by Static/Non Static, see the descriptions below -
- Static Categories - For all categories marked as static the criteria is not open to change.
This means your criteria is locked in and there is no area for movement. For example the race track is a static criteria
and you can be sure only horses due to run at the track that day will be retrieved. All categories relating to previous races are also static.
- Non-Static Categories - All categories marked as non-static are subject to change - reasons include non-runners,
overweight, odds fluctuation and a change in the going conditions. The information I load on to the site
in advance of a days racing is based on what is known at the time and therefore ultimately it is your responsibility to
ensure you do not miss or incorrectly back any given horse. An example would be jockey - if you have included
Frankie Dettori as a system criteria all horses he is down to ride the night before will be flagged to you but you should always
be aware that its possible he may either miss or obtain additional rides after this point.
The following categories should be treated with care when building your horse racing system. This is because the system data may change close to the
start of the race and the information provided in advance (qualifiers) may in fact change. Some categories are more likely to change than others so please
do read carefully.
|Category||Likelihood of Change & Comments|
|Jockey & Jockey related categories||Unlikely - possibility of a jockey change|
|Odds & Odds related categories||Very likely - the odds can change dramatically in the hours pre-race.|
|Going & Going related categories||Unlikely - the going does sometimes change on the day of the race.|
|Distance & Distance related categories||Unlikely - the track do sometimes move the rails very late.|
|Number of Runners||Quite common - there are always a few non-runners each day.|
|Weight & Weight related categories||Unlikely - horse weight can change on the day though.|
|Favourites||Likely - not quite as bad as the odds category but favouritism status does change a lot from the forecast.|
|Comparison categories||Quite common - whenever comparing runners in the race, non-runners can affect the comparison.|