In previous articles I mentioned that we would later concentrate on refinements and pricing.
However, in doing so I'm conscious of not making the task too difficult for users of the Killer Factors and hopefully what follows is true to that objective.
The sort of refinements I have in mind refer to the first three factors: Beaten Distance; Order of Favouritism and the Average Prizemoney Index (API) ranking.
In considering the Order of Favouritism and API then a degree of latitude in allotting points is recommended.
By that I mean if there is a $5 favourite with a $5.50 second favourite, then either both should be awarded the same amount of points (nine each) or the gap between them should be narrowed to 10 and nine respectively.
As a general rule the more open the betting market, the greater the degree of latitude.
Likewise with the API, the smaller the difference in the actual average prizemoney earned, the greater the degree of latitude in allotting points.
One race that demonstrates the benefits of refinement was race 8 at Sandown-Lakeside on June 18 2005.
The basic Killer Factor ratings were as in (Table 3).
Universal Heights and Umbula were clearly the top-rated and both the pre-post market and the actual betting market reflected this fact as they were first and favourites at $3.80 and $4.40 respectively.
However, the difference in the API between some of the runners was minimal, with $410 separating five horses (as per Table 4).
Prince Benbara with an API of $9,000 was clearly on top in this factor, followed by the five horses in the $6,030 to $6,440 range, with a gap of approximately $2,000 to the next runner.
In such circumstances, Prince Benbara would justify its 1 points allocation, but I wouldn't differentiate in allotting the points to the next five runners, giving them all five points each.
The order of favouritism looked about right and no changes were required for this factor.
The most contentious of the refinements is with the last start beaten margin. Contentious because in some circumstances the last start should be ignored and one of the two previous starts should be substituted in lieu, as well as requiring some value judgement.
The main reason for proposing this type of refinement is simply because a horse's last run might not truly reflect its current form, which could be due to a number of factors such as suffering interference, a bad ride, unsuitable distance or track conditions' etc.
If using the refinement approach, I would recommend using the best of a horse's last three runs so long as its second last start was within 28 days or its third last start was within 42 days.
Using the recommended 'best of last three runs' approach, five of the 10 runners had their points adjusted with the amended ratings being as in Table 5:
So far, the Adjustment (Adj) column has not been mentioned and there is a good reason for this as it should only be used conservatively: when the track conditions, track, distance or jockey change may be significant to a horse's chances.
The Adjustment column can also be used for awarding an improvement bonus, but again this calls for a value judgment and should be used with some discretion, with the maximum number of points not totalling more than five for any horse.
Personally, I made just three adjustments in the Adj column for this race, allotting Prince Benbara three points as it was a superior wet track performer, while also giving one point to Universal Heights and two points to Aquiline as both were considered to be on the improve, resulting in the final ratings of Table 6.
Having got to this point in the process, then it's time to convert the ratings into the assessed prices, remembering of course that they are never absolute before the race is run, rather being more of an 'opinion'.
There is a clear distinction between tips and ratings; the former being loosely based on some form of information or 'gut' feeling, while the latter are more about a form of value judgements.
The points/pricing table (Table 7) is used to convert the ratings into prices and is relatively simple to use.
In the race under examination, there were 10 runners, which equates to a total of 768 points.
To obtain the prices for each horse, simply divide 768 by the each horse's individual ranking points and that's all there is to it.
In this race as there were two equal top-ranked runners, their ranking points were summed and then divided by two, i.e. 200+175=350/ 2=175, then divided into 768 to give an assessed price of approximately $4.40. The full pricing workout was as in Table 8.
The result of this race is an indicator of just how powerful the Killer Factors approach can be, with the winner Reef Beach being third rated, and one of three overlay horses, while the first four placegetters were found in the top five rated runners, paying a very nice dividend of $1893.70 on TAB Ltd which equates to (approximately) backing a $16 winner.
While results of this nature can not be expected on every occasion, the Killer Factors will put users in the ball game on a regular basis. My recommendation is to try a few races out, probably between four and six, allowing for about 20 minutes per race, concentrating on the race types mentioned in the first part of this article, with the added proviso that races with between eight and 12 runners are ideal and that races with more than 14 runners should not be attempted until a degree of proficiency has been reached.
A few final words and they are to be wary of races where runners rate highly (first or second) that have failed to score points in either of the form (beaten distance) and fitness (days last run) criteria.
Click here to read Part 1.
By EJ Minnis
PRACTICAL PUNTING - AUGUST 2005