We have now reached the 'climax' time of our foray into the 'Ratings Guide' approach, the rules of which I've outlined in recent PPM articles.

What we have to try to do now is to find the right prices for those horses which have been shown to be the main contenders in a race.

This can be made a difficult and time-consuming task, or it can be made relatively simple to implement. I've chosen the latter route, on the basis that we've already taken involved steps to find the selections so it's better not to hold up progress anymore.

My idea, as with the rest of the Ratings Guide approach, is to make everything as clear and easy to do as possible.

Framing markets can involve lots of calculations, with ratings points being converted into what is hoped to be a 'true price' reflecting each runner's Prospects.

For starters, I am not going to ask you to price every horse in a race. My idea is that we can consider a maximum of four chances in a race. That is, the top four rated runners.

You can, in fact, price two runners, three runners or four runners.

The prices needed will depend on how many runners you decide to price.

Let's say you decide there are four good prospects. They are fairly closely rated together. The formula is simple.

It goes as follows:


  • TOP-RATED: Price needed 2/1 minimum (33%)
  • NEXT BEST: Price needed 4/1 minimum (20%)
  • THIRD BEST: Price needed 6/1 minimum (14%)
  • FOURTH BEST: Price needed 8/1 minimum (11%)

This gives a total percentage market of 78 per cent. The aim is to beat the percentages. Do as best you can to achieve BETTER prices than the minimums I've given here.

Don't bet any runner about which you cannot secure the minimum price.

If you want to price only three runners, then the formula goes as follows:

  • TOP-RATED: Price needed 6/4(40%)
  • NEXT BEST: Price needed 7/2(22%)
  • THIRD BEST: Price needed 5/1(16%)

The total percentage market is 78 per cent. Once again, the aim is to secure BETTER prices than those listed as the minimum.

If you're satisfied that the top two rated runners are the only ones you need to assess, then the formula becomes even more easy to apply.

  • TOP-RATED: Price  needed Evens (50%)
  • NEXT BEST: Price needed 5/2(28%)

The percentage is 78 per cent, so with all three approaches the prices have been determined, for the minimum, at 78 per cent of the 100 per cent market.

Your task as a punter seeking to bet in a professional manner is to obtain prices that are BETTER than those assessed in the formula.

Example: If you are betting just two runners,. you'll need evens about the No. 1 selection and 5/2 about the other selection. You find that with a few minutes to go, the top selection is available at 6/4. That's an overlay, so you have a bet.

The No. 2 selection is available at 6/1. This, too, is an overlay. So you back both runners. If you are backing to the percentages, then the bet on the 6/4 runner will be 50 units and the bet on the other runner will be 28.

You can bet to any ratio of this. If you bet to take out, say, 20 units and not 100, then you'd bet a fifth of 50 units, 10 units, and a fifth of 28 units, which is 5.5 units (rounded). Your bet, then,, is 15.5 units.

Should the 6/4 chance win, you get back 25 units.

If the No. 1 selection wins, you get back 38.5 units.

Click here to read Part 5.
Click here to read Part 4.
Click here to read Part 3.
Click here to read Part 2.
Click here to read Part 1.

By Richard Hartley Jnr