In the first article in this series, I talked about the difficulties of framing your own betting market on a race - and advised you of ways and means to do so. This article takes the subject further.

Firstly, let's just quickly discuss what we are trying to do in framing prices on horses. Simply, it means we are placing an intrinsic value on each horse. We are attempting to sum up their worth to us. just as we might decide in a shop whether a certain product represents value for money.

Now, with this exercise, we are not going to be right all the time. All we can try to do is be right enough times, and secure enough of an overlay, to make the whole exercise worthwhile.

By putting a price on a horse you are trying to estimate its percentage chance in a race, just as a bookmaker does when he frames his prices. Let's assume your top choice, to you, represents a 6/4 chance. That's a 40 per cent chance from 100. Or, you are saying this horse could win 40 times out of a 100, were the race to be run that many times.

The bookie may disagree. He could assess the horse as a 4/6 chance. That is, he thinks it has a 60 per cent chance. To you, that is NOT value. You adopt the attitude that at the bookie's price the horse cannot be supported.

Were the bookie to offer you the horse at, say, 2/1 or longer, then you could consider backing it. This is where your 'edge' comes in, and get it right enough times and you will end up winning.

Whether you want to take the trouble to work out prices is up to you. I think it is a worthwhile exercise to at least TRY to put a price value on a horse. Even without calculations, you should attempt to place some value on a selection. Tell yourself not to back it if it is, say, 2/1 or under. Make a set rule about it.

The idea that I am now going to present is a combined selection and pricing plan. It enables you to look at a race, allot points, and then make prices from the final points tally.

Let's look firstly at the points aspect of things. There are 7 factors involved, and they are as follows (factors, maximum points):

FACTORMAX PTS
TRAINER30
JOCKEY10
DISTANCE ABILITY20
RECENT FORM20
TRACK ABILITY30
BARRIER DRAW10
OVERALL ASSESSMENT30
Total150

You have to score each horse as you see it, by analysing form and the rest of the factors. You can allot maximum points, or a lower points score. It all depends on your opinion.

So this is NOT an automatic selection system, because it demands input from the user. You are using your own racing brain to dish out the points.

Once each horse has been given its points, you can work out the prices with the following method:

A total of 150 equals a top score, and the horse is regarded as an even money chance. Few runners will reach this exalted stage. Working from 150 down, you allow the following (assuming no bets in race with 4 or fewer runners):

• Two points in the betting for every 10 points on the scale in races with 5 to 10 runners. (i.e. assuming evens the top, 2 points down would be 3/1; that is 1+2).
• Three points in the betting for every 10 points on the scale in races of 11 to 16 runners.
• Four points in the betting for every 10 on the scale in races of 17 to 24 runners.

Let's say you have a field of 10 runners. The points have been allotted as follows:

 JACK RABBIT 140 BRER RABBIT 120 MOON BOY 115 NONSENSEVILLE 110 WHIPPER SNIPPER 103 ALI BEN BEN 100 ROCK THE BOAT 90 TIP YOUR WHISKERS 50 BLONDE BOMBSHELL 20 HUCKLEBERRY FINN 10
Because you are betting on a 10horse field, you will lop 2 betting points off for every 10 points below 150 (evens).

The prices would be as follows:

 JACK RABBIT 3/1 BRER RABBIT 7/1 MOON BOY 8/1 NONSENSEVILLE 9/1 WHIPPER SNIPPER 10/1 ALI BEN BEN 11/1 ROCK THE BOAT 13/1 TIP YOUR WHISKERS 21/1 BLONDE BOMBSHELL 27/1 HUCKLEBERRY FINN 29/1
If we add up the percentages, we find they combine to make around 86 to 87 per cent. When you get a figure that is under 100 per cent, merely divide it into 100 and adjust your prices accordingly. With this figure, 100 divided by 87 is 1.15, so you have to adjust your prices by, say, 15 per cent. Thus, Jack Rabbit would become 28.75 per cent or 5/2. Brer Rabbit would be adjusted to 14.35 per cent, or 6/1.

Sometimes, your figures will add up to 100 or more. It depends on the points structure.

This is a very neat method but it does depend a lot on how well you can assess a race. Used for good class races it can prove a real handy help for those punters keen enough to do the workouts and draw up the prices.