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Wow. Claims that have a lot to live up to.
This is an ebook system for calculating tissue prices in handicap races which comes with an Excel calculator for users to input data. The way it works is that the user inputs seven lines of data which are available subscription free from the Racing Post website. This gives a total book for the field and a total for each runner which is then converted by the software into percentages and thus odds. When the available market odds are input into the calculator, the system will purport to show where the value lies for each runner. The idea is that the user then backs the best value runner, or dutches two or three.
When I saw this, I was very enthused and really wanted it to work. However, it has to be said that this is far from scientific. The idea is to get your prices as close to the eventual SP as possible. Here’s the problem: the first five lines of data should be the same for everybody. The figures are facts as shown on the Racing Post website. However, the final two lines of data are very much open to interpretation. Indeed, they are the areas where the experts use their methods and reasoning to come up with the prices. That kind of work will take you far longer than 15 minutes if you do it manually, unless you use the ‘cheats’ suggested by the system authors. The problem with using the cheats, I have found, is that they don’t work. The result is that what you end up with is all the runners having a more or less equal chance of winning (which is obviously how it should be in a handicap, but we know it isn’t). Clearly, in those circumstances, the highest priced runner will be the best value.
I was perplexed by this and have had a conversation with the author and the owner of the Race Advisor website. There are some decent products available on there, which is why I took this seriously, but I’m not convinced this is up to their usual standards.
So I don’t think you need to input any data from the first five lines – it’s a waste of time because the runners balance out. In one of their own examples, in the whole field the best chance runner was 12.8% and the outsider 8.07%. That will not be reflected in the SP. The last two lines are crucial, but then to do it properly you would have to get into much more detailed territory, such as how many points to allow for a trainer in form, how well the horse has run in a right handed course, how it performs on AW as opposed to grass, how many points to deduct for the time it has been off course, and so many other angles.
For purchasers there is a sample video in the members’ area which analyses two races later that day. I feel that these only strengthen my reservations. Here are the results.
Race 1 identifies four ‘value’ runners.
Horse 4: 10.52 tissue price; 13.0 market price; 13.0 SP = NO MOVE
Horse 5: 10.64 tp; 13.0 mp; 17.0 SP = DRIFT 4 points
(in the video, this is the horse identified as a probable steamer because it’s been tipped)
Horse 6: 10.05 tp; 12.0 mp; 9.0 SP = STEAM -3 points
Horse 7: 9.93 tp; 10.0 mp; 6.5 SP = STEAM -3.5 points
Race 2 again identifies four ‘value’ runners, and this is the example race where the analysis goes into greater detail in order to determine more accurate tissue prices.
Horse 1: 5.88 tp; 9.0 mp; 15.0 SP = DRIFT 6 points
Horse 4: 7.36 tp; 21.0 mp; 28.0 SP = DRIFT 7 points
Horse 6: 6.65 tp; 9.0 mp; 9.0 SP = NO MOVE
Horse 7: 8.03 tp; 21.0 mp; 26.0 SP = DRIFT 5 points
In the second of the races, form is included going back six years! If anything, the races show how the software DOESN’T work, because of the eight runners which showed ‘value’, 4 drifted, two showed no move and only two steamed in.
The PREMISE of this system is indisputable: if you consistently find value in your betting, you will win over the long term. However, if this system DOES find value, I would like to see the proof, and there doesn’t seem to be any except somebody’s say-so. I have run the system through ten races and all my results are similar to those shown in the video.
The authors clearly understand that establishing an accurate tissue price is a sophisticated process, as they have incredibly comprehensive software for finding value runners on the Race Advisor website, and I don’t know why anybody would prefer a time-consuming, clumsy unproven system when they have that available to them.