What is a good run?

Earlier I wrote about my plan to add a new kind of rating called a Suitability Score. And for that I needed to know if run horse had was a good one even if it didn’t finish first.

Initially I used a concept from Peter Mays book, but it was obviusly only for flat races as the system broke down when distances went further and  this lead to chases and hurdles having a lot more good runs compared to flat races.

After staring at lengths lost for flat and jumps for a while I came to conclusion that one-size-fits all solution wont work here and I also started thinking about going, it has to have effect on lengths a horse lost by, or atleast that is the hypothesis at the moment.

I was surprised that there seems to be greater variance between race distances in flat races compared to jump races, as can be seen from two charts below which describe average lengths lost per BSP for different distances in furlongs.

As I have recently dabbled with Artificial Neural Networks I decided to see if they could be of help in determining a good run. Plan is to train an ANN to give out expected lengths lost based on distance, going and bsp. I have now done first version of this with All Weather in mind and just by putting in criteria that run where actual lengths lost was less than half of expected distance behind winner was a good run and run where actual was more than 1.5 times the expected would be considered a poor run I were able to divide runs to roughly 25% good runs, 50% of ok runs and 25% of poor runs.

Next up is to check if this classification has any bearing on how horse performs next time out.