Welcome to the site. I've been a convert to speed ratings for many years. If you are interested in compiling your own ratings you can access the book 'The Only Game in Town' by clicking HERE. It explains in detail how they are calculated and how I stumbled across them and turned a lifetime of losing into profit.
Everyone who has ever had a bet will tell you that racing is bent. The book Crime Corruption & the Jockey Club looks into events between 1982 and 2006 and reveals the Jockey Clubs reaction to those events and the actions, if any, that they have taken. To read the book follow the links in the right margin. .

John Train was an investor on the stock market. In his book, “The Moneymasters,” he makes the following comment when describing a successful investor. “It is sufficient to be a master of one game rather than try to learn two or three, as long as you retire to the side lines when the game you know is no longer being played.” The same principal applies in gambling. What you need to master are speed ratings and once you have done that you will realize that All Weather Racing is the only game in town.
The book Only Game in Town is reproduced in full below..



The book starts here when you get to the bottom of each page click older posts on the right hand side to continue.

Copyright 2007 by Tony Fountain
All rights reserved. It is illegal to copy distribute or create derivative works from this book in whole or in part.

First and foremost I must thank Nick Mordin for writing, ‘Mordin on time,’ and changing my life. Also Larry from the Ballast Sidings who donated the two carrier bags of books that set me on the right road. Learn Direct at Beeston where the patient and friendly staff taught me to switch the computer on and off. Placepot Phil, Jeff the weight and Fred the spread (what’s the red un in the next) who over the years and probably without realizing have helped me develop the ratings. A special thanks to Jon and Lynne for correcting the many mistakes and reminding me that it is a long time since I left school. And last but not least my partner Gill for putting up with my gambling through thick and thin and until recently it was very often wafer thin.

The original Only Game in Town was published in the summer of 2003 and explained how the author turned a lifetime of bad habits and loss into profit cumulating in a successful and profitable Winter AW season in 2002/03
A lot of changes have taken place since then. There are no longer just three tracks. Kempton opened its doors to all weather in 2005 and in 2007 Great Leighs will become the first new racecourse in Britain for eighty years. The all weather courses have been refurbished and at Wolverhampton the track widened and the surface replaced with polytrack.
All these changes have affected Standard Times so they have had to been recalculated using the results from the 2006/07 winter season. These include Kempton and are shown in appendix 2.
The standard times for the 2002/03 season in appendix one have been left in the book as a reference to the chapters on compiling figures. Another change is the grading system which used to be A-G but has now changed to 1 - 7.
Despite the changes the basic principals remain the same and the humble speed rating will continue to produce winners for those prepared to put in the time and effort required to understand them.

After gambling on and off for the best part of twenty five years you would have expected me to know something about racing. Far from it! In fact, the only thing I had learned was that bookmakers always seemed to win and despite the odd lucky streak the punter in the long run was sure to lose. To be honest, after all those years I was no wiser than the day I started. Like everyone else I studied the form, read the spotlights at the foot of each race and looked what the tipsters fancied. At the end of the day it all boiled down to guesswork and being influenced by other peoples opinions. Fortunately, something happened that changed my whole perspective on gambling.
One day someone at work asked me if I would like some books on horse racing. A friend of his, a keen racing fan, had passed away and his collection of form books were looking for a new home. A few days later he walked into the cabin with two carrier bags. When he had gone I emptied the bags onto the table. There amongst the smartsig magazines and raceform annuals I found Beyer on Speed, Picking Winners and The Winning Horseplayer by Andrew Beyer, Against the Crowd by Alan Potts, One Hundred Hints for Better Betting by Mark Coton, and two books by Nick Mordin, Betting For a Living and Mordin on time. There were also several books on the value factor in betting and how to compile your own handicap. It took a few months to plough through them but I read them all. The book that changed my gambling life was sitting there amongst them. After reading it twice I started to compile my own speed ratings. At first I was sceptical and on more than one occasion was on the verge of giving up on them. It was so time consuming and I wasn’t sure what good they were going be to me. After all, the racing papers already printed ratings. Then one day something amazing happened, the horse that was top rated on my figures won by 9 lengths at 10/1. None of the so called experts fancied it but on the ratings it was a nailer.. The book that had brought all this about was called Mordin on Time by Nick Mordin. Suddenly someone had switched on the light.


Speed rating figures, represent a horses ability and fitness based on the times it has run. By using standard times for each track and calculating how long each horse takes to run one mile, all performances are comparable.
Speed figures have been used in America since the 50’s. Len Ragozin realized that as well as comparing one horse with another, he should be comparing each horse with itself. In other words looking at a horses past performances to ascertain how it is likely to run today. To this end he began to plot graphs of each horses career runs. These became known as the “Sheets.” He would produce a Sheet for each horse in a race and look for patterns in their past performances. Ragozin began publishing the sheets and they were seen as essential to any serious gambler.
In the early 70s, Andrew Beyer, a horseracing columnist for the Washington Post, began producing his own speed figures. He used them himself with great success, and when he introduced these figures in his book “Picking Winners”(1975) he revolutionized racetrack betting.
Unfortunately there was a down side. The betting public were becoming smart and after writing “The Winning Horse Player,” in 1983 it became harder and harder to keep ahead. By the 90s everyone used speed figures and they were available from many commercial sources. Finally in 1992 the Daily Racing Form included Beyers speed figures in past performances. The speed figure “good thing” had disappeared forever.
Fortunately that is not yet the case in this country. British punters are sceptical of speed figures. They would sooner base their selections on top trainers or jockeys, or follow horses that have won for them in the past. Some draw lines of form through a third horse that has recently run against two horses running today. Then there are long distance travellers and do not forget, Fallon would not travel all the way to Musselburgh for one ride unless it had a chance. It seems that punters in this country will use any system at all to select their horses, except for the only one that matters. The system that tells you how fit a horse is compared to its rivals, tells you the horses ideal distance and which courses it likes and more importantly the courses it doesn’t like. The system that tells you if a horse is running into form, out of form or standing still and ready for a break. Most importantly, the system that tells you how fast the horse is likely to run today. This system is based on a horses speed figures and the way they are laid out and read.
Since Nick Mordins book was published in 1996 people up and down the country have been compiling their own ratings. In recent years the effects have become obvious as more and more top rated horses open at short prices. It is no coincidence that many of the positives on the early morning exchanges are horses with high speed figures.
Fortunately at the moment punters at large have no access to accurate easy to read speed figures. Most published ratings give a horses top figure along with all the relevant details. Often however, that run was a week last pancake Tuesday and there is no indication to the horses current level of fitness. Most rank and file betting shop punters have neither the time nor the inclination to produce their own speed ratings, until they are given them on a plate, as the Daily Racing Form did in America, there will still be plenty of good things for speed figure punters to get their teeth into.




oBelow are the mathematical procedures for finding a horses speed rating figure. There are no explanations as to why certain procedures are carried out, or how certain figures such as the grade tables are configured. It is not my intention to re-write Nick Mordins book and I strongly recommend that anyone contemplating producing their own figures purchase Mordin on Time available from Aesculus Press. The main aim of this book is what to do with the figures and how to use them. As an example I have shown the speed figures I calculated for the meeting at Lingfield on Saturday the 4th of January 2003. In column A is the race number shown in the official results published in the Raceform Update. The first thing to look for is the grade of race, 1-7 this goes in column D. Banded races are always 7.

oThe figure in column E is from the grade tables and 6.9 represents grade 6. The grade tables are shown in full below. The times are per mile.
The actual calculations can be broken down into five steps.
Next take the race winners time, in this first race the time was 3m 27.50 and deduct the standard time for the course and distance. Standard times for the All weather tracks are shown in the appendix at the back of the book. How they are compiled will be explained in chapter four. For a 2 mile race at Lingfield the standard time is 3m 14.71. The difference is 12.79 seconds. This is the difference for a 2m race so to equate the race to 1m you divide by 2 giving 6.39. This figure goes into column C. The standard times in the appendix also show the fractions you need to divide by to equate each race to 1 mile. For instance for a 6f race you would divide by .75.

Next check column C against column E , if the number in C is bigger place a - in column F, if it is smaller put a +. The difference between columns C and E goes into G. After carrying out this procedure for all races the table will look like this.

You now need to weed out any slow or exceptional fast times. So in column G put a line through the two highest and two lowest figures. Add up the four remaining numbers and divide by four. This will give you the going allowance for the track that day. If it is a seven race card discard the two highest and two lowest leaving three, and for a six race card the highest and lowest leaving four. You will usually find the figures in G are either all + or all - but sometimes they are mixed. In the above example, after weeding out the unwanted figures you are left with -.45, +.32, -1.22, and -1.04. These add up to -2.39, divide by four and you are left with a going allowance of -.60

To arrive at a speed figure for each winner deduct or add (in this case deduct) the going allowance from the figure in column C, multiply by five and take the result away from a hundred. This is the speed rating for the winning horse and goes in column B. The final table is shown below.

After allocating a figure for each winner you need to deal with the rest of the runners. First of all write the speed figure next to each winner in the Raceform Update. Then simply divide the number of lengths each horse trailed the winner by the race distance, (the figure in brackets in the standard times appendix), and deduct it from the winners figure. This seemed very complicated and time consuming when I first started the figures so I divided each race distance by all margins up to 10 lengths and produced the chart on the following page. Once I had this chart there were no calculations to make, it was a simple matter of lining up the lengths beaten with the race distance to find the required figure. If the race you were looking at was 1m4f and the second placed horse was beaten 6 lengths then you need to take 4 points off the winners rating.

So in a nut shell that is how the figures are produced. There is no secret formula and no mislaid document found in a dusty trunk just simple mathematics. You now have a speed figure for each horse so what do you do with them. In Mordin on Time he suggests simply keeping them in the weekly supplement or in an exercise book. Unfortunately if you keep records this way retrieving them becomes a nightmare. The Lingfield meeting we have just been looking at involved 107 horses, and during the 2002/03 winter season over 3000 horses ran on the all weather. In chapter five I will explain how I overcame this problem.




00Before deciding the best way to store and retrieve the figures, you must first decide which figures you are going to work with. There are 42 jump courses and 38 flat including the 3 all weather circuits. They are all different shapes and sizes, some undulating like Brighton others flat like York. There are those with sharp bends like Chester and Wolverhampton and wide open galloping courses like Newmarket. There are right hand courses and left hand courses. Straight courses and round courses. There are long run ins and short run ins. The differences are endless. All these factors affect a horses performance.
Take jump racing first, the problem with allocating speed ratings are as follows :-
The shortest races are 2m and many are 3m and upwards. Small fields and tactical races often result in slow times. This in turn leads to incomparable speed figures. Quite often before a race has finished you will see jockeys pulling horses up and walking to the line. You could argue the same happens on the flat, but not to the same extent. Fences can be omitted because of unsafe conditions or dolled off after a bad fall. When the ground gets churned up running rails are often moved altering the distance of the race. Finally on the occasions when your calculations are correct, there is suddenly an unseated rider, your horse is brought down or the worst scenario of all, it falls at the last when ten lengths clear.

00It was for these reasons that I decided to leave the jumps alone and concentrate on the flat. At the beginning of the season things were fine with only one meeting a day and perhaps two on Saturdays, but as the season progressed there were more and more. Two meetings an afternoon, night racing three times a week and then Sunday racing, not to mention Bank Holidays. I soon got bogged down with the figures and reached a stage were I was so busy crunching numbers I didn’t have time to do anything with them. To compile ratings for every horse running in 24-28 meetings a week is a full time job and them some. I ended up that far behind, the figures were worse than useless.
00Eventually, I gave up the ghost and got a late booking for Calla Millor. While I was away I re-read my bible Mordin on Time and a book by John Train on the stock market. John Train was a successful stock market investor and in his book, The Moneymasters, he makes the following comment when describing a successful investor. “ It is sufficient to be a master of one game rather than try to learn two or three, as long as you retire to the sidelines when the game you know is no longer being played.” I immediately realized that the same principal applied to gambling. I decided that I would leave the turf alone and using the ratings, concentrate on the all weather.

00I had learned from past experience that trying to relate all weather speed figures to turf was futile as few horses ran equally as well on both. Now I had decided to concentrate solely on the all weather I could see another problem looming. During the back end of the turf season a lot of horses would be alternating between the two surfaces . Some trainers would be tempted to keep ‘in form’ horses running after the turf season had finished and try to pick up a few races on the sand.. Gambling in these type of races can only lead to the poor house. I figured that this problem would persist until the end of November, and that after that, we would be left with a hard core of winter all weather horses. By the end of February and beginning of March trainers would have started to enter their turf horses on the all weather to get them revved up for the flat season. So the ratings should be at their best between December and February, roughly 10-12 weeks. This would be the time for some serious gambling. I have to laugh when I hear some of the comments on the Racing Channel. One of them goes something like this. “The trouble with the all weather is, the same horses race against each other week in and week out. They just seem to take it in turns winning.” Well horses are continually running in and out of form and if some horses deteriorate and others improve then its obvious that you are going to end up with different winners. The very fact that you have this group of horses running regularly on the same surface provides an ideal opportunity to make money. As long as you have the ratings.




Being terrified of flying it is always a relief to kneel and kiss the tarmac at East Midlands Airport. The euphoria of still being alive is usually short lived. The realization that your holiday has ended and an English winter is about to begin can be quite sobering. However, on this occasion I was not at all depressed. In fact, quite the opposite. Having developed a strategy for the winter all weather season I could not wait to get started.
From the end of September I started to produce speed ratings for the three all weather tracks. There were only a couple of meetings a week but I wanted to get six to eight weeks figures before the turf season finished and the winter all weather took over in November. One problem that cropped up almost immediately was Lingfield Park. All weather racing in Britain first began at Lingfield in 1989. After experiencing problems in early 2001, Arena Leisure decided to lay a new polytrack surface at a cost of 2.8 million pounds. The surface had previously been equitrack and it was equitrack that my standard times were based on. That wasn’t all, a few months earlier Arena Leisure had replaced the worn out surface at Wolverhampton. It took three weeks to lay 7,000 tons of new fibresand at a cost of £300,000. A year earlier in August 2000 extensive refurbishment had also been carried out at Southwell. I realized I would have to compile new standard times for all three tracks.
At Lingfield Park the first meeting on the new polytrack surface had taken place on the 13th November 2001, and so I started my calculations from there. The first race run over 6f was won by Last Exhibit in a time of 1m12.63. This was a grade D race. The grade table shows D as 6.3, six furlongs is .75 of a mile so multiply the 6.3 by .75. This gives you 4.72 which is deducted from 1m12.63 leaving 1m07.91. This calculation was carried out for all 6f races on the new surface, and resulted in 29 figures. Five figures were lower than 1m07secs and 5 were higher than 1m08secs. These figures were discarded. This left the 19 figures below laid out from fastest to slowest.
1.07.14 / 1.07.14 / 1.07.17 / 1.07.25 / 1.07.26 / 1.07.30 / 1.07.35 / 1.07.63 / 1.07.63 / 1.07.65 / 1.07.65 / 1.07.80 / 1.07.81 / 1.07.82 / 1.07.87 / 1.07.88 / 1.07.90 / 1.07.90 / 1.07.91.
Finally add the three middle most or median figures together and divide by three. These figures are shown in red. This gives us 1m07.64. This is the standard time for a six furlong race at Lingfield. A full list of standard times can be found in the appendix.