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Interesting piece about figure making (423 Views)
Posted by: Furious Pete (IP Logged)
Date: February 03, 2020 06:12PM

TG's closest figure making relative would be Timeformus IMO, and I guess that's a compliment to them both. Many similarities in principles/philosophy, with the biggest difference as far as I have understood being in TG factoring in ground loss, and timeform trying to do the same with pace. That is - you will get a better timeform figure than the time suggest if you overraced early - while you will get a better TG figure than the time suggest if you have raced further. You could say that both attempts to credit extra effort. (As a handicapper you should probably try to think a little bit about both, no matter what you use)

Anyway, about a month ago Craig there gave an interesting lecture about a notorious controversial topic - "the breakout race". Find it here: []

Thought it could be interesting to raise the same issue here.. What did you do, JB?

I have made about 150 000 figures myself during the last decade and guess I will never be 100 % sure about what is the most correct way to deal with these special cases, you can argue well for many sides. What people most often fail to understand is that there is no "absolute correct" way to make figures, there are no absolutes or no truth that lies there to be discovered with the same formula in every race, because there are too many unknowns and random variables in play at any time. Any attempt to try to build it all in to a single formula would be doomed to fail, because more than anything you need consistency/reliability for these numbers to be useful, and for consistency you need a methodology. And this is where science meets art.

This is also were it gets really interesting.

Obviously, you can place a 100 % premium on consistency and fool yourself (and too often, your customers) in the process. Many people and maybe even more so so-called rational minds with an inclining for numbers, (that is every users of speed figures..), has this autistic tendency to believe too much in hard numbers/formulas. Some of them can even watch races every day for 50 years without noticing that a track changes speed, simply because they have invested so much (emotionally, financially, life) in them not doing so. The sunk cost fallacy.. The beauty of this is that the parimutual and high-volatile nature of this game will often enough reward those who are blind, or I guess you could put it more nicely, contrarian.

This is where horse racing meets cult/religion.

Projections as TG and/or Timeform do them, as in this case, has their own problems - that's why you can hear respectable men refer to "voodoo techniques" and worse. Sometimes they even make some good points and/or have good reasons to dislike it. Bottom line of this little rant of mine that did not go where I had anticipated, nor feels complete, is that every school of thought produces profitable players. The common denominator amongst all of them is that they share the capacity of thinking for themselves. You need to make adjustments, make judgment calls, factor in a little bit of intuition here and a little bit of gut feeling there, to become a profitable horse player. And if you're using Brisnet/Ragozin, I guess you'll just have to be even better at it.

Subject Written By Posted
Interesting piece about figure making (423 Views) Furious Pete 02/03/2020 06:12PM
Re: Interesting piece about figure making (345 Views) TGJB 02/04/2020 03:46PM

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