UK Horse Racing's Ratings

Case Study: Southwell 5.40 - 15th May 2012


This is a retrospective look at a race which happened yesterday.

Yes, this could be classed as 'after-timing' but the purpose is to show how a good priced horse could have been selected. In fact, a number of members saw the horse in question and backed it to win.

Sonic Anthem won by 6 lengths at 66/1 and was available on the exchanges at 100.

Looking back at this race this horse turned out to be a blindingly obvious selection; let's look why.

Sonic Anthem

We're looking today at a fairly low class (rated 84) handicap chase at Southwell.

The detailed ratings file for this race is available here from the Archive section of UK Horse Racing.

If we look at the front page of this race we see Sonic Anthem fairly well down the ratings. But, looking closer, apart from Reel Will, which is out at the top by a fair margin, it's in a pack of tightly rated horses and the gap between second and tenth rated isn't huge.

As it happened the top rated was up there with Sonic Anthem at the end but a couple of mistakes forced him to lose the race.

So, was this six length victory a fluke or not? There are always two sides to such an argument; one is that the losing horse was unlucky to clip a couple of fences and the other is that if it's competitor is so well-in at this class then it can force errors from the horse which fails.

Now, if we look at the summary page (above) we can see that Sonic Anthem had its Cls figure of 15.8 underscored. In other words it has the best Cls rating in the race. Reel Will, which ran well until it started to make mistakes, had a Cls rating of -2.1. So, it could be argued that if Sonic Anthem wasn't there in the race or had so much Class in hand then the top rated would take the race in his own time and, perhaps, gone onto win.

But, like some of the members who looked at this race, their attention was not on Reel Will but on Sonic Anthem.


If we turn to page 13 of the detailed reports we see the following Class Differentials.

Sonic Anthem has finished two chases before; the average race class was 100.7. This is 17lbs higher than today.

Looking at this list it's clear that Sonic Anthem is the only horse to fall in class significantly. Moreover, if one looks at the Weight Differential table it's clear that this horse has had it's weignt increased by the handicapper. Clearly someone elsewhere thinks that this horse is improving and this could be interpreted as a plus point.

So, we have a tight field, apart from one horse out at the top in Reel Will (which perhaps was also worthy of a bet), and a stand out horse which has excellent Class Differential figures, very good Cls Rating, not to forget that the Cls rating was underscored, and also was flagged for two positive backing systems; the Zorba-1 and the Vectis-2.

Little wonder then why it was backed by some members.