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Systems Information and Help

A system can be defined as a formulated, regular, or special method or plan of procedure. A horse racing system follows the same principle. People often believe horse racing systems are complex, but actually they can be extremely simple. If you consistently back every selection that meets a certain set of criteria, then this is a horse racing system. Of course, a profitable system is the aim!

  • Run Query & Analysis
  • My Systems
  • Static/Non-Static Categories
  • Abbreviations
  • Calculations Displayed
  • Simple Example
  • Video Tutorials More System Areas

    Horse Racing Systems Builder Overview

    The HorseRaceBase System Builder is designed to assist those wishing to find a longer term betting strategy and is an invaluable tool for anyone interested in horse racing systems. It allows you to perform extremely complex and indepth operations on a huge amount of data instantly! You can access the system builder at any time from the systems menu or by pressing the system builder button above.

    The basic principle behind the System Builder is simple. Every time a horse runs, information pertaining to it is recorded in the database. You can then manipulate this information to suit your needs. Using the simple stages to build your horse racing system you can quickly and effectively answer any questions and finely tune the data to suit your requirements.

    Each time you run a query the System Builder will match the criteria you provide against the database and supply you with statistics allowing you to analyse past performance and therefore consider how to treat future runners who have the same criteria. The power of the system builder is its ever-growing flexibility. You can start your horse racing system with any criteria and break it down by any combination of categories allowing billions of possibilities. The hope of course is that you will find a consistently profitable horse racing system and you can therefore back or lay horses of similar stature in the future with a heightened degree of confidence!

    System Builder Questions

    What is the system builder for?

    It is to allow you complete control when managing statistics and systems. With it, you can quickly answer queries, research trends, identify strengths and weaknesses and manipulate a huge source of data to suit your needs. With the power of the system builder behind you, you can take any set of starting criteria and then break it down by any of the other categories available. There are so many possibilities with the system builder

    How do i use the system builder?

    Despite the complexity behind the system builder, its usage is designed to be as simple as possible. There are instructions at each stage explaining what you can do, if you are struggling and can not obtain an answer through the help sections, feel free to contact me.

    Horse Racing Systems Builder Advice

    The key to getting the best from the System Builder is to understand its function and to use common sense. Here are some key points.

    • Dont run unneccesary searches, which realistically will not tell you anything.
    • Avoid systems which are extremely vague. They are time consuming and ultimately a waste of time.
    • Ensure your system could not involve backing every horse in a race.
    • Be as specific with your criteria as you possibly can be.
    • Only use Fullset when you have to, it takes far longer than using Quickset.
    • Read and understand the help and examples before you use the System Builder.
    • Contact me for assistance if you are at any time struggling.
    • Appreciate that past performance is not a guarantee of what the future holds!
    • An unset category includes all possibilities. There is no point setting a criteria unless you are narrowing. (example - setting Number of Runners to between 1 and 40 is a waste of time and will slow your query as the database will still perform a check).
    • Do not use the fullset/digger functions on combinations that involve backing every horse in any type of race. Example - setting Going as Good To Firm is great but then breaking down by Distance is crazy. What you are effectively asking is "show me how much id have lost backing ALL horses in ALL races with Good To Firm going and break it down by distance". As you can see this is pointless.
    • For systems you wish to save, if you are checking a particularly complex query or one that contains a lot of qualifiers, narrow the dates. Asking the builder to evaluate hundreds of thousands of rows is nowhere near as efficient as asking it to query 5,000. Try and think in advance what a realistic period of testing is! For example if you are querying a jockey then 6 years data may be needed, if you are querying the performance of horses who won on their last run is it not possible looking back as far as January 2008 would suffice?

    Quickset Function Help

    The Quickset function is the starting point for your horse racing system building, it is also a place you will return regularly if you are using the System Builder efficiently. This is because it is significantly faster than other functions as when you make your category choices, HorseRaceBase needs only consult one database table to find all possible values.

    The most important thing to note about Quickset is you MUST know for definite the details you want to set. This is because the function ALWAYS offers every value in the chosen horse racing category. For example if you are using Quickset to set a Race Distance you will always be presented with the same dropdown values ranging from 5 furlongs to 4 miles 4 furlongs irrespective of what your existing system criteria is.

    This means if you set an incorrect value your system will be void. Extending this a little can be a good example, if you had a horse racing system of backing favourites on the All Weather and then decided to use Quickset and add in a Race Distance of 4m4f, it would let you and therefore your system would be void (as there are no races of this type ran on the All Weather). To summarise Quickset, you should be using it every time the criteria you want to select is known because it will load instantly and is far more efficient.

    Fullset Function Help

    The Fullset function takes you to a breakdown of your existing system criteria by desired category and shows all options with qualifiers matching your criteria along with performance statistics for your analysis. When using the Fullset function it is essential you use common sense and avoid running irrelevant or pointless queries. If you do the database may not even return values to you as there are millions and millions of records requiring manipulated, sorted and displayed within a short space of time. To summarise Fullset, you should only be using it when you want to see a comparitive analysis of each of the components within any given category.

    The undisputed advantage of Fullset is the detail. It is extremely useful for quickly displaying powerful statistics and showing which types of any chosen category are performing best. For example if you wanted to see a breakdown of 2 year old favourites by track you would use Fullset. It should be avoided when your existing criteria is vague for example setting your start criteria as UK and then using Fullset Track is a complete waste of time as the database is searching for stats based on backing every single runner in the UK and breaking them down by track!

    To choose which category you wish to breakdown place a tick in the box to the left hand side and then click the Go button. There are a few options available you should ensure you understand.

    • Sort By - Choose the order the information is displayed by.
    • Asc/Desc - Decide if you want the information ordered ascending (a-z, 1-9 etc) or descending
    • Min Bets - Narrow returned rows to only those with a specific number of qualifiers. Unless changed in the My Settings area, minimum bets is set at 25.

    The analysis you are presented with is dependent upon the settings you have created within the calculations displayed. Depending on the category chosen you will either need to tick the boxes to the left hand side of each criteria you wish to select or set dropdowns to the range you require. After doing so press Go and the criteria will be added.

    Unset Function Help

    The unset option removes unwanted criteria from your system. Choose all the categories you want to remove by ticking the boxes to the left hand side then press Go to be taken to a confirmation screen. After confirming, you will return to the main System Builder screen and your specifications will have been amended.

    • Use the tickboxes to select all criteria you want removed.
    • If you have a category set in your query and decide you want to now include all possibilities, use Unset.

    Digger Function Help

    The primary difference between the Fullset and Digger functions is you can analyse multiple categories with the digger. By taking the existing system criteria you have already set and analysing your chosen categories you can instantly create a report to help analyse and spot horse racing trends or patterns. This is done by bracketing data into segments, for some of the categories this is straightforward (such as jockey) as the programme can simply separate by each criteria type, for others (such as odds) a more complicated behind the scenes procedure is required in order to provide meaningful stats.

    Lets take an example to show what the digger does. If you had set your existing criteria as trainers Richard Hannon or Aidan OBrien & jockeys Richard Hughes or Johnny Murtagh and chose to break down (dig) by Going/Track/Distance what you would be searching on is -

    • Hannon/Hughes - all combinations of Going/Track/Distance
    • Hannon/Murtagh - all combinations of Going/Track/Distance
    • OBrien/Hughes - all combinations of Going/Track/Distance
    • OBrien/Murtagh - all combinations of Going/Track/Distance

    When starting the digger you need to choose between 2 and 5 categories and apply settings to two important factors. Sort By which stipulates the order data will be displayed to you and Min Qualifiers, which tells HorseRaceBase the number of qualifying horses (those who match all criteria) required before it should be included in the output.

    Each time you run a query on the digger you will reach the same presentation page of analysis differing only in the categories displayed (as chosen by you). The TimeLine column is for if you like the look of the figures on display as you may well wish to analyse this horse racing system further. To do so, press the Run button in the Timeline column within the appropriate row. You will automatically be taken to the Time Line section of the system builder with all data (existing and tested) now added and showing performance through the years.

    The coding behind the data is particularly complex and took a long time to create therefore testing continues and I will be improving the functionality of the Digger consistently. !!!! Dates now increased to 1st Jan 06 !!!! Plans to increase further are being worked on.

    Run Query & Analysis Help

    The Run Query function is for finalised horse racing systems you do not wish to make any more amendments to. If chosen you will be taken to a confirmation screen and shown the number of qualifiers. Please be sensible in this regard. Running queries with tens of thousands of qualifiers is not likely to be worthwhile and will take a long time.

    System Performance Overview

    This is the basic analysis of the horse racing system you have built, the data shown is in line with your settings.


    The statistics section will show you how your horse racing system has performed in various tests. Losing & Winning Sequences show you how many times the system has produced winning and losing form runs. A winning or losing sequence is when the system produces a number of consecutive winners or losers for example if you saw Sequence 5 Number 6 within the Winning column it signifies in the period tested when arranging all qualifiers by race date and time, there were 6 occasions when there were 5 winners in a row. Performance Statistics (SP) show a breakdown by day, week, month and year, here are some examples of what the figures may be.

    • Total (example - day 29 means there were 29 separate days with qualifiers)
    • Highest (example - highest month at 16.12 means the highest performing month returned 16.12 profit backing 1 point to SP).
    • Average (example - average week at -2.34 means the average return by week was a loss of this amount).
    • Lowest (example - lowest year at -100 shows the worst performing year was a loss of 100 points at SP).

    The Qualifiers Page is a list of all the bets that match your specifications. They are broken down into groups of 30. To view the next 30 simply press the button at the bottom of the page. For full details of any qualifier you can click the appropriate link. The Download to Excel option will create a spreadsheet listing the last 1000 qualifiers and showing the basic details of each.

    Time Line

    The TimeLine Page is the performance of your system over different periods of time (year, quarter or month). Note these values are grouped individually (for example if you choose by quarter you will see Q4 2008, Q1 2008, Q4 2007 etc). Simply decide the time period you want to break your system down over and then press Go.

    Each Way

    The Each Way page provides analysis of your system had you decided to back all selections each way. When you back each way it costs 1 point to back the win and 1 point to back the place and this is reflected in the results. You can use the settings to include only horses over a certain price and/or only races with a certain number of runners. Go here to see a list of places paid

    Stake Plan

    Here you can see how your system would have performed had you applied a stake plan to it, you can set the parameters of the staking to suit yourself, to have another stake plan type added, please contact me.

    Use Races

    The Use Races is an advanced facility allowing you to use the races in your system and then start a new system with only them in it. An example would be if you had chosen all races with an odds on shot in them as your system. Use Races would mean you could then apply a filter to see how Second Favs got on in these races.

    Another example would be if you had chosen a certain trainer and then Use Races. You could then see how other trainers got on against him.

    Notify Me

    Save your system to automatically be notified of qualifiers in the My Systems area.

    My Systems & My Trends

    Video example here. With the My Systems function you can save your horse racing system settings. There are several reasons you may decide to save systems or trends but primarily the main advantage is that you will be advised if any of your systems have qualifiers scheduled to run.

    To save a system, build your criteria as required using the System Builder and at the Final System Analysis page press the 'Notify Me' button. Upon doing so, you will be presented with a display of your available saved system slots. Choosing an available slot will take you to a final confirmation page. If you confirm, the system will automatically be saved to your My Systems area.

    Members should be aware of the workings of the System Builder and how horse racing systems work as otherwise it may lead to missing out on correct qualifiers or throw up incorrect qualifiers. You should pay particular attention to the Static/Non-Static section.

    To remove saved system settings, use the option next to the appropriate slot in the My Systems or My Trends areas. I can again only stress the importance of being sensible with systems as incorrect use will only affect members own performance. Creating a system which notifies you of every runner at a particular track would be very foolish as would any other extremely vague set of criteria.

    There are various options within the My Systems area such as downloads and advanced options, to assist you. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback please contact me.

    Static/Non-Static Categories

    The System Builder allows members to save systems and retrieve daily qualifiers in the My Systems area. In this regard, it is vital you are aware which of your categories are static and which are not. To confirm exactly what is meant by Static/Non Static, see the descriptions below -

    • Static Categories - For all categories marked as static the criteria is not open to change. This means your criteria is locked in and there is no area for movement. For example tracks is a static category and if you have specified a track as part of your criteria you can be sure only horses due to run at the track that day will be retrieved. All categories relating to previous races are also static.
    • Non-Static Categories - All categories marked as non-static are subject to change - reasons include non-runners, overweight, odds fluctuation and a change in the going conditions. The information I load on to the site in advance of a days racing is based on what is known at the time and therefore ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure you do not miss or incorrectly back any given horse. An example would be jockey - if you have included Frankie Dettori as a system criteria all horses he is down to ride the night before will be flagged to you but you should always be aware that its possible he may either miss or obtain additional rides after this point.

    The following categories should be treated with care when building your horse racing system. This is because the system data may change close to the start of the race and the information provided in advance (qualifiers) may in fact change. Some categories are more likely to change than others so please do read carefully.

    CategoryLikelihood of Change & Comments
    Jockey & Jockey related categoriesUnlikely - possibility of a jockey change
    Odds & Odds related categoriesVery likely - the odds can change dramatically in the hours pre-race.
    Going & Going related categoriesUnlikely - the going does sometimes change on the day of the race.
    Number of RunnersQuite common - there are always a few non-runners each day.
    Weight & Weight related categoriesUnlikely - horse weight can change on the day though.
    FavouritesLikely - not quite as bad as the odds category but favouritism status does change a lot from the forecast.
    Comparison categoriesQuite common - whenever comparing runners in the race, non-runners can affect the comparison.


    In certain places I have had to abbreviate terms and descriptions! The below list clarifies exactly what is meant by these.

    • (LR) - Horses Last Race. Criteria relates to the horses most recent run compared to the one being evaluated.
    • (2LR) - Horses Second Last Race. Criteria relates to the horses second last run compared to the one being evaluated.
    • (3LR) - Horses Third Last Race. Criteria relates to the horses third last run compared to the one being evaluated.
    • (4LR) - Horses Fourth Last Race. Criteria relates to the horses fourth last run compared to the one being evaluated.
    • (LWR) - Horses Last Winning Race. Criteria relates to the horses last winning run compared to the one being evaluated.
    • (HIR) - Horses in Race. Criteria relates to the number of horses in the race who met the test.
    • (JIR) - Jockeys in Race. Criteria relates to the number of jockeys in the race who met the test.
    • (H-) - Horse. Criteria relates to the horse.
    • (J-) - Jockey. Criteria relates to the jockey.
    • (T-) - Trainer. Criteria relates to the trainer.
    • (J-) - Stallion. Criteria relates to the stallions progeny.

    System Builder - Calculations Displayed

    Within the System Builder when using the Fullset and analysing your finalised horse racing system, you can choose which statistics are displayed. You can set your preferences in the My Settings area. Below is a simple table showing the different options available for display.

    Bets The total number of selections matching all parts of the criteria.
    Wins The total number of winning selections matching all parts of the criteria.
    WinStrike The winning strike rate percentage of the criteria.
    SP_PL The return you would have made having backed all selections for £1 at the official Starting Price
    Places The total number of placed selections matching all parts of the criteria.
    PlaceStrike The placed strike rate percentage of the criteria.
    BF_Back The theoretical return from backing all selections matching criteria using your Betfair Backing Estimated Price Settings.
    BF_Lay The theoretical return from laying all selections matching criteria using your Betfair Laying Estimated Price Settings.
    Races The number of individual races in the query. Can be used effectively for dutching systems.
    RaceStrike The strike rate of races containing the winner. Can be used effectively for dutching systems.
    ROI The return on investment percentage figure

    Builder step by step example

    Show analysis of all favourites broken down by jockey.

    StageWhere you should be Action Required
    Step 1Anywhere on the site Ensure you are logged in and have accessed the System Builder.
    Step 2System Builder - QUICKSET. Choose the categories you know the criteria for by placing ticks in the boxes to the left hand side. You know the Favourites criteria so choose this option and then press Go.
    Step 3System Builder - QUICKSET - Fill Values. Tick Favourites, Co-Favourites and Joint-Favourites then press Go.
    Step 4System Builder - Select Action. After ensuring the criteria is definitely correct in the right hand Existing System Criteria panel, you can now perform the breakdown. Click the circle to the left of the fullset option and then press Go
    Step 5System Builder - Fullset. Choose to breakdown by Jockey by ticking the box next to this option and then pressing Go.
    Step 6Jockey - Fullset. You are displayed a breakdown by jockey showing favourite statistics, which can be ordered as deemed appropriate.

    System Builder - Number Ranges

    When you are breaking information down in the System Builder, your requirements may differ from time to time in terms of how you wish the data to be displayed. With this option you can choose how your horse racing system analysis is bracketed. Below are the different brackets used in each of the ranges.

    Range 1 - 0, 1-10, 11-50, 51-150, 151-300, 301-600, 601+
    Range 2 - 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-10, 11-25, 26-40, 41-60, 61-80, 81-100, 101-130, 131-170, 171+
    Range 3 - 0, 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50, 51-55, 56-60, 61-65, 66-70, 71-75, 76-80, 81-85, 86-90, 91-95, 96-100, 101-115, 116-130, 131-180, 181-250, 251-350, 351-450, 451-600, 601+
    Range 4 - 0, 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100, 101+
    Range 5 - Separate by every individual number (not recommended)

    System Builder - Fullset Minimum Bets Setting

    System Builder - Select All Option

    Why is it not a qualifier?

    If you are unsure why a horse is not regarded as a qualifier, you can use the Qualifier Check Function.

    Choose the slot and horse you require clarification on and press Go. You will then be presented with an explanation. The first column 'System Builder Category' shows the category in your system. The second column 'System Criteria' shows the criteria you have specified must be met and the third column 'Forecast Data' shows the anticipated data in use within My Systems.

    Rows are green when the criteria is met and yellow when not met. For a horse to be listed as a qualifier it must meet ALL criteria.

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