Donald A. Swanson

This work describes a subjective method of making an odds line from the analysis of a thoroughbred horse race. Symbols are chosen by the handicapper to represent the race analysis. Fibonacci numbers are used to convert symbol combinations into weighted percentages.

The leftmost column in figure 1 shows the seven symbols used in the method. The left side symbol part is the base (+, N, Ø). The right side symbol part (+, -) is the modifier. Descriptions are names for the symbols. The symbols are usually hand-written with a forward slash "/" as a separator, for example: (N+ / + / Ø+). Symbol selection starts with consideration of (+, N, Ø) before moving up or down to the appropriate symbol. Memorize the symbols and descriptions. The rightmost column in figure 1 shows the matching Fibonacci numbers which will be used to calculate the weighted percentages.

Symbol | Description | Weight |
---|---|---|

++ | double plus | 21 |

+ | plus | 13 |

N+ | neutral plus | 8 |

N | neutral | 5 |

N- | neutral minus | 3 |

Ø+ | doubtful plus | 2 |

Ø | doubtful | 1 |

The race is analyzed to decide which horses will be contenders. The handicapper will have some level of confidence that one of the contenders will win the race. A symbol is selected to represent the confidence level. Figure 2 shows the symbols and matching confidence levels. Symbol selection starts with consideration of (N+) before moving up or down to the appropriate symbol. Non-contenders get a (Ø).

Symbol | Confidence Level |
---|---|

++ | maximum |

+ | high |

N+ | moderate high |

N | moderate |

N- | moderate low |

Ø+ | low |

Ø | minimum |

cp - contender percentage

nc - number of contenders

fs - field size

wt - weight

cp = (wt * nc) / ((wt * nc) + (fs - nc))

Four contenders in an eight horse field with moderate high confidence.

4 / 8 / N+

N+ / N+ / N+ / N+ / Ø / Ø / Ø / Ø

8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1

cp = 32 / 36 = .889

cp = (8 * 4) / ((8 * 4) + (8 - 4)) = .889

Races with two or more contenders will use one to three factors which must be arranged from left to right in order of importance, for example: class, form, distance. Factors can be two-part compounded, for example: form-surface, jockey-trainer, form-age, distance-surface.

The (N) symbol can be extended to (NN) making the neutral base symbols (N+, NN, N-). The factor symbols are the right side symbol parts (+, N, -) matched up with Fibonacci numbers 8, 5, 3 respectively. Figure 3 shows the six factor symbol combinations and weighted percentages. A symbol combination is chosen that indicates the relative importance of each factor.

Symbols | Percent | Doubled |
---|---|---|

N N N | 33,33,34 | 66,34 |

+ N N | 44,28,28 | - |

N N - | 38,38,24 | 76,24 |

+ N - | 50,31,19 | - |

+ - - | 56,22,22 | 56,44 |

+ + - | 42,42,16 | 84,16 |

Weighted percentage calculation for the (+ N -) combination.

8 + 5 + 3 = 16

8 / 16 = .5

5 / 16 = .3125

3 / 16 = .1875

Factors can be doubled, for example: speed, speed, form making a two factor race. The factor symbol representing the doubled factor must be duplicated in the combination as shown in figure 3. A single factor can be tripled (N N N) making a one factor race.

Two contenders in an eight horse field with high confidence.

cp = (13 * 2) / ((13 * 2) + (8 - 2)) = .813

Three factors are chosen: class, form, distance with the (+ N -) combination.

8 + 5 + 3 = 16

(8 / 16) * .813 = .407

(5 / 16) * .813 = .254

(3 / 16) * .813 = .152

Each contender gets three symbols one for each factor as shown in figure 5 second column.

Horse | cls / fm / dst | Weights |
---|---|---|

#1 | + / N / N | 13 / 5 / 5 |

#2 | N- / N+ / + | 3 / 8 / 13 |

13 + 3 = 16

(13 / 16) * .407 = .331 (#1)

(3 / 16) * .407 = .076 (#2)

5 + 8 = 13

(5 / 13) * .254 = .098 (#1)

(8 / 13) * .254 = .156 (#2)

5 + 13 = 18

(5 / 18) * .152 = .042 (#1)

(13 / 18) * .152 = .110 (#2)

Sum the three percentages for each contender.

.331 + .098 + .042 = .471 (#1)

.076 + .156 + .110 = .342 (#2)

Sort the percentages (pct) in descending order before converting into odds.

odds = (1 / pct) - 1

(1 / .471) - 1 = 1.123 (#1)

(1 / .342) - 1 = 1.924 (#2)

Select the increment (inc) for rounding off.

if odds < 0.3 then inc = 20 elseif odds < 1 then inc = 10 elseif odds < 2 then inc = 5 elseif odds < 5 then inc = 2 else inc = 1

odds = (int ((odds * inc) + .5)) / inc

(int ((1.123 * 5) + .5)) / 5 = 1.2 (#1)

(int ((1.924 * 5) + .5)) / 5 = 2 (#2)

Convert rounded odds into fractions.

n = 0.5 // numerator d = 0 // denominator while int(n)<> n d = d + 1 n = odds * d end print n,"/",d

Finished calculation shown in figure 6 with percentages and fractional odds.

2 / 8 / + | cls / fm / dst | + N - | |
---|---|---|---|

#1 | + / N / N | .471 | 6 / 5 |

#2 | N- / N+ / + | .342 | 2 / 1 |

Figure 7 is a two factor race with the distance factor doubled.

2 / 10 / + | cls / dst | + - - | |
---|---|---|---|

#1 | N+ / N / N | .552 | 4 / 5 |

#2 | N- / Ø+ / Ø+ | .213 | 7 / 2 |

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