Quirin Speed ​​Points are a valuable tool for handicapping horse racing because they tell where a horse is likely to try to run, but they are also still misunderstood, even though they have been around for quite some time now. There is no doubt that early speed plays a significant role in many races.

When looking at track models for many tracks, early speed is one of the most important factors. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, the horse running at the front gets to dictate the pace and take control of the race. This means it runs at whatever speed it chooses so it can settle down and run comfortably.

Second, a horse near the front or on the front end has fewer horses in front of it to block it. Racing problems, having to pick up or check or change lanes, can cost valuable lengths and mean the difference between victory and defeat. Horses in front can also choose the part of the track they run on, or rather the jockey can maneuver his horse to the track that the jockey feels is the best way. Usually it is on the rail that the horse covers the shortest distance to the finish line. When the track is off due to rain or other weather events, the jockey who has been paying attention and knows which part of the track is playing the fastest can maneuver the horse to that track as well.

It’s a good idea to use speed points to determine which horse will try for the lead, but be warned, the horse with the highest speed points is not necessarily the horse that can cover the first part of the race the fastest. Speed ​​points indicate a running style, in other words the horse’s preference for which part of the herd it likes to run in. It is not an indication of raw speed.

A horse with 8, the highest grade, is a horse that has always been ahead in its last races. A horse with 7 usually goes ahead or close to the front. A horse with a 6 usually tries to get ahead and so on all the way down to 0, which is a horse that not only never tries to get ahead, but doesn’t even run in the first half of the field early in the race.

So let’s say you have a horse with an 8 who has run in lower class races against softer competition and you have a horse with a 6 who has run against some very fast types in higher grades, the horse with an 8 can try in front, but the horse with the 6 can actually be faster and take the lead. If that happens, the horse with the 8 can exhaust itself and try to run against a tougher horse.

I look at speed points and then calculate the true speed or ability of each animal before making any final speed decisions. I find the speed points very useful in determining what a horse can try to do or what a jockey can do with the horse, but I also look closely at fractions and speed numbers.

The one place where speed points still stand out is isolating the lone speed in a race. This is still a great handicap angle, although it is difficult to get good odds on such a runner because the crowd is wise to this angle. A better way to determine the true value is to use multiple factors and come up with a horse that is fit and ready using a system like True Handicapping which uses a combination of factors rather than relying on early speed alone.

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