TimeformUS Speed Figures are a breakthrough rating combining the horse’s final time, the pace at which the horse ran, and the pace of the race in which he ran.
By combining a horse’s final-time figure, pace figures, and running style into one number, we form what we believe is a state-of-the-art single-number measure of all-around performance.
By adjusting our figures for pace, we engineer them in a manner meant to express the totality of the horse’s effort. Rather than reflecting only his final times, which, after all, can be affected by slow or fast paces, they reflect his actual ability.
Created by our US-based team, TimeformUS speed figures are on the global Timeform scale, which tops out in the high 140s. For horses running in North America who have previously run in Europe and elsewhere, we use speed figures provided by Timeform’s UK-based team for their overseas races. They’re the leading global speed figure provider, and their ratings on those overseas horses now running in the US are available exclusively on TimeformUS.com.
TimeformUS Speed Figures are found in the past performances, and are also used to create the Spotlight Speed Figure, which is displayed on the preview page. The spotlight figure is each horse’s most relevant speed figure among the recent races he’s run. On both pages, the speed figures are color coded for surface – brown for dirt, green for grass, and blue for synthetic.
Elements of the TimeformUS Speed Figures
1) Pace Figures: We create accurate pace figures on all surfaces. Calculated via a combination of intensive database testing and daily manual inspection, our pace figures are presented on a coherent, easy-to-read scale that allows the reader to compare, say, the horse’s variant-adjusted opening 1/4 to his variant-adjusted opening 1/2, and compare either (or both) of these to his variant-adjusted final time, secure in the knowledge that what he is seeing is interchangeable from track to track.
2) Final Time Figures: Final-time figures made by hand and made in a pure manner that keeps them uninfected by pace adjustments.
3) Running Style: We create late pace figures that assess a horse’s late speed without falling into the trap of overrating plodders. This is a “breakthrough rating” that will change the way people look at closers and final fractions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What scale are these Speed Figures on?
A: These figures top out around the high 140s, to keep it in harmony with the global Timeform Scale.
Q: Do your Speed Figures account for ground loss?
A: No, not presently, although we are considering adding that element. If we were to add ground loss, note that we would always give the user the option to include it or disregard it within the Speed Figures.
Additionally, we offer the “long comment” in each running line. This allows the user to get a better feel for the trip a horse got and decide for himself if the performance should be looked at differently.
Q: The runner-up in a race got a higher Speed Figure than the winner. How is that possible?
A: Because our Speed Figures account for the pace of the race, this scenario is possible and not that rare. Imagine a race where the eventual winner enjoys running on the lead, and he got away with an uncontested lead and set slow fractions. Now imagine the eventual runner-up’s preferred running style is to close. He would have had to work much harder during his closing move (because of the slow early pace) to get up for second. This is not the ideal pace scenario for this particular horse, yet he still managed to close and finish second. In a scenario like this, we would upgrade his performance and downgrade the winner’s performance.