The RatingTheRaces NAP Competition is now over a year old and we decided to contact and interview the All-Time Leader Charles Crayford to find out his secrets, methods and how he is using the ratings to help be a successful bettor.

Charles came across very well and had a lot of enthusiasm for the ratings and said: “I love your website and ratings!”


Without giving away all your secrets and methods, can you give us one pointer that you look for when picking out your selections and why you think this is important?


“For me, the first thing I look for is value. If I can get value on a horse (according to the fair price calculated by the ratings compared to the market) then I would consider backing it. I very rarely stray away from Top rated (RTR1) horses but for me the fundamental question is if there is value available.”

What is your knowledge like of horse racing and how do you think you would fare without the ratings?


“If I’m totally honest my knowledge of horse racing is very limited. I picked up a bit working in a bookies whilst at Uni and I understand the betting terminology but in terms of actual knowledge of horses/courses/jockeys/trainers etc I know very little, and certainly not much beyond the big names. Without the ratings I would be pretty much clueless and to put it simply, I wouldn’t bet on horses.”

How long does it take you to find your selections?


“I would say maybe 15-20 mins each day on average – no point over-thinking these things! It used to take a bit longer but now I have certain things I am looking for it has become a much more efficient process.”

Do you target any particular races or courses?


“No not really. In my experience the ratings perform well across the board. Generally I stay away from the major races as in my experience these are highly unpredictable (I don’t have any stats to back that up, that’s more just a personal feeling!). I once backed a horse at Laytown without knowing that this was a race on a beach (see previous answer about lack of knowledge). Fair to say I won’t be targeting that meeting in the future!”

What would you like to see added to the ratings to help you find even more winners?


“One thing I would like is the ability to be able to select multiple horses from different races and compare the data from the ratings on top of one another. This would help me to determine which horses I feel really strongly about and which I feel less so.”


“We do have this on our to-do list, but we will definitely try and bring it forward a bit in our development timeline!”

Would you say your experience working at a bookmaker has helped you in the RatingTheRaces Nap competition? If so how?


“My experiences working in the gambling industry have definitely helped me in this competition. Without these, I would certainly not view gambling and betting in the same way as I do now and they have very much helped to shape my approach to betting on horses.”

Have you used the advanced stats analysis to break down your results to see where you are winning and where you are losing?


“Having only just discovered this feature I can’t say I have too much experience. Needless to say that I will begin to use it more frequently and I imagine it will provide a useful tool to check if the stats back up my perceptions of how I might be doing when backing at certain courses for example. One statistic that stands out for me is that despite being the all-time leader, my record at Doncaster reads 0/10 and I will probably be trying to avoid selections there. It would be great if I could compare my results for a given course against other members and those in the NAP Competition.”


“That’s great to hear as this is on its way!”

Do you think the NAP Comp can be used as a tool to improve betting decisions?


“Certainly. It’s a risk free way of testing any methods/systems you may develop and essentially I started in the NAP comp before realising that using the ratings alone I could pick out what appear to be good bets and be profitable over a reasonably extended time period. Without the NAP comp and the ratings, I would not be betting on horses. Plus it adds an element of fun where you don’t have any money riding on it and it’s interesting to see what horses others have picked and had success (or failure) with.”

Despite having very little knowledge of horse racing before entering the NAP Competition, Charles has showed that simply using the ratings you can find profitable angles that can both increase your success in the NAP Competition and with your own personal bets as well. All of this in just over a year. With more features for the NAP’s and Selection filtering on their way, we are confident plenty of you can use the ratings to build your own systems and streamline your betting to produce more winners and less losers.

We asked Aaron the lead Horse Racing Data Analyst at RatingTheRaces what he thought of these answers from Charlie:


“Reading Charlie’s answers is fascinating, the fact that someone with limited racing knowledge can read our data to accumulate £ 4556.77 on the all-time leaderboard, whilst many a seasoned punter trail in his wake suggests conformational bias is to blame. Exposure to racing media presents you with their ‘expert’ opinions, about horses, trainers and jockeys. This bias inhibits your ability to be able to make unbiased decisions, discounting a top rated horse because you don’t know the name of that trainer or worse discounting a highly rated horse due it having a larger price than expected. Something our premium members could try is to pick without names, go to Style Settings on your web ratings page and un-check all name related fields. After all, Ruby Walsh is -25.27 points when riding RTR top rated horses whilst Robbie Power is +43.15, based on names which one would you normally select?”
Robbie Power with Top Rated P&L
Ruby Walsh with Top Rated P&L