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To access the ability ratings produced by the Racing Post click on the race card you wish to investigate then in the ‘More Info’ section click on POSTDATA. This brings up a list of the runners with various items of information including the Ability rating.
This rating is shown as a number of ticks (from 1 to 3 ticks):
One tick indicates the horse has shown one aspect of form within the last 12 months
Two ticks indicates the horse has shown form within 7lbs of the top rated horse (for this race) in either the RPR or TS rating
Three ticks indicates the horse has shown form within 7lbs of the top rated horse (for this race) in both the RPR and TS rating
Three other symbols may used in place of the ticks:
1 A dash (-) means the horse has not run in a race before
2 A cross (X) means there is insufficient form to assign a rating
3 A question mark (?) means there is no RPR rating as the horse has not run within the last 12 months
Let us now consider the relevance of the ticks assigned:
One tick shows some form in the last year – this may not however be in the same discipline as the race in question. Take for example:
Beverley Middle Distance Series Handicap (CLASS 5) (3yo+ 0-75) Winner £3,235 7 runners 1m4f16y Good To Firm
The horse God’s Gift has one tick for Ability and raced twice this year on the all weather and twice last year on turf. So the one tick for ability refers to the all weather races which are not so relevant to today’s turf race for which he is a potential improver.
Two ticks means that the horse is within 7lbs of the top rated horse for either RPR or TS and you will need to check which it is for.
Three ticks means that the horse is within 7lbs of the top rated horse for both RPR and TS and is therefore likely to provide stiffer competition.
The Ratings should be used in conjunction with other aspects of a horse’s form to assess its relative merits in the race.
NB Since this article was written the Racing Post online has updated its website. This has resulted in various changes to the layout and the information that is made available to non paying readers.