I have a system for handicapping horseraces. I take a given horserace and rank-order the horses in different factors, or categories (I look at things like speed, odds, etc). Say there are 5 horses I’m looking at: I give the “best” horse in each category/factor a rating of “1” and the worst horse a “5” and so on in between. (I look at something different in each “factor;” sometimes a low number is good, sometimes a higher number is good—the upshot is that the horses for each factor are ranked from 1- 5 (in this case) with 1 being the best.) Occasionally two or more horses have the exact same value in a particular category so they are given the same rating. I calculate a rating for each horse in each category/factor. There may be up to 6 categories. I add up all of the ratings and get a single score for each horse. Now I make a wager on the horse with the lowest score. Here is a simplified example: Horse Factor “A” Rating Factor “B” Rating Factor “C” Rating Score George 6 4 123 4 55 3 11 Ed 3 2 235 3 96 1 6 Sam 5 3 2000 1 42 4 8 Elmo 1 1 333 2 67 2 5 Paul 3 2 50 5 12 5 12
In this example I would bet on the horse called Elmo because it has the lowest score of 5. After scoring 6 categories it becomes clear which is the best horse because it will excel in more than one category and produce the lowest score. Questions: 1. Does this system have any validity? Can rank-ordering different “factors” against one another in several different categories help to identify how one “factor” is superior? 2. Assuming the lowest scored horse is indeed the winner, how can I determine which factor was more important than the others in selecting the winner? And if so, should I give an important factor more (or less) weight than others because of its influence? If so, how?