Some of the most successful bettors I know credit their success to the use of ratings. Mostly they create their own ratings but they all started out using the ratings from their daily newspaper.
Some started out with the Racing Post but many used the ratings from The Sun or The Mail or another daily newspaper.
The secret to success with ratings is to convert them into a chance for each horse this will be a percentage chance of each horse winning the race and these chances when all added together should of course equal 100%. Because one of the horses in the race will definitely be the winner.
Once they have given a percentage chance to each horse they then convert this into odds and then they look for value. This is the important bit. It doesn’t matter whether they back or lay their selection just as long as the odds they get are value.
So for example if you have calculated that the favourite has a 50% chance of winning the race (even money 2.00) then if you can back it at 6/4 (2.5) then that is a value bet. But if you can lay it at 4/6 (1.66) then that is value to, either way you have the same advantage.
That is the biggest secret to success if you can consistently get value bets it doesn’t matter which way the individual bet goes (as long as you are funded for the inevitable winning and losing sequences). Over the long term you will win!