There are many different ways of looking at horse races with the most common being form based, that is, looking at each horse in the race and comparing it with all the others taking into account the race conditions. Another way of approaching a race is to use a technique called race profiling.
Race profiling does not attempt to assess the horses instead what it does is look at the previous winners of a race and uses the characteristics of the winners to build up a profile of the most likely winner. These profiles can have many factors depending on the significance attached to each and the amount of data that is available to the profiler. This profile is then used to find a horse whose profile most closely matches the profile of previous winners.
The factors used may include such things as weight carried, number of previous runs, number of days since last run and age.
This method does not work for all races as a lot of races are won by a wide range of horse without favouring a specific type. However, many races, particularly the more valuable races, are won regularly by horses that show a specific set of qualities.
There are two types of profile, a general race profile and a specific race profile. The general profile can be used to cover a group of races, for example, class 5 handicap hurdles, while he specific race profile is used, for example, in the Grand National or the championship races at Cheltenham or the classic flat races.