Racing Database Redesign

Now that the Cheltenham Festival is over it is time to turn at least some of my attention to the redesign of my horse racing database. As I alluded to in my New Year Resolutions post, I'm going to document most of it on this blog in the form of tutorials so that you can follow along and create your own version if you so wish.

Progress is likely to be somewhat haphazard as I am not intending to dedicate myself to this full time. Rather it is a project that will slowly mature into what I want.

I am just in the process of collecting my thoughts and draughting a full specification which will be published in the next week or so. In the meantime, here's some highlights - in no particular order...

1. Automatically record the Betfair historical data freely available from the Betfair site.
2. Design database so that it can be easily expanded with additional information such as jockey and trainer detail when available.
3. Use recorded data to reduce the time taken to assess runners for various in-running strategies such as dutching, back to lay and lay the field. This to be done automatically without user interaction.
4. Make data available from any device and platform.
5. Provide overview of all Betfair graphs for each race.
6. Use as basis for future analysis with a view to developing new strategies and potentially, automated betting bots.

Although the initial database design can be implemented in any modern desktop database application such as MS Access or LibreOffice Base, I'll be using mySQL installed on my Linux server. This machine is on 24/7 and as such can be configured so that the desired functionality can be run automatically without the need to turn my desktop pc on.

The automation is likely to be done in PHP as I'm reasonably familiar with that. Python was/is another option but I've never used it and I don't want to spend too much time learning yet another programming language when I'm not particularly into programming. I've yet to confirm the language to be used and I'm open to suggestions/advice. In any case, the intention is to post as much of the database related code as I can (without giving my secrets away of course).

The draft specification is currently being worked on and I'll post it as soon as it is ready. Stay tuned for that.


Unknown said...

It will be interesting to see if you will be able to analyze the best route to take with your "trading" activities after the database is been updating for sometime.

You are certainly are a clever person Alistair and deserve to reap-what-you-sow with all your hard work and dedication.

Regards - Robin

Alistair said...

Many thanks for the comments Robin.

Indeed it will be interesting. The main reason for the development is to ultimately reduce the time it takes to analyse the market and decide what angle to take. I'm sure much of that decision making process can be automated. If it also leads to other strategies, then so much the better.