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Complete Zed Run Racing Guide

I've had a ton of questions rolling in about how to race your horses so I thought I'd put together a guide and briefly describe the process I go through with a new horse! It might be a bit long but I will go from griffy all the way through to 20 races to show the progression and decision making process, and hopefully it can give you a good idea of how to run your horses effectively. It will be another in depth guide that might over explain some aspects but hopefully it will answer all your questions! If you have any more then feel free to jump into the Zombie Racing Discord and ask away! We've got an awesome community growing, filled with people looking to help new users on their journey through the game.

The first decision - should I run my horse?

This game, whilst being about horse racing, is based around NFTs and consequently there is money to be made and more importantly lost. If you race your horse you are essentially risking your investment. In terms of value, the equation is simple. Good Racing Horse > Unraced Horse > Donkey Racer So as soon as you decide to race your horse you will be putting it into with of the two categories, good or donkey. It is essentially a lottery ticket and you are finding out the results by racing it. Obviously this is a scale and there are a lot of tiers to a horse's racing ability, but you are removing the easiest way to value a horse, as currently there are a lot of unraced sales to use as a guide price. With racers a lot of it is hard to value as there are a lot more factors to consider in its valuation. Everyone's budget, and consequently stable is very different. This means that only you can decide if you want to race your horses. A good racer can be worth 5-100x what an unraced horse is worth, whereas if you have a bad racer your value reduces. If you are looking to hold your NFT investment then not racing is the way to go, however if you're reading this article it is probably because you want to race! You will have a lot more fun racing your horses!

So you're racing your horse

If you decide on racing your horse then there there is only one place to start. A Griffin race. Entering a horse into a race is relatively straight forward, you simply select a gate, select a horse and click 'enter'! If it is a paid race you will see the metamask pop up asking you to sign - but a griffy is entirely free so you won't see this pop up. Possibly the most exciting part of racing your new horse is throwing it into the madness that is a griffin race. To start with we should explain the class system, this image is direct from the Zed website. Every single horse has to race a Griffin in order to enter the true racing system from class I to V (1 to 5). Once you have raced a griffin your horse's race rating determines which class it will race in. You can race in classes above your rating but never in a class lower than your horses class. Your horse will have a base rating tied to its Z number as follows: Your horse will then gain and lose race rating based on where it finishes in races. This system works as follows: Putting this together into an example: You have a z8 that you race in a griffy and great news - it wins!! Your z8 base rating of 37 will gain 4 class points and enter the racing system at 41. This will place it in class III! Conversely, if your horse finished dead last in 12th, it would have 37 and lose 4 class points. It will go into the main class system with 33 and be in class IV.

Odds

There has been a lot of talk in the community about how impactful these are on the game as a whole, mainly due to how accurate they are. In my opinion they are the best way to determine a horses racing ability. The odds are made up of 1000 simulations of the race and the possible outcomes. The odds are essentially your % chance of winning any given race and can be found once the race has filled, i.e. there are 12 horses entered in the race and it has moved from the 'Events' tab to the 'Next To Run' tab on the Zed Site. Currently the odds are not displayed on the zed website, the best place to find them is on knowyourhorses.com Let's look at the horse 'Santa Cruz Devil' Here is the result from the griffin - she won!! You can see the odds down the right hand side of the screen. Top tips
  1. In a griffin any bloodline can enter so if you are racing a Buterin/Finney, try to enter quite late when you can see there are no pesky Nakamotos in there! If you have a race and see a Naka has joined then take your odds with a pinch of salt as the power of some Nakas will skew your odds.
  2. Choose either a really short distance (1000m) or a long distance (2400m). This can help speed up your future race selection process. e.g. bad odds at 1000m might mean great odds at 2600m and vice versa.
On Zed Run the only variable that affects a horses performance currently is the distance of the race. There are a lot of other factors in the works - like gate preference, weather etc, but right now the only thing you have to worry about is the distance. Most horses on Zed Run have 1-3 distances that they perform exceptionally well at and they tend to be grouped together. From the odds in this race it looks like Santa Cruz Devil is a short distance runner so from here I ran her in a few more short distance races, but made sure I tested her abilities at long distance too.

Results

I am now at 19 races with her and as you can see I've tried at most distances. I still need to try 2200m and will do that next. She has achieved just 1 more win after her initial griffin win. For me this is part and parcel of the game, horses can take a long time to start to turn great odds into wins. For instance a horse like this I would have expected to reach 5/6 wins by now, however I know she will come good pulling around 7 at multiple distances. Looking at these odds I can now plan out my next twenty or so races. I want to concentrate at 1200-1400 and throw in one more of each of the other distances just to acquire more data at those distances. My best tip is that 1 race is not enough at a distance to figure out your horses best distance. For instance in for Santa Cruz Devil, the 2400m race she was against a horse that pulled 5.6 odds and a real freak. It is definitely worth another go at this distance before discarding this distance.

What If My Horse Is A Donkey?

The example above is for a horse that is quite good on the track - let's look at a 'donkey'. Here is another horse I ran in a griffin called Courtier's Surprise. Looking at her griffin result - she was at 24.99 odds, not great! Looking closer you can see the competition can be slightly skewed as the Nakamoto 'Flight Clarets' pulled 4.9, a z4 'Reading Fiction' had 8.71 and a z6 'Silverex' had 7.64. It is unlikely she is going to be incredible on the track, but being a z10 she is placed in class V so it is worth racing some more and seeing if she is a specialist at other distances. I would primarily aim for free races with a horse like this, or keep to the very low cost races.

Zed Wars - The Return Of The Donkey

So you might think why are you flogging a dead donkey, he pulled 24.99, he has no use on the track! Well I continued to race him and give him a bit more time. Here are the next 5, like I said the low ticket entry and free races are best. He returned the faith and pulled a 5.78 at 2600m!! As of right now the wait times on races are long but hopefully he wins! As you can see the griffin is not the be all and end all for your horse, it takes time and effort to find your horses best distance and they can definitely reward you for your effort.

When to give up?

It is hard to say but I think 2 races at each distance is enough to call it a day on some horses. If you have 20+ accross all distances then I'm afraid it is probably the end of the road. What next? Not all the variables are implemented into the game yet, we are yet to see gate preference, weather and a whole host of other factors affect these horses. We could even see steeple chasing! So don't throw them away yet they may come good further into the game! There is another reason not to sell your horses... Breeding. Plainly put some horses are terrible at racing, however what I have found is that these can make for extraordinary breeders and still carry really good racing genetics. If you want to offload your investment, recoup some funds, and buy another horse then go for it! But in my opinion it's always worth getting a breed or two in to see if your horse can produce great offspring. A great breeder in many ways is more valuable as you can produce a string of racers rather than owning just one great horse!

The Discord

Like I said, any more questions then feel free to join the Zombie Racing Discord and ask away! If you are not on discord then you can reach out in my Twitter dms. I hope you enjoyed the article and see you on the tracks!!


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