I have been asked a couple of times about the meaning and method of arriving at the 2nd star. (Thanks Reom and Jorton.)
In “The Golden Years” #24, VDW has this to say:
This 2nd star I have previously described as Recent Form – top 3 form from 5 most recent runners with good recent form (1-4 in either of last 2 placings).
The actual calculations used on this site are a little more complicated than that description.
For Stage 1 we look at all of the last two placings for the race to see what our range is (1-4, or 1-5 or more). Then we select those runners with either of last two placings in range.
Stage 2 is, I think, ambiguous: whether we are now selecting the five most recent from the field or from Stage 1. I take the view that selecting from the field is what VDW intended here. But that is not clear as in his example all with most recent runs from the field happened to be also starred in Stage 1. It may be that a particular race has only five runners, or less, starred in Stage 1; and then it seems to make little sense taking the five most recent from Stage 1 rather than the field, especially if one of those starred has not run for a year or more.
This site uses the field at Stage 2.
You may also care to notice that we are not counting the five most recent runners but those runners with a LTO of one of the five most recent days.
This site then combines those qualifying at both Stage 1 and Stage 2 and then selects the three with best last three placings.
If anyone knows of another VDW reference to this method, or they think the interpretation of it, or its implementation as an algorithm is suspect, please post on the Forum.
May the stars shine on you,