Wokingham Handicap At Royal Ascot

This fairly detailed assessment of today’s Wokingham handicap

was provided via the free service at Dave Renham’s Horse Race Report site.

 

Wokingham Handicap Stats

 
 
 
Course – Ascot
Distance – 6 furlongs
Date – June 22nd 2013
Average field size last 10 years – 26
 
There was a dead heat in 2003 so there are 11 winners in total not 10.
 
Market Trends
 
Favourites: 3 wins from 10 for a profit of £5.75 (ROI +57.5%).
Top three in betting: 6 wins for the top three in the betting.
Top six in betting: 7 wins for the top six in the betting (6 wins for top 4).
Price: Horses priced 6/1 or less have provided 4 winners from just 12 runners for a profit of £10.75 (ROI +89.6%).
 
 
LTO stats
 
Days since last run: A real spread of wins and no clear angles.
Position LTO: 3 wins for horses that won LTO (from 45 runners). 
Position LTO: 7 wins for horses that finished in the first three LTO from 99 runners.
Position LTO: All 11 winners finished in the first six LTO.
LTO favourites: 4 wins for horses that were favourite LTO (from 41 runners).
LTO Top three in betting: 6 wins for horses from the top three in the betting LTO (from 87 runners).
LTO Price: Horses priced 4/1 or shorter LTO have provided 5 of the last 10 winners from only 37 runners.
Distance beaten LTO: Horses beaten over 5 lengths LTO have provided 0 winners from 86.
 
 
Age
 
Age
Wins
Runners
SR%
Profit/loss
ROI%
3
0
2
0.0
-£2.00
-100.0
4
6
85
7.1
-£11.25
-13.2
5
3
62
4.8
-£34.50
-55.6
6
2
60
3.3
-£15.00
-25.0
7+
0
53
0.0
-£53.00
-100.0
 
 
Official ratings (OR)
 
OR band
Wins
Runners
SR%
Profit/loss
ROI%
96 and below
4
76
5.3
-£33.50
-44.1
97-101
4
94
4.3
-£46.25
-49.2
102 and above
3
92
3.3
-£36.00
-39.1
 
 
 
 
 
Draw (NB 9 of the 10 races were run at Ascot so only 9 races analysed – 10 winners)
 
Draws
Wins
Runners
SR%
1-9
6
81
7.4
11-18
2
81
2.5
19+
2
83
2.4
 
 
Breeding
 
Breeding
Wins
Runners
SR%
Profit/loss
ROI%
GB
5
124
4.0
-£63.25
-51.0
IRE
3
105
2.9
-£81.50
-77.6
ITY
1
3
33.3
+£31.00
+1033.3
USA
2
23
8.7
+£5.00
+21.7
Other countries
0
7
0.0
-£1.00
-14.3
 
 
Class change
 
Class change
Wins
Runners
SR%
Profit/loss
ROI%
Down in class
3
64
4.8
-£26.50
-42.7
Same class
5
155
3.2
-£76.75
-49.5
Up in class
3
41
7.3
-£10.50
-25.6
 
 
Trainer stats
 
Trainers: no trainer has won the race more than once in the last 10 years.
 
 
General stats
 
Headgear (visor, cheekpieces, blinkers, etc): 1 win from 57.
Claiming jockeys: 1 win from 28.
Recent win: 4 of the last 10 winners had won at least once in their last three starts from 102 runners. Backing all qualifiers would have produced a loss of £75.25 (ROI -73.8%).
Handicap runs: Horses who have had 10 or less handicap runs have provided 10 winners from 119 runners (SR 8.4%); horses who have run in 11 or more handicaps have provided just 1 winner from 143 runners (SR 0.7%).
Career runs: Horses who have raced 15 times or less in their careers have won 9 races from 88 runners (SR 10.2%); horses who have raced 16 or more times in their career have won 2 races from 174 runners (SR 1.1%).
 
 
Conclusion – Interesting to see such a competitive handicap that averages 26 runners each year have 4 winners priced 6/1 or shorter. Having said that last year’s winner was 33/1 (the biggest priced winner in the 10 years). 4yos seem to have an edge and more lightly raced older runners also do well. A recent win within the last three starts would have incurred steep losses so that needs to be taken into account. Lower draws seem to have had the advantage, while it looks best to ignore any horse that was beaten more than 5 lengths LTO.

 

Wokingham Best Fit To Trends

For Current Live Odds see
http://punterprofits.bestbetting.com/horse-racing/2013-06-22/ascot/16-25/betting/all-odds

The Wokingham with it’s large field size is obviously
not the easiest race to pick the winner in.

Working through my ten year race trends however
to find which horses are the best fit to the stats
would lead me to the following two

  • Duke of Firenze 8/1 generally
  • Nocturn 12/1 generally

A bit higher is available  on Betfair

For those of you who prefer each way note that several bookies are offering 5 places

Bet365 – sky – BoyleSportsPaddy Power – victor chandler

 

 

 

A Little More Info Today

With regards to the Ascot 5.00 Duke of Edinburgh

http://punterprofits.bestbetting.com/horse-racing/2013-06-22/ascot/17-00/betting/all-odds

Key trends here are horses that were priced 8/1
or shorter LTO who are aged 5 or younger.
This narrows the field down by around 40%.
From there horses wearing headgear have an excellent record
and three of the initial shortlist are wearing some type of headgear:

  • Ustura
  • Silver Lime
  • Opinion

Hence this is my best trends based shortlist for the race with Opinion having the added advantage
of being trained by Sir Michael Stoute who has an good record in the race.

Best Wishes
Dave
www.HorseRaceReport.co.uk

Horse Racing System Selections

Horse Racing System Selections

The following three bets are selections from a portfolio
of researched systems put out under the banner of the NH 500
portfolio on Dave Renham’s PunterProfits site.
( just one of the many interesting things going on there )

I put some of these up here on sports betting blog a
month or two back.

If my fading memory serves me right I believe there
were three out of four winners that day.
Read the rest of this entry

Cheltenham Ten Year Trends

One of the many componants that makes up Dave Renham’s excellent RacingTrends service are his Big Race Trends reports.
Typically these cover several of the major races each Saturday but he also provides them for major meetings and festivals.
These are in addition to his normal daily high detail racing stats reports.
In short these big race trends reports examine individual races in detail in order to try and identify any key elements of form that will gives us clues as to value or likely winners in today’s races.
Today Dave has looked at several races at Cheltenham from a ten year trends approach.
 
1.55 Cheltenham – Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (registered as the Bristol Hurdle) – 3m (Grade 2)
 
POSITIVE TRENDS
Favourites (inc. joints): There have been 8 winning favourites (including joints) from 13 for a profit of £7.71 (ROI +59.3%).
Position LTO: 9 of the last 10 winners finished 1st or 2nd LTO.
Price: 9 of the last 10 winners have been priced 4/1 or shorter.
Days off track: 7 of the last 10 winners had been off the track for between 20 and 27 days.
Price LTO: 8 of the last 10 winners were priced 4/1 or shorter LTO (all 10 winners were 15/2 or shorter LTO).
LTO Favourites: Horses that started favourite LTO have provided 6 winners from 26 runners for a profit of £6.63 (ROI +25.5%).
LTO course: Horses that raced at Cheltenham last time out have a good record with 5 of the 15 qualifiers going onto win this race.
Trainers: 2 wins from 4 for Alan King.
Jockets: 3 wins from 5 for Tony Mc Coy.
NEGATIVE TRENDS
Race type LTO: Horses that raced in a handicap LTO have a poor record with 0 wins from 14.
GENERAL STATS
Age: 4 years olds have won 2 races from 7 qualifiers (SR 28.6%),5 year olds have won 3 races from 33 qualifiers (SR 9.1%); 6 year olds have won 4 races from 19 qualifiers (SR 21.1%); 7 year olds and older have won 1 race from 14 qualifiers (SR 7.1%).
Trends analysis: A race where the positive trends are key. Favourites have an excellent record and hence it is not surprising to see horses that finished 1st or 2nd LTO doing well also. Horses that ran at Cheltenham LTO should be respected and also look for horses that were fancied LTO – LTO favourites have done especially well. In terms of fitness, horses off the track for between 20 and 27 days have done especially well.
 
 
 
3.05 Cheltenham – StanJames.com International Hurdle – 2 miles 1f (Grade 2)
POSITIVE TRENDS
Favourites (inc. joints): There have been 7 winning favourites (including joints) from 12 for a profit of £5.69 (ROI +47.4%).
Position LTO: All of the last 10 winners finished in the first three LTO. 7 won LTO.
Recent wins: All of the last 10 winners had won at least once in their last four starts.
LTO course: Horses that raced at Cheltenham last time out have a good record producing 6 winners from 20 for a profit of £33.80 (+169%).
LTO race type: Horses that ran in a handicap LTO have provided 6 winners from 24 for a profit of £23.80 (ROI +99.2%).
Days since last run: All of the last 10 winners have run within the past 28 days.
Trainers: 3 wins from 7 for Philip Hobbs; 2 wins from 7 for Nicky Henderson.
NEGATIVE TRENDS
Breeding: Irish bred horses have managed just 2 wins from 30 for a loss of £23.75 (ROI -79.2%).
Beaten distance LTO: Horses that were beaten by more than 10 lengths LTO have provided 0 winners from 17.
Position LTO: Horses that finished 4th or worse last time out have produced 0 winners from 21 qualifiers.
GENERAL STATS
Age: 4 years olds have won 3 races from 17 qualifiers (SR 17.7%),5 year olds have won 3 races from 18 qualifiers (SR 16.7 %); 6 year olds have won 1 race from 9 qualifiers (SR 11.1%); 7 year olds have won 2 races from 13 qualifiers (SR 15.4%); 8 year olds and older have won 1 race from 16 qualifiers (SR 6.3%).
Trends analysis: once again there are plenty of positive stats. A run in the past 4 weeks has been crucial as has a position LTO in the top three (with a strong preference for LTO winners. Horses that ran at Cheltenham last time out have a very good record and this is a clear plus, while a run in a handicap LTO has also been a positive. From a negative perspective, horses beaten by 10 or more lengths LTO look worth avoiding, while Irish bred runners have generally struggled.
 
3.40 Cheltenham – Relkeel hurdle – 2 miles 4f 110yds (Grade 2)
POSITIVE TRENDS
Market: 9 of the last 10 winners came from the top three in the betting.
Price: All of the last 10 winners were priced 9/1 or shorter.
Position LTO: Horses that finished first or second LTO have provided 6 of the last 10 winners for a break even situation.
Course LTO: All of last 10 winners raced at a Grade 1 track LTO.
Breeding: 6 of the last 10 winners were French bred.
Running style: 9 of the last 10 winners raced up with or close to the pace.
Previous Cheltenham run: 9 of the last 10 winners had all had experience of Cheltenham.
Trainers: 3 wins from 6 for Alan King.
NEGATIVE TRENDS
Upped in class: Horses that were upped in class from their most recent run have a moderate record with 3 wins from 29.
GENERAL STATS
Favourites (inc. joints): There have been 4 winning favourites (including joints) from 11 for a loss of £3.00.
Age: 4 year olds have won 4 races from 19 qualifiers (SR 21.1%); 5 year olds have won 2 races from 17 qualifiers (SR 11.8%); 6 year olds have won 2 races from 17 qualifiers (SR 11.8%); 7 year olds have won 2 races from 11 qualifiers (SR 18.2%).
Trends analysis: The market has been a good guide in this race with the top three in the betting producing 90% of the winners. French breds have done well while a run at a Grade 1 track LTO has been of paramount importance. Trainer Alan King has done very well with 3 wins, while for in running punters hold up horses have performed poorly. In terms of age 4yos may have a slight edge but it is a little unclear.
 
 

www.RacingTrends.co.uk

 

2 year old maidens

Sometimes in life you come across arrogant sods who
deludedly believe they know everything about a subject.

Best thing to do is to pity a little such sorts as their attitude
can hinder them from learning and improving.

I will hold my hands up and say I most definitely
DO NOT know everything about betting.
The reality is I am learning all the time.

Just this week for example I learnt quite a bit about
2 year old maiden races..or more specifically those
that are run late in the season from September to November.

My teacher was Dave Renham ( ex racing post spotlight writer )
who produced a highly detailed research article
on this area of racing for full members over at the PunterProfits site.

Copied below is a small snippet from this research article
where Dave examines these late season 2 year old maidens
investigating how race favourites in such races fare dependant on trainer.

 

========================================

Who are the trainers to follow when their 2yo maidens start favourite at this time of the year?

Here is a table showing all trainers that have secured 8 or more wins.

 

Trainer
Wins
Runs
SR%
Profit/loss
ROI%
Sir Mark Prescott
8
12
66.7
+£6.64
+55.3
Roger Charlton
22
39
56.4
+£14.36
+36.8
Henry Candy
8
16
50.0
+£8.96
+56.0
Bryan Smart
11
23
47.8
+£7.38
+32.1
Michael Bell
16
34
47.1
+£3.62
+10.7
John Gosden
44
94
46.8
+£13.10
+13.9
Mark Johnston
50
107
46.7
+£17.95
+16.8
Marcus Tregoning
10
22
45.5
+£2.67
+12.1
Sir Michael Stoute
50
118
42.4
-£0.57
-0.5
Saeed Bin Suroor
44
104
42.3
+£2.79
+2.7
Brian Meehan
23
55
41.8
+£1.80
+3.3
Paul Cole
10
25
40.0
-£1.75
-7.0
Tim Easterby
8
20
40.0
-£0.46
-2.3
Peter Chapple-Hyam
15
38
39.5
-£6.92
-18.2
Henry Cecil
13
33
39.4
-£3.10
-9.4
Mahmood Al Zarooni
9
24
37.5
+£3.64
+15.2
Richard Fahey
10
27
37.0
-£1.12
-4.1
William Haggas
12
33
36.4
-£5.28
-16.0
Amanda Perrett
9
25
36.0
-£4.40
-17.6
Mick Channon
19
54
35.2
-£2.70
-5.0
Jeremy Noseda
10
29
34.5
-£5.42
-18.7
Richard Hannon
34
100
34.0
-£1.94
-1.9
John Dunlop
20
75
26.7
-£28.54
-38.1
It is not surprising to see so many of the top trainers in this list. Many of their better two year olds will be running at this time of the season. Prescott, Charlton, Candy and Smart do have impressive records. On the other hand John Dunlop’s record is remarkably poor in comparison.
========================================
Picture a betting shop with 100 racing punters within in.
How many would have any clue what so ever about such cold hard facts?Most likely zero or possibly just one.
That one armed with more info than anyone else in the room… could be you.The PunterProfits full member area contains a wealth of such research on different topics.
There are also many opportunities to pick up simple to use daily tips if you
prefer to follow what others say as opposed to assess and calculate for yourself.

If at all interested in testing that site out, contact PunterProfits and
tell them you heard about them here on sports betting blog and ask
about a free trial for sports betting blog viewers.

To visit PunterProfits click here ==> Horse Racing Research


Long Distance Handicap Chases

Long Distance Handicap Chases by David Renham

In this article I am going to look at long distance handicap chases to see if we can improve our chances of a) picking the winner, but more importantly b) gaining enough value on the winners to make a profit. I have decided that any race 3m2f or longer counts as a long distance chase.

However, what I am not going to do is back track through data and manipulate the stats to some degree. Indeed far too many people do this – they back-fit the results to create a set of rules or a system, that ends up producing a profit. Unfortunately 99 times out of 100 these ‘positive’ findings will not be reflected in future results. My plan to look at a variety of areas in an attempt to find potential starting points – basically these are raw ideas that have the potential to produce winning systems or winning methods. So here goes. The data has been taken from 2007 to October 4th 2011. All profit/loss figures are calculated to £1 level stakes. SR% stands for strike rate; ROI% stands for return on investment.

Age

When thinking about long distance chasers I think about older horses rather than younger ones. However as the table shows, it is horses aged 6 to 8 that tend to do best in these events:

Age Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
4 or 5 6 79 7.6 -£41.00 -51.9
6 41 354 11.6 -£31.42 -8.9
7 95 802 11.9 -£119.63 -14.9
8 121 1024 11.8 -£81.14 -7.9
9 103 1060 9.7 -£125.77 -11.9
10 66 858 7.7 -£339.42 -39.6
11 36 490 7.4 -£133.79 -27.3
12 16 262 6.1 -£96.50 -36.8
13+ 8 126 6.3 -£59.00 -46.8

Combining horses aged 6 to 8 we get 257 wins from 2180 runners (SR 11.8%) for a loss of £232.19 (ROI -10.7%). OK it still makes a loss, but less than 11p in the £, so these horses seem a good group to concentrate on. If we compare their record with horses aged 9 and older we can see it compares favourably – the older group combine for 229 wins from 2796 runners (SR 8.2%) for a loss of £754.48 (ROI -27.0%). So we have losses of 27p in the £, and a lower strike rate to boot.

Position LTO

Recent form is something most punters latch on to, and hence there often is limited value around following a good run last time out. However, let us see the figures for LTO performance in terms of finishing position for our long distance chasers:

Position LTO Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
1st 95 654 14.5 -£29.18 -4.5
2nd 76 631 12.0 -£144.22 -22.9
3rd 48 579 8.3 -£183.84 -31.8
4th 63 527 12.0 -£46.47 -8.8
5th 37 410 9.0 -£130.80 -31.9
6th or worse 94 1118 8.4 -£73.67 -6.6
Failed to finish 77 1101 7.0 -£408.52 -37.1

LTO winners have actually got a decent record with losses of only 4.5p in the £. Interestingly, horses that finished 6th or worse LTO have lost only 6.6p in the £ – I would imagine these runners tend to start at better prices than they should due to punters being indifference to their chances. Horses that failed to finish LTO look very poor value and are horses to avoid.

LTO Market Position

Market factors are often used when looking for ideas, angles or systems, but usually it is the actual starting price that is used. The problem with using this as a ‘filter’ is that we don’t know the SP until after the event. We may have a pretty good idea close to the ‘off’ but not many people are able to wait until the very last minute to place their bet. I often look at market factors from previous races. Here, I am looking at their market position LTO. The results are as follows:

Market Position LTO Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
Favourite 96 613 15.7 -£37.36 -6.1
2nd favourite 62 553 11.2 -£160.17 -29.0
3rd favourite 60 558 10.8 -£121.59 -21.8
4th in betting 48 551 8.7 -£148.84 -27.0
5th in betting 56 510 11.0 -£23.50 -4.6
6th in betting 38 419 9.1 -£90.75 -21.7
7th in betting 36 410 8.8 -£97.92 -23.9
8th+ 94 1406 6.7 -£336.55 -23.9

The only semi-positive here is the performance of LTO favourites – a decent enough strike rate coupled with losses of around 6p in the £.

Race type LTO

Most long distance handicap chasers race primarily over fences, but there are a few horses that switch back and forth. I thought it was worth looking at whether race type LTO makes any difference:

Race type LTO Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
Chase 423 4463 9.5 -£1,023.01 -22.9
Hurdle 66 548 12.0 +£7.33 +1.3
Turf 1 9 11.1 -£1.00 -11.1

It looks as if horses that ran over hurdles last time are worth closer scrutiny. They have a better strike rate than those running over fences LTO, and backing all of them actually has made a profit. Now, it is unlikely this profit would be repeated over a subsequent 5-year period, but clearly these runners perform above expectations and probably start at prices that are higher than they should be.

Jockeys

The perception of many is that although claiming/conditional jockeys are able to take weight off the back of a horse, their inexperience means that the claim becomes effectively worthless. The stats for jockeys in these long distance chases makes interesting reading …………

Jockey Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
No claim (pros) 325 3222 10.1 -£657.54 -20.4
3lb claim 59 735 8.0 -£275.38 -37.5
5lb claim or more 108 1098 9.8 -£94.77 -8.6

Conditional jockeys claiming 5lb or more have a strike rate virtually identical to professional jockeys, but their losses are significantly less. This is almost certainly down to punters or bookmakers pushing out the prices of horses ridden by conditional jockeys claiming 5lb or more.

Conclusions

I have looked at 5 different angles and the stats have pinpointed some areas that are better than others. So how best can we utilize the stats? Well, the lazy system punter would almost certainly combine the ‘best’ bits of the five areas – so the system would look something like this:

1. won LTO

2. favourite LTO

3. Aged 6 to 8

4. Ridden by conditional jockey claiming 5lb or more

5. Raced in hurdle race LTO

For the record since 2007 this ‘system’ would have produced a strike rate of 66.7% and a return on investment of over 90%. However, before you all start planning your retirement due to this gilt-edged winning system, I should point out that there would have only been 3 selections in the 5 years of study!!! Essentially, this is an example of why back-fitting is not good practice. Too often people use too many rules when creating their systems – this either cuts down the number of bets to ridiculously small amounts, as in this case, or it simply gives a false set of figures even with a decent final sample size.

At the beginning of the article I mentioned the fact I would be looking to find potential starting points – this is rather than producing rigid ‘systems’ that have too many rules. It is my belief that a sensible starting point is when you combine two factors only. So that is what I am going to do. I am going to use the same 5 rules in the lazy system example, but will combine them in twos, not in one block of five. Here are the results:

Combination/starting point Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
Age 6-8 and won LTO 51 327 15.6 -£28.66 -8.8
Age 6-8 and favourite LTO 53 324 16.4 -£0.22 -0.1
Age 6-8 and ran in hurdle LTO 36 277 13.0 -£26.55 -9.6
Age 6-8 and ridden by jockey claiming 5lb or more 55 460 12.0 +£43.77 +9.5
Won LTO and favourite LTO 39 192 20.3 -£2.68 -1.4
Won LTO and ran in hurdle LTO 9 56 16.1 -£19.17 -34.2
Won LTO and ridden by jockey claiming 5lb or more 19 131 14.5 -£3.92 -3.0
Favourite LTO and ran in hurdle LTO 14 64 21.9 +£13.83 +21.6
Favourite LTO and ridden by jockey claiming 5lb or more 17 110 15.5 +£41.24 +37.5
Ran in hurdle LTO and ridden by jockey claiming 5lb or more 20 139 14.4 +£71.63 +51.5

As we can see, only one combination has produced poor returns – ‘the won LTO and ran in hurdle LTO’ one. Of the remaining 9 starting points, 4 showed a profit, the other 5 showed small losses. Now I am not advocating backing all horses in the future that match these starting points, but clearly any runner that does ‘match’ should be given further consideration. Others factors could then be taken into account such as going, trainer, class, fitness, etc.

Author Bio

Dave Renham works at the Racing and Football Outlook newspaper as their Race Trends expert; has worked on The Racing Post as a writer of the spotlight column and has published several books about horse racing research.

On the Web Dave is heavily involved with the respected horse racing websites www.PunterProfits.com and www.RacingTrends.co.uk

First Time Blinkers

First Time Blinkers

With the flat season gathering pace, I have decided to look at horses that are blinkered for the first time. There are numerous ideas why horses are given blinkers to wear.

These include:

-         To try and get the horse to concentrate as some horses get distracted by the other runners in a race;

-         To help the horse break quickly from the stalls. Blinkers often have this effect when worn for the first time;

-         As a last resort to try and improve a horses’ performance.

What one should realise however, is that generally fitting first time blinkers is a negative rather than a positive. The data for this article is taken from the last 6 complete seasons – flat/all weather racing only. All profits are calculated to £1 level stakes at SP. It should be noted that I have included only runners that are wearing blinkers only (for the first time) – I have excluded runners who were wearing tongue ties also. For the record the combination of blinkered first time + tongue tie produce virtually identical strike rates and returns (from a much smaller sample).

Firstly let us look at the results of all runners wearing blinkers for the first time on the flat over the period of study:

Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
441 6336 7% -£1748.87 -27.6

Essentially therefore these runners win around once in every fourteen starts (roughly) for losses of just under 28 pence in the £. Not a great starting point from a betting perspective. However, let us break these stats down into different categories to see if we can either find better betting propositions, or ‘gilt-edged’ laying opportunities.

Age

The perception is that blinkers improve younger horses best, especially 2yos. Let us look at the results breakdown when split by age:

Age Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
2 85 1197 7.1 -£433.73 -36.2
3 185 2755 6.7 -£928.06 -33.7
4 93 1378 6.8 -£344.38 -25.0
5 46 539 8.5 +£68.41 +12.7
6 19 261 7.3 -£80.13 -30.7
7 5 127 3.9 -£66.00 -52.0
8 or older 8 79 10.1 +£35.00 +44.3

As we can see 2yos actually perform below the ‘norm’. Looking at the ages as a whole, there is no discernable pattern, although much older horses (8yo+) have done relatively well from a very small sample.

Digging deeper into the 2yo stats, I have broken down the data by number of career runs:

Career starts Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
debut 4 53 7.5 -£29.00 -54.7
2nd career start 4 110 3.6 -£46.00 -41.8
3rd career start 4 155 2.6 -£98.50 -63.5
4th career start 23 261 8.8 -£127.41 -48.8
5th career start 17 215 7.9 -£10.50 -4.9
6th career start 11 170 6.5 -£87.81 -51.7
7th or more 22 233 9.4 -£34.50 -14.8

Two things that seem to stand out here are firstly that 2yos that have raced several times (7 or more), react to first time blinkers relatively well; secondly 2yos that are assigned blinkers on their 2nd or 3rd career start do extremely poorly in terms of strike rate. My guess is that there is an over-reaction to a poor debut run and the addition of blinkers actually makes things worse.

Market position

Generally the market is an excellent guide to the chances of each horse. Let us look at first time blinkered horses coupled with their market position:

Market pos Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
Favourite 85 334 25.5 -£51.82 -15.5
2nd favourite 78 437 17.9 -£70.06 -16.0
3rd favourite 55 510 10.8 -£154.50 -30.3
4th in betting 47 532 8.8 -£99.50 -18.7
5th in betting 39 567 6.9 -£139.00 -24.5
6th or bigger 43 621 6.9 -£34.00 -5.5
7th or bigger 94 3335 2.8 -£1,200.00 -36.0

At first glance the performance of favourites looks OK. However, when we take ALL flat favourites as a whole, the strike rate is around 30-31% with losses of only 6-7%. Hence, horses that start favourite when blinkered for the first time are not good betting propositions.

Race types

Let us break the data down now by specific race types:

Race type Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
Amateur races 2 57 3.5 -£43.25 -75.9
Claimers 42 482 8.7 -£7.43 -1.5
Group/Listed 9 194 4.6 -£79.75 -41.1
Handicaps 246 3653 6.7 -£1,010.10 -27.7
Maidens 73 1023 7.1 -£426.17 -41.7
Sellers 34 569 6.0 -£204.38 -35.9

Although the data is limited a combination of first time blinkers and an amateur rider looks one to avoid. Indeed of the 55 losers, only 3 got placed. I decided to look back further just to gather a bigger data set. I looked at first time blinkered runners in amateur contests from 1997 to 2004 – they fared poorly once again with just 3 wins from 104.

Maiden races have seen losses of around 42 pence in the £ which above the base figure of 27.6p. Auction maidens have provided the poorest results for first time blinkered runners with just 12 wins from 279 (SR 4.3%) for a loss of £151.06 (ROI -54.1%). Indeed, 2yo maiden Auction races are even worse with just 3 winners from 160 runners (SR 1.9%) for a hefty loss of £129.50 (ROI -80.9%).

Claiming races have seen close to a break-even situation despite a low strike rate of around 9%. Indeed if you exclude maiden claimers the strike rate rises to 9.3% and profits are made; albeit 9 pence profit for every £ wagered. However, it should be noted that these profit figures are essentially down to a few big priced winners and hence it is not an area where the backer can be confident to make a profit in the future.

Race distance

Let us break the data down now by race distance:

Race type Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
5-6f 139 2134 6.5 -£718.29 -33.7
7-8f 160 2270 7.0 -£583.43 -25.7
9-10f 58 876 6.6 -£225.05 -25.7
11-12f 61 694 8.8 -£128.31 -18.5
13f+ 23 362 6.4 -£93.80 -25.9

In general there does not seem to be any pattern here. I had expected longer races to produce slightly poorer results but this is not the case.

Turf v all weather

Surface Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
All weather 203 2480 8.2 -£454.92 -18.3
Turf 238 3856 6.2 -£1293.95 -33.6

Horses wearing blinkers for the first time perform better on the all weather compared with turf. This could be due to the fact all weather racing is less competitive; or generally of lower grade. Whatever the reason, the stats are worth taking note of.

Jockeys

I decided to see if the experience of the jockey made a difference. The table below compares professional jockeys with claiming jockeys:

Jockey Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
professional 374 4914 7.6 -1127.87 -23.0
claiming 67 1422 4.7 -£621.00 -43.7

The figures seem to suggest the less experienced jockeys struggle when horses are blinkered for the first time. Losses close to 44 pence in the £ combined with a strike rate of under 5% means that one should swerve these jockeys under these circumstances.

Trainers

Some trainers have a better understanding of their animals than others so one would expect a real mix of results for first time blinkered runners. I have included all trainers that have saddled at least 30 horses with first time blinkers:

Trainer Wins Runs Strike Rate% Profit/loss ROI%
Sir M Prescott 11 51 21.6 +£27.40 +53.7
B Smart 5 30 16.7 +£0.50 +1.7
C Cox 6 37 16.2 +£8.90 +24.1
I Semple 5 34 14.7 -£5.63 -16.5
R Charlton 5 35 14.3 -£9.13 -26.1
G Butler 5 36 13.9 +£19.00 +52.8
R Hannon 16 129 12.4 +£0.50 +0.4
M Tregoning 4 33 12.1 +£33.00 +100.0
R Harris 8 68 11.8 +£47.75 +70.2
J Boyle 4 34 11.8 +£1.00 +2.9
T Barron 6 54 11.1 -£12.00 -22.2
M Easterby 9 85 10.6 -£20.75 -24.4
C Brittain 6 57 10.5 -£12.38 -21.7
W Haggas 7 67 10.5 -£13.00 -19.4
J Moore 5 49 10.2 +£12.25 +25.0
M Johnston 12 118 10.2 +£1.58 +1.3
P Cole 9 89 10.1 -£29.25 -32.9
J Dunlop 6 61 9.8 -£11.67 -19.1
K Ryan 14 144 9.7 -£7.38 -5.1
P Grayson 6 64 9.4 -£17.05 -26.6
J Gosden 7 75 9.3 -£17.17 -22.9
B Meehan 15 161 9.3 +£8.08 +5.0
N Littmoden 4 44 9.1 -£17.50 -39.8
J Osborne 4 46 8.7 +£10.00 +21.7
G L Moore 6 72 8.3 -£24.38 -33.9
B Hills 3 36 8.3 +£15.00 +41.7
M Quinlan 3 36 8.3 -£18.50 -51.4
P Evans 4 50 8.0 -£8.50 -17.0
T Easterby 10 131 7.6 -£11.75 -9.0
E Johnson Houghton 2 31 6.5 -£6.00 -19.4
W Muir 4 64 6.3 -£35.75 -55.9
B Ellison 2 32 6.3 -£9.00 -28.1
M Dods 2 32 6.3 -£11.50 -35.9
Mrs A Perrett 4 67 6.0 -£30.00 -44.8
R Fahey 4 71 5.6 -£35.50 -50.0
E Dunlop 2 44 4.6 -£36.00 -81.8
R Beckett 2 50 4.0 -£20.00 -40.0
M Tompkins 2 57 3.5 -£43.50 -76.3
M Jarvis 1 30 3.3 -£25.00 -83.3
I McInnes 1 34 2.9 -£29.50 -86.8
P Blockley 1 35 2.9 -£30.00 -85.7
R Millman 1 37 2.7 -£8.00 -21.6
J Bradley 0 66 0.0 -£66.00 -100.0
A Berry 0 50 0.0 -£50.00 -100.0
J Given 0 41 0.0 -£41.00 -100.0
J Eustace 0 31 0.0 -£31.00 -100.0
J Weymes 0 30 0.0 -£30.00 -100.0

Sir Mark Prescott has excellent figures considering how poor these runners do in general – a better than 1 in 5 strike rate with profits of over 50 pence for every £ wagered. At the other end of the scale, Milton Bradley and Alan Berry have combined to produce 0 winners from 116 runners.

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To conclude, horses blinkered for the first time are essentially poor investments. However, some are much worse than others as this article has hopefully highlighted. If nothing else, I suspect this article may save you from backing certain horses that have a very poor chance of winning. This should help your betting bank balance.

Dave Renham

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Dave Renahm is a regular feature writer in the Racing And Football Outlook newspaper.  If you are more of an investor rather than gambler at your racing, more of his educational research work may be found online at www.PunterProfits.com and at www.racingtrends.co.uk

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