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2yos Who Made Their Debut In A Newmarket Maiden

2yos Who Made Their Debut In A Newmarket Maiden

I wrote an article about 2yos who made their debut in a Newmarket maiden last year but have dug much deeper this time around in order to try and unearth some profitable strategies.

Horses that make their debut in a Newmarket 2yo maiden tend to be of higher quality compared with those who make their debut at other tracks. Debutants at other courses combined tend to lose around 25 pence in the £ on their second start; as we will see, Newmarket debutants do far better. The data for this article has been taken from the Newmarket maiden debut that occurred between 2005 to 2010.

Let us firstly look at the stats for second career starts for all runners who initially made their debut in a 2yo Newmarket maiden:

All runners – 2nd career run

Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
357 1993 17.9% -£154.15 -7.7


So losses amount to under 8p in the £; compared with the 25p for other courses. A strike rate of around 18% is very impressive too. So from a simple starting point – we have a group of horses that are worth further investigation.

Does the time of year when they made their debut make a difference?

It is generally accepted that the better 2yos tend to appear later in the season. Hence, I felt it would be worthwhile seeing if horses that made their 2yo maiden debut later in the year performed better than those that appeared for the first time earlier in the year. I have split the results into three – April to June; July and August; September to November. Hence the results relate to their second career starts; the month column telling us when they had made their Newmarket debut:

Month Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
April-June 87 430 20.2 -£65.89 -15.3
July-August 141 830 17.0 -£254.05 -30.6
September-November 129 733 17.6 +£165.79 +22.6


Although the strike rates are similar, we can see that the later Newmarket debutants have proved profitable to follow on their second start. In fact these figures are extremely impressive. Not only that these runners have done pretty well on their third and fourth career starts – on their third career start they have produced 117 winners from 679 runners (SR 17.2%) for a small loss of £28.74 (ROI -4.2%); on their fourth career start they have produced 109 winners from 636 runners (SR 17.1%) for a small profit of 35 pence! Of course these figures are to SP, so using Betfair or BOG prices should improve matters considerably.

It seems a good idea to focus on these September to November debutants in more detail. Hence let me look at the distance of their Newmarket debut with their resultant record from their second career starts:

Distance on debut Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
6f 19 143 13.3 -£63.74 -44.6
7f 76 370 20.5 +£169.49 +45.8
1m 34 220 15.5 +£60.04 +27.3


Clearly the distance on debut makes a huge difference with those making their debuts over 6f making a significant loss on their second career start. Conversely those running over 7f or a mile on debut definitely look worth following next time.

The next area I looked in terms of September-November Newmarket 2yo maiden debutants was at was the geography of their second start. I simply split the courses up into North and South courses – the theory was that a run at a Northern track in generally less competitive than one at a Southern track. This might be a generalisation but essentially I expect the theory to hold true. For tracks in the Midlands I basically split them North Midlands – North; South Midlands - South:

Geography of 2nd career run Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
South 86 491 17.5 +£50.78 +10.3
North 43 242 17.8 +£115.01 +47.5


Similar strike rates but better returns when racing at a Northern track as compared to a Southern track on their second career start. Hence the theory seemed to work in practice.

Next I wanted to see if the sex of the horse made any difference. Males tend to outperform females in terms of strike rate, but I have found younger female runners often offer better value. Here are the second run figures for each sex having made their initial debut in a Newmarket maiden between September and November:

Sex of horse Wins Runs SR% Profit/loss ROI%
Male 84 448 18.8 -£22.28 -5.0
Female 45 285 15.8 +£188.07 +66.0


Males have a better strike rate on their second career start which is expected, but as you can see the female runners have proved far better value. A return of 66p in the £ at industry SP is very impressive. It seems therefore a much better idea to follow females on their second starts rather than males.

For those of you who like to back “in running” it is worth noting the performances of these runners in terms of running style on their second starts. I am a great believer in early pace and once again the figures back up my beliefs – horses that led on their second start (having made their debut in a 2yo Newmarket maiden from September onwards) provided 24 winners from 59 (SR 40.7%); horses that raced close to the pace on their second start provided 65 winners from 324 (SR 20.1%); horses that were held up on their second start provided 39 winners from 346 runners (SR 11.3%). Clearly it is pointless giving profit and loss figures for these runners as we cannot easily pre-determine their running style before the race. However, if you do back in running then clearly any Newmarket ‘qualifier’ that is held up on his second start should not be backed in running; any horse that leads early or races close to the pace should be backed at the earliest opportunity.

Keeping to the in running theme my final piece of research has focused on horses that were held up early in the race on their Newmarket 2yo maiden debut (Sept-Nov), but still managed to get within 4 lengths of the winner by the end. The theory being that any debutant able to make up ground late in a race is usually worth noting. Of the 64 qualifiers 22 of them went onto to win on their second career start (SR 34.4%) showing a profit of £25.82 (ROI +40.3%). Of the 42 losers, 18 were placed so it is pleasing to see good placed figures also. This always gives a better ‘feel’ to positive data.

Summary of the positives

Horses that make their Newmarket debut in a 2yo maiden from September to November have a good record in their second career start; these runners require the closest scrutiny on their second start if:

  • Distance on debut was 7f or 1 mile;
  • They are female;
  • Their second run was at a Northern track;
  • Their Newmarket debut run had seen them finish within 4 lengths of the winner having been held up early.

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