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4yo + Claimers On The All Weather
4yo+ claimers on the all weather
With the winter now upon us I have switched my attentions to all weather racing for this article. I have also decided to focus on a very specific type of race – and a type of race that perhaps not many of you regularly bet in. These are 4yo+ claimers.
I think claimers are generally frowned upon as a betting medium by most punters. I certainly fall into that category. However, let us see if there are angles we can glean from past data which might get ‘the doubters’ to think again. I have taken data from 2009 to 2013 but focused on the all weather months of January to March and November to December. All profits and losses have been calculated to SP. ROI% means return on investment; SR% is strike rate. Here are my findings:
Market factors – a look at market factors first:
Generally the shorter priced runners have performed well (horses priced ½ to 10/11 excluded). Favourites, not surprisingly perhaps have made an overall profit. They have produced 116 from 248 runners (SR 46.8%) for a profit of £20.20 (ROI +8.1%). Horses priced 14/1 or more definitely look worth swerving.
Weight rank – onto weight now:
As we can see top weights in 4yo+ claimers produce a healthy strike rate not far short of 30% and losses are not too steep at 8.8%. It is interesting though why second in the weights have produced such poor returns. Overall however, it is clear that in these claimers it is better to be in the top four of the weights than 5th or lower.
Age – let us look the age of runners and their performance.
4yos have a surprisingly poor record and look best avoided. 6yos have made a profit but that is more down to the odd big priced winner that any age bias.
Sex of horse – the sex of the horse does make a difference as the following table shows. However, female runners are few and far between.
Runs since a win – a recent win is often a good indicator of future success. Let's see if that is the case in these contests:
Horses with at least one win in the last five runs have a decent record and backing all such runners at SP would have virtually broken even. These look the runners to concentrate on.
Career wins – now at look at whether the number of career wins a horse have achieved makes a difference.
Horses that are still maidens have a poor record and are definitely best avoided. Horses with 4 or more career wins look the ones to concentrate on.
Course wins – how important are course wins? Let's see:
A course win does look extremely important here. Non course winners have a woeful record in terms of returns and a moderate strike rate to boot.
Looking into some placed course data - horses that never placed at the course have provided just 37 winners from 447 runners for a loss of £231.68 (ROI -51.8%); horses that have been placed at the course in the past have provided 194 winners from 985 runners for a relatively small loss of £72.76 (ROI -7.4%). These figures reaffirm the fact that previous course form be it winning or placed is key.
Trainers – trainer data is limited so here is a list of trainers that have saddled the most runners in 4yo+ claimers:
Despite the limited data there are some facts worth sharing. Looking at David Evans for example - he has saddled the most runners (85) and it definitely seems worth swerving his runners at Wolverhampton as they have managed just 4 wins from 37 for losses of £18.87 (ROI -51%). Combining results at Lingfield, Southwell and Kempton has seen Evans produce ROI close to +45%. The market has been a good guide to the chances of his runners with horses priced 9/4 or shorter producing 13 winners from 21 (SR 61.9%) for a profit of £11.16 (ROI +53.1%).
Ron Harris is worth noting when his runners raced in a non handicap LTO as they have provided all bar two of his winners. Backing such horses would have produced 13 wins from 54 (SR 24.1%) for a profit of £20.93 (ROI +38.8%).
Kevin Ryan tops the list in terms of strike rate but his runners tend to go off at very short prices and hence it seems the market has them covered.
LTO race type – a look at whether LTO race type makes much difference:
Not surprisingly perhaps the vast majority of runners had raced on the sand LTO. It looks worth avoiding any runners that raced in a National Hunt contest LTO and probably it is also worth avoiding those that raced on turf (flat) LTO.
Position LTO – always worth looking at recent form to see whether there are any positive or negative angles:
LTO winners virtually break even and generally a position in the first four LTO is a positive (2nd LTO returns are disappointing). It looks a good idea to ignore horses that finished 5th or worse LTO.
Days since last run – fitness comes under the microscope:
The 11 to 20 bracket has offered the best returns over the period of study but it is unlikely it would `repeat` a profitable period in the future. A few bigger priced winners have skewed the returns somewhat. In general though, it looks preferably to have run within the last 20 days than not.
LTO Market Rank – finally let me look at where the horse was positioned in the betting market on its last start:
Seems to be a positive bias towards horses that were first or second favourite LTO.
The findings from these races are relatively positive with potential angles that require closer scrutiny. Of course for many punters they want a quick easy selection method so I have devised a system based on my findings. Of course one could rightly argue that there has been a degree of back-fitting, but I have only used five rules and also tried to focus on logical and fair ones.
Possible all weather 4yo+ claimer system
1. Won at least once in last five starts
2. Career wins 4 or more
3. Course winner
4. LTO 1st to 4th
5. LTO market position favourite or second favourite
The results are as follows:
Certainly not a get rich quick system but hopefully it would be a worthwhile addition to a betting portfolio. Here is the yearly breakdown:
Consistent yearly results with 4 winning years out of 5. Also these figures are to SP so hopefully to BOG or Betfair SP we would be able to improve upon them somewhat.
I hope this article may have given you some food for thought as regards claiming races are concerned and that they can be a valid betting medium.
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