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5f Turf In Running Article


5f Turf In Running Article

Personally I use the winter and spring for significant preparation for my favoured type of racing – turf flat racing. Hence in this article I am focusing on not only turf flat racing, but my favoured sphere therein – handicap sprints. Well 5f handicaps to be precise. Data has been taken from 2008 onwards; it includes Irish racing from 2009.

A couple of months ago I wrote a more general article on dobbing. Just to recap, essentially a ‘DOB’ means ‘double or bust’. Therefore if we win, we double our original stake, if we lose we ‘bust’ or lose our stake. As before, I am concentrating on the idea of dobbing ‘in running’.

Overall stats - Let us look at all 5f turf handicap runners and their dobbing percentages:

Dob or not

% of dobbers

Yes

44.2

No

55.8

Of course a high percentage of dobbers would have been winners – what about horses that lost and their figures?

Losers

Dob or not

% of dobbers

Yes

38.2

No

61.8

Of the losers one would imagine a high percentage of horses that finished 2nd dobbed:

Horses finishing 2nd

Dob or not

% of dobbers

Yes

80.0

No

20.0

4 out of every 5 runners up have dobbed. Onto those finishing 3rd.

Horses finishing 3rd

Dob or not

% of dobbers

Yes

59.5

No

40.5

More than half of third placed runners have dobbed. Now a quick look at other finishing positions in terms of dobbing percentages:

Finishing position

Yes%

No%

4th

44.0

56.0

5th

39.2

60.8

6th

31.3

68.7

7th

28.6

71.4

8th

26.4

73.6

9th

24.0

76.0

10th

20.2

79.8

Once we get past 3rd, the dobbing percentages drops under 50%. As expected the percentages for successful dobbers drop as the finishing position gets worse.

Course - Now a look at dobbers by course:

Course

Yes%

No%

Ascot

44.8

55.2

Ayr

39.0

61.0

Bath

50.0

50.0

Bellewstown

48.0

52.0

Beverley

44.7

55.3

Brighton

46.0

54.0

Carlisle

46.1

53.9

Catterick

44.5

55.5

Chepstow

44.9

55.1

Chester

43.7

56.3

Cork

46.1

53.9

Curragh

46.0

54.0

Doncaster

39.5

60.5

Down Royal

44.6

55.4

Epsom

45.2

54.8

Ffos Las

50.0

50.0

Folkestone

41.5

58.5

Goodwood

47.6

52.4

Hamilton

45.0

55.0

Haydock

45.8

54.2

Leicester

44.0

56.0

Lingfield

40.8

59.2

Musselburgh

47.6

52.4

Naas

37.5

62.5

Navan

40.9

59.1

Newbury

45.8

54.2

Newcastle

40.3

59.7

Newmarket

47.3

52.7

Nottingham

42.8

57.2

Pontefract

44.3

55.7

Redcar

45.1

54.9

Ripon

39.0

61.0

Salisbury

44.7

55.3

Sandown

45.7

54.3

Thirsk

42.0

58.0

Tipperary

40.4

59.6

Warwick

48.5

51.5

Windsor

43.9

56.1

Yarmouth

47.2

52.8

York

37.5

62.5

Bath is pretty high with 50% of horses dobbing – now I reckon this might be down to the bad camera angle at the course making it more of a lottery for in running punters. Most courses have a side on picture or near side on for most of the race; Bath’s camera at the business end of the race is head on.

Running style shown in the actual racea look now at running styles in the actual race. These are split into three categories – front runners which are basically horses that take the early lead; prominent runners which are horses that track close to the pace and held up runners who race midfield to the back early:

Running Style

% of dobbers

Front runners

75.1

Prominent runners

49.4

Held Up runners

30.8

Front runners clearly are the horses most likely to ‘dob’. Being able to accurately predict a horse’s running style can seriously improve your chances of finding dobbers.

Jockeysonto jockeys next. Below is a table of jockeys who have a dobbing percentage of over 50% from at least 40 rides:

Jockey

% of dobbers

Ryan Clark

62.5

Robert Havlin

61.4

Frankie Dettori

60.0

Adam Kirby

58.0

Kieran O'Neill

57.1

Michael Geran

55.6

Jimmy Fortune

55.4

Fergus Sweeney

55.3

Matthew Davies

55.0

James Sullivan

54.9

Andrew Heffernan

54.7

Michael Stainton

54.5

Graham Gibbons

53.7

Jack Dean

53.0

Liam Keniry

52.9

Dane O'Neill

52.7

Russ Kennemore

52.5

David Allan

52.1

Pat Cosgrave

51.6

Luke Morris

51.2

Neil Brown

51.0

Neil Callan

51.0

Kirsty Milczarek

50.7

George Baker

50.6

Jamie Spencer

50.6

Frederik Tylicki

50.4

These jockeys are likely to prefer riding close to or up with the pace whenever possible, which would explain their decent figures.

I have looked at dobbing in some detail but now I want to change tack slightly.

Losers that trade odds on in running

For the rest of this piece I am going to concentrate on horses that trade low in running, but fail to win. Hence, I am good to focus on horses that have lost having gone odds on in running. I decided to look at horses that were bigger than 6/4 (SP) because including very short prices to begin with would skew the figures somewhat.

Firstly I looked at all horses that qualified under the rules I have set out - 8.1% of these runners traded odds on and lost. So, as you can see, this is a relatively small percentage of all losers. Time to breakdown this data.

Courseslet us see if there how much variance there is in the figures looking at different course results. I have excluded some courses due to insufficient data:

Course

Losing Odds on traders%

Ascot

4.2

Ayr

6.9

Bath

10.1

Beverley

9.1

Brighton

11.3

Carlisle

6.7

Catterick

6.5

Chepstow

11.9

Chester

6.6

Curragh

9.4

Doncaster

4.4

Epsom

7.5

Folkestone

8.9

Goodwood

7.1

Hamilton

8.4

Haydock

7.5

Leicester

9.7

Lingfield

8.0

Musselburgh

9.4

Navan

6.2

Newbury

8.7

Newcastle

9.7

Newmarket

7.4

Nottingham

6.3

Pontefract

6.4

Redcar

8.1

Ripon

8.7

Sandown

9.1

Thirsk

6.8

Tipperary

7.7

Windsor

8.4

Yarmouth

11.0

York

6.5

There seems to be a correlation here with some of my previous pace research. Essentially the courses that strongly favour front runners have lower percentages here. This makes perfect sense as more horses manage to see it out when in front and hence fewer horses are going to trade short and lose. Courses such as Ascot, Carlisle, Catterick, Chester, Nottingham and Pontefract have strong front running biases and their percentages for low losing traders stand at 6.7% or lower. In keeping with the correlation, courses like Bath, Brighton and Yarmouth that do not have strong front running biases have 3 of the 4 highest percentages of losing low traders. When your data that matches in this way, it gives far more validity to the figures.

Class – my theory to do with class and losers that trade low, is that there will be a higher percentage of losers in the lower classes. The reason behind this is simply that lower class horses are more likely to fold in the final furlong of a race, especially when challenged. Here is the stats breakdown:

Class

Losing Odds on traders%

2

6.1

3

7.7

4

8.1

5

8.7

6

8.4

Essentially my theory seems to be correct – class 2 sees the lowest percentage, whilst classes 5 and 6 have the highest.

Going – again I had a theory here that there would be slightly more low losing traders on softer ground. Essentially I felt there would be a few occasions where a low trader may just get tired in the last 100 yards in more testing conditions. Here are my findings:

Going

Losing Odds on traders%

Good to firm+

8.2

Good

7.6

Good to soft

8.3

Soft or heavy

9.2

The theory has proved correct once again, although the figures for soft ground runners is still slightly lower than I would have expected.

Running style shown in the actual race – one would again expect the running style of the horse in the actual race to make a big difference. One would expect front runners to have a much higher percentage in terms of going odds on and losing:

Running Style

Losing Odds on traders%

Front runners

18.5

Prominent runners

9.9

Held Up runners

4.1

Nearly 1 front runner in 5 that loses in 5f turf handicaps trades odds on in running. This is something that in running traders could potentially take advantage of. For the record front runners win around 19% of turf 5f handicaps; and when taking all runners into account including the winners, 15% of leaders trade odds on and lose. Perhaps there is an optimum trading price one could set midway through the race once the leader is known. I’ll leave that to the Smartersig mathematicians!

So that is where I am up to with my research into these areas – I hope for traders out there I have given some food for thought.








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