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All Weather Sires
I am already looking forward to the all weather season which starts in earnest in November. All weather racing is gaining more credibility, but for many it is still an area that many punters ignore. However, I feel there are plenty of opportunities to be had on the all weather and this article will give you a flavour of some of the research I am currently doing.
This article looks at sires – the fathers of the horses in question. Sire research is something I have written about before, but it is still an underrated method of horse racing research. On the all weather I feel it can have a strong relevance as some sires perform better on the sand than on turf, while others the pattern is the other way round. Knowing these facts / stats can give you an invaluable edge in certain races.
The data for this article is taken from 1st November 1998 to 1st July 2007 and all profits/losses have been calculated to £1 level win stakes. (ROI stands for return on investment).
Let us look at the top 10 sires on the all weather in terms of strike rate over the period of study (I have excluded sires whose sire careers are now at an end – eg. Nureyev):
The list contains a few well known names from yesteryear and several of them have produced “blind” profits. Indeed, if you had backed every runner from every sire in the list you would have made an impressive profit of £338.36. However, although these figures are an impressive starting point, we need to look more deeply into the records of each respective sire. This will hopefully enable us to gain an even greater edge over fellow punters. Hence, let us examine them in more detail:
Kylian – tops the list in terms of strike rate and has produced decent profits as well. As we look into Kylian’s record in more detail we see that the figures are skewed considerably by two horses – Kylkenny and Kent. Kylkenny has won a remarkable 15 races from 45 all weather starts which accounts for over half of Kylian’s winners, while Kent won 10 from 30. Hence this makes a mockery of the figures with all the remaining runners producing just 3 wins from 55. Hence, after making these discoveries Kylian is not as strong an all weather sire (in general) as the initial figures suggest. These findings show the importance of doing some extra “digging” and that bare facts do not always tell the full story.
Kingmambo – a very good sire whose all weather record stands up to closer scrutiny. Kingmambo’s strike rate at Lingfield is 16.4%, Southwell 20.5% and Wolverhampton 19.4% so shows consistency across the board (has only had 8 runners at Kempton at the time of writing so hence difficult to draw conclusions at that track). Interesting his handicap record is better than his non-handicap one with 20 wins from 103 (SR 19.4%) for a profit of £41.46 (ROI +40.3%). One point worth noting is that 4yos and older have a much better record than his 2 and 3yos. 2 and 3yos have produced 10 wins from 74 (SR 13.5%) for a fairly hefty loss of £34.05 (ROI -46%); 4yos or older have produced 24 wins from 117 (SR 20.5%) for a good profit of £57.06 (ROI +48.8%). Finally, Kingmambo has a good distance range winning at 6f up to 2 miles.
Rahy – has been a very consistent sire on the all weather showing a profit in every year since 2000. In addition, this sire has popped up at some decent prices (4 winners priced 20/1 or bigger). Sellers (4 wins from 13), claimers (3 wins from 10) and maidens (12 wins from 52) are three race-types to note and although runners in sellers or claimers are rare, they should be noted. Arguably the strongest trend is that horses aged 4 or younger have a much better record than horses aged 5 or older as the table below shows:
Those figures are definitely worth noting, although I cannot give any explanation to why this has been the case.
Finally, Lingfield has produced the most profits by some way for the progeny of Rahy, but strike rates across the four all weather tracks range from 14.3% to 18.4%. Hence, Rahy seems to act well on any all weather surface.
Red Ransom – has a strike rate of around 17%, which is better than his turf strike rate of around 12%. However, despite a much better record on the sand, Red Ransom’s progeny have still made a small loss overall. Let us look at his record at the four different all weather courses:
The progeny of Red Ransom have struggled at Lingfield in comparison to the other three tracks. In terms age there are some bizarre stats – 5yos have a very good record with 17 wins from 53 (SR 32.1%) for a profit of £41.48 (ROI +78.3%). However, 6yos or older have produced just 1 win from 40 runners (SR 2.5%) for a loss of £34.25 (ROI -85.6%). Finally, fillies have a poor record on the all weather with 5 wins from 53 (SR 9.4%) for a loss of £17.07 (ROI -32.2%).
Theatrical – as with Kylian, two horses have provided a good proportion of the stats for this sire. Pickens with 9 wins from 49, and Newnham with 6 wins from 21 have provided just under half of the winners between them. Hence, although they have not affected the overall stats in the way that Kylkenny and Kent did for Kylian, they still make it more difficult to make confidence judgments about the figures.
Halling – has a strike rate in excess of 13% at all four courses, with Lingfield providing the best returns – 26 wins from 167 runners (SR 15.6%) for a profit of £38.58 (ROI +23.1%). The first area worth noting is the betting market. Horses that have started first or second favourite have provided 35 wins from 88 runners (SR 39.8%) for a profit of £29.10 (ROI +34.2%). One area to avoid is backing fillies – they have a dreadful record with just 8 wins from 114 (SR 7%) for a loss of £53.60 (ROI -47%). In stark contrast, colts have a good record with 17 wins from 54 (SR 31.5%) for a profit of £34.06 (ROI +63.1%). Finally, distance races of 1 mile 5 furlongs or more have provided just 3 winners from 39 (SR 7.7%). Therefore, long distance events do not seem to play to his strengths.
RoyalAcademy – is a sire who is starting to have a limited number of runners now. However, any runners in class 6 or lower should be noted – 44 winners from 239 (SR 18.4%) for a profit of £151.37 (ROI +63.3%). Also Royal Academy progeny have had a good record in 5 to 7f races – 35 wins from 159 (SR 22%) for a profit +£94.01 (ROI +59.1%).
Fantastic Light – is a relatively new sire, but initial indications suggest that distances of 1m 3f or more are worth close scrutiny thanks to 10 wins from 32 runners (31.3%) for a profit of £30.83 (ROI +96.3%). It is early days, but at present Kempton shows a good strike rate and profit – 7 wins from 27 (SR 25.9%) for a profit of £30.25 (ROI +112%) – whereas Lingfield shows a poor strike rate and losses – 3 wins from 43 (SR 7%) for a loss of £20.50 (ROI -47.7%). Finally, for the record, horses making their debut on the sand has seen 0 wins and 0 placed from 11 runners. Early days, but this is a stat to be aware of, and to monitor.
Dansili – had his first runners in 2004 and hence 485 runs is a decent sample size after such a short time. Interesting his strikes rates at the three polytrack courses (Lingfield, Wolverhampton and Kempton) are all around 14%, while his strike rate at Southwell is 22%. His progeny have a good record with maidens – 22 wins from 99 (SR 22.2%) for a profit of £44.49 (ROI +44.9%). The final point to note is that horses near the head of the market have done extremely well. Focusing on solely the top 3 in the betting has seen 54 winners from 169 runners (SR 32%) for a profit of £52.60 (ROI +31.1%).
Ela-Mana-Mou – rarely has runners these days.
SUMMARY – sire research is still a relatively unexplored area, but hopefully these stats have given some food for thought. The initial table with the top 10 sires in terms of strike rate was a helpful starting point, but hopefully I have shown the importance of looking deeper into raw statistics.
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