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Do sire stats offer a real edge
Do sire stats offer a real edge in 2yo maidens?
This week I am going to revisit an area which still is used sparsely by the majority of punters – sires. Sires are the fathers of the respective horses and many sires have a strong influence on their offspring. Why certain racehorses cost more money than others before they have even raced is almost exclusively down to their breeding and the sire is the strongest influence. Giving you a human example may help explain why some punters feel sires stats are very important. Picture a mythical 100m sprint race between the off spring of Linford Christie and a child of former Labour minister John Prescott. Without having seen either child run before, where would you put your pound at even money? Most likely you would asses that Linford Christie’s son had the stronger sire stat, and that is where your money was likely to go.
For this article I decided on the following method – firstly I looked at 2006 to 2008 data for 2yo maidens and noted the performances of all sires – their runs / wins / strike rate. The idea from there was simple – I would look at the early 2yo maiden races of 2009 and order the runners in each race by their respective sire strike rates for ’06 to ’08. The top rated horse would have the highest strike rate; the second rated would have the second highest strike rate, etc. Essentially this seemed a rather simplistic way of doing it, but I thought it should give me some idea whether further sire research was worthwhile.
Before I share with you those findings, let us look the sire stats for 2yo maidens from ’06 to ’08 as discussed above. Below there are two tables – firstly the top 20 sires in terms of strike rate; secondly the bottom 20 sires in terms of strike rate. For these tables I decided to use 40 runs as a minimum:
2yo maiden sires ’06-’08 – highest strike rates
2yo maiden sires ’06-’08 lowest strike rates
Using sire stats as an aid to betting is clearly not an exact science, but regardless of my experiment, these tables do show that there is a big difference between different sires in terms of strike rate.
Moving back to my experiment – I was now in a position to rate individual races by ordering the runners by using their respective strike rates. For example the Goldring Security Services Maiden Stakes (Class E) run at Windsor on 4th May had six runners – the table shows their sires with their strike rates, and then the order I rated them:
The result for this race saw the 2nd top rated runner Crown win at 11/4, 4th rated Tawaabb was 2nd at 5/6, while top rated runner Deal was 3rd at 10/1.
I applied the ratings idea to all 2009 2yo maidens to the end of May and here are the results:
Top rated winners 29 (SR 26.1%)
2nd top rated winners 11 (SR 10%)
3rd top rated winners 12 (SR 10.8%)
Hence top rated runners scored an impressive 1 in 4 times – 29 of the 111 races were won by the top rated runner. Indeed if you had backed all top rated runners you would have secured a healthy profit of £62.80 (ROI +56.6%).
Before we get too carried away with these results, it should be noted that the profits were skewed by a 66/1 winner – take that out of the equation and the top rated would have produced a small loss. Also in terms of sample size, 111 races over a couple of months is relatively small so this needs to be taken into account when interpreting the results. Having said that, a strike rate of 26.1% is still impressive and there were 26 occasions when the top rated came 2nd or 3rd so that correlates well with the win percentages. Indeed there were two top rated 2nds at 20/1 and three top rated 2nds at 16/1.
One further point that needs to be made is that there are several sires that are “first season sires” and hence no percentage could be assigned to them – they made up 25% of all runners and indeed were responsible for 22.5% of all winners. Hence, when rating each race these runners had to be ignored. It is not ideal of course, but there is little way round it – perhaps you could assign a percentage using the sire of the first season sires. That is one option I would consider in the future.
All things being considered, this rating method is definitely worth considering as a starting point when analyzing 2yo maidens.
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