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Group One Races
Group 1 Races
In this article I am going examine Group 1 races to see if there are any angles we can exploit as a punter - be it positive ones or negative ones. The data is taken from racing in the UK and Ireland from 2008 to 2012, with 3yo+ and 4yo+ Group 1 races considered. During this period there were 95 UK Group 1 races and 26 Irish equivalents.
All profits / losses quoted to Starting Price.
To start with I am going to examine whether previous runs in the class have made any difference to performance:
Previous Group 1 runs***
Horses with more Group 1 experience win more often, but the market clearly takes this into account. Hence nothing much to take from this first area of research.
Previous Group 1 wins*** - let me see if previous wins at the top level makes any difference:
A clear pattern here - the more previous wins in Group 1 company the better - in terms of strike rate at least. Horses that have yet to win at this level have a very poor record. These are worthwhile stats to have at your disposal.
Previous Group 1 win%*** - it seems sensible to look at win percentages at Group 1 level especially as the raw 'previous wins' data gave us some worthwhile figures:
The 41-60% win bracket has proved the most lucrative and it seems that over 40% is where we should be looking in terms of potential horses to back at this level.
Age - this is always an area to look at:
Once horses get to 7, the chances of success at Group 1 level are slim to say the least. One would have expected this however. In 3yo+ races 3yos may prove the best value although in truth there is little in it.
Market factors - the market is my next port of call:
Favourites have actually made a profit which is interesting. 2nd and 3rd favourites actually have relatively poor records. I have looked at various further angles for favourites but nothing really stands out without back-fitting.
Class change*** - onto class change next:
Horses that raced at Group 1 level LTO have an edge here in terms of strike rate and returns in relation to horses upped in class.
Trainer - a look at the record of trainers next. I have included only trainers that have saddled at least 15 runners:
These figures indicate how difficult it is to win at this level with certain high profile trainers such as Sir Michael Stoute and Saeed Bin Suroor really struggling. On a positive note Henry Cecil has an exceptional record, although Frankel did provide 7 of the 17 wins. Sticking with Cecil though he had 13 second places as well so clearly he is a trainer who knows how to get his horses spot on at this level.
Aidan O'Brien has saddled the most winners but his record looks very moderate especially when you focus on the return on investment column. However, the market has been an excellent guide to the chances of his runners at this level. Horses priced 8/1 or shorter have provided 32 winners from 84 (SR 38.1%) for a profit of £10.61 (ROI +12.6%). horses priced 17/2 or bigger have provided 0 winners from 70!!
The data is pretty limited for most trainers as you would expect. Group 1 horses do not come along every day of the week. Looking in more detail at Saeed Bin Suroor we can see he has saddled 10 horses that started either favourite or second favourite and only 1 has been successful. Sir Michael Stoute has saddled 21 horses that were favourite or second favourite and only 3 have won.
Price LTO - finally a look at LTO price. This is a factor I always look at:
Nothing much to report from these stats, although horses that were priced 14/1 or bigger LTO have a particularly poor record. In terms of positives, horses that were a very short price LTO (under 1/2) have performed well albeit from a small sample.
All in all I think this research has highlighted certain areas where we can improve our chances of finding the winner, or at the very least eliminate a group of horses that are very poor value and/or have little chance of winning. Here is a quick breakdown of some of the key findings:
- previous win at Group 1 level (especially 3 or more wins);
- runners trained by Henry Cecil;
- runners trained by Aidan O'Brien priced 8/1 or shorter;
- price less than 1/2 LTO.
- 0 previous wins at Group 1 level;
- aged 7 or older;
- runners trained by Aidan O'Brien priced 17/2 or bigger;
- priced 14/1 or bigger LTO.
*** - does not include Irish data.
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