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Knowing your Race Types on the Sand
In this article, I am going to look at specific race types in attempt to help you, the reader, gain that important edge over “the crowd”. Many punters are put off the all weather due to the general standard of racing – low grade handicaps, claimers and sellers are regular events on the all weather circuit, but there are plenty of positive and negative angles that once appreciated can improve your chances of making a profit.
The data for this article is taken from the start of the year 2000 to the end of 2007; ROI stands for return on investment; SR stands for strike rate and LTO stands for last time out.
Market – the top three in the betting have provided 66% of the winners. Favourites have an especially good record in all weather claimers scoring once in every three races and backing all favourites “blind” would have yielded very small losses of 3%. Indeed, backing all favourites at Wolverhampton in the last eight years would have produced a small profit of £168.60 to £10 level stakes (ROI +4%). Odds-on favourites in claimers have a surprisingly good record at all courses thanks to 84 wins from 133 runners (SR 63.2%) for a profit of £106.50 to £10 level stakes (ROI +8%). Longer priced horses have a poor record and runners priced 16/1 or bigger have a very poor record showing significant losses. Their record reads 78 wins from 4592 qualifiers (SR 1.7%) showing losses of £25070 to £10 level stakes (ROI -54.6%).
Last time out – horses that won LTO go on to win again just over 24% of the time in claimers, and backing all such runners would have produced losses of just 3.2%. Horses that ran on the all weather LTO are much better betting propositions that horses that ran on the turf LTO – strike rates of 10.2% against 7.7% confirm this. Horses that ran in handicaps LTO have a decent strike rate of 10.8%, especially when you compare it to horses that ran in maidens LTO which stands at paltry 4.9%.
Age – interestingly older horses have a better strike rate than younger ones in all age claimers. Horses aged 3 to 6 have a combined strike rate of 8.3%, whereas horses aged 7 or older have a combined strike rate of 11.9%.
Sex of horse – in a previous article I mentioned the advantage male runners had over female ones on the all weather. In claimers colts, geldings and horses are 1.54 times more likely to win fillies and mares (this 1.54 figure can also be called the male to female success ratio).
1. Maiden runners have a poor record scoring less than 6% of the time and losing significant losses of 44%;
2. Horses that have recorded 2 or more course and distance successes have a decent strike rate of 18.2% and backing all runners would have yielded small losses of 9.1%;
3. Horses having their first ever racecourse outing are worth avoiding with only 3 wins from 176 qualifiers (SR 1.7%). Backing all debutants would have produced significant losses of £1420.00 to £10 level stakes (ROI -80.7%).
Market – the top three in the betting have provided 64% of the winners, but unlike claiming races, favourites in all weather sellers have a very moderate record. They have won 305 races from 1039 qualifiers (SR 29.4%) for losses of £1413.60 to £10 level stakes (ROI -13.6%). These losses come as a slight surprise as during the same period on turf favourites in sellers have actually produced a small profit of 4%. However, selling races on the all weather are generally made up of very moderate animals that lack consistency, and hence it should come as no surprise that favourites actually under perform. There are two other favourite stats worth noting; the first another negative, the second more positive - firstly 2yo selling races have produced losses of nearly 20% for the favourite; secondly odds-on favourites in sellers have scored 63% of the time and made a small profit of 3%.
Last time out – horses that won LTO are not good propositions in selling races. They win again roughly 1 time in 5 and backing all runners would have yielded a loss of £778.90 to £10 level stakes (ROI -22.1%). One area worth noting is that horses that ran LTO in 3yo or all age maidens have a dreadful record. They have provided just 19 winners from 511 qualifiers (SR 3.7%) for a significant loss £2787.60 to £10 level stakes (ROI -54.6%). Clearly horses that ran in 3yo / all age maidens LTO are worth swerving. Indeed they form the basis of a decent laying system on the all weather. The rules are:
1. All Weather courses only
2. Selling races
3. Raced in 3yo / all age maiden LTO
4. 1st to 4th in the betting forecast
The results are amazingly poor:
Strike Rate 8%
Profit -£777.60 to £10 level stakes
Losses of 68% are a staggering amount considering these horses were forecast to be in the top 4 of the betting. Plenty of scope for you layers out there!
Age – there seems to be little or no age bias in sellers.
Sex of horse – in sellers once again colts, geldings and horses have an edge over fillies and mares. However, it is not as clear cut as it was in claimers with the male to female success ratio in sellers standing at 1.34.
1. Horses blinkered for the first time have a very poor record in selling races scoring only 4.7% of the time accruing losses of over 62%.
2. Course and distance winners have a strike rate of 14%, but if you stick with horses that won over course and distance LTO the strike rate improves to 24%.
Market – the top three in the betting have provided a healthy 72.5% of the winners. Favourites in maiden races have a good strike rate of 38.8%, but still backing all runners would have produced losses amounting to 5%. This can be improved if you concentrate on 2yo maiden races only as losses drop to 3.3%. Indeed 2yo maiden favourites who have already shown promise on the relevant all weather surface have proved profitable. Backing all such runners would have produced 70 wins from 174 qualifiers (SR 40.2%) for a profit of £221.00 to £10 level stakes (ROI +12.7%).
Last time out – horses that finished 2nd LTO win around 26% of maiden races but make losses of around 13%. Horses that raced at Grade 1 track last time have a strike rate of 14.5% in all weather maiden races compared with a 9.1% strike rate for horses that raced at a Grade 2 track or lower LTO. Indeed backing horses that raced at Goodwood LTO would have made decent profits of £849.50 to £10 level stakes (ROI +39.7%).
Sex of horse – the male to female success ratio is a significant 1.55 in open sex races. This rises to 1.59 in 3yo / all age maidens (1.47 in 2yo maidens).
1. Horses priced 50/1 or bigger in 2yo maidens provided just 5 winners from 1562 qualifiers (SR 0.3%) for a loss of £12410.00 to £10 level stakes (ROI -79.5%).
2. Amazingly horses that had run over 20 times in their career have actually contrived to make a profit despite a meager strike rate of only 6.9% (21 wins from 304 runners). Backing 304 qualifiers would have yielded a healthy profit of £478.30 to £10 level stakes (ROI +15.7%). Not a method I would advocate, but it has proved profitable in the last eight seasons!
3. Maidens coming from Irish stables are worth noting. They have provided 20 winners from 164 runners (SR 12.2%) for a profit of £527.60 to £10 level stakes (ROI +32.2%).
Market – the top three in the betting have provided 55% of the winners. Favourites win around 1 race in 4 (26% to be precise) for losses of only 7%. The most successful favourites in handicaps have come in 3yo only handicaps thanks to a strike rate of 30.7% and consequently losses have been minimal at just 1.7%. Indeed, favourites in 3yo only handicaps at Lingfield have actually made a profit – 126 wins from 385 qualifiers (SR 32.7%) for a profit of £227.20 to £10 level stakes (ROI +5.9%).
Last time out – last time out winners score only 16% of the time, although losses are not too bad at 15%. Horses that ran in handicaps LTO are much better betting propositions that horses that ran in non handicaps LTO – strike rates of 9.2% against 6.9% confirm this. The returns for each category mirror the strike rates with losses of only 22% for runners that ran in handicaps LTO, compared with losses of 37% for runners who ran LTO in non handicaps.
Sex of horse – the male to female success ratio is fairly significant at 1.41 in handicaps open to both sexes. Percentage losses for male runners stands at only 21% compared with 39% for females. Clearly male runners have a definite advantage over female runners in handicaps.
1. Horses returning to the track within 3 days have a good record if they had won LTO. Such runners have produced a strike rate of 26.2% and profits of £218.60 to £10 level stakes (ROI +8.7%).
2. The top three in the weights are 1.6 times more likely to win than the bottom three in the weights.
I hope this article has shown you that the all weather offers betting opportunities in all race types – you just need to do some digging!
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