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Long Term Consistency Records
Long Term Consistency Records by David Renham
This week I have focused on all handicap races in 2009 with a view to seeing whether consistent horses perform better than inconsistent ones. To qualify for the study I decided that only horses that had run at least 10 times in their careers would be analysed. I felt that horses that had run less than 10 times may skew the figures.
My next task was decide how best to use my data. I felt the best idea in terms of looking at the consistency of a horse was to use their win and placed record. I surmised that using a win and placed percentage figure for all their career runs would give me a decent indicator of their consistency. For example, a horse that had run 20 times, winning 4 and being placed on 6 further occasions would gain a % figure of 50.
I decided to begin with to split the win & placed percentages thus: I spilt into bands of 5% until getting to 55% and here are my initial findings:
Looking at the strike rates it seems that win & placed percentages 30% or higher definitely look best. This is a good start! At least it seems the more consistent horses are better betting options. The graph below makes this easier to see:
Having grouped the data in one way, I decided to increase the % bands thus:
This table makes it easier to see the advantage more consistent horses have over inconsistent ones – both the strike rates and returns correlate neatly – essentially the better the strike rate, the better the returns. All in all therefore, in terms of analyzing a race, it should be an advantage for the punter to look at the overall record of each horse in handicap races.
My next port of call was to see what happened when concentrating on the better class of handicaps. I decided to focus on class 3 handicaps or higher. I also decided to group runners by the bigger % bands:
Class 3 or higher
The strike rates overall are lower than the ‘all races’ group purely due to the fact that the classier handicaps have a higher average of runners in each race. However, the findings are interesting. To reach a decent level in terms of handicap races, horses need to win and get placed to increase their handicap mark. Conversely when they have a string of poor efforts, their handicap mark drops and then they start to contest weaker races. These two reasons are why only 7 horses contested such races with a win & placed career % of under 15%. Looking at the other % bands, horses with a win & placed % between 15% and 29.99% have a very poor record and look best avoided. Horses with a win & placed strike rate of 45% or more have returned a loss of only 4% which is certainly noteworthy. However, a 66/1 winner has helped skew the figures a little.
While writing this article there is a Class 3 handicap at Ripon over 6 furlongs and I thought it would be interesting to compare the overall win& placed strike rates for all the runners with their Betfair prices 5 minutes before the off.
The four most consistent horses had a win & placed career strike rate of 40% or more. Three of the four were big prices (Viking Spirit at 18, Bel Cantor at 28 and Kerrys Requiem at 14.5) – hence they looked the value.
2nd Viking Spirit
3rd Kerrys Requiem
4th Bel Cantor
Well, although none of the four won, the three big priced runners that had decent win & placed career percentages finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th. A flash in the pan? Or is this a method that will help us in the future?...................................... I’ll let you decide.
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