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Low Grade All Weather Racing
Low Grade All Weather Racing
Some punters are prejudiced when it comes to all weather racing, even more so low grade all weather racing. However, it is my belief that there is scope to make money in all types of racing and that applies to the low grade fare. In this article I have looked at all age selling races to see if we can gain an edge. The data has been taken from Jan 1st 2007 focusing on the months of November to March.
3yo+/4yo+ Selling races
I bet many of you don’t bet in sellers, but did you know if you had backed the favourite in these races over the period of study, you would have a made a profit? Yes a profit! It should be noted that in general the market is a good guide in sellers. Here are the market rank stats to mull over:
Favourites have made a small profit to SP as noted above, and as we can see the market does tend to get it right. Outsiders have a poor record and if we look at big priced runners (33/1 or higher) we should note that only 2 of 521 such runners have won. Backing them all would have lost you a thumping 84 pence for every £1 staked!
Not only is there a market bias; there is a weight bias as well. I have grouped the weights into three bands to illustrate this:
The top three in the weights have a huge edge over all other runners in sellers.
Another interesting slant is to look at the headgear stats – normally horses wearing headgear are worth avoiding. However, in these sellers more than half have worn headgear so we need a comparison:
As we can see, horses wearing headgear lose around 20 pence in the £ less than horses that do not wear headgear. Also they have a slightly better strike rate. Facts worth taking on board.
Age is something worth looking at and two key points stand out. Firstly avoid 3yos in 3yo+ sellers - they have secured just 11 winners from 213 (SR 5.2%) for losses of £121.95 (ROI – 56.9%). Conversely, take older runners (8 to 10yos) seriously as they have combined to produce 73 winners from 450 runners (SR 16.2%) for a loss of only £4.21 (ROI -0.9%).
Next variable I looked at was the sex of the horse – about 80% of runners over the period of study have been males, but it is still worth doing a comparison:
The stats show that females (fillies and mares) really struggle. They look best avoided.
So what about the race contested LTO. The perception of some punters is that horses coming from handicaps into sellers are worth a second glance – however, is that the case here?
Well it does not seem the case! Amazingly horses coming from claimers have an decent record scoring nearly one in every five starts for a break even situation. I cannot really explain why these figures are so good – I will be checking turf data to see if a similar pattern emerges there.
Recent form is a factor that 95% of punters take into account so let us have a look at LTO run:
Decent strike rates for winners and horses that finished second LTO, although winners show fairly significant losses to SP.
Another factor punters regularly take into account is fitness – I have used days since last run as my barometer of fitness:
A run in the past week is a definite plus and this is the key finding. However, it also looks worth avoiding runners off the track for over 3 weeks.
There are some trainers who seem to target different types of races and sellers are no exception. Two trainers to note are Ron Harris and David Evans – Harris has had 21 winners from 117 (SR 18%) for a profit of £65.07 (ROI +55.6); Evans has had 19 wins from 77 (SR 24.7%) for a profit of £44.40 (ROI +57.7%).
Jockey stats are limited for individual riders, but when we group them professional versus claiming jockeys we get some interesting results:
It seems that there is clear edge to the more experienced rider in these contests.
Winning at the distance is still a factor punters take a note of – let us see if there has been any relevance here:
Well it does seem to make some difference – horses with one or two wins at the distance have produced poor returns while an improvement occurs for three-time distance winners. This improvement continues for horses that have won 4 or more races at the race distance.
Another factor that seems to make a difference in these races is past performance at the track. Let me compare the figures for horses that have won at least 21% of their races at the track with those who have a strike rate of 20% or less:
A decent past record at the track does seem to make a difference. Horses with a 21%+ win record at the track have scored twice as often as those scoring 20% of the time or less. Added to that they have lost only 5.5 pence for every £1 wagered.
Finally I am going to look at the win percentage of each horse over their career. Does that make any difference? Here are the findings:
Horses that have yet to win a race have a distinctly poor record, while there is a good improvement in performance when the career strike rate hits 16% or more.
All in all selling races on the all weather this winter are races that we should not dismiss out of hand – this article has hopefully shown you that by using stats, these races can be ‘attacked’ and attacked with some confidence.
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