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National Hunt Favourites Who Failed To Finish
National Hunt Favourites Who Failed To Finish Last Time Out
Having researched and written approaching 400 articles in the past few years, it is nice to have new ideas from other people. A member of www.punterprofits.com asked me to look into favourites last time out that had fallen in National Hunt races. I decided it would be the basis for a good article, but wanted to incorporate all non-finishers (eg. those that pulled up as well as fell or unseated).
The data for this article was collected from June 1999 to October 2008. All profits and losses have been calculated to £1 level stakes.
Let us firstly look at the overall statistics – so all horses in their next race that had in their most recent race started favourite, but failed to finish:
Strike rate 16.1%
Profit / loss –£360.60
A loss of 11% is not a bad starting point, especially as this could improved upon using Betfair, Betfair SP or early prices. Comparing a loss of 11% to the figure for ALL NH beaten favourites LTO is interesting, as the overall figure is –14%. Therefore, beaten favourites that failed to finish LTO are slightly better investments than your ‘average’ beaten favourite.
Let us breakdown the races LTO into chases, hurdle races and bumpers for favourites that failed to complete. The figures for their next run make interesting reading:
Not surprisingly there were very few bumper favourites that failed to finish last time out. The interesting comparison is with the non-finishers in chases and hurdle races last time. Horses that failed to complete the course in a chase last time out have lost just 5% if backing all such runners on their next start. With over 2000 qualifiers, it seemed likely to me that we may be able to push this into profit using some other logical filters.
I decided to see starting price next time out made any difference:
Looking at the prices, the stats seem to suggest to look for horses that are priced between 4/1 and 50/1 in their next race. Horses priced between 6/4 and 7/2 have traditionally proved to be poor value.
The next factor I decided to look at was age:
Younger horses (aged 4 to 6) have the best strike rate and they have combined to make the smallest of profits. At the other end of the age scale, it seems best to avoid horses aged 10 or older. Their strike rate is roughly 1 win in 10.
Next stop – days since that losing run when favourite:
This is very interesting – horses that return to the track too quickly (15 days or less) do extremely poorly. Horses off the track for between 16 to 79 days have provided by far the best returns.
My next area of research was to look at the going last time out:
The soft / heavy ground figures are particularly interesting – I had expected that softer ground conditions last time out may have proved problematical for many, and so it has proved. My reasoning being, that horses can get very tired in soft or heavy ground, and hence it is more likely that they would have failed to finish. I would see this as a valid excuse and that next time out would see a much improved performance.
At this point I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I combined all the positive factors noted so far. Hence, a potential system would look thus:
1. LTO favourite
2. Failed to finish LTO
3. LTO contested a chase
4. SP 4/1 to 50/1
5. Days since last run 16 to 79
6. Age 9yo or younger
7. Going – soft / heavy
The results for this ‘system’ would have produced the following results:
Strike rate 14.7%
Hence a very decent return on investment, although a 1 in 7 strike rate and/or an average of 25 qualifiers per year is likely to put many punters off.
What I would say is that beaten favourites last time out that failed to finish, cannot be dismissed from calculations next time out. Hopefully this article has shown you the best type of horse to focus on.
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