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Nursery Handicap Races


 

Nursery Handicaps

 

Nursery Handicap Races – these are handicap races for 2yos.

 

One question I want to try and answer in this article is, ‘are they a good betting medium?’ In order to investigate nursery handicaps I have decided to concentrate on such races over the last 5 seasons (2007-2011).

 

Market – let us look at the results of the betting market:

 

Market rank

Wins

Runs

SR%

Profit/loss

ROI%

Favourite

331

1253

26.4

-£121.38

-9.7

2nd favourite

188

1119

16.8

-£166.80

-14.9

3rd favourite

169

1145

14.8

-£37.42

-3.3

4th in the betting

114

1135

10.0

-£230.50

-20.3

5th in the betting

93

1106

8.4

-£199.50

-18.0

6th in the betting

79

1092

7.2

-£82.00

-7.5

7th or bigger

145

4276

3.4

-£1339.00

-31.3

 

61% of all nurseries have been won by horses in the top three of the betting, and in terms of returns 3rd favourites have performed best over the past 5 seasons. Having said that, I would not be rushing to back all third favourites as if you looked at the previous 5 seasons (2002-2006) they actually lost 18% (18 pence in the £). Hence, although the market tends to be a decent guide, we cannot use the market alone to make our selections.

 

For those of you who filter by price it should be noted that horses priced 28/1 or bigger have won just 1.15% of all nurseries for losses of 53p in the £. These outsiders look best ignored.

 

Digging a bit further into market factors, I have looked at how the top three in the betting have performed at different courses. I have combined the runners together and here is what I have found:

 

Course

Wins

Runs

SR%

Profit/loss

ROI%

Ascot

6

42

14.3

-£14.67

-34.9

Ayr

16

83

19.3

-£18.75

-22.6

Bath

13

69

18.8

-£18.05

-26.2

Beverley

13

53

24.5

+£15.00

+28.3

Brighton

9

42

21.4

-£0.39

-0.9

Carlisle

2

9

22.2

+£4.00

+44.4

Catterick

22

113

19.5

+£8.75

+7.7

Chepstow

4

28

14.3

-£4.17

-14.9

Chester

18

77

23.4

+£4.66

+6.1

Doncaster

18

98

18.4

-£2.92

-3.0

Epsom

7

33

21.2

-£7.45

-22.6

Ffos Las

7

29

24.1

-£2.17

-7.5

Folkestone

4

18

22.2

-£3.56

-19.8

Goodwood

22

94

23.4

+£5.99

+6.4

Great Leighs

10

49

20.4

-£4.88

-10.0

Hamilton

19

64

29.7

+£12.61

+19.7

Haydock

16

89

18.0

-£20.88

-23.5

Kempton

94

482

19.5

-£45.57

-9.5

Leicester

12

88

13.6

-£29.67

-33.7

Lingfield

54

249

21.7

-£1.85

-0.7

Musselburgh

13

72

18.1

-£15.84

-22.0

Newbury

11

63

17.5

-£5.73

-9.1

Newcastle

10

53

18.9

-£6.45

-12.2

Newmarket

25

156

16.0

-£47.71

-30.6

Nottingham

20

98

20.4

+£8.50

+8.7

Pontefract

11

70

15.7

-£18.06

-25.8

Redcar

15

79

19.0

-£6.93

-8.8

Ripon

4

18

22.2

-£1.38

-7.6

Salisbury

7

43

16.3

-£5.52

-12.8

Sandown

13

61

21.3

-£2.42

-4.0

Southwell

49

242

20.3

-£23.79

-9.8

Thirsk

5

16

31.3

+£8.67

+54.2

Warwick

8

57

14.0

-£16.13

-28.3

Windsor

14

95

14.7

-£27.92

-29.4

Wolverhampton

87

421

20.7

-£22.87

-5.4

Yarmouth

17

96

17.7

-£14.83

-15.5

York

13

68

19.1

-£3.25

-4.8

 

The data is limited for some courses, but there are some points worth noting. Firstly, Newmarket nurseries look extremely competitive as the top three in the betting have combined to lose 30 pence in the £ in nursery handicaps. These races look quite open and hence will spring the occasional surprise. The all weather courses of Wolverhampton and Lingfield offer contrasting results to Newmarket with the top three in the betting performing above the norm (N.B. the Lingfield stats include turf racing but 83% of all nursery handicaps at the course are raced on the all weather).

 

Hamilton is a course where I have long believed the racing to be relatively uncompetitive, and the nursery figures seem to back up this theory. Although the data comes from just 19 races, the market has tended to dominate. Indeed, going back a further 5 years (2002 to 2006), the top three in the betting in Hamilton nurseries made a profit then as well.

 

Days since last run – let us look at days since last run next:

 

Days off track

Wins

Runs

SR%

Profit/loss

ROI%

1-7

115

863

13.3

-£233.53

-27.1

8-14

281

2727

10.3

-£545.15

-20.0

15-21

274

2739

10.0

-£534.12

-19.5

22-28

171

1687

10.1

-£317.35

-18.8

29-56

224

2342

9.6

-£325.19

-13.9

57 or more

54

768

7.0

-£221.28

-28.8

 

Usually a quick return is a positive, but not so much for 2yos. They are younger horses that physically find it difficult to run well a second time after a very short rest period. This is illustrated further if we restrict the very quick returners to 4 days or less – their record reads a dismal 24 wins from 245 (SR 9.8%) for a loss of £134.46 (ROI -54.9%).

 

Let us now look at weight rank:

 

Weight rank

Wins

Runs

SR%

Profit/loss

ROI%

1

207

1403

14.8

-£315.23

-22.5

2

155

1133

13.7

-£213.78

-18.9

3

162

1117

14.5

-£112.11

-10.0

4

146

1144

12.8

-£57.05

-5.0

5

128

1078

11.9

-£29.78

-2.8

6

83

991

8.4

-£179.63

-18.1

7th or higher

238

4260

5.6

-£1269.04

-29.8

 

There does seem to be a weight bias, with it preferable to look for runners in the top 5 of the weights. 4th and 5th in the weights have produced the best returns over the period of study.

 

Recent form is next of the agenda with a look at their position LTO:

 

Pos LTO

Wins

Runs

Strike rate

Profit/loss

ROI

1st

287

1799

16.0

-£370.66

-20.6

2nd

157

1108

14.2

-£212.18

-19.2

3rd

132

1226

10.8

-£163.81

-13.4

4th

117

1232

9.5

-£262.44

-21.3

5th

99

1148

8.6

-£351.67

-30.6

6th

100

1036

9.7

+£75.45

+7.3

7th or worse

227

3577

6.3

-£891.31

-24.9

 

Essentially a sliding scale in terms of strike rate, which is what one would expect, but there does not seem any significant angle to take away from this. Horses that were 6th LTO have made a profit but that is down to a few big priced winners rather than anything more interesting.

 

Sticking with the LTO theme, I have looked at the results in terms of what type of race they contested LTO:

 

LTO race type

Wins

Runs

Strike rate

Profit/loss

ROI

Claiming races

15

357

4.2

-£239.02

-67.0

Conditions races

14

152

9.2

-£69.30

-45.6

Group races

11

82

13.4

-£10.25

-12.5

Handicap races

556

5446

10.2

-£1050.70

-19.3

Listed races

13

148

8.8

-£72.34

-48.9

Maiden races

417

3989

10.5

-£524.55

-13.2

Novice races

35

312

11.2

-£39.97

-12.8

Selling races

46

545

8.4

-£156.65

-28.7

 

The majority of runners raced in a maiden or a handicap LTO with it seemingly a slight advantage to have raced in a maiden LTO (simply from looking at the ROIs). Interestingly, horses that came 2nd or 3rd LTO in a maiden have actually made a profit when racing in a nursery next time, albeit both were only around the +5% mark.

 

Last two areas I am going to look at involve trainers and jockeys. Firstly a look at claiming jockeys to see if there are any patterns:

 

Jockey claim

Wins

Runs

Strike rate

Profit/loss

ROI

3lb

89

1006

8.9

-£217.38

-21.6

5lb

54

632

8.5

-£169.72

-26.9

7lb

20

448

4.5

-£247.47

-55.2

 

A correlation here indicating the more experienced claiming jockeys outperforming the least experienced. 7lb claimers have a very poor record and are worth avoiding.

 

Finally, a look at trainer performance – firstly a look at those trainers who have secured decent strike rates:

 

Trainer

Wins

Runs

Strike rate

Profit/loss

ROI

Saeed Bin Suroor

14

53

26.4

+£4.85

+9.2

Ed McMahon

15

63

23.8

+£30.25

+48.0

Roger Charlton

12

53

22.6

+£6.71

+12.7

William Haggas

16

71

22.5

+£20.46

+28.8

David Nicholls

14

71

19.7

+£24.10

+33.9

Sir Mark Prescott

12

61

19.7

-£5.00

-8.2

Luca Cumani

8

41

19.5

+£0.95

+2.3

Simon Callaghan

9

50

18.0

-£11.00

-22.0

William Jarvis

8

45

17.8

+£0.50

+1.1

John Gosden

12

68

17.7

+£2.47

+3.6

 

Ed McMahon is a trainer to keep an eye on – the price of his runners does look to be key as runners priced 10/1 or shorter have provided all his winners; those over 10/1 are 0 from 17. He also is better over sprint trips – his 5-6f record reads 14 wins from 48 (SR 29.2%); his 7f+ record reads 1 win from 15 (SR 6.7%).

 

Now a look at those trainers with poor strike rates:

 

Trainer

Wins

Runs

Strike rate

Profit/loss

ROI

Clive Brittain

7

92

7.6

-£31.17

-33.9

Amanda Perrett

4

53

7.6

-£19.00

-35.9

Michael Blanshard

4

53

7.6

£41.00

77.4

Bill Turner

4

54

7.4

-£21.13

-39.1

Pat Eddery

3

41

7.3

-£18.75

-45.7

Tom Tate

3

41

7.3

+£3.00

+7.3

David Evans

22

304

7.2

-£19.00

-6.3

Mark Usher

7

113

6.2

-£21.50

-19.0

J R Jenkins

3

49

6.1

-£24.67

-50.4

Paul Midgley

4

68

5.9

-£28.50

-41.9

Alan Bailey

4

69

5.8

-£39.00

-56.5

J S Moore

8

152

5.3

-£78.50

-51.6

Alan Jarvis

4

77

5.2

-£37.00

-48.1

Andrew Haynes

2

40

5.0

-£30.77

-76.9

Gary Moore

3

64

4.7

-£52.92

-82.7

Alan Berry

3

65

4.6

-£26.50

-40.8

Michael Quinlan

3

82

3.7

-£48.00

-58.5

Dean Ivory

2

59

3.4

-£43.50

-73.7

Derek Shaw

1

40

2.5

-£25.00

-62.5

Peter Grayson

1

43

2.3

-£24.00

-55.8

Jonathan Portman

1

49

2.0

-£26.00

-53.1

 

Some fairly well known trainers in this list but it definitely seems worth siding against them in nurseries.

 

Nurseries are not easy puzzles to solve, but hopefully the stats in this article will make life easier for you.

 

 

 








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