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Pace The Final Frontier 3


 

In the last two articles in this series ( article 1 and article 2 ) I have I looked at the advantage front runners have had over 5f at Wolverhampton since the laying of Polytrack in Autumn 2004. It was noted in races of 10 or more runners 44 of the 183 winners had made most or all of the running to win. The stats show therefore that front runners win roughly 1 in 4 of every 5f race at Wolverhampton and hence I explored the idea of backing all horses that were leading after 2 furlongs “in running” on the exchanges.

 

I noted last week that one problem with this idea was obtaining the desired price “in running”. I discussed two potential ways round the problem – firstly getting the appropriate Betfair software which would allow virtually instant bets at the click of a mouse. The second idea was this - do some research before the race in an attempt to determine which horse or horses are likely to be vying for the early lead. Quite often there will be only one or two candidates and even if there are more, you will then be in a position to prepare potential bets on the exchanges before the race. Say there are three candidates – enter your stake for all three runners and as the last few runners enter the stalls work out what price you intend to try and back each horse assuming they lead (it was established last week that around 30% below the “before the off” trading price would be about right). Once it becomes an “in-play market” the race would have started to take shape, and there is a strong chance that one of your three horses will be leading. Simply cancel the bets on the other two horses and click the bet button for the leader around 2 furlongs into the race. Assuming your “set” price is lower than the horse is currently trading “in-running” the bet will be matched – indeed it could be matched at a higher price which of course would be a bonus. If the price is lower already, then as before it is best to cancel immediately to be on the safe side. If none of the three horses are leading then simply cancel all three bets and wait for the next opportunity. However, if you do your homework carefully then one of three horses chosen is likely to be leading in around 90% of races.

 

In theory this backing after 2f idea looked a potentially viable option, and having back tracked some Betfair data this week, I am more certain than ever that such a method can work. However, I wanted to try and work out how many of the 44 front running winners would have been of interest before the race, in terms of their potential as being the front runner. The first step would be to work out their average pace figure before the race in question.

 

Essentially for a horse to have any potential to lead, I would expect the horse in question to have a pace average of least 3.0; ideally 3.5 or higher. The figures mentioned are not simply plucked out of the sky, but having used pace figures in sprints for 3 or 4 years now, I have a good “feel” for what the numbers actually mean. Of course it is not just the pace figure that is important; draw, class and other pace in the race would all be key factors, but it I felt working out the individual pace figures would give me a good start. Here are the pace figures of the 44 winners going into their respective races:

 

Date

Horse

Pace average

 

Date

Horse

Pace average

06/11/04

Panjandrum

1.5

09/11/05

He's A Rocket

3.5

26/11/04

Polish Emperor

3.7

11/11/05

Glenviews Youngone

2.0

06/01/05

Salon Prive

3.8

26/11/05

Charming Ballet

3.2

06/02/05

Bella Tutrice

3.2

31/12/05

Clipper Hoy

4.5

19/02/05

Polish Emperor

4.0

27/01/06

Blue Moon Hitman

3.8

28/02/05

Savile's Delight

3.0

27/02/06

Almaty Express

3.8

19/03/05

Law Maker

3.5

20/03/06

Red Sovereign

3.3

04/04/05

Bonne De Fleur

3.7

15/05/06

Granny Peel

4.0

04/04/05

Blue Moon Hitman

2.8

17/07/06

Glenargo

4.2

09/05/05

Give Me The Night

4.0*

20/07/06

Sir Loin

3.8

09/05/05

Conciliate

2.5 *

14/10/06

Fastrac Boy

5.0*

16/05/05

Feminist

4.5

29/10/06

King Orchisios

4.2

10/06/05

Tartatartufata

4.8

21/11/06

Tartatartufata

4.3

16/06/05

Nigella

3.0*

04/01/07

Pride Of Joy

3.2

27/06/05

Feminist

4.5

16/01/07

Harry Up

4.3

11/07/05

He's A Rocket

4.0

16/01/07

Almaty Express

3.7

19/08/05

Miss Lovat

3.3

26/01/07

Efistorm

3.7

10/10/05

Misaro

4.0

26/02/07

Almaty Express

4.3

22/10/05

On The Trail

3.8

23/03/07

Triskaidekaphobia

3.0

24/10/05

Blessed Place

4.3

16/04/07

Borzoi Maestro

4.2

31/10/05

Xaluna Bay

3.0 *

20/09/07

Sofinella

3.8

09/11/05

Stoneacre Lad

2.7 *

20/09/07

Silver Prelude

4.7

 

* only previously raced three times or less in career

 

These pace figures are extremely positive in terms of this research angle with 38 of the 44 horses (86%) having a pace figure of 3.0 or bigger going into their respective race. Indeed 18 of the 44 horses (41%) had a pace figure of 4.0 or bigger.

 

To put this into more perspective it may be helpful to share some of my previous research with you. Having studied 4 years worth of pace figures in 5f races it should be noted that only 50% of horses have a pace average of 3.0 or more; indeed only 12% have a pace average of 4.0 or more. Hence, with 86% of the winners in this survey going into their respective races with a pace figure of 3.0 or more, and 41% having a pace figure of 4.0 or more, we have to be fairly confident that most of these runners would have been considered as potential front runners before the race. Therefore, it seems my second idea of having three potential front runners loaded in the Betfair window ready to back ‘in running’, would have worked on the vast majority of occasions. Of course, three is an arbitrary figure in terms of potential front runners, and on some occasions you may well need more than that. Obviously the more runners you have, the harder this technique becomes, as you will need to cancel more bets before you make your front running bet. Equally though there will be occasions when they may be only two potential candidates, or even one (although one is a tad “risky”). To explain how I would sum up a race beforehand in terms of pace let us look at two races and follow through the process. The first race was the one won by Misaro on 10th October 2005. Here are all of the runners with their pace figures, and I have added their draw position in brackets:

 

Jagged 4.3 (10)

Misaro 4.0 (1)

Monkey Madge 4.0 (2)

Silver Dane 4.0 (9)

St Ivian 3.5 (5)

Gavioli 3.3 (11)

Henry Tun 3.2 (13)

Larkys Lob 3.2 (3)

Mynd 3.0 (4)

Awake 3.0 (8)

Winthorpe 2.8 (12)

New Options 2.8 (7)

Madrasee 1.7 (6)

 

 

The first point to notice is that this race actually has plenty of pace options – 10 of the 13 runners have a pace figure of 3.0 or more, and the pace average for the race is 3.3. However, horses with pace figures of 4.0 are always a ‘must’ for “front running consideration” purposes and this is the first port of call. Now with a race stacked with pace, lower draws at Wolves have an even bigger edge as they have less distance to travel and fewer horses to run round. Hence Misaro (drawn 1) and Monkey Madge (drawn 2) would have been definites. Silver Dane and Jagged are drawn very wide and in the context of the race they look unlikely to get to the lead. However, I would still consider them. Of the remaining runners, St Ivian (drawn 5) and Larky’s Lob (drawn 3) would have had enough pace to be considered from lowish draws. All in all, six potential candidates for the front running role – not the “ideal” 3 or less, but using the draw factor I would have Misaro and Monkey Madge as very confident selections, and to aid the process would have them at the top of my Betfair screen list. For safety purposes I would include the other four as well, but be prepared to cross them out / eliminate them within the first furlong. Essentially I would estimate I would have around 27 seconds before the start of the race until the ‘bet decision’ after 2 furlongs – hence having to click the mouse 5 times to cross out / eliminate 5 runners should not be a problem before actually loading the final bet on the front runner. The race saw Misaro pick up the running early and was ahead after 2 furlongs so the plan should in this case would have worked.

 

The second example would have been arguably more clear-cut. The race was on the 20th July 2006 – won by Sir Loin. Here are all of the runners with their pace figures, and their draw position in brackets as before:

 

Millfields Dream 4.2 (12)

Blakeshall Quest 4.2 (11)

Sir Loin 3.8 (2)

Secret Vision 3.5 (9)

Byo 3.5 (6)

All Clued Up 3.3 (5)

Global Achiever 3.2 (3)

Talcen Gwyn 2.5 (7)

Imtalkinggibberish 2.3 (4)

Dellagio 2.2 (1)

Angelofthenorth 2.0 (8)

 

 

For the record, there were two non runners (not included above). The pace average for the race was 3.15 so slightly less pace than in the last example. The key here is that of the three top pace scorers, only Sir Loin is drawn well in 2. The other two, Millfields Dreams and Blakeshall Quest were drawn in the two widest stalls. Hence Sir Loin always looked the most likely to lead. For this race therefore, Sir Loin would definitely have been at the top of my Betfair list of potential front runners and I would have been fairly confident that the horse would have led. How many other horses I would have had in the list for this race is debateable – anything between 1 and 4. However, the point I am trying to make is that if you do your homework, there is a very good chance that the front runner will be in your shortlist.

 

So after more research this plan looks worth following this season at Wolverhampton. Indeed, my next research will look at Southwell, Kempton and Lingfield to see whether their 5f races have a similar pattern. If they do, then this opens up plenty more trading opportunities. 

 

 


 
 
 








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