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Two Year Old Sires
Two Year Old Sires by David Renham
In this article I have moved away from pace research and focusing on 2yo races. 2yo races are contests horse data is extremely limited and hence some punters shy away from them for that very reason. Indeed, 50% of all 2yo runners are either making their debut or just having their second career run. Hence we need to find additional information if we are going to bet on such contests. One avenue is to look at past sire data.
Sires are the fathers of the respective horses and many sires have a strong influence on their offspring. Why certain racehorses cost more money than others before they have even raced is almost exclusively down to their breeding and the sire is the strongest influence. Giving you a human example may help explain why some punters feel sires stats are very important. Picture a mythical 100m sprint race between the off spring of Linford Christie and the offspring of someone else of the same age living in the same town as Linford. Without having seen either child run before, where would you put your pound at even money? Most likely you would asses that Linford Christie’s son had the stronger sire stat, and that is where your money was likely to go.
This article looks for positive and negative angles using sire stats from UK 2yo races. The data has been taken from 1st January 2013 to 14th April 2019 and all profits/losses have been calculated to Industry Starting Price.
Firstly let us look at the sires with the highest strike rates in all 2yo races during the period of study (minimum 100 runs):
As one can see backing sires blind is essentially the way to the poorhouse. Of course these figures would be improved by using Betfair SP, but as we know with Betfair SP you can get the occasional huge winner that skews the stats. Perhaps the key stat to look at in the table is the A/E index. The higher the A/E index the better from a potential backing perspective; any figure over 1 gives us a potentially positive scenario. Archipenko stands out for me with not only an A/E of 1.31 but with over 300 runs this is a decent sample. Also Archipenko roughly breaks even if backing all runners ‘blind’.
Now a look at the sires with the lowest strike rates:
Not surprisingly these results produce dreadful returns and in general low A/E indices.
These raw stats indicate a huge discrepancy across different sires. Having an appreciation of sire data should help inform your betting considerably in 2yo races and it is time to dig a bit deeper. Firstly let us look at turf versus all weather and a look at sires of 2yos that perform significantly better on the turf compared to the all weather. The table below compares the turf SR% with the all weather SR%. In the final column I have divided the turf SR% by the all weather one to give us a type of Impact Value. It is not a ‘true’ I.V. so I’ll call it a Comparison Strike Rate (C.S.R.). The higher this figure the stronger the sire’s liking for turf over the sand.
The two sires at the top Piccolo and Gregorian have not had one winner on the all weather; however their turf strike rates are both low so that should be taken into account. Sixties Icon and Dream Ahead are the two sires that initially catch my eye; mainly due to a decent sample size. Those two along with Dutch Art are sires worth further exploration. If we look at the respective A/E indices for turf 2yo races there are some sires in the list that achieve a score of 1 or more:
Good to see Dutch Art and Sixties Icon in this table; for the record Dream Ahead’s A/E stands at 0.86. Delegator has an impressive figure and looks worthy of closer scrutiny.
Now a look in reverse at the sires of 2yos that perform significantly better on the all weather compared to the turf.
Once again some eye catching figures here. Dragon Pulse has an impressive record on the sand albeit from a relatively modest sample of 73 runs. However, if you focus on his runners that had previously run at least three times his record reads an impressive 13 wins from 46 (SR 28.3%) for an SP profit of £44.26 (ROI +96.2%); A/E index 1.62. Lethal Force is another interesting sire on the sand especially when you compare his male runners to female runners – male runners have won 22.9% of their races (11 wins from 48), while female runners have won just 6.9% (4 wins from 58).
A look at the A/E index for these runners on the all weather makes positive reading:
Just Lethal Force slipping below the 1.00 figure, but only just. It is clear that these sires are ones to keep an eye out for in 2yo all weather races.
Let me now move on to look at difference between horses making their debut compared to those having their second career start. It will come as no surprise to see a big improvement in strike rates from first to second career start. Looking at all 2yo runners the debut SR% is 7.07% and the 2nd start SR% is 11.81%. Dividing the second percentage by the first we get a C.S.R. of 1.67. This is our base or average C.S.R. when comparing the figures in the table below.
I have used a minimum of 50 debut runs to give us enough data to work with and the sires in this list have the highest C.S.R. figures:
These sires clearly improve markedly between first and second career starts. There is also some more positive news when we examine the A/E index of their second career starts. There are several sires who have achieved a score 1.00 or more:
Approve (0.99), Iffraaj (0.98), Rip Van Winkle (0.97), Medicean (0.96) and Sir Percy (0.95) were all close to the 1.00 figure. Only Galileo has a poor A/E (0.70).
Sixties Icon’s runners on their second career start have done well when favourites (7 wins from 8); admittedly a small sample. In addition their female runners have done well thanks to 10 wins from 38 (SR 26.3%).
There are a handful of sires that buck the trend in terms of 2nd run improvement and have a higher SR% on debut compared to their second start. Such sires are few and far between but the five in the table below are worth sharing with you:
The A/E indices for these five sires with runners on debut are shown below:
Australian bred Epaulette is potentially a sire to note on debut it seems. Interesting when priced 10/1 or shorter Epaulette’s offspring have provided 7 wins from 20 for a profit of £27.38 (ROI +136.9%).
For my last comparison in this piece I am going to look at male runners versus female runners. Taking all 2yo races into account male runners slightly outperform their female counterparts (12.2% to 10.1%; S.I 1.19). If we ignore geldings then the colts (males) have a slightly stronger edge over the fillies (females) – 13.2% to 10.1%; C.S.R. 1.31.
Let us look at those sires whose males have a particularly strong record according to their C.S.R. figure:
If we now look at the A/E indices we see that 6 of the sires have achieved scores in excess of 1.00. Delegator has a very high figure at 1.93:
Delegator is a relatively new sire (2019 will be his 4th full season), so the data is fairly limited. Having said that if you ignore debut runs his 2yo colts record to date has been 10 wins from 45 (SR 22.2%). Focusing on those starting 14/1 or shorter this improves to 10 wins from 25 (SR 40.0%); A/E 2.63.
Now a look at the sires where their mares outperform the colts – a smaller list:
The top three in the list Hellvelyn, Power and Siyouni have extremely high Comparative Strike Rates although Siyouni has only had 30 runs for fillies so these figures are potentially skewed.
Using sires to help unravel 2yo races is a ‘must’ in my opinion. Of course there are other factors to consider; trainers being an extremely important one too. However, I don’t feel you will be competing on a level playing field with your fellow punters in these 2yo races if you ignore sire data.
This article first appeared on the excellent GeeGeez.co.uk
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