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Was all the research worth it


 

Was all the research worth it? By David Renham
 
Two years ago I spent four months of blood sweat and tears with a friend of mine Mark Foley compiling a trainer manual covering the years 2000 to 2006. The e-book was called Profitable Trainer Trends, but despite having what we felt was one of the most thorough trainer publications on the market sales were poor. We probably worked for around 1p an hour at the end of it all! Of course the problem with racing books is that specific books such as this appeal to a minority …. and a small minority at that! However, the data compiled did produce plenty of winning bets in 2007, but last year I was working on numerous other projects and started to lose tabs with the results. In this article I examine some of the stats that were uncovered in ’00 – ‘06 to see whether the patterns / trends / profits noted at the time were replicated in the subsequent two seasons of ’07 / ‘08. If not then it really was a waste of our time! The data for this article focuses on turf racing only.
 
I am going to focus on 2yo maidens and certain trainer records.
 
Michael Bell
 
Overall record (2000-2006)
 
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
64
495
12.9%
-£146.85
-29.7%
 
Overall record (2007-2008)
 
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
18
137
13.1%
-£50.98
-37.2%
 
We can see that there were similar strike rates, which is a clear positive. Returns were not too dissimilar in the grand scheme of things.
 
Courses (2000-2006) Bell had done well at Ayr (6 wins from 12), Newcastle (4 wins from 17) and Musselburgh (4 wins from 7).
 
Courses (2007-2008) – he had only 5 runners combined at the three courses with 1 winner.
 
Experience (2000-2006)
 
Number of runs
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
0 (debut)
11
212
5.2%
-£155.72
-73.5%
1
28
166
16.9%
-£12.40
-7.5%
2
16
96
16.7%
-£27.53
-28.7%
3 or more
8
21
38.1%
+£27.79
+132.3%
 
Experience (2007-2008)
 
Number of runs
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
0 (debut)
6
63
9.5%
-£14.17
-22.5%
1
7
46
15.2%
-£23.72
-51.6%
2
2
20
10%
-£15.00
-75.0%
3 or more
3
8
37.5%
+£1.91
+23.9%
 
Debutants had a very poor record from 2000 to 2006 winning around 1 in 20, and hence made a severe loss of nearly 75%. The last two seasons has seen a slight improvement in strike rate to around 1 win in 11, but returns do not look that bad at -22.5%. However, this is where stand alone stats can be deceptive as the returns are skewed by a 25/1 winner last season. Take that winner out of the equation, and returns for debutants drop back down to a loss of 63.1% - much more in line with the 2000-2006 figure. Horses who had already run 3 or more times have continued to do well in the past two seasons, albeit from a small sample.
 
Position Last Time Out (2000-2006)
 
LTO
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
2nd
17
46
37.0%
+£12.16
+26.4%
3rd / 4th
17
66
25.8%
+£8.28
+12.5%
5th / 6th
12
61
19.7%
+£0.59
+1.0%
7th or worse
6
110
5.5%
-£33.17
-30.2%
 
Quite an illuminating table for this time frame – essentially horses that finished 6th or better performed well, but those who finished 7th or worse were worth avoiding next time out. Horses that finished 2nd LTO were arguably the ones to follow into their next race.
 
Position Last Time Out (2007-2008)
 
LTO
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
2nd
4
13
30.8%
+£1.51
+11.6%
3rd / 4th
3
12
25.0%
-£4.12
-34.3%
5th / 6th
4
12
33.3%
-£1.20
-10.0%
7th or worse
1
41
2.4%
-£37.00
-90.2%
 
This table correlates quite well with the earlier sample – once again LTO runners up have done well, while horses that finished 7th or worse LTO have run extremely poorly.
 
Conclusion – in general the figures for Bell and his 2yo maidens correlate reasonably well between the two time frames.
 
Mick Channon
 
Overall record (2000-2006)
 
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
189
1237
15.3%
-£299.35
-24.2%
 
Overall record (2007-2008)
 
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
38
364
10.4%
-£172.23
-47.3%
 
Channon’s performance has really dipped in the last two years, or least that is what the overall figures suggest.
 
Courses (2000-2006) – three courses stood out from a positive perspective:
 
Course
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
Hamilton
10
27
37.0%
+£9.05
+33.5%
Haydock
9
37
24.3%
+£18.10
+48.9%
Catterick
6
16
37.5%
+£9.78
+61.1%
 
Courses (2007-2008)
 
Course
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
Hamilton
1
7
14.1%
-£0.50
-7.1%
Haydock
1
12
8.3%
-£6.50
-54.2%
Catterick
0
3
0.0%
-£3.00
-100.0%
 
Just 2 wins from 22 from the three courses combined.
 
Position Last Time Out (2000-2006) - the group of Channon maidens which merited the closest inspection during this time period were those that finished 2nd or 3rd on their most recent run. This group produced 86 winners from 286 runners (SR 30.1%), and backing all qualifiers would have yielded a modest £3.55 profit (ROI +1.2%).
 
Position Last Time Out (2007-2008) – horses that finished 2nd or 3rd LTO provided 16 winners from 78 (SR 20.5%) for a loss of £25.19 (ROI -32.3%).
 
Not surprising given earlier comparisons – once again a positive trend has not continued in the subsequent 2 year period.
 
Time of year (2000-2006)
 
Month
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
March - May
50
231
21.6%
+£10.12
+4.4%
June
35
222
15.8%
-£40.63
-18.3%
July
38
239
15.9%
-£65.73
-27.5%
August
32
253
12.6%
-£108.28
-42.8%
September
22
163
13.5%
-£48.74
-29.9%
October - November
12
129
9.3%
-£46.42
-36.0%
 
The general pattern that can be gleaned from the table above is that the best time to catch Channon maidens had been early in the season (March to May).
 
Time of year (2007-2008)
 
Month
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
March - May
13
70
18.6%
-£4.09
-5.8%
June
5
73
6.8%
-£51.95  
-71.2%
July
7
57
12.3%
-£28.37
-49.8%
August
6
79
7.6%
-£36.47
-46.2%
September
6
53
11.3%
-£20.75
-39.2%
October - November
1
32
3.1%
-£30.60
-95.6%
 
In general this table gives a slight crumb of comfort, as once again March to May provided by far the best period for Channon’s 2yo maidens. The October / November period again proved the poorest in terms of strike rate.
 
Conclusion – one conclusion that could be drawn is simply that over the past two seasons the standard of 2yo animals in the stable has been generally of poorer quality. The one trend that continued was the fact that Channon does best in the early part of the season, and worst at the end.
 
Mark Johnston
 
Overall record (2000-2006)
 
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
200
1015
19.7%
+£4.10
+0.4%
 
Overall record (2007-2008)
 
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
60
392
15.3%
-£47.38
-12.1%
 
A slight dip in performance, but the figures are not dissimilar to 2001-2002 so it may not be statistically significant.
 
Courses (2000-2006) – five courses stood out from a positive perspective:
 
Course
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
Ayr
27
89
30.3%
+£19.40
+21.8%
Hamilton
18
73
24.7%
+£15.33
+21.0%
Catterick
11
38
29.0%
+£19.65
+51.7%
Ripon
11
41
26.8%
+£9.10
+22.2%
Carlisle
10
25
40.0%
+£49.45
+197.8%
 
Courses (2007-2008)
 
Course
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
Ayr
5
23
21.7%
-£7.09
-30.8%
Hamilton
5
20
25.0%
+£14.30
+71.5%
Catterick
2
18
11.1%
-£11.00
-61.1%
Ripon
2
12
16.7%
-£4.83
-40.3%
Carlisle
2
7
28.6%
-£1.80
-25.7%
 
Only Hamilton has continued in the same vein. The other four courses have not provided the results I was hoping for.
 
Days since last run 2000-2006 – Johnston had an excellent record with 2yo maidens that returned to the track after a break of more than 4 weeks – 32 wins from 116 (SR 27.6%) for a profit of £73.70 (ROI +63.5%).
 
 
Days since last run 2007-2008 – the break of more than 4 weeks again proved profitable, but the strike rate and returns were much reduced – 7 wins from 49 (SR 14.3%) for a profit of £8.00 (ROI +16.3%).
 
Distance 2000-2006 - in terms of strike rate Johnston seemed to have a consistently good record at all distances. However, the strike rate was lowest in 5f races and from a profitability angle it seemed a good idea to avoid such races:
 
Distance
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
5f
21
148
14.2%
-£66.45
-44.9%
6f
69
335
20.6%
+£32.16
+9.6%
7f
69
313
22.0%
+£46.64
+14.9%
1 mile +
41
219
18.7%
-£8.10
-3.7%
 
Distance 2007-2008
 
Distance
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
5f
6
38
15.8%
-£17.55
-46.2%
6f
15
125
12.0%
-£58.96
-47.2%
7f
23
144
16.0%
+£30.23
+21.0%
1 mile +
16
85
18.8%
-£1.10
-1.3%
 
Once again the 5f returns have been poor – clearly despite a better strike rate his runners tend to be ‘overbet’ at the minimum trip. The 6f figures though for the past 2 years have been poor. However, the 7f and 1m+ figures have continued to look solid. I would advocate that the runners to concentrate on in the 2009 season would be those running at 7f or more.
 
Race type 2000-2006 – during this period, Auction races proved to be a profitable avenue thanks to 66 wins from 313 (SR 21.1%) for a profit of £29.15 (ROI +9.3%).
 
Race type 2007-2008 – Auction races again proved profitable. They was a lower strike rate, but similar returns – 13 wins from 90 (SR 14.4%) for a profit of £8.60 (ROI +9.6%).
 
Running Style 2000 to 2006 – Mark Johnston is renowned as a trainer whose runners run more prominently than most. His 2yo maidens that led early provided a remarkable 90 winners from 270 front runners (SR 33.3%). It is difficult to equate whether “in running” punters could have made a profit backing these runners within the first furlong of the race, but if they had managed to match Industry SP they would have made a profit of £86.12 before commission.
 
Running Style 2007 to 2008 – the pattern was repeated over the past two seasons with 31 front running wins from 99 (SR 31.1%). Once again “quick fingered in running” punters would have made a tidy profit if matching Industry SP.
 
Time of Year 2000-2006Johnston seemed to come into his own when the warm(er) weather arrived as the table shows:
 
Month
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
July-August
79
303
26.1%
+£113.05
+37.3%
 
Time of Year 2007-2008
 
Month
Wins
Runs
Strike Rate
Profit
ROI
July-August
20
114
17.5%
+£36.09
+31.7%
 
A more positive correlation although the strike rate was markedly lower. Profits remained at a decent level which is good.
 
Conclusion – the course stats were clearly a disappointment, but it looks fairly safe to assume that in the months of July and August, especially at 7f or more, Johnston is a trainer worth following. Also he has done well with horses that have a break of more than 4 weeks, although maybe the most positive angle is the front running one. This is not an easy one to determine the optimum betting strategy, but there must be potential for making money “in running”.
 
Final thoughts – this is of course a small sample of the data that was collected in 2000 to 2006 and a comparison herein. I have long held the belief that trainers are a creature of habit and that many trends noted will continue in the future. This article indicates that this is clearly not always the case, and that trainer trends over a period of time are not guaranteed to continue. In order to have a fuller picture I will need to cross check much more data – this is a project that is on going and at a later date I hope to come back to it.
 

 








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