With the National Hunt season soon to get into full swing my attention this month switches to the jumps. The focus is on handicap hurdle races looking at the longer distances of 2m 6f or more.
Earlier this year I analysed shorter handicap hurdle races and I wanted to see if these longer races were easier to unravel.
I have looked at races from January 1st 2016 to August 22nd 2021 concentrating on UK races. I have also restricted them to the most competitive events with at least 10 runners.
All profits/losses have been calculated to Betfair Starting Price, less the 5% commission.
Right it’s time to see what can be gleaned from the data:
Betting Market / Odds – Let us look firstly at market factors to see if they give us any pointers.
The prices analysed are traditional SP prices:
There seems to be a relatively strong market / price bias in play here. Indeed, you would have made a small profit to BSP backing ALL horses that were returned at SP of 6/1 or less – a return of 1.3p in the £. This is perhaps surprising, as handicap hurdle races with decent fields often look to be ultra-competitive.
In general horses priced 14/1 or bigger look best avoided – very low strike rate combined with an overall loss equating to just over 12p in the £.
Age – now let us see if there has been any age bias in these handicaps:
4 year olds rarely contest these races, but you can strike a line through them when they do. 5yos have the best strike rate and have produced a small overall profit, but one cannot be too confident that would be repeated in the future.
Having said that in 4 of the 6 seasons 5yos have made a profit so this is an age group we should be aware of. In general, it looks best to focus on horses aged 5 to 8.
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