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Does a wind operation help next time out performance?

This is a new area of research for me. Wind operations (sometimes referred to as wind surgeries) are done to improve the airflow of a horse. Racehorses, when racing, require a good amount of oxygen due to the pace they are running at. This type of medical procedure allows the airflow to let through more oxygen.

Wind surgeries are procedures done for the benefit of the racehorse, as they should be able to breathe more easily when running.

Data for punters has been available since 2018 and that is the data, I am going to share with you in this piece.

I will be looking at UK racing from January 1st, 2018, to March 19th, 2023 (when I researched this piece).

Profits and losses have been calculated to Betfair SP (BSP) with 5% commission taken into account.

On Course Profits free Horse Racing magazine

Let us look at the figures for all runners who are racing after having their first run after a wind op:

Roughly one win in every nine races and modest losses overall.

Let me split the data by race code first:

As you can see, there have been far more wind operations on National Hunt horses. I am wondering if this is because the races are longer and hence the operation is more necessary. I am not a vet but that might be why that is the case. However, whatever the reason, it is worth knowing that it occurs more often in jumping sphere.

Strike rate is best for National Hunt runners, but this is skewed by smaller average field sizes, so we need to bear this in mind. Having said that, NH horses have turned a profit, while on the level there have been losses, more especially on the all weather.

It makes some sense to split the research up looking at National Hunt and flat racing separately. Therefore, the remainder of this article will focus on National Hunt racing as that gives us the biggest data pool. At a later date I’ll drill down into the flat results.

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