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Historic Trends for the Big Races in August

For about 7 years from 2006 I wrote 10 Year Trends Articles for the Racing & Football Outlook. I looked at big races that were due to be run that week and I delved into the past stats in an attempt to find the most important ones.

The idea was to build up a picture of the type of the horse that was most likely to win the race based on this past data. Some races and indeed some meetings really lend themselves to this approach as horses with similar profiles year in year out win and get placed in them.

I always found past trends from the Cheltenham festival to be very useful and accurate; likewise, the same has been true for Royal Ascot.

For all you punters out there interested in this type of thing, these 10 year trends can still be found in some papers; the Racing Post often have a trends page on big race days for example.

Alternatively, they are easy enough to research; I use www.horseracebase.com for any trends analysis – this site is excellent all round for research and I use it on a regular basis.

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In this article I am going to look at three races that are going to be run in August focusing in on the 10 year trends of each one.

To kick this off I am going look at the 5 furlong Group 1 sprint run at the York Ebor meeting. The Ebor meeting is one of the best meetings of the year and this race is one of many highlights:

Nunthorpe Stakes (2022 race to be run on Friday 19th August)

–  Fillies and mares have won 6 races from 32 runners (a further 5 have been placed); male runners have combined to win 4 races from 114 runners.

–  Horses drawn in the bottom half of the draw have provided 8 of the last 10 winners.

–  There has been a real spread of wins when we look at ages, but 3yos have generally struggled (from a win perspective) managing just 1 success from 40 runners.

–   Surprisingly for a Group 1 event there have been two shock 40/1 winners in the past 10 years. Jwala managed it in 2013 and Alpha Delphini in 2018.

–  Previous winners at the York track have won 7 races from 63; non course winners have won 3 races from 83.

–  Horses that had failed to register a win in the past 12 months make up just over 20% of the total runners (31 to be precise), but none have won, and only two have been placed.

–  Horses with an official rating of 113 or more have won 8 races from a total of 44 runners; horses rated 112 or less have won 2 races from 102 runners.

–  All 10 winners raced over 5f last time out; 35 runners raced over 6f LTO with no wins.

–  Last time out winners have won 6 of the last 10 renewals from just 31 runners; 9 of the last 10 winners finished the first three LTO.

CONCLUSIONsome interesting trends in the past 10 years. Clearly any female runner (either filly or mare) should be respected given their overall record. There may only be 1 or 2 running this year but I would be looking at them very closely.

A previous win at course has proved preferable to not having one; likewise, a last time out victory is another positive.

Horses to avoid seem to be those that raced over 6f LTO and those that have failed to win a race in the last year. In terms of the draw, recent data has seen a mid to lower draw preferable compared to those drawn the highest. Finally in terms of Official Rating I would be looking for a horse rated 113 or higher based on the stats.

Down to Berkshire now and Newbury. Time to look at one from their excellent meeting that occurs in the middle of August.

Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2022 race to be run on Saturday 13th August)

This is a Group 3 contest run over 1 mile 5½ furlongs. Here are the strongest trends over the past 10 renewals of the race:

–  7 of the last 10 winners had an Industry Starting Price of 4/1 or shorter.

–  Favourites have won 5 of the last 10 races. Backing all favourites would have produced returns to Betfair SP of just over 17 pence in the £.

–  No wins for horses priced 12/1 or bigger from 23 runners.

–  9 of the last 10 winners had won at least one race during that current season. Horses that had failed to win a race that season have provided just 1 winner form 37 runners.

–  In terms of Official Ratings, horses rated 109 or higher have won 7 races from 33 runners; horses rated 108 or lower have won 3 races from 39.

–  Horses dropping in class from either a Group 1 or Group 2 race LTO have provided 0 winners from 22.

–  Last time out winners have a great record recently with 8 wins from just 19 qualifiers. Backing all such runners would have yielded BSP returns of 68p in the £.

–  Irish bred horses have won 7 races from 25 runners. All other countries have combined to score 3 times from 47

– There is no significant edge to be found look at the ages of the horses. 3yos have won 3 races from 16 runners; 4yos have 4 wins from 28; 5yos and older have 3 wins from 28.

CONCLUSIONthis has been a market driven race in the past 10 years with favourites and shorter priced runners in general doing well. Last time out winners have performed well above the norm also.

In terms of breeding Irish bred runners clearly have had an edge in recent times. It looks best to avoid horses dropping in class, while in terms of age there seems little in it. When it comes to Official Ratings, it seems that 109 or higher is the place to look. 

In terms of the age of horse, you would prefer a 3 or 4yo to those aged 5 or older.

Finally let me look at one of the big sprint handicaps of the season now as we head north to Ripon racecourse.

The Great St Wilfrid Handicap (2022 race to be run on Saturday 13th August)

This has always been one of my favourite races, probably because over the years I have made a decent profit in it. I love handicap sprints as rule anyway and when contemplating a bet in this type of race I always look at past race trends in conjunction with more standard race reading factors. It has had an average field size of 19 in the past ten years, so the runners are spread right across the track. I personally attack this race by backing 2 or 3 runners due to the significant number of runners. Of course, that is my preference for this type of race; you may wish to take a different approach. Anyway, onto the trends:

–  Favourites have won 5 of the last 10 renewals. Backing them all would have yielded a huge profit of £26.37 to £1 level stakes (ROI +263.7%).

–  Draws 1 to 6 have provided just 1 winner from 60 runners.

–  Just one win from 76 runners for horses that had previously raced 6 or more times that season. By contrast, horses that had raced between 1 and 4 times that season produced 8 of the winners from 74 runners.

–  5 of the last 10 winners made all the running; 9 of the last 10 winners led early or raced close to the pace.

–  All 10 winners ran over 6 furlongs last time out. 42 horses raced over less, or further LTO all losing.

–  In terms of position in the weights, those 5th to 10th in the weights have provided 7 winners. This equates to 70% of wins from 34% of the total runners.

–  Trainers from Yorkshire have dominated the race winning all of the last 10 races. 45 trainers from other parts of the country have had runners: all losing.

CONCLUSIONone of the key factors in this race, not just in the last 10 years, but in the last 25 years has been connected with the early position a horse takes up in this race. 5 of the last 10 winners made all the running which is remarkable considering the huge field. Horses that raced mid pack or are held up are definitely at a huge disadvantage.

Favourites have a good record which again is surprising considering the average field size. Trainers from Yorkshire have monopolised the race; yes they make out the vast proportion of the runners, but it is a still a factor to be aware of. The draw has tended to favour mid to higher draws with the draws 1 to 6 generally at a disadvantage. It has proved to be prudent to stick to horses that ran over the same distance of 6f last time out.

Finally, I would avoid horses that had run 6 or more times in the current season as their record is very poor.

I hope you find these trends useful and helps point you in the direction of a winner or two in August.

Of course, this type of research is simply reporting the past; not the future. There are no guarantees in racing!

David Renham  

If you enjoyed this article, and you haven't already, why not have a read of Dave's research article on Future Race Pointers.

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