The other day I was sitting at my computer screen trying to calculate how many horse racing articles I have written over the past 20 years. It is obviously difficult to be precise, but I would estimate somewhere between 700 and 800. Indeed, I have over 600 saved on my computer but I am missing about six years’ worth from 2000 to the beginning of 2006.
Hence, as one can imagine, there are times when I have felt as if I have exhausted every single possible topic … at least to some extent. However, the beauty of racing research and racing stats, is that many stats change over time and thus there are always area/topics to revisit.
For example, draw stats have changed at some courses over the years due to moving of running rails, more even watering of the track etc. Also, profitable ideas from 10 years ago are unlikely to be profitable now, not necessarily because the strike rate has dropped, but due to the betting market catching on and prices contracting as a result. Therefore, I know there will be plenty of options for different articles in the months and years to come. Having said that, it is nice to change it up sometimes, so for this article I am going to be doing something slightly different. I am going to give readers a ‘test’. DON’T PANIC! It is not so much a test, but 10 questions for you to see if you know or can predict the right answer….
It will be interesting to see how many readers have any preconceived ideas that actually prove to be wrong. I know from experience that certain racing assumptions I have had formulated in the past have actually proved to be incorrect, even if they made perfect sense to me at the time!
Ok time to crack on ….
For the record I have used data from six full seasons – 2015 to 2020 (UK flat racing). All profit / losses have been calculated to Betfair Starting Price (BSP).
Question 1 – Which of the following have proved more profitable – previous course winners or horses that had not registered at least one course win at the course in question (e.g., non-course winners)?
Answer – Non-course winners have actually proved better value. Both have shown losses but non course winners would have lost you just over 4 pence in the £; course winners have lost just under 10p in the £.
For the record horses that have had 2 wins from 2 starts at a course would have lost you 18p in the £ if you backed them on their third course start. This is despite a decent strike rate of nearly 19%.
Question 2 – If a horse was an early morning price clear favourite, but drifted to 3rd or worse in the betting come the start of the race, is the horse good or poor value?
Answer – Horses that have this profile actually have made a tiny profit to BSP so have been good value. This is despite a relatively moderate strike rate of only 1 win in every 7.
Hence these horses seem to offer punters some value if backing them as close to the ‘off’ as possible.
Long standing Maidens are they poor value? Are 2 year olds having their 10th career run or more poor investments? These questions and others are answered for our Gold members by David Renham. Upgrade here to read more.