Archive for August, 2010

Saturday racing

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

The recent weather deluge is a reminder that the Flat turf season hasn’t so long to go – and at the same time we can expect results to become more unpredictable over the next couple of months.

A combination of horses that have been on the go too long, fresh horses entering races that are saved for this time of year, plus erratic ground conditions can lead to longer priced winners.

Still, there is no shortage of racing to accompany the impending randomness, with 6 cards in England alone today.   Saturday leaders and laggers for all today’s sprints are now up in the Betwise members’ area – clear leaders can often throw up a couple of longer priced winners.  Free racecard ratings for each of the cards are also up.  Both types of ratings methods are examples of what you can do with the Smartform Database – where the winner finding possibilities are literally limited by the imagination …. and, to be realistic, your coding skills – though we can be on hand to help with that, too.

Saturday leaders and laggers

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Today’s Saturday’s front runners are now up in the Betwise Members’ area.  Some interesting contenders today on the leaders front, with win chances as well as likely pace setters.

Victorian Bounty is the first up in the Chester 2.20 – interesting because not only is it top of the leader rankings, meaning it is likely to set the pace, but is some way clear of its rivals on that front.  And, as we’ve written many times before, he has the advantage of being drawn low, in stall 3.  Stalls 1 and 2 show far and away the biggest bias, but stall 3 with a better break than that of the inner runners can be just as advantageous.  Interesting that the Smartform tissue had this runner at 10/1, which is the same tissue price used on a number of online form guides, but the actual price being offered by many bookies is already a lot shorter, around 7/1.

Plenty of other good opportunities in sprints today – the leader and lagger ratings are a great starting point to narrow the field before further analysis on draw and form.

Nunthorpe outsiders with interesting prospects

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Having written much about lower grade sprints so far this Flat season, today’s Group 1 Nunthorpe over 5 furlongs later today (3.25, York) is a definite step up in class!

Most pundits favour the top two in the betting, Starspangledbanner and Equiano.  It’s tough to separate their chances on form so far, and at a combined chance of either winning taking out over 50% of the book, it may be wiser to look elsewhere, as well as to consider pace and draw angles, which are often so influential in sprint races at a lower grade.

This week so far at York has seen a bias towards higher drawn runners, racing on the stands rail.   From this point of view, Starspangledbanner is better off than Equiano, in stall 13 as opposed to 3.  But longer priced runners are also drawn high, including the Betwise top rated probable front runner today, Rose Blossom, available at over 20/1 (nb. Equiano is rated second best).  Rose Blossom’s previous acheivements may not be as strong as some of these, but expect her to be right up with the pace, or even setting it, to the finish.  A draw in stall 9 means if she uses her early pace she has a good chance of gaining the stands rail, though this is stronger opposition than she normally faces.

Stone of Folca is another well drawn runner, very interesting from a speed and race conditions angle, in that he is a speedy 2 yr old (has one of the best weight adjusted speed figures in the race) receiving lumps of weight from older horses.  He is also saddled by the previous trainer of Kingsgate Native who won this race with him (also as a 2 yr old receiving lumps of weight) back in 2007.   Last but not least, Bordelescott competes for a third victory in this race and his chances of doing so should not be dismissed.  8 years old is not too old for a sprinter to show top form.

So, 3 outsiders against the field:  Bordelescott at 14/1, Stone of Folca at 12/1 and Rose Blossom at 20/1 – each seem to offer better value from a betting perspective than the two market leaders (taking out a combined c. 20% of the book as opposed to 50%), though the chances of Starspangledbanner from his high draw are feared.

Ebor trends

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

A rare midweek post for us, motivated by the Ebor handicap (3.25, York) today.  At the risk of stating the obvious, good racing analysis is often simply about knowing when to use the right tool for the right job – eg. the same methods you would use to analyse a 5 furlong sprint at Epsom will not do you much good in finding the winner of the Grand National.

Big handicap races are often in a category of their own, and therefore trend analysis, analysing the profile of previous winners of the same race, can be a useful method which helps narrow the field in looking for the winner of such races.

Here are the significant past trends that I think are worth concentrating on in the Ebor Handicap:

1.  Previous winners are generally lower in the handicap, carrying lower weights.

2.  Older horses (generally 4 and 5 yr olds) have been favoured, rather than 3 year olds, in the last 10 years (though no 3 yr old is running today!).

3.  Lower draws (somewhat bizzarely for a longer distance race) have always been favoured.

You can look at the racecard and make your own analysis by applying these trends.  For me, 2 horses stand out that qualify by doing so:

Elyaddi, drawn 3 and ridden by last year’s winning jockey and Bernie The Bolt, drawn 2 and ridden by Jimmy Fortune.  Desert Sea is drawn 1 and is also low in the handicap, but I don’t like the odds of a 7 year old winning.  Looking at the form, I like the chance of Bernie The Bolt to keep improving and with a win and place bet at a price of 16/1.

Around the country, it’s tipping down, what to do?

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

It’s tipping down (how apt, for racing), it’s raining cats and dogs.

Your carefully thought out racing selections from yesterday evening have all been declared non-runners or you are unsure if they perform on the ever-worsening ground conditions.   What to do?

If ground really is that important to your selection process, use Smartform to program current and historic going as a variable with different numeric levels, however you feel it’s appropriate, for example:

1 = Hard

2 = Firm

3 = Good to Firm

and so on….

If you think that’s a little inflexible, widen your categories to be more forgiving of previously inaccurate going descriptions, so category 1 = Hard, Firm, and Good to Firm.  Category 2 can cover Good, Good to Soft and so on – right down to Heavy.

Keep your selections (or add the new going condition to your selection model), and run them against their previous historic performances on the prevailing going in Smartform.  For sure, you’re going to have to write a small program to do this (or get us to do it for you), but it’s not so hard.  There are a large number of methods you can use to evaluate performance on different types of going, but let’s say that any selection must have recorded a previous Smartform handicap rating on today’s prevailing going within N% of its best ever rating, in order to remain a selection.  As ground conditions continues to worsen, you may find today that you are running everything for a condition of Heavy going – but it is August in Britain, what do you expect?  😉

Saturday Sprint Leaders August 7th

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

After a brief holiday last week, today’s lagger and leader statistics, as highlighted in the blog on previous Saturdays, are now online in the Betwise Members’ area.

There are a large number of races rated today – over 17.  As with any ratings they should be used with care when betting.  The Leader ratings have a high success rate at predicting the leaders in the first half of the race, but an early leader has varying success at winning the race depending on the horse’s relative ability, its draw, and, last but not least, the course it is racing on.  In general, it’s harder to win from the front in bigger fields at straight, galloping courses.  So today’s meetings at Haydock and Ayr should be treated with caution if looking for winners amongst early leaders.  Back to “lay-in-running” opportunities for small stakes (small stakes because the exchange markets are not that liquid for higher priced horses in running) may be found in many of the highest rated leaders, irrespective of course conditions, providing the bettor is quick on the draw in getting out.