Posts Tagged ‘Betwise members’

2 year old racing by foaling date

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

As the flat season gets into its swing we will start to see more and more two year old racing.  At this time of year in particular there is very little form to go on.  In order to predict outcomes, punters have to rely instead on stable whispers, the bloodlines and expense of the horses in question, and the records of their handlers in these type of races as well as their current overall form.  We can add to this some signals from the market once the horses emerge into the paddock at the course for the first time.

However, there is an often ignored and occasionally hard-to-find form element that has great significance in the early part of the season – that is the actual foaling date (ie. birthday) of the horse in question, rather than their “official” birthday – ie. 1st Jan.  As a proportion of age, the month or two differences you find in foaling dates are of course significantly greater early in the career of a two year old, though these will diminish in significance over time.   Identifying foaling dates and ranking them can be a laborious process.   Fortunately, 2 year old foaling dates are simple to identify and rank in Smartform from the earliest to the latest date.  Moreover, we can automate the search of 2 year old races and subsequent ranking of each race by age of contender.

Below are the queries you need – applied to today’s racing.

First, let’s identify all the two year old races in the database for today’s racing:

mysql> select race_id, scheduled_time, course, age_range from daily_races where age_range LIKE “%2%” and meeting_date= CURDATE();

race_id scheduled_time course age_range
397147 2012-04-21 18:00:00 Nottingham 2YO only

1 row in set (0.10 sec)

Next, let’s use this race_id to retrieve basic details of all horses competing in it and at the same time rank them by age:

mysql> select trainer_name, jockey_name, name, foaling_date, forecast_price from daily_races join daily_runners using (race_id) where race_id=”397147″ order by foaling_date;

trainer_name jockey_name name foaling_date forecast_price
D Shaw D Swift Top Boy 2010-02-02 20/1
M R Channon Charles Bishop Effie B 2010-02-15 2/1
M Johnston R Ffrench Marshland 2010-02-18 3/1
M R Channon S Hitchcott Golac 2010-03-28 8/1
K A Ryan Amy Ryan Bapak Bangsawan 2010-05-06 7/4

5 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Easy.  We can also automate this with a simple script for all races on any given day – basically saving the race_ids from the first query, and looping over them with the second query.  A script is available for Smartform members that does just this.

By the way, on the above evidence alone, the late foaling date of the favourite,  Bapak Bangsawan, makes him look quite vulnerable, doesn’t it?

Pace in the race at York and Ascot today

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Where’s the pace in the race?

Leader and lagger ratings for Saturday are now up in the Betwise members’ area.  Look at the key stats and decide for yourself…

Ascot and York are two courses where being drawn with the pace is often more important than the draw per se – meaning it is important to be drawn with the pace rather than on a particular part of the track.  True, there can be marginal biases at 7 and 8 furlongs at York and Ascot (for example a negative in large fields where high drawn runners can be forced wide, as around the turn at York), but pace is always important over the straight courses.

In the 6 furlong Group 3 race at Ascot (3:05), for example, although the first two in the market (with Redford a very warm order drawn 16, and Genki as second favourite drawn 17), the leader and lagger stats suggest that the early pace in the race is towards the stands side, with Taajub, in stall 2 expected to be prominent early.  Bewitched and Doncaster Rover may benefit most from his early tow.

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.

Saturday sprint leaders

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Today’s lagger and leader statistics, as highlighted in the blog on previous Saturdays, are now online in the Betwise Members’ area.  Last week’s top leaders for each race threw up Peppercorn Rent amongst others, purely on the basis of its running characteristics, winning at 16/1 at Ripon.

Why stall 1 wins at Chester – even when it’s stall 9

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Yesterday’s City Wall Stakes was a fascinating race to watch from many perspectives, and well worth a second look for as long as the video link here holds good.  We wrote beforehand about the draw statistics at Chester, which were completely against the eventual winner, Blue Jack, drawn in stall 9.  Our favoured runners were drawn 1 and 2, with Glamorous Spirit, in stall 2, the best previous front runner in the race and therefore predicted to lead early.

The prediction was right – Glamorous Spirit set off at a furious pace and quickly led towards the inside rail.  However, the pace was indeed furious.   Glamorous Spirit must be one of the fastest breaking horses in training.  She was also our front-running prediction in the Epsom Dash a few weeks back, when drawn on the unfavoured inside rail there – indeed she did break best, but her poor draw meant her race was quickly over.

In the context of yesterday’s race at Chester, she effectively burned herself out early on, and faded to be last – though even with this explanation, her run was still some way below her best form.  (She may be seen to better effect on a straighter track where her early speed will not be blunted, as when winning a valuable race at the Curragh prior to yesterday’s outing – though the trainer seems to think otherwise.)

However, from the perspective of the Chester draw, Blue Jack, the winner, provides us with the most interesting run from this race.  There’s no better use for the cliche “the exception that proves the rule” than his run.  Blue Jack broke slowly, as indeed our lagger statistics over at the Betwise Members’ area (available until next Saturday) also correctly predicted.  Blue Jack was given over a 50% chance of starting the slowest in the race before it began.  As the commentator noted, Blue Jack was indeed slowest out of the stalls and “lost a few lengths at the start” – at least in relation to the rest of the field being carted along by Glamorous Spirit.  However, Blue Jack’s jockey, Richard Kingscote, used that negative to good advantage and rode a very shrewd race, dropping her in behind the field early and hugging the inside rail position around the Roodee’s tight bends.  It’s this position that produces the strong bias to stall 1, with any runner that sticks to the inside rail covering far less ground than those racing wide.  The fact that R Kingscote managed to obtain it from stall 9 was a nice bonus.  With the pace at which the leaders set off, he was able to let Blue Jack gain momentum in his own time – but the crucial point is that this was done on the inside rail.  So “stall 1” wins at Chester, even when it’s stall 9…

Today’s Chester draw bias for each runner

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Chester, our favourite course for demonstrating the effect of the draw, plays host to a nice listed contest over 5 furlongs today in the 3.20.

Some very nice sprinters on display here, but how well will they be able to show their ability?  At Chester, more than anywhere else, the inside rail is always the place to be.  We’ve written about this well known bias on a number of other occasions, especially in terms of spotting front runners whose superior early speed can get them to the inside rail spot early.

In Racing Ahead this month, we go further by quantifing the draw effect in general, to give punters a handle on exactly what advantage there is.  Combined with front runner ratings over at the Betwise members’ area, the draw often presents the best chance of understanding what will influence the race outcome most over the minimum distance – outside a horse’s natural ability and form.

However, the picture is not “one size fits all” – field size makes a difference.  So let’s have a look at the bias by stall, tailored for the field at Chester today using our Smartform draw model:

Whilst stall 1 (against the inside rail) comes out best over field sizes of 10, the advantage is not as pronounced as in larger fields, and, ability aside, does not reflect the current price differential between Borderlescott and Glamorous Spirit, drawn just to its outside.  Now, which of the two has a better chance of breaking early?  Head over to the Betwise Members’ area and find out.

Draw analysis at Sandown today

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

As per last Saturday’s post we shift our attention in July to assessing the effect of the draw in upcoming races.  To do this we are using an automated model created with Smartform, applying the principles laid out in the Betwise article in this month’s Racing Ahead.

Focus today is on the first race at Sandown, which requires analysis of the 5 furlong straight course in the middle of the track.  As with front runners, draw bias tends to show up in results most strongly at races under a mile.  Although there are notable exceptions to this rule (as with the case of the Ebor draw bias over 1 mile 6 furlongs at York), it usually pays to concentrate on sprint distances.

Sandown exposes a weakness in some draw analysis you can find, which is to concentrate on strike rate per stall, without factoring in stall positions.  You can read a lot more about this in our article, but sticking with the case of Sandown, as any regular Sandown racegoer knows, the stalls are usually positioned with the highest number against the far rail and represent a position – though not necessarily a stall! – that has held a continuing advantage over the years.  The actual stall number drawn against the far rail varies according to the size of the field, making strike rate per stall statistics more or less redundant.  The way to overcome this is to use historic data to map the advantage of the position on the track which each stall occupied (though even here, there are always problems presented by rail movements).

Our Smartform model above maps the previous advantage of each course position onto all today’s stall numbers, as if you are looking overhead at the race about to start – stall 7 is drawn against the far rail.  The height of the bar represents stall advantage, with anything over 1 indicating higher than expected winners and under 1 a negative expectation.  (Stall 5 should be empty today due to the withdrawal of Wi Dud – draw 4 may be shifted one up as a result).

What conclusions to draw from this? Though we can see immediately that the draw advantage in small fields does not exclude the possibility of any runner winning, there is a distinct negative from being drawn in stalls 1, 2 and 3.  Combined with front runner analysis, we can also see which, if any, of these contenders are able to break early to secure a better position (front runner analysis for this race is posted in the Betwise Members’ area and freely available).  Going back to the commonly held belief that the highest stall is the place to be at Sandown, we can see that whilst this is born out by our Smartform model, it is very marginal for small fields, and there is, for example, almost as big an advantage being drawn in stall 4 today.  So is Bould Mover, in stall 4, better value than Triple Aspect, the hot favourite drawn on the far rail in stall 7?  Does Reignier, in stall 3, represent value at 14/1, given that stall 3 still produces a reasonable number of winners in small fields?  Of course, answering these questions relies on far more than knowing the runners’ stall position – we need to know more about the ability of the horses concerned, but at least we can now put the effect of the draw in its place.

From front runners to the draw – Chester races today

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Today is the last of our series of Saturday posts looking at probable front runners using the Smartform model that we outlined in this month’s edition of Racing Ahead.  Not to say that we won’t be looking at front runners again, but not in every post 😉  Selected front runner ratings will also start appearing in the Betwise Members’ area (for free) from next Saturday – this analysis has predicted a few good winners as well as front runners in each of the past 5 Saturdays.

Our upcoming July article in Racing Ahead looks at using Smartform to calculate the effects of the draw at every track.  In fact, as we have discussed before, an advantageous draw combined with a front running style is a powerful winning combination, nowhere moreso than Chester, one of today’s meetings.

Not that we need a sophisticated model to assess the effects of the draw at Chester – low is best, period.  In sprint races with larger fields, the advantage is even more pronounced, since many of the runners are forced to race wide.

At Chester today there are 3 races under a mile, 2 sprints at 5 furlongs and one at the awkward “sprint” distance of 7 furlongs.  The first two races have smaller field sizes, so it’s possible that the plum running positions on the inside rail may be more easily occupied by horses that are not drawn lowest.  Where there are smaller field sizes, it always raises an interesting question of how much importance we should attach to the draw versus running style in terms of predicting leaders.  The last race is 10 runners over the minimum distance – typically horses drawn 1 and 2 (today this is Ryan Style and Hoh Hoh Hoh) in such races can carry all before them – even though these do not come in our top 3 predicted front runners judged on pure running style alone.  For all today’s races, you can be the judge – below are the front runner ratings coupled with the draw position of every horse for each of the sprint races at Chester:

RACE: 2010-06-26, Chester, 14:05:00, 1116 Yds

Lord Avon, 0.31, 5, 7/2
Coconut Ice, 0.21, 7, 7/1
Fred Willetts, 0.21, 4, 10/1
Scarlet Rocks, 0.14, 9, 11/4
Triple Agent, 0.14, 6, 25/1
Lexi’s Hero, 0.00, 3, 7/1
Leiba Leiba, 0.00, 2, 8/1
The Thrill Is Gone, 0.00, 1, 5/1

RACE: 2010-06-26, Chester, 15:45:00, 1542 Yds

Rule Breaker, 0.41, 1, 7/2
Cansili Star, 0.23, 2, 11/8
Below Zero, 0.17, 7, 12/1
William Morgan, 0.15, 4, 10/1
Tiradito, 0.04, 6, 14/1
Layla’s Hero, 0.00, 5, 6/1
Hunting Tartan, 0.00, 3, 7/1

RACE: 2010-06-26, Chester, 16:20:00, 1116 Yds

Falasteen, 0.32, 7, 8/1
Bertoliver, 0.23, 4, 5/2
Lost In Paris, 0.17, 9, 4/1
Hoh Hoh Hoh, 0.11, 2, 16/1
Ryan Style, 0.08, 1, 6/1
Grissom, 0.04, 10, 14/1
Lucky Dan, 0.03, 8, 6/1
Memphis Man, 0.01, 5, 10/1
Green Park, 0.01, 3, 14/1
Dancing Red Devil, 0.00, 6, 25/1