Posts Tagged ‘in-running’

Bank Holiday Front Runner analysis

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Saturday’s front running analysis went as expected, with the top prediction Masta Plasta breaking early and making most of the running from the front.  He finished second, but traded solidly at lower prices (as low as 2.3, having been available at 6.0+ before the off) in running on Betfair.

Today we will look at a couple of the top ratings for two of today’s earlier sprints, the opener at Goodwood over 5 furlongs and the 6 furlong 2.40 at Leicester.  These races were chosen because they are sprints where our probability rating for the horse leading from the front exceeds 40%.

Goodwood 2.00, 5f:
Crazy In Love, 0.43, 4
Mini Bon Bon, 0.29, 7

Leicester 2.40, 6f:
London Gold, 0.46, 4
Dancing Freddy, 0.16, 5

As before, the numbers after each horse represent an estimation of its percentage chance (where the chances of all runners add to 100%) of leading from the front today, followed by the horse’s draw today.  All of the caveats and other angles to consider from Saturday’s post still apply; in other words, this is a useful starting point for considering the shape of a sprint race, but other metrics are of course needed.

In terms of considering a solid back to lay proposition, we want to see some other credentials that suggest a likely front runner will be in contention for some way in the race (as well as at the start).  On that basis we are not so crazy about Crazy in Love (we would have preferred Mini Bon Bon, but this has now been declared a non-runner) in the first at Goodwood.   There is good price margin for Crazy in Love’s price to reduce from the 9.2 currently available if she leads from the front, but with few runs on which to base our prediction about each runner, and lack of confidence about this horse’s ability, the right course of action is to swerve the race.

The top rated front running candidate London Gold in the 2.40 at Leicester is more interesting, but (unfortunately) seems to be well fancied by connections and feared by bookmakers already.  Tissue prices for today’s race had London Gold rated at a 9/2 + chance (the Racing Post site shows 9/2, the Sporting Life 8/1), but it is currently available at a general 7/2 only.  This price doesn’t leave much margin for odds reduction in early running, so it is passed over from a back to lay point of view.  However, its potential win chances in the race, especially if it races prominently throughout as we expect, merit further inspection, since there is no reason to suppose it cannot win if it is still in contention in the final furlong.

Front Runner analysis: 4.15 Beverley today

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

As promised in this month’s Racing Ahead article, Betwise are previewing different races here every week to shortlist each contender’s probability of being the front runner in the race.

The first question a good cynic should ask is: What’s the point of trying to predict front runners?  Here are a few reasons:

  1. In races under a mile, any runner that is prominent early has a c. 30% chance of winning the race.
  2. It is often possible to back probable front runners before the race and lay them off in running at a profit.
  3. Predicting the likeliest front runners is key to pace handicapping, and working out draw advantage.

All our front runner rankings are produced automatically, using the Smartform Database, looking into every runners’ previous history and assessing their running styles against each other for the race in question.  We’ve found that the method has the best record of success in smaller fields over sprint distances – so we’re picking out the 4.15 at Beverley as today’s race.

Below are the list of likely slowly starters (LAGGERS), followed by the list of faster starters (LEADERS) that we would expect to front run today.  The first figure after the horse’s name shows the chance that we think that runner has of leading (or being a lagger) today; the figure after the horse’s name indicates its stall position today.  So, for the list below, we think that Fullanby and Fitz Flyer each have an approx. 30% chance of starting slowest today, and we think it is 46% likely that Masta Plasta will be prominent and/or lead from the start.

Fullandby, 0.31, 4
Fitz Flyer, 0.27, 3
Look Busy, 0.20, 1
Kaldoun Kingdom, 0.17, 6
Tombi, 0.06, 2
Masta Plasta, 0.00, 5
Masta Plasta, 0.46, 5
Tombi, 0.28, 2
Look Busy, 0.21, 1
Fullandby, 0.05, 4
Kaldoun Kingdom, 0.00, 6
Fitz Flyer, 0.00, 3

As with using any tool for race analysis, the analysis does not stop on one rating, and it’s important to interpret these figures in the context of today’s race.  Concentrating purely on who will front run for a second, we also note that our second ranked front runner, Tombi, is wearing first time cheekpieces, which it’s possible may bring about earlier speed.

On the race itself, it’s a decent quality race, as we can tell from the Class (2) and prize money on offer, so running styles alone are unlikely to tell us which horse will win (in a lower class race where all horses are exposed, stealing a lead on an average field can be a bigger advantage).  On this score, Masta Plasta is well rated, but has less potential for improvement than the rest of these, at age 7.  Plus, he has not won since 2008.  Furthermore, a 46% chance of being the front runner, still means a 54% chance against.  Even so, he’s our likeliest contender, some way ahead of the rest, and very unlikely to start slowly.  Tehrefore, at 6.0 + he is worth considering as a back to lay bet (but not on this evidence alone to win) since he should be well in contention until the closing stages of the race.

Lots more work can be done on the analysis of this or any other race using these ratings – bringing into play speed figures and relative ability for example.  One of the nice features of Betwise’s leader/lagger ratings is that you can use and interpret them as you wish as an input for your own analysis, whatever betting angle you are looking at – from laying slow starters, backing to lay front runners, to predicting pace and win strategies.

Analysing in-running comments

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

In the May edition of  Racing Ahead, Betwise take an in-depth look at analysing in- race comments in order to spot profitable betting angles – using the Smartform Racing Database.

Lots of handicappers will look up previous in-race comments for horses that they are interested in betting on.  However, using these comments is not a recognized starting point in form analysis or standardized as a way of comparing form between one horse and another.

Each race is a unique event, after all, so the story of one race is different from the story of another, and the abilities of the horses will vary.  Any number of race by race factors will also affect the way a race may be run – such as the race conditions, the going, the draw, pace in the race, how the jockeys decided to ride their mounts, how the trainers and owners instructed each jockey, to name a few.  Therefore an argument could be made that comments can’t be compared meaningfully across different events, still less as a means of measuring horses of different abilities.

Leaving aside these concerns, the sheer magnitude of the task should be enough to deter any further manual investigation.  A modest sprint handicap of 12 runners where each runner has had an average of 20 previous runs would be 240 comments to examine for one race alone, with no standard model to work towards.

So, in the Racing Ahead article we  discuss the results of analysis achieved using the flexibility and power of a programmable computer database which includes full in-race comments for each runner.  In total, we examined over 7 years’ of  in-running comments from Smartform for different race types in UK and Irish Flat racing – over 492,000 comments in total, representing over 45,000 individual races, for over 48,000 different runners.