Darley's Dubawi is a sire of many fast ground winners

Gold Research: Sexy Summer Sires

Can you feel the nights drawing in?

We're already past the longest day of the year but, for racing, afternoon and evening meetings will continue to be the norm for some months, as will the general presence of good to firm ground.

The Scenario

A Going Concern?

It's widely held that the firmness, or otherwise, of the turf is a fundamental - for many, the fundamental - consideration when weighing up a wagering proposition in a horse race. As a horse gains more track experience, so its preferences become better understood: a horse with four wins on Bath's firm track can be confidently said to appreciate very fast ground; equally, one beaten four times on that surface but with an otherwise compelling enough profile can be said not to appreciate very fast ground.

So far so obvious. And yet, many punters still overlook such basic clues, being instead enchanted by a recent sequence of 1's or 2's next to a horse's name. If you are the type to miss such clues, I'm afraid my only advice is to look more closely (and to subtly mention that Geegeez Gold, our flagship form book service, will make it borderline impossible to overlook red flags and green lights in the race conditions).

But that is not what this post is about. No, when the form is in the book, we should look to the form in the book. However, what about when the form is not in the book? What about when a horse is having its first start, or has never encountered such conditions before? One solution - and a perfectly credible one - is to pass the race. After all, with roughly 70% of the British programme now comprised of handicaps, it won't be long before a weight-for-ability contest demands your careful thought.

Those who do wish to play in less defined waters can look to evidence presented by lineage: specifically, to sire performance. Sires are stallions, the male parent, dad if you will. The paternal gene pool is only 50% (or thereabouts) of the whole inherited enchilada, but equine dads can engage in more illicit mating in four months than a Jeremy Kyle box set [please tell me such a thing doesn't exist - Ed.], while the female of the species can bear but one foal a year (very small unraceable twins, etc, notwithstanding).

Even if a mare (maternal parent) has had six or eight runners to hit the track it remains a very small sample size from which to pontificate. To some degree, small sample sizes are the nature of the game - particularly for those looking to find an edge before the world cottons on - but the race record of progeny of a stallion gives us a larger dataset from which to infer.

What gives? A method

So, for those without form in the book, we look to the record of other charges fathered by the same sire. Such data can portend preferences related to class, distance, precocity, and, of course, the going. The more mainstream the going - that is, the closer to good ground - the more likely are most horses to act in the prevailing conditions.

But as we gravitate to the margins - towards heavy or firm ground, or to all weather surfaces, especially the Southwell fibresand strip - so we begin to identify specialists. The purpose of this post is to highlight some such specialists that act on fast, i.e. summer, ground.

In order to do that, it is not simply a case of finding the highest strike rate sires on good to firm or firm turf. After all, a stallion with a 14% strike rate on rapid lawns cannot be said to be a specialist if his overall strike rate is 16%. In such an instance, he'd be significantly under-performing on the quicks.

Research needs to look beyond those isolated numbers and compare the subset (fast ground runs of a sire's progeny) with the superset (all runs of a sire's progeny). And, before doing that, it makes sense to get a baseline for 'all sires' - which is to say all horses - and their respective win rates on fast ground, and on all ground.

Let's begin with that.

A 'Quick' Baseline

Using data from 26th June 2014 to 25th June 2017, three full years, the following is the case:

Win strike rate for all runners in UK flat turf races - all going descriptions: 10.98%

Win strike rate for all runners in UK flat turf races - good to firm or quicker: 11.44%

Those numbers are a function of average field sizes - ignoring the occasional dead heat - of 9.11 runners for all races, and 8.74 runners for those on fast ground.

A stallion whose numbers betters these baseline figures can be said to be above average. That, however, will be of academic interest only in the wagering context if such sires are well known to the market, thus returning a negative ROI. Here, our friend Actual over Expected (A/E) can help. A figure of 1 is neither good nor bad, while a higher figure is increasingly good - and a lower one increasingly poor for punters.

Still with me? Great, let's look at some actual sire data!

The Data

Overall Sire Performance (UK turf flat races, all going)

Let's look at the 'all going' figures first. To be included a sire's progeny must have run at least 50 times in the three year research period. Here are the top twenty, sorted by win strike rate.

Sire Runs Wins Places Win% EW% Win PL EW PL ROI A/E IV
Frankel 134 39 68 29.1 50.75 -9.03 -78.48 -6.74 1.06 2.86
Kier Park 60 13 25 21.67 41.67 24.1 -28.43 40.17 1.33 1.86
Dubawi 1216 243 517 19.98 42.52 142.53 -603.46 11.72 1.01 1.99
Sea The Stars 522 98 212 18.77 40.61 -75.86 -243.05 -14.53 0.94 1.84
Soldier Of Fortune 93 17 38 18.28 40.86 -0.08 -29.7 -0.09 1.24 1.9
Distorted Humor 125 22 49 17.6 39.2 -23.59 -41.43 -18.87 0.93 1.73
Lemon Drop Kid 57 10 21 17.54 36.84 -18.46 -27.27 -32.39 1.06 1.78
Scat Daddy 87 15 35 17.24 40.23 12.46 -35.19 14.32 1.08 1.85
Night Shift 70 12 24 17.14 34.29 -0.22 -36.6 -0.31 1.43 1.52
Speightstown 140 24 49 17.14 35 49.01 -65.38 35.01 1.14 1.85
Starspangledbanner 216 37 89 17.13 41.2 -32.84 -78.81 -15.2 1.07 1.85
Librettist 88 15 34 17.05 38.64 -13.33 -9.43 -15.15 1.27 1.76
Dynaformer 89 15 29 16.85 32.58 8.19 -39.37 9.2 1.09 1.8
Elzaam 165 27 53 16.36 32.12 16.45 -91.25 9.97 1.33 1.65
Shamardal 1184 193 415 16.3 35.05 -196.33 -578.55 -16.58 0.96 1.66
Exchange Rate 86 14 29 16.28 33.72 -15.84 -48.03 -18.42 1.01 1.63
First Defence 56 9 20 16.07 35.71 -11.1 -32.29 -19.82 0.88 1.8
Kitten's Joy 102 16 34 15.69 33.33 -0.92 -58.88 -0.9 1.03 1.57
Hard Spun 247 38 79 15.38 31.98 30.14 -136.81 12.2 1.11 1.6
Gold Away 66 10 17 15.15 25.76 3.58 -41.27 5.42 1.29 1.69

 

Unsurprisingly, given the regal harem he's been invited to service since retiring to Banstead Manor, Frankel tops the chart - and by some distance, boasting an incredible 29% strike rate from his progeny.

In position #20 is Gold Away, whose offspring's 15% win rate is still considerably above par.

 

Fast Ground Sire Performance (UK turf flat races, good to firm or quicker)

In the below table, the data is honed to only those performances on fast ground, defined as good to firm or quicker. This time, reflecting the subset query, a minimum of 40 races are required for a stallion to figure. The table is again sorted by Win %.

Sire Runs Wins Places Win% EW% Win PL EW PL ROI A/E IV
Frankel 64 19 33 29.69 51.56 3.07 -39.49 4.8 1.08 2.98
Dubawi 444 98 206 22.07 46.4 118.55 -209.77 26.7 1.11 2.13
Speightstown 61 13 24 21.31 39.34 48.39 -32.43 79.33 1.35 2.32
Starspangledbanner 76 16 36 21.05 47.37 4 -23.84 5.26 1.28 2.15
Smart Strike 44 9 22 20.45 50 -15.13 -15.25 -34.39 0.89 1.81
Scat Daddy 40 8 15 20 37.5 24.83 -18.84 62.07 1.2 2.04
War Front 96 19 39 19.79 40.63 48.71 -41.1 50.74 1.26 2.21
Hard Spun 99 19 35 19.19 35.35 42.26 -52.72 42.69 1.33 2.01
Monsun 42 8 15 19.05 35.71 -15.31 -24.71 -36.45 0.96 1.59
Shamardal 500 95 195 19 39 43.04 -248.46 8.61 1.11 1.85
Sea The Stars 210 39 88 18.57 41.9 -29.5 -62.13 -14.05 0.95 1.82
Kitten's Joy 49 9 18 18.37 36.73 -3.75 -25.64 -7.65 1.12 1.84
Power 45 8 12 17.78 26.67 51 -34.02 113.33 1.37 1.64
Makfi 136 24 43 17.65 31.62 -11.25 -79.43 -8.27 1.16 1.7
Medaglia D'oro 40 7 14 17.5 35 -4 -21.9 -10 1.05 1.72
Distorted Humor 63 11 24 17.46 38.1 -10.2 -32.61 -16.19 0.94 1.67
Singspiel 63 11 18 17.46 28.57 22.38 -39.05 35.52 1.44 1.79
Champs Elysees 313 54 124 17.25 39.62 42.36 -134.4 13.53 1.03 1.57
Street Cry 163 28 56 17.18 34.36 -15.93 -98.52 -9.77 1 1.62
New Approach 316 53 113 16.77 35.76 -95.04 -165.67 -30.08 0.94 1.56

 

Frankel is still the daddy of the daddy's, his hit rate creeping up to 30% rounded. Position #20 is occupied by New Approach, whose 16.77% is some way beyond respectable.

Looking at the sample sizes, for both Dubawi and Shamardal to have a positive expectation marks them down as key sires of fast ground flat horses. If you take nothing else away from this post, that may stand you in good stead in "guessers' races" in the future.

 

Fast Ground Sire Positive Differential Over 'All' UK Flat Turf Runs

The next table shows those stallions from the extended (i.e. not only top 20) tables presented above, where the win strike rate for Good to Firm or faster was at least 1.25% better than for 'all' runs, in absolute terms.

An example may help in terms of clarity: let us consider Medaglio D'Oro, whose G/F+ strike rate is 17.5%. We can see the right hand column in the table shows a G/F+ Diff of 1.99, implying Medaglio D'Oro's overall win strike rate is 15.51% (17.5% - 1.99).

Hopefully that's relatively clear. In short, those at the top of this table have shown the greatest positive disparity on fast ground in UK turf flat races, when compared with their overall win rates.

I have highlighted four sires where the A/E figure implies progeny may still be under-rated on fast ground.

Sire Runs Wins Places Win% EW% WinPL EWPL ROI A/E IV Going G/F+ Diff
Medaglia D'oro 40 7 14 17.5 35 -4 -21.9 -10 1.05 1.72 GF+ 1.99
Monsun 42 8 15 19.05 35.71 -15.31 -24.71 -36.45 0.96 1.59 GF+ 1.92
Frozen Power 125 16 36 12.8 28.8 -4.08 -60.38 -3.26 1.18 1.18 GF+ 1.77
Doyen 51 8 21 15.69 41.18 1.63 -13.9 3.2 1.19 1.47 GF+ 1.66
Indian Haven 42 5 15 11.9 35.71 15 -11.64 35.71 0.99 1.15 GF+ 1.59
Singspiel 63 11 18 17.46 28.57 22.38 -39.05 35.52 1.44 1.79 GF+ 1.51
Cockney Rebel 113 9 30 7.96 26.55 -40.37 -29.35 -35.73 0.71 0.74 GF+ 1.46
Major Cadeaux 154 23 47 14.94 30.52 112.1 -69.86 72.79 1.27 1.45 GF+ 1.44
Smart Strike 44 9 22 20.45 50 -15.13 -15.25 -34.39 0.89 1.81 GF+ 1.4
Street Cry 163 28 56 17.18 34.36 -15.93 -98.52 -9.77 1 1.62 GF+ 1.4
Byron 150 15 40 10 26.67 -17.37 -59.04 -11.58 0.87 0.98 GF+ 1.39
Jeremy 103 13 28 12.62 27.18 0 -53.37 0 1.09 1.34 GF+ 1.39
Champs Elysees 313 54 124 17.25 39.62 42.36 -134.4 13.53 1.03 1.57 GF+ 1.38
Sayif 40 4 10 10 25 -0.5 -27.3 -1.25 1.07 0.98 GF+ 1.38
Alfred Nobel 71 8 18 11.27 25.35 -6.65 -35.78 -9.37 0.89 1.08 GF+ 1.35
Mujadil 70 6 19 8.57 27.14 -17.62 -30.1 -25.17 0.79 0.87 GF+ 1.33
Sleeping Indian 224 26 70 11.61 31.25 18.83 -95.32 8.41 0.98 1.06 GF+ 1.33
Power 45 8 12 17.78 26.67 51 -34.02 113.33 1.37 1.64 GF+ 1.32
King's Best 67 7 13 10.45 19.4 -46.74 -51.25 -69.76 0.8 1.01 GF+ 1.31
War Front 96 19 39 19.79 40.63 48.71 -41.1 50.74 1.26 2.21 GF+ 1.31
Nayef 190 28 59 14.74 31.05 19.39 -110.84 10.21 1.04 1.36 GF+ 1.3
Selkirk 74 12 22 16.22 29.73 14.52 -40.48 19.62 1.09 1.51 GF+ 1.3
Elusive City 185 25 58 13.51 31.35 -4.29 -95.75 -2.32 1.09 1.48 GF+ 1.28
Dylan Thomas 205 28 68 13.66 33.17 -21.94 -96.38 -10.7 0.93 1.28 GF+ 1.27
Medicean 325 33 70 10.15 21.54 -110.11 -198.06 -33.88 0.84 1.04 GF+ 1.27
Dalakhani 143 21 38 14.69 26.57 -50.94 -103.42 -35.62 0.83 1.31 GF+ 1.26
Captain Rio 200 26 68 13 34 -12.51 -74.7 -6.25 1.15 1.32 GF+ 1.25
Oratorio 157 19 54 12.1 34.39 -37.17 -75.4 -23.68 0.85 1.11 GF+ 1.25

 

Let's now review some further subsets: two-year-olds, sprinters, and - just for fun - National Hunt (!)

 

Fast Ground Sires UK Flat Turf Runs (2yo only)

This time the cutoff is 25 progeny runs for a sire to appear in the table, and I've sorted the top ten by Actual/Expected. Obviously, as sample sizes get smaller, so confidence reduces. Caveat emptor then on this group, and indeed all others, but they may be worth keeping an eye on with juvenile runners, especially those runners with as yet unproven ground preferences.

The highlighted sires have promising each way strike rates on fast ground so, while they're universally unprofitable to follow in that context, progeny of those sires will merit closer inspection when it's rapid underfoot.

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Sire Runs Wins Places Win % EW % Win PL EW PL ROI A/E IV
Power 27 6 7 22.22 25.93 56 -22.8 207.41 1.92 2.19
Archipenko 38 9 12 23.68 31.58 13.63 -15.81 35.87 1.87 2.09
Footstepsinthesand 50 8 15 16 30 19.5 -30.33 39 1.71 1.68
Sayif 26 4 9 15.38 34.62 13.5 -16.3 51.92 1.42 1.5
Sepoy 46 7 20 15.22 43.48 7.25 -7.73 15.76 1.29 1.39
Compton Place 58 6 12 10.34 20.69 13.36 -36.72 23.03 1.22 1.09
Equiano 137 21 43 15.33 31.39 24.38 -76.39 17.8 1.2 1.51
War Front 28 7 18 25 64.29 23.75 -4.62 84.82 1.17 2.53
Major Cadeaux 30 4 10 13.33 33.33 59.6 -15.19 198.67 1.13 1.31
Makfi 26 4 10 15.38 38.46 12.41 -4.7 47.73 1.12 1.66

 

Fast Ground Sires UK Flat Turf Runs (5f to 7f only)

Looking only at sprint distances - five to seven furlongs - delivers some predictable overlap and also some new producers worthy of scrutiny on good to firm or faster. Archipenko looks well worth tracking with his fast ground sprinters, while Scat Daddy just had an Ascot mirabilis in that context (Lady Aurelia, Sioux Nation and Caravaggio all winning; Murillo (8/1) and Take Me With You (20/1) both third, from just seven runners).

The subfertile Starspangledbanner has shown he has at least some lead in his pencil with the likes of Home Of The Brave, Spangled and The Comendatore all multiple fast ground sprint winners.

 

Sire Runs Wins Places Win% EW% Win PL EW PL ROI A/E IV
Archipenko 60 16 23 26.67 38.33 56.01 -28.67 93.35 2.14 2.48
Starspangledbanner 62 15 31 24.19 50 15.75 -23.04 25.4 1.48 2.49
Hard Spun 45 10 15 22.22 33.33 17.84 -31.52 39.64 1.41 2.41
Sepoy 69 12 28 17.39 40.58 7.5 -21.63 10.87 1.37 1.61
Scat Daddy 30 7 12 23.33 40 13.83 -13.64 46.1 1.36 2.45
Power 30 5 8 16.67 26.67 48.67 -20.82 162.23 1.3 1.65
Speightstown 43 9 16 20.93 37.21 40.01 -24.05 93.05 1.26 2.36
Shamardal 253 55 101 21.74 39.92 34.45 -143.49 13.62 1.24 2.24
Footstepsinthesand 184 29 62 15.76 33.7 29.21 -100.88 15.88 1.21 1.75
Dutch Art 279 45 99 16.13 35.48 45.38 -89.64 16.27 1.18 1.74

 

Fast Ground Sires in UK National Hunt Races

And now for something completely different, as they say. Just for fun, and because there is plenty of summer evening action that fits this bill, the below table shows sires whose progeny have performed creditably in National Hunt races on going described as good to firm.

While progeny of Authorized should never be off your placepot tickets at fast ground jumps meetings, he's not going to make you rich wagering in the win markets. The sons and daughters of Shantou and Norse Dancer, however, have eminently - and consistently - compelling figures, albeit on small sample sizes. They are certainly to be kept on side.

 

Sire Runs Wins Places Win % EW % Win PL EW PL ROI A/E IV
Shantou 32 14 18 43.75 56.25 65.01 -23.3 203.16 2.19 3.38
Norse Dancer 23 4 11 17.39 47.83 49.5 -3.11 215.22 1.6 1.47
Galileo 26 5 9 19.23 34.62 5 -14.33 19.23 1.43 1.64
Mahler 20 4 6 20 30 18.33 -13.35 91.65 1.34 1.61
Authorized 30 8 19 26.67 63.33 0.67 2.27 2.23 1.3 2.13
Cloudings 32 7 13 21.88 40.63 9.71 -5 30.34 1.29 1.67
Robin Des Pres 29 7 12 24.14 41.38 6.34 -18.4 21.86 1.28 2.08
Danehill Dancer 31 8 14 25.81 45.16 8.66 -15.36 27.94 1.18 1.98
Nayef 24 5 9 20.83 37.5 12.63 -14.5 52.63 1.15 1.6
Westerner 35 8 16 22.86 45.71 3.68 -17.39 10.51 1.13 1.74

 

The Tools

Here at geegeez.co.uk, we are happy to carve up a cod every now and again; but what we really want to do is provide the rods and bait for you to serve up your own fish suppers, figuratively speaking. In plain English, I want geegeez.co.uk to be a place where those of an enquiring mind have the facilities to satisfy their curiosity.

Looking at sire data, or trainers, or jockeys, we have a 'point and shoot' solution, a micro contextual tool and a more generic query engine.

'Point and shoot' search

If you are searching for a specific sire, you can use the search box top right on the racecards. Type your search parameter - in the below example, Authorized - and click the little blue triangle to the right of the name to display entries for that sire (or trainer or jockey or horse).

'Point and shoot' sire search

'Point and shoot' sire search

In the above example, we can see that Oskar Denarius represents Authorized's gene pool today at Newton Abbot, where the going is said to be good to firm. This will be Oskar's first attempt at good to firm: even though his winning form on the flat was on soft, he may improve over timber for the quicker surface.

 

A micro-contextual tool

If you are pondering a particular race where little form exists, Full Form can assist. Changing the view to SIRE via the red and grey buttons top right will enable you to scan various data related to the runners' lineage.

In the example below, I have checked filters for '2 Year' date range, Age (to focus only on 2yo progeny), and Going (to zone in on good to firm runners).

By selecting the first runner from the dropdown box top right (Holdenhurst, whose sire is Hellvelyn), I can then use my arrow keys to scroll through the field in, literally, a few seconds in search of runners who breeding suggests today's test may suit.

 

Searching for sire clues using Full Form

Searching for sire clues using Full Form

 

A more generic query engine

The two tools above will assist in your research related to current entries, especially today's runners. But what if, as in the main body of the post above, you want to do something more 'blue sky'? What if you want to research the whole panorama of sire data, or any number of other statistical vistas?

That's where our newest feature, Query Tool (QT), comes in. The information in this post was put together, literally, on the QT 😉

Like any powerful machine, it takes a moment to understand the basic controls. From there, however, I hope you'll find it to be the most intuitive - and fastest - engine of its kind. We're still at Phase 1 with it, but there is already much that can be done therein, as this post showcases.

QT has a number of features which make it more accessible and less clunky than other similar tools. For example, it uses a real time text string search for horse/trainer/jockey/sire that displays relevant database entities as you type. QT already has basic export functionality so you can play with your output in Excel (or via csv); it has simple charts which help to visualise the data; and, most importantly, it offers all of the functionality in a single page/window.

If you've not seen QT before, here's how it looks. And you can read more about it from page 69 of the Geegeez Gold User Manual.

A world of racing data at your fingertips, in a single view: that's Geegeez Query Tool

A world of racing data at your fingertips, in a single view: that's Geegeez Query Tool

 

The Summary

In this post, we've discovered some sires which might be of interest in various high summer - that is, fast ground - situations. Naturally, if a horse already has racecourse evidence suggesting it does, or does not, act on fast ground, that evidence takes precedence. However, where there is a gap in the demonstrated preferences, sire patterns can help shine a dim light in the right direction.

We have seen that progeny of the likes of War Front, Archipenko, Sepoy, and Shamardal may be worth noting when the turf is rattling; and, for the summer jumps, sons and daughters of Authorized, Shantou and Norse Dancer, among others, can generally acquit themselves creditably.

More than that, though, I wanted to introduce you to - or perhaps remind you of - a few features from which the more inquisitive-minded may derive significant punting utility.

These same tools can be used to drill down on the preferences of trainers or jockeys - even exposed horses - just as readily as they can for sires, and they are a goldmine of profit-getting snippets.

Good luck!

Matt

p.s. to sign up for Geegeez Gold, including a £1 30 day trial for brand new users, CLICK HERE.

Your first 30 days for just £1
4 replies
  1. Richard Carter says:

    Great read as always Matt. Out of interest, are there any plans to introduce the ability to save these searches and highlight future qualifiers?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Thanks Richard. Yes, there is something of a plan to do that, though realistically it’s looking like something for the very end of the year, perhaps even early 2018. There’s just so much ahead of it in the never-ending workstack… but we will get there.

      Matt

      Reply
  2. KIngTen87 says:

    Great read as ever Matt! Whilst I didn’t put any bets down, I did start looking into the Sire Snippets report at the back end of Ascot – I dare say some of the bloodlines highlighted in there would have been very interesting pieces in what were some very difficult puzzles… Looking forward to getting my hands on the query tool to explore a few new angles over the coming weeks too. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

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