[VIDEO] A look at Friday’s reports…

I've recorded another video. In it, I walk through the Geegeez Gold reports in search of some Friday winners. There are horses of interest - from shorties to 33/1 pokes - throughout the recording.

It's long. Just over an hour in fact. But it may well be worth the time, if you can spare it.

The video is more about the general 'how' and 'why' rather than Friday's specific 'what' and/or 'who', if that makes sense. Either way, I hope you get something from it. You can make the video bigger by clicking the square icon in the bottom right corner.

IMPORTANT: If you're having problems with the audio, please try this direct link

Matt

Pace Maps: Predicting the Future Just Got Easier…

The whole point of betting on horses - betting on anything - is being able to accurately predict what will happen in the future. The more 'yesterday' information we have, the better able we are to forecast 'tomorrow'.

In Britain, horse racing punters were traditionally in the dark: for years, there was nothing more informative (ahem) than the little alphanumeric sextet of recent finishing positions to the left of a horse's name. 'Professionals' bought the Sporting Life and, more recently, Racing Post. This gave them a huge leg up on other newspaper readers, but was still seriously deficient in terms of projecting what might actually happen in a race.

The advent of the internet has, slowly it must be said, changed things; finally, punters are able to access a raft of insightful data which genuinely can give them the edge over the bookmakers. This edge is greatest in the early markets, where many of the horse race odds lines are algorithmically constructed: Deep Blue versus Kasparov this is not. The software creating the early markets is not exactly sophisticated, which means we don't need to be chess grandmasters to find the ricks.

Looking at past form cycles and profiles - that is, when a horse comes into form and under what conditions - is a blind spot in the algos, which focus too heavily on recent form. The starting price markets are much more efficient of course, but nobody bets SP, do they? Do they?!!

One of the last major vestiges of unpublished form, in Britain and Ireland at least, is pace. Pace can mean different things: it can be precise, by virtue of sectional times; or it can be more general, defining a horse's run style. In most of the established racing betting nations - Hong Kong, Japan, US - sectional times are ubiquitous. Commentators are able to quantify the speed of the horses in-running by a split time stopwatch in the corner of the screen.

Here, we have no such aides - the usual "who's going to pay for it?" arguments - but what we do have, and more so than in many of the aforementioned racing jurisdictions, are detailed in-running comments. These allow a bettor to work through past performances and develop a picture in the mind's eye of each horse's run style. It's laborious, for sure, and I know for a fact that most jockeys riding in Britain gather their understanding of how the races they're riding in will unfurl in this manner. Until now...

Geegeez Gold has had pace information, in the form of a data table, for quite some time. And, yesterday, we moved things up a notch by converting the numbers into a picture: a pace map. Pictures are much easier for us humans to understand than words and numbers. Consequently, we can get the gist of something - like, for example, how a race will be run - in just a second or two when the data is presented in pictorial format.

Your first 30 days for just £1

So, welcome to Geegeez Gold's new Pace Graphic view. It's not Deep Blue, and nor was it imagined by the genius of Kasparov (it was me, actually), but it does instantly visualise how a race might be run based on the last four UK/Ire runs of the horses in it. And that means its users have a significant edge on other punters, either in time or awareness terms or, in most cases, both.

It lives in the existing PACE tab, and looks like this:

In this race, Whos De Baby looked like he'd get a clear lead. That's exactly what happened, allowing him to finish 2nd at 12/1

In this race, Whos De Baby looked like he'd get a clear lead. That's exactly what happened, allowing him to finish 2nd at 12/1

 

In this example from yesterday, Whos De Baby was predicted to be 'Probable Lone Speed', meaning he was expected to be able to set his own pace and try to make all. He very nearly did, finishing a good second at odds of 12/1.

Below is a video where I show you the what and how of the new Pace Graphic. If you're familiar with pace and how to use it in horseracing there may be little new therein. But if you're still trying to get to grips with the importance of pace, and which scenarios to look out for, you really should watch it.

 

 

There is more information in the User Guide, which can be downloaded from your My Geegeez page here; and there is an 'introduction to pace' video here.

Geegeez Gold continues to be committed to provided the best information for punters in the most consumable, readily understandable format, so you know more than your competition (other punters, not bookmakers) in less time.

If you're not yet a Gold subscriber, you can join us here. That page includes a link where readers who have never tried Gold before can get their first 30 days for just a pound. Thereafter, Gold is £30 per month. If you're serious about getting ahead with your horse racing betting, I don't know how else you can have this sort of a chance for less than a pound a day. Granted, I am a tiny bit biased... 😉

Good luck, and thanks for reading/watching.
Matt

Bringing Negativity to Geegeez Gold

geegeez.co.uk is a pretty positive place for racing fans to hang out, and we like it that way. So don't worry, despite the headline, nothing is changing in terms of the overall ethos of the site. It's still all about the bonhomie.

But we are introducing a whole raft of negativity onto our racecards this week. Let me explain...

For a couple of years now, we've had these helpful little green form indicators that tell users when a trainer or jockey has been having a good time of it.

 

Spotting in form trainers and jockeys couldn't be easier

Spotting in form trainers and jockeys couldn't be easier

 

 

And that's all well and good when the horsemen are in flying form...

...but what about when they're not? What about when they're on the dreaded cold list? What about when we as punters need to put aside our prejudices towards favoured personnel and acknowledge that our wagering should be made elsewhere?

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To this point, Gold cards have shown either good form indicators, or nothing at all.

But we're putting an end to that, starting this week. Yes, I'm delighted to unleash a swathe of negativity onto your screens. Constructive negativity if you will.

Introducing our new - you guessed it - red negative form indicators.

 

Gold racecards now feature both positive and negative indicators for trainers and jockeys

Gold racecards now feature both positive and negative indicators for trainers and jockeys

 

As with the positive indicators, it will pay to take a close look behind the numbers if you're entertaining a bet in the race; and I'd certainly never countenance punting either for or against a horse on the strength of these indicators alone. Rather, they're intended as a flavour of who's hot and who's not: in that context, they can help evaluate the price of the beast in question on more than just equine form.

There's not much more to say really. Oh, for those keen to understand how a handler or rider gets a mark, below is the full list (taken, of course, from our comprehensive user guide here)...

IMPORTANT: If things are not displaying as they should do for you, please follow the instructions here to refresh your browser's cache

There are four symbols for each of positive and negative, and they align to the four inline reports for trainer and jockey form, as follows:

14 – 5+ runs in last 14 days, 20%+ win OR 51%+ place
30 – 10+ runs in last 30 days, 20%+ win OR 51%+ place
C1 – 10+ runs at the track in last 365 days, 20%+ win OR 51%+ place
C5 - 25+ runs at the track in the last five years, 15%+ win

14 – 10+ runs in last 14 days, 4% or less win strike rate, OR 14% or less place SR
30 – 20+ runs in last 30 days, 4% or less win strike rate, OR 14% or less place SR
C1 – 15+ runs at course in last year, 4% or less win strike rate, OR 14% or less place SR
C5 - 25+ runs at course in last five years, 4% or less win strike rate

NOTE: It is perfectly possible for a trainer or jockey to have a combination of good recent and poor long term form, or vice versa!

**

That's it for this update. Nothing earth-shattering, but another little helping hand in shortcutting the form reading process and giving Geegeez Gold subscribers the leg up on the betting masses. You're either with us or, well, you know...

Here's the link to get involved, should you need it.

Matt

Three Ways To Improve Your Betting TODAY

This lad's lowly win triggered a very profitable idea...

Sometimes it's just staring you in the face. A little bit of digging is often all it takes to turn a notion into a profitable punting angle, and today I offer you three: something old, something new, and something 'upcycled'.

Let's start, like me, with the old...

Irish Raiders Flat System

I had a bit of time off for good(ish) behaviour yesterday and, of course, I spent it wisely, watching moderate racing from three summer jumps meetings... Whilst viewing, in an unusually quiet Casa Bisogno, two profit-pulling angles came to mind. The first relates, as the heading suggests, to Irish raiders on English shores; the second follows in the ensuing section.

Honestly, this is so remarkably simple that it really shouldn't be so effective. But it is.

As I noticed the line of blue yesterday morning for an Irish horse with no form called Scripturient, I thought, "I've seen this film before" and backed it blindly - a whole tenner - at 6/1. A few hours later Gavin Cromwell's shipper was doing for the English cavaliers in a style reminiscent of his presumed forefather, Oliver. Scripturient won, as he pleased, at 5/2.

Right, said I, with rare time to mull, let's have a look at these no form raiders. Here's what I discovered...

Backing all Irish runners in UK races that had run in Ireland last time out would have lost about 15% of stakes, at starting price. That's already remarkable given how many of them truncate markedly in price; and I conjecture that taking an early price, Best Odds Guaranteed, would likely cover that negative equity at SP.

But it makes sense that those which win are fancied to run well: after all, it's a fair old way to travel, across the deep, just for the weather (even if it is better here 😉 ). Setting the odds bar at 20/1 is pretty liberal, but it serves to throw out a whole load of bathwater and not too much baby, if you catch my drift.

Incredibly, we are now at less than 5% losses at starting price, on a sample of over 3100 runners since 2008. At starting price! The returns at Betfair Starting Price (BSP) are around 200 points. At early BOG prices, yield is surely higher.

Thus, having watched another Irish-trained summer jumper bolt up in Britain, I expected that this would be the pattern; but, in fact, that wasn't the case. The Irish National Hunt raiders did fare better in the summer than the rest of the year (excluding March, skewed by Ireland's ongoing domination of Cheltenham Festival handicaps from a punting perspective), but not in a manner that your bank manager (or, more likely, your peer group) would approve.

No, it's the flat horses which are most consistently bankable.

 

Irish flat runners in UK are very insteresting propositions

Irish flat runners in UK are very insteresting propositions

 

An ROI of almost 30% at starting price on a sample which cannot be skewed by a couple of massive priced outsiders due to the 20/1 cutoff is faintly ridiculous. At BSP or early BOG prices, you can add another hundred points or more to that bottom line. And betting early it is easy enough to move the negligible all weather deficit into the profit column, so I'd be happy to punt those as well.

Here's how this looks, then:

- UK flat (turf or all weather) handicaps
- Trained in Ireland, and ran in Ireland last time out
- 20/1 or shorter

 

Focus on the flat with Irish handicap raiders

Focus on the flat with Irish handicap raiders

Your first 30 days for just £1

 

The logic supports the ledger: most materially it is a long (expensive) journey for a runner without a chance; but also plenty of Irish trainers travel in search of better ground and/or easier opportunities. The volume of racing in Britain, allied to the relative ability level of much of it, facilitates these ambushes.

Here is the yearly breakdown:

 

Pretty consistent, though note higher win %/lower P/L at SP this year

 

It's a solid and consistent view. It is of course worth pointing out that 2017 has seen a higher win (and place) percentage than previously, but a negative ROI. Whilst there is almost certainly an element of the market finally cottoning on, it should continue to be the case that the early markets afford enough latitude to accommodate this differential. Time will tell on that score...

For what it's worth - don't judge the approach on this, whether results are good or bad - today's quartet of qualifiers are:

3.00 Ayr: Duncan Of Scotland
5.00 Ayr: Bell Of The Ball / Ruth Melody
8.10 Wolverhamption: Love To Rock

 

For Gold subscribers, I've started a forum thread to highlight these for a while...

 

****

A Brand New Trainer Heading For The Top?

If the Irish raiders system above is something old, how about something new?

Regular readers will know of my keenness to follow trainers, and specifically to understand in which micro-climates they deliberately set out to shine. I'm always looking out for new trainers who might be profitable to follow before the herd catch up.

The latest name to note in that sphere is 26-year-old Olly Murphy. Murphy is the son of trainer Anabel and bloodstock agent Aiden, and was assistant trainer to Gordon Elliott for four years. He has, then, a peerless schooling for one of such relative youth.

Of course, be that as it may, the proof of the pudding is always in the eating.

Since Murphy Jr. obtained his license he has saddled ten runners. Eight of them have finished first or second; four of them have won, and it should have been five but for an ultra-rare misjudged ride by the champion jockey aboard Varene De Vauzelle yesterday, foiling a treble for the trainer (and, naturally, the only win wager I struck on the three).

 

Olly Murphy has made a blistering start to his training career

Olly Murphy has made a blistering start to his training career

 

If the likes of Harry Fry and Ben Pauling - both young assistants to champion trainers before going solo - are any blueprint, the market will very quickly react to Olly's runners in low grade events. However, they may retain a blind spot in better class heats and/or when Murphy's team face up against more established trainers.

One thing is for sure: this is a team worth noting with anything they run right now.

One other thing: Olly bought a certain The Geegeez Geegee at the sales recently and it will be interesting to see what he can do with our former inmate.

Oh, and one other other thing: OM runs Sevilla in the 7.10 Wolverhampton tonight.

****

'Upcycling' Race of the Day

Something old, something new, something borrowed... or in this case, something re-imagined. Steve Oliver has been posting his Race of the Day for bang on a year now, and in that time it has helped many a newcomer - and plenty of more established visitors - get to grips with some of the tools, views and reports available on site.

It was never intended to be a tipping piece, and as such never picked out a singular horse. Rather, the idea was to showcase the info available and help readers to think about how to deploy the data.

In truth, with Race of the Day v2.0 - which makes its debut today - little has changed. But I have offered Steve the latitude to lead with a particular horse, and to reveal more of the toolkit in making a case for his spotlighted beast.

The purpose of Race of the Day is still to illustrate what can be gleaned about a race, and it will remain in the free part of the site. It is not strictly intended as a tipping piece and we will not keep score. Again, the primary purpose is 'edutainment' (if you'll pardon such a BS Bingo word).

Feel free to read Race of the Day, to back the highlighted horse, to back something else that stands out in the tools, or to ignore completely. But please do understand its main objective.

Race of the Day can be found here daily.

 

Matt

p.s. Don't forget Geegeez Gold. Take a 30 day trial for just £1 by clicking here.

p.p.s. Don't forget Stat of the Day, our premium tipping service, is free to all on Mondays, and can be found here.

p.p.p.s. Prefer some Monday editorial? Tony Stafford's Monday Musings are here, and Nigel Keeling's weekend round up is here.

Geegeez Gold: More New Bits

We've added some more new bells and whistles to Geegeez Gold today, and this post will help you understand what they are and, more importantly, what they can do for you...

First up, do check out the User Guide - latest version here - particularly page six, which has details of the changes since last time.

Below is a video which covers all the changes, and also highlights something else coming soon... but for those who prefer to read than listen, below the video you'll find some pointers to the changes.

 

New Geegeez Gold Stuff: July 2017

Silks on Fast Results

The first change is purely cosmetic. We think our fast results page is pretty cool, aggregating as it does a full day's results in a single view. But, though cool, it wasn't very sexy. Now it's both cool and sexy - phwhooarrr! 😉

Silks on Fast Results. Now our racing results are both cool and sexy!

Silks on Fast Results. Now our racing results are both cool and sexy!

**

HC1 Bug Fix

Like that itch on the bit of your shoulder you can't quite reach either over and down or under and up, this bug was a small but irritating thing. It manifested when a trainer had more than one handicap debutant runner on a given day; in such circumstances, only the first HC1 runner was highlighted. This led to me, and some of you, missing good winners. Bugger.

We've fixed it now - nothing much more to say except sorry, and hoorah!

Your first 30 days for just £1

**

Query Tool Upgrade

The main body of this release is given over to Query Tool, which has had an upgrade. Still in its early stages as a tool, we've made a couple of functional enhancements and added a bunch of extra query variables. Specifically...

Functional Enhancements
Show / Hide Variables
A truncated variable set, where some elements have been moved to HIDDEN

A truncated variable set, where some elements have been moved to HIDDEN

As we add more and more variables, the interface becomes increasingly - and necessarily - cluttered. To some degree that is unavoidable. But if you don't use a subset of the variables, there's no reason why they should be making your life awkward by getting in the way. Now they won't.

Beside each variable is a little minus sign. Clicking on that will move the variable to the new HIDDEN accordion section. If you make a mistake, or find you need to use a certain variable which has been moved to the HIDDEN section, just go there and click the + next to it to reinstate.

HINT: Variables in the HIDDEN section are still usable, so it could be used as a shortlist section as well, if required.

 

 

New Variables Added

In this release we welcome some new variables, as follows.

RACE now has MAJOR RACE CLASS, representing the sub-divisions of Class 1 for Group/Grade 1, 2, and 3 races, and for Listed races. We have included all Irish Grade A, B and C handicaps into the Listed bracket.

RUNNER has several new variables. EQUIPMENT allows users to specify headgear and/or tongue tie; CARD WEIGHT and ACTUAL WEIGHT provide for weight carrying queries (the difference being that ACTUAL WEIGHT factors in the deduction of a jockey's claim); CARD DRAW and ACTUAL DRAW allow stall position queries (ACTUAL DRAW being the racecard draw minus any non-runners drawn inside); and users can query based on OFFICIAL RATING and SPEED RATING as well now.

Note that EQUIPMENT and SPEED RATING only have data back to 2014, so it is recommended that queries are kept to the last three years or so.

HIDDEN, as discussed, is the place where your unwanted variables will hang out until such time as you decide they're needed.

 

Query Tool Integrates With Form Book

Lastly, but not leastly, we have now integrated QT with our main form book. This means that clicking on a race time/date/course will take you to that race result. Clicking on a horse, trainer or jockey will open a new window with that horse/trainer/jockey's full form inside. We still have more work to do in this space but this is an important step forward.

**

That's all for this release. There is much more to come in the second half of the year but, for now, I hope you find some value in the latest upgrades. We continue to work hard to ensure that Gold is not just one of the most comprehensive racing form provisions, but also the more user-friendly, and the best value offering on the market.

Some similar, though less feature-rich and/or easy-to-use, services cost over a hundred quid a month. Geegeez Gold is just £297 for a YEAR! Or £30 a month if you prefer. If you want to get ahead with your racing betting, you need the best information, and you need it delivered in the quickest, most easy to consume format. That's our thing.

Try it now by clicking this link

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

 

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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.

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.

Geegeez Gold: Improving Your User Experience

Towards the end of last week, we introduced a couple of new UX elements. UX? Eh? Well, it's techie speak for 'user experience', and relates to making things easier to access and/or navigate. As well as that pair, about which I'll share more below, we also introduced a small but significant additional snippet type on trainer inline form.

The video below demonstrates each of these but, for those who prefer to read than watch, I've expanded on the new changes beneat the video.

 

Latest Geegeez Gold Changes

All / All Hcap Inline Trainer Snippet

Since we introduced the inline Sire Snippet two-year record, featuring an 'All' row that highlights the overall performance of the stallion in question, it has been a personal frustration that we have not been able to display the same information for trainers. Until now.

We've added two new inline Trainer Snippets, showing the two-year record for the trainer overall and, where relevant, in all handicaps. It can be found by clicking the Trainer Form icon on the racecard, and looks like this:

'All' and 'All Hcap' rows added to inline Trainer Snippets

'All' and 'All Hcap' rows added to inline Trainer Snippets

Your first 30 days for just £1

 

Report 'Clear' and 'Show/Hide All Inline'

Moving on to usability upgrades, and we've added a couple of new buttons to the trainer, jockey and sire reports, as follows:

Clear Report Filters

Historically if you wanted to reset the filters on a report, you had to click in each 'from'/'to' box individually and set them to 'Any'. Now it's just a matter of clicking 'Clear'. Simples...

The new time-saving 'Clear' button appears on all trainer, jockey and sire reports

The new time-saving 'Clear' button appears on all trainer, jockey and sire reports

Report 'Show/Hide Inline' Button

Another (former) frustration was that in order to review the inline content on reports, a user had to click each row individually; and click it again to close it. Not insurmountable but a slight pain the arse wrist.

We've corrected that with the introduction of the 'Show / Hide Inline' button. Now, with a single click you can open all rows (up to a maximum of 35), and one more click closes them again. Neat. And tidy. Your carpals are thanking you already!

One click reveals/hides all inline content on trainer, jockey, sire reports

One click reveals/hides all inline content on trainer, jockey, sire reports

 

Query Tool Filters

We've also taken some of that report output configurability and added it to Query Tool. Specifically, when grouping by an entity, for instance jockey, it can be frustrating to have to sift through a number of irrelevant rows where there is very little data. As of now, users may select parameters for their QT output... and clear those parameters with one click to return to the full set of data. Bang tidy, as the little people say.

Sifting your Query Tool output just got a whole lot easier, with our filters and 'Clear' button

Sifting your Query Tool output just got a whole lot easier, with our filters and 'Clear' button

Hope you like these small, but perfectly formed, changes - and that they enhance your enjoyment of Geegeez Gold.

If you're not currently a Gold subscriber, you can sign up here. £1 for your first month if you've never tried us before.

Matt

p.s. Anything you'd especially like added? Or what about something you already love? Leave a comment below.

We can't promise to include your improvement suggestions, but if you don't ask, you don't get! 😉

The (Occasional) Influence of Draw

In today's video post, I've looked at the paucity of meaningful draw information on horse racing websites.

Naturally, geegeez.co.uk is an exception - in fact, I strongly believe we have the most detailed and user-configurable draw tool for British/Irish racing.

But as punters, we have to be careful around draw data, because much of it is half-baked or plain wrong.

Take a look at this short video...

 

 

Register for Geegeez Gold £1 Trial

Updated User Guide, including Draw and Query Tool 'how to'

 

Gold TV: Episode 1 (of 1?)

Below is a recording of a live stream on the subject of...

Getting the Best from Geegeez Gold

It was a first, so things were less than polished in places (like, from the start to the end) - please bear with that - but the general content will help you better understand the winner-getting Gold toolkit and how you can put it to work for you, starting right away.

Beneath the video is an approximate timeline for its content, in case you - gasp - don't want to watch the full two hours...

 

Timeline

00:00 Me scrambling around desperately trying to figure out what's going on

12:15 Introductions

19:00 Getting Help

26:30 Cards and Form Tools

53:15 Pace and Draw

1:15:45 Reports

1:30:45 Tracker

1:40:45 Your Questions

1:59:00 What To Do First / Next

 

JOIN GEEGEEZ GOLD

If you're not yet a subscriber to Geegeez Gold, you're missing out on all this goodness (not my terrible video production standard, but rather the Gold content!) for every race in Britain and Ireland every day.

>>>>>>Click here to join us<<<<<<

Trainer Snippets and the Top Bar Icons

This video is by way of introducing a couple of very useful elements: one is a tactic for getting rapid lowdown on all runners in a race, the other is more strategic...

Have a watch and see what you think.

If you would like to register a free account, click here

If you want to know what else is housed inside Geegeez Gold, click here

And if you're ready to become a Gold subscriber, click here

 

Matt

COMING SOON: Query Tool

In this post, I want to share a new feature which is going to be available very soon. I also want to politely remind you that today (Friday 27th January) is the last chance to secure your discounted (for life) Annual Gold subscription.

Let's cover that off first.

Geegeez Gold is continuing to invest in innovation. After this week's latest 'bell and whistle' enhancements - Pace Predictions on the pace tab, and Proximity Form on Full Form Filter - we have a much bigger enhancement in early stage testing. More on that below.

Unlike some publishers, we don't increase our prices for existing subscribers. Instead, we prefer to reward commitment and early adoption, by offering our best subscription rates to our most loyal community members, and by guaranteeing that the price at which you sign up is the price you pay for the lifetime of your subscription.

This means that, regardless of what new features we introduce or how much a subscription might cost in the future, you get the lot for the price now. That's only fair, after all, because without your investment in Geegeez Gold, we are unable to re-invest in you.

So, no big fanfare, but just to say that today is the last day you can lock in your subscription for 68p a day (£249 annually). From tomorrow, the annual price rises to £297 (81p a day), which still offers two months free against the annualised monthly subscription of £360 (99p a day). That's the very best value you can get, so if Gold is something you currently enjoy, and/or if the new feature highlighted in the video below excites you, then now is the time to upgrade.

Your first 30 days for just £1

 

YOU CAN UPGRADE HERE (make sure you're logged in first!)

 

Oh, and if you're currently a free subscriber, you can use that same link to upgrade directly to Gold Annual. One fee, swallowed (!) now, gives you full 'access all areas' for the entire year of 2017 - both flat and jumps, UK and Irish - and into January 2018. Nothing more to pay.

Enough already, because I think you probably already know if this is something you want to do... If you're still unsure, here's a sneaky peek at a 'COMING SOON' feature...

 

 

.

What do you think? Anything in particular you'd like to see included? Leave a comment and let me know.

Matt

p.s. here's the upgrade button one last time. Best value racing form for 2017 lives here

5 National Hunt Sires To Note

As we head into winter, and the National Hunt season proper, it is time to shift our focus to various angles which might help us carve out a profit during the months with the short days and long nights.

One somewhat esoteric route is following bloodlines. As with trainers and jockeys, once a sire becomes 'fashionable' the value in the price of his progeny often evaporates. But there are always new routes in to the bloodstock puzzle.

In no particular order, then, here are five National Hunt sires whose progeny have performed consistently well, and who may be worthy of note...

Nickname

We start with a chap for whom there will be no more foals - he died in 2013 - but who is proving himself a top producer with the likes of Le Mercurey, Frodon and Yala Enki flying his flag. What is quirky about Nickname, in the context of a piece like this, is that he was still racing over fences as recently as 2008, as a nine-year-old.

There are not too many nine-year-olds who retain their undercarriage in the NH sphere, still less who then go on to successful stallion careers. His first crop didn't hit the track until 2014 and, sadly, he only has three crops from which to pass judgement. But already he can boast of some high class stock, many of them - Frodon and Bagad Bihoue especially - yet to reach the zenith of their ability. If they are anything like their old man, they'll keep improving for a few years yet.

UK/IRE NH Record since 2009:

Runs: 107   Wins: 27   Places: 46   Winners to runners: 10/14 (71%)

Best Runner To Date: Le Mercurey

One(s) to watch: Frodon, Bagad Bihoue

*

Voix Du Nord

With a roll of honour including Vroum Vroum Mag, Taquin De Seuil, Vibrato Valtat and Vaniteux, readers may feel a tad cheated to find Voix Du Nord nominated as an 'under the radar' stallion. Like Nickname, he too passed away in 2013 at a time when, incredibly perhaps, his representatives had a solitary flag-bearer, this month's BetVictor Gold Cup winner, Taquin De Seuil.

With most of his progeny currently of racing age, we still don't know just how good a stallion Voix Du Nord could be. All the more disappointing that he's lost to the game already.

UK/IRE NH Record since 2009:

Runs: 314   Wins: 76   Places: 133   Winners to runners: 24/37 (65%)

Best Runner To Date: Taquin De Seuil

One(s) to watch: Vroum Vroum Mag

*

Alberto Giacometti

Your first 30 days for just £1

We move into the land of the living, and the less well known, with our third stallion, Alberto Giacometti. By Sadler's Wells out of a Shirley Heights mare, this fellow was bred to breed if he showed anything on the track and, inevitably, he did. Winner of the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud as a juvenile, he was a close third in the G1 Prix Lupin behind Dalakhani before an unsighted effort in Kris Kin's Derby the following year.

His work was already done, however, as that two-year-old G1 score was achieved at a distance of ten furlongs and on heavy ground: that's the sort of stamina gene that makes a National Hunt stallion!

Alberto's most famous junior thus far is probably Une Artiste, winner of the 2012 Fred Winter (and ten other races) and, though he has yet to father a truly top class runner, his consistency earns him a slot in this quintet. Specifically, nine winners from thirteen offspring to race in Britain or Ireland since 2009 - nigh on 70% winners to runners - is a fine effort.

UK/IRE NH Record since 2009:

Runs: 128   Wins: 27   Places: 60   Winners to runners: 9/13 (69%)

Best Runner To Date: Une Artiste

One(s) to watch: Abidjan

*

Saint Des Saints

Trained by Guillaume Macaire to make the frame in Grade 1 hurdle company, Saint Des Saints has shown himself to be a top class stallion since hanging up his horseshoes. He's comfortably the most commercial of this group, his €12,000 stud fee pretty high for a National Hunt sire. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, he's racked up 577 runs from his offspring since the start of 2009, and 111 wins.

A winners to runners ratio of 60% across such a large pool of horses is impressive, too, and he might just be responsible for next year's Gold Cup winner. Djakadam is that lad's name, the best of the Saint Des Saints progeny to race outside of France, and probably overall.

UK/IRE NH Record since 2009:

Runs: 577   Wins: 111   Places: 239   Winners to runners: 38/63 (60%)

Best Runner To Date: Djakadam

One(s) to watch: Aux Ptits Soins, Romain De Senam

*

Malinas

I am a big fan of German sires. With a flat race programme geared towards stamina, and stringent qualification criteria before a horse can stand as a stallion, the Germans seem to be breeding, forgive me, a superior race in terms of National Hunt stock.

Malinas, second to Shirocco in the German Derby of 2004 (1m4f, heavy), is quietly making a name for himself in the sheds. Far from prolific in terms of runners in Britain/Ireland - he's had just 16 individual runners here - he has nevertheless had a glut of runners in mainland Europe, especially France. That may soon be the case here, too, as he was the busiest British-based National Hunt stallion in 2013, covering 129 mares.

Across La Manche, the likes of Mater Matuta, Mali Borgia, and the very promising Brio Des Villerets head a posse of winners. Closer to home, his best known runners are Cheltenham Festival winner, Medinas; and seven-time winner, Black Thunder. But there is plenty of young Malinas blood coming through, including American, Baltazar D'Allier, and Prince D'Aubrelle.

The son of Lomitas has a phenomenal 81% winners to runners ratio. Oh, and geegeez.co.uk may have purchased a foal by this chap, out of a Listed bumper-winning mare... It will be a while before we know if he's any good, but in the meantime those of us in the syndicate will continue to take a very keen interest in how Malinas fares... 🙂

UK/IRE NH Record since 2009:

Runs: 159   Wins: 39   Places: 71   Winners to runners: 13/16 (81%)

Best Runner To Date: Medinas

One(s) to watch: Baltazar d'Allier, Prince d'Aubrelle, Malinas ex Eleven Fifty Nine (2015) [ahem]

*

As an aside, you can add sires to your Geegeez Tracker, like so:

Track the progeny of your favourite sires using Geegeez Tracker

Track the progeny of your favourite sires using Geegeez Tracker

And, if you choose to receive Tracker sire notifications on your My Geegeez page, you'll get an email like this each evening:

Get email notifications the night before your favourite sires have runners...

Get email notifications the night before your favourite sires have runners...

Nice!

*

So those are my five sires to note, some less obvious than others. But what about you? Swerving the likes of King's Theatre, Presenting, Midnight Legend and so on, who are the stallions whose progeny you look out for? Leave a comment below and share your knowledge of equine genealogy!

VIDEO: Using Trainer Snippets for Profit

Trainer Snippets is one of the newer Geegeez Gold features, and it's a brilliant insight into how trainers operate. I've written about the content before here, but was asked if I could record a video on the subject of Trainer Snippets. Well, Barry, happy to oblige (and thanks for the prompt).

In this video, I explain what Trainer Snippets are, the two places to find them, and why and when they're useful. I also highlight a few examples using this afternoon's racing.

I also reference A/E and IV in the video, with a link to more info on that. For expediency, here is that link.

Anyway, on with the show. I hope you find it useful...

 

Best Regards,

Matt

p.s. you can get a one month free trial for just £1 here

How to Find Winners When There is Little Form in the Book

It's Newmarket's Future Champions Weekend today and tomorrow, comprising eight races restricted to two-year-olds only. Such contests are notoriously tricky from a betting perspective, because we have little or no form to go on. Worse, most of the contenders are still unexposed to a lesser or greater degree meaning they can be expected to improve on what they've demonstrated so far. So how do we frame a puzzle like this?

The first thing to say is that, personally, I'm not a massive fan of such heats. I prefer an established level of form in the book, with only one or two possible (and predictable) improvers: for instance, a low grade handicap with a horse stepping up markedly in trip and another running for the first time in a handicap after a month off the course.

But still, there are times when I'm forced to have a view on races with little form, the most everyday of which is when selecting a six race placepot sequence.

Here are six ways to get a handle on a minimal amount of form... Oh, and by the way, most of these approaches apply equally to a novice hurdle at Chepstow in January as they do to a juvenile Group 1 in October at HQ, so keep an open mind in terms of the usable context of these hints.

1 Horse Form

The most obvious and logical place to start is always the form book. Incomplete as the picture may be, the basic ability indicators are located right there. The Instant Expert, which I would never use as 'alpha and omega' for this - or indeed any - job, does offer a view on the story so far. As you can see from this example, taken from tomorrow's Autumn Stakes, it is only a partially complete puzzle.

Autumn Stakes Instant Expert

Autumn Stakes Instant Expert

 

Note two things in particular:

  1. The large number of grey boxes. These denote the absence of form for a given horse under one or more of today's conditions. For instance, Rodaini has yet to race over the distance of a mile, nor in a field of 8-11 runners. That latter point is a touch misleading because he's won in a seven runner race and a twelve runner race, too. [Side note: I personally use field size - and going - primarily when the race is run on an extreme, i.e. very small field or very large field; heavy or firm going]
  2. The number of red boxes where there is only one run to go on. It is extremely dangerous to draw strong conclusions from the evidence of one run, especially using the 'win' view on Instant Expert. Take a look at these two views of The Anvil:
The Anvil should not be discounted in spite of a line of red on the 'win' view

The Anvil should not be discounted in spite of a line of red on the 'win' view

 

On the win view, it would be easy for an inexperienced - or cursory - eye to discount The Anvil's chance. But the place view, superimposed below for contrast purposes, reveals a very different opinion on his prospects.

Closer inspection of his most recent form line informs that he was a fast-finishing second over course and distance last time out in a better race: a Group 2 compared with today's Group 3.

However, getting back to the main image, we can also give Montataire a chance. He is the most exposed in the field, with eight runs already to his name, and he's achieved more than most of these. The question is whether he is now susceptible to those who have a lot more to come and, on the evidence of his last run - behind The Anvil - the probability is that he is.

 

2 Speed Ratings

Although, like with the form in the book, the race times in the book are a retrospective on the contenders which fails to account for future improvement, they can be very useful for two reasons.

Firstly, it is often hard for the casual punter to discern between one set of form figures that read '11121' and another. Naturally, we should be more sophisticated in our outlook than that but, largely through conditioning - looking at very partial racecards in the printed press, predominantly - the eye still wanders to the numeric string at the left of a horse's name.

Ratings, especially speed ratings in juvenile races, help us to form a hierarchy from the pile of similar looking form figures.

Secondly, because most two-year-olds are inexperienced and immature, they tend to race 'with the choke out' (i.e. the go as fast as they can for as long as the can, with limited ability to proportion their energy for the task in hand). This means that most juvenile races - typically run at five to seven furlongs before October - are not tactical and the numbers are generally more reliable than might be the case in longer runs.

Here's an example for this afternoon's Cornwallis Stakes, to be run over the minimum trip of five furlongs. Battaash is the highest rated on Geegeez Speed Ratings (SR column, his rating 94), and we can see that his only poor run was on soft ground. We can also see that he's 16/1.

He's not raced on good to firm ground before, so that's a question mark - one that we will look at shortly - but he might be overpriced. At least we know he can run fast in what will be a fast-run event.

Top Speed Rating, and 16/1 in the Cornwallis Stakes

Top Speed Rating, and 16/1 in the Cornwallis Stakes

 

3 Subsequent Form Value

Another way of separating the good 123's from the not so good 123's is to look at what has happened to the other runners in those races since the wins and places were achieved. Here at geegeez, we use something called 'Then What?', which you can see in Battaash's form lines above, and also in the below: a view of the form for those to have previously run in the 4.20 this afternoon, a maiden fillies' race.

Which of the runs so far have worked out best? 'Then What?' has some suggestions
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Which of the runs so far have worked out best? 'Then What?' has some suggestions

 

In the above, there are a couple of very interesting points to note. First, the favourite, Highland Pass, has run relatively slowly (48) thus far, and none of the three horses to come out of her races since have made the frame. It's a very small sample but doesn't light my fire when invited to accept 7/2 about her chance.

Compare that with the 68 and 65 rated fillies - the top two speed figures in the field (though plenty are making their debuts today, more on that shortly) - and she has some stepping up to do.

Vigee Le Brun is top rated, and her run has seen one winner from four to exit the race to date. Note, however, that her prior start was on soft ground, versus good to firm today.

The 65 filly is Paradwys, whose two runs have worked out well. Moreover, the most recent was over seven furlongs on good to firm, on the July course here at Newmarket. Clicking on the form line opens up the result, where we can see that all of the runners to finish in front of Paradwys that day to have run again since, have won. Now that's more interesting; and she's a 12/1 chance!

Will punters be in Paradwys this afternoon?

Will punters be in Paradwys this afternoon?

 

4 Trainer Form / Patterns

First time out, second time out, first time in a handicap, second time in a handicap, up in trip. When a horse does something new, or we have little form to go on, the habits of the trainer can help fill in some of the blanks.

A horse called Fleabiscuit runs in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile this afternoon. She's run once, and she won. No horses have emerged from that race - less than two weeks ago - so how do we know if Fleabiscuit has a chance today?

Her speed figure gives her plenty to find but, with just one run to her name so far, she could step forward significantly. Take a look at her trainer's form:

Trainer Hugo Palmer's record offers plenty of hope

Trainer Hugo Palmer's record offers plenty of hope

 

Hugo  Palmer is in perma-good form. He's been scoring at a near 40% rate in the past fortnight, and better than one in four over the entire month. He has the champion jockey-elect riding for him, and note Palmer's 'snippets' in the blue box above.

They show his performance over the last two years under certain relevant conditions. For example, we can see that he's got a nigh on 30% win rate with last time out winners. Moreover, he has a 27% strike rate with horses making their second racecourse start.

These are rock solid numbers, as we might expect from geegeez's implied man of the year. Fleabiscuit is probably not experienced - or talented - enough to win a race of this stature so early in her career. But she's not definitely not, and at 20/1 her trainer's record offers cause for optimism.

 

5 Sire Form

Earlier in this post, I mentioned a filly called Vigee Le Brun, whose one run came on soft ground, as opposed to today's good to firm. How could we know if she'll act on today's surface? The short answer is that we cannot know that; but what we can do is look to her sire for clues.

As with trainers above, geegeez also publishes Sire Snippets, attempting to shine a light on the two-year performance of stallions. Here's Vigee Le Brun's sire, Dark Angel:

Dark Angel's Sire Snippets in the context of this race

Dark Angel's Sire Snippets in the context of this race

 

We can see that Dark Angel has a close to 12% win rate overall in the last two years, which is incredible on 2264 runners. We can also see that two year olds and sprinters perform above the overall benchmark, at 12.22% and 12.63% respectively.

But what we can't see is how Dark Angel progeny have fared on good to firm ground. The reason for this is that the going can - and often does - change from when we publish this data to race time. Fear not, however, for we have that covered.

On the main race card, the going can be changed from a dropdown, and the revised going will reflect in both Instant Expert and Full Form Filter. In this case, we don't need to change the going, so we'll head straight over the FFF.

Dark Angel 5 year going formDark Angel 5 year going form

Dark Angel 5 year going form

 

As you can see, I've selected the Sire option top right, chosen Vigee Le Brun from the horse dropdown, then 5 year form, and going.

The Race Record box shows me Dark Angel's five-year record on today's (good to firm) going. It's 12.74%, which is again some way above his two year batting average overall, offering hope to backers of this filly.

I could also take this a step further and add distance to the filter, to see how Dark Angel's have fared over seven furlongs in the last five years.

Dark Angel five year distance and going form

Dark Angel five year distance and going form

 

Interestingly, this drops the win percentage back a good bit, and upon checking the two year form I noticed that it is even lower, so that would be a concern.

Full Form Filter is a very flexible tool, and its sire option is one of the most under-used elements of the entire arsenal.

 

6 The market

At the end of the day, in races where there is limited racecourse evidence on which to base a judgment, the market can be an insightful predictor. With a filly like Vigee Le Brun, I'd be very interested in whether she had taken support in the early skirmishes. Checking an odds comparison function, such as the 'Odds' tab on Geegeez, will shed some light.

Both Paradwys and Vigee Le Brun have taken support

Both Paradwys and Vigee Le Brun have taken support

 

During the time I've been writing this post, we can see that both Paradwys and especially Vigee Le Brun have taken support. They're not the only ones to be fancied, but this certainly helps - with confidence if nothing else - in making a wagering decision, allied to what we've learned for ourselves in points one to five of course!

**

Many people, including myself, use Gold mainly when the level of form is thoroughly exposed. But I hope the six suggestions above offer some food for thought in terms of how we can get a few inside lines on those where it is all in front of them. Gold is full of hints, tips and pointers, for all types of race. We just have to go a little 'off piste' in some situations. 🙂

Matt

p.s. Gold trial: 30 days access to the full Gold toolkit, speed ratings, tips, forum threads, reports, tracker, prize tipping league and more. One pound.

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18 Gold-en Trainer Snippets You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know

You can win with Willie. Trainer Snippets show you how

You can win with Willie.

Trainers are the life blood of the game. Well, after horses, that is. And the way some are venerated in the mainstream media you'd think they were the answer to all racing fans' needs.

In fairness, many do make the job of the meejah-men far easier by offering guided tours of their yards as well as gratis pig slices and caffeine by the gallon. But for us punters, most big name trainers are money pits from a wagering perspective, most of the time.

So, when looking for trainers to back, it boils down to this simple differentiator between punting men and gambling boys: do you want winners, or profit?

If you want to stay comfortably in the game, short-term - no long losing runs - then winners (i.e. a high strike rate) are for you. But if you seek to make a profit from your punting, and can see beyond the end of the month in your (documented) betting ledger, profit is the only arbiter of performance.

Alas, the simplest market forces of supply and demand dictate that winners and profit are rarely seen in the same room together. However, just occasionally, they are. Below are 18 Golden trainer snippets that you didn't know you didn't know.

They cover all race codes, and focus on the two year period up to and including this past weekend.

First Time Out

No form to go at. At least, no British or Irish form to go at. Fumbling blindly in the dark for a bet? Not if you side with these very well-known characters...

Willie Mullins

The captain of Closutton has some pretty special talent with which to wage war each season, that much is known to everyone. It comes as a bit of a surprise then, a recurring theme in what will follow, to discover that there are circumstances - very simple circumstances - under which his charges can be profitably backed.

In this case it is on their first start in Britain/Ireland. 143 horses have been saddled by Willie and his team in the last two years, 61 of them winning and a further 35 making the frame. The winners were worth +12.61 at starting price. Availing of best odds where one can, or Betfair SP, would enhance these - and all subsequently quoted - returns.

Whilst the ROI of a little under 9% won't have all readers salivating, the hit rate of 43% is faintly preposterous. In a good way. And those numbers are not merely an aberration of the last two rolling years. Rather, Willie has been profitable in this context since 2012: he is a law unto himself, and seems to be improving his methods faster than the market can adapt to his elevated strike rates.

If one doesn't much care for monopolies - or, perhaps more correctly, cartels - then one should at least cast an approving gaze over the P and L column.

 

Paul Nicholls

The other pugilist from that famously welcome trainers' title scrap on bet365 day in April was Paul Nicholls. Ditcheat's most famous resident received a bloody nose and a significant cut above the eye last season - metaphorically, of course - but still produced a lump-hammer of a haymaker when he needed it most. I am full of admiration for what Nicholls did there, and on Scottish National weekend seven days before, upsetting the odds in the process.

For such a household name, it is strange to discover that he too can be backed blindly and profitably with first time out runners. As with WPM above, PFN acquires many such runners from France; so while they're not necessarily having their first career starts, they are running for the first time in Britain or Ireland.

Nicholls runners won 23 of 89 starts under such conditions in the study period, and hit the board another 23 times. His level stakes starting price profit was 16.24.

 

Ger Lyons

From one extreme to another, and reminding us that some horses race without obstacular impediment, Ger Lyons has a burgeoning reputation as a man to invest in without recourse to the form book. His first time out strike rate is a 'mere' 15%, double the average first time starter win rate, but they just keep on winning at prices.

Much of this is predicated on running against powerful stables such as Ballydoyle (Aidan O'Brien) and Rosewell (Dermot Weld), though the market is generally not quite so oblivious to alternative sources of winners.

Owner Sean Jones has been a significant supporter of Lyons, with his blue spotted white silks a feature of many juvenile heats across Ireland, but he is not alone. More recently, Qatar Racing Limited have invested in the team, with some success.

Back to the numbers: Ger's jobbers have won 15 of 99 starts in the rolling two years to date, and accrued a hefty 51.15 unit profit at SP. That's just better than a 50% ROI and has an actual over expected of 1.15.

**

Second Time Out

Some trainers have them ready to run out of their skin first time, and some prefer leaving something to work on while educating their immature horses about the racecourse experience... all whilst achieving the best possible placing, naturally. As I wrote in this post, there are some surprisingly high profile names at the top of this pile. Here's an aide memoire of a top trois.

 

Sir Michael Stoute

Sir Michael is an absolute master of schooling in public bringing a horse on from first to second start. There are some in the game who should care about this - them what make the rules, for example - but we punters need simply be aware of the modus operandi and fill our boots accordingly.

First time out, Stoute-ly trained horses are 14 from 152 (9%) for a loss of almost 40 points at SP. But that's patently not when to be financially involved. A single run, and doubtless a little tightening of various biomechanical screws, later the figures for the same period look a touch sexier.

Actually, they look red hot and dutch: 46 winners from 148 runners (27%), and +56.65 in the tank. That's an A/E of 1.10 for one of the biggest names in flat racing. Scorchio!

 

Karl Burke

A lesser known name to some, but a man who has gone from strength to strength since being warned off for a year in 2009 after a careless "inside information" episode. This season has been a continuation of last as far as dual Group 1-winning fillies are concerned, with the rapid Quiet Reflection supplanting the retired-to-stud Euro-traveller, Odeliz.

Burke is a trainer close to the top of his game currently, a point generally missed by the market, most likely because he doesn't conduct his affairs from the southern part of England. A resident of Middleham in North Yorkshire, his Spigot Lodge yard has fired in ten winners from exactly a hundred first time starters in the last two years. That victorious decile was worth 34.5 units at SP to bettors, but a 10% strike rate will bury the casual punter is short order.

Happily, our Karl ramps up the strike rate at the second time of asking, recording an impressive 18% win rate from 96 runners (17 of which won). Those winners were worth 52.82 points at SP, though a word of caution is required. During the sample period, Daisy Bere obliged at 66/1, accounting for all of the profit and a touch more besides.

However, the same yard hit the target in August 2014 with a 50/1 shot, and their long term record with horses priced 20/1 and up is good: five winners and 15 more placed for an each way strike rate of 17% and a profit at SP of 135 points. Looking only at the post-ban period - from 2010 onwards - we have 31 qualifiers, three of which won and another six placed. That amounted to an each way strike rate of 29% and a profit of 152.40 to a level point win and place.

Obviously this is a small sample size so I restate the need to proceed with caution. But to small stakes on the occasional big prices from Spigot Lodge, some lucrative fun could be had.

 

David Evans

David Evans is probably best known for running his horses - normally sprinters - regularly, but recent evidence suggests that stereotype to be an ignorant caricature of his performance.

Evans scores at just over 8% with first time starters - 7 from 83 - for a sizeable loss. In fairness, he's about on par with the average of all debutants, perhaps even slightly ahead. But, with the benefit of the race behind them, Evans' lads and lasses strike better than twice as often.

17% of his 77 runners in the last two years - thirteen winners - have come from those with that basic racecourse experience, and they were worth 108.13 units profit. Here again readers need to have their eyes open to the presence of two 50/1 bombs and a 25/1 winner besides; on the flip side, it is also worth noting that of the 77 second time starters, 26 of them were sent off at 22/1 or bigger.

It's very far from a bombproof setup, but much ballast is found in the shorter priced of his second time starters. Indeed, since 2009, 32 of the 144 runners priced at 14/1 or shorter have prevailed, 22%, for an SP profit of 22.70 points.

Evans has enjoyed patronage from some bigger hitters in recent times, including that Welsh patriarch of the turf, Dai Walters, so expect him to continue to surprise from a market perspective, possibly with some better-bred individuals.

**

First Time in a Handicap

Ah, the vast improvement that can be gleaned from those stepping into handicap company for the first time... This is one of my favourite subjects, it is one about which I've written repeatedly and at length (notably here), and it is one to which the racing calendar demands we pay ever closer attention as the number of handicap races increases seemingly inexorably.

There are many masters of this handicap first run trick, so the trio flagged here are but the icy tip of a gargantuan iceberg just waiting to be scaled or crashed into, depending on one's wagering receptiveness to such ostensibly machiavellian intent.

Actually, it doesn't matter what you - or I - think about it. Handicaps are here to stay, and so are those who are cute enough to play the handicap game. So get with the programme, and pick them in your team. Here are three to get you started:

 

Rebecca Curtis

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Another wily Welsh handler, Rebecca Curtis has had horses as good as At Fisher's Cross, winner of the 2013 Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival, and O'Faolain's Boy, who scored in the RSA Chase a year later.

Her more workaday types are also shrewdly campaigned, ensuring the best possible chance of a winner for their owners. Via the first time handicap route, the Fforest Farm stable has celebrated on ten occasions from just 34 such runners in the past two years. That 29% strike rate was worth a profit of 40.66 points at starting prices, an ROI of a mouth-watering 120%

While it is unreasonable - probably - to expect that level of profitability to remain for years, the likelihood is that Curtis's 'cap debs will only steadily deteriorate in value, meaning gravy for the foreseeable.

What is remarkable about these figures is that Miss Curtis actually managed to have a bit of a bug in the yard during the review period, in spite of which she's still close to the pick of her peer group in this regard. Chapeau.

 

Hugo Palmer

THE coming man in British flat racing, Hugo could have been placed in almost any of the slots in this post, and his value is likely to wane faster than any other. That's a factor of his brilliance, but it shouldn't dampen our enthusiasm in the short term.

Here we focus on Palmer's handicap first starters, who have scored at a rate of almost one in four over the past two years - 11 winners from 48 runners to be precise. Those triumphs were good for a collective 33.11 units at the industry rates, a return on investment of 69%.

A feature of many of these trainers' runners is the contraction in price during the day, and HP's crew have truncated more than most. Get on early, when it looks like value, while you can. It can't last. And it won't last.

Happily, there are always new names coming through.

 

Anthony Honeyball

My good friend Anthony - whose yard is sponsored by geegeez.co.uk - understands the importance to owners of a win, just like the other conditioners in this section, but unlike many in their rank. He's actually been quieter than normal in the past couple of years, but has still won a quarter of the dozen races he's entered 'cap debs in.

Three from twelve, and another four in the frame, makes for easy - if occasional - reading, as does a bottom line in the black to the tune of +14.5 points. One of the trio of winners was The Geegeez Geegee, who returned 11/1 having been 11/2 earlier in the day.

It is worth pointing out that Anthony is, in my opinion, arguably the best trainer of handicappers in the country. In his career to date, he's saddled 477 horses in handicaps, 95 of which have won (20% strike rate) for a level stakes profit of 106.22 points. Feel free to at least double that if you're betting early prices or Betfair SP.

Oh, and that was having made a level stakes loss in his first four years training. Since 2011, almost six years, he's cleared a surplus in all bar one calendar year - when the loss was a tolerable eight points. Like I say, one of the finest - if not the finest - placer of horses in the game today*.

 

*Do leave a comment at the bottom if you have other names to throw into this fray 🙂

**

Second Time in a Handicap

Second time in a handicap draws in two polar opposite types: the obvious improvers, and those whose first run in a handicap was designed purely to vindicate the official raters' errant initial assessment!

 

Evan Williams

Evan Williams could have easily made it into the first time out group at the top of this post. But if he was unlucky to miss the cut there, there are no such deliberations here. Williams, yet another Welsh trainer at the top of his peer group on these measures, prevailed on 10 of 33 occasions with horses running for the second time in a handicap.

The ten winners paid for the 23 losers and left 37.66 on the table at starting prices. Eight of them ran for the first time in a handicap on their prior start, two each finishing first and second. The other four to fit this profile were fifth, seventh, tenth and fell, so be prepared to forgive an unplaced effort on 'cap debut.

 

David Simcock

Another handicapping star, Simcock has excellent figures both first and second time out, a function of how strong a handle he has on his team early in their careers. It's the second time 'cappers we focus on here, a group which won 14 of 51 races in the review period (27%). 16.11 points level stakes profit equates to an ROI of 32%, and there is a look of sustainability about Trillium Place's contenders in this context.

All bar one of the 51 'qualifiers' ran in a handicap on their previous start, where twelve of the 14 winners finished in the first three. That was from just 24 runners. So don't expect too many Simcock surprises on second start 'capping.

 

Brian Ellison

A dab hand as a trainer under all codes, Ellison is a quiet man with whom who I once shared a Cheltenham preview panel. In truth, he seemed to have a fairly flimsy handle on the Festival form book; but that is not to say that he doesn't know exactly what he has in his care. On the contrary, his record speaks for itself, with winners in all grades, at all prices, and spanning the breadth of disciplines.

In contrast to David Simcock above, Ellison's 11 wins from 61 second time handicap starters in the last two years, yielding a return of +26.50 at SP, were not obvious types. Indeed, just two of the 21 horses to place in the first four on their prior start, and handicap bow, managed to win second time. From the other 29 to fit that bill emerged seven largely unconsidered winners, and a good profit.

With no outliers in the (granted, small) dataset, and robust place strike rates to back up the win percentages, Ellison's squad can be trusted on their second start in handicaps.

**

Layoff of 60+ Days

Training methods have changed. Modern handlers have more technology, more veterinary support, and more collective nous than the previous generations; and that means that a horse winning after a year off is no longer the "wonderful training feat" trumpeted by some race callers.

And yet, as with everything in life, some do it better than others. And some do it par excellence.

Saeed bin Suroor

Godolphin's former plod has had a difficult time of it this term, and it was disappointing to see the generally excellent James Doyle jettisoned from the first choice slot at Stanley House. Nevertheless, through the clinical lens of the punting microscope we peer into the petri dish of bin Suroor's performance. With first time starters it is very good, and so it is with layoff horses, who would be similarly without racecourse exposure in the recent past.

Specifically, bin Suroor has saddled 155 horses without a run for at least 60 days (excluding first time starters), of which 41 have passed the post in front (26%). That better than one-in-four hit rate added 44.29 units of notional gravy to the war chest at SP.

This is a team that clearly has no problems readying one for the first time, or for the first time in a while.

 

Sir Michael Stoute

Famously patient with his horses, to which I've already alluded, Sir Michael Stoute's relaxed approach to the passage of time has borne fruit repeatedly. A further example of this is in the layoff department, where his 181 runners to return to the track after a break of sixty days and more have struck 36 blows for the Freemason Lodge setup, at a one-in-five clip.

34.56 points was the profit score in the past two years, an ROI of close on 20%. Tidy enough from a man at the head of his peer group, and a second - albeit partially overlapping - route to profit from one of the most famous names in the game.

 

Kim Bailey

I almost gave a further mention to Hugo Palmer, about whom I'll only repeat that he's destined for the top. Instead, I've gone with a renaissance man in Kim Bailey. Famous for winning the Champion Hurdle (Alderbrook) and Gold Cup (Master Oats) in the same year (as well as the Grand National in record time), Bailey slipped off the radar for a while, but has bounced back with aplomb in recent times. He snaffled further Festival glory in 2015, and has been a wizard with a layoff type.

159 horses have lined up after a two month or longer absence, and 30 have bagged the spoils (19%). Those winners racked up an impressive 53.86 points profit, in some part due to the success of his 33/1 chance, Darna, who sunk my Monetaire battleship in the Festival Plate eighteen months ago.

That one had benefited from a wind op during its absence, and it is possible this is part of the layoff success story at Thorndale Farm. Regardless, it's been a profitable route, and should continue to be for the immediate future.

**

Quick Returners (7- Days)

At the other end of the layoff spectrum are those nags hurried back to the track within a week, often to take advantage of a lenient handicap mark after winning the last day. As has been demonstrated throughout the angles in this post, there are great swathes of fine exponents, a subset of whom are consistently lucrative for us betting types. Here are my three off the tee...

Mick Easterby

Something akin to an institution in northern racing, Mick Easterby has continued to thrive under certain circumstances, regardless of changes in training fashion or the race programme. His 22 winners from 89 quick returners (25%) delivered 54.66 points of profit to the retrospective investment fund.

Of the 22 winners, seven (from just 13 starters) were backing up a last day triumph and returned 22.66 points.

I'm not entirely sure what's changed at Sheriff Hutton in recent years, but something seems to have. He has saddled more quick returner winners in 2016 than in any year since 2003. Although he backed it up with his second best tally last year, I'm more apprehensive about the repeatability of this entry than any other flagged here. So, caveat emptor, and all that.

 

James Given

The master of Mount House Stables has had some up and down times over the past few years, but this is one area of consistent performance. Indeed, Given has made a profit with his seven-day returners in each of the last TWELVE years!

For the study period, he's saddled ten winners from 38 runners (26%) and brought back 42.08 more than was invested (111% ROI). Whilst that is at the higher end of Given's profit performance in the past dozen years, it lends credence to the notion that he's still under-rated in this context. More winners and more profit with quick returners looks, well, a given. (Sorry).

 

Nigel Tinkler

Rounding out a northern trio of trainers is Nigel Tinkler. Like James Given, Tinkler's 2016 figures are probably not fully repeatable. But, also like Given, he has a solid track record of striking with quick returners stretching out some way beyond the study period.

In the two years under review, Tinkler saddled eight winners from 44 runners heading back to the track within a week, for a profit of 49 points. He looks more likely than not to continue to pay his way in this context.

**

Summary

Six different approaches to profiting from trainers have been highlighted in this post, and I've put together a summary table for readers who might like to follow the fortunes of those nominated.

 

Top trainers *can* still be profitable, under certain circumstances

Top trainers *can* still be profitable, under certain circumstances

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Trainer Snippets

The purpose of this post is to highlight the power of trainer angles, and how little snippets of trainer data can reveal something previously unconsidered and, more materially, still at least partially concealed from the market.

Finding these insights in the first place is labour intensive, let alone rooting through the entries each day for possible 'qualifiers'. Moreover, times change. The names in the list above may outperform their recent historical benchmark, or they may under-perform against it. In short, this approach is transient, fluid, and hard to keep a handle on. At least, it was.

That's why I built Trainer Snippets. Trainer Snippets comes in two formats: a report, and contextually inline on the racecard. Here's how it looks, in both formats.

 

Trainer Snippets Report

 

Trainer Snippets report, with relevant horse inline when trainer is clicked

Trainer Snippets report, with relevant horse inline when trainer is clicked

 

In this example, I've set a couple of filters - for minimum runs, win percentage and A/E - and I've sorted the output on the 'All' button (which, predictably, incorporates the content from all other buttons) by A/E.

I then clicked on the first named trainer to reveal his runner(s) today. If I click on the runner line - Spirit Of Kayf - a new window will open in my browser for that race.

For those who like their nuggets 'top down' the report is perfect. But what if you're evaluating the form of a specific race? Gold's inline trainer form is as good as it gets, and leans heavily on the Daily Racing Form (America's daily racing 'paper) model of flagging trainer insights within the card.

Here's how it looks on Gold:

 

Oodles of trainer insights right in the racecard...

Oodles of trainer insights right in the racecard...

 

Clicking the icon that looks a bit like a trainer reveals two small tables. The first displays the trainer's recent (14 and 30 day) form, and his/her longer term course (one year, five year) form.

The second distils the appropriate Trainer Snippets into the card. In this example, we can see that, in the past two years, Keith Dalgleish has won with seven of the twelve chasers he's saddled. Moreover, he has an excellent (and profitable) record with both last day winners - as evidenced by Amy Blair yesterday - and those returning after a break. Knowing this would certainly mark up Mixboy's chance. [Post script: Mixboy won easily by SIX lengths, at 11/4]

 

How to get Trainer Snippets for every race, every day

Registered free users can view the inline trainer snippets in the Gold "races of the day" each day. However, to secure unrestricted access to Trainer Snippets, a Gold subscription is required. If you're not currently registered and/or have never trialed Gold before, you can take the whole kit and caboodle for a spin for 30 days, for a pound.

Whoop - go here to get your £1, 30 day trial

If you'd like to upgrade your existing free subscription, Gold is less than £1 a day. Actually, it's £30 a month, or £297 a year. Other form books, which are less easy to use, less committed to development, and well, more 'last century', cost upwards of £100 a month. That's £1,200+ per year. Gulp.

Upgrade to Gold (log in first!)

 

 

Good luck!

Matt

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