After taking some time to sort out the mess my travel agency business is currently in, I thought it would be a good time to start making some meaningful contributions to the site again, writes Chris Worrall.
I propose a series of articles looking at which trainers fare best in certain months, which fare best at certain tracks and a whole host of stat-based pieces. If there are any particular angles you'd like me to explore on your behalf, please ask.
I'm regularly looking for new angles as a way in to finding a bet and largely because I need to find selections each day for my Stat Picks service and, more importantly for Geegeez readers, a daily selection for Stat of the Day.
What is Stat of the Day?
Well, in mid-November 2011 (have I really been here nearly nine years?!), Matt said to me "I've had an idea for a daily piece we can do between us", and a pillar of geegeez was conceived. The basic premise around the service was - and still is - to highlight one horse each day that statistics suggest has a decent chance at a decent price that also offered some value.
It was never really intended as a tipping service and, although we now keep basic data re: strike rates, profit/loss & ROI, it still isn't a tipping service as such. Well, I don't think it is anyway. My aim is to fulfil the original brief: one horse per day with a chance at a reasonable price but, more than that, to highlight one or more statistical angles you can use to help in your own betting. The picks are not incidental, nor even are they secondary, but there is much more to Stat of the Day than the name of a horse and a price.
In recent years, I've been the main contributor to the service, as Matt's time has been needed elsewhere on the site, but it remains a team effort. [It's 99% Chris, 1% me! - Ed.]
How do I land on the daily selections?
Well, it's probably not the most time-efficient method, if I'm honest, but I'm a little set in my ways. So here goes.
Stage 1: Longlisting
Like many of you, I have a stack of stored angles created via Geegeez' excellent Query Tool (and I'll be sharing some of these with you in due course). I also have a large number of saved angles on the also-excellent Horseracebase site and each evening I'm able to access a list of horses that are set to run the following day.
In addition to those two lists, I look at the Geegeez report suite for the daily Shortlist and also My Report Angles, where I have my own preferred parameters set up. So, after consulting these four places, I'm presented with a large number of runners and that's stage 1 complete.
Stage 2: Eliminations
Stage 2 involves putting all the races where I've got possibles into track/time order and it's at this point that I first look at the Geegeez racecards page, which I then use to cross off any races I wouldn't want to get involved in for SotD purposes. It's not an exhaustive list and I do sometimes make exceptions, but generally I get rid of maiden races (but often keep maiden handicaps), flat /AW novice non-handicaps, median auction races, bumpers (NH Flat), Irish racing, and races with 14 or more runners.
Stage 3: Further Analysis
I'm now left with a number of races to assess with one or more possibles and it's only at this point that I actually look at the racecards themselves. I then use a mixture of Instant Expert, Pace/Draw, Head to Head, Full Form and that unquantifiable gut feeling to establish I believe have a decent chance of winning and I then eliminate those that don't.
Stage 4: Value Judgement
This can then leave me with anything from one to ten runners on a shortlist, which I then put in the order I feel are most likely to win. Once I've got that pecking order in place I will, for the first time, look at the prices available. I'll have an idea in my head of what kind of price I'd want for each runner and so I start at number one and check if (a) it's available at 5/2 or longer (my own general minimum cut-off for SotD) and (b) if it's priced close to or higher than what I'd wanted it to be.
I'm aware that the last part is arbitrary, but I've developed a "feeling" for what suits and what doesn't over the years. So, if number one fits both criteria, that's the Stat of the Day pick. If it doesn't fit both criteria, then I move to number two and so on.
Do they win and are they worth following?
Anybody who publicly publishes selections at odds of 5/2 or longer will pick many more losers than winners and I'm no exception. But, from the first pick in mid-November 2011 to the end of February 2020, after removing any non-runners from the data we had 2,515 SotD runners grace the track, of which 664 were winners.
That's a strike rate of 26.4% with advised profits of 526.45 points, equating to a 20.9% profit on all stakes. In money terms, almost £1.21 back for every £1 wagered.
As for being worth following, then for most people it's a "yes". We don't blow our trumpet about strike rates and profits etc, nor do we get all melancholy when they don't win. The real value of SotD is still as it was when it started back in 2011: highlighting profitable angles for future reference/usage and hopefully a dollop of jam on today's bread.
The angle used for the next pick (sooner rather than later, hopefully, once this lockdown is confined to history) might not generate a winner for us on that day, but it will produce more winners in the future and if we can steer you towards future winners, then we're not too concerned about highlighting a losing bet on the day.
SotD is most certainly a long-term project and, as with all "tipping" services (I know we say it's not tipping, but it has become widely perceived as one), it has to endure peaks and troughs along the way. We've had, and will have again, long losing runs; and we've had, and will have again, ridiculous purple patches. The overall picture remains a healthy one and I can't wait to get going again!
What kind of angles do I use?
Well, some are very simple horses for courses type approaches, or trainer/track combinations, whilst others can be more complex; and I'll be bringing you some examples over the coming days/weeks until racing resumes. So, if there's anything you'd like to look at, please let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and for following Stat of the Day if that's you.