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Racing Insights, 16th April 2021

Oxted wasn't quite at it today and the 8/13 favourite was beaten by three quarters of a length by the 7/1 shot Summerghand, who we'd identified as the main threat. The winner was well drawn in stall 2 and our pace/draw heatmap suggested that he'd improve his chances by abandoning his usual mid-divisional race positioning. He was held up at the best, before making his way through the field to finish strongly. Well done to everyone who got on, especially those on the £16.70 Exacta.

To Friday now, where 'feature of the day' is the Horses for Courses report, which does exactly what you'd expect, whilst our free races of the day are as follows...

  • 2.15 Newbury
  • 4.00 Newbury
  • 4.27 Ayr
  • 6.00 Ballinrobe
  • 6.50 Exeter

I had no qualifiers under my fairly strict criteria for the Horses for Courses report, but one did come close, only missing out by not having made enough appearances and that horse, Jessiemac, runs in one of our "free" races, so I think we'll cover the 4.27 Ayr, a 12-runner, Class 3 Handicap Hurdle over 3m0.5f on Good ground (that will be good to soft in places and they're watering) worth £4,956 to one of this dozen...

Major Dundee was well beaten (almost 55 lengths) on his handicap bow in late February, but ran much better next/last time out when winning by 8.5 lengths over 3m at Chepstow three weeks ago. He's up 2lbs and one class here and shoulders top weight. More improvement needed, but place chances for sure.

No Regrets finished 44678 before going handicapping where his form has improved to read 311225 and both runner-up finishes (bt by 2L and then a neck) were at this level, the latter over 3m. He was 5th of 6 last time out, 11 lengths adrift, but does drop in class here an possibly needed the run last time. That said, I don't see him making the frame.

Sultan's Pride has three wins and a less than 4 lengths defeat on heavy ground rom his four runs this season and comes here on the back of a 2 length success at Doncaster last time out. He's up 6lbs for that win, but could well come on for that last run, which came after a break of almost 17 weeks. Good chance here, I think.

I'd Better Go Now is 3 from 8 over hurdles, but finished 15th of 17 (bt by 88L) two starts ago and was then pulled up last time out on his chase debut. He has been off the track for over 4 months now and although he's down 2lbs, I'm not fancying his chances here.

Stop The World has made the frame in 5 of his 8 efforts over hurdles but has yet to win in this sphere and is only 1 from 8 elsewhere. He could only muster 3rd of 5 last time out and off a mark of 120, he's probably too high in the weights here to be competitive.

Skipthescales will turn out to be a better chaser than he is a hurdler, but ran creditably here twice in the winter when attempting to win a couple of 3m0.5f/3m1f heavy ground handicaps from the front. He ended up 5th of 10 (bt by 4L) in a Class 3 and then he was 4th of 6 beaten by 12.5 lengths at Class 4. He's only 4lbs lighter than that run, but up in class and was also well beaten last time out on Boxing Day. Not for me, I'm afraid.

Always Resolute is likely to be quick across the ground between hurdles based on his win in a Class 3 handicap over 1m6.5f at Chester last September and he was pretty useful on the Flat in general. Hurdle-wise, he won by the best part of three lengths last time out at this grade at Newbury six weeks ago. He's up 5lbs for that win and now tackles 3m+ for the first time, but looked to have something in hand last time out and has won off a higher mark than this. Place potential here.

Off The Beat is possibly better than his form would suggest, but ran creditably last time out, finishing as a runner-up over 3m on good to soft ground over 3m at Musselburgh last month. The assessor thought he ran well enough to go up 3lbs and both his yard and his jockey (who work well together) have good records at this venue. He's not an obvious winner here, but looking at the opposition, he could well make the frame at a reasonable price.

The Ogle Gogle Man seems to have had a new lease of life since moving to Iain Jardine, finishing 23112 in his five starts, all beyond three miles and all in handicap hurdles. It should be said that they were all Class 5 too and he lost the first two by 22 lengths and then 38 lengths before winning off a reduced mark of 90. He won again off 97, but then failed by a neck last time out off 107. I'm not with him today, because he's up another 2lbs, he's up two classes and this will be his fourth 3m+ run inside 52 days and could be a step too far.

Jessiemac was the one that almost made the horses for courses list with a 25% win & 50% place strike rate in handicaps here at Ayr, making the frame 4 times (winning twice) from 8 attempts and she's one from one over course and distance (late October 2019). Since winning back to back races here in 2019, she hasn't looked the same since, although she did win a Class 4 event at Kelso last October. She has since been beaten by a combined 86 lengths in four runs since and I can't see her doing much here either.

Tomorrow's Angel is an interesting runner here. She ended 2020 with a runner-up finish at Newcastle and kicked 2021 off some 114 days later with the same result at Sedgefield, both at Class 5. She then won a Class 4 over 2m7f at Kelso breaking her duck at the 21st attempt just twenty-five days ago. She hasn't been resting, though, as she has raced on the Flat over 2m at Redcar in the last fortnight, finishing third just a length and three quarters off the winner. So, she's clearly in good nick, but she's on a career high mark tackling a Class 3 handicap for the first time. I don't think she can win this, but has a real chance of the places if things fall her way.

Manetti completes the line-up and is a much better chaser than he is a hurdler. Although beaten by over 16 lengths on his hurdling debut, he finished 3rd of 10. Since then he has failed to place in all four attempts, being beaten by 26, 11, 11 and 55 lengths respectively. He has never raced at 3m or beyond and has no Class 3 hurdling experience. A mark of 101 sees him get plenty of weight all round, but he's not one I'd want to risk money on.

At this point, I normally take you straight to Instant Expert for a full card overview of how these horses have fared in these conditions and I will do in a moment, but I think I already know where I'm going with this one. I'm actually happy to mentally rule out half of the field here and now, because I think the winner and placers come from the following (in alphabetical order)...

...Always Resolute / Major Dundee / Off The Beat / Sultan's Pride / The Ogle Gogle Man / Tomorrow's Angel...

Let's see what Instant Expert thinks/says...

Major Dundee is an unexposed handicapper after just one attempt and is only 2lbs higher than his last win, Sultan's Pride hasn't been to Ayr before, but going, class, trip and field size hold no fears for him, but he is 6lbs higher than his LTO win. Always Resolute gets the ground well enough, but a 1 from 14 record at this grade isn't good. Off the Beat is another unexposed type with little supporting data. The Ogle Gogle Man is green for all the zones he has numbers for, but we should stress, it's only based on 2 runs and he's some 10lbs higher than his last win. Tomorrow's Angel has little workable data too, but is in good nick.

Race pace / tactics might be the decider here in what doesn't strike me as being a particularly good Class 3 contest...

Sadly, that's fairly inconclusive, other than to say hold up horses tend to struggle. From a win perspective, you're better off leading, but leaders fare worst for the places, whilst hold up horses do pretty well at making the frame without converting it to wins. This suggests it's a difficult place to judge the pace of the race, if hold up horses are leaving to too late to win, but are still getting placed. Confused? I think I am!

Anyway, leaders win most often and the other three running styles tend to fill the places. Unfortunately, the above goes out of the window, because there's no pace in this race at all. The one most likely to take it on, The Macon Lugnatic, is a non-runner, so unless Skipthescales steps forward, we might be in for a 2m6f trot followed by a 2f dash to the line. Hopefully the better horses will come to the fore, if that's the case.

Summary

After the write-ups, which are a mix of form, stats and my personal opinion, I was happy to discard half of the field. We got precious little from Instant Expert and/or the pace tab on this occasion, so we're going to lean on the unquantifiable today : gut feeling! I mean, what could possibly go wrong? 😀

I'm happy with the six I had...Always Resolute / Major Dundee / Off The Beat / Sultan's Pride / The Ogle Gogle Man / Tomorrow's Angel... 

And here's how I think they might finish : Tomorrow's Angel (weight & class) and The Ogle Gogle Man (weight & too much racing) look the weakest of the six and will hopefully finish in that order, leaving us with our final three and one more discard, who is going to be Major Dundee due to him carrying top weight stepping up in class.

That takes me to where I like to be : three against the field and I'm going to go Sultan's Pride ahead of Off The Beat with Always Resolute back in third. I don't actually have much separating the three, but that's how I'm calling it. I wonder if the bookies agree?

Well, the answer is no, they don't. They have my three at 7/1, 11/1 and 5/1 respectively. I'm happy to take 7/1 about Sultan's Pride and 11/1 E/W about Off The Beat, as I think they're decent prices. Bookies are paying 4 and even 5 places on this race, but the three discards are 8/1, 9/1 and 8/1 so there's possibly not much mileage in taking those on an E/W basis, although you'd have a decent chance of a small payout.

Racing Insights, 14th December 2020

I was right about the two featured Venetia Williams runners at Hereford on Saturday in stating they'd not trouble the judge and thankfully I was able to highlight a 2/1 winner and 12/1 exacta in the 1.22 race to boot. Sadly, I didn't get the Doncaster race right, as Western Miller failed to make the frame after all, having faded quite badly late on.

Nevertheless, with a few more shillings in the wallet, it was a decent day and now I focus upon Monday, whose free feature is the pace tab for ALL races, included the full free cards for the following...

  • 1.53 Plumpton
  • 2.50 Ayr
  • 3.05 Naas
  • 3.28 Plumpton

And as the Ayr race looks a competitive one on heavy ground (which is always of interest), today's piece will be based around the 2.50 Ayr : a 6-runner, Class 3, Handicap Chase for 5yo+ over 3m on heavy ground with a top prize of £7,018...

Glittering Love was third over course and distance LTO despite coming off a 251 day break, he has 7 top 3 finishes from his last 8 starts over the past year and has 4 wins and 2 places from 7 efforts over fences, all under today's jockey Brian Hughes who himself has a good record here. The horse has finished 81113 in five starts here at Ayr (1113 over fences inc 113 over C&D) and he has 3 wins, 2 places from5 at trips of 3m and beyond.

Trainer Nicky Richards is 9/29 (31% SR) in handicap chases here at Ayr since the start of 2018, 18/55 (32.7% SR) in heavy ground handicap chases since 2014 and 8 from 31 (38.1% SR) when Biran Hughes is in the saddle in the month of December. Real contender here.

Up Helly Aa King is a much better chaser (3 wins from 6) than he was in bumpers (0/2) or over hurdles (0/8). Since going chasing he is 1 from 1 here at Ayr and has finished 13211 in his five heavy ground runs. Wasn't seen to his full potential last time out on better ground in a race with several fences omitted and where he was badly hampered by a faller, yet was only beaten by ten lengths. He's better than that run, he tops our ratings and should return to form on heavy ground. Also a real contender.

Capard King looks like he'll go off as favourite here, but he was actually a far better hurdler than he has proved over fences. He has 3 wins over fences and 3 wins over hurdles, but has raced 31 times over fences as opposed to just 8 over the smaller obstacles. Hasn't gone well at all this year and his last win came this time last year. Just the one win from his last 29 handicap chase outings and the age of 11 don't inspire me. False favourite IMO, despite dropping down the weights in recent years and the yard/rider's good records here at Ayr.

Buddha Scheme is a very lightly raced son of Milan and makes just his tenth start here. Three top three finishes from three this year, including a narrow defeat last time out when going down by half a length in a 4-mile chase at Hexham almost four weeks ago. Has never raced on heavy ground, but that run LTO proves he has stamina to burn. Would need things to land perfectly for him here , but no forlorn hope.

Strong Economy was third here on heavy ground over a shorter trip last time out, which was a really good effort considering he'd been off the track for 41 weeks since winning here over 2m6f back in January, also at Class 3 on heavy ground. The negatives around him are that he's struggled beyond 2m6f and today's jockey Derek Fox is just 2 from 53 (inc 1/35 over fences) in the last 80 days and is 0 from 20 at Ayr this year. Others are better placed here for me.

Crank Em Up acts well on heavy ground, stays 4 miles and has actually on heavy over further than this contest, but that's about it really. No win in his last eleven doesn't suggest that a step up in class will benefit him here and he's discarded from my thoughts immediately.

More about the suitability of each should be gleaned from a quick look at Instant Expert...

Once again, Glittering Love and Up Helly Aa King look best suited to the task ahead, but will the pace tab dissuade me from backing either of them here?

To be honest with you, there doesn't seem to be much of an advantage to any particular running style and in the absence of any natural front runners, I'd expect some of these horses to run differently to the above chart anyway.

That said, if they did run to the above suggestion, then Glittering Love looks well positioned again.

Summary

Capard King is currently the 5/2 joint favourite with Glittering Love. I don't like Capard King for this race and definitely not at 5/2. Glittering Love, I do like, but also not at 5/2. The one I'd want to back here is Up Helly Aa King, he's far better than his last run and at 11/2 would appear to be far better value. For the exacta/forecasts, Glittering Love of course.

Racing Insights, 30th November 2020

Saturday's race was a so-so affair for me, I was interested in Southfield Stone (non-runner), Kalooki (3rd) and Next Destination (won). I wasn't on the winner as I didn't think he offered particularly good value at 2/1, but going off at 11/8 I got that one wrong.

And so to Monday where the Pace tab is available for all races and we offer four free full racecards for...

  • 12.45 Fakenham
  • 1.55 Kempton
  • 2.10 Ayr
  • 3.50 Wolverhampton

It's going to be heavy going at Ayr, so that's where we're heading today for that 2.10 Ayr, a 6-runner, Class 3, Novices Chase for 5yo+ over 3m on Heavy with a top prize of £6,758...

Of the four with a chase run behind them, Empire Steel & Hear No Evil top the Geegeez ratings. Both horses have had the benefit of a recent run as both have won in the last five weeks. Skandiburg has also made a seasonal bow but was only fourth 45 days ago.

Oh No, Mayo Star and Skiddaw Tara havent been seen for at least nine months and the latter two are making their chase debut today (hence no geegeez rating), but both ended last season with a win over hurdles, whereas Oh No's form was decidedly poor.

Only Skandiburg runs at the same class as last time out, with four runners stepping up from Class 4, whilst Oh No moves up two grades. He's going to be 100/1 or bigger and I'm crossing him off right now.

Plenty of trainer positives for Empire Steel, Mayo Star and Skiddaw tara, whilst Hear No Evil is a negative here, but he scores well on the jockey form as do all the others bar Skandiburg to be honest.

Skandiburg's fourth place LTO suggests he'll be no match for the two LTO winners, so finishing third at best makes him of no interest to me today either, so we take just four runners into Instant Expert :  two LTO chase winners and two chase debutants...

Not much heavy ground form to go off, but Empire Steel and Mayo Star are both 2 from 2 on soft ground, none of these have raced at Class 3 yet, but Empire Steel was 2 from 3 at Class 4 whilst Hear No Evil was 3 from 6 at that grade. Both LTO winners (Empire Steel & Hear No Evil) are rated considerably higher this time around which is understandable for the latter winning by 9.5 lengths, but Empire only prevailed by 2.5 lengths and steps up by almost three quarters of a mile here.

With such a step up in trip, Empire Steel might run a different way to last time, but based on the evidence we do, here's how we see the race shaping up...

Prominent racers have won 10 (50%) of the 20 races fitting my criteria above, whilst the other three running styles have shared the other ten wins fairly evenly, which suggests Empire Steel and Mayo Star could have the best positions to win. If we've got the above right, then the outsider Oh No should lead off and give the next two a good tow into the race, setting them up for a finish. However, there's a possibility/tendency in these small fields for them to take each other on too early, paving the way for the likes of Hear No Evil to pounce late as he did at Wetherby to good effect last time out.

So, where are we with this quartet?

Empire Steel is up in weight, trip and class after a win last time out, but he's lightly raced (131 in three runs so far) and won over 3m1f on soft ground over hurdles before finishing third over this track and trip in another hurdles contest prior to winning here on chase debut LTO. Trip looked a bit short LTO, so should relish the step back up.

Hear No Evil landed a chase victory LTO on his fifth attempt. It was a big improvement upon his previous form and it's unclear if there's more to come from him. To be fair most of his best work has been over shorter trips on quicker ground despite that 3m0.5f soft ground win last time. Yard has struggled for form with just 1 win from 79 in the last 14 weeks, but that winner was hear No Evil ridden by today's jockey Sean Bowen who goes well here.

Mayo Star finished his bumper campaign with a runner-up slot followed by a win and his form over hurdles reads 3211. He's 2 from 2 since switching yards, 2/2 on soft, 1/1 on heavy and 1/1 Ayr. Jockey Brian Hughes' suggests he's yard number 1 ahead of Skiddaw Tara and Brian has 3 wins and 3 places from 7 on this horse. If he takes to chasing first up, he could have a real chance here.

And Skiddaw Tara, who looks to be the yard's second string, makes up the final four. He doesn't have an impressive hurdles record, if I'm honest and although he did win last time out, his hurdling was sketchy at best. More will certainly be needed here on chase debut. I have no doubts about his stamina or the ground, but jumpers have to be able to jump. That erratic display last time out coupled with a chasing bow as second string leads me to place him outside of the top three here.

Summary

I don't like backing shorties as you know, but I should have taken 2/1 about Saturday's winner so it's one bitten, twice shy and I've taken 2/1 about Empire Steel here. I don't see much between Hear No Evil and Mayo Star, but I think I'd rather be with the chase debutant rather than the one I have trip/going doubts about hailing from an out of form yard. So I'd say that Mayo Star edges it as the one likeliest to beat the favourite.

 

Stat of the Day, 18th September 2020

Thursday's pick was...

3.00 Ayr : Glasses Up @ 11/2 BOG 5th at 4/1 (In rear of midfield, ridden towards centre of track 2f out, headway over 1f out, kept on final furlong)

Friday's pick runs in the...

2.45 Ayr :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Nomadic Empire @ 4/1 BOG

...in the 12-runner, Listed, Harry Rosebery Stakes for 2yo over 5f on Good To Soft ground worth £16,517 to the winner... 

Why?...

Well, once again, the racecard holds the key here...

...whilst the place setting on Instant Expert shows...

...and the pace/draw heat map set at 10-12 runners...

All of which is (a) self explanatory and (b) more than enough to hang a bet on, but I do just want to expand slightly on the Trainer/Jockey/Course 5 year record to show we're not leaning on old data, as of the 20 from 95 record shown on the racecard angle, the last three (inc this one so maybe 2.5?) seasons currently stand at ...

...from which...

  • 10/36 (37.8%) for 42.3pts (+117.4%) from male runners
  • 8/29 (27.6%) for 39.8pts (+137.1%) on Good/Soft ground
  • 7/20 (35%) for 39.3pts (+196.5%) at 6-15 dslr
  • 6/19 (31.6%) for 39.0pts (+205.3%) in fields of 10-14 runners
  • 6/26 (23.1%) for 35.8pts (+137.5%) from those unplaced LTO
  • 4/11 (36.4%) for 26.5pts (+240.9%) at the Scottish Gold Cup meeting
  • and 3/9 (33.3%) for 15.5pts (+172.2%) on Soft ground...

...whilst males racing in fields of 10-14 on Good/Soft at 6-15 dslr are 4 from 5 (80% SR) for 39.0pts (+780% ROI) including 3/4 (75%) for 36.5pts (+912.5%) from those who failed to make the frame LTO...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Nomadic Empire @ 4/1 BOG as was widely available at 8.10am Friday (bigger in places!), but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 2.45 Ayr

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

Here is today's racecard

PS - all P/L data in this piece is taken at Industry SP and therefore can be bettered for those of you with access to BOG accounts.

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Stat of the Day, 17th September 2020

Wednesday's pick was...

4.50 Yarmouth : Dashing Roger @ 4/1 BOG WON at 4/1 (Prominent, ridden to lead entering final furlong, ran on to win by 3/4 length)

Thursday's pick runs in the...

3.00 Ayr :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Glasses Up @ 11/2 BOG

...in a 12-runner, Class 2, Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 1m2f on Good To Soft ground worth £11,828 to the winner...

Why?...

As is most often the case, the racecard is our entry point...

...telling us we have a track specialist, ridden by an in-form jockey, Danny Tudhope, who also has a good record at this venue over a sustained period of time. The second pointer from the card is Geegeez Speed Rating of 94, which is the best in this field today, as seen below...

To assess the Horse for Courses report's relevance properly, I want to compare the horse's excellent overall record of...

...with how this 5 yr old gelding has fared over today's course and distance, and of his 6 from 17 record here at Ayr, when racing over this 10 furlong trip, he is an impressive...

from which he is...

  • 5/12 (41.7%) for 37.75pts (+314.6%) in 3yo+ contests
  • 5/8 (62.5%) for 41.75pts (+521.9%) at 8-16 dslr
  • 4/11 (36.4%) for 9.75pts (+88.6%) in handicaps
  • 4/6 (66.6%) for 14.75pts (+245.8%) at 5/2 to 15/2
  • 2/5 (40%) for 6.00pts (+120%) stepping up a class
  • 2/3 (66.6%) for 8.00pts (+266.7%) in 2020

...whilst when sent of at 5/2 to 15/2 in 3yo+ handicaps over this track and trip at 8-16 since he last ran, he is 4 from 5 (80% SR) for 15.75pts (+315% ROI), including...

  • 2 from 2 (100%) for 9.00pts (+450%) stepping up a class
  • 2 from 2 (100%) for 9.00pts (+450%) in 2020
  • and 1 from 1 (100%) for 4.00pts (+400%) stepping up a class in 2020...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Glasses Up @ 11/2 BOG as was widely available at 7.30am Thursday (bigger in places!), but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.00 Ayr

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

Here is today's racecard

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Stat of the Day, 24th August 2020

Saturday's pick was...

4.10 York : Ben Macdui @ 3/1 BOG 5th at 7/2 (Tracked leaders, ridden and every chance over 1f out, no extra towards finish) 

Monday's pick runs in the...

3.10 Ayr :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Equidae @ 4/1 BOG

...in a 14-runner, Class 6, Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 7½f on Good ground worth £2,782 to the winner...

Why?...

Going to keep things nice and simple today, starting as usual with our self-explanatory racecard...

So, horse running pretty well, top of the Speed Ratings and representing an in-form yard. The elephant in the room from the racecard is trainer Iain Jardine's poor return over the last year at this venue denoted by the C1, of course. However that refers to all his runners here over the past 12 months, NH & Flat, handicap and non-hcp etc etc. It also only represents a small time frame and in certain circumstances, the Jardine runners are worth following here, as...

...since 2015 in Class 4-6 Flat handicaps over 6f to 1m5½f at odds of 7/4 to 13/2, the numbers are far more attractive at...

... an A/E of over 1.5, a near 1 in 3 win ratio and almost 65p in the pound profits at Betfair SP are all good to see and eliminate plenty of bets we'd not want to be making. And from those 48 runners above...

  • 14/41 (34.2%) for 33.7pts (+82.2%) racing off a mark (OR) higher than 55
  • 11/29 (37.9%) for 25.8pts (+88.9%) had raced in the previous 15 days
  • 11/26 (42.3%) for 26.2pts (+100.8%) had made the frame LTO
  • and 6/12 (50%) for 17.1pts (+142.5%) had finished third LTO...

...whilst those racing off a mark higher than 55 within 15 days of a placed finish LTO are 7 from 14 (50% SR) for 17.2pts (+122.6% ROI), including 3 winners from 5 (60%) for 10pts (+200%) from those who were third LTO...

...and this simple approach points to... a 1pt win bet on Equidae @ 4/1 BOG (or bigger in places) as was available at 8.05am Monday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.10 Ayr

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 24th August 2020

Saturday's pick was...

4.10 York : Ben Macdui @ 3/1 BOG 5th at 7/2 (Tracked leaders, ridden and every chance over 1f out, no extra towards finish) 

Monday's pick runs in the...

3.10 Ayr :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Equidae @ 4/1 BOG

...in a 14-runner, Class 6, Flat Handicap for 3yo+ over 7½f on Good ground worth £2,782 to the winner...

Why?...

Going to keep things nice and simple today, starting as usual with our self-explanatory racecard...

So, horse running pretty well, top of the Speed Ratings and representing an in-form yard. The elephant in the room from the racecard is trainer Iain Jardine's poor return over the last year at this venue denoted by the C1, of course. However that refers to all his runners here over the past 12 months, NH & Flat, handicap and non-hcp etc etc. It also only represents a small time frame and in certain circumstances, the Jardine runners are worth following here, as...

...since 2015 in Class 4-6 Flat handicaps over 6f to 1m5½f at odds of 7/4 to 13/2, the numbers are far more attractive at...

... an A/E of over 1.5, a near 1 in 3 win ratio and almost 65p in the pound profits at Betfair SP are all good to see and eliminate plenty of bets we'd not want to be making. And from those 48 runners above...

  • 14/41 (34.2%) for 33.7pts (+82.2%) racing off a mark (OR) higher than 55
  • 11/29 (37.9%) for 25.8pts (+88.9%) had raced in the previous 15 days
  • 11/26 (42.3%) for 26.2pts (+100.8%) had made the frame LTO
  • and 6/12 (50%) for 17.1pts (+142.5%) had finished third LTO...

...whilst those racing off a mark higher than 55 within 15 days of a placed finish LTO are 7 from 14 (50% SR) for 17.2pts (+122.6% ROI), including 3 winners from 5 (60%) for 10pts (+200%) from those who were third LTO...

...and this simple approach points to... a 1pt win bet on Equidae @ 4/1 BOG (or bigger in places) as was available at 8.05am Monday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.10 Ayr

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 28th July 2020

Monday's pick was...

12.35 Redcar : Stay Smart @ 3/1 BOG 3rd at 2/1 (Held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, went 3rd inside final furlong, kept on, no chance with winner) 

Tuesday's pick runs in the...

2.00 Ayr:

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Mr Wagyu @ 4/1 BOG

...in an 11-runner, Class 6 Flat handicap for 3yo+ over 6f on Soft ground worth £2,782 to the winner...

Why?...

As is often the case, we start with the racecard...

...which shows that today's jockey is riding well (30) at present (2 from 3 in the past week) and today rides for a yard with a decent record at this track of late (C1). In fact, the runners from JJ Quinn's yard to look out for at Ayr are those sent off at 2/1 or bigger, running at Class 5 or 6 over 6f and further, as these runners are 8 from 44 (18.2% SR) for 32.97pts (+74.9% ROI), including...

  • 8/33 (24.2%) for 43.97pts (+133.2%) in fields of 8-13 runners
  • 7/32 (21.9%) for 30.2pts (+94.4%) with male runners
  • 5/27 (18.5%) for 27.5pts (+101.8%) at class 6
  • and 5/18 (27.8%) for 47.48pts (+263.8%) from those who last ran 11-25 earlier...

...whilst males who ran 11-35 days earlier and now run in an 8-13 runner Class 6 contest are 5 from 9 (55.6% SR) for 45.5pts (+505.5% ROI)...

So, an in-form jockey riding in the type of contest the yard excels in, but what about the horse himself? Well, Mr Wagyu is 7 from 16 (43.75% SR) for 23.63pts (+147.7% ROI) when sent off shorter than 9/1 on a straight 6f strip after just 6-25 days rest.

Of relevance today from those 16 races, all on the Flat, he is...

  • 7/13 (53.8%) for 26.63pts (+204.8%) in fields of 6-11 runners
  • 7/12 (58.3%) for 27.63pts (+230.2%) in June/July
  • 7/11 (63.6%) for 28.63pts (+260.3%) when in the frame LTO
  • 6/12 (50%) for 22.03pts (+183.6%) at Class 4 or lower
  • 4/8 (50%) for 5.04pts (+63%) more than 100 miles from home
  • and 4/5 (80%) for 17.45pts (+349%) after finishing 3rd LTO...

...whilst in 6-11 runner contests at Class 4 or lower during June/July after being placed LTO, he is 6 from 8 (75% SR) for 26.03pts (+325.3% ROI), including 4/4 travelling more than 100 miles from the yard, 4/4 after finishing 3rd LTO and 3/3 when sent over 100 miles away after a third place finish...

...giving us... a 1pt win bet on Mr Wagyu @ 4/1 BOG as was widely available (at least 3 BOGs) at 6.45am Monday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 2.00 Ayr

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

P.P.S. Please note I left for Greece on Monday 20/07 for two weeks to look at some hotels for my travel agency business and to get some R&R, so whilst I'll still be posting each day (except 04/08 when cover has been arranged), the timings may well be different to normal.

Ayr Draw & Pace Bias

The lockdown is easing and racing will resume in Scotland from this week. Time for a trip north, then, to analyse the draw and pace data from Ayr racecourse, writes Dave Renham. As with previous articles in this series I have used some of the tools available on the Geegeez website, specifically the Draw Analyser, the Pace Analyser and the Query Tool. The main period of study goes back to 2009 but, as before, I will examine a more recent data set in detail too (2015 to 2019) where appropriate. I will be focusing once again on 8+ runner handicap races.

Ayr is a left-handed course roughly 12 furlongs in circumference and is generally considered to be a track that suits galloping types. The 5f and 6f races take place on a straight track, with longer races  using the round course. As can be seen from the course map below, there are a number of undulations in the back straight and a dip then a rise in the home straight. The five furlong course is largely uphill.

 

Let’s start with the sprint distances:

Ayr 5 Furlong Draw Bias (8+ runner handicaps) 

Since 2009 there have been exactly a hundred qualifying races so no need for a calculator to work out the draw percentage splits! Here are the 11 year stats:

 

High draws have been at a disadvantage looking solely at the win percentages for each third. Looking at A/E values, these show an excellent correlation with the draw win percentages:

 

At the minimum trip of five furlongs, both sets of data point clearly to high draws struggling.

However, before moving on, it is important to realise that Ayr is one of the rare courses where they use three different positions for the starting stalls. Here is the breakdown for each stall position:

 

Ayr 5f Draw Bias when stalls are in the centre (37 races)

With the stalls in the centre the figures are quite similar to the overall ones, although higher draws seem to struggle even more.

 

Ayr 5f Draw Bias when stalls are stands' side (39 races)

The stalls when placed stands’ side mean that higher draws are drawn against the near rail. It seems that higher draws are more competitive in this scenario, but as a general rule the ground next to that rail looks likely to be slightly slower than the centre or far side, as such horses still struggle.

 

Ayr 5f Draw Bias when stalls are far side (24 races)

Low draws are drawn right next to the far rail when the stalls are placed in this position and although the data is limited, those drawn on the far side seem to enjoy a decent edge. It will be interesting to see whether the six furlong data supports this (more of that later).

Ayr 5f Draw Bias (by going and field size)

There is no clear-cut going bias, and the same is true when analysing field size data.

However, in bigger field races (16 or more runners) there have been several occasions when individual races have apparently shown a draw bias. The difficulty lies in the fact that the bias is not consistent and has no clear pattern. Having said that, of the 19 races with 16+ runners since 2009, I believe that at least twelve have shown a significant bias. I won’t go through all of that dozen, but here is a flavour:

15/9/11 – a 17 runner race where low draws seemed in charge with horses drawn 4 and 1 filling the first two places and draw 2 was back in 5th;

21/9/12 – a 16 runner race where there was an even split with eight horses going far side (low) and eight coming stands’ side (high); 5 of the first 6 home raced far side;

19/9/13 – in this 20 runner race 14 horses raced stands’ side (high) and 6 raced far side (low). 11 of the first 12 horses home raced stands’ side with the first three horses home drawn 17, 16 and 18;

20/9/13 – a 24 runner sprint where there was an even split with 12 runners coming stands’ side and 12 staying far side; 7 of the first 8 home came from the stands’ side group (high);

19/9/14 – a 20 runner race where taking non runners into account the first 8 horses home were drawn 13, 15, 4, 12, 18, 17, 11 and 20.

15/9/16 – the first 8 runners home were drawn 1, 3, 7, 2, 8, 12, 6 and 4 in a 19 runner race;

13/8/18 – 5 of the first 6 home exited from double figure draws (16 ran).

 

For those interested in exotic bets, if you had hedged your bets in terms of not being sure whether low or high draws would be favoured, and permed both very high draws and very low draws in straight forecasts, you would have seen a huge profit across these 19 races. Perming the four lowest draws and also the four highest draws would have produced 6 winning bets from the 19 races. Assuming an outlay of £24 per race (2 x £12 perms) the outlay on these forecasts would have been £456; but the dividends would have combined to return a whopping £1074 giving a profit of £618. As I have stated before past profits are no guarantee to future profits, but selective draw focussed forecasts have served some punters very well over the years (including me).

It is time now to break down the draw by individual stall number. I use the Geegeez Query Tool to give me the relevant data:

Profits for draws 3, 4 and 6 which given their grouping suggests again lower rather than higher draws are often the place to be.

Ayr 5f Draw Bias (2015-2019)

Homing in on a more recent data set, looking at the past five seasons (2015-2019), below are the draw splits for the 37 races that have occurred during this time frame.

 

As can be seen, high draws have struggled even more in recent years but, interestingly, middle draws have performed particularly well. 37 races is a relatively small sample but it does seem that middle draws currently hold sway.

 

The A/E values correlate with the draw segment percentages above:

 

Below are the five-year stats for individual stall numbers:

A blind win profit for just draws 1 and 6, those two stalls book-ending the section to be: that six-berth segment has secured 27 of the 37 races with an A/E of 1.07. Their overall strike rate is 12.2%, whereas horses drawn 7 or higher have won 10 races with a strike rate of 4.4% and an A/E of just 0.54.

Ayr 5f Pace Bias (8+ runner handicaps)

Let us look at pace and running styles now. The overall figures (2009-19) are thus:

 

There is a clear edge for front runners and those racing close to the pace (prominent) – as we know from previous articles this is the norm over 5f at most courses. It is not the strongest front-running bias around but still significant enough.

If we look at medium- to smaller-sized fields (8 to 12 runners) front runners seem to enjoy a slightly stronger edge:

 

I also had a look at the 19 races discussed earlier with big fields of 16 runners or more. Amazingly, 13 of the 19 races were won by horses that raced prominently (A/E 1.32).

I have checked ground conditions and there is nothing noteworthy to share.

Ayr 5f Draw / Pace Combinations

Finally in this 5f section a look at draw / pace (running style) combinations for front runners over this minimum distance. Remember this is looking at which third of the draw is responsible for the early leader of the race (in % terms):

I had expected this even split especially considering the variations in stalls positions.

Here is the draw/pace heat map, displaying Percentage of Rivals Beaten. A score of 0.55 or greater is material:

The image clearly shows the benefit of racing on or close to the lead, and ideally not being drawn too high.

Ayr 5f Draw / Pace Bias Conclusions

In conclusion, low to middle draws have the edge over five furlongs in handicaps of eight-plus runners. I highlighted draws 1 to 6 in the more recent 5-year data as having a definite edge over higher draws – looking at the full 11-year dataset this has been the case, too. Draws 1 to 6 have won 71 races from 600 runners (A/E 1.07); draws 7 or higher have won 29 races from 596 runners (A/E 0.56). Pace wise, front runners fare best followed by horses that race close to the pace (prominent).

*

Ayr 6 Furlong Draw Bias (8+ runner handicaps)

The six furlong trip has had 171 qualifying races between 2009 and 2019 which equates to around 15 races per year, a decent sample. Here are the win percentages by draw third:

Low draws seem to have a small edge here and as with the 5f data high draws have had the worst of it. Having said that high draws have been at a bigger disadvantage over five furlongs than six.

Let’s look at the A/E values to see if they correlate with the draw percentages:

Low draws seem to have offered decent value overall – higher draws have a poor figure of 0.60 which is similar to their figure over the minimum (0.56).

Onto examining whether the position of the stalls have made any difference:

Ayr 6f Draw Bias when stalls are in the centre (72 races)

With the stalls in the centre it has been a very even playing field in terms of the draw over 6f.

 

Ayr 6f Draw Bias when stalls are stands' side (53 races)

The stalls when placed stands’ side (high) seem to put higher draws at a distinct disadvantage. This is surprising from a logic perspective, but again seems to highlight that the ground near to the stands’ rail tends to be slower than the rest of the straight track.

 

Ayr 6f Draw Bias when stalls are far side (45 races)

As with the 5f stats, the 6f results give those horses drawn next to the far rail (low) a decent edge. However, before we get too excited, in 2019 there were no races at all with the stalls placed on the far side over five or six furlongs. I am not sure why this was the case: what does seem to be happening is that, as the years go by, more races are seeing the stalls placed in the centre of the course. In 2019 over 5f and 6f just under 70% of all races had the stalls placed in the centre. I wonder if course officials are attempting to make sprint races ‘fairer’ in their eyes by trying to encourage horses to come down the centre of the track.

 

Time to look at how individual draw positions performed over the 1- year period between ’09 and ‘19:

As you would expect with so many races very few stalls show a blind profit; draws 26 and 27 are two of the three but from very small samples. Draws 1 to 4 have fairly decent A/E values which is worth noting.

It could be reasonably argued that a draw close to either rail is an advantage. To that end, field size does seem to have some impact – in smaller fields of 8 to 10 runners high draws have struggled, winning just 14 of 82 races (SR 17.1%) with an A/E of 0.43. In big field races (16+) higher draws have performed much better, winning roughly a third of the 38 races (13 wins).

In terms of ground conditions it seems that lower draws enjoy more of an edge when the ground eases. There have been 78 races on ground described as good to soft or softer over 6f since 2009, of which low draws have won 36 (SR 46.2%). The A/E value is positive, too, at 1.14.

One of the biggest sprint handicaps of the year occurs at Ayr over 6f - the Ayr Gold Cup - run towards the end of September. In addition to the Gold Cup, there are two consolation races – the Silver Cup and the Bronze Cup. Traditionally, the Gold and Silver Cups are raced on the Saturday with the Bronze Cup on the Friday.

Since 2009 there have been ten renewals of each race at Ayr (the 2017 Bronze and Silver Cups were not run due to the meeting being abandoned, while the Gold Cup was switched that year to Haydock). These races always have big fields (average field size is 25) and hence the draw can potentially play a big part. Looking at the races in detail I would estimate that 20 of the 30 races (66.6%) displayed a draw bias; be it one third strongly favoured, or one third being strongly disadvantaged. Earlier in the article it was noted with bigger field 5f races that draw biases had the potential to occur, and we are seeing a similar pattern here.

Unfortunately, just like the 5f races, it has not been easy to predict which part of the track, if any, will be favoured. Having said that digging deeper has uncovered a potential opportunity. Seven of the Bronze Cups seemed to show a draw bias; when this draw bias occurred, the same or a very similar bias occurred the same year in the Silver Cup in four of the seven corresponding races. In the four years where the Bronze and Silver Cups had similar draw biases, the Gold Cup displayed a similar bias in three of them and, it could be argued, in the fourth as well. The best example of this happened in 2016:

In the 2016 Bronze Cup it was clear high draws were at a disadvantage. Seven of the first eight horses home were drawn in single figures (5, 7, 8, 17, 6, 1, 9, 3) – 24 ran; in the Silver Cup the following day, low to middle held sway again with five of the first eight home drawn in single figures and best finish from the top third of the draw was 9th (25 ran). The Gold Cup which followed just over an hour later saw low to middle again in charge with draw 8 beating 6 with 7 back in third; draws 11, 10, 14 and 4 filled the next four places (23 ran). Again, there was no sign of a horse from the top third of the draw.

Ayr 6f Draw Bias (2015-2019)

Onto the last five seasons now for 6f handicaps at Ayr. There have been 79 qualifying races since 2015, with the draw splits as follows:

High draws have really struggled in recent years. Consequently, to some degree, low draws have had the best of it.

The A/E values (2015-2019) underpin that notion:

There is an excellent correlation between the draw third percentages and the A/E values which adds confidence to the data.

 

Now a look at the individual draw figures for this latest 5-year period:

Draws 2, 4, 5 and 6 have all shown a profit in the win market, again highlighting the low draw edge in recent years. Those drawn 21+ in very big fields have also performed well from a small number of qualifying races.

Ayr 6f Pace Bias

Below is a breakdown of pace and running styles. Here are the overall numbers going back to 2009:

These figures show that front runners have an edge and it is a similar edge to the one such forward-going types enjoy over five furlongs.

In big field races the edge for front runners is wiped out, and looking at the data for the Bronze, Silver and Gold Cups, horses that raced mid-pack have definitely over-performed albeit from a relatively small sample of 30 races.

When the going gets testing the front running bias has increased. There have been 40 races on soft or heavy ground since 2009 and here are the pace splits (NB. One dead heat):

The further you are from the early pace the worse it seems to be on soft or heavy going.

Ayr 6f Draw / Pace Combinations

A final table in the 6f section is a look at draw / pace (running style) combinations for front runners in 6f handicaps (2009 – 2019):

It is interesting seeing more low drawn horses getting to the lead over 6f. I'm not sure why that is and, as stated earlier, considering the fact there are three varying stalls locations, one would have expected a more even split.

Again, the heat map highlights the benefit of being forwardly placed, and the difficulty that high drawn later runners have experienced.

Ayr 6f Draw / Pace Bias Conclusions

In conclusion, lower draws have held sway over the last decade or so with the bias seemingly getting stronger in the past five seasons. High draws have really struggled recently except when the stalls have been placed in the centre. The shame for draw bias fans, as I noted earlier, is that more and more races seem to have the stalls placed in the centre over 6f at Ayr. Pace wise, it is again those racing on the front end who have the upper hand and this seems to strengthen as the ground gets softer.

*

Ayr 7 furlongs Draw Bias (8+ runner handicaps) 

The seven-furlong trip takes in the round course with low draws positioned next to the inside rail. There is a sharp turn soon after the start where runners can get fanned quite wide into the home straight.

170 handicap races have been run with eight or more runners since 2009. Here is the draw breakdown: 

That is about as even a split as you could get! So low draws, despite potentially having the chance to take the shortest route around the turn, do not have any obvious advantage. Onto the A/E values:

A commensurately even set of figures, as might be expected. The market looks to have it pretty much spot on.

 

However, field size does seem to matter from a draw perspective as races with 12 or more runners illustrates:

As the field size increases so horses drawn wider start to be disadvantage. This makes sense as the widest drawn horses are likely to have to run further if staying out wide on the track, or risk trouble in running if making their way towards the inside rail. The A/E figures correlate with the draw percentages for these bigger fields.

 

Looking now at ground conditions, high draws also seem to struggle as the ground gets softer. On soft or heavy ground there have been 43 races with the following draw splits:

The A/E values correlate neatly once again:

 

So although the basic statistics suggested little interest from a draw perspective, we can see that in bigger fields and on soft/heavy ground high draws do seem at a disadvantage.

Combining 12+ fields on soft or heavy has seen only 20 races but the bias against high draws is clear to see with just two victories from that third of the draw (10 wins for low draws and 8 for middle draws).

Let us look at the individual draw positions next:

Little to report here as one might expect – just stall 8 in profit which essentially is down to chance.

It is time to check out the more recent subset of data, from 2015 onwards. There have been 97 qualifying races giving the following draw breakdown:

This correlates strongly with the 11-year full set, with an extremely level playing field in terms of the draw. The A/E values again match up with the draw percentage figures:

For what they are worth here are the individual draw positions:

Randomly, four stalls are in profit; but that is all that it is... random.

On soft/heavy ground in the last five seasons high draws have struggled, as they did when examining the 11-year stats – they've recorded just four wins from 22 races (18.2%). Low draws dominated this period winning 13 of the 22 races (59.1%). Likewise, in bigger fields (12+ runners) high draws have found it hard winning just six of the 34 races (17.6%).

Ayr 7f Pace Bias

A look at the overall pace data now (2009-2019):

Front runners seem to have a slightly stronger edge when compared to the two sprint distances. The 1.41 A/E value is above the average A/E for all UK courses over 7f which stands at 1.26, as is the IV score of 1.80 (UK course average IV for front runners in 7f handicaps is 1.63).

As a reminder, over six furlongs the edge for front runners seemed stronger on soft/heavy going, and that seems to be the case here, too. The sample size is 42 races:

1.82 is a noteworthy A/E value, and is coupled with a score above 2.0 for Impact Value. This is material.

Ayr 7f Draw / Pace Combinations

Finally over 7f a look at draw / pace (running style) combinations for front runners in 8+runner handicaps (2009 – 2019). One might have expected low draws to lead more often as they have the inside berths:

These figures surprised me – clearly for some reason jockeys drawn low are not taking advantage of the inside rail. This is also the case in bigger field races where low drawn runners only take the lead 30.8% of the time.

The heat map below - all 8+ runner 7f handicaps - shows clearly where you need to be: front rank and drawn low to middle.

Ayr 7f Draw / Pace Bias Conclusions

To conclude, over 7f the draw in general is extremely fair, but on soft/heavy ground or when the field size reaches 12 or more, higher draws then start to be at a disadvantage. Pace wise it is front runners who are clearly best. 

*

Ayr 1 mile Draw Bias (8+ runner handicaps)

With this article on the long side I am going to very briefly look at one more distance: the 1 mile trip. I will start by looking at the 2009-2019 data. There are 167 races in the sample, giving the following draw splits: 

There is no clear draw bias on the basis of these stats and, sadly, digging deeper unearthed no pleasant surprises like there were over 7f.

However, going back to the late 1990s, this mile trip had a significant bias to those drawn next to the inside rail (low). I will use the 5-year comparison data method I used in the second Chester article to illustrate how the bias has essentially all but disappeared.

To recap, using 5-year data sets is a good way to try and compare any shift more effectively than simply looking at single years. This method highlights where patterns or biases are changing, as well as giving more reliable sample sizes. So here are the Ayr 1 mile figures going right back to the first data set (1997 to 2001):

As the table shows, low draws completed dominated until about 2005; since then the advantage gradually began to level and, for a while, low draws actually produced the lowest percentage of winners. In the last two or three seasons there has been a slight resurgence but, essentially, the days when I used to make money from the draw at this particular course and distance are long gone.

The reason? Difficult to say unequivocally but, interestingly, the maximum field size changed in 2006 from 20 to just 14. That might well be the material factor.

Ayr 1 Mile Draw / Pace Combinations

A quick look pace wise at the 1 mile trip but the front running edge seen at 5 to 7f is no longer prevalent.

Prominent runners arguably have a slight edge while front runners find it far harder to win over this extra furlong.

The draw / pace heat map confirms the generally fairer distribution of performance in terms of stall location and run style in Ayr mile handicaps.

*

I hope this article offers some helpful pointers now racing resumes at Ayr; I will be eagerly awaiting the 3 day September meeting which is one of my favourites, but there could be plenty of benefit between now and then, especially if the weather turns wet!

- DR

Stat of the Day, 7th March 2020

Friday's pick was...

3.10 Chelmsford : Krazy Paving @ 11/4 BOG 3rd at 5/1 (Chased leader, challenged going well over 2f out, carried right and led over 1f out, headed inside final furlong

Saturday's pick runs in the...

4.15 Ayr :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Generally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.15am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Emma Beag @ 4/1 BOG

...in an 8-runner, Class 5, Handicap Hurdle for 4yo+ over 3m1f on soft ground worth £3,184 to the winner...

Why?...

This 9 yr old mare has 2 wins and 2 places from her 7 handicap hurdles efforts since the start of 2019, including 2 from 6 under today's jockey, 2 from 3 here at Ayr, culminating in a win here over 3m0.5f on heavy ground last time out, 48 days ago with today's rider Henry Brooke in the saddle.

Her trainer, Julia Brooke, doesn't have the largest string of runners at her disposal, nor is she a prolific winner, but she does well here at Ayr, where her runners are four times more likely to win as they would elsewhere with this track providing 21.4% of her career winners from just 6.4% of her total runners!

Numerically, we're looking at a career record of 28/298 (9.4% SR) generating 6 winners from 19 (31.6% SR) for 32.5pts (+171.2% ROI) here at Ayr, as opposed to 22 from 279 (7.9%) elsewhere and although we're not talking about huge numbers here, those six Ayr winners include of relevance today...

  • 6/18 (33.3%) for 33.5pts (+186.2%) in handicaps
  • 6/12 (50%) for 39.5pts (+329.3%) with 8-10 yr olds
  • 5/15 (33.3%) for 31.1pts (+207.1%) in NH races
  • 5/13 (38.5%) for 15.7pts (+120.5%) since the start of 2019
  • 5/9 (55.6%) for 19.7pts (+218.6%) at odds of 2/1 to 5/1
  • 4/11 (36.4%) for 31.1pts (+282.9%) in races worth less than £4,000
  • 3/11 (27.3%) for 25.7pts (+233.2%) over hurdles
  • 3/11 (27.3%) for 25.7pts (+233.2%) at Class 5
  • and 3/7 (42.9%) for 12.3pts (+175.2%) for jockey Henry Brooke...

...whilst since the start of 2019, Julia's 8-10 yr old NH handicappers at 2/1 to 5/1 here at Ayr have won 4 from 4 (100% SR) for 19.2pts (+480% ROI), including 3 for Henry Brooke, 2 at Class 5, 2 over hurdles and 2 in races worth less than £4k...

...giving us...a 1pt win bet on Emma Beag @ 4/1 BOG as was widely available at 8.55am Saturday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 4.15 Ayr

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Lost racecourses 2: The Elephant Man

Bogside racecourse stands - long gone

At around quarter to four tomorrow a craftsman will inscribe in gold leaf the name of the latest winner of the Scottish Grand National on a large oak board at Ayr racecourse. But the board and the race are both interlopers, as until 1965, they were both to be found 14 miles up the coast at Bogside racecourse, just outside Irvine. Read more