Tag Archive for: Newmarket pace bias

Newmarket Cambridgeshire Handicap Draw and Pace Bias

The big meeting this weekend is hosted by Newmarket as it’s Cambridgeshire day. The Cambridgeshire itself is certainly one of the toughest races of the season but I’m expecting to highlight some fairly strong course biases in this article so perhaps the race isn’t as difficult to figure out as it initially seems.

Cambridgeshire Draw Bias

On initial inspection, it might seem as though there isn’t much of a draw bias in the Cambridgeshire.

There is virtually nothing between win percentages and PRB data for the low, middle and high draws whilst the place percentages hint at high being slightly favoured over low and middle. The highest third of the draw has a place percentage of 16.67% whilst middle and low have place percentages of 14.35% and 14.14% respectively.

The individual stall data may reveal more of a Cambridgeshire draw advantage though.

The first thing to catch the eye is the fact that 8 of the top 9 PRB figures belong to double figured stalls and 6 of those are 19 or higher.

According to the draw data line graph, which is showing PRB3 data (PRB3 is a rolling three-stall average percentage of rivals beaten), there is an increase in performance around stalls 20-24 so perhaps that is the sweet spot.

There is no rock solid trend here but it does seem a trend has been developing in recent years. It seems more often than not runners are favouring the stands’ side (high draws) and four of the last five Cambridgeshire winners have finished very close to the near side rail. All of those last five runnings have been won by horses drawn between 21 and 29.

Looking only at big field, 9f races here since 2016 there is now a clear bias towards those drawn high. Low draws have a PRB of just 0.42, middle draws have a PRB of 0.52 and high draws have an impressive PRB of 0.56.

The PRB3 line graph representing individual stall performance now shows what seems to be an increasing advantage towards those drawn high. There is though a slight peak in performance around the 12-14 stall mark as well for some reason.

The important points to note with this more recent draw data are that the top 21 stalls for PRB3 are all double figure numbers and 9 of the worst 13 performers are single figure draws. This strongly suggests we want to avoid low draws in the Cambridgeshire.

Cambridgeshire Pace Bias

Here is the data from the Pace Analyser for Newmarket’s 9f course in big fields.

It's a fairly small sample, as you’d probably expect, so take win percentages with a slight pinch of salt but it’s interesting to see that front runners dominate for win percentages. Early leaders have a very impressive win percentage of 9.38% which is more than twice the next best win percentage of 4.65% which belongs to mid division.

Given the sample size, the place percentages should give us a stronger idea of any likely Cambridgeshire pace biases. The top place percentage belongs to front runners as well but the difference in place percentage between front runners and mid division is negligible. There is also only a small drop off for prominent but the figure that really stands out is the place percentage for held up. That place percentage is just 11.65% and the win percentage is just 2.91%.

It seems that we want to avoid hold up performers in this race just as much as we want to avoid single figure stalls.

Cambridgeshire Draw and Pace Combination

This is the heat map, sorted by PRB since 2009.

And this is the same data but only for 2016 onwards.

The more recent data seems to be the data we should concentrate on but some of the trends should be cross referenced with the overall data as we are dealing with a limited sample size for this recent data.

Logic would dictate that if front runners getting the near side rail are at an advantage then leading from a high draw should be the best combination but it actually seems as though front runners are doing extremely well from middle draws. Leading from a high draw is also an advantage , but possibly not quite as much of one.

A higher draw does seem to suit prominent racers better than a middle draw though but that switches back again when dealing with those racing in mid division. Perhaps those on the near side rail that are settled in mid division find it too difficult to get a run through.

We’ve established that those that are held up do struggle to run into the places and it seems there isn’t much difference whether they are drawn in the middle or drawn high.

Cambridgeshire 2021 Pace Map

Any talk of pace biases is irrelevant without looking at the pace map as course pace biases can always be reverses depending on the pace setup in a race.

I often use pace maps that only show the last two runs but the majority of these are seasoned handicappers who have seen plenty of action so the above pace map takes into account their last four races. It’s worth noting this suggests there isn’t likely to be a pace burn up but no less than eight of these were early leaders last time out and three of them have led on both of their last two starts so it is probable there will be a bit more of a contested speed than this pace map initially suggests.

I’ve added two blue boxes and a green box to the pace map. The blue boxes show groups of runners that are likely to be disadvantaged by draw and/or pace whilst the green box highlights where the winner is most likely to come from. Based on the data from more recent years you could easily put a line through anything drawn 18 or lower so feel free to be more harsh with your own calculations.

Back to the pace setup, there is some pace amongst the lower numbers but three of the more likely pace setters are drawn in stall 29 or higher. With the ground possibly faster on the near side plus the majority of the pace this side too, I’m becoming more and more confident that the top half of the draw, and probably the top third, is the place to be.

How Well Handicapped Do You Have To Be To Win The Cambridgeshire?

This is an important question to ask. In these big handicaps you often hear about the ‘group horse in a handicap’. That’s not crazy talk either, in 2019 subsequent Group 1 winner Lord North took this race and the year before future Group 3 victor Wissahickon landed the spoils.

Last year’s winner, Majestic Dawn, is back again this year off a 10lb higher mark. Lord North, eventually rated 25lbs higher than when winning this and his stable mate, Wissahickon was rated 10lbs higher than his winning mark for this race within 6 months.

The 2017 winner, Dolphin Vista, was rated a stone higher than his rating when winning this within 5 flat starts whilst Spark Plug, winner in 2016, went up 8lbs for his victory and never rated higher.

Third Time Lucky (2015), subsequently rated 11lbs higher whilst Bronze Angel, who won this twice off marks of 95 and 99, also won handicaps later in his career off 104 and 105 with his rating going as high as 111.

Meanwhile Educate, the 2013 Cambridgeshire winner, went up 8lbs to a mark of 112 for his victory and although never rating higher, he did run to that mark of 112 several times in the next year.

So ideally you are going to need a horse to be capable of running to at least an 8lb to 10lb higher mark in the near future if they are going to have a chance of winning this.

On the subject of the official ratings, it’s also interesting to see what sort of rating does well in this race. You need a runner well enough handicapped to win but also classy enough to get into the race in the first place. This year there is 24lbs between the top weight and the bottom weight.

In the past 11 years all winners have been rated between 107 and 87 – difficult to rule many out on that for win purposes (only the top weight and two bottom weights).

Nine of the last eleven winners have been rated 94 or higher which would rule out the bottom thirteen horses as likely winners. A relatively big six of the last ten winners have been rated between just 94 and 99 and only a third of the field fall into that ratings band this year. Four of those are drawn in single figures if you wanted to narrow those runners down further. That would leave just the following runners:

Does The Cambridgeshire Suit Milers or Ten Furlong Horses?

This intermediate distance of 9f means we’ll see a mix of milers stepping up in trip and ten furlong horses dropping down in distance. Very few of these will have run at this distance last time out, or possibly at all in their careers.

Eight of the last eleven winners of this raced at a mile just before taking this contest and five of those subsequently won a race over ten furlongs or further. This probably suggests this is slightly more of a speed test than stamina test and milers definitely have a good record in this, or at very least horses with the speed for a mile (some may have raced over 10f previously as well).

Cambridgeshire 2021 Thoughts

A lot is made of John Gosden in this race. Yes he has won two of the last three renewals but he’s also only won two of the last ten, just as many as Marcus Tregoning. Gosden’s two runners both head the betting having both been given seemingly favourable high draws, although being drawn 30+ isn’t statistically as much of an advantage as being in the mid to high 20s.

Uncle Bryn didn’t make the grade to be a Derby horse this season but he returned from a 113 day break to win an average Ascot handicap last time out. He got the run of the race on a day where front runners dominated and he’s 2lbs badly in with his penalty. Frankie Dettori seems to have chosen stablemate Magical Morning over him and I think I’d agree with Frankie’s choice.

Magical Morning brings some really solid handicap form into this but he very much got the run of the race when winning off a 7lb lower mark at Sandown in July and he’s been beaten in his other five handicap starts. Given most runners need to be 8lbs to 10lbs well in to win this, I just can’t see him being a 114+ horse.

Astro King is one I had in mind for this for a while. I backed him in the Royal Hunt Cup and this 9f trip on fast ground might be perfect for him off just a 4lb higher mark than at Ascot. Had he been drawn ten stalls higher he’d be a fairly strong fancy but 17 is a bit low for me to get involved, certainly at single figure odds.

In the last six years there have been three 3yo winners, a 3yo runner up and a 3yo third so younger horses clearly go well in this. Anmaat is an interesting contender for this and has the right sort of profile. He’s 2lbs well in having beaten the probably well handicapped Faisal last time out at Doncaster and he definitely looks the sort who could be at least 8lbs to 10lbs well in. He’s maybe drawn a little lower than ideal in 22 and does have to prove he’s speedy enough for this having raced over 10f on his last three starts but he’s certainly place material at the very least.

Irish Admiral is still feasibly handicapped and has seemingly now got his act together but stall 15 is a bit low for my liking. Given stall 2, and his overall form level, I’m also against Montather and surprised he’s as short as he is. Long Tradition could be anything but the form of his recent runs isn’t that strong and he has a little to prove in first time cheekpieces on handicap debut.

Bedouin’s Story is one I am tracking closely. He did second best of those held up at Sandown in July, best of the double figure stalls in the Golden Mile at Goodwood and then again was best of those held up at Chelmsford last time out. He stays this far, even though most of his runs have been over shorter and he’s going to win soon when getting the right set up. This should be run to suit but whether or not his hold up run style will allow him to get involved is a big question mark.

I’m finding it very difficult to make a case for much else, for varying reasons, but one does standout for me at a price of 100/1 at the time of writing with a couple of bookies. Naval Commander ran in a hot race at Sandown last season on ground that was probably a bit soft, on a day where he was a bit too patiently ridden to feature. He was 6th and those in front of him that have continued to race this season have rated 18lbs, 16lbs and 13lbs higher. Naval Commander is just 1lb higher here.

He did win on his next start after that Sandown run. That was his seasonal debut this year in June. At Ascot on his next start he was third – the winner and runner up both won next time out and the 4th has been beaten by a short head since. He was then 6th, beaten a length and a half at York – the winner, runner up and 7th have all won since and the 3rd and 4th have placed since. His only run since was a close third at Epsom when not getting a clear run. He’s still lightly enough raced to prove better than his current rating. I’m not convinced this horse should be any bigger than 33/1 and even at that price I’d have made him a small bet. First time cheekpieces could do anything to him but it’s worth remembering first time blinkers did the trick for Majestic Dawn last year.

All things considered I’m probably sweetest on Naval Commander as well as Astro King and Anmaat. I can’t completely rule out Astro King based on a draw of 17 and then strongly fancy Anmaat from stall 22 but Anmaat is just about on the cusp of how low I’d be willing to go whilst Astro King is unfortunately a bit too low for me (and a shorter price than Anmaat). So my two against the field would be ANMAAT and NAVAL COMMANDER, both each way, at around 12/1 and 100/1 respectively.

Hot Form at Chester

There are a trio of horses that are interesting from a hot form perspective in the 2.35 at Chester on Saturday which is a 7f handicap.

Muntadab’s course and distance success (from stall 8) two weeks ago has been well boosted since with the 2nd, 3rd and 7th all winning next time out. The 5th and 6th also reoppose here but they were well enough beaten to not be of interest here. Muntadab is only 2lbs higher here and is much better drawn in stall 2. He’s unlikely to get quite as easy lead this time though.

The Kodi Kid was an eyecatcher in that race and he’s previously run in hot races at Chester already this season. He’s not entered here but is one for your trackers.

Mossbawn’s last two wins at Thirsk have both worked out well, particularly his latest victory. The 3rd, 4th and 7th have all won since whilst the 5th, who reopposes here, was 2nd on his next start. That 5th, Strongbowe, did best of those held up when behind Mossbawn and he should be marked up for that. He’s 3lbs better off than Mossbawn for a 1.5 length defeat and he should get closer this time around.

Muntadab, Mossbawn and Strongbowe are all well enough drawn and should all be prominent if reproducing their run styles from last time out. I’d be surprised if all three didn’t run well and there is perhaps a tricast, or at the very least a decent single amongst them. Slight personal preference would be for Mossbawn who is lightly raced and on a roll but Muntadab does have that important Chester form.

Newmarket Racecourse: Pace, Draw and Trainers

We are back, finally, and part of the plan to kickstart racing in the UK is a disproportionately high volume of early meetings scheduled to take place at Newmarket, headquarters of flat racing in this country, writes Jon Shenton. At the current count, no less than 21 days of racing are planned in Suffolk between now and the end of August; that’s a meeting, on average, every five days or so. It’s high time, then, to give Newmarket some overdue attention in order to try and unearth some of its secrets.

Newmarket Courses

Newmarket has two distinct tracks, the Rowley Mile and the July course. They are to all intents and purposes separate entities, although they both share ground in longer distance races where they join the Cesarewitch course.

Newmarket racecourse satellite map

The maps below should give a more effective picture of the arrangement.

The Rowley Mile

The home of the 2000 and 1000 Guineas, scheduled for this weekend. It’s a gun-barrel straight track 1 mile 2 furlongs in length, where it joins the shared strip for more extended distance races. Perhaps its key characteristic is “the dip” a furlong from the winning post, where a downhill undulation develops into a stiff uphill finish, placing an emphasis on stamina. The course is exceptionally wide and is generally considered a fair test, in theory at least.

 

The July Course

Host of the July Cup, this course features the 'Bunbury Mile' straight track, again dovetailing with the shared straight adjacent to the A14 for distances greater than a mile. The course map below doesn’t do it justice, but a signature feature of the July track is the stiff uphill finish over the final furlong or so which, similarly to the Rowley Mile, often sorts the wheat from the chaff.

 

Newmarket Racecourse: Trainers to note

The first staging post in these articles is usually analysing trainer performance at the track. It often gives a way into more nuanced findings.

The below table shows the record of all stables which have had at least 100 runners on each of the Rowley and July courses at SP’s of 20/1 or shorter from the 2010 season onwards. The info is divided into a total Newmarket performance section (combined Rowley Mile and July), followed by the individual course records. The table is sorted by the Total Newmarket overall A/E.

I thought it important to illustrate the performance by individual track, essentially treating them separately. That was partly to satisfy my own curiosity, but primarily to establish if there was any discernible variance in a yard’s record between the two that might justify further examination.

Rather underwhelmingly, there isn’t much in terms of the individual course data to get stuck into. Perhaps Mark Johnston's and Richard Fahey’s strong July course records are worth a second glance. Likewise, Roger Charlton’s impressive Rowley Mile data too. Broadly, though, the performance is much of a muchness across the twin tracks.

Mick Channon

Based on the total Newmarket data, the UK No.1 for the second consecutive article is Mick Channon. There may be some related contingencies at play here, however, as in my last edition I commenced with a focus on Newmarket juvenile racing! You can read that here.

Analysing the Channon yard data in more detail, I have some interest in his three-year-old runners, enough to warrant a quick perusal anyway. Performance is a little sketchy over the last three years meaning angle/data confidence is at the lower end of the spectrum. Nonetheless, here is quite simply his record with three-year olds at the track since 2010:

 

And again, equally as simply, if runners are omitted that started at a price greater than 10/1, the following picture emerges:

His 2019 record was 0/5 and there was only a solitary winner in each of 2017 and 2018, so it’s not an approach to follow with your last pound - what is? However, a relatively short-priced Channon entry is probably a good start for a shortlist.

Charlie Appleby

Moving on, as also mentioned in the preceding article the original intention was to analyse Charlie Appleby’s course record with Juveniles. It didn’t quite happen due to some very alluring John Gosden stats! However, this time there is no shiny object to divert focus.

The linchpin of Godolphin trains at Moulton Paddocks, within Newmarket itself, and the overall record at the track of his runners is mightily impressive. Appleby has clocked up 129 victories from 525 runners and is marginally profitable to back at SP, too. Arguably, performance on the Rowley Mile is slighter stronger than the July Course, but not strong enough to solely focus on one over the other.

I'll begin with a consideration of performance by race class, an attribute that regularly provides a pathway to developing stronger angles, and it is no different here:

The numbers clearly show that yields from elite level (Class 1) racing suffer in comparison to the lower-class events in terms of win rates, place rates, P&L and A/E measures. Whilst in angle terms we can exclude Class 1 racing from any systematic approach based on the numbers above, there is a cautionary note which requires observation; namely that the yard is steadily improving at this leading level. The graph below illustrates Appleby’s winning numbers in Class 1’s at Newmarket as well as at every UK course (including Newmarket) from 2013, when he assumed the licence from the disgraced Mahmood Al Zarooni.

2019 notwithstanding there is a clear indication of incremental improvement. With the 2000 Guineas odds-on favourite Pinatubo in the ranks, those Class 1 wins are likely to grow, at least according to the current market. So, whilst excluding Class 1 Appleby runners from a data and angle perspective is a pragmatic move based on historical records, this does not mean that Pinatubo is an unwise wager next weekend. Indeed, it makes no comment either way on the matter!

Evaluating Appleby’s Class 2 or lower runners at HQ by SP brings in further optionality as to how best to utilise the data:

Broadly speaking, all these Appleby prices are potentially worth following from a value perspective. However, I’m inclined to play this one around the 13/2 cut off or lower mark to keep things ticking over, hopefully without too long between drinks.

I’ve checked these runners for further insight and sharpening in terms of race types, ages, days since last run and a myriad of other attributes but in truth the yard delivers consistently across all variables at HQ.

It’s not rocket science, as they say, but by backing the charges of Charlie Appleby at HQ in Class 2 or lower racing, reliable returns have been garnered. Here is the record of all SP 13/2 or shorter runners from the yard. It is profitable in every year aside from a small loss in 2014.

This year may be different given its unique Covid-infused nature, but it’s a very solid angle which should continue giving up some value all things being equal.

Aidan O’Brien

I fully expected the doyen of Ballydoyle to feature heavily on the trainer list. However, surprisingly (to me anyway), he hasn’t had the century of runners on the July Course to qualify for inclusion on the overall trainer data table. I’m hopeful he’ll get over it.

However, APOB still merits microscopic focus at Newmarket, where his record is exemplary; and I think I’ve found an aspect of it which demands closer scrutiny.

The table above represents the yard's 'all in' Newmarket record from the 2010 season to present. Backing every runner from Ballydoyle at SP would have resulted in a 10% return at SP and a whopping 37% at BSP. Go figure.

As may be expected from such a powerhouse stable, there is a large focus and concentration of runners, wins and overall stellar performance in Class 1 events:

And by drilling down further into those Class 1 races into their individual Pattern status there is even more to ponder upon:

Based upon these numbers, it would strongly appear that the greater the competition, the sharper the performance of O’Brien horses. Perhaps at this elite level the increased quality of rivals ensures that some value can be attained by backing the O’Brien contingent; maybe it relates to second-, third- and even fourth-string entries possessing the requisite ability to 'pull rank' on better-fancied stablemates.

It’s not one for the wise guys but, nevertheless, blindly backing all Group 1 and 2 entrants trained by O’Brien at Newmarket since 2010 produced 41 wins from 191 runs and would have netted a roughly £85 profit to a level stake at starting price, or a 45% return on investment if you prefer. The exchange SP ROI is closer to 85%.

Duty leads me to point out that there are three winners in the sample at 25-1, which certainly puts some fizz into the numbers. All the same, to be in the black by backing arguably the premier trainer in Europe is not to be sniffed at. This probably works as an angle in its own right.

However, there is a possible downside to this approach: as mentioned, often the yard has numerous entrants in these top-class events, which would result in several wagers in the same race. Mulling these multi-runner jamborees opened a further potential way to play, at least theoretically.

How many times does a seemingly second, or third, fourth or fifth string horse from the yard deliver the goods on one of these big days? Always seemingly obvious after the event, too.

Testing a hypothesis that bounties may just be greater where the O’Brien money is split rather than focused on a solitary runner appeared to be a worthwhile exercise. Here are the numbers for O’Brien’s Group 1 and 2 entries at Newmarket by the number of Ballydoyle runners in each race.

I'm pretty interested in this. Solo representatives from the yard undoubtedly perform well, with 24% winning and 40% placing and there is limited damage on the profit and loss front. However, where there is a multi-O’Brien entry in a Group 1 or 2 race at Newmarket, there appears to be value in backing all of them. The annualised split of these mass runner Newmarket accomplishments is detailed below:

Notably, the volume of races with multiple runners is increasing in recent times. The column “Races” represents how many individual events have had more than one runner from the yard. So, for example in 2019, O’Brien had more than one horse in nine G1 or G2 races at Newmarket, with a total of 25 horses running in those nine races.

I checked the results individually of all 2018 and 2019 races from the table above and pulled together the view below:

The column key is:

“AOB run” - number of runners in a race from the O’Brien stable alone
“Tot Run” - the total number of runners in the race
“AOB best” - the best finishing position of a Ballydoyle runner
“AOB2” - the second-best placed AOB runner and so on (AOB3, 4, 5)
“BP AOB” - the SP of the best-placed AOB horse, with winning SP price in bold.

The profit and loss data is compelling with a super roll call of horses in the mix to boot. In 2019 Magna Grecia, Hermosa and Ten Sovereigns cleaned up in the G1’s for example. I’m intrigued by this. Often, I’ve thought that following O’Brien second string (or other strings) entries may be an enjoyable pursuit and, in this case, it seems to have foundation.

The Achilles heel of this premise is that it does not translate to any other track in the UK. Multiple Ballydoyle runners don’t add up at Ascot, Doncaster, Epsom, York or anywhere else for that matter. That does beg the question why it occurs at HQ alone. It could be course configuration, Newmarket being a focal point for the yard, a quirk of the numbers, or a multitude of other potential reasons.

It’s not the most secure approach to wagering, but personally I will be tracking and dipping into this angle in a small way over the coming months. At the very least it’s quite interesting and it might be fun. Of course, the 2000 Guineas will be a test, a multiple O’Brien entry competing against an odds-on Appleby hot pot in Pinatubo. Hmm.

Pace and Draw on the Rowley Mile

Sadly, there are no quick wins (in my view) when it comes to analysing the draw at Newmarket, when focusing on the Rowley Mile at any rate.

However, before addressing that, under normal circumstances utilising the Pace Analyser and Draw Analyser tools is an ideal platform to perform detailed analysis on any course. Sadly, there is more of a challenge where Newmarket is concerned given that the pace and draw data is combined for both the Rowley and July courses.

Where there is a will there is a way, however, and in this instance the Query Tool can be used to gain all the data and intel required, with a small caveat.

With only one or two exceptions, action on the Rowley Mile occurs in April, May, September, October and November. The July course is deployed in June, July (duh!) and August almost exclusively. Thus, by using the month filter in QT, draw and pace indications can be obtained for each individual course. The only cross-pollination I can see since 2011 relates to May 2014, when there were fifteen races on the July course at the end of the month. The net result is that Rowley pace and draw data is slightly 'contaminated' by July course info. It’s relatively trivial in nature, but need highlighting.

Draw and Pace over 7-furlongs on the Rowley Mile

I have evaluated most race distances on the Rowley Mile course and it’s fair to say that any leverage from stall position is hard to find. As the course is wide, and the rail and stall positions change with regularity it is difficult to build up a consistent picture. I spent some time trying to split the draw outcome based on starting stall situation on the track (far side, middle, near side), eventually concluding that I was guilty of looking for something that was not there.

Pace is a slightly different story though as we’ll see.

The below table shows the IV3 ratings, manually derived and calculated from QT data for performance by stall position and field size. I won’t explain what IV and IV3 are in this article as Matt has done a much more comprehensive and clearer version in this blog post recently.

 

The draw data in the left section, using actual stall position (accounting for non-runners), perhaps illustrate a marginal benefit to a stall berthing on the wings, certainly in larger fields. The advantage of being located on the outer could vary by stall position on the course. For example, if the stalls were situated on the far rail, then it is not inconceivable that a low draw* may be slightly favourable and vice-versa. There is nothing solid to recommend here though.

*A low draw position is on the far side of the track based on the standard TV camera angle, obviously a high draw relates to the near side (demonstrated to full effect in last years 2000 Guineas by Magna Grecia)

The section to the right of the table contains IV ratings for Pace. That section clearly illustrates that early speed is an advantage over this distance. Given the vast expanse of the course, it may have been expected that hold up runners would have performed better, given that bad luck in running should be less of an issue. However, the early pace in general holds up. It’s seemingly an uphill battle to make up ground over that stiff final furlong or so.

 

Pace over 6-furlongs and a Mile on the Rowley Course

To check that applies over other distances the same process has been applied, for pace only, to two of the other trips raced along the Rowley Mile.

 

The pattern is the same, early speed plays an important role across all field sizes and race distances form six furlongs to a mile. Identification of the pace profile of the race would appear to be of primary importance, certainly when compared to stall position.

 

July Course Pace Data by Distance

The July course pace composition is of a similar nature to that of its Rowley Mile counterpart. Being in the front rank early is pretty much always advantageous. The stiff finish again makes it tough to make up significant amounts of ground in the latter stages, hypothetically anyway. The tables are unambiguous, not just in terms of early leaders but also in the herculean task most midfield and hold up (depending on race distance) types must overcome.

Newmarket Punting Pointers Summary

There's no doubt that both the Rowley Mile and July courses are difficult to grasp in terms of the use of data to construct wagering strategies. My own main takeaways are that for once I’m not going to stress too much on the draw aspect of races. Building a picture of pace will form the starting point of race analysis on either track for me; unless, of course, there is an Appleby runner in a non-Pattern race, or a multiple AOB entry in a Group 1 or 2, in which case I’ll just back those and move on!

Enjoy the racing, it’s good to be back.

- JS