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Horses After A Layoff, Profitable Or Not?

“I find that horses having their first start after a layoff are worth opposing because most winners are those which raced recently therefore to accept short odds about horses who are statistically less likely to win is madness.”

That was a comment left on this post by Bob the other day. This is a great comment, and I thought it was worthy of further investigation.

So that’s exactly what I’ve done today…

We need to begin by determining how long a layoff is. For the purposes of today’s email, I’m going to assume it’s 90 days or longer.

In 2016 there were 17,427 runners coming back after a layoff of 90 days or longer.

Of those runners, 9.35% won their races, and they made a loss of -138.52 to Betfair SP.

That’s a loss of -0.79%, which is pretty darn good straight out of the box!

But, Bob was saying he thinks we should oppose these runners if they have short odds. So let’s take a look at those stats…

There were 291 runners coming back to race after 90 days, and while 57.39% of them won, they made a loss of -8.56%.

Which proves Bob’s theory is right, odds-on horses coming back after a layoff are a bad bet.

But what about those who’ve raced recently, say in the last 14 days?

There were 25,842 runners who were racing after 14 days or less. Of these, only 3008 won, for a strike rate of 11.64% and a loss of -5.47%.

Interestingly, these horses lose nearly 500 times more straight out of the box, than those who are coming back from a layoff of 90 days or less.

If we focus only on low-odds horses under 2.00, we see a different picture though…

Of 398 runners, 62.31% won their races and made a profit of 2.48%.

Which means we can say that…

1) Odds-on horses coming back from a layoff of 90 days or more are a bad bet.

2) Odds-on horses having raced in the last 14 days are a good bet.

That’s pretty awesome, but this is the Race Advisor, so let’s take it one step further…

What happens if we consider odds-on horses who won their last race in the last 7 days?

This only gives us 83 selections, roughly 6 per month. They win 74.70% of the time, and made a profit of +19.43 units for a 23.40% return.

If you want more selections, then we can increase the timeframe to having won their last race in the last 14 days. This gives 173 selections, but reduce our return to 5.40%.

And which horses meet the criteria today?

These ones have won in the last seven days and look like they’re going to be odds-on 😉

2017-02-16 16:20   Leicester                     Song Saa
2017-02-16 17:50   Chelmsford (A.W)    Celtic Artisan
2017-02-16 20:30  Chelmsford (A.W)    Willyegolassiego

You need to confirm that the horses are odds-on, but if they are, then you know they are strong runners for today.

All the best,

Michael and the Race Advisor team

P.S. Get the Days Since Last Won to use this approach, and a ton more incredible ratings, inside the Racing Dossier.

About Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help punters improve their betting profits and think outside the box with their betting strategies. To date he has written over 450 articles on the site and recently started UK Racing News which has become a leading news site for horse racing in the UK and IRE. Check out my personal blog or my Google+

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