There was a discussion taking place in our members forum recently about how far back in a horses history a win is still an important factor and, with that in mind, I thought that I would take a look at how important a row of wins are in betting. Is have the last race as a winner just as important as having the last two races as a winner and is that as important as have the last four races as winners.
And, of course, are these runners profitable to bet.
To do this I've taken data for all of 2013, which gives us 110,118 runners.
|Last 2 Races||1627||350||22%||-266||-16%||0.88|
|Last 3 Races||289||66||23%||-87||-30%||0.82|
|Last 4 Races||71||20||28%||-29||-41%||0.81|
As you can see from the table above, the strike rate significantly improves for every win a horse has had in it's last four races. It goes from 18% for horses that have won their last race to 28% for horses that have won all their last four races.
Also notice how the ROI significantly drops as well. We start at -17% for horses who've won their last race, going to -41% for horses that have won all their last four races.
This isn't unexpected because this is the most obvious form that there is, and it shows us that betting on these horses is generally not an advisable thing to do as they're long-term very bad bets.
If we want to do anything with this then we're going to need to only look at the horses last race, so let's look at how the last races finish position pans out across other positions.
Broken down by the last finish position of runners we can see that this is not going to be offering us any advantage. The strike rate decreases and we get no benefits on the ROI or the PIV (Pool Impact Value).
What we're doing is disproving a large amount of systems that are available which tell you to start by looking for a horses who've won their last two or three races. This information on it's own offers absolutely no edge and will lose you money.
Because it's very easily available to everyone betting on the races. In fact, it's the first place that most punters start which means that it's been accounted for in the market.
However, before we draw a conclusion I will look once more at how the last finish positions perform when we combine them with the horses being favourite in the race.
Now we're starting to make some progress. Horses that finished 4th last time out but are favourites this time only lose 3% of their stake to SP, but they still win 31% of their races.
They're still not losing more races than expected, the PIV figure, but we're starting to get something that we may be able to work with as a start point.
In fact, it's possible that this may be break-even, or even just profitable, to Betfair SP!
I've now changed the odds we're using to Betfair SP and we can see that this makes a big difference. Now the horses that finished in fourth place last time out and are now favourites actually make a small profit of 2%!
Those who won last time out and are favourites are break even.
Now, I don't suggest that you go and start betting on these selections, and bear in mind that you need to be getting the best odds available in order to make them break-even or slightly profitable.
But... you can use this information to kickstart your own analysis for a strategy!