Strategies

Finding Winners In Fast Sprints

It Doesn't Have To Be Difficult

It’s no uncommon for us to think that finding winners is hard. But the truth is…

…it doesn’t have to be!

Generally winning approaches have far fewer elements to them than most would believe!

Take Mick, one of our members and great forum advocates, his winning approaches he’s generously sharing with other members in the forum, are made up of just a handful of our ratings each.

Not hundreds, not even tens of them, just a few.

Of course, he will have spent a lot of time thinking about the races he wants to focus on, what factors are likely to have the most impact in those races, and then monitoring and playing with the approach until he’s happy with it.

But, with the Race Advisor tools, we can all do this. It just requires some time and dedication to finding the approach that works for us.

This morning I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today, and then I thought to myself…

I’m going to do a quick investigation and see what I come up with

Now, it’s always going to be a bit faster for me to do an investigation because I have direct access to our database and can write queries straight into it to get the answers I want, but we have plans to allow you to do that in the future in a simple and easy to use approach.

Anyhoo, even now it doesn’t take much longer to go through the races and find the relevant information with the export data feature where you can take any of our ratings and export them into Excel for analysis.

I decided to focus on a micro-niche of racing which is All Weather races of seven furlongs or less at Kempton.

I’m always banging the drum about focusing on a small area of racing, making it profitable, then moving to another area.

Focus is the key, get good in one specific set of conditions and then you can expand that into other conditions.

My personal favourite, as you may well know, are All Weather sprints, they’re the ones that I like to focus on. They have the least amount of changing conditions, and that means the likelihood of something happening that is unpredictable is smaller.

Of course, the unpredictable will still happening, but if it happens less then we should be able to make more money!

For today’s post I focused on these race conditions, but only considered the races where there were seven runners or less.

More horses means more variables, and we want the least amount of variables as possible.

There’s only a handful of these races, around two or three a month. But that’s beneficial to us, it means we don’t have to spend hours trawling through races every day. If we had three or four micro approaches like this, then we’re only going to have a handful of races to analyse every month.

I know that may feel frustrating, but it can be a good thing. After all, if you’re trying to go through every race every day, you’re going to be rushing the process of finding selections, this is likely to lead to mistakes, and in this business, a mistake costs us money.

So sometimes, starting with just a few races each month is a bonus. If you want to do more, then you can add more micro approaches together to create a bulging portfolio!

With the race conditions set, we use common sense to dictate what we look at.

There’s one fact that is always true in racing… the fastest horse will win the race.

And that’s why I’m such a fan of speed ratings 🙂

Even more so when the race conditions have the least amount of variation possible, because that makes for the most reliable speed ratings.

I started by simply looking at one of our factors SHorPro. We have a few speed prediction factors, and this is one of them.

In fact, I didn’t look at this factor, I looked at RnkSHorPro. This is the ranking of the horses for that factor in the race, i.e. number 1 is the best, number 2 is the second best etc…

Looking at the ranking of horses for a factor, we have the rankings for every factor in our software, is much simpler than looking at raw ratings.

After all, if you look at raw ratings you have to first understand what the rating means. It’s only with a bit of research you know whether a score of 69 is good, bad or indifferent. The ranking immediately tells you which is the best horse in the race for the factor.

Simple and effective.

In this case, under these conditions, the top ranked horse for SHorPro wins 29% of the time and generates a 13% ROI to Betfair SP after commission.

I’ve got to be honest, that’s a lot better than I was expecting!

I was hoping for it to be around the break-even mark, but to make nearly a 13% return to Betfair SP straight outta the box is rather nice.

Date/Time Horse Position SP BSP Profit
06/01/2018 20:45 Our Man In Havana 2 8.00 -1.00
10/01/2018 18:15 Royal Birth 2 11.00 13.36 -1.00
16/01/2018 18:40 Corinthia Knight 1 2.00 2.05 0.99
26/01/2018 19:45 Wiff Waff 3 2.00 2.07 -1.00
26/01/2018 21:15 Dream Mount 2 7.00 8.24 -1.00
27/01/2018 19:15 Emilia James 7 11.00 15.50 -1.00
01/02/2018 20:00 Bobby Wheeler 1 4.00 4.71 3.52
03/02/2018 18:45 Bungee Jump 1 3.00 3.21 2.10
03/02/2018 19:15 Morning Has Broken 3 1.83 1.98 -1.00
17/02/2018 18:15 Galloway Hills 4 4.50 5.60 -1.00
23/03/2018 18:15 Khamry 1 2.50 2.63 1.54
23/03/2018 18:45 Ripp Orf 1 1.25 1.30 0.28
23/03/2018 19:15 Cristal Pallas Cat 2 6.00 6.40 -1.00
31/03/2018 16:55 Udontdodou 2 6.00 7.70 -1.00
18/04/2018 17:45 Jungle Inthebungle 2 2.20 2.26 -1.00
01/05/2018 19:15 Jallota 1 4.50 5.10 3.90
13/06/2018 20:10 Very Honest 4 8.00 9.40 -1.00
15/08/2018 18:30 Izzer 3 13.00 17.00 -1.00
22/08/2018 20:15 Ortiz 1 2.75 2.88 1.78
04/09/2018 20:15 Kasbah 3 6.50 8.10 -1.00
08/09/2018 14:40 Deira Surprise 3 5.00 5.40 -1.00
08/09/2018 16:25 Quiet Endeavour 5 2.10 2.12 -1.00
24/09/2018 14:10 Finch Hatton 3 1.57 1.65 -1.00
10/10/2018 20:10 Cenotaph 2 1.83 1.92 -1.00
27/10/2018 18:15 Intricate 5 2.50 -1.00
23/11/2018 18:45 Uncle Jerry 4 13.00 16.50 -1.00
14/12/2018 19:15 Uncle Jerry 3 9.00 10.00 -1.00
04/01/2019 16:20 James Street 2 6.00 6.78 -1.00
05/01/2019 18:45 Uncle Jerry 2 5.50 6.80 -1.00
09/01/2019 18:15 Cenotaph 2 1.73 1.80 -1.00
15/01/2019 18:45 Fivetwoeight 4 9.00 10.00 -1.00
16/01/2019 18:30 Doc Sportello 1 11.00 13.31 11.70
18/01/2019 16:45 Rock Bottom 2 1.91 1.96 -1.00
23/01/2019 18:15 Ballistic 1 4.00 4.40 3.23
23/01/2019 18:45 Kamra 3 4.00 4.50 -1.00
06/02/2019 16:00 Florencio 5 7.00 8.27 -1.00
16/02/2019 18:15 Treacherous 1 3.50 3.59 2.46
23/03/2019 18:00 Sarasota 4 9.00 12.54 -1.00
23/03/2019 19:30 Giogiobbo 4 51.00 139.42 -1.00
20/04/2019 13:25 Electric Ladyland 1 2.38 2.50 1.43
20/04/2019 13:25 1 2.38 2.50 1.43

Yes, there aren’t many races, and one of the winners was 13.31, so I went back another year to check it further, and the return dropped down to 6%, which is closer to what we can expect if we take the high odds outliers out, but still a 6% return is a 6% return when only one factor is involved!

Can we make this better?

Of course, everything can be made better, but with a small amount of selections we may not want too.

If I was going to consider making it better, I would initially consider the Days Since Last Good Race.

Yes… if you’ve been reading our emails and blog posts for any length of time, you’ll know this another drum I bang. But honestly, it’s the simplest factor that nobody used to consider!

What’s interesting, is that now people are starting to consider it when it’s patently obvious. In races with lots of runners, it has less of an impact, but in these small fields the impact is greater.

Oh no… doesn’t that mean will lose the edge?

Maybe, unless we do something that nobody else is doing 😉

We want to consider that maybe in these races with small runners, where it’s easy to see which horses have been running well recently, and the public form comments usually pick this up as their main content, maybe… it’s being over-weighted.

And by that I mean… maybe there’s too much importance being placed on the factor!

I tested the hypothesis and discovered that in these races, focusing on horses that have performed well recently does indeed reduce the profit, considerably, it takes it into a loss.

Now that doesn’t sound right, that sounds like the market is putting too much weight on recent good races, so I checked the other way and…

…horses that haven’t had a good race in the last six months, under these race conditions, are being under-valued.

Which matches the hypothesis that too much importance is being given to the recent performance in these race conditions, not enough importance is being given to horses without a good recent race.

This increases the strike rate to 42% and the profit to 128%.

The problem, there’s only about one selection every two months. Personally, that’s not enough to make it viable. Yes, there are bettors out there who like very few bets, and bet very big when a selection comes up, if that’s your style then this may suit you. Personally I prefer a higher turnover and less return.

It’s horses for courses!

But what I wanted to emphasise in this blog post was… it doesn’t have to be difficult to find winners, keep it simple and don’t overthink or overcomplicate what you’re doing.

One to consider for today… 19:25 Kempton, Brazen Safa

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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