It’s Monday, lockdown is easing (for some people), and it seems like horse racing may get spectators back soon.
What better way to start the week than by analysing a horse race!
I’ve chosen to focus on the Ayr 13:35, a Class 4 Hurdle race being run over 3m 70y. There’s a prize fund of £3,769 and the ground at the time of writing is being declared as Soft to Heavy.
I’m writing this the night before racing, so there’s every chance that the ground condition may have changed by tomorrow, keep a close eye on it.
It’s always good to start with a quick overview of what’s going on in the field.
Here’s the race card for this race.
We can immediately see that there is very little difference in the odds between the favourite at the outside. Elite Icon has the highest odds at just 14.00.
However, the weight being carried by the runners varies from 9-11 to 11-12. Remember this weight includes the jockey allowance. If you’re a Race Advisor Pro member and want to see the original weight without jockey allowance you just need to hover over the weight and a pop-up will appear.
In a three mile race with heavy ground, this difference in weight carried is huge, and we may well be able to find a value bet here.
DIGGING IN DEEPER
Looking at the PR Odds probabilities we can see that O’Hanrahan Bridge is given a probability of winning of 42.93%. The next best horses are 22% and 20%.
That’s quite a big gap, giving a potential advantage for the current favourite.
Using our 5278 CFR rating, we can see that the O’Hanrahan Bridge is also ranked first, with Legalised and Skipthescales also second and third. Bryden Boy takes the fourth rank, which matches the PR Probabilities, but there was a huge drop in the odds.
So far both are confirming the same horses, which is a good indication.
Moving along the ratings on the Standard race card, Elite Icon hasn’t had a good race for 543 days, which is a bit concerning. Since I started writing this preview, you will also notice this runners odds have increased from 14’s to 28.
That’s enough for me to eliminate this runner.
Next I’m going to run a Monte Carlo simulation on this race, using the Standard race card.
Once again O’Hanrahan Bridge is the strongest by a significant margin, with Legalized and Skipthescales coming second and third respectively.
I’m now going to switch over to using a custom race card that has some additional ratings on. The ratings I’m going to focus on are the PFPPLr ratings. These show how points were added to the PFP rating over the last four races.
The PFP rating is a collateral form based rating and is very powerful, however there is a bit of a time lag as it waits to see if the horse is actually improving before improving it’s scores significantly.
By using the number of points added over the last four races we can see the progression of a horse and it’s likely continued progression.
As you can see in the above image, O’Hanrahan Bridge and Legalized both show positive figures in each of the last four races. Each race they’re growing showing steady increase in performance.
O’Hanrahan Bridge has higher scores than Legalized, which also indicates this horse is stronger.
Everything is pointing to this being a three horse race.
But… the distance is three miles, and the ground is predicted to be heavy. That means ability to race over this ground and distance will be important, as will be evidence they can do it carrying similar weight to today.
LOOKING INTO THE HORSES INDIVIDUALLY
O’Hanrahan Bridge’s last race was almost identical to today’s race. He as carrying three pounds less than today, over heavy ground, in a similar class race at Carlisle.
He won that race by seven lengths, indicating that todays weight shouldn’t be an issue, particularly as the ground is currently predicted to be a little firmer.
His other races show that he likes softer ground.
Legalized doesn’t paint such a pretty picture!
This runners only two races over a similar distance saw it coming 10 and 33 lengths behind the winner.
Both of these races were on soft ground, and the ground is meant to be edging into heavy today, which is only going to make it harder.
The only heavy ground race the horse has been in, it finished 8.25 lengths behind the winner, and it was carrying 11-11. However this race was a 2m4f race, so the distance today is significantly longer.
Carrying 10-12 today means that the horse has weight in its favour. But… it was carrying 10-9 in it’s last three miler and it still didn’t help.
The ground and distance don’t seem to suit this runner, and when this is combined with a fairly weak racing history compared to O’Hanrahan Bridge, it simply highlights the strength of the current favourite.
Skipthescales looks more promising than Legalized. Although the heavy ground has definitely not suited this horse in the past, when the ground is a little firmer and declared as soft, it has then put in some good performances.
Carrying 11-9 today, the weight shouldn’t be an issue having carried more than this over three miles and won previously. But.. it’s worth pointing out that was back in 2018. However, in 2019 it carried 11-7 to success over a three mile race on soft ground.
Generally the performance of this runner seems to be a bit volatile. Recently there has been very little to commend this runner, but there still may be some preference to Legalized as at least this runner has shown promise over similar conditions.
The biggest concern here is the heavier ground, which could cause this runner some issues.
CONCLUSION: Who I’m Following
If you’ve read all the above, you probably know exactly who I’m going to be following in the race.
But if you’ve just skipped down to the conclusion I’ll give you the summary, but heartily recommend you read the above to understand the reasoning.
This race seems to belong to O’Hanrahan Bridge. He looks to be the horse to beat here. Initially Legalized and Skipthescales looked to be threats, but on closer investigation it seems that they may have some issues over the ground.
As I’m writing this the night before racing, if the ground firms up, this could change the picture.
But, assuming it doesn’t, I would be following O’Hanrahan Bridge in this race.
Will you be following him as well or does another runner take your fancy?
Let me know in the comments below.