Strike rate and losing runs, a cut out and keep table

I have ‘borrowed’ the  quote below from a recent blog by Kieran at Make Your Betting Pay. I will put the link at the bottom of this blog for the full article. It is so useful, especially the table, and uses such a scientific approach, that i have used about half the blog below.

Keiran says:

“We need to strike the right balance between leveraging our profits and protecting the integrity of our bank.

My usual starting point when carrying out this kind of analysis would be to calculate the longest expected losing run over 1000 bets. There is a formula for calculating this (mail me if you’re interested) but I tend to use a table which makes life a lot easier. I’ve reproduced the table below (it’s accurate enough for our purposes)

The important thing to remember here is that the larger the number of bets you look at, the longer the likely losing run will be. As an example with a 15% strike rate looked at over 1000 bets you are likely to hit a maximum losing run of 43 bets. However, if you were to have 10,000 bets with a similar strike rate, at some point you are likely to hit a losing run of 57 bets. That being the case, it’s useful to have a reasonable idea of the number of bets your selection method is going to throw up over a period of time. If you are looking at a method that throws up 300 bets a year then calculating your longest likely losing run over 1000 bets is ample. If you are looking at a method that throws up 10,000 bets a year, you need to dig a bit deeper than that.

Let’s assume the method we are analysing has 1000 bets a year with a strike rate of 60%. We can see from the table that we are likely to hit 8 consecutive losers at some point during year 1.

You can see that if we were to choose a 10% staking plan on such a method, we are almost certain to hit trouble and quite possibly decimate our bank at some point.

We therefore need our bank to be several times the size of our longest likely losing run – it is well within the realms of statistical possibility that we could get 2 such runs in quick succession!

For safety, I would say it is best to work with your bank broken down into a number of points that equates to 5 times your longest likely losing sequence.”


I think 5  times the maximum losing run is on the conservative side. A lot depends on what sort of start you get. If you’re off to a flyer, by the time the inevitable ‘crippler’ comes along you should have taken out more than enough profit  to set up a new bank  and won’t care. If you start on the bad run your faith in the system/method/tipster etc is shaken and you would probably abandon what may be a good thing. What is often forgotten though is that with percentage staking the stakes go down during losing runs so a losing run of ten wouldn’t be ten points lost but considerably less.

I heartily agree with everything else though. There is no doubt that basing your staking on avoiding one long  losing run is folly as it is more common that a series of losing  runs is the bank breaker. Therefore it is wise to allow for this.

The debate will rage on but, in the end, we are back to another grossly underestimated factor in betting – psychology. Some thrive on risk others prefer the more softly softly ” I don’t need the stress as  I would like to live to spend the winnings” approach. There is no “wrong” nor “right” way, (try telling the Frankie Dettori backers that day at Ascot that they were throwing their money away backing 7 horse accas!). Granted, the same people could do a £1 acca 7  every day  for the rest  of their lives and lose every day. But  they wouldn’t be complaining as the stakes would come out of the massive interest on their winnings!

There again though, if you are backing seriously, you have to work on the basis of probability and not possibility so it is a question of finding the optimum. For those who shun risk it will be five times the max or more. For those who thrive on it, maybe twice the max and for those who are trying to strike a happy medium, 2-4 times the max.
Whatever your appetite for risk, the  table above offers a  basis for making an informed choice. You can’t say you weren’t warned!

Here’s the link to Kieran’s site:  . You will find the whole blog on there dated 18/1/12.

21st Century Betting

The time I realised that compiling different types of bets together to make up the one bet was when I became quite proficient at reading races and which two horses were the most likely to win.
I then always had the problem of deciding on which one to pick which was in fact much harder than narrowing it down the the two in the first place.
This went on for probably a year before I started to think about actually using both selections, and to my amazement this turned out to be very possible and not only possible but even making money considerably more achievable.
This involves using the two selections in place betting only and betting without and i'll explain these bets.
It can also involve actually backing both or more to win  in combination bets, which are backing doubles trebles and accums that involve using both selections in one race to win or be placed or both without a given horse in the race. Betting without is effectively  backing a  horse in a race without another named horse (almost always the morning favourite, even if it drifts). The result ignores the named horse you bet without, so, if you are second to that horse, you actually win the race in betting terms, at a bet without price you should take when you place the bet. You need your horse to win or finish second to the without horse to get paid out at the betting without price
Very very simple. All you are betting on is that the horse just has to be placed in the allotted places in that race, be it two places for seven runners or less or three for 15 or less or 4 for 16 plus runner handicaps. You should remember that finishing first is finishing placed also but you only get paid, of course, at the price taken for the place only bet.
But I think I'll explain something else while i'm on the subject. If, for instance, you had done a place bet in the morning and there were eight runners in the race,  all were priced up and you made a bet for a selection to place at the price available, and, say ten minutes later,one horse or more was taken out of the race, ie, non  runner/s , you would still be paid  if your selection finished in the first three places, even though the race starts with seven runners, or even six, if two horses were taken out. The rule four would apply to your bet but, eg, third of 6 would still be a winner.
So place betting is very effective in gaining an advantage. Now, the disadvantage is even though you may think the horse has a good chance of winning making the place bet means that you get usually around a quarter or a fifth of the price it is to win, and you still receive the place price even if it wins. But how many times do you see your horses that you have bet to win be placed in second or third or even fourth or fifth in races where fourth or fifth would have been a winner in a place bet? Too many I bet.
It is swings and roundabouts and you will kick yourself sometimes when you miss a winner. A possible way of finding a happy medium though, is that you can back place only with more confidence and possibly, therefore, a bigger stake.
 I think this is a brilliant bet as you can have two very good winners in a race at good prices and when you use these in combination multiples they can also be hugely rewarding. Now, betting without, as I said earlier is effectively taking a horse out of the race, usually the named morning favourite. But this is not always the case.
The bookies  often differ as to which horse it is that they select to be the without horse in any given race, but can all agree in cases where the fav is odds on. 
The bookies identify a horse in the race,  usually fav or second fav,  depending on the bookie. Some bookies might have one horse as fav and another may have the same horse as second fav so they will be offering different horses in the race as the without horse. 
Also not all bookies offer this bet and also not all bookies offer place betting, but two of the major high street rivals William Hill and Paddy Power always offer these bets in all races.There will be odd races (and I mean quite rare occasions) where, for some reason, they are not offering these bets. But these are quite rare.
Now because I can think like a bookie and know my racing im always very interested when they don't offer these bets on a race. I look closely at the race and inevitably I see that thay normally have between six to nine runners, the race is very open and the fave is 3-1, meaning they don't know much about the participants of the race and the connections.
They would have to be giving favourable odds on all horses to place only, and in the without market also. But as I say these are rare.
Now back to the without betting. You can have two very good winners in the same race and also get a better price for not winning the race as you would have if backing the actual winner of the race to win. Amazing I know. How can this be?
Well its simple. To have two winners in the same race you back the actual winner at its given price to win, and it wins. You also back the horse to win that comes second to that horse in the without market (assuming the winner was the without horse). So, you back the winner that is the without horse (normally the morning favourite) and you back a further horse in the race at the without price and, as long as you come second to the without horse, you have two winners.
Also, if the horse you backed in the without market actually wins the race then you still have a winner but obviously the win bet on the horse that was the without horse is a loser. But hey, still not bad.
How to get a bigger price winner in a race by not actually backing the winner of the race!
Well lets say you have a race, and their are plenty of them, where the fav is between 1-2 and 6-4. You will then generally have the rest of the field at 3-1 right up to say 25-1, remember when you are betting without you are in most cases taking out the fav and in races where the fav is between 1-2 and 6-4 this will nearly always be the without horse.
  The only exception will be if there has been a big gamble on a horse  that has backed into the 1-2 to 6-4 price range. But the bookie had earlier selected the morning 1-2 to 6-4 horse as the horse without, meaning that this horse has now had to give way to the gamble which is now between 1-2 to 6-4. This  actually happens frequently and the bookie cannot change the without horse.  If the selected without horse is taken out the race as a non runner then there will be no without betting on that race.
To make things complicated though, William Hill – and William hill only – will offer, in a lot of races, more options on the without market, but, for now, we will stick to the simple way of assuming that there is just one horse in any given race that is the without horse.
Now  to return to the question of backing a bigger priced winner in a race than the actual winners price by not backing the winner! This can be done in the without market and place market, but to do it in the place market it would have to be a big priced horse.
Not in the without market though. Again, lets say we have a fav at 5-4 and a third fav at 4-1 and you fancy the 4-1 to win but are frightened of the fav. In this case, which is  ideal, you are looking in the without market.  You  would get a price of around 5-2 or even 11-4 in the without market for the 4/1 third fav, assuming that the second fav was around 5-2 to 3-1,.In this case you would also get a price for the second fav in the without market at around 6-4, 15-8, so if you even backed both in the without market, you would still get a small profit if one of the two  were to actually win the race or come second to the fav. There would have to also be at least seven runners in the race for these sort of prices and they would have to be considered as having a chance at prices from 5-1 to 16-1.
So you can see that it can get quite complex at times but, in general, its simple. What you have to do is be seeking value at all times.
This is where it gets complex for a lot of people, as it's new and the best comparison to it would be perms to anyone who is familiar with perm betting, like those who remember the football pools.
Perm betting is usually used in seeking to win Jackpots and scoop 6 bets. But I realised that you can use this in any way you wish.  Now, for those who are not familiar with perm bets, its where you bet more than one horse in a race to win and add them to further races where you bet more than one horse to win and so on and this will increase the number of  bets you place for a multiple double, treble, accum, scoop six etc.
For instance if you take two horses from two races and you want to have a winning double from these four horses, two horses from two races, it would mean you would have to place four individual double bets if you wanted to double both horses from both races and as long as one of your two selections from each race won you would have a winning double.
Now you can go much further and do a treble with two horses from three races and this would be eight bets, and two horses from four races would be sisteen bets and two horses from five races would be thirty two bets and two from six races would be sixty Four bets.
But what you can also do is have a treble or accum with four bets, meaning that you take two races and choose two selections from each and then add single selections to those which don't require any more bets.
So I take two races with the fav and second fav and I double them all together which takes four bets I then add another single horse to them to make up the treble, so I can have a combination treble with four bets, I could have taken two horses from the third race but that would mean me having to place eight bets rather than the four.
With perms (which is just short  for permutations),  all you have to do is multiply the number of horses in each race by the number of races. So, say you were doing a Scoop 6, you had two bankers, three races where you were covering two in each race and another where you had three selections. Here is how you work it out: 2 x 1 x 2 x 3 x 1 x 2 which equals 24 bets. This is so in any order.
Or, for those who don't like maths, this is the best bet calculator i have come accross which will calculate your perms and stakes plus work out your winnings too!
So, for now,  i'll let this all get to sink in and we'll be back in the next blog with more on how betting in the twenty first century just got that whole lot better.
Paul Murphy






Paddy Power Chase – race trends & trainer stats






For a big field  early season handicap, there has only been one real surprise winner in the past 18 years and that was way back in 1997 when 33/1 shot, Senor el Betrutti, scored.

The other 17 winners all had SP's of 16/1 or less , with 15 scoring at 12/1 or less.

6 favs won and two second favs.


ALL carried 11-9 or less, 17 had 11-7 or less to carry and 16 humped 11-3 or under.

Handicap Rating

ALL had an official rating (OR) of 159 or less, 17 had 154 or less and 16 ran off marks of 150 or lower.


5, 6 & 7 yo's have predominated, winning 13 of the last 18 runnings achieving wins to runs ratios of 2-21 (10%), 4-46 (9%) and 7-74 (9%) respectively.

8 and 9 yo's can and have won, taking the other 5 runnings between them with 3-72 (4%) and 2-38 (5%), respectively.

Form Profile

16 had run 4 times or more in the past year

9 were making their seasonal debuts

9 had run once or twice that season – none more

8 won last time

16 posted a first 8 finish in their last run

13 finished in the first 4

ALL had won over at least  2miles three and a half furlongs

ALL had run over at least 2 miles  5F


Martin Pipe farmed this race winning 6 times between 1997 and 2005. Son David has won it once.

The pipes have two runners, one of whom is the fav, King's Palace. He has an excellent profile for this which would be even better with a higher finishing position last time and being a few pound lower down the weights & handicap.

He has been backed in from 9/1 to 6/1 this morning (Fri) and 5 of the last 7 Pipe winners were single figure prices. Shortlist material.

His other runner, Monetarie, though a 9yo, is worth a second look too.

Paul Nicholls has won this twice in the last three years. His yard, as always it seems, is in fine form with 11 winners from 40 runners in the past fortnight.

He runs top weight Sound  Investment, another with plenty in his favour except he would have to break the last 18 year weight carrying record by 3 lbs.

His other runner is Art Mauresque who has already won two out of three this season which, paradoxically, is  what goes against him. No winner of this in the last 18 years had run more than twice that season.

Nigel Twiston -Davies has won this twice in the past 7 renewals and he saddles Double Ross and Splash of Ginge, others with not perfect profiles and a little longer in the betting than the typical winner.

Nicky Henderson, another seemingly perenially in form trainer, has had 7-22 winners the last two weeks and his sole representative is Cocktails at Dawn. Just a little high in the weights and OR to be  ideal but  definitely one for the  shortlist.

Evan Williams is 9-29  the last 14 days and he runs Buywise who, at the right end of the handicap is another for the short list (which is getting long!)

Finally Kim Bailey has turned out 7 winners from 29 runners of late and has Darna. Those that didn't complete last time (other than those that pulled up, who are 2-20) are 0-17 in this. Not a big enough sample to be conclusive but enough to put me off.


With just one 5 yo, one 6 yo and  all (with the possible exception of Splash of Ginge) of the fancied 7 yo's being near the top of the weights, it may pay to concentrate there, with the addition of Buywise lower  down, in the more typical weight/OR band.

Having run all the above and any other likely looking trends horses through the form profile, there are no perfect trends fit, therefore this is a tentative selection. So, no re-mortgaging the house!

I have opted for the in form Even Williams yard's course and distance winner, BUYWISE, who though  an 8yo, is in the right section of the weights/ratings. His running on third  behind Sound investment and Wishfull Thinking in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase last time, reads well and  is the tentative each way pick. This stiffer track than Aintree and the 3 lbs pull for just under the 4 lengths he was beaten by the Nicholls horse that day should be a big help.

He has been backed from 16/1 into 12's this afternoon and, unless the rain arrives early, he should get the Good going he got last time at Aintree. You can still get 12/1 at Paddy Power and Bet 365.



Badger Ales Chase. Race trends, trainer & jockey stats




6 of the last 18 favs won

The first 9 in the betting won ALL the last 18 runnings of this, the first 7 won 17 and the first 5 won 15.

With the exception of one 25/1 winner, there have been no shocks with 17 winners returned 16/1 or less, 15 at 14/1 or less and 15 at 12/1 or less.

If you mix two of the above facts, 15 winners came from the first 5 in the betting and were 12/1 or less.


17 carried 11-7 or less

Handicap Ratings

ALL were rated 145 or less and 17 had an official rating of 139 or lower


6 yo's 4-21 (19%) and 9 yo's  5-40 (13%) have the best record

Form Profile

One or two runs that season x 8 ( 8 of the remaining 10 were making their seasonal debuts)

Posted a first 4 run last time x 13 (7 won)

Won over at least 2 miles 7.5 furlongs x 15

Ran over 3 miles plus – ALL


Paul Nicholls yard remains in fine form with 10 winners from 35 runners in the last 14 days. He also has a 29% strike rate at the course with 64 winners from 219 runners over the past 5 years (though he has done much better with his hurdlers than chasers).

He runs Benvolio, an 8yo who would be the second biggest weight carrier in the last 19 runnings were he to win. He would also be the joint highest rated winner. Take into account the pulled up last run and he isn't a trends horse.

Jess Westwood's yard is 2-7 at the course and 2-4 in chases here. She has Monkerty Tunkerty who has a lot going for him except that he is a 12 yo. Only one such horse has tried in the last 18 years and it finished unplaced. Also, the price at present is 20/1 which would make him the second longest priced winner in the last 19 years.

Dan Skelton is 7/21  at the course and 2/5 with his chasers. His Wilton Milan has an excellent trends profile but is not the ideal age at 7 (4-54 or 7%).

Tom George has a great record with his chasers here (14/47 over the last 5 years) and he runs two.

A Good Skin fits the bill on all scores except the lack of a first 4 run last time.

Forgotten Gold ticks all the boxes and has Daryl Jacob aboard. He has a 1/1 strike rate for Tom George over the last two years.


If we combine the race trends, trainer stats and jockey record,  there is only one horse that fits all the criteria and that is FORGOTTEN GOLD, currently widely available at 8/1.

However, a one placed better place last time would have made A GOOD SKIN (11/1 generally) the selection on account of the better record of 6 yo's.

So, i will split my stakes with a win bet on FORGOTTEN GOLD and an each way on A GOOD SKIN.






Ascot, Sat, C4, sprint trends, stats & selection

ASCOT 1.20




Barring a 20/1 winner, all the other 17 were returned 12/1 or less.

The fav won 4 of the last 18 runnings and the second fav won 4.

The first six in the betting have  won 16 times


14 had an official rating (OR) and 11 of these winners were rated 110 plus.

The last 6 were all rated 111 or more on the OR (official handicap).


3, 4 and 5 yo's have won 17 of the 18.

3 yo's won 6 times from 61 runners (10%). 4 yo's won 8/62 (13%) and 5 yo's are 3-44 (7%).

Only one winner was older (a 6yo) and that is from 70 to try.

Form Profile

17 had 3 to 7 previous runs that season.

5 had won last time and 5 finished second.

17 posted a  first two finish last time out.

17 had won over 6 furlongs with 6 also winning at 7F and another one winning at a mile.

17 had run within the past 60 days (seed of doubt for supporters of favourite Muhaarar – from a race trends point of view).


James Fanshawe has had 5 winners from 15 runners in the last 14 days and a record with his 3 yo's at Ascot, over the past 5 years, of 4-9. He runs The Tin Man who has everything going for him except, with an OR of just 106,  he would be the joint second lowest rated winner of this in the past 18 years (and this doesn't look like a weak renewal!)

Edward Lynam is 5-18 overall with his runners here and 4/12 with his older horses. He saddles 50/1 outsider Gathering Power, a 5yo out of the first two last time and with an OR of just 99.


George Baker has scored 27 times from 74 runners at all meetings in the last 2 years. He rides Interception who has a similar profile to the last horse named,, albeit wih a higher rating of 108.


If we consider it significant  that only one winner in the last 18 runnings had an SP of more than 12/1, this narrows it down to four 3 yo's.

The forecast 2/1 fav, and form horse, Muhaarar, has not run for 69 days and is reluctantly opposed as every other winner except one had run in the past 60 days.

Ditto The Tin Man on  account of his atypically low handicap rating.

This leaves us with the first two home in the Betfred Sprint Cup where the three 3 yo's dominated, pulling two and three quarter lengths of the field.

These two, TWILIGHT SON and Strath Burn, were separated by just a diminishing short head. However winning is a habit and l like horses that have acquired this habit. I therefore take him to extend his five race winning run to six.






Cesarewitch race trends & 1 selection

SATURDAY 9/10/15




A couple of 66/1 shocks have won in the last 3 runnings but, other than these, 25/1 was the biggest priced winner followed by three 16/1 winners.

Two favs have won and two second favs.


Just one carried 9-10 and that was one of the 66/1 surprises.

17 carried 9-8 or less while 16 hauled a max of 9-6


17 were rated 104 or less and 16 had an OR of 99 or lower.

At the other end of the weights, the minimum winning OR was 84 with 17 rated 86+. Sixteen were rated 87 plus.


Inconclusive. Winners were aged between 3 and 9. A tentative case can be made for 9 yo's as they have a better  strike rate (7%) than the others. But that is 1 win from 15 runners, so hardly a big sample.

4 and 5 yo's have the worst record with 4-187 (2%) and 1-134 (1%) respectively. This has to be put in  context though. With these two ages accounting for 321 of the 582 (56%) of the runners, they are bound to produce a lot more losers than the small sample ages.

If i had to choose one age that had both a good strike rate and from a decent sample, it would have to be the 5 yo's who are 5-105 (5%).

Form Profile

15 ran between 2 and 7 times that same season.

Only 1, from 49 to try, had just the one run.

16 had won over at least 2 miles.

ALL had run over at least that trip.

17 posted a first 7 finish last time.

14 finished in the first 4 in their previous run.


Tony Martin and Fran Berry team up with the 8/1 second fav, HEARTBREAK CITY, who is the only horse that fits the profile (bar his age) and looks like he has been laid out for this.

His age is something i am prepared to take a chance on as the age range of winners beteen 3yo and 9 suggest that age isn't a big factor in this.


The real Arc going and selection

This table shows the race times for all the Arcs run over the 20 years between 1991 and 2010  but the four years since have proved my thesis – that the official goings don't even resemble the reality according to the race times.

Danedream broke the race trends in 2011 but the prediction about the going was spot on. Every man and his dog was saying it was Good to Soft, the course had been watered  etc. Even now, the record of the race in the Racing Post says the official going was Good. This in a race that was run in course record time of 2 minutes 24.49 seconds, 6.01 seconds faster than the Racing Post standard! Course records  don't get broken on Good going and what you have to remember is that the French going is one above ours. So, eg,  2011's was officially  " Good" , this would be Good to Firm in the UK.

In 2012 Solemia, as a 4yo filly, and a 33/1 shot, was yet another trends buster. Again though, the going was described as "Heavy" when the time of the race was 7.18 seconds slower than standard which, if you divide by the 12 furlongs  of the race, means the race was run in a time slower than Racing Post Standard by 0.6 seconds per furlong .- a time indicating ground nearer to Good than to Soft going.

In 2013 Treve won in a time about one and a half seconds slower, (0.1 secs  per furlong), than Racing Post standard on officially Soft going!! This time would indicate Firm.

Last year the same mare won in a time 4.45 secs faster than standard on officially Good going. Again, Firm ground.

This year they are saying Good to Soft going . If we mke alowances for the difference between French going definitions and those used in the UK and Ireland, this is going that would be called Good. But even that underestimates how fast the ground will be. We live in Brittany which isn't too far South of Paris and have been walking round in shorts and t-shirts the  last couple of weeks. They like their watering over here but, even allowing for that, i would expect a fast time indicating Good to Firm or faster going on Sunday. There is not a single millimetre of rain forecast between now and Monday.

Do NOT be put away by false going reports

Conventional wisdom is that because the Arc is a back end of the season race run in Autumn it is generally run on softish ground.

This is not what the clock tells us.

Race record time = 2:24.49  Danedream in 2011 on "Good"

Racing Post Standard time for the course and distance = 2:30.5

5 out of the last 10 winners ran within 2 secs of the course record (all these figures are from the table up to 2010 above but they have been confirmed in the four subsequent  Arcs too)

8 out of the 10 won in faster time than Racing Post standard

This is in a period when not once has the word firm appeared in the going description!

Bago in 2004 won in a time 5.5 seconds below standard time on “GOOD” going!

Sea the Stars ran 4.2 seconds below standard time, again on “GOOD”.as did last year's winner Treve who ran a s lightly quicker time of 4.5 secs faster than standard.

These were great horses and in the latter two cases, all time greats, but to run such times on good ground?

Conversely, the three slowest times in the races shown in the table were Sakhee in 2001 who won in a time 5.6 seconds below standard on holding ground, Workforce slow by 4.8 seconds in 2012 on going described as Very soft and we have discussed the case of Solemia above.
If we take Workforce’s time and divide the 4.8 seconds above standard by the number of furlongs, 12, we get a figure of slow by .48 seconds per furlong. The Racing Post would define that as good ground.

All other times, ie, 8 of the last 10, would be defined by the time adjusted Racing Post going, (not the official going before the race but the adjusted going once the day’s race times are known), as Firm! The slowest of these 8 was in 2003 when Dalakhani won in a time 1.8 seconds slower than standard. Again, divide this extra by 12 furlongs = slow by 0.15 seconds per furlong – Firm. The remainder are all faster than standard time and by definition that means Firm

I think a few things are illustrated by these times:

The Arc, unlike many French races, is run at a frantic pace from start to finish and your pick has to stay the trip.

For all the talk of the big fields and the rough race, (both true), the best horse tends to win as is shown by the record of the first 4 in the betting. Look at the star studded list above, nearly all Derby winners in France, Ireland and/or UK. These are horses that have won classics on midsummer ground .

Your selection needs a turn of foot. For all the bumping and barging the field is usually strung out enough for the gaps to appear by 2 furlongs out, if your horse has the gears to take these gaps.

Look back over the list of the 20 winners above. It is chock full of winners of the various Derbies and other midsummer fast ground races. These were not horses that needed a slog through the mud!

The fact that you see such scintillating finishes supports my view that the going is always faster than the official version. Longchamp's  fields would be much reduced if the word firm appeared in the description – as we are seeing again this year!

Just to underline this. At this very course, just three weeks ago, the Arc trials were run on officially Very Soft going. Postponed won in a time just 2.38 secs slower than standard time, Treve slow by 3.59 and New Bay slow by 4.6. So, per furlong,  the times were slow by 0.2, 0.3 & 0.38 seconds  which means the ground was Good to Firm back then and nowhere near the official Very Soft going.


TREVE is quite simply the best Arc winner i have ever seen – and i have watched since Troy won it for Dick Hern in 1978. Her first victory,  in 2013, when beating the Japanese superstar, Orfevre, by fully 5 lengths, was in one of the classiest Arcs i can remember, and the most impressive victory i have seen in this race.

Last years field was not so classy but, after a terrible prep dogged by a back injury, her brilliant trainer, Criquette Maarek-Head, (having told all of France she would win) brought it to pass with another scintillating turnof foot to win 2 lengths in a very fast time.

This year looks a far from vintage renewal, although  impressive English Derby winner, Golden Horn ,has been supplemented . Add to that the winner of the French Derby and Prix Niel (an excellent trial for this), New Bay, and these are no mugs. It is a pity Postponed doesn't run as he won his trial over this course and distance in a time 1 second plus faster than Treve's 6 lengths romp to victory over the same C/D that day in the trials.

But you can expect Treve to have come on for that run after an absence. Unlike last year, she has had the perfect prep, and i am fully confident she will make history and be the first horse to win three Arc de Triumphes. I have grabbed the Evens now and wouldn't even think about backing her on the PMU as the whole of France will lump on come Sunday.

TREVE has won the last two Arcs in imperious style, almost easily and i have never seen good Arcs like that won in such a way. There is no chance of a lack of pace, generally, as the table and figures above show, and because Criquette Maarek-Head has a pace maker in. I can't see anything (barring a recurrence of the back injury) stopping this, for me, under rated mare (RPR have her 5 lbs behind Golden Horn at the weights!) from making history by being the first horse to win three Arcs and stamping herself as an all time great.

Neither the draw (she won her first Arc from stall 15) nor the going (she has won on all except genuinely Very Soft or Heavy ground which is extremely unlikely come the day and,  in any  case, great horses go on any ground) will make any difference.

St Leger race trends & selection



Although a 25/1 shot won, there have been no other major surprises in the last 18 runnings.

Though there have been winners at 14/1 and 12/1, the remaining 15 were all returned at 8/1 or less.

Favs won 10 of the last 18 runnings whule second favs won only twice. So the market gets it right more often than not – especially betweent the first two.

Barring the 25/1 winner, all the others were from the first six in the betting.

Handicap Ratings

ALL were rated 109 plus

Form Profile

17 had run 3-7 times in the past year

16 had run 3-5 times that season

ALL had ran over at least one and a half miles

ALL finished in the first 4 in their last run

9 won last time out


If we concentrate on the horses rated 109 plus, we are, coincidentally, left with the first 4 in the betting and all the ones priced 8/1 or less.

These are:

9/4 Fav – Bondi Beach

5/2 2F – Storm The Stars

7/2 3F – Order of St George

6/1 4F – Fields of Athenry

I backed bondi Beach in the Great Voltigeur at York last time when he was barged and beaten by Storm the Stars. Arguably should have won it in the Stewards room but a dead heat would have been fair as neither horse deserved to lose.

Both have great  chances on form, and the market should give the best  clue on the day as to which. But they both have trends flaws.

Storm the Stars may be over raced. For trends purposes, 3 to 5 runs this season is the norm, as is no more than 7 in the last year. STS has had 10 runs in the past year and 8 this season.

Bondi Beach ticks all the boxes but didn't manage to win last time (though, arguably, he should have)

Fields of Athenry falls down on his last run. All the past 18 winners posted a first 4 finish last time but FAO could only manage fifth.

That leaves us with Order of St George who ticks all the boxes and DID win last time.

This one was beaten just a short head by Bondi Beach when he was making his seasonal debut and BB was having his third run. That was over 1m 6f at the Curragh, in a good time on Good going. So, there should be no problem for either of them with the trip.

ORDER OF ST GEORGE  improved a few pounds since, when winning another 14 furlong race, a Group 3 at the Curragh on Soft, by seven and a half lengths  , (so no worries if the threatened rain arrives) and I take him to turn the form around with Bondi Beach, though i think it will be close!

This horse is already being backed and may well go off fav on Saturday. Boylesports have it at 3/1,  non runner – no bet, and backing it now on those terms looks the best bet.


The Ebor trends, trainer and jockey stats



A strange one for the markets with winners in the last 18 runnings at 100/1  33/1  25/1 four times and 20/1.

On the other hand, the first five in the betting won 8 times too, including  2 favs and 3 second favs.

So, 7 were returned 20/1 or greater and 8 came from the first five in the market.


Strong trends here with all the past 18 winners carrying 9-4 or less. This alone excludes 13 runners!

Official Ratings

Other than last year's winner, who had a rating of 106, all the other 17 were rated 102 or less,  which corresponds exactly with the weight trend.


No horse older than 6 won over this period.

Only 20 three yoar olds have run with 3 winning, giving that age the best strike rate of 15%.

From a much bigger sample of  99, ten 5yo's have won.

Next best are 6 yo's with 2 out of  53 (4%) and 4 yo's trail in last, of those ages to have won, with just 3 wins from 152.

Form Profile

ALL ran between 3 and 12 times in the previous year

15 ran between 2-5 times that season

17 posted a top 9 finish last time (15 finished in the first 7)

15 had won over at least one and a half miles

15 had already ran over at least one mile six furlongs (today's trip)

ALL had their last run between 8 and 90 days ago

Trainers and Jockeys

Luca Cumani has won this 3 times in the last 18 years and his sole runner, Ajman Bridge, has a lot going for him – except he falls down on the very firm looking weight and ratings stats.

The Saeed bin Suroor yard is flying at present, with 7 winners from 22 runners the last 14 days, and he runs two. Wadi Al Hattawi who, carrying 9-7, rated 105 and with just the one run,  would have a non trends profile. The other, Excellent Result, has had too many runs and finished outside the top 9 last time out, as well as the weight and ratings issued of his stablemate.

John E Kiely has had 1 winner from 3 runners in the past two weeks as has Joseph Tuite.

The former's 6yo, Toe The Line , ticks all the boxes except he is not the ideal age, and he is shortlisted.

The latter's has age (7yo) and  a 491 days lay off to overcome.

Philip Makin has a 3/6 record for Andrew Balding over the past two years. He rides Havana Beat, but that one has the weight and ratings stat to overcome too. In fact, off 108, he would be the highest rated winner for at least the last 19 years.

The 7 lbs claimer, Jack Kennedy is 1/1 for Willie Mullins and he rides the lightly raced (on the  flat) Wicklow Brave. Another that is short listed.

Tom Marquand is 3/6 for David Evans the last 2 years and he rides the 6 yo John Reel who, having raced more than 5 times this season, wouldn't be a typical winner.


The trends narrow it  down  to just two (if we pass over the 4 yo Fun Mac -terrible record of 4 yo's and the once raced on the flat this season, Quick Jack):

WICKLOW BRAVE hails from the first 5 in the betting and has the best profile from that end of the market. Currently best priced 10/1.

TOE THE LINE seems to be running into form at just the right time, as is his yard, and could be the one if there is to be yet another big priced shock. Currently 28/1 best price.



TV Big Race Double

Let's hope that Gleneagles takes his chance on the allegedly Good to Soft going at York today. A lot depends on what the track was like before the 9 mm of rain yesterday and the 5mm over night. If it was fast ground then, the barely half an inch of rain  will have made virtually no difference. If already on the good to soft side, it will likely stay that  way.

I am  assuming the going will be Good and that  AP will run him. Let's hope we don't have a repeat of the King George non event where today's fav (will he run if the ground is softish?) was pulled out of a penalty kick event only for it to be fought out  by two fast ground horses!

But first, the Group 2 appetiser:



The fav has won 6 of the last 18 runnings and the second fav 3. So the first two have won half.

The first 4 have won 14 times.

Weight and Ratings

Of the 16 runners to have an  official rating, 15 were rated 103 plus.

Form Profile

None had less than 2 runs.

Only one had more than 6 lifetime runs.

16 had run between 1 and 4 times that season.

8 won last time

16 finished in the first four

14  had won over at least 10 furlongs

ALL had run over 10.5 furlongs or more

Trainer and Jockey stats

While, as a mere Group 2, not a race he farms, AP O'Brien has won this twice in the period examined. He runs three. Aloft has a decent trends profile but is a little further out in the betting than a  typical Voligeur winner. Bondi Beach has the perfect profile. Giovanni doesn't look good enough, though this is a drop in class from his last two runs where he was beaten around 10 lengths in both the English and Irish Derbies. I would prefer a win last time too, statistically.

The O'Brien yard is also in tip top  form with 12 wins from 31 runners in the past two weeks.

Willie Haggas has had 11/40 winners in the past fortnight and he runs paper fav Storm the Stars. He is over raced for this event with 9 runs in total and 7 this season. He may not go off fav as he is on the drift and money is coming in for Bondi Beach.

Joseph O;Brien has an amazing record for his Dad of 156/535, 29%, over the past two years.


We are looking for a lightly raced horse from the first four in the betting, rated 103 +, winner over at least 10 furlongs, and, preferably, won last time.

Only one horse ticks all the boxes and that hails from the yard of the man with all the trainer  and jockey stats too – Aidan O'Brien's BONDI BEACH




10/18 favs won but just 3 second favs. However, that means the first two won over two thirds of the last 18 runnings.

No horse was returned bigger than 8/1

ALL were from the first four in the betting


Of the 16 to have had an official handicap rating, all were rated 116 plus. But all bar one of the remainder were rated 120 + and that includes all the last 7 rated winners.


4 yo's have by far the best record with 10 wins from 50 runs. 3 yo's have just under half the strike rate with 4 – 44.

Form profile

Only two of the last 18 winners had not won over at least 10 furlongs

Only one had not run over that trip or longer

17 last ran between 16 and 60 days

8 won last time, 5 were second and 3 were third

The last three winning 3 yo's were Derby winners.

Trainers and Jockeys

Aidan O'Brien has won this 5 times over this period and 4 of the last 7. His other stats over the past fortnight and with his Son riding for him are listed in the analysis for the Voligeur above. He is the only  trainer in this with any notable stats.


The trends narrow this down to the first three in the betting; Golden Horn, Gleneagles and Time Test.

Gleneagles is untried over 10 furlongs. Only one such runner has won over the last 18 runnings. He also has to overcome the stat against horses whose last run was more than 60 days ago (none have done this).

This latter stat goes against Time Test too.

Though not the perfect age, GOLDEN HORN bids to become the fourth Derby winner on the run  to take this.

For my money he is an under rated Derby winner, the form of which was upheld when the runner up took the Irish Derby by 7 lengths and by the selection's subsequent Coral Eclipse victory.

He would have waltzed the King George had he been allowed to run on ground that was nowhere near the official Soft ground and, if Treve doesn't run in the Arc for  some reason, he will surely be fav for that.

I feel, contrary to those who question his stamina, that to win a Derby you must stay one and a half miles well and that is his best trip. However, he won the Coral Eclipse over this trip, he has a pacemaker in to make sure they go the pace and, above all, he has that quality that trumps everything  else – class.

That' not to say Gleneagles hasn't got  class. After all, he followed an excellent English 2000 Guineas win with one in the Irish equivalent. And last time he won the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. His lack of a run over 10 furlongs is the bugbear for me but let's hope he runs so we can have a clash of the Classic  winners!

I don't discount at all Time Test but, as well as the days since run stat and the fact he is taking on two true champions, he  looks  like a horse who really does need fast ground, as his trainer has stated. It doesn't look like he will get it today and he would need everything right to win in this company today i feel.

So, at 5/1, I thnk Gleneagles is the best option for each way backers.









Weatherby’s Super Sprint – race trends & trainer stats





Considering the  big fields and the number of unexposed horses, there have been surprisingly few shocks in the 17 runnings since 1997. A 100/1 shot of Hannon's won, but other than that, one 25/1 and a 20/1 won with the next longest priced winner being returned at 14/1.

14 were returned at 10/1 or less.

Average race for favs with 5 of the 17 winnings and below average for second favs with just 2 winning.

The first 5 in the betting won 14.


ALL are within the weight range but:-

17 carried 9-1 or less and 16 hauled 8-11 or lighter.

At the other end, 17 carried 8-1 plus, while 16 carried 8-5 +


Only 2 of the last 17 winners had a handicap rating and they were rated 85 and 104

Form profile

ALL had run between 1 and 5 times.

16 had already won

7 of them won last time

16 made the first 8 in their last run

14 were distance winners  and the other 2 had won over 6 furlongs (of 5 to try)

16 won between 8 and 60 days ago


The Hannon family have won this 5 times in the last 17 runnings and Tim Easterby won it twice.

Hannon has 6 of the 25 runners tomorrow  and Easterby has 4.

Of those 10 (or 40% of the field!) the ones from the first 5 in the betting are , in betting order: the Easterby trained 3/1 fav, Excessable, the Hannon trained 5/1 third fav (which have won 4 of the last 17,  nearly as good as the record of favs), Great Page, and the joint 4th fav, 10/1 shot ,Receding Waves. All three have excellent trends profiles.

Also, Tim Easterby has a 4-14 strike rate at the course over the past 5 seasons.

Karl Burke has a 1-3 strike rate with his 2yo's here and he runs the unexposed Moondyne Joe who, at around the 14's to 16's mark, may well be backed and any market move should be noted.


With the dominance of Hannon and the fact he has 2 of the first 5 in the betting, this must surely be the first port of call.

The horse with the form in the book Great Page, who has experience with 4 runs to date, the latest when close up in  a Group 3 at the Curragh. Jockey arrangements and the betting would also suggest this is the best Hannon horse. He also has the statistical advantage of not having a handicap mark.

However, RECEDING WAVES has improved 11 lbs on the Racing Post Ratings (RPR), in each of his two runs since his debut, swooping late and fast at Chepstow over this trip for his second win, having previously scored over 6F.

His profile of 3 runs and a win last time clinch it from a trends point of view. Though having a handicap mark of 91 wouldn't be typical.

The other that shouldn't be overlooked is Tim Easterby's Excessable, given the trainers record at the course and in this race. Also he is fav in a race that is ok for favs. Another with no handicap rating.

But, no hedging, my bet is:-






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