Tag Archives: Fibresand

Myth or Fact: Southwell 5f Advantage?

Short days. No sunlight. Freezing temperatures. Yep, winter is coming. So here it starts also, with zero fanfare: the dull, ever the same boring racing on the sand. Racing fans in huge numbers hate the All-Weather with a passion. Well, I don’t. In fact love it.

That is a matter of opinion of course, and is nothing to debate here and now. However with the AW season kicking into top gear sooner rather than later, I want to highlight some interesting facts on everything sand racing over the next coming weeks.

The 5 Furlongs Anomaly 

Every man and his dog seems to know that the straight 5 furlongs at Southwell works heavily to the advantage of horses drawn low. By how much? And is it true? Well, that’s the question. Pure gut feeling and visual impression as an indicator certainly tells a story of “something’s there”.

What do the numbers say? If we focus on winter as the season we’re interested in, then the almighty Excel sheet back this up in impressive manner. I don’t want to throw numbers around, but let’s say over the last five winters significantly more races have been won by those drawn low over 5f at Southwell. Regardless of age, sex and race conditions.

Imagine this: if you would have backed blindly every runner in every race drawn between stall one and four during those years with a £1 stake, you would have made a profit of nearly £75. That’s a 32% return on your investment. Not too shabby!

Even more so if consider three of the past five seasons have produced a profit after all.

Now, flying blind is never a good idea, regardless. So why don’t you refine your criteria hence increase you chance of finding a winner while profiting even more from the low draw advantage?

Fly With Open Eyes

Say you won’t back any fillies and mares, because the numbers quite clearly tell females perform much worse on the All-Weather in winter against the opposite sex. Say you focus on races for older (4yo +) horses solely, because most races are held for them in winter, anyway:

You’ll increase your return of investment to a near 96%. Just like that! In fact you would have made a definite profit in any of the past five years (based on SP)!

Why is that? Why is there this huge advantage for horses drawn low over 5 furlongs at Southwell? At The Races seems to know: This (over 5f very high draws tend to be at a disadvantage) is because they are often forced to rail under the near side rail where the ground is slower.

Southwell In Comparison 

Fact is: compared to the only other All-Weather racetrack in Britain that offers a straight 5f track – Newcastle – Southwell is an anomaly. You would think that a straight track is fair and gives near equal chances to win from either a low, middle or high draw.

Granted, Newcastle has a Tapeta surface and Southwell is Fibresand, it is telling that we see there exactly that: an equal strike rate for low and high drawn horses. The middle fares slightly worse. Not significantly worse, though slightly worse. Probably because if you’re drawn high or low you will have more often than not the rail as an aid.

In Conclusion

We can say that there is certainly a bias over 5 furlongs at Southwell. This has not changed over the years and for punters this remains a great opportunity to exploit and profit from.

Refining the criteria of races you back horses in can yield in even better results. I gave you some very simple suggestions. If you want – of course – you can drill down even further and you find even more interesting facts to take into account (specific draw, head-gear…).

I do look forward to see how things pan out in the upcoming season. Keep an eye on these 5f contests. Southwell is back next Monday…. with three races over the straight course!

Saturday Night’s Racing Talk

The Nakayama Grand Jump is quite something! Starting stalls, quirky fences and an idiosyncratic course layout that sees the horses constantly confronted with twists and turns – a bit like what we are used to see in the Cross-Country Chase. It certainly is a tremendous spectacle.

Today the 18th running of what is one of the richest prizes in jump racing (worth about €1 Million) took place at Nakayama Racecourse.

The race went to the red hot favourite Oju Chosan, who is currently Japan’s leading jumps horse and who defended his crown with this rather comfortable victory, winning back to back the Grand Jump.

Take a look at the race below:

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Racing on a bridge? I thought I’ve seen and heard a lot of different and interesting ideas if it comes to reinvigorating horse racing to make it attractive to a wider and younger audience. But racing on a bridge? Well, that’s new!

But yes, that’s right, the Aussies wanna race next year on the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge! This spectacle shall coincide with the world’s richest turf race, the $10 million Everest, which will be held at Randwick in October 2018.

And it won’t stop there according to Olly Neil from the English company GAG 403 who have invented a portable racetrack system that can be quickly laid and removed:

“We will create a global circuit of horse racing events with high-quality local horses thundering down iconic city streets ridden by the world’s top jockeys.”

Now, that sounds ambitious. Let’s first get this Sydney thing under way? At this stage I find it hard to believe, though the idea makes sense and sounds exciting. To say it with a famous commentators call during a game of Australia’s national sport, Aussie Rules Football: I see it, but I don’t believe it!

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5.05 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

Keith Dalgleish’s Dirty Randy is an interesting handicap debutante. He didn’t show a lot in three maidens last season which all came in quick succession, hinting connections were keen to get the runs into him to qualify for a hopefully lenient opening mark.

The Handicapper – that is fair to say – has not taken any chances and allotted Dirty Randy a rating of 60, which, for what he has done so far, is harsh. Shouldn’t the handicapper allocate marks for what horses have actually achieved without taking into account whether improvement may come in the future over different trips and surfaces?

Well, anyway, let’s focus on the race. Given Dirty Randy was never going to be a miler but more with a future over middle distance trips he might still have a fairly good chance to outrun his opening mark.

A drastic step up in trip to 12f should see him certainly in better light than in those maiden races. He hails from a successful family that generally tends to do better with age and the further they go, so it’s fair to assume Dirty Randy could develop into a decent horse.

He was never to enjoy the fast All-Weather surface at Newcastle, however his sire has shown his offspring can outrun the odds at the slower and more demanding Southwell fibresand.

So things fall right here for Dirty Randy in that sense, with trip and track likely to suit. He likely to be sharp enough on his seasonal reappearance, with cheek-pieces fitted for the first time. A fine 5lb claimer makes life a bit easier.

The Dalglish yard goes pretty well at the moment and it looks significant that Dirty Randy has two more entries for next week, which may suggest they hope for a strong run here to turn him out quickly again.

Selection:
10pts win – Dirty Randy @ 5/1 PP

Al Khan can land Suthwell Feature

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

1.40 Southwell: Class 3 Handicap, 7f

A quite intriguing contest with a handful of course and distance scorer. It’s easy to see why Westwood Hoe is well fancied though, given he overcame some trouble in a better class over CD three weeks ago. He’s certainly well treated off only 2lb higher today.

Certificate also scored when last time seen, then at Lingfield. He’s trying the fibresand for the first time and that is always a concern but if he handles it he must have a serious shot in this race.

Previous course and distance winners Philba and Showboating can’t be discounted. The former one in particular is progressive on the fibresand and has the advantage of a low weight.

No love in the betting for top weight Al Khan, although he’s also has been successful at Southwell in the past. However the gelding is 5lb above his last winning mark, but managed a head-beaten runner-up effort in a hot Ayr Handicap off his current rating back in September.

Since then Al Khan was largely a disappointment, result wise even though he was never far beaten. When last seen at Lingfield he finished well from an impossible position, suggesting he might be in better form than bare results suggest.

A return to the fibresand may well help him to turn things around. From a good draw he should be able to track the pace which I expect to be red hot, which should suit him perfectly.

Al Khan @ 12/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

Southwell: Schottische has a big shout

DSC_7176

Winner and a third today – we clearly make some progress here. Even though I would have much preferred Dynamo Walt to win than Natural Nine – but hey, I don’t wanna complain.

12.10 Southwell: Class 6 Amateur Handicap, 1m

Two horses caught my eye on the Southwell sand recently. One is Roger Thorpe who was unlucky to bump into a seriously well handicapped horse the other day. He has a big shout today, though the jockey and the draw are slight concerns.

For a much bigger price I feel Schottische is interesting. She was quite unlucky two starts back here at Southwell when she travelled strongly but got badly hampered approaching the home turn when coming with a huge run, only to get checked moments later yet again.

It was impressive how she stuck to the task and finished as close as did. I didn’t pay attention when she popped up at Lingfield subsequently. 10f is too far form her. Back at Southwell now she’s really interesting, back over 1m and 2lb below her last winning mark which came over course and distance earlier this year.

Schottische @ 16/1 bet365 – 5pts Win

Tuesday Selections: Redcar & Southwell

2000 Guineas Field going to post

2.00 Redcar: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 2f

I feel key form to this race is a recent York Handicap over 10f which was won by Empress Ali. The four year old filly overcame the widest draw in a 20 runner strong field. Back here today she remains of interest despite a raise of 6lb in her mark as well as a step up in class. With that she won two of her last three starts, while the one in between she was a good third.

Empress Ali thrives in soft ground, so should certainly love these conditions today. From a good draw she has to enter calculations and could be able to overcome a career highest mark.

A good third that day at York was El Beau. He was a bit unlucky as when he finally was in the clear the race was gone. He stayed on well and will enjoy conditions here at Redcar. However he is on a high enough mark given his depressing strike rate. Nonetheless he should be the mane danger for Empress Ali, who is, though, a really good price to follow-up.

Empress Ali @ 6/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

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3.10 Southwell: Class 4 Handicap, 2m

Southwell is back! Fibresand action… yeah! Winter is back… that’s what is actually means. There is this decent two mile handicap on the card today, although it’s less competitive than what these races usually are. Only three, max. four of these have a chance – on what we know.

I can see why Brassbound is a clear favourite. He has a fine record here at Southwell and won over the 2m trip before. He did so on his penultimate start over CD, and it’s not impossible that he has still more to offer. But he has a career highest mark to defy. Seven years olds don’t do that all too often, so I’m prepared to take him on.

Tartan Jura is an interesting contender, as if he’s fully wound up and fit on debut for his new yard after an extensive lay-off, he has to be bang there. But you will need to show a lot of trust.

Ullswater for new connections now based in the UK makes his fibresand debut and has not too much form on the flat. He’s kind of exposed for that reason and really hard to know what to get.

Most interesting candidate and the value in the race is The Quarterjack. He’s on his second start on Fibresand and seemingly liked it on his debut earlier this year over 14f when fair runner-up over. He’s 3lb lower in the mark and should appreciate the additional two furlongs.

While he hasn’t been in any sort of form lately, the return to this track is interesting and can rejuvenate him. It has to if he wants to beat the others, but I’m prepared to give him this chance.

The Quarterjack @ 5/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win