Tag Archives: German Derby

Betting Review 2022

376.30 points profit, 35 winners and 19% ROI. It was an eventful year with plenty of lessons learned.

2022 was a challenge on many fronts, “on and off the pitch”, so to speak. On the pitch it clearly was an ever dramatic up and down. From the absolute highs of backing the longshot winner in the Melbourne Cup to the absolute lows of backing 31 consecutive losers.

At times I struggled, stumbled and lost confidence in the process that has been tried and trusted for nearly a decade now. Ultimately, though, 2022 proved to be another profitable year.

The process is alive and kicking, still working well enough to produce winners and a green P&L sheet – at the end of the day for a sixth consecutive profitable betting year.

Raw numbers

  • 376.30pts annual profit
  • 19.29% Return of Investment
  • 201 Selections
  • 35 winners
  • 17.41% Strike Rate
  • 8/1 average odds

Selections on turf produced the majority of the annual profit with 310pts; about 141pts from UK selections alone. Irish selections were also profitable this year with about 49pts profit.

The All-Weather shows a 59pts loss. I didn’t back a winner on the sand until late October, in fact. A clear upswing since then, with 156pts profit in the last two months of the year.

As always, outside of UKI things look positive: 13 international bets produced 160pts profit.

On the flat the majority of this years profit came in class 5 and class 6 Handicaps. All but two winners came in races below a mile. No surprise, as that is my main focus, both in terms of class and distances.

Selections in races over the 7 furlongs trip yielded the highest return: 285pts profit from 38 selections. Closely followed by the minimum trip that yielded 237pts profit for seven winners from 25 bets.

In contrast 6 furlongs produced a whopping 147pts loss from 36 selections. 37 selections over the mile trip resulted in 95pts loss. Middle to longer distances were a loss-making endeavour, too.

I’m not a jumps man betting wise: 11 selections, 95pts profit, largely due to a fine Cheltenham festival with 5/8 successful bets.

Ascot has been a kind track to me this year, both in terms of producing winners as well as eye catchers that went on to win subsequently.

Newcastle (0/10) and Doncaster (0/7) have been a disaster, on the other hand. Kempton (1/12) is a track I struggled, as well; I am not sure whether I ever backed a winner at Carlisle. Certainly not in 2022.

As for the selection process (flat only): eye catchers contributed 181 pts (222pts in Class 5/6, but minus 86pts all other Handicaps), traditional form analysis added 70pts to the annual profit, the rest made up by a bunch of system bets.

A complete overview of all selections and annual data going back to 2017 can be found here if anyone is keen to dig deeper.

Key Learnings

While 2022 was a solid year, it didn’t feel like a good year at all. It could have been – perhaps should have been – a much better year than it has been, for various reasons. There are 3 key learnings I hope to transfer into 2023.

Trust The Process

Be consistent and trust what’s working well – yes, reflect and don’t shy away from change if required, but the core of the process has remained the same for nearly decade and continues to work well.

Bet the process, not the outcome….

It’s the one thing you hear every profitable punter say. because it’s true. I need to remind myself of this mantra, once in a while, especially in times when variance shows its mean face.

My process works. It’s profitable. It takes a lot of effort. But it rewards the work and effort plenty fold. It does… if I do trust it, though; even during lean times. Be consistent about the approach to finding bets (i.e. the process) and good things will happen…. eventually.

Be Patient

An extension of consistency and trusting the process. It requires patience. There are no shortcuts.

Patience also means picking and choosing your fights. In the summer, when up to 20 eyecatchers could run in a single day, the fear of missing out can led to a rushed decision-making process. This will almost certainly lead to poor bets.

There’s simply too much racing, it can be overwhelming. Instead of attempting the impossible, be selective and focus on the races that play to the strengths of the process. Be patient, it’s the long term that matters. If “one gets away”, so be it. Tomorrow is another day.

Variance is your Friend

I endured some brutal losing runs this year: 31 consecutive losers- and only one winner of 48 bets between July and September. Only one short-priced winner of 27 bets between April and May.

Tough times. And inevitable. Especially given the average odds of my bets – around 8/1.

Sequences of losing bets are nothing out of ordinary; in fact they are to be expected and statistically inevitable. It’s variance. As simple and brutal as it is.

Knowing this doesn’t make it easier to endure. I was wondering during those times whether I “lost it”.

On the other hand, a simple look back to previous years would have shown that losing runs happened every year and the up- and downswings can be quite violent, as the 2017-2022 P&L graph presented earlier demonstrates pretty well.

Where things go down they have to go up again. What followed the most horrible months of my “betting career” was a November for the ages: the most profitable single month in over four years.

Remember, it’s a never ending ultra-marathon – as long as the P&L sheet is green in the long run it doesn’t matter what happens in the short-term, as long as value is still present in each and every price taken.

2022 Favourite Winners

I backed 35 winners in 2022. Every single one is important, no matter the class of the race. But some mean more than others, if only on an emotional level. Here’s my 3 favourite winners in 2022.

Gold Trip: Melbourne Cup

Backing the 21/1 winner in my favourite international race, is the standout moment in 2022.

Gold Trip’s victory came at the right time as he kicked off a golden November. Prior to this fateful first November day, I backed a meagerly two winners from the last 53 selections. All forgotten, when you land the big one.

State Of Rest: Prince of Wales’s Stakes

A gutsy, honest colt, trained by Joseph O’Brien, State Of Rest got a peach of a ride by Shane Crosse at Royal Ascot in the Prince of Wales’s, beating odds-on favourite Bay Bridge.

This win came at the right time, after backing only a single winner in the last 26 selections. I got 8.4 on the exchanges, which looks stellar value in hindsight.

Sammarco: German Derby

Far from the biggest winner of the year, but certainly one of my favourites. I was incredibly sweet on the son of Camelot, as he caught the eye in serious fashion on his previous two career starts and I felt he could even develop into an Arc contender.

While his season ended somewhat in an anti-climax, his German Derby triumph was as dramatic as brilliant, given the way the race developed. This winner was one of 9 in a glorious July.

………..

Finally, thank you to all readers, be it here or on Twitter, and especially those that have engaged so eagerly. 

It makes it twice as enjoyable if you can share the passion for the sport with other people, and even more so if others can derive value from this site as well. 

On to a wonderful and hopefully profitable 2023.

Saturday Selections: 17th September 2022

10.45 Aqueduct: Group 3 Jockey Club Derby, 1m 4f

This is a rather poor Group 3 turf race even by US standards, which is the reason why two questionable stayers head the market.

Godolphin’s Nations Pride and Classic Causeway have met twice over shorter middle-distance trips as part of the Caesars Turf Triple Series this season, with an even split of victories.

Nations Pride, as a son of Teofilo, is odds-on and expected to stretch out over 12 furlongs after his recent excellent Saratoga Derby success.

On the ever turning Aqueduct inner turf track on firm ground there is a solid possibility he will do get the trip. He’s not unbeatable, though, his price (possibly) still driven by early season reputation when he was an English Derby contender.

I doubt Classic Causeway will find this race distance wise and tactically difficult. On the other hand the German raider Ardakan is probably underestimated here.

Obviously he won’t lack stamina. In fact he’ll relish going up in distance. He won the Derby Italiano over 1m 3f earlier this year where he showed a lot of guts, and then finished like a train in the German Derby.

Especially the Hamburg performance is noteworthy. This was a pretty good renewal but Ardakan had a troubled day. His wide draw didn’t do him any favours. As a consequence he had tons to do turning for home. I reckon, on another day Ardakan would have gone seriously close.

He was not disgraced when third in the Group 1 Großer Preis von Berlin subsequently. I though the race wasn’t quite ran to his liking, with a somewhat muddling pace. More aggressive tactics would have helped.

The firm ground is a concern today, given he has not encountered it before. In contrast some of his best performances came on much softer. On the other hand he did just fine on genuinely good ground. That’s gives hope.

I do hope Andrasch Starke will move forward, utilizing the stamina this son of Reliable Man clearly possesses, making this race a test of stamina, rather than one of speed.

If he does so, and possibly even can get first run hitting the home straight, Ardakan won’t be stopping anytime soon and could be difficult to get to for the rest in this field, as they stamina may run out.

Btw. this race is usually run at Belmont. Due to building works there this race, as others, have moved to Aqueduct. A few years ago I went there on a trip to New York. It was a cold December day. A bit of snow on the ground and in the air. Racing took place on the inner dirt track.

It was one of the bleakest days I’ve ever spent at a racetrack. Aqueduct is a massive place, but it was so sparsely attended on the day. It felt so empty, nearly ghost like – apart from a bustling Casino attached to the stand. It was a completely different sort of atmosphere to the usually much more colourful and interesting atmosphere encountered in the UK and Ireland.

10pts win – Ardakan @ 7/2

Sunday Selections: 31st July 2022

1.20 Munich: Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis, 1m 2f

Intriguing Group 1 action in Germany today as we see the return of Derby hero Sammarco.

As tight as the outcome of the Derby was, I always felt he was the best horse on the day. I am a huge fan of this son of Camelot and backed him to win at Hamburg.

The step up in trip was clearly in his favour, and I maintain that – if connections would go down the route – he could have a legitimate shot in an Arc this year.

Saying that, dropping in distance to 10 furlongs does the opposite to my excitement about Sammarco’s chances – at least today. This doesn’t look the deepest Group 1 and class may prevail, yet the drop in distance doesn’t do him any favours I reckon.

It makes perfect sense to get a Group 1 over 10 furlongs on board for a future stallion career. He probably find many better opportunities than this. Though, simply from a betting perspective I can’t back him today.

The French mare Ebaiyra is the favourite and quite a short price. She sets a very good standard thanks to her close 3rd place in the Dahlia Stakes back in May. She has tons of strong form in Group races to her name, although winning at the top level has eluded her so far.

Today looks an ideal opportunity to rectify this. The good to soft ground suits, the trip fine and she comes here in fine form after a recent Listed success at Chantilly that will put her spot on.

I still think she’s a little bit too short in the betting. Clearly a consistent mare, she’s no superstar and is potentially vulnerable to an improving sort.

The Andreas Schütz trained Dawn Intello is another well-seasoned performer at Group level. Consistent and solid are words to describe him. If the market principles falter he’ll be bang there, though he always looked a bit short of class to land a major one.

Last years fine Unio-Rennen winner Best Of Lips doesn’t appear to be quite the same horse this season. Rubaiyat may not quite stay 10 furlongs well enough against this strong level of opposition. Amazing Grace will only feature if they go a crazy pace.

Leaves Andreas’s Wöhler’s Queroyal, who fits the bill of a possible improver. The 3-year- old colt is still lightly raced and unexposed over ten furlongs. After a light juvenile campaign he won a 7.5f contest at Mülheim on seasonal reappearance before stepping up significantly in distance when landing the Derby-Trial at Baden-Baden in convincing fashion.

He kicked on as the field entered the home turn and never looked back, always holding, seemingly a shade cosily, the opposition. Connections were not surprised afterwards, saying they thought he’d be a smart prospect.

Although not the likeliest to stay the Derby trip, Queroyal was supplemented for the Hamburg Classic. He travelled strongly for a long time that day, but from a high draw he was forced to wide for the entirety of the race and travelled significantly farther than Sammarco, who had a perfect trip on the inside in contrast.

Queroyal flattened out in the final two furlongs, hanging badly in the home straight and eventually wandering around, clearly at the limit of his stamina. Nonetheless he was only 3 lengths beaten in the end.

The drop in trip is key today. Whether he is truly a Group 1 horse remains to be seen. The Derby-Trial form hasn’t worked out particularly well. But he looked a class above the opposition in any case and should be capable of improvement for his sixth career start and only second attempt over 10 furlongs. In my book he is significantly overpriced in this field.

A live stream for Munich can be found on Youtube.

10pts win – Queroyal @ 12/1

German Derby 2022 Preview

2.45 Hamburg: Group 1 German Derby, 1m 4f

The 2022 edition of the German Derby looks an excellent renewal on paper. As German horses have outran their odds on the international stage for a number of years, there is no secret in saying today could be a pointer towards a future Arc winner.

It’s even more exciting as smart filly Wagnis takes on the colts. She was a sensational winner of the Diane Trial over 10 furlongs at Hamburg four weeks ago. She has the assistance of Holly Doyle today. That shows clear intent as does the fact connections go for the Derby.

The way she won the Group 3 Diane Trial was seriously impressive. She produced a lovely turn of foot to come from the back of the field. She is bred to stay the Derby trip and will be a big runner, if she can get a run.

Drawn in #20 is a huge issue at the tight, turning Hamburg course, though. She will have to come from a long way back and that is a tough assignment.

Talking intent, perhaps even more so represents the booking Frankie Dettori. Schlenderhan has been confident So Moonstruck is the real deal for a while and having the big race jockey in the saddle can only be a positive.

He’s drawn in #10. That’s a workable gate, with So Moonstruck expected to go forward. He’ll be in a good position turning for home and is likely to improve from his recent runner-up effort in the Derby Trial at Cologne, should get the trip and should enjoy the decent ground.

The son of former German Derby winner Sea The Moon has been beaten twice this season already, though, albeit on softish ground. He’s one for the shortlist but I struggle to see why he’s the favourite, personally.

Slightly under the radar flies Bavarian Classic winner Lavello. He won handsomely at Munich and was a good third in the Group 2 Prix Hocquart at Longchamp back in May.

He is another one you would think will improve for the trip as a son of Zarak and out of a Montjou mare, plus possibly will enjoy the better ground as well. He’s got a good draw and looks overpriced.

Ardakan is a multiple Group winner already. He landed the Derby Italiano when last seen in May. He showed serious guts and just got there in the nick of time over the 11 furlongs contest.

He is all stamina, not unusual for a German horse, and will love the additional furlong today. Drawn wide isn’t ideal but expect him to close down the leaders coming with a late charge.

Assistent from gate #1 is a compelling each-way shot with Cieren Fallon in the saddle. A listed winner at Hannover over 12 furlongs, he’s is sure to appreciate the trip and has proven to act on decent ground.

Richard Kingscote makes the trip to Hamburg to ride German 1.000 Guineas runner-up Mylady. She has a good draw but may struggle to see out the Derby distance.

The only German female jockey Sybille Vogt in the Derby sits on a live chance with recent Listed winner Nerik, a son of Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World, also bred to get the trip and with untapped potential.

German top jockey Eddie Pedroza has the ride on Queroyal, a winner of a Derby Trial at Baden. 10 furlongs may be more his trip, but he can’t be underestimated if he stays.

That brings me to the one I fancied for a while for the German Derby: Sammarco. This lightly raced son of Camelot was learning on the job in all his three lifetime runs. He looked raw and green but improving all the time.

Only one start as a juvenile, he won over 7.5 furlongs. He made his three-year-old debut in the hot Bavarian Classic when things didn’t go his way. He caught the eye with an impressive late finish as a runner-up behind Lavello.

Next stop was the Derby Trial at Munich. he battled it out with So Moonstruck, who got first run. Sammarco found plenty and seemed to relish the fight in the closing stages to win by a head.

He clearly is progressive, has tons of untapped potential, will stay the trip, can go forward from his low draw to be right where you want to be at Hamburg when turning for home and looks potentially the real deal.

This 2022 edition of the German Derby is clearly a highly competitive one. Nonetheless, Sammarco is the one I am siding with at a bigger price than I would have anticipated today.

10pts win – Sammarco @ 11/2

Graasten can shock in German Derby

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4.10 Hamburg: Deutsches Derby (Group 1), 1m4f

Without Karpino and Quasillo the German Derby has lost its main attractions. Which makes it now quite an intriguing affair. Shimrano is a fair favourite nonetheless. He has the form in the book. His win in the Oppenheimer-Union-Rennen is the best trial form on offer. From a betting perspective he makes zero appeal though. 2/1 in a big field with many unkown quantities….

I’ll be going with a massive price – Graasten. He was well beaten behind Shimrano at Collogne, however didn’t quite get the run of the race in home straight and was staying one late. He clearly would appreciate an additional furlong and won’t mind the Derby trip at all.

Fitted with blinkers for the first time today, it may help this very raw and green colt to keep his focus better than he has  in done all of his career starts. He’s often sluggish at the start, but has been best when ridden from the front. He enjoys a good draw today, so with the blinkers fitted, one would hope he is much sharper and is going to be well positioned.

This son of Sholokhov is a relentless galloper, big and scopey build, he could be hard to pass over the Derby trip once he is in front. Of course only if he has the class as well. He has to improve dramatically on what he has shown so far. But he has a chance to do so in my mind – a better one than his massive price tag.

Graasten @ 66/1 Coral – 5pts Win

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4.10 Ayr: Handicap (Class 3), 1m

Wide open race, not many appear well handicapped, although Pintura might well be, judged on his former best. He is down to a lowly mark off 89 now – that might well reflect his true potential now – but he seemed to regain something of his best when a fair third over course and distance here at Ayr back in May. He was a good runner-up that day coming of a long break.

I happily ignore his latest run at Haydock in unsuitable quick conditions. This today should suit rather well though. There is a bit of juice in the ground as he likes it and could be underestimated.

Main danger is obviously the lightly raced favourite Obsidian who could easily have still more to offer and should really close. However he’s a short enough price, while Pintura offers a bit of value.

Pintura @ 16/1 Stan James – 5pts Win