Tag Archives: Statistics

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.

Betting Review 2017

608.70 points profit. 31.62% ROI. 2017.

It’s been some betting year. A year of hard work. A year of change. Change and work that paid off. A handsome reward, for hours and hours put in day and night.

It was needed. A disastrous end to 2015, and the worst betting year in long memory that was 2016, left me without a choice but to change  my approach to the game. Change it radically, if I wanted to continue to be part of it.

To make this game pay can sometimes feel easy. A big winner in the feature on Saturday. Happy days! Oh so easy. Not.

The difficulty is felt only if you keep track of what you’re doing over a long enough period of time. When you see the numbers turning either green or red. Profitable betting long term isn’t easy. It’s bloody difficult.

That’s why it’s key question to answer for every punter with the aim of extracting tangible gains from betting: how can I find a scalable model that can be trusted on a day to day basis that helps me to stay focused, selective and takes emotions out of the equation?

2017 was the year of change for me personally on that front. What worked in the past, didn’t work any longer. The game changes. And if you don’t change with the game you lose.

The Numbers Game – 2017 in Detail:

•  Bets: 211
•  Winners: 37
•  Profit/Loss: +608.70pts
•  Strike Rate: 17.54%
•  ROI: 31.62%

No surprise, the majority of my bets came on the flat. 168 bets, for 32 winners. The average odds was in and around 10/1; the winning odds on average roughly 7/1. Only 36 of all bets came on the British All-Weather, resulting in 8 winners and a very healthy ROI.

The jumps game isn’t mine on a day to day basis. 43 bets, mostly at the Cheltenham Festival, produced a small profit from five winners, thanks to some big price winners.

My selections tend to do poorly in graded and better races in general. On the other hand, selections in the lower end of the handicap spectrum have been hugely successful. In fact 17 winning selections in class 4 or lower class handicaps amounting for nearly half of all winning bets in 2017, however for only a bit more than a third of all selections.

Highlights were quite clearly Tiger Roll’s Cheltenham succes in the National Hunt Cup – a 20/1 winner, the biggest of the year.

Even more so celebrated however, was Rekindling’s Melbourne Cup triumph. Because I shouted it from the roof the night before. I rarely do that, but was sure this lad would go well.

Also because the Melbourne Cup is my favourite race of the racing calendar. I didn’t find the winner in it ever before. It was a great betting- and personally emotional win.


Focus for 2018:

It’s easy. More All-Weather. It’s my strong point. Quite clearly.

More selectiveness if it comes to the better racing. Yes, it would be nice to have a bet in the big Group 1 at Ascot… but not for the sake of “just having one”.

Less jump racing. I am not too good at it. So let’s keep it to minimum and watch out for real quality selections.

Reduce number of “shorties”. Selections <=2/1 are simply not as profitable and I made some pretty bad selections in 2017.

Target unexposed three year old’s versus exposed older horses in Spring.

Myth or Fact: Low Draw Advantage 5f Southwell?

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!

Stat of the Day – Thursday 25th August 2016

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

33.33 – the percentage of winners trainer James Tate had in lower grade handicaps at Wolverhampton this year!

In fact more than one half of all his starters have been placed in 2016; with the addition of Luke Morris in the saddle the success rate increases even more.

This is not a new trend, given that Tate has always been smart in identifying the right type of horse to exploit those uncompetitive races on the All-Weather during the summer months when there is so much racing going on elsewhere.

He’s doing this mainly with three year old’s in races against older horses where during the summer months the weight for age allowance provides its most substantial advantage for the younger horse against older, often exposed individuals.

———-

Thursday Selections:

Three days into the week and three winners richer! It’s been quite a week so far, so long may it last. Three selections today; most interesting James Tate’s runner in the penultimate race at Wolverhampton.

2.30 Musselburgh: Lil’s Affair @ 9/1 Bet365
6.45 Wolverhampton: Control Centre @ 16/1 Coral
8.45 Wolverhampton: Rocket Power @ 4/1 Bet365

Stat of the Day

DSC_0362

0 – Despite being one the top sires in producing winners in sprint handicaps at Brighton over the last number of years, Pastoral Pursuit is not quite enjoying a successful season with his offspring this year.

Zero winners at Brighton in total to this date this year, however a 100% place rate over six furlongs could mean hope isn’t lost yet, given he enjoyed a near 29% strike rate the seasons before.

Can he bounce back today? Two runners for him at Brighton: Pursuit Of Time the one I find most interesting. Dropped in trip significantly, with blinkers and tongue tie applied for the first time.

Monday Selections:

2.00 Brighton: Mystic Dawn @ 7/1 Racebets
2.30 Brighton: Pursuit Of Time @ 20/1 Ladbrokes