Thanks for your comments yesterday, I think that Terry's comment sums up why this is a good area to be laying!
Richard and MinnieTheMinx suggested a number of angles worthy of research and I'll deal with some of those today.
Is there any difference between maiden 1st time runs or handicap 1st time runs for the trainer?
I think first run in a handicap is an entirely different matter because a horse needs to have 3 runs to get a handicap mark. So looking at first run in a handicap doesnt give us the green horse factor or the take it easy on him instruction to the jockey.
So I'll leave handicaps for another day.
Looking at Maiden races compared to non Maiden races there is no significant difference in the strike rate and loss.
Is there a difference with regards to the class/group of race?
Class has thrown up some significant differences. As you would expect the majority of first starts are in lower class races, but there are still significant numbers of higher class debutants and they win less than their lower class colleagues.
Here's the number of runs, strike rate and return on investment by Class.
Class 1 ~ 24 ~ 0$ ~ -100%
Class 2 ~ 63 ~ 2% ~ -90.48%
Class 3 ~ 102 ~ 0% ~ -100%
Class 4 ~ 972 ~ 3% ~ -47.04%
Class 5 ~ 2223 ~ 5% ~ -41.11%
Class 6 ~ 802 ~ 7% ~ -37.73%
Is there a difference between sprints, middle & long distance?
I've looked at just flat races with regards to distance and as you might expect there are very few horses debuting in long distance races. So I've compare under a mile with over a mile.
Debutants running at a mile or over lose more than those running at less than a mile.
Less than a mile ~ 2993 ~ 4.78% ~ -40.69%
A Mile or over ~ 1362 ~ 3.89% ~ 51.94%
Is there a difference between genders?
Females lose more than males.
Female ~ 2405 ~ 4% ~ -49.25%
Male ~ 3297 ~ 5% ~ -39.01%
Is there a difference between gender-specific races and those open to both colts and fillies?
Here I've looked at what sex actually competed in a race. It would seem a good idea not to lay the debutants in all male races.
Females Only ~ 1308 ~ 4% ~ -46.15%
Males Only ~ 705 ~ 6% ~ -26.99%
Mixed ~ 3689 ~ 5% ~ -45.45%
Are there any jockey/trainer trends
We have already excluded trainers that do well with debutants so I'll have a look at Jockeys.
Hmmm, I've been looking at the figures for a few minutes now and I think I wouldn't want to add or extract any particular jockey.
There are some who show huge profits, from a backing perspective, but because there are a lot of jockeys the number of runs for each is quite low. That means that a big priced win, which might not be statistically significant, can make a big difference to the returns.
Finally for today I've tried to find a solution to the problem of what to lay when many or all of the runners in a race are debutants. EG today's 2.10 at Hamilton.
Horse Race Base lets me look at the percentage of horses in a race that have run 1 race before.
The data is not significant other than for where no horse in the race has run before and then as you might expect the strike rate goes up and the loss or lay potential goes down.
So the thing to do with races where they are all debutants is to not bet!
Lingfield 7.40 Szarbos Art – each way bet – 11/2 Bet 365, Bet Victor