I spent yesterday afternoon in the company of someone who has been betting even longer than I have. Let’s just say he’s now north 80 and was punting before betting shop became legal in the UK. Despite his age his mental faculties are still as acute as ever.
Anyway, we got chatting about the factors that he uses when coming up with selections and he certainly got me thinking. More on that inside today’s main piece. Where you’ll also find an Irish trainer whose runners in handicaps have been profitable to follow in June. Plus, there’s a Thursday selection from Sandown.
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We all have different factors that we deem to be important when it comes to selecting horse to bet on.
Here are the five factors that I was given yesterday:
- Consistency – Look for horses that win their fair share of races. His view was you should be looking for horses that have a win percentage of 20%+.
- Good recent form – Look for horses that have finished within three lengths of the winner on their latest start.
- Winning form at the distance or further – Look for horses that have won at the distance of the days race or further.
- Position in Betting – Look for horses in the first four lines of the betting forecast. His view was that 70% of all winners can be found in the first four in the betting forecast. I think he used the Daily Mirror betting forecast.
- Concentrate on the better class races!
I decided to dig a little deeper into the fourth factor. Looking at this year’s flat season. I found that 74% of all flat races in the UK had indeed been won by those in the first four in the RP betting forecast. However, just 66% of Irish winners could be found there. I only have records for this season so I can’t say how it’s performed over a longer period but I suspect that 70% figure isn’t to far away.
Maybe you already use them as part of your selection process. Even if you don’t, I hope they’ll get you thinking as they did me.
There’s nothing magical about the four factors. Indeed, they could be described as ‘common sense’. However, they have stood the test of time and I hope you didn’t mind me sharing them. It’s a subject that I will hopefully come back to in future columns.
Trainer to Note in June
Trainers are “creatures of habit”. They target certain races and they target certain tracks. They also have periods during the year/season when the stable is in really in top gear. For example: Sir Mark Prescott excels with his 3-year-olds between June to August. In that period, he’s got a 31%-win strike rate with such horses. You can’ back all his runners blind though. If you had backed all of them since 2008 you would have lost £5.88 to a £1 level stake. Although you would have made a small profit backing those who had yet to win a race.
I have dug into horseracebase and have found an Irish trainer whose handicappers have been profitable to follow in June.
Since former top jockey Johnny Murtagh started training in 2013, he’s been operating at 13%-win strike rate in handicap races. However, that win strike rate rises to just over 20% in June & July. Just concentrating on June for now. His record is:
34 winners from 161 bets 21% +81.04 68 placed 42% (BFSP +118.90).
The A/E is a very healthy 1.51 and the Chi score 6.79. He’s also made a profit with such runners in each of the last five seasons. Let’s see if this June see’s more of the same.
Advice: Back Johnny Murtagh runners in handicap races in June.
Some moderate fare this afternoon. Lingfield races on the grass and there’s all-weather card at Wolverhampton. Meanwhile Market Rasen provides jumps fans with a seven-race card.
The race of the day though is at Sandown's evening fixture and the Heron Stakes (7.15). Where the Queen’s colt Reach For The Moon makes his belated seasonal reappearance. An all-weather fixture at Chelmsford and a jump card at Tipperary complete the evenings action.
Sadly just 42 have been declared for the six races on what is good Sandown card with six of them in the Heron Stakes which has £52,000 in guaranteed prize money.
7:15 – Coral Heron Stakes (Listed Race) – 1m
Four of the six runners have Group 1 entries and they of course include the favourite Reach For The Moon. The favourite is clear of his field on RPR’s and was due to be trained for the Derby but a setback meant he couldn’t be prepared for that race. This looks a good starting point for the colt. However, he does face some interesting rivals.
Akhu Najla made a winning seasonal reappearance at Yarmouth last month and holds a St James’ Palace entry. If he’s to take his place at Royal Ascot you would expect him to go well here.
The inform William Haggas saddles My Prospero who won a Newbury maiden last month. He looked a useful prospect the last day and this race was mentioned by connections after his Newbury success.
Verdict: The Gosden yard have won the last three running’s of the race. Which is a positive for the chance of Reach For The Moon. His chance is obvious and is class may get him home over a mile. That said as a pundit you must take him on given his preparation and my pick would be the unexposed My Prospero.
Yesterday’s selection Joyous Moment ran dreadfully. She was weak in the pre-race betting which told its own story. I don’t think you blame the rain softened ground although the drop back to the minimum trip can be used as an excuse.
Today’s selection isn’t from Sandown. Instead, I’m heading across the Irish Sea to Tipperary for today’s tip.
7:55 – Merry Moves, a point winner over 3m, is 0-6 under rules, including three runs over hurdles. The mare arguably put up her best performance so far when a 16-length 4th of 13 at Wexford last time. On a workable mark for her handicap hurdle debut especially as she races like she will do better for the step up to 3m. At the 16/1 available with Coral & Ladbrokes she looks overpriced.
1pt each way – Merry Moves – 16/1 @ Coral & Ladbrokes (paying 4 places 1/5 odds).
Good luck with your Thursday bets.