Andy Beyer, the man behind the Beyer speed figures published in the American Daily Racing Form. talks in his latest book about the patterns in speed figure profiles and how one these days has to analyse patterns rather than just use the top rated. The DRF is by the way a daily racing newspaper, hesitantly I suggest the equivalent to our Racing Post. His book is an interesting read on the topic of speed figure interpretation, some of which may be transferable to UK racing.
I decided this week to do a bit of light digging to see if any interesting patterns could be found. I have so far only skimmed the surface and the evidence so far suggests that patterns may not be easy to find. I have started by creating a speed figure profile for each horse in each handicap race from 1999 to 2005 on the flat. A typical profile would look like this 5#100.
What the above profile means is that the horse is a 5yo and its previous race resulted in a speed figure that was inferior to its penultimate speed figure (hence the zero on the end). Its penultimate speed figure in this case was also inferior to its speed figure prior to the penultimate figure. Its third last speed figure however was superior to its 4th last figure (hence the 1 in this place).
Each horse in each race therefore has an age and speed figure progression profile for that particular race. The question is would it throw up any patterns.
The first one that caught my eye was horses under the age of 7 with a pattern of 100. These animals in the initial period produced 3929 bets when going off under 8/1 for a loss of 200 pts or -5% ROI to bookmaker SP.This is well below what one would expect but would it project forward to the period 2006 to 2008. Sadly during this period the promise dropped away producing 2883 bets for a loss of 300 pts or -10.4%. That is still better than random picks but not enough to be overcome on Betfair.
This is just an initial look at the problem and the resulting data but perhaps something can be found not perhaps as a stand alone but maybe a bed fellow with speed figure Pars.