I emailed a friend a couple of weeks ago advising him to watch out for a couple of horses likely to run around champions weekend. One of them was Belardo who coincidently he had already backed for next years Guineas before his defeat in his last race. He need not have felt so glum about his ante post voucher as there was plenty of room for optimism about Belardo in the Dewhust and perhaps the Guineas.
Belardo had caught my eye in his last race making a push for the lead during the final section of the race only to hang slightly over to the rail and flatten out to finish 4th. I also noticed that on pretty fast ground that day he had a fair bit of knee action and his best effort previously has been with a bit of cut. I was astonished therefore to see on the day of the Dewhust race plenty of pundits dismissing him with words such as ‘no reason to see him turning the form round’, ‘has it all to do here’. They preferred the chances of his conqueror last time and favourite on this occasion for the Dewhust. Now I do not know what kind of perfect world these people exist in but life and betting has taught me that there are a multitude of reasons why the window can often have in irreversible pull on the form book. With soft ground prevailing for yesterdays Dewhust I was certainly expecting an entirely different kind of race.
A more interesting question however is whether there is any statistical reasoning to this bet. How generally do horses that have hung on fast ground fair when encountering softer conditions. I put this to the test first looking at how horse’s that have hung perform generally regardless of ground. In my sample they produced next time out 11,466 bets for a loss of 16.8% with an average SP of 14.63/1.
The next question was how did horses that hung on ground with the word firm in its description perform the next time they ran on ground with the word soft or Heavy in its description. This sample produced 1919 bets with a loss of 9.84% at an average SP of 14.86/1
Virtually no change in average SP but a drop of 7% in the losses with single figure losses certainly raising an eyebrow of interest. Its not conclusive that hanging means a horse is asking for softer ground but hanging around until they encounter it can be profitable.