I wrote a few blog entries ago about the performance of pace at the new Newcastle AW track. I thought I would update matters with performance figures up to the end of 2016. For Newcastle therefore that is about 8 months of racing on the AW. A reminder that all my figures are based on pre race pace prediction as per Smartersig pace figures.

In addition to an update I thought it would be interesting to include some reflection on the effect of the wind during this period. To do this I compiled what I will call a ‘degree of separation’. This simply means the number of wind degrees the wind varies from a tail wind at Newcastle. Let me explain, a tail wind at Newcastle is South East or SE for short. This means that the wind is blowing from the south east. The dividers between South and East are as follows

South
South South East
South East
East South East
East

Similarly going west from south we have

South
South South West
South West
West South West
West

So from the above we can say that East is 4 degrees of separation from South as is West. South South East is 1 degree of separation from SE and so on.

Data on wind direction on race days along with wind speed and temperature were collected.

First of all the results from blindly backing to BFSP the various broad category of pace regardless of conditions or price.All figures pre commission

Led last time 247 Bets PL -83.6 ROI% -33.8%
Tracked 652 Bets PL -49.1 ROI% -7.5%
Held Up 890 Bets PL -52.8 ROI% -5.9%

From the above we can see that leaders have an appalling record.

Now lets see what effect the wind has had. As a broad brush stroke I have classed a degree of separation of less than 4 as a tail wind although of course a 3 for example would be something of a cross wind. On the other hand DOS above 4 is classed as a head wind.

First of all a tail wind

Led 63 Bets PL-33.3 ROI% -53%
Tracked 157 Bets PL -38.06 ROI% -24.4%
Held up 233 Bets PL -17.4 ROI% -7.4%

Now lets take a look at the head wind situation

Led 171 Bets PL-42.9 ROI% -25.1%
Tracked 454 Bets PL +10.2 ROI% +2.2%
Held up 601 Bets PL -22 ROI% -3.6%

The first thing to notice is the far greater number of selections when there is head wind suggesting that Newcastle gets more than its fair share of head winds down the straight. This coupled with the long straight may be the reason for the poor performance of leaders. Strangely enough the wind speed at this stage did not seem to add much value.

This area opens all kinds of possible avenues of research and I have already compiled data for all UK flats tracks. More obscure areas of enquiry might be aspects such as do greys do better in hot temperatures than dark horses or is all this just blowing wind up our ……………….

All comments welcome below

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