A good big un will always beat a good little un. A commonly used phrase but is there any truth in it when it comes to horse racing ?. Of course as punters we are not interested in whether a big un will beat a little un, we are interested in whether the public’s perception of horse size presents any betting possibilities. If big horse do beat small horses more than they should but the public overbet them to such an extent that smaller horses go off at too large a price then I am with the small horses even if they win less frequently. The one major overall edge we have is that the crowd is looking for winners whilst we are looking for profit.
The ATR stride data offers an opportunity to explore this question in a way that was not possible previously. Stride patterns will probably be fairly indicative of horse size and we can use this to check the performance of big v small.
The data has only been made public since the last month or so of 2017 so checking going forward has a long way to go before meaningful samples can be compiled, but we can look back at overall ROI% of horses according to size which may offer some clues. First of all I have only so far been logging horses who have been placed in a race in order to get an accurate handle on stride length and frequency. By definition these horses are successful animals and will unsurprisingly come out retrospectively to be profitable animals overall.
First of all checking the PL of ‘large’ horses or at least below one standard deviation on stride length per second revealed that historically they have had collectively 1848 runs and to BFSP logged a profit of +359 points. In other words if we could go back in a time machine and bet them we would have made a ROI% of 19.4% before comm’.
By contrast small animals (quicker stride patterns) have run 2792 times and logged a pre comm profit of +615 returning +22%
It would seem therefore that small horses from a betting perspective have done slightly better historically than larger horses when examining from the poll of proven horses. The real acid test will be going forward but this will take some time and how and where these two horse types are best bet will be the intruiging question.
FOOTNOTE- The lack of feedback, I have to admit is making me wonder whether I am wasting my time blogging. If you have any comments pro or con then please feel free.