OK so I have set the scene for what I mean by key race. In this entry I want to look at some numbers for various key race performance. I am going to look at the first runner coming out of a handicap and how subsequent runners fair when the first runner to appear has run well when up in class, down in class or in the same class. I will look at this from two angles, backing all runners coming out of the race and only backing the next runner, that is to say the second runner coming out of the race. The reason for the latter is that perhaps any benefit gets eroded if a race is more obviously becoming a key race and perhaps using only the second runner as a bet may produce better figures.
Now our intuition may lead us to think that the first runner coming out of a race and running well in a more valuable race would be the stronger indicator, so lets see how things worked out to bookmaker SP.
First of all backing all runners from the second runner onwards, next time out after the first runner ran well –
1. Up in class = Bets 11495 PL -2677 ROI -22.4%
2. Same class = Bets 20442 PL -3490 ROI -17.07%
3. Down in class = Bets 12913 PL -2278 ROI -17.6%
This seems to contradict our instinct with a good run up in class from the first emerging horse paving the way for greater loss than down or same class.
Now backing only the second runner from a race by the above categories
1. Up in class = Bets 1687 PL -353 ROI -20.9%
2. Same class = Bets 2811 PL -447 ROI -15.9%
3. Down in class = Bets 1740 PL -40.2 ROI -2.31%
The variable PL on down in class was +4.87 so that -40.2 does not seem to have been facilitated by a big priced winner or two.
This has a touch of the Mordin philosophy about it. Whats is intuitive is wrong and what is counter intuitive is better. This is because we are dealing with a market and often what seems right also seems right to the market.