Excuse the play on an excellent book that you should all read called Thinking Fast and Slow. I have mentioned this book before in an earlier blog but that is not the topic I am talking about today. Another book did howver prompt todays theme, the book is called The Signal and the Noise although I am not quite sure how I moved from ending a chapter in the book to investigating pace and time in relation to winner finding. It may have just been a motivating factor rather than a particular subject matter.

We are often told that slow run races are unreliable and that even run races are best, even fast run races can be frowned upon. Now I know where you are positioned in these different kind of races may help or hinder a horse in winning next time out but what I wanted to do for the time being is ignore the fine detail and simply look at whether the different pace categories as defined by ATR are better or worse when it comes to providing future winners. Let’s face it anything that narrows the field but increases the winner finding is bound to be beneficial unless the market has latched onto it.

The baseline for consideration was to be how horses that had run in a pace defined race did next time regardless of the pace. I initially started out looking at only horses that had placed in a pace defined race. This produced a strike rate of 17.17%.

I then looked at how the strike rates vary according to the pace of the last race for the above horses. This produced the following

Ev-Fs runs = 376 SR% = 15.95%
Ev-Sl runs = 507 SR% = 15.77%
Ev runs = 1299 SR% = 16.55%
Fast runs = 345 SR% = 21.15%
Slow runs = 408 SR% = 18.62%

This seems to fly in the face of conventional logic so I next looked at the performance of all horses next time out coming from pace races regardless of whether they placed or not.

All horse SR% = 11.28%

Ev-Fs runs = 1095 SR% = 10.86%
Ev-Sl runs = 1233 SR% = 10.21%
Ev runs = 3599 SR% = 11.22%
Fast runs = 1018 SR% = 11.88%
Slow runs = 905 SR% = 12.81%

The bias within Fast and Slow has not been removed but interestingly the deficit within Ev-Fs and Ev-Sl still remains. Its not as though as we move away from an even pace things get better, both exhibit a kind of W shaped curve.

Further data and angles of investigation are needed on this and comments are welcome but for the time being dont be too fast to dismiss slow races.