Its Saturday Lingfield Derby trial day and after a dry weather opening to the season it is pissing it down with rain and soft ground abounds. Now there is nothing that will create more column inches, amongst the failed punters we otherwise know as newspaper tipsters and columnists, than a change in the going. According to them only the four horses of the apocalypse should be feared more than a horse that has not won or run well on the ground. The most important factor from a betting angle we are told is the ground. Well I am telling you that is a load of bollocks passed down from journo to journo over the years. Its perpetuated because its easy to talk about and we can all remember a horse we waited for soft ground and when it came it won and we collected.
I am not immune to this disease having only recently paid the cost. I wanted to back Walgeist EW for the Arc de Triomphe but was put off by the very soft ground. I momentarily forgot that the ground simply meant I got a better price.
But Waldgeist and a few other anecdotes is not really evidence. Is there more robust data that refutes the going is king approach to betting. I took a look at Flat races 2017 to 2019, 3 years of data. I took all horses that had won on Turf and were racing within 30 days, so fit and in form. I then checked how they faired next time out when running on exactly the same going and when running on different going. Now if the going is paramount I would hope that those running on the same going win more often and return a smaller overall loss.
As usual I calculate returns to Betfair SP and use variable staking to win 1 point to reduce the effec of big priced winners.. Here are the results
Strike rate 19.01% from 2530 bets
VPL -31.2 pts
Strike rate 18.8% from 5720 bets
VPL +11.91 pts
Notice that a greater percentage of horse won from the going confirmed runners but the profit lie with the lower strike rate. This is a classic example of winners are for bragging but profit is for the bank account.
This is not of any statistic significance but here are the qualifiers for todays racing ie won LTO but now different going
1.55 Asc Lights On
3.40 Asc Keyser Soze
4.15 Asc Group One Power
4.50 Asc Pettochside
2.15 Ling Nasha Nasha
2.15 Save a Forest
2.50 Third Realm
3.25 Double or Bubble
2.55 Nott Mountain Brave
4.5 Bint Al Anood
5.30 Thirsk Moe Celita
Footnote – End of day Predictions from todays blog made +2.54 pts to variable stakes to win 1 pt at BFSP minus 2% comm or for the brave +11.89 pts to level stakes