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Place Betting Strategy – Big Handicaps

mad_scientistBig Handicaps

No matter what I said yesterday morning, I decided to take a look at big handicap races as I have the data to hand and I have a funny feeling that there is some value there,

Purely based upon the average prices that are available.

The data that I am using is from the 8th of July 2013 to the 9th of June 2015.

In other words, almost 2 years of data.

I'll share the raw data in case you want to come up with a better way of doing things.

The Spreadsheets

I ran a query on the database to select every top on yield horse (from the top three rated horses) in every handicap race where there were 16 or more runners.

This data is available at PBS02.csv

The final (and most useful) spreadsheet is available in the following formats...

Excel 2007 format - PBS02.xlsx

Open Office/Libre Office format - PBS02.ods

Excel 97 format - PBS02.xls

This is what I shall be working with.

You'll see that, at the bottom of the spreadsheet, there are a number of tabs.

The first tab (Data) contains the raw Data.

I split the runners into runner bands.

RC0 Analysis

I then took a look at the effect of RC0 on the results.

I displayed the results on the RC0 Analysis tab.

As we can see, the handicap races with 21 to 25 runners are marginally profitable but nothing to get excited about.

Another approach is required.

R4 Status Analysis

I then took a look at the effect of R4 Status on the results.

I displayed the results on the R4 Status Analysis tab.

Now, this does show how to profit from some of the bigger handicap races but...

I don't think that it's the way to go.

So, I used conditional formatting to highlight the races where Betfair would have paid out for a place.

This allowed me to scroll down the data to see if anything stood out.

Nothing sprang to mind (although I did have a few little ideas) and, so, there was nothing for it but to look at Race Types.

Race Type Analysis

I've displayed the Race Type Analysis on the Race Type Analysis tab.

Although this gave me some clues, it didn't really show me the way forward although, by using certain race types for different runner bands, we could get an additional 6.2 races a month that have, historically been profitable.

It also showed me that the races with 16 to 20 (inclusive) runners were more profitable than the bigger ones.

At this point I was getting desperate and decided to look at the effect of Sex on the results.

Sex Analysis

I've displayed the Sex Analysis on the Sex Analysis tab.

Once again, nothing stood out.

My desperation worsened and I thought that I'd take a look at how the class of the race affected the results.

Class Analysis

I've displayed the Class Analysis on the Class Analysis tab.

Once again, I've drawn a blank.

It does seem that, the lower the class, the better we do and...

That the Irish races (which don't have a class) are better than the Uk ones.

Somewhere there has to be an answer, surely.

In fact, I made a note to look at the 552 Irish races over the 23 month data period as they look rather good.

So, breaking a cardinal rule...

I poured myself a glass of wine (I don't normally do that until 6pm French time) and took another look at the red numbers in the results column (those that got a Betfair place payout.)

It struck me that there was some correlation between them and the actual value of the Yield and so I created a Yield Band to test this.

Yield Band Analysis

I've displayed the Yield Band Analysis on the Yield Band Analysis tab.

Once again, zilch!

It does seem that races where the Yield is between 10 to 14.99 seem to be the sweet spot but...

Nothing appears to show a strategy.

However, Yield is a unique number. You'll never see it on the Racing Post website; nor the Sporting Life website. It's a made up number that is unique to Focus Ratings.

And Yield is just my unique Forecast Starting Price multiplied by my unique Confidence figure and so...

Perhaps it's time to look at the the effect of my Unique Forecast Starting Price upon the results of the handicap races where the number of runners is 16 or more.

FC SP Analysis

And, again...

I've found no real value here.

Perhaps you can analyse my spreadsheet to see if I'm missing something obvious but,

I'm beginning to think that there's no point in even beginning to think about 16 horse plus non-handicap races.

I got the same result when I analised the SP Status Band results which I detailed in the FC SP Band tab.

I went back to the Race Type and the SP Status and did some analysis on those numbers (detailed on the relevant tabs) but...

It has to be said that I can find no decent way of betting on 16 runners (or more) handicap races for this place betting strategy.

Actually, this isn't so bad...

Sometimes it's better to know that your basic strategy doesn't work for certain race types.

At least, that way, you don't end up losing money trying to bet on every race.


Despite spending pretty much all day crunching numbers...

I was not about to find a way of consistently profiting from place betting the top on yield (of the top three rated horses) horse.

Yes, there are some exciting high priced winners to be had but, unfortunately,

No matter which approach I took,

There were simply too many losers that I was unable to filter out.

Now you, with your horse racing knowledge, may be able to come up with a strategy from the data that I have made available.

There may be a logical pattern somewhere in the numbers but...

I won't be spending any more time trying to find it.

Today I shall be looking at 8 to 15 runner non-handicaps.

As always...

My kindest regards


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