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Recent Results by Race Type

focus-ratings-speed-ratingsNow, there is something that I've been thinking about for quite a while now and...

I have been playing with for the last few days.

I haven't come up with any firm conclusions yet and so, I thought that I'd hand it over to you to see if it makes any sense to you.

It's a bit hard to explain but I'll do my best.

Results by race type...

As you know, on the sidebar of the site there is a link to a spreadsheet showing Results by Race Type. This is updated every night. The information is also shown on the normal ratings (and most other formats as well.)

However, this data comes from a three and a half year period and, although accurate I am starting to get the feeling that they might not be entirely appropriate.

Novice Hurdles...

As an example I am going to use non-handicap Novice Hurdles.

Now, the data from the link on the sidebar ( shows that we do pretty well with Novice Hurdles; we had a historical strike rate (for the top rated horse) of 33.17%

Now, even a numpty like me understands that a Novice Hurdle in December (when the new three year olds may have had a couple of races) is completely different to a Novice Hurdle in September (when little is known about the new horses, some runners may have not run for six months and others may have run during the summer.)

So, rather than look at the overall statistics for a race type, I felt that it might be advantageous to look at the results for a race type just for the last 28 days.

I'm not sure why I chose 28 days; it could be that 14 days or 35 days are more appropriate numbers to use - I await your advice on that.

Accordingly, I have written some code that generates a CSV file to show only recent result statistics. The data is updated every night and may be found here... Recent Results by Race Type

If there's any value in this data I can put a link to it on the morning ratings (and the early birds as well.)

Going back to Novice Hurdles; the recent statistics show that we have had a strike rate (for the top rated horse) of about 20% compared to the 33% that we historically get.

Now, I don't know why that is; perhaps the good horses are being saved for Cheltenham, perhaps there has been an effect from recent weather, perhaps January isn't a good month for Novice Hurdles - who knows?

How does this help?

Well, looking at last night's EarlyBird Preview ratings and the Recent Results by Race Type file, two things stand out.

1). In the 4pm at Hereford (a Hunter Chase), of all the races types being run today, the recent results strike rate for this type of race is the highest of all today's race types, at 27.27%, over the last 28 days.

This is pretty close to the historical strike rate for this race type of 27.4%

In other words, of all the race types being run today, the most successful over the last 28 days are Hunter Chases (3 top rated wins from 12 races.)

2). Conversely, the 6:30pm at Newcastle is an All Weather Handicap Classified Stakes.

We normally do OK (although nothing to shout about) on these races with a historical strike rate for the top rated horse of 22.22%

But, over the last 28 days there have been three of these races and our top rated horse has not won one of them. Perhaps this is a race to avoid.

Where to go next...

I feel that there is some logic to taking a peek at statistics from recent races to identify those race types for which (at least, as far as Focus Ratings is concerned) we are currently doing well (or otherwise.)

I shall print out the normal ratings and try to pick the best opportunities based on recent but, from the EarlyBird preview ratings, I shall be looking at the best 6 races based upon the recent race type statistics (race types don't change overnight - at least, I hope they don't) - these all have a recent strike rate of over 20%

These races are...

1). Kempton (AW) 2:50pm
2). Kempton (AW) 3:20pm
3). Hereford 4pm - this is the standout race of the day as far as the recent race type statistics are concerned.
4). Leicester 4:10pm
5). Newcastle 5pm
6). Newcastle 7pm

I shall report back on the results tomorrow.

One last thing...

I have realised that the code that I wrote (4 years ago) to generate the historical race type statistics is, to use a technical term, a pile of kak. This afternoon I shall be rewriting that code to make it faster and to also identify handicap races from non-handicap races.


If you have any comments about the relevance of recent statistics (or how to present them) then please let me know.

Some of the advice that I would welcome might answer the following questions...

1). Is there any value to this data?

2). Is 28 days the right time period from which to generate the data?

3). If the answer to question 1 is yes, should the CSV file be in race type order or success order (the current format. Or, should I do both?

4). Should I show this information (perhaps the top 5 race types based upon recent performance) on the Mornign News?

Even if there is just some off the cuff wisdom (such as never bet on a hurdle in September, avoid 2 year olds in April, only bet on AW races during the season proper etc.) that you'd like to share, I'd be very grateful.

As always...

My kindest regards


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