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I am casting the net a little wider this week with the racing lower-key and the Haydock sprint course a bit of a no-go area until it is possible to see whether the golden highway that seemed to exist for high-drawn horses on the stand side is in evidence again.
HORSES TO WATCH
The most interesting horse of the weekend is TIME LOCK (15:00, Haydock) who travelled like a potentially very smart horse at Goodwood before getting worried out of things late. The stable were really struggling to get a winner at the time but have started to turn the corner this month and the booking of Ryan Moore is clearly a positive.
JUST BRING IT (16:45, Haydock) ran very well behind Covey in a stronger-looking race over course and distance where he met trouble in running. The prospect of a decent pace should space the field out a little more to help his come-from-behind style.
AURORA GLORY (17:00, Beverley) can gain a first success in a shallow-looking handicap. It will be Oisin Murphy’s first ride for Ollie Pears and he looks to have Thornaby Beauty to beat.
In the evening, KLIMOVA (20:45, Lingfield) is a very interesting runner on her first start for Kevin Philippart De Foy, who has a good record with first-time starters for his yard (with an actual/expected ratio of 1.22).
What adds extra intrigue is that this filly was bought out of James Fanshawe’s yard for £48,000, a stable where Kevin worked before taking out his own license. She was a non-runner earlier in the season, but it would be reasonable to assume that Kevin would have an idea that this was a Cheveley Park cast-off that was worth the price tag.
You will see that in my blogs I will often use actual/expected ratio (A/E) as a benchmark for a performance, so here’s a little explanation as to how it is calculated and why I prefer it to the more commonly quoted strike rates or level stake profit/loss.
Actual/expected compares the actual number of winners to the number that would be expected based on the prices of the horses concerned.
In a simple example, if a trainer had 10 runners, each of which was sent off at evens, then their expected number of winners would be five (10 x 0.5). If, of those ten, six won, then their A/E would be 1.20 (6/5), if they trained four it would be 0.8 (4/5) and if it was exactly five then it would be 1 –which is always par, where the actual exactly matches the expected.
This issue with strike rates is a bit like debating whether Pep Guardiola or Thomas Frank is a better manager. Guardiola will have a higher strike rate because his team are expected to win more often. Some trainers or jockeys will have more winners – and hence higher strike rates – as they just have better-fancied horses.
Level-stake profit can certainly be useful, but can be compromised by one random event, such as a very big-priced winner which will ensure that a profit is shown for a considerable period irrespective of how the others perform.
The final advantage of A/E is that it is also not easy to calculate for the average punter, so has more value as a scarce piece of data that the market is less able to reflect.
Of course, for all the methods mentioned, the larger the sample size then the more robust the result.
JOCKEYS FOR COURSES
With that in mind, here are a few jockeys that have good records at tracks they are riding at on Saturday:
- Beverley: Joe Fanning (A/E of 1.17 from a very large sample of over 850 rides)
- Catterick: Kieran O’Neill (A/E of 2.22 after eight wins from 31 rides)
- Chepstow: Gina Mangan (A/E of 1.58, with exactly 25 per cent of her 52 winners coming at the track)
- Lingfield: Richard Kingscote (A/E of 1.15 from a huge sample size of over 1,100 rides)