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The Weekly Blog

Lies, Damn Lies, and Racing Statistics

Disraeli – Dark Horse

To paraphrase Benjamin Disraeli, there are lies, damn lies, and horseracing statistics. That’s what makes the sport so much fun to debate in pubs, betting shops, and the back of the bus on the way back from Leopardstown.

Guess, for example, which trainer saddled the most losers over the course of the two-day Dublin Racing Festival. That’s right – it was Willie Mullins, who must be pretty useless given that he sent out a whopping thirty-nine losers. On the other hand, he also trained the winner of all eight Grade 1 races over the two days – a feat which has never been achieved before and may never be accomplished again. Perhaps he’s not such a bad trainer after all.

If you’d backed every one of Willie’s forty-eight runners over the two days, you’d have come out with exactly the same amount of money you went with (no profit, no loss) or just a bit less if you bought a couple of pints of Guinness and a portion of the excellent curry & chips from the servery on the ground floor of the main grandstand. If you placed £2.50 on each of his runners in the Grade 1 races only, you’d have made a profit of £20, which would have been just enough to pay for the Guinness, curry & chips and still have a few pence change.

While it’s taken five days for me to work all of this out, I could probably have saved myself the bother – because Timeform make all the most important horseracing stats available to subscribers at the touch of a button. Rather than rely on this blog’s dodgy selections (Saturday’s is Iberico Lord in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury) racegoers can find out which horses are potentially the best handicapped, which trainers are in form, and which jockeys ride a particular track especially well, by going to the Timeform website. They even identify “dark horses”, a phrase first coined by Disraeli himself.

As part of their analysis ahead of Kelso’s next fixture, Timeform have singled out a few surprising trends from the last ten years. For example, did you know that the trainer with the best strike rate, from all those that have saddled more than 50 runners, is Ann Hamilton with 14 winners from 63 runners (a strike rate of 22%). Or that the most profitable trainer is Nick Alexander – whose 56 winners from 420 runners yielded a profit of £65.08 from a £1 stake (which is enough for several pints, plus curry & chips, from the ground floor of the Tweedie Grandstand at Kelso).

Kelso customers, and readers of this blog, can trial the Race Pass service for free (providing analysis, flags and ratings for every runner in Britain and Ireland) for one day by using our special £10 discount offer (input the code KELSO10). Alternatively, with the bet365 Morebattle Hurdle coming up on 2nd March, and the Cheltenham Festival in the same month, perhaps now’s the time to subscribe for a month and use the same offer code to obtain £10 off the monthly fee of £30.

It could save a lot of time and fund a lot of chips.