With the beginning of the new flat turf season only a few weeks away, and with my enthusiasm for 2 year old racing re-kindled, not least by craigsbettingblog.co.uk , I thought I would take a look at some stats from last year with a view to identifying any interesting trends from a betting aspect.
The resource I used was the excellent horseracebase. There were around 1,100 2yo races, flat and all weather, in 2021 so this seems plenty enough to draw some conclusions, based on that year at least.
As we know, most trainers have a modus operandi when it comes to their chargers, maybe even more so with the juveniles who perhaps need handling even more thoughtfully than their elders, so this is the area that I thought I would investigate further.
As is generally accepted, the more data we use usually results in more reliable conclusions therefore I looked at the trainers with the highest level of 2yo runners and runs. Familiar names such as Johnston and Fahey were top of the charts but the one with the most encouraging stats with regard to profitability was Richard Hannon, well known for his large 2yo strings and he is the one I looked at more closely.
From the 1,100 races that took place on 2021 Hannon had at least one runner in over 350 so about a third. In total he had 60 winners (13.45% strike rate) of the 354 races (16.95% of the races as he obviously had more than one runner in some races). As previously stated, habits dictate that these 60 winners may well be focused in certain areas.
The split between turf and AW was marked.
Whilst Mr. Hannon managed to generate a profit at SP from his AW runners, there were only 10 winners at a strike rate of less than 10%. 3 of the winners returned at 33/1, 22/1 and 20/1 leading to the profit being achieved from such a relatively small strike rate. Not stats that I would care to rely on.
His 50 turf winners on the other hand, produced a strike rate of nearly 15%, and a ROI of 12.5%, much more palatable. I used SP returns as the general measure as this, to my mind, represents the lowest returns you could possibly generate, given everyone should be backing at BOG or BFSP. So, a solid yardstick to use.
Now these returns are very good but could probably improve even more with further logical analysis.
2yo races start off at 5f and 6f with these distances increasing as the year progresses, up to a maximum of 1m2f. I had an idea, formed over the years, that Mr. Hannon focused more on the sprint distances with his juveniles and 2021 seemed to prove that this was still the case. 36 winners came from this range with an increased strike rate of 19.5% and a profit of over 48% on your stakes.
The 2yo turf season has a well known structure to it. Some trainers are out of the blocks early with their more precocious types being primed and well forward in their work ready to go during the early weeks of the season. Some will be targeting the bigger more prestigious races during the summer months with Ascot being an obvious route for many. In recent years it seems like a lot of the top trainers introduce their star potentials even later in the season, with a host of once raced winning horses towards the back end of the season even in lower grade novice races.
Looking at Mr. Hannon’s chronology showed a clear bias toward the early to mid-season months of May-August. Only 7 winners were lost outside of these months, but so were 38 losers. Strike rate therefore increases to almost 21% and return to 70%.
A last look at the horse’s number of runs was undertaken. Most debutants find it difficult to win first time up with the experience of at least one run proving invaluable. Mr. Hannon is no different in this respect with only 4 winners from this subset, winning on debut, from 37 attempts. His horses were at their peak for runs 2,3 and 4 before tailing off for the season. 6 winners lost outside of these run numbers but 53 losers. This leaves us with 23 winners from 80 logical bets at a 28.75% SR and an SP profit of 77.04 points which is a return of 96.3%.
This is a small sample from just one year but the reasoning is based on logic and the fact that Mr. Hannon would have earned you an SP profit of over 58 points from a SR of 13.5% from backing every one of his 446 2yo runners during 2021 is testament to his ability with his 2yo string.
Author: Tony Mitchell