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Horseracing Betting Systems - Hold Up Horses

Published: May 16, 11:51pm Last Updated: Mar 26, 3:10pm man o bong on Systems 6 Comments 4868 Views

Further to the forum debate on the merit of following front runners or horses preferred to be held up, I went investigating if there was something to follow on a system based approach - here is what I found.

I may very well rue the day I wrote this article but in the spirit of OLBG, I present the following to you loyal readers and occasional browsers alike.

My first approach was to look specifically at handicap races and horses who had gained the comment "Held Up" by the race readers. There were going to be loads of these so I narrowed my search down to those that had gained the comment in the previous two outings and had finished either 2nd or 3rd. This approach, I applied on the basis that perhaps an effort was made and was mis-timed or something had sprung from the front and nicked the event from the runner, coming from behind that was making a genuine attempt to win the race.
I decided rather than look at all races, I would so so in two categories.

Results researched from 1st May 2012 up to and including 13th May 2013 - May to September only

  • Races from 5f to and including 8f
  • Races from 8f up to and including 12f
Whilst the inclusion of 8f races in both sets of research was an oversight to begin with, there turned out to be something more remarkable about the coincidence which I shall explain later in the article
First of all, the overall results were as follows

5f-8f

Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE AvWSP
ALL 111 660 16% 73.45 11% 6.6
ALL (LONE) 68 366 18% -1.86 -0.51% 5.35
 

8f-12f

Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE AvWSP
ALL 112 725 15% -29.29 -4.04% 6.21
ALL (LONE) 60 327 18% 11.42 3.49% 5.64
My first observation is the similarities in the number of qualifiers and the number of winners. 111-660 for the shorter races and 112-725 for the middle distances. That is where the similarities end however, as we can see that in the shorter races, whilst there is only parity of 1% between the strike rates,there is over 100pts of profit or loss between them. The shorter races providing a level stakes profit of 73.45pts whilst the longer distances showed a loss of -29.29pts!
Another difference worth noting is that in the first set of numbers, if we had ignored races with multiple qualifiers and only bet on those races where we had a single runner, we would have seen an overall loss of 1.86pts, whilst at the longer trips, this is quite the reverse with the loss of nearly 30pts being turned into a profit of 11.42pts had we bet the LONE qualifiers only!
I can not explain why the difference exists but the fact that the mile races, (which appear in both sets of numbers) when looked at in isolation, provide the following figures, makes for interesting reading.
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE AvWSP
Dist: 08f 48 256 18% 54.78 21% 6.47
We can see that both sets of numbers without them would look considerably worse. So there in itself is a system that could be employed. Follow runners in 8f races that were held up but finished 2rd or 3rd in either of their last two outings over any trip. 54pts and a ROI of 18% is very nice for a year thank you very much!
Call me mad but something so simple never satisfies my mind -  Four hours of getting the numbers together to discover something good inside with four minutes is a travesty to my analytical mindset. (but I will be looking very closely at them for future reference!)
What I was hoping to find were maybe jockeys or trainers to follow; particularly those of a less well known nature as we may also get some good prices to boot. I shall cover this off later in the piece but for now, I want to look at aspects such as;
  • Race Distance (We already know that 8f is going to outstrip the rest)
  • Age (My instinct suggests to me that 2yo results may not be as reliable)
  • Class (Is there any difference as we go up the class ranks?)
  • Going (Are results more reliable on certain ground conditions?)
  • Month (Are particular times of the year better than others?)
  • Days since last run (On the basis that if a previous run had been mis-timed, will connections try to strike again quickly?)
 

RACE DISTANCE:

Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE AvWSP
Dist: 05f 16 88 18% -15.14 -18% 4.55
Dist: 06f 26 165 15% -30.17 -19% 5.18
Dist: 07f 21 151 13% 64 42% 10.23
Dist: 08f 48 256 18% 54.78 21% 6.47
Not only do we see the 8f results looking good in there but also that the 5 and 6 furlong trips both return losses for the year. In  fact in terms of WPOE (Win profit on Exposure, or ROI), 7f was the optimum trip with a 42% increase in bank on those races alone
Ignore the 5f and 6f trips and we have a profit of
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE
Dist: 07f 21 151 13% 64 42%
Dist: 08f 48 256 18% 54.78 21%
Subtotal: 69 407 17% 118.78 29%
 
From the highlighted total, profit has improved to 29%ROI and 118pts to single point level stakes; the strategy being: Follow runners in 7f & 8f races that were held up but finished 2rd or 3rd in either of their last two outings over any trip.

AGE:

As it turned out, my initial thoughts about 2yos in nurseries was incorrect, although the profit is produced by just 4 winners from 29 runners and would test the most patient of systemites
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE
Age: 02yo 4 29 13% 4.5 15%
Age: 03yo 40 226 17% -27.56 -13%
Age: 04yo 32 145 22% 43.58 30%
Age: 05yo 13 92 14% 18 19%
Age: 06yo 4 60 6% -41.39 -69%
Age: 07yo 12 59 20% 49.33 83%
Age: 08yo 4 36 11% -6 -17%
Age: 09yo 2 12 16% 34 283%
Age: 10yo 0 1 0% -1 -100%
 
There is no angle to take from here, so I leave the numbers for illustrative purposes only. Whilst 4, 5 & 7yos followed in isolation would be the most profitable back-fitting exercise, I see no point.

CLASS OF RACE:

Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE
Class 1 1 3 33% 1 33%
Class 2 15 133 11% -25.34 -20%
Class 3 14 86 16% 17.5 20%
Class 4 25 154 16% -19.75 -13%
Class 5 33 173 19% 51.7 29%
Class 6 23 111 20% 48.34 43%
Class Listed 1 3 33% 1 33%
 
Again the profits are intermittent as we run down the grades with class 2 and 4 showing losses but 3, 5 & 6 showing good profit. I suppose one could follow only the bottom grades in 5 and 6, resulting in the following returns.
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE
Class 5 33 173 19% 51.7 29%
Class 6 23 111 20% 48.34 43%
Subtotal: 56 284 20% 100.04 35%
Again, numbers not to be sniffed at: This approach would be described as: Follow runners in 5f to  8f races in class 5 & 6 races that were held up but finished 2rd or 3rd in either of their last two outings over any trip.  

GOING:

My instinct on this one was closer to being correct although I would have thought good to soft and soft may have been the other way round.
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE AvWSP
Going: G 38 204 18% 52.08 25% 6.74
Going: GF 33 204 16% 32.54 15% 7.16
Going: GS 10 86 11% -13.75 -16% 7.22
Going: H 3 30 10% -8.75 -30% 7.08
Going: S 27 136 19% 11.33 8.33% 5.45
The quicker the ground though, the more reliable the approach would seem to be.
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE
Going: G 38 204 18% 52.08 25%
Going: GF 33 204 16% 32.54 15%
Subtotal: 71 408 17% 84.62 21%
 
Again, great returns on following only good and good to firm with a 21%ROI, but I shan't advise this as a separate approach, going is such a subjective variable.

TIME OF YEAR:

Whilst the sample takes in the racing through only May to September, (reason being, I am not a fan of the flat at the beginning nor the end of the season), I though it might be interesting just to see how each month performed in isolation.
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE
Month: 05 20 111 18% 9.86 8.88%
Month: 06 28 133 21% 30.5 22%
Month: 07 22 137 16% 13.39 9.77%
Month: 08 16 148 10% -54 -37%
Month: 09 25 131 19% 73.66 56%
 
Look at August, smack bang in the middle of the numbers making a mess of things! Incredible too how September came back with a bang. I just don't know what to read into this on the basis of a single years analysis. It is a bit frustrating to find it. I am left only with the option of running the number back over a few more years prior to see if there is a trend with the month of August not being friendly, or indeed if any of the other months turn around. Going forward for 2013, I will ignore this aspect but should things take a down-turn in August I may scale back stakes.

DAYS SINCE LAST RUN:

This is precisely what I was expecting to find, a quick return to the track after failing to win under a previous hold up ride
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE
DSR: 001 to 010 days 37 185 20% 52.18 28%
DSR: 011 to 020 days 40 248 16% 13.17 5.31%
DSR: 021 to 040 days 27 158 17% 24.98 15%
DSR: 041 to 060 days 2 27 7% -13.5 -50%
DSR: 061 to 100 days 2 11 18% -0.25 -2.28%
DSR: 101 to 200 days 1 6 16% -1.67 -28%
DSR: 201 to 300 days 2 22 9% 1.5 6.81%
DSR: 301 days + 0 3 0% -3 -100%
The sooner the runner has returned to the track the better the strike rate. If we follow only those who are returning within 40 days we find:
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE
DSR: 001 to 010 days 37 185 20% 52.18 28%
DSR: 011 to 020 days 40 248 16% 13.17 5.31%
DSR: 021 to 040 days 27 158 17% 24.98 15%
Subtotal: 104 591 18% 90.33 15%
Another nice set of numbers! An 18% strike rate is not bad but will see losing runs of maybe up to 10-15 runners, but be patient and we would have found 90pts profit and 15%ROI over last summer the criteria being: Follow runners in 5f to  8f races that were held up but finished 2rd or 3rd in either of their last two outings over any trip and last ran under 40 days prior.

JOCKEYS & TRAINERS:

I did mention having a look at Jockeys as a point of interest here. I'm not sure if I will take any notice of these numbers going forward, again they are subjective but I thought you may find it interesting just to see the results anyway.
I am accounting only for those with 10 or more qualifiers, (there are plenty of 1-1 100% strike rates but for me it means nothing. These are organised in strike rate order: Make of them what you will, ut also be aware when finding some nice looking LSP's the Average winners SP too! (AvWSP)
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE AvWSP
Jockey: D Tudhope 5 12 41% 13.86 115% 5.17
Jockey: P Hanagan 7 19 36% 29.58 155% 6.94
Jockey: P McDonald 4 11 36% 20.5 186% 7.87
Jockey: R Hughes 5 14 35% 6.86 49% 4.17
Jockey: B McHugh 3 10 30% 54 540% 21.33
Jockey: K Fallon 3 11 27% 7 63% 6
Jockey: G Lee 3 13 23% 11 84% 8
Jockey: T Eaves 3 14 21% 1.81 12% 5.27
Jockey: J P Spence 2 10 20% 4 40% 7
Jockey: William Bu 2 10 20% -2 -20% 4
Jockey: S De Sousa 2 11 18% 9.5 86% 10.25
Jockey: J Fanning 2 11 18% -1 -9.10% 5
Jockey: P Mulrenna 2 14 14% -5.25 -38% 4.37
Jockey: James P Su 3 23 13% -9.75 -43% 4.41
Jockey: W A Carson 1 10 10% -2 -20% 8
Jockey: R Winston 1 10 10% -6.5 -65% 3.5
Jockey: Luke Morri 1 11 9% -6.5 -60% 4.5
 
The trainers offer some interEsting results both at the top and bottom end, and this I WILL be taking into account
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE AvWSP
Trainer: R A Fahey 7 19 36% 46.5 244% 9.35
Trainer: D B O'Mear 4 15 26% 9.33 62% 6.08
Trainer: Mrs R Carr 6 25 24% 11.25 45% 6.04
Trainer: T D Easter 3 13 23% 5 38% 6
Trainer: R Hannon 4 20 20% 2.58 12% 5.64
Trainer: P T Midgle 2 11 18% -2.5 -23% 4.25
Trainer: J S Goldie 1 10 10% 3 30% 13
Trainer: M Dods 1 12 8% -8.75 -73% 3.25
Trainer: Miss Tracy 1 12 8% -6.5 -55% 5.5
Trainer: M R Channo 1 16 6% -13 -82% 3
Trainer: D M Simcoc 0 12 0% -12 -100% 0
Trainer: J M Bradle 0 13 0% -13 -100% 0
 

COURSES

You might also be interested in some course information,I have to admit some surprise in finding Beverly top of the tree. Although in retrospect on such a tight track it might be considered that hold up horse might run out of time to make runs.interesting all the same.it looks like there is a good steer toward front runners too for Lingfield, Goodwood and Ascot!
 
Restriction Wins Runs W% WLSP WPOE AvWSP
Course: BEVE 8 25 32% 41.86 167% 8.35
Course: SAND 2 18 11% 19.5 108% 18.75
Course: MUSS 5 16 31% 15 93% 6.2
Course: NEWC 5 32 15% 21.86 68% 10.77
Course: REDC 4 15 26% 7.5 50% 5.62
Course: DONC 6 35 17% 17 48% 8.66
Course: NEWB 2 13 15% 5 38% 9
Course: AYR 7 30 23% 10.75 35% 5.82
Course: CHEP 3 18 16% 2.5 13% 6.83
Course: CATT 2 11 18% 1 9.09% 6
Course: RIPO 3 16 18% 1.33 8.31% 5.77
Course: BRIG 8 30 26% 2 6.66% 4
Course: BATH 6 23 26% 1.5 6.52% 4.09
Course: THIR 2 26 7% 1.5 5.76% 13.75
Course: HAMI 5 25 20% -1.5 -6% 4.7
Course: YORK 4 25 16% -2.5 -10% 5.62
Course: CARL 2 14 14% -1.5 -11% 6.25
Course: WIND 4 22 18% -3.75 -18% 4.56
Course: CHES 2 25 8% -6 -24% 9.5
Course: HAYD 3 23 13% -5.5 -24% 5.83
Course: NEWM 8 70 11% -25.86 -37% 5.52
Course: YARM 3 20 15% -10.25 -52% 3.25
Course: GOOD 1 23 4% -18 -79% 5
Course: ASCO 1 33 3% -27.5 -84% 5.5
Course: LING 0 11 0% -11 -100% 0

SUMMARY OF THE SYSTEM:

Well, there you have it, potentially a profitable approach to handicap betting for race up to a mile on the flat this summer if the runner had gained a "Held Up" comment in either of its previous 2 outings.
I am going to run the figure back over the past 5 years now to see how consistent they may be (this is usually the point at which I discover my first test is the only profitable time span), but to leave you with some options for this approach
  1. Follow runners in 7f & 8f races that were held up but finished 2rd or 3rd in either of their last two outings over any trip.
  2. Follow runners in 5f to  8f races in class 5 & 6 races that were held up but finished 2rd or 3rd in either of their last two outings over any trip.
  3. Follow runners in 5f to  8f races that were held up but finished 2rd or 3rd in either of their last two outings over any trip and last ran under 40 days prior.
I may well apply a basic 1-5pt staking plan to this in that each qualifier will gain a 1pt follow, and an extra point for each of the three criteria above will come into force as applicable.
Another point applicable with discretionary use, for either one of the top trainers from the tables above
I'll take a look at front runners for my next Systems article
If you have any comments of questions please let me know below

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