Stats are just first step
They are a guide – not a selection method
In my book the stats don’t represent an out-and-out selection method. Instead I see the statistical record as more of a guide – an initial data-oriented approach that gives you a route into a big race…one that can point you to horses of potential betting interest…horses that are worthy of a little more investigation…
I don’t believe in winning formulas – statsbased or otherwise.They don’t exist.Not in a horse-racing context. There is no A+B+C+D calculation you can call on to correctly predict the outcome of a horse race.
But stats are useful.They don’t represent a formula. They don’t point directly to bets. But they can and do point to horses of interest.
For example, stats relating to a specific big race can tell you a great deal about the kinds of horses that tend to do well in that contest – and you can measure the intended runners this time round against your findings…
Take the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, for example – a race that will be run this season on Saturday 26th November.
This is a major chase handicap, a really prestigious prize – a really big race. And the horses that win tend to tick a specific set of statistical boxes year-on-year… • 17 of the last 19 winners were aged 6-to 8-years old • 18 had race at least 4 times over fences • 16 had raced no more than a dozen times over fences • 16 had won just one handicap chase or none at all • 17 had already scored a win over fences at a trip between 24 and 26 furlongs • 11 of the last 12 winners had already scored an RPR of at least 156 over fences • 11 of the last 12 had already scored a Topspeed figure of 134+ over fences
Those are pretty strong stats.They are not infallible though – there are odd exceptions and the winner each year might not tick every single box (you have to build that factor into your thinking)…
But the bottom line is that that horses going into the Hennessy Gold Cup meeting those various yardsticks have to be of interest. They have to be worth looking at more closely. Especially if or when the market is over-looking them to some degree.
I’ve gone through all the runners still with entries – measuring each of them against the stats I’ve outlined above.I haven’t come to any firm or final conclusions – but that’s not what the stats are about.
Instead I’ve used the stats with the intention of obtaining an initial and informed impression. My analysis is far from over.I’ve hardly started.The analysis based on key stats is a starting point – but one that has already alerted me to a horse to think about…
Peter Bowen’s Henri Parry Morgan ticks a lot of the key boxes. He’s won one more handicap chase than the stats suggest is ideal – albeit as a novice – but to discount him on that basis alone would be silly. The bottom line is that he’s a good fit on all the other yardsticks….
Fences and a tongue-tie served to revolutionise the horse last term – and he went up the handicap to the tune of 2 stone.When he stepped out of handicaps in April and ran in the G1 Mildmay Novices’Chase at Aintree,he split Native River and Blaklion (who’d won the RSA Chase at Cheltenham the time before).
For sure, Colin Tizzard’s Native River ran well.He beat Henri Parry Morgan more than 3 lengths and the Bowen horse has something to find. But, having raced just 6 times over fences, there is clearly scope for that kind of improvement.
Native River is favourite for the Hennessy at 6s.Henri Parry Morgan is in at more than 3 times that price. Is a 3 length beating the equivalent of 14 points in the market?
For sure Native River has already been out and won this term. He’s clearly fit and forward. But his win – and the subsequent market sentiment based on it – does not serve to degrade Henri Parry Morgan. It doesn’t mean the Bowen horse has stood still.Or that he won’t improve.He could well be in at a nice price.
Let’s not forget that next time out after Aintree, in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, Henri Parry Morgan was well-backed and went off favourite. He ended up unseating his rider but he was still very much full of running at the time.
He hasn’t been seen this term – but Henri Parry Morgan is on my radar. I am thinking about him.The stats suggest he is an interesting contender – if he shows up.
Am I putting him up as a bet? No.Have I put money on him? No.Will I be putting money on him? It’s too early to say.
I don’t make bets based solely on the stats. There is a lot more work to be done before I even think about betting. There are different approaches to take and different things to consider.The stats are just part of it – a firststep.
But Henri Parry Morgan is on my mind. He’s in my thoughts – and for good reason. He’s a horse I will take a closer interest in.I will make a point of watching and studying his races. I will find out more about him. I will be keeping an eye on his running plans.
The stats have alerted me to a horse of potential interest.That’s as much as the stats can do.
Nick Pullen is the value-seeking punter behind Against the Crowd – a subscription service that seeks to find winners at double-figure.For details go to: www.againstthecrowd.co.uk