Lark­spur meth­ods

Our meth­ods man brought home the ba­con this Flat sea­son

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Sys­tems man ex­plains how his RAF method has taken off

At the end of the Flat sea­son we had made a profit with the Rac­ing Ahead Form (RAF) se­lec­tions. If I may be per­mit­ted to say so, this is no mean feat in the ante-post world even if the prof­its did not appear spec­tac­u­lar. Although some might ar­gue that a 127% Re­turn on In­vest­ment (ROI) is rea­son­able enough. The last mean­ing­ful race of the sea­son from our per­spec­tive was the Rac­ing Post Tro­phy at Don­caster.

The RAF fig­ures had Roar­ing Lion on top and John Gos­den’s colt fin­ished sec­ond to SAX­ONWAR­RIOR who was with a bunch of oth­ers on 20 points go­ing into the race.

In last month’s ar­ti­cle I wrote:“SAXON WAR­RIOR heads the Bal­ly­doyle bri­gade and made it two wins from two runs when win­ning the Beres­ford Stakes at Naas un­der Ryan Moore. Ai­dan O’Brien’s en­tries at the time of writ­ing are well into dou­ble fig­ures and Saxon War­rior just shades NEL­SON on Rac­ing Post Form Fig­ures. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see who Ryan Moore rides at Don­caster.”His­tory shows that the world’s best jockey chose to ride Saxon War­rior who won as an 11/8 favourite should and gave us a nice onetwo in re­verse to end the sea­son with even if the re­sult did not score with the re­sults only given to the top-rated horse be­ing backedWIN only.

The following Satur­day saw the Breed­ers’ Cup Cham­pi­onships at Del Mar.It is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ball-game nowa­days with the Euro­pean horses able to com­plete pretty much on level terms and the sec­ond day of the meet­ing tele­vised on ATR is one I make the ef­fort to wres­tle the TV but­tons from the rest of the fam­ily. ‘Strictly’ and the ‘X-Fac­tor’ can take a back­seat for one week­end in the Lark­spur house­hold.

I had posted some se­lec­tions for the main races of in­ter­est onWordPress.Us­ing the Lark­spur Method (in­cred­i­bly the book is still avail­able from Rac­ing Post) I found three win­ners: ROY H,WORLD APROVAL and GUN RUN­NER, to­gether with CAM­BO­DIA chip­ping in at a tasty 16/1 each-way. I’m quite happy to back each way when it’s a quar­ter-the-odds a place and a horse is priced at 8/1 or more. But how should you ad­just your stakes? One point each-way i.e. two points on the longer-priced horses, or 0.5 points each­way to keep your one point per se­lec­tion stake uni­form?

It could be ar­gued that if you back a horse at 8/1 0.5 points each-way then you are sac­ri­fic­ing a de­cent profit mar­gin if the horse wins: 0.5 x 8 = 4.5 + 1.5 (place re­turns) = 6 points in to­tal. If you back the horse at one point each-way: 1 x 8 = 9 + 3 = 12 points in to­tal.If the horse places you re­turn 1.5 points for a 0.5 points each-way stake, a re­turn of 150% ROI. At 1 point each-way the re­turn is 3 points, again the ROI is 150%.

The shrewd punter might ask: Even though the per­cent­age re­turns are iden- tical why limit your stakes when the po­ten­tial re­turn is that much greater? Af­ter all, you could have punted larger stakes on short-priced fan­cies like Unique Bella and Bold D’oro, and the re­turns – if the horses had won – would not have been so great.That old word ‘value’ ap­pears to be creep­ing into my rac­ing lex­i­con again.

The re­turns on all the horses high­lighted in my blog were 18 points to 15 staked for an ROI of 120% - if you backed the each-way shouts 1 point each way and the lower priced se­lec­tions at 1 point each. De­creas­ing the each-way stakes to 1 point i.e. 0.5 points each-way meant stakes of 13 points and a re­turn of 15 points, or 119% ROI. Not much dif­fer­ence there.

How­ever, the ar­gu­ment for up­ping the stakes on the longer priced horses is bet­ter ev­i­denced if we look at the RAF se­lec­tions on the night which pro­duced longer-odds placed horse.

You’ll have to take my word that these were the ‘win­ning’ se­lec­tions from two in each of the last seven races on the card: ROY H won at 9/2,AMI’S MESA and CAM-

BO­DIA both placed at 16/1, and BLACKJACKCAT placed at 28/1. Just one win­ner and 14 points staked on the se­lec­tions with 0.5 points each-way on the horses priced at 8/1 and above and 1 point on those be­low these odds would have re­sulted in stakes of 14 points and a re­turn of 14.5 points or 104% ROI.

If you upped the each-way stakes to 1 point each way (and 1 point win still) you would have re­turned 23.5 points to 20 points stakes, which is an im­proved ROI of 118%.In­ter­est­ing,but more im­por­tant is the abil­ity of the RAF score to pro­duce con­sis­tent re­turns. It seems that by strip­ping out any con­sid­er­a­tion of form rat­ings or the bet­ting mar­ket that you can profit from horses in good form and suited to the conditions.

ALL-WEATHER CHAM­PI­ONSHIPS

It has not been an aus­pi­cious start to the AWC Tip­ster Game for yours truly. A strike rate of 33% and a loss of -4.84 to level stakes at the time of writ­ing re­quire much im­prove­ment. It is early days af­ter all.

RAF NA­TIONAL HUNT SE­LEC­TIONS New­cas­tle 2 Dec:Fight­ing Fifth Hur­dle

At the time of writ­ing AP­PLE’S JADE, BU­VEUR D’AIR and DEFI DU SEUIL all share top-rat­ing with 23 points. Of­fi­cial rat­ings sug­gest that Nicky Hen­der­son’s Cham­pion Hur­dle win­ner Bu­veur D’Air is a far su­pe­rior horse to the other two con­tenders for the top hur­dling hon­ours this term and the trainer rates him as good as any of his pre­vi­ous Chel­tenham win­ners.

NEW­BURY 2 DEC: LAD­BROKES TRO­PHY CHASE

COGRY and PRESENT MAN share topspot with 20 points. The for­mer fin­ished off last sea­son with a mar­ginal sec­ond in the Scot­tish Grand Na­tional and kicked off the new cam­paign by win­ning the ran­dox­health.com Hand­i­cap Chase at Chel­tenham.Present Man won the Badger Ales Tro­phy Hand­i­cap Chase atWin­can­ton last time out un­der Bry­ony Frost and that made it two nar­row wins on the bounce for the duo. AMER­I­CAN is on 18 points and Harry Fry’s geld­ing won all three of his novices’events last term and would pre­fer a bit of cut in the ground.

FAIRY­HOUSE 3 DEC: HAT­TON GRACE HUR­DLE

AP­PLE’S JADE, who also holds an en­try in the Fight­ing Fifth Hur­dle, scores the max­i­mum 30 here and Gor­don El­liott’s Chel­tenham Mares’ Hur­dle and Punchestown Mares’ Cham­pion Hur­dle win­ner is a class act. There are plenty of de­cent horses in op­po­si­tion but I would ex­pect Ap­ple’s Jade to add to her haul of five Grade 1 wins to date if she runs here. YORKHILL (22pts) is en­tered here and as well as the John Durkan Chase, it may be that Wil­lie Mullins will run him if the mighty FAUGH­EEN (23pts) is not over his ex­er­tions in the Mor­giana Hur­dle run at Punchestown on Sun­day 19 Novem­ber where he smashed the field on his be­lated but wel­come re­turn.

PUNCHESTOWN10DEC:JOHNDURKAN ME­MO­RIAL PUNCHESTOWN CHASE

Noel Meade’s DISKO is top-rated on 28 points. The 6 year-old won the Gro­wise Cham­pion Novice Chase at the Pun-

chestown Fes­ti­val hav­ing been beaten into third byYORKHILL in the JLT Novices’ Chase at Chel­tenham. Wil­lie Mullins’ is also en­tered in the Hat­ton Grace Hur­dle but doesn’t fea­ture at the top of the RAF rat­ings here. SIZ­ING JOHN (25pts) was en­tered in the Bet­fair Chase at Haydock on 25 Novem­ber, but with­drawn be­cause of soft ground. The dual Chel­tenham and Punchestown Gold Cup win­ner runs in the colours of Alan Potts who sadly died ear­lier this week.WAIT­ING PA­TIENTLY (23pts) is de­scribed as a ‘very good horse’ by trainer Mal­com Jef­fer­son; he has won his last five races and has not been beaten since Novem­ber 2015.

KEMP­TON 26 DEC: 32RED KING GE­ORGE VI CHASE

THISTLE­CRACK (27pts) is due to make his re­turn to the track af­ter suf­fer­ing an in­jury in Jan­uary. Colin Tiz­zard says he is ‘on track’ and he may have a prep run over hur­dles prior to this (he doesn’t hold any other en­tries at the time of writ­ing). MIGHT BITE (25pts) kicked off with a win in a Listed Chase at Sandown on 12 Novem­ber and is en­tered in the Bet­fair Chase. The Haydock race is the first leg of the Jockey Club Race­courses Chase Triple Crown but his trainer is re­ported in the Rac­ing Post Guide to the Jumps as favour­ing an eas­ier prep race be­fore Kemp­ton. The Triple Crown se­ries ex­plains the ear­lier pres­ence of SIZ­ING JOHN (23pts) among the en­tries for the Haydock race, although he was with­drawn be­cause of soft ground, as well as the John Durkan Me­mo­rial Punchestown Chase.

Plenty of ac­tion there for a busy Happy Christ­mas and Pros­per­ous NewYear! Don’t for­get you can fol­low all the #RAFPick and #TOPRac­ingSys­tem ac­tion on Twit­ter: @Lark­spurRac­ing

Cogry

Ap­ple’s Jade

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