Our methods man looks back at a profitable Flat season
Our systems guru checks out the success of his RAF method
QATAR PRIX DE L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE & RAF REVIEW
ENABLE is still unbeaten when ridden by Frankie Dettori. There really can be no doubting that she is a high-class filly. What she has achieved this season is incredible and when Frankie kicked for home at the 300-metre mark Europe’s premier middle distance race was all over. DSCHING IS SECRET ran with credit but when it came to the business end of the race the German raider had no answer to the injection of pace that saw Enable burst into the lead. Our third rated horse CLOTH OF STARS finished second. So, we had the first two home in the Arc and effectively come to the end of the Flat season.
It would be prudent to see how our toprated RAF picks fared over the summer months. Below is the full list of horses highlighted as top-rated according to the Racing Ahead Form score in this magazine.
Despite not scoring since early July we still managed to return a reasonable profit.We will see how we get on over the course of the All-Weather Championships.We may on occasions also take a look at some of the graded National Hunt races too.
TOP RACING SYSTEMS
The TOP Racing System results to date are encouraging. From 2 September to 14 October there were 32 Saturday selections giving 12 winners for a Return on Investment (ROI) of 49.25 points or 154%. The star system at the time of writing is the TOP Weight which has found two winning selections for a 100% strike rate and an ROI of 12 points or 600%.
The Dewhurst Stakes (Newmarket 14 October) was a race that threw up a nice little conundrum in that two separate system selections highlighted. With six winning favourites in the past decade the race was one in which according to the TOP 10 system rules we back the forecast favourite. It also happened to throw up a TOP Jockey selection too. My thoughts on the race were recorded in my Word Press blog:
“Incredibly, the morning racecards only throw up two selections courtesy of the TOP Racing Systems and they both happen to be contesting the same race. The Dewhurst has been won by some pretty decent horses over the years including: Frankel, New Approach, Air Force Blue and Churchill to name but four. It is an impressive roll call and the race tends to go to the market leader with six winning favourites in the past ten years.
Sir Michael Stoute does not feature on the honours board over the past decade but the Freemason Lodge handler is responsible for odds-on favourite EXPERT EYE (TOP10 System). The Acclamation colt has won both his starts, the latest being a tidy victory in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood back in August and runs in the Frankel colours.
However, Aidan O'Brien and Jim Bolger have won this race four times each in the past decade and both have runners today. US NAVY FLAG won the Middle Park Stakes here a fortnight ago and is a TOP Jockey pick under Ryan Moore. He is the only course winner in the field and at 8/1 offers a decent betting proposition. Churchill, Air Force Blue, War Command... US Navy Flag is appropriately named to add to the Ballydoyle roll of honour.”
Amazingly, Aidan O’Brien trained the first four home in the Dewhurst.The man is a genius. I had taken odds of 13/2 with Coral in the morning about US Navy Flag and his S.P. was 5/1. That brought a welcome boost to the TOP Racing System profits.The ‘conundrum’ that I mentioned earlier is the punter’s ultimate dilemma: which horse to back when your preferred methods throw up two or more selections. When the odds are right there is no problem in backing more than one horse in a race in order to return a profit. When a horse is 4/7 favourite like Expert Eye, then you cannot back two horses. I have previously recorded my thoughts on the concept of ‘value’ elsewhere. However, as I get older I find myself warming to the idea, although I don’t know if ‘value’ is the correct word to describe a ‘decent bet’.
I would not have backed US Navy Flag if it hadn’t conformed to any of my systems, regardless of his price. In other words, I wouldn’t have struck a ‘value’ bet just because he was trading at 8/1 in places at morning-line prices. As it was it was, the horse was both a TOP Jockey and Larkspur Method pick. For the Fenman fans among readers he was the only course winner in the field too.Sam Turner writing in the Daily Mail suggested that if Expert Eye had won then we would be looking
at the best British trained two-year-old since Frankel. Was that simplistic view enough to back him at odds-on? Simple answer: no.
A few years ago I took two separate snapshots of 100 races where forecast favourites at odds-against were backed into odds-on favouritism come post-time and recorded the results in these pages. On each occasion the ROI was approximately 9% for a 66% wins-to-runs strike rate. Now, if you’re a Saturday ITV Seven punter like me then you are not going to be backing odds-on horses individually, but they may form part of your ‘Acca’. Therefore, in deciding which horse to back in the Dewhurst the knowledge that Aidan O’Brien had trained four previous winners in the past decade and Sir Michael Stoute had trained just two Group 1 juvenile winners throughout his illustrious career might assist the thought process.The fact that US Navy Flag had won the Middle Park Stakes and was the only course
winner may also swing you to the O’Brien horse. More importantly, you may have come to US Navy Flag as a selection via one of your preferred methods or systems. Question: odds-on about a horse that hadn’t raced for 74 days, or 13/2 about a Ballydoyle runner ridden by Ryan Moore? Now, if that is what is meant by ‘value’ then I’ve finally grasped the concept!
RACING POST TROPHY
Andrea Atzeni has won the last four renewals of this Group 1 race for twoyear-olds run over one mile at Doncaster: 2016 Rivet, 2015 Marcel, 2014 Elm Park, and 2013 Kingston Hill. Significantly, those wins have all come for different trainers. Whoever seeks Atzeni’s services would hope to be on to a winner. Unsurprisingly, the winning-most trainer over the past decade is Aidan O’Brien: 2012 Kingsbarns, 2011 Camelot and 2009 St Nicholas Abbey.
ROARING LION (23 points) represents John Gosden.The Kitten’s Joy colt is three-from-three and lowered the colours of Aidan O’Brien’s NELSON in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket on his latest start. The Ballydoyle colt seeks to do battle again and is officially rated 19lb better than the Gosden horse, he is one of a host of entrants on 20 points, including: CHILEAN, GABR, and stablemate SAXON WARRIOR.
CHILEAN won his maiden at Chelmsford before drawing clear of the field to win the listed Ascendant Stakes at Haydock in September.
GABR won a novices’s takes at Yarmouth when odds-on to get off the mark at the third time of asking for Sir Michael Stoute who, as mentioned earlier, has only had two Group 1 winning two-year-olds throughout his illustrious career.
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.
I am looking forward to Season 5 of the All-Weather Championships which kicks off at Newcastle on 24 October. I have been a great fan of the series since its inception and Arena Racing have truly delivered on this initiative that took AllWeather racing from also-ran to pioneer status. Personally, I think it’s about time that the National Hunt organisers took proper note and fashioned the Jumps campaign along similar lines with a series of fixtures and qualifying races so that all roads truly lead to Prestbury Park.
The official All-Weather Championship website is goldmine of information and the information pack download sets the scene nicely. There is also the All-Weather Championships Game where you can win £10,000 cash and become the Champion Tipster. I will utilise the TOP Racing Systems together with the Racing Ahead Form and Larkspur Method picks in an attempt to get amongst the leaders something which I have not managed to do to date despite a reasonable strike rate. I think I may need to look for a bit more ‘value’ – Happy Racing!
Unfortunately, the deadline date for the November article does not afford opportunity to offer the RAF Pick selections for either QIPCO Champions Day or the Breeders Cup, but don’t forget you can follow all the #RAFPick and #TOPRacingSystem action on Twitter: @LarkspurRacing and the blog every Saturday at:tonylarkspur.wordpress.com
Cloth Of Stars