Put York Races on your Bucket List

York Racecourse is the premier location for Flat racing in the north of England and a venue that attracts upwards of 350,000 spectators per year.

The picturesque Knavesmire course ticks all the boxes, with excellent facilities, a beautiful setting and top-class racing at its various meetings.

There is usually about 18 days of racing at the north Yorkshire track, with May’s three-day Dante Festival kicking off proceedings.

There are meetings in June, while July sees the prestigious John Smith’s Cup, run over one mile two furlongs and open to horses aged three years or older.

However, when speaking about York races, it is all about the four-day Ebor Meeting, which is held in late August and plays host to three of the UK’s 31 Group One races.

The Juddmonte International Stakes takes centre stage on the opening Wednesday of the showpiece meeting, a race won five times by both the legendary Lester Piggott and by Frankie Dettori.

Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien have both trained five winners of the contest and it looks set to be another cracking renewal this time around as the likes of Barney Roy, Churchill, Highland Reel and Ulysses have been slated for an outing.
As the race draws nearer connections will show their hand and make sure you check out the latest racing news from Bethut for all the best information, previews and tips.

The second Group One on the card is the Yorkshire Oaks, usually run on the Thursday over a distance of one mile and four furlongs.

It to open to fillies and mares aged three years or older and will again attract the good and great of Flat racing.

The incredible Enable is likely to head the market for this one and will be looking for a fifth win of the year and fourth Group One after taking Epsom’s Investec Oaks, the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh and Royal Ascot’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

It will need a monumental performance to beat her and those in line to try include Rhododendron, Winter and So Mi Dar, whose father Dar Re Mi took the race under Jimmy Fortune back in 2009.

For punters who prefer the sprinters then Friday’s Nunthorpe Stakes, for two-year-olds or older, will be unmissable as it is the proverbial cavalry charge over just five furlongs.

Paul Mulrennan guided Mecca’s Angel to glory for the past two years and the likes of Lady Aurelia, Battaash and possibly The Tin Man may well line up for what is one of the most popular sprint races of the season.

The Ebor Handicap is held on the final day, with Heartbreak City scoring under Adam McNamara 12 months ago and Flymetothestars set to be prominent in the market this time around.

Ascot is rightfully thought of as the pinnacle of Flat racing and York has often been likened to the Berkshire venue, proving that it is worth of the title ‘Ascot of the North’ when hosting the 2005 Royal Ascot meeting when the southern venue was undergoing a major redevelopment.

Glorious Goodwood: Day 2 – Phil Gains Ground

The second day of the competition still sees Wit at the top with 87 points. However, Phil managed to bag two good priced winners making a profit on the day of 39 and has cut Wit’s lead down as Wit had a blank day.

The top rated had a good day with two winners and a profit of 7.5 points on the day. The top rated, which I am following, are guaranteed to end the Festival in profit but having a total of twenty-two points it’s still a long way behind Wit’s score.

So, three days remaining and all to play for. No doubt there will be no end to the selections from the lumpier end of the market which is going to make the competition interesting for the next few days.

The only question is: what will today bring?

Glorious Goodwood: Day 1 – Hats off to Wit’s 100/1 winner!

Normally the first day of a competition has only a smattering of small priced winners but nothing could have prepared any of us what followed today.

In the first race a number of us, myself, Herby & Mark, had selected the top rated in the first race: Dark Red. Dark Red was the first past the post but was disqualified by the stewards in the following Inquiry. Thankfully, a number of us managed to back it in Real Life from prices anything up from the SP of 12/1 up to 20/1 earlier on.

I managed to bag another top rated winner later on in the day and that would have left me in a good position after day one and normally would have had me in great stead for the rest of the competition.

But, no-one, not even he, had expected Wit to bag a 100/1 winner in the maiden.

Before the day started Wit noted on the forum that had one backed the bottom rated in every race during the previous two Glorious Goodwood Festivals then there would be one, or more, outsiders coming in sufficient to win the tournaments. Therefore, he said that he would be doing the same again this year.

Come the 4.10 maiden and Wit’s plan came to fruition with Thechildrenstrust winning at 100/1. Moreover, those who backed it to Betfair’s SP, as did Wit, would have been more than pleased with the 500s on offer.

So, hat’s off to Wit for that audacious selection that puts him eighty points clear in the competition after the first day!

Let’s look at this race again.

Looking at this maiden, there are fourteen runners but only eight of these have run before. This means that, basically, half of the field have no form whatsoever. And five of those eight have only run the once.

So this means that this race has only three horses with any meaningful form, assuming that we accept that horses with two runs under their belt has ‘form’.

We don’t even know how many of those six unraced horses have hearts and lungs of a South Shields pit-pony or whether they’re a plutonium Pegasus powerhouse. Apart from the top rated the range of the rating values of these horses is just over eleven pounds.

And, yet, someone goes onto Betfair and offers these total unknown horses at 500/1. This in itself is utter insanity and there’s nothing but congratulations going up to those, like Wit, who realise that these prices are just utterly and totally wrong.

Yes, more work needs to be done to analyse maidens in Festival meetings where there’s no form.

Back to the competition. There’s a few days left and this means now we’re all going to find people looking all over the field for high priced horses which may have a chance of getting home. Now we can’t be looking for 3/1 winners to get us the winning score: we’re going to need a lot of 40/1 horses coming home!

The next few days are going to be great fun indeed.

Well done, Wit.

Four Blindingly Obvious Selections

Last night, just before midnight, I posted the following concerning the racing today.

Musselburgh 3.45 has NOVA SCOTIA as a very possible Blindingly Obvious (BO) selection. The one worry is Jonny Delta who is dropping massively in class and weight. But at over 20s on offer for New Scotland I am happy to take that.

Musselburgh 5.15 has BRENDAN as another BO and Wit will be along shortly to select the same.

A lower priced BO selection is top rated PRIMENORA in the Nottingham 6.50. Not often one sees these as top rated and I will be on this one for sure.

Another one of Wit`s selections will be QUAY POINT in the 8.50 which is second rated and another Blindingly Obvious selection.

So, that`s it for me. Four of these today.

The first of these was actually named Nova Scuola, was unplaced but the highlighted danger horse, Jonny Delta won at 7/2 but early prices could have had it at 5/1 in the late morning.

In the next Brendan was third at 28/1 and wasn’t too far off being less than two lengths behind the winner. Primenora came in a disappointing sixth.

But, the fourth selection, Quay Point, went off at 20/1 and was available at over 50s before the off on the exchanges (the Betfair SP was in the low 30s) and won by over three lengths.

As the name suggests: Blindingly Obvious.

FAQ: What Time Do The Ratings Get Posted To The Site?

This simply depends on how much processing work I have to do to prepare the ratings before uploading them to the site.

On a typical day, the data will have been collated by about six or seven o’clock in the evening and then the whole process will take no less than three hours if there are no problems.

Some days it has been known to get the data uploaded to the site by a quarter past eight but this is rare and can only be achieved if I start at the earliest opportunity, that there are few meetings and the horses have, collectively, little form and, of course, that the data run runs smoothly.

The Friday and Saturday meets are usually the slowest to prepare as there will be more meetings, even more in the summer as there’s more flat racing. And Bank Holidays could take until the early hours to finish the process: Boxing Day, for example, has been known to take me over twelve hours!

This doesn’t take into account any problems that may be found on the way, either with the code or the data. This could delay the process by any amount of time and, of course, if the internet goes down for any reason then there is going to be a major problem.

The data is uploaded rather than eMailed for the simple reason that there’s plenty of it produced each evening. The PDF files weigh in at a couple of megabytes for each, the CSV file is about a megabyte and there’s hundreds, and I do mean hundreds, of smaller xml files which are prepared and are available for download. Putting this lot into a regular eMail regularly is going to be a major headache and something that I am not going to do.

There is one exception to the above when I will eMail the data and that is when the web site, the one you’re reading now, goes down for whatever reason. If I am unable to upload the data to the website then I will post the CSV and the PDF files to the Discussion Group along with the some of the xml files. This will only happen in an emergency. It’s not a neat solution but it ensures that we don’t lose a day’s racing data.

Blindingly Obvious Selection: Lingfield 6.45

There’s not been one for these for a while but one appeared today.

Our Cillia has five year Class and Weight Differentials (columns b and c) of 11.0 and 16.0 and for the one year Class and Weight Differentials (columns ch and d) of also 11.0 and 16.0. And also it had a one race set of differentials (columns dd and e) of 10.6 and 12.0 .

Compare with the rest of the entrants in the race: these figures are miles ahead of the rest.

Our Cillia won at 20/1, though the Betfair SP was 32 but it was available to back at up to 50s up to ten minutes before the off.

The comment in the Racing Post has this to say about the horse’s performance in the race: Hampered at start and pushed sideways, lost ground, held up in rear, stealthy progress from well off the pace 4f out, shaken up and took closer order in centre from 3f out, soon ridden, lead over 1f out, bounded clear final 150yds, readily (op 25/1).

Very much Blindingly Obvious, without a doubt.

UK Horse Racing’s Systems Indicators

What do these columns mean on the summary page of the ratings?

The above image comes from the Market Rasen 2.55, a handicap chase, on the 9th of July 2017 which hasn’t set off yet and won’t do so for a few hours. So it gives me a little while to talk about this race without knowledge of the result.

The first thing is that the name is slightly misleading; there are no system or alarm indicators here. This needs to be changed and may well do so within the next few days. But what we do have a handy table of a horse’s previous Class, Weight and Race figures.

Column ‘a’
This is the last run’s class according to the BHA’s classification figures. This is only included because it may indicate how a horse may appear in the betting as a horse ‘rising in class’ (pinch of salt applied for) may have a good price in the markets. Those accustomed to the UKHR ratings will know that the BHA class figures have no impact nor input into our handicapping procedures whatsoever.

Column ‘b’
This is the horse’s Five Year Class Differential.

Column ‘c’
This is the horse’s Five Year Weight Differential.

Column ‘ch’
This is the horse’s One Year Class Differential.

Column ‘d’
This is the horse’s One Year Weight Differential.

Column ‘dd’
This is the horse’s One Race Class Differential, in other words the rise/drop in class compared to its previous race.

Column ‘e’
This is the horse’s One Race Weight Differential.

Column ‘f’
This gives the Race figure of the horse’s last run. This Race figure is awarded to how well a horse ran last time; the bigger the Race value the better it ran. This field, therefore, is a handy and quick way to compare how each of them ran last time out.

What on earth is this column naming scheme?
It’s the Welsh alphabet.

A quick look at the race.
The race, according the BHA classification is a class 4 race. But look at the figures for the top rated horse, Brody Bleu. Its last race was, supposedly, a class 6 race but look at the class differentials: the five year class differential has it dropping in class and if we go to column dd it’s rising in class by only six points since its last race and yet it’s going up two BHA bands. Little wonder the price looks to be good.

Sixth rated Vic’s Last Stand has three idential pairs of differentials. This will be because it’s run only the one chase before and this was within the last twelve months. Compare that to bottom rated Viking Ridge which has the middle pair of differentials given as zero. Viking Ridge, therefore, hasn’t raced in the past year.

Vick’s Last Stand does have an interesting set of figures though. A massive drop in class but an almighty rise in weights. If the handicapper has this wrong and the weight increase is too lenient then this could be the race for him, especially as his Race figure in the last column is 94 and there’s only three other horses with a higher last Race figure.

These three horses are within the top four rated in the race: Brody Bleu, Gold Ingot and Minella Forfitness.

One could look at this table and try to fashion a story of how each horse has been handicapped more ruthlessly than others. For example, Highbury High is dropping in both class and weight since last time but didn’t run too well in that previous race. Will today’s drop in both class and weight (which is certainly not reflected in the BHA class figures) be beneficial to him and at a price which is ‘value’ at the time of writing it’s certainly going to be of interest.

Something similar could be said for Chankilo whose drop in class last time is almost five pounds better than the overall rise in class over the last year and its previous Race figure is better than Highbury High’s.

This is the sort of thing that one could see when one is looking at this table and, of course, this is where we tend to look for the Blinding Obvious Selections.

Wit’s On Fire!

Wit, from the forum, was certainly on-fire with his b-c-dd-e selections yesterday.

The one that’s of interest here is Ablaze with the excellent five year and one race differential figures as can be seen here.

Ablaze won at 20/1, though the BetfairSP was 38.0, which was nearly double. However, for a long time yesterday morning (and I mean a l-o-n-g time) it was available on the exchanges at 67 which a number of people had been matched at.

So, it can’t be argued that yesterday that Wit was truly ablaze with his selection system.

Extra Indicator – Last Race Run

As from tomorrow there will be a new indicator on each race’s summary page within the various PDF files.

This example (Doncaster 2.00, 30th June, 2017) belows shows the new indicator.

Two small differences. The first is purely cosmetic and this is that the title row of the indicator table is now underlined for improved clarity.

The second change is that we now have a column ‘f’. This shows the horse’s Last Race Rating (i.e. how well it ran in its last race) so we can compare easily this information. In the above example, column ‘f’ is highlighted.

As AlanJ put it on the forum for this race:
2.00 Eirene 11/4. 117 race1runago is impressive and the only doubt is the Hannon horse.

Eirene ended up being the winning favourite of the race. Alan got on at 100/30 before Eirene won at 5/2.

The Last Race Rating is a powerful indicator and it’s a good comparitive and one that I will be looking at more closely now that this on the front page of each summary rating.