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06 Jul 21 11:05
Date Joined: 06 Dec 01
| Topic/replies: 1,088 | Blogger: Sandown's blog
Looking at the field for 3.00 race at Pontefract today I see that Agincourt is a runner. Her last race was at R.Ascot where she was well beaten in a race won by Indie Angel which counts as one of those "missed opportunities" races for me. The winner was Indie Angel , ridden by Dettori for the Gosdens , which was allowed to go off at  25.0 (BF) beating Lady Bowthorpe  (5.0 2nd Fav) and Queen Power (4.0 Fav).

How the hell did Indie Angel go off at that price and I didn't see it? I can point to the fact that the official ratings were ,in finishing order, 103, 117,112 with IA receiving only 3lb from each of the others, so the price order is understandable, perhaps. LB in her previous race (Lockinge) finished just 1.5 lengths behind Palace Pier  receiving just 3lb for which she was raised 9lb OR. Indie Angel had been beaten by both IA and QP by just over 3L at Newmarket on May 2, so further evidence that she should be behind in the betting to those two.

Taken at face value then, IA could not beat either of those two, but a price of 25.0? Surely I should have been tempted , each way, at least? As it was, I didn't play in the race because looking back at my analysis, I couldn't find a bet. With hindsight, I gave far too much weight to the price of IA as a negative factor (too big!) and too little consideration to the potential for improvement possible,when I should have seen the value in a Gosden/Dettori combination at 25.0

So mea culpa,, I messed up albeit IA has now been raised 11 lb OR for that win. The question I'm left with is, could/should i have seen that improvement amount as being possible? If anyone backed IA that day or if anyone has any thoughts on what I missed, please illuminate me.
Pause Switch to Standard View A Missed Opportunity
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Report Sandown July 6, 2021 12:09 PM BST
Indie Angel had been beaten by both LB
Report Figgis July 6, 2021 2:19 PM BST
Sandown I saw it as a no bet race as well. Like most people I had Lady Bowthorpe's previous run as the best form on offer. A repeat of that would see her as the likely winner, but I had doubts that she would back it up. In the event I have her running 6lbs below that best effort. I thought Queen Power was the one most likely to run to form but probably wouldn't be good enough to win. I didn't foresee Indie Angel finding that improvement. As you say, with the Gosden/Dettori combination a value case could be made at that big price, but you could also point to many other similar situations that ended up with losers.

I wouldn't beat myself up about missing an opportunity like that unless I genuinely thought the horse had a decent winning chance. Even though I'm fairly sure backing such runners at those kind of prices would be profitable in the long term, I'm also sure there would be regular long losing streaks involved. When suffering those losing streaks would you still remain confident that it will all work out in the end? Most importantly, would you be able to recognise the difference between inevitable losing streaks and those periods when we punters veer off course, as we all do occasionally? I have much respect for those that can handle all that, because personally I couldn't.
Report Sandown July 6, 2021 3:31 PM BST
Hi Figgis. I thought that you might be someone who would respond, so thank you. It can help to take a fresh look at a race.

I sometimes retro fit the actual results to my analysis to see where things didn't work out as expected and this is one of those races. Even knowing the outcome, but ignoring the actual result, and working with the actual adjusted ratings, it still doesn't appeal as a betting race for me using solely a single horse backing strategy; but it would have been profitable on a back and lay strategy playing 7 horses. With such a strategy I could have backed LB,QP,Double or Bubble, IA and layed Parents Power, Champers Elysee, Lavenders Blue. That's purely academic because whilst I occasionally play that way for large competitive fields, I don't normally.

So, what did I learn? Well, I think that Lady Bowthorpe was flattered by her second in the Lockinge and was raised too much. The final time for the Lockinge was slow for one thing. I also think that Dettori is very picky now what he rides and his mounts always need a second look no matter the price. On that day, there was a clear near-side rail bias and that may have contributed towards IA's performance and against QP drawn 2 and who stayed in the centre, with LB in-between these horses.

Still think it was missed opportunity though!
Report Howellsy July 7, 2021 8:31 PM BST
None of this will be rocket science to you guys, but here goes. Firstly, I gave her a decent speed figure when winning at Lingfield last autumn. I didn't think she'd had the race run to suit the previous twice, as she needs holding up. Given that the stands' side looked quicker than the middle, it had to be possible that, if they came up the centre, IA might have a nice pull into the race near the rail. Races on the straight track at Ascot often collapse and inferior hold up types can plod on past tiring horses. I sometimes feel it's a case of last one standing. It was also interesting that she was even running in the race after 2 below par runs. I just felt she might be able to run an even paced race on the stands' side and if she could run to her best figure, and if others tired late on, she might win. I had small, speculative bets on a few in the race as I felt the top end of the market was vulnerable. IA was one of them - but small beer as I say.
Report Sandown July 8, 2021 1:01 PM BST
Thanks Howellsy. Well done on spotting that one.

It's logical to assume that the track bias that day played a large part in the result. I haven't quite figured out a way of allowing for that other than adjusting my forecast rating by an amount which can only be guess work. The fact is that IA ran 10lbs above previous PB on it 14th run, which I didn't expect to be likely, and the market pointed in the opposite direction. Just as significant to IA improving, Lady Bowthorpe ran 7lbs below her PB although I now reckon that she was over-rated following her 2nd to Palace Pier.

Just how much the track bias might have influenced things is also not clear. Agincourt was drawn 11 yet ran 13 lbs below PB in line with expectations (SP 27.0). Parents Prayer drawn 10 went off shorter at 13.0 but fared worse running 21lbs below PB.That is not strong supporting evidence for the track bias being critical in this race.

Looking at the time of the race and the sectionals, the race was not truly run although I wouldn't classify it as a slowly run race. None of the horses ran a time figure  equal to their collateral ratings, even IA,although she did run a faster last quarter.

In conclusion, we have a horse rated 14 lbs inferior to the second but receiving 3lb beating that 2nd horse by 5 lbs, where the track bias/draw accounted for some of the outcome, but I believe that  the 2nd and third running below form had a greater effect. The ground was gf which wouldn't have been against any of the first 3. IA has been raised 11 lb in the OR to 114 . That seems to me to be on the high side.

NB. LB,IA,QP and Champers Elysee all run in the Falmouth tomorrow.
Report Figgis July 9, 2021 7:17 AM BST
Interesting that you both think Indie Angel was kind of flattered at Ascot. What are your thoughts about her chances today, and the Falmouth in general?
Report Sandown July 9, 2021 10:19 AM BST

Is it even worth trying to unravel this race? The form lines resemble a string of knitting, the ground variable complicates matters, as does the track bias interpretation at Ascot.

For what it's worth, given the betting as it was last night, I had the winner most likely either Snow Lantern or Alcohol Free, with Primo Bacio for third. Of the others, I would have either Lady Bowthorpe or Middle Earth for fourth or fifth. T

Overnight, there has been strong support for Primo Bacio and a marked weakness in Indie Angel. So, as of now, 10.12 am, my 1-2-3 is Acohol Free, Snow Lantern,Primo Bacio

Is there a bet in the race? My computer is showing me that dutching these 3 at evens is worth a bet. However, I have found that backing this early is rarely worthwhile, so I will wait and see how things evolve.
Report Sandown July 9, 2021 10:25 AM BST
Mother Earth
Report penzance July 9, 2021 10:49 AM BST
got Alcohol Free completely wrong this season,had her
as a doubtful stayer at this trip.Think she will win this
today,she seems a very uncomplicated ride aswell.The course
should suit her better today than the Rowley mile,less of
a stamina test.If there's an outsider to consider it's
Pretty Gorgeous,especially on her 2yr old form.Travelled
well in the Irish 1000G for a long way,looked like she
retained her ability.Again like in Ireland it was heavy
@Ascot different ground here today.Interesting O'brien keeps
the faith in these GP1s.
Report Figgis July 9, 2021 1:25 PM BST
Sandown, strictly on ratings at the weights I still have Lady Bowthorpe very marginally top rated (by 1lb). I am not downgrading her Lockinge performance, as I still believe she ran a career best that day which she is probably unlikely to repeat. Alcohol Free is next, but when she won at Ascot I have her merely matching her Cheveley Park figure. So no improvement from 2 to 3. A repeat of that effort may be good enough but I prefer to stick with 3yos that have improved from 2 to 3, as otherwise there is a big chance of them starting to go backwards.

I'm not convinced that Indie Angel benefited from a track bias. However, it was a big leap of improvement that day, which after so many runs must naturally be viewed with a hint of suspicion. At this moment in time is she now a much improved filly likely to repeat the effort? Or was it just one of those days where she was able to run to a higher level than usual? More often when a horse shows massive improvement after seemingly being exposed it proves to be the latter. Nevertheless, I very much liked what I saw from her last time and at this price I'm more than willing to give her the benefit of any doubt. To leave her alone this time would, for me, be regarded as a missed opportunity, so she's a bet.
Report Sandown July 9, 2021 2:25 PM BST
At the price, 25.0, IA is worth an EW bet for sure.
Report Sandown July 9, 2021 3:33 PM BST
No major bet for me.
Report penzance July 9, 2021 3:54 PM BST
Alcohol Free ran well,just not good enough today.
Winner won well in the end,deserved it.
Report Figgis July 9, 2021 3:59 PM BST
Sandown, as Snow Lantern was one of your most likely winners I hope it wasn't another missed opportunity. After the troubled run last time it was no surprise to see her turn around the form with Alcohol Free, but it was a race that I could've made a case for about four or five. Looks a pretty rubbish standard to me and not a race where I'd particularly want to follow any of them in future.
Report Sandown July 9, 2021 4:12 PM BST
It wasn't a missed opportunity as although I didn't change my mind about the finishing order, the odds available didn't make dutching worthwhile. I could have staked according to individual chances but it wouldn't have made much difference. I also got conerned about the ground for Alcohol Free and worried about Mother Earth. Discretion the better part of valour, so no regrets. IA may have been flattered don't you think with its revised rating whilst LB not so.
Report Figgis July 9, 2021 4:26 PM BST
Sandown, as I've said before this is where I don't agree with the idea that a horse is, say, a 130 horse, for example. This implies that a horse when given the exact same conditions will run machine like to the same standard, and that it is only outside influences (ground, pace, track bias, etc) that impact on that level of performance. I don't subscribe to that. Horses have physical peaks and troughs regardless of race conditions. Once in a while some horses can put in an unusually good performance that they're very unlikely to repeat. I suppose that public handicappers have to operate under the constraints of rating the actual horse instead of the performance, but as private punters we don't.

Using today's race as an example, these are just quick calculations, but the only one of the main contenders I have running to their previous best or improving was the winner, up 2lbs, the others all ran below par to varying degrees. Personally I will be against the winner next time if she's overrated on this and goes off a short price.
Report Sandown July 9, 2021 5:05 PM BST
Figgis. I don't really disagree with that at all. Looking at the ratings for goodness knows how many horses over the years, I would say that running exactly to the same rating as previously is something of a rarity. Performance cycles do exist.

All collateral handicapping is to all intents and purposes built around how the 3rd horse runs (in a 10 horse race and pro rata for other size fields. That's a rough and ready rule of thumb for me obviously. If you are a professional handicapper no doubt using more sophisticated maths its possible to find maybe a different outcome in some races but generally it doesn't make much difference for me.
Report Figgis July 9, 2021 5:29 PM BST
Sandown, yes, I just find it annoying when we see a fav getting absolutely stuffed and hear the tv pundits coming out with guff like "The handicapper has caught up with it", and that type of excuse. Indie Angel was always going to be doubtful for a repeat today but we could use Queen Power as a much better example. Doubtless we will get to hear any number of outside influences as an excuse for her well below par effort, but I think whatever happened today she just wasn't going to run her race.
Report Howellsy July 9, 2021 6:11 PM BST
I'm disappointed I had no time to enter the debate about the Falmouth, and little time to study it with fresh eyes. Enjoyed reading it in retrospect. I would not have favoured the winner. I backed Mother Earth.
Report Figgis July 10, 2021 1:47 PM BST
Howellsy, well at 5/1 you had an e.w bet to nothing and she went close. Any opinion on the John Smith's Silver Cup today? I think Hukum is a cut above these if in the same form as last time.
Report penzance July 10, 2021 2:27 PM BST
Report Figgis July 10, 2021 4:49 PM BST
Ta Wink
Report Howellsy July 10, 2021 6:06 PM BST
Sorry Figgis, another busy day. Well done - not much anxiety there.
Report Figgis July 28, 2021 6:52 PM BST
whilst LB not so

Sandown, with or against LB tomorrow?
Report Platini July 28, 2021 8:06 PM BST
I remain convinced that LB should have won the Falmouth (Shoemark was poor, choosing to go round the field to challenge in final furlong, finishing fast but ultimately giving her to much to do).

Distance should suit her here and I might have an interest depending on price, but jockey is a negative for me.
Report Figgis July 28, 2021 8:51 PM BST
I remain convinced that LB should have won the Falmouth

I think she should've won too. I had doubts about her ever repeating the form of the run behind Palace Pier, but with a clear run last time I believe it wouldn't have been far short. I reckon both pieces of form are better than anything else on offer here. The distance is a furlong further than she's won before, but I see no obvious reason to think she won't get it, and apparently L Cumani has been saying she should be stepped up in trip. Has to be worth a bet at the prices, imo.
Report Sandown July 29, 2021 9:36 AM BST

For me, there is no missed opportunity in the Nassau that I will come to regret.

On handicapping, I have Audarya  3 lbs in front of LB with JOA a further 2 lbs behind. However, both Audarya and LB are weakish in the market whilst JOA is strong. Both JOA are both OK on ground and trip whilst LB should be OK with the ground (distance ?) but has slipped somewhat on her last 2 runs in her ratings. Is she going on the down? EJ would be behind these 3 in my view.

At the prices, none make any appeal to me so NO BET as of now.. My order of finish would be JOA, Audarya,LB.

As ever though, views may change later!!
Report Sandown July 29, 2021 9:39 AM BST
Both JOA and Audarya are OK on G&D
Report Figgis July 29, 2021 11:56 AM BST
I have Audarya  3 lbs in front of LB with JOA a further 2 lbs behind

My order of finish would be JOA, Audarya,LB

Sandown, it's interesting that you have Audarya 5lbs ahead of JOA with conditions to suit but you thnk JOA will finish ahead. I take it that, for you, the market takes precedence over handicapping values? If so, do you put an actual value, in terms of pounds, on market weakness, or do you just avoid horses who are perceived as weak in the betting. Also, wouldn't such an approach get in the way of trying to attain perceived value?
Report Sandown July 29, 2021 12:21 PM BST

It's taken me a while to work out the relationship between handicapping and price but yes, in my algorithm, weakness in the market will reduce my percentages and vice versa. The tricky bit is working out the curve because its not straight line, and there is a point where value creeps back in. My staking will change because I use my version of Kelly. These horses are too close together for me to be confident about anything. I wouldn't be surprised if any of these 3 should win but I would be surprised if one of the others won.
Report Figgis July 29, 2021 12:43 PM BST
Sandown, I agree that the market has to be taken into account. We still hear pundits saying not to worry about drifters, the bigger the drift the better the value, etc. Well, all I can say is good luck with that approach. Possibly it will pay in the (very) long term but I've no doubt that it will mean backing very many losers along the way. I think it was fair advice in the old days but not in these times of easily accessible insider trading.

Personally I wouldn't back one just because of a big market move unless I strongly fancied it already and I still thought it represented value. Also, I wouldn't automatically be put off a horse weak in the market if I thought I could see the reason for the drift. Such as the public thinking one might not act on the ground, etc. It would also depend on the yard. For instance, if a Coolmore horse seemingly well fancied in the media was a notable drifter then you may as well put a line through it, in my view. Other yards it wouldn't be so significant. I'm not really surprised that LB isn't particularly strong in the Nassau, given that she's lost her last two starts, the yard she's in and the other yards she's up against, so I'm not put off.
Report Sandown July 29, 2021 1:16 PM BST

I agree with everything you have said. I know that some of the betting syndicates incorporate any number of variables including paddock assessment using experienced paddock judges for example, but I don't. I prefer to use my subjective views at the end of the process but a good paddock judge on the TV is worth all of the form analysts that are put on.

As for LB, I am quite prepared to see her win, as I've said. It's quite possible that the market will change direction closer to the off which will change my calculations. It does after all represent the combined views of everyone. It is dangerous to ignore it but as you say it's best to work out just why it is shortening or drifting. I prefer to use the market to rule out rather than rule in. But a late move in a strong market might encourage me to have a saver which frequently has paid off.
Report Figgis July 29, 2021 1:47 PM BST
Strictly on ratings, I have LB's Lockinge form a big 9lbs ahead of Audarya. My ratings certainly aren't infallible, I sometimes have to revise earlier figures as the season goes on, but I'll be very surprised if I'm wrong there as everything on that card has worked out well. The question was whether that performance was a one off or not. I was inclined to think that she wouldn't repeat that but her Falmouth run changed that. Admittedly it wasn't up to the Lockinge run (7lbs lower) but I think she could've improved that by at least couple of pounds with a clear run. Even at face value, I have it 2lbs higher than Audarya. Obviously that means nothing, however, if LB doesn't get this trip.

As for Audarya, many people fancy her because of the run behind Love, but even though I backed Love that day I don't rate the form highly. I have Love running 4lbs higher in the KG but we're still looking at a filly that hasn't improved a jot from 3 to 4 and has now lost all the age allowances. I think Audarya basically ran to her 4yo best that day. The consensus seemed to be that she can build on that but I'm not so sure. When horses begin to plateau there's always the danger of them then starting to go backwards and I wouldn't be surprised if she regressed. The market doesn't suggest stable confidence. I have very little between the 3yos JOA, Zeyaadah and Empress Josephine on their best form. I think this year's Diane was a weak renewal run at a slow pace, but JOA might be good enough if the older fillies fail to fire, or if she could find more improvement. Not the best quality race but still an intriguing one.
Report Sandown July 29, 2021 2:44 PM BST

What concerns me re LB apart from the market and the fact that her ratings have shown a decline since her Lockinge run, is that I am very suspicious of the ratings for that race. It wasn't run in a good time on TS ratings and the RPR given for her 2nd to PP is highly suspect. Then there is the distance concern. The ground is drying out which favours class. Audaryaran close-up behind Love but that race was not strongly run. Joan of Arc is showing steadily progressive ratings in 2x  G1's , the ground and trip is of no concern and there is market strength. Anyway, GL.

Of more interest to me is Third Realm in the 3.00. This is between TR and Wordsworth and over this trip at this course I have TR as a strong favourite.
Report Sandown July 29, 2021 2:44 PM BST

What concerns me re LB apart from the market and the fact that her ratings have shown a decline since her Lockinge run, is that I am very suspicious of the ratings for that race. It wasn't run in a good time on TS ratings and the RPR given for her 2nd to PP is highly suspect. Then there is the distance concern. The ground is drying out which favours class. Audaryaran close-up behind Love but that race was not strongly run. Joan of Arc is showing steadily progressive ratings in 2x  G1's , the ground and trip is of no concern and there is market strength. Anyway, GL.

Of more interest to me is Third Realm in the 3.00. This is between TR and Wordsworth and over this trip at this course I have TR as a strong favourite.
Report Figgis July 29, 2021 2:57 PM BST
Sandown, I have that Newbury card ground deteriorating throughout the afternoon. Always makes the task more difficult trying to allow for that, and I often have to revise such cards later, but pretty much everything has worked out since, Creative Force, Al Aasy, etc, running to expectations next time, so I'm happy with it. Not that I'm expecting LB to exactly replicate that, but I rate even her Falmouth defeat 2lbs higher than Audarya. I have Joan Of Arc's Irish 1000 second exactly the same figure as her trial win. I thought it was a weak renewal. The Diane is difficult to rate accurately because of the slow pace, but I have no reason to upgrade her on that.

Of more interest to me is Third Realm in the 3.00

Yes I can see why you fancy him here. We may get to see just how good HL's performance was if Wordsworth runs well, but at the moment I have Third Realm's Derby defeat a few pounds ahead of Wordsworth. The Lingfield trial isn't a race I could confidently rate, but it's obvious that Adayar was nothing like the same horse as in the Derby and afterwards. Gun to my head I would bet Third Realm, but have to admit I'm not a fan of the yard, so no bet for me.
Report Sandown July 29, 2021 3:08 PM BST
TR disappointed me. Not progressed. Winner improved. Hope you have better luck with LB.
Report Platini July 29, 2021 3:10 PM BST
I was on Lord Lucan. Beats the winner over further IMO. (Leger maybe)
Report Figgis July 29, 2021 3:14 PM BST
Yes, wouldn't have backed the winner even though he was possibly still improving. No real surprise about the second based on his narrow win against Wordsworth and his form behind High Definition last year, it was just the layoff that was a concern. Doesn't look strong form and pretty sure the winner will need to improve again if the Leger is on the cards.
Report Howellsy July 29, 2021 3:31 PM BST
It looks like LB will get the run of the race. I suspect Moore will make the running with Audarya close in behind. Those two will almost certainly get racing too soon. The other option is that Buick will restrain his filly somewhat. This might allow JOA too much of a lead. Either way, it is hard to see how the run of the race can favour Audarya.
Report Sandown July 29, 2021 3:39 PM BST
Good call Figgis
Report Figgis July 29, 2021 3:49 PM BST
Cheers Sandown, enjoyed that.
Report penzance July 29, 2021 3:52 PM BST
Report impossible123 August 13, 2021 8:03 PM BST
Stradivarius, if the ground stays no worse than good, and High Definition even if he turns up half-baked.
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