All Weather Racing Profits
Since All Weather racing (AW) began back in 1989 it has had its ups and downs and changes over the years, but now with six AW tracks up and down the country and more soon to follow I believe, UK ‘dirt racing’ is now as popular as ever.
With the increase in quality horses running at the tracks and the prize money now available at some of the meetings, allied with it’s own Winter season culminating with a champions meeting at Lingfield, All Weather racing has built up an excellent reputation in the UK and really has has improved year on year.
For this reason, All Weather racing can now suit a different type of horse to that that succeeds on the flat turf racing and provides a couple of simple ways to profit from it too.
Breeding has played a major part in this with US dirt pedigrees providing a good percentage of winners early on this surface and some interesting facts do come up when comparing the sand to the turf.
The six All Weather racing tracks consist of different surface types.
Chelmsford – Polytrack
Kempton – Polytrack
Lingfield – Polytrack
Newcastle – Tapeta
Southwell – Fibresand
Wolverhampton – Tapeta
Of these tracks, only Kempton is right handed and goes against the norm where the vast majority of All Weather racing or dirt tracks across the world are left handed.
Lingfield on the other hand is the only track not to be more or less oval in shape and unlike all of the other predominantly flat tracks, has a downhill run into the far bend before the home straight.
Fibresand is just sand particles and polypropylene fibres, giving a much deeper and slower surface than the others.
Polytrack is a mixture of silica sand, recycled synthetic fibres (carpet & spandex) and recycled rubber/pvc. The entire mixture is then coated with wax.
Tapeta is sand, fibre, rubber and wax which makes up the top 4-7 inches of the racing surface, installed on top of either porous asphalt or a geotextile membrane.
The different surfaces give a different ride and change in different weather conditions. Polytrack and Tapeta are similar in that they give a good ground, fast surface the majority of the time, whereas Fibresand is much deeper and would suit horses who prefer softer going from the turf.
If you ever see the races at Southwell you can see how many horses tire quickly up the long home straight and being towards the front as you turn for home at Southwell can often provide a definite advantage.
Only horses with real stamina can come from far back here so it is always worth looking for horses that race prominently at Southwell.
Some of the courses have a small advantage depending on the race distance as the stalls are often placed on a bend or close to a bend. This can mean a disadvantage being drawn low, which would most usually be thought of as an advantage.
At Wolverhampton for example, horses drawn high in races over 7 furlongs are at a disadvantage as the first left handed bend occurs soon after the start and rather like at Chester, if you are drawn high you have to either drop in behind runners, or use up a lot of energy getting to the front quickly.
At Southwell, those drawn low over 1 mile have a poor record and middle to high a good one. I think this is because those drawn wider know they need to be up with the pace and make a quick start and this has a concertina effect on those drawn low.
Being drawn wide or high at Kempton is also a disadvantage with runners drawn low to middle, winning a high percentage over races up to 7 furlongs. With longer races and a wide track as it is at Kempton, runners have time to get into a position from a bad draw.
So it is worth looking at the course configuration and where the stalls are in line with the first bend. You should also look at a horses run style to see if actually being forced to drop out the back may be to its advantage. Especially if there is likely to be a lot of early pace in the race.
Similarly, a horse that likes to lead, may find it OK being drawn wider at Kempton as it is likely to want to get to the front anyway, albeit using up a little more energy from the higher stall position.
Inform Racing provide run style figures for every horse so you can quickly see where the pace of a race is likely to be and how each horse will be ridden.
By turning the in running comments into a simple to use number from 1 to 4 you can see if a horse prefers to lead (1), sit in behind the leaders (2), race in midfield (3) or be held up (4)
Looking for All Weather winners.
There are two simple ways that you can profit from racing on the All Weather.
- Recent Winners
It became clear early on that breeding and looking at the Sire of a horse could prove profitable. In the early years many horses who’s Sire was bred in the US would produce a high number of winners.
Since the majority of US races are on the ‘dirt’ it was a logical conclusion and by following certain Sires progeny those who took this angle certainly had an angle other punters weren’t aware of.
Back to the present day and things have changed slightly, with now UK Sires producing a good deal of winners as the breeding has now come down the line.
Finding a positive All Weather Sire, will not guarantee a profit but knowing those who produce a high number of UK All Weather racing winners, certainly cannot hurt.
Following those Sires that have a better than 33% strike rate cannot guarantee a profit but it will quickly put you on to those with a greater chance of winning.
The Sire name is provided for each runner on the Inform Racing race cards, so it is a simple process to check the Sires of any runners on the day.
The list below contains those Sires that have a 33% strike rate or better, for winners to runners, from this season, 2016-2017 and the previous one, 2015-2016.
Lope De Vega
More Than Ready
Sea The Stars
If you are interested in All Weather racing, it would be worth looking at the Sires of the winners each day to see if any new ones start showing up on a regular basis.
If a new Sire comes to the fore, you may have an angle over other punters before it becomes common knowledge and considered by Bookmakers when pricing up a horse.
Backing horses Sired by those on the list above will give your strike rate a fantastic boost. You could start a new betting bank or ‘micro system’ to follow just these runners and see how you get on throughout the rest of this season and the next.
Because the AW surfaces are far more consistent at each meeting, horses that run well at an All Weather course are more likely to do so again.
A horse that has won at an All Weather course and returns to race again within a few days, has a far greater chance of repeating that win than if running next time out on the turf, however when a horse wins, it is more than likely the handicapper will raise its rating so it carries more next time out.
If the trainer wants to get the horse out again quickly before the handicapper has a chance to assess the form, the horse will have to carry a penalty
When this happens you will see (6ex) or something similar depending on where you are viewing the cards which means the horse is carrying a 6lb penalty, before it has time to be assessed.
As this will only occur when a horse has won very recently it highlights a horse that has a great chance of winning again. Especially on the All Weather.
Research suggest that the horse has an even better chance of winning again if it won by two lengths or more last time out, which makes sense.
However, the results are different depending on which All Weather courses you look at.
With not enough racing having taken part at Chelmsford and Newcastle as this is written, there are three courses where you can make a profit, following these good winners that are running again quickly and carrying a penalty.
Southwell can be dismissed as the stats do not show a real benefit at this course, possibly down to it having a Fibresand surface and winners may have come from winning at the other, faster AW tracks.
So following horses that are carrying a penalty at either Kempton, Lingfield and Wolverhampton, that won by two lengths or more last time out, does statistically show an overall profit.
In fact it shows an ROI profit, (Return On Investment), of just over 11%, which means that for every £100 you stake, you would make £11 profit. Not an absolute fortune but something you can definitely take to the bank!
It is likely that these stats will be carried over to Chelmsford and Newcastle as they also have either Polytrack or Tapeta surfaces, but time will tell on this one.