The non-specialists are worth a second look in the International

July 25th, 2015

With Golden Horn seemingly invincible in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the Ascot race card this Saturday, in this week’s blog post we turn our attention to the highly competitive International Stakes Heritage Handicap to uncover one trend highlighted by our horse racing software that has been overlooked by Punters down the years.


A balance between speed and stamina

The International Stakes takes place over the race distance of 7 furlongs.

Similar to the 400 meters in Athletics, this distance falls between the cracks as it’s neither a pure sprint distance nor a distance requiring a test of stamina.

Therefore, for pundits and punters alike, 7 furlongs is considered a specialists event because to shine at this distance, a horse requires a unique balance of energies; Anaerobic (explosive) and Aerobic (the oxygen dependent system that drives the horse’s muscles).


Is 7f furlong form a prerequisite?

If you take the view that a horses latest run is a good indicator of how a horse will perform in its next race, it’s a fair assumption that winners or those which placed over 7 furlongs in their prior race should be ideally suited to racing over 7 furlongs in their next race?

Unfortunately, when we crunched the numbers, of the 73 horses that ran in the International after placing in a 7 furlong race last time out, only 4 won, a performance 30% below normal.


That extra furlong makes a difference

So, which last time out distance is ideally suited to racing in the International?

If you’ve read our previous posts you be aware of a cool feature in our system builder which allows you to slice the data by race distance last time out and analyse the performance of each distance in a race.

Of the 81 horses who raced over 8 furlongs prior to the International Stakes (in blue), 7 have won; a performance 99% above normal (A/E index 1.99) and yielding a profit of £69.60 to a £1 stake at Betfair Starting Prices.

Contrast this against the larger population of 194 horses that ran over 7 furlongs in their prior race, collectively they perform 29% below what you would expect (AE 0.71).



7 furlong events at Ascot are raced on a straight flat track. When the gates open, with no bends to slow down runners an end to end gallop ensues.

Throw in large field sizes which means that a high pace tempo is maintained, we suspect that the course/race configuration tilts the balance toward horses with stamina over the 7 furlongs specialist.

More so now the heavens have opened to create rained softened going conditions at Ascot.


Do you want to see more?

Every day on our web site we provide a FREE stats and Race Guide.

As well as providing detailed horse racing statistics with profit pointers, our race cards contain horse ratings for each contestant, unique pace information for every runner plus other time saving features to make pre-race analysis easy.

To download today’s Proform Race Guide for the International Stakes Heritage Handicap, click on the link here