Exploiting the Flat Jockey Title Race

August 23th, 2016

With the final classic of the season the St Leger just a few weeks away, we are nearing the conclusion of the Turf season and in this week’s blog we that a look at a simple system to exploit the end of season battle at the top of the Flat Jockey’s Championship table.

With the former champion jockey Ryan Moore side-lined since Glorious Goodwood due to a non-specified injury, the spotlight has shone on the clash between last year’s winner and runner Silvestre De Sousa and Jim Crowley.

It’s a simple fact that whomever of the two gets rides on the best horses will win. But, what do we mean by the word “best”?

Well, when reviewing a race its first prudent to assess the merit of each horse against the conditions of the race and derive a rating (or use someone else’s) which is used to create an ordered list; most likely winner at the top, least likely at the bottom.

It’s at this point we can determine who’s riding the “best” horses based on our selection method(s) and move onto figuring out what price you think is fair for each horse in the race.  

Unfortunately, we need to acknowledge the opinion or lack of wisdom of punters who are fully aware of in-form jockey’s, especially those contesting for the jockey title.

With punters in-built bias toward certain jockeys or hype via the media, horses ridden by either Jim Crowley or Silvestre De Sousa might be punted off the boards regardless of price, leading to artificial imbalances in the market e.g. some horses priced way lower than their theoretical chance of winning based on their previous form.  

We can’t (regrettably) control punter’s opinions, but what we can do is to exploit the fact that jockey bookings in most part are a function of the jockey agent and/or stable association.

So let’s eliminate ratings or rankings for the moment and assume that if a trainer is in form and they have a horse ready to run to its best merits, it’s probably safe to say that aside from owner preferences, the trainer will want to book a highly motivated jockey riding their horse who is keen to win and make a contribution to his position in the title race.

The added benefit of this method is that we can approach the problem from a different perspective to help target our bets on the right horses ridden by jockeys toward top of the championship table.

To obtain the data we can use Proform to do a quick search regarding jockey bookings and trainer records using the system builder.

If we take Jim Crowley as an example:

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All we need to do is enter the jockeys name and present the information in the Proform System Builder to show results by situations where Jim Crowley has had more than 3 winners this year (2016) with that trainer.

In the system qualifiers screen (in the lower panel in the above image) we can see all of Jim Crowley’s declared rides in the next few days and I have highlighted entries that are profitable based on the information shown in the top panel.  

Another approach is to look at the Trainer/Jockey combination form is the last 14 days to see if we can identify any short terms trends. 

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Neither Silvestre De Sousa or Jim Crowley figure at the top of the table in the image above which is not usual given the fact that neither have affiliations with one specific or high profile stable so are free to take rides as and when they come.

However, for the moment, if we limit our search to Jim Crowley’s form in the last 14 days against certain trainers 

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Some additional context comes into full view. 

In summary, we can use the fact that jockeys contesting for the title need winners! We also know that trainers are inspired by winners! Therefore (it may seem obvious) both jockey and trainer are motivated by the same objective.

But if the trainer can play a part in helping the jockey lift the jockey title at the business end of the flat season, there is an added motivation in terms of media exposure for the yard which we could exploit using the right tools.

Using Proform, if we can determine situations where the stats suggest there is a good chance that a history may repeat itself, we can use this information as an angle into the race and the example above is one many.

From within the system builder we can also store the angle as a system so that qualifiers are shown when the situation arises again and saving you lots of time.

From my reckoning there are a few Jim Crowley rides we should keep a close eye on in the next few days if he is to close the gap on Silvestre De Sousa.

That’s assuming that Silvestre De Sousa doesn’t bang in a few winners himself, but we can use Proform to identify his opportunities using the same method :)