Things Not What They Used To Be? Reasons Systems Don’t Endure

January 7th, 2020

There are a whole number of reasons and factors contributing to a horse’s price, and likelihood of the outcome in a race. They are so numerous and varying in importance that even the best data scientists likely have their work cut out to predict at a high degree of accuracy.

Luckily for us punters we do not need to be right 90-100% of the time unless you are backing at extremely short odds, and even a few percent in our favour can lead to handsome returns on investments.
Here are some of the key tools and metrics we as Proform System Builder users have to analyse your portfolio.

If there are a smaller number of runners per year, simple statistics dictates that the trend could be due to randomness, or in the case of a trainer, a small portion of horses who happened to be very good and when they aged or moved on the trend disappeared.

A major benefit of Proform is being able to slice and dice by all these factors and checking your system metrics a couple of times a year minimum, depending on its number of qualifiers, is no harm at all and may help your bottom line if you act earlier.

Let’s take this example of a trainer in Handicap hurdles, he sprung to prominence with a small team and did well with taking horses already in training and finding improvement. Soon he increased the size of his yard, and with regard to winners and as a betting angle it went from strength to strength, of course bookmakers soon enough sat up and took steps; horses were opening at shorter prices the morning or night before.

Look at the Average odds and Average win odds columns and you see how this and winners against expected (WAX) move together and transform it from a very handy angle into a significant losing one once the yard performance dropped.



When doing your own analysis, use the average odds and average win odds for this, has the strike rate kept steady but it is no longer profitable? This is likely to be the key reason.
You can notice this by the amount of times it is mentioned in the racing media, such as comments under a runner on a racecard alluding to useful stat or recent trend, or on a racing channel the analyst or commentator highlighting a historically profitable angle worth following.

It may even be the trainer himself being the source of the information to the market, their increased profile will lead to greater interest, more interviews, stable tours and that even leads to articles such as these featuring an interesting trend that may be worth adding to your notes.

The bad news is that despite the frequency of winners being similar if the market expected wins has increased then it’s time to take a second look at persisting.

The good news is that betting markets are elastic and shortening prices one place can create opportunity in another, either through laying or trading in relation to the same system or lengthening prices somewhere else on other systems which may overlap. So dig into the Proform database and find something new.

Follow the news and do your research

Sometimes tracks can make alterations to the course and if this is Cheltenham for example we are likely to be all up in it, but if Ballinrobe or some similar seasonal regional track, it is likely to maybe be mentioned by one or two on Twitter or in the middle of the daily racecard.

Some yards may also shift their focus, for example from NH to Flat or vice versa, having more chasers than hurdlers or an influx of new owners meaning they now have a conveyor belt of new material and are operating more in novice and graded events than in lower grade handicaps that previously brought them success.

Through a combination of events things change, let’s take the example of stall 1 at Chester, this was formerly a banker, guaranteed source of profit each year, but soon enough everyone knew about it, the price fell and also due to a reason I am unaware of it seems to have reduced in win frequency in the last few years.

If you are serious about your betting or even if you have an interest in understanding probability better, looking at a few videos or articles on probability and statistic will help in seeing why a system may be strong or not, and you will likely see the Archie Score (Chi Scr in system builder) and the logic of why that is included to provide a guideline as to likely reliability of a system (for the record if you are a newer user, large qualifier numbers, a large WAX and large Chi Scr together provide the key metrics to focus on)