The Syndicate

Aintree 2019: Trends Analysis

| April 3, 2019 | Reply

The Grand National and Aintree’s 3-day meeting starts tomorrow and here I’m going to look at the last ten years and see if any general trends, positives or negatives can be found to aid approaching the 21 races.

With the toughest fences in the country to tackle, fitness has to be a key factor so let’s start there.

Days since last run

Days Since Run

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

1 to 15

157

10

6.37

27

17.20

16 to 30

1642

141

8.59

412

25.09

31 to 45

610

32

5.25

102

16.72

46 to 60

310

9

2.90

41

13.23

61 to 120

309

15

4.85

46

14.89

121 or more

197

3

1.52

20

10.15

 

It certainly seems that a fairy recent run is an advantage and a lengthy absence a disadvantage, figures consistent across both win and place percentages. The disadvantage is bigger with chasers – those coming back after 46 days or more have won just 9 from 397 runs at a strike-rate of 2.27% whereas the 91 winners running within 45 days have a strike-rate of 7.62%. Meanwhile, hurdlers returning within 45 days have a strike-rate of 10.95% and longer breaks have yielded just 6 winners at 4.29% and 5 of those have been from the 98 running after a gap of 46 to 90 days.

Runs in the last year

Runs in last year

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

0 or 1

240

3

1.25

25

10.42

2

313

11

3.51

56

17.89

3 to 6

1947

151

7.76

418

21.47

7 to 9

542

35

6.46

114

21.03

10 to 13

163

9

5.52

31

19.02

14 or more

28

1

3.57

5

17.86

 

Similarly, it appears a few runs in the last year are a positive and freshness a negative.

There is an anomaly here though with bumpers which has given 7 of the 11 winners with just 2 runs in the previous 365 days. The sweet spot for these appears to be 2 or 3 runs which has given 18 wins from 219 runs compared to 2 wins from 162 if having no runs, 1 or more than 3. Taking these races out of the equation makes the overall figures clearer:

Runs in last year

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

0 or 1

130

2

1.54

17

13.08

2

199

4

2.01

33

16.58

3 to 6

1790

139

7.77

389

21.73

7 to 9

542

35

6.46

114

21.03

10 to 13

163

9

5.52

31

19.02

14 or more

28

1

3.57

5

17.86

The figures now more clearly point us towards entrants with at least 3 runs behind them. (There is little difference between having had 3, 4, 5, or 6 runs respectively.)

However, this can be further divided into chasers and hurdlers with the former seemingly appreciating or needing an additional outing and the latter being less likely if having 7 runs or more rather than 11 with chasers.

Chasers’ runs in the last year

Runs in last year

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

0 or 2

209

1

0.48

24

11.48

3

209

9

4.31

33

15.79

4 to 10

1134

88

7.76

238

20.99

11 or more

41

2

4.88

7

17.07

 

Hurdlers’ runs in the last year

Runs in last year

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

0 or 2

120

5

4.17

26

21.67

3

149

17

11.41

39

26.17

4 to 6

623

53

8.51

150

24.08

7 or more

367

15

4.09

72

19.62

 

Last run at Cheltenham

With having a run within the last 45 days seemingly an advantage and the Cheltenham Festival falling within that period, it’s worth considering if running there first has a positive or negative impact.

Excluding Bumpers, here’s the overall record otherwise for those running again within 45 days:

Ran at Cheltenham?

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

Yes

1150

123

10.70

327

28.43

No

1033

47

4.55

175

16.94

It clearly looks like not only is a recent run a positive sign, but if that run was at Cheltenham then that is a considerable plus.

We can break this down further by looking at how they performed at Cheltenham:

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

Won or lost <15 lengths

550

93

16.91

227

41.27

Worse or not finish

600

30

5.00

100

16.67

 

Now armed with this information, it’s worth looking back to consider whether the previous findings are changed by looking at this smaller set. Doing so reveals that hurdlers with a small number of runs in the last year (1 to 3) have still done well at Aintree if passing this Cheltenham criteria (13 wins from 53). Similarly, we can also refine the boundaries for chasers to 3 to 7 runs and winning or losing by under 10 lengths at Cheltenham

Summary

Excluding bumpers, but considering the other 190 races over the last decade gives us 2,852 runs to consider. Putting all of the above together means we can focus in on runners with a profile and build-up that has brought success in recent years and help discard others.

If we include only hurdlers that ran at Cheltenham, finished within 15 lengths with only 1 to 6 runs to their name in the last year, plus chasers with 3 to 7 runs in this period who were within 10 lengths at Cheltenham we are left with the following:

377 runs, 80 wins, 171 places with wins at 21% and places at 45%.

All others that have been discarded have had the following results:

2475 runs, 110 wins, 589 places with wins at 4.44% and places at 23.8%

 

Part Two

Following on from part one and sticking with Aintree’s forthcoming 3 days of action, let’s break down the races further into handicaps and non-handicaps.

Using the criteria finalised on at the bottom of the previous examination, removing bumpers and keeping chases and hurdles separate, we have the following:

Hurdlers

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

Non-handicap

143

38

26.57

80

55.94

Handicaps

81

7

8.64

23

28.40

Chasers

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

Non-handicap

102

28

27.45

52

50.98

Handicaps

51

7

13.73

16

31.37

 

A clear difference in the results leads the next question to be focused on non-handicaps and turning to the markets reveals something worth noting:

19 out of 21 meeting the criteria and going off odds-on have won. Of course, with this high number and percentage of winners, backing each of these would have been profitable. But, these odds would have been too short for some backers, in which case this information could still be useful for knowing which races to avoid.

We’ve ended up with 245 selections in the last ten years, providing 66 winners. But, has this been consistent year-by-year?

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

2018

24

7

29.17

15

62.50

2017

28

5

17.86

14

50.00

2016

34

9

26.47

20

58.82

2015

24

7

29.17

11

45.83

2014

29

7

24.14

13

44.83

2013

17

8

47.06

12

70.59

2012

13

7

53.85

9

69.23

2011

29

6

20.69

15

51.72

2010

27

6

22.22

13

48.15

2009

20

4

20.00

10

50.00

 

Steady results and a profit in 7 out of 10 years giving an overall profit to Betfair SP of 51 points if backed to 1 point win and which could probably have been improved upon by obtaining early prices and/or prudent use of each-way betting (backing all at 1 point to place at Betfair SP would have brought another 35 points profit after commission has been deducted).

To recap:

Aintree, not including bumpers, in non-handicaps, horses that ran at Cheltenham and including hurdlers who won or went within 15 lengths and have had between 1 and 6 runs in the last year and chasers who won or came within 10 lengths and have had between 3 and 7 runs in the last year gives:

245 runs, 66 wins, 134 places, a profit in 7 out of 10 years, a BSP profit of 51 points to win and 35 to place.

Returning now to handicaps and beginning with chasers. We still see an advantage if having had a recent run and if that run was at Cheltenham (20/332 vs 20/654). Now, 5 to 8 runs in the last year looks to be ideal and a losing distance capped to 15 lengths. However, there is a difference here between relatively shorter distances and longer trips, perhaps because of the inclusion of a recent run, and this produces a cut-off at 3 miles and a furlong.

Turning to hurdlers, again there’s an advantage by having run at Cheltenham, but rather than number of runs in the last year being influential, now it seems more important for the horse to be 6 to 9 years of age. Again finishing and finishing within 15 lengths is a positive (as before, backed up by number and percentages of places as well as wins).

Combining the two types gives us:

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

Meeting criteria

135

19

14.07

51

37.78

All others

1473

51

3.46

220

14.94

 

This has been profitable in 8 of the last 10 years (with only a tiny loss in the other two), giving a profit of 233 points to Betfair SP and 84 points in the place market.

Putting both non-handicaps and handicaps together gives grand totals of:

Runs

Wins

Win %

Place

Place %

Meeting criteria

380

85

22.37

183

48.16

All others

2472

105

4.25

406

16.42

 

And profit figures year-by-year of:

2018

22.44

2017

59.94

2016

64.36

2015

40.98

2014

19.3

2013

26.53

2012

40.8

2011

-0.85

2010

34.72

2009

-11.33

296.89

 

I hope you’ve found these investigations interesting and that they will be useful in the coming days. I’ll be sharing the selections resulting from the analysis for each of the three days, along with staking advice and the first set will be posted on Wednesday evening.

 

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