The favourites are winning as often as in ordinary Handicaps but they are returning a profit of 3.9%

Shergar Cup Meeting

10th Aug 2012
races / trends / turf

The Shergar Cup Meeting is a special meeting in which jockeys from Great Britain, Ireland, Europe, and The Rest Of The World compete against each other. This is similar to Golf's The Ryder Cup.

Some punters do not like this kind of racing. Team tactics, and the fact that most races are 10 runner handicaps tend to make racing anoraks want to watch selling races at Redcar instead.

But this meeting does create some good betting opportunities if you know something that other punters do not! If you know the stats for the jockeys, the favourites, the profile of the winners of previous races you can gain an edge over other punters.

System Builder Stats for the Shergar Cup

The FlatStats Racing System Builder allows you to filter for races with specific words in the race name. This means that we can extract data from the results database and analyse all the stats for this meeting.

To do that we just add a filter like this:

Shergar Cup Meeting

This filter will find all races run at the Shergar Cup Meeting during the past 10 years at Ascot. You can either create that yourself or just load up this Shergar Cup Meeting dataset.

To see all the information about this meeting you just need to click on the Full SP Report button. Doing so will produce a report like this:

Shergar Cup Meeting System Report

The top part of the report shows summary information such as the total number of runners and winners that competed at this meeting. In this section only the Winners Info section is useful. Here are the key stats:

  • 1st 3 in the Betting 69% - this means that the winner came from the first three in the betting 69% of the time. Or to put it another way 2 out of every 3 winners of these races were either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd favourite.
  • Top 3 in the Weights - most of these races are handicaps. Horse that are carrying the 3 highest weights win 1 in 4 of these races.
  • Course Winner Ratio 1.35 - a horse that has previously won at Ascot is more likely to win at this meeting than a horse that has not won at Ascot

The Winners Average section is useful for finding out the average age, weight and draw of previous winners but for those stats you need to add another filter for the specific ages of the race (3yo+, 4yo+). You can do that by clicking on the Race filter button and choosing Race Ages = 3yo+ etc.

Full System Builder Report

Scroll down the report and you will see lots more information about these races. You can see the number of runners year on year, the record of the favourite, individual jockeys and trainers. Here are the stats, which stand out the most:

  • Favourites - 27.8% strike rate, 1.02 A/E, 3.9% profit
  • 2nd Favs - 20.4% strike rate, 1.09 A/E, 7.1% profit
  • 3rd Favs - 20.4% strike rate, 1.31 A/E, 30.6% profit

That is quite incredible. The favourites are winning as often as in ordinary Handicaps but they are returning a profit of 3.9%. Not only that but the 2nd and 3rd favs are very profitable to follow! This clearly shows that punters are adhering to the favourite / longshot bias and prefer to find bigger priced winners.

  • Betfair SP Favourite - 16.7% strike rate, 0.70 A/E, 35.4% loss

Don't be fooled into thinking that backing favourites at Betfair SP returns a loss whilst backing with the bookies makes a profit. The difference here is because the Betfair SP has only been operating since 2008 whilst the bookie SP reports go back to 2002. What this is showing is that in recent years the favourite has not done as well as previously (*Note 1).

  • Jockey Gender Female - 4 wins from 34

All four wins for female jockeys in the past were achieved by Captain Hayley Turner. Only she and Emma J Wilson have ridden at this meeting. (*Note 2)

  • Trainer Pareto No - 0.44 A/E, 75% loss
  • Jockey Pareto No - 0.78 A/E, 33% loss

These are very significant stats. They are indicating that trainers and jockeys that do not have Pareto Status (overseas trainers and jockeys) rarely win here and are poor value. Contrast this with trainers and jockeys who do have Pareto Status:

  • Trainer Pareto Yes - 0.93 A/E, 4.7% loss
  • Jockey Pareto Yes - 0.95 A/E, 1.9% loss

That is a huge difference and shows that you should be backing British based jockeys!

Further down the report you can see the record of individual trainers and jockeys. The most successful trainer is Andrew Balding with 8 winners from 28 runners. The trainer with the worst record is Richard Hannon with no wins from 23. The best jockeys are Richard Hughes (6/24), Kieren Fallon (4/15), Hayley Turner (4/30). The best overseas jockey is Yutaka Take (4/25).

  • GB Bred Horses - 1.04 A/E, 5.3% profit

The worst performing group were USA bred (0.37, 67% loss) followed by IRE bred (0.75, 36%).

Specific Race Filters

The above stats are for all races over the past 10 years (just 9 years are shown because Ascot racecourse was closed for refurbishment in 2005). You can filter further for specific races such as just the sprints, or the races for 4yo+ horses. You can even filter to see the record of the favourites, or just the Pareto Status jockeys.


e.g. You may be interested in the Winners Info and Winners Average stats for the 4yo+ races. Just add a new filter for 4yo+ races and rerun the report. Doing so will show the following averages for all of the 4yo+ races:

Shergar Cup 4yo+ Races

Again you should be concentrating on the top 3 of the betting. The Male/Female Ratio is strong and indicates that it is very much more likely that a male horse (colts, geldings, horses) will win rather than a filly or a mare. The winners average age was 4.5, the average weight was around 130lbs (9st 4lbs).

*Note 1 - If you filter for favourites you can see the fate of the favourite for the past 10 years. Running the report today (2012) shows that the favourite did well for the first 5 or so years but has not won as often for the past few years. Do not think that favourites are now bad bets. As there were only six races a year it is perfectly normal for there to be 0 or just 1 winning favourite. Stick with them. On the whole favourites (and certainly those in the top three of the betting) are where the most winners will come from. They are also underbet by the betting masses and are thus good value.

*Note 2 - The format has changed slightly this year. The GB team has merged with Ireland to form a Great Britain and Ireland team and there is now a new female only team consisting of Hayley Turner, Emma-Jayne Wilson and Chantal Sutherland.


Stick with the favourites and fancied runners. Bookies only respond to what the betting public are betting on and as they tend not to back the favourites at this meeting you can get good value backing them.

The Pareto Jockeys and Trainers stats are very significant. Today you should be considering Kieren Fallon (GB+IRE), James Doyle (GB+IRE), L Dettori (EUR), Hayley Turner (Girls).

Related Articles and Resources

Comment on this Article in the Message Board

Article created 10-Aug-12. Stats may have changed since.

Shergar Cup Ten Year Stats and Systems

Add Comment or Ask Question

Show random avatar image with my comment

Which is the Royal Racecourse:
Ascot, Newmarket, York ?

Big Priced Winner! Top Rated Bond's Girl Wins 14/1 | Subscriptions just £35 a month or see special offers  Subscribe Today!