You will not see the A/E stat in any racecard or mentioned by media pundits. Racecards will only show basic stats and media pundits prefer to dish out soundbite stats.
Horse Racing Stats Guide
Media pundits love to reel off stats. Stats such as "Sire Zafonic has a 21% strike rate with firm ground runners", or "The combination of Mick Channon and Richard Hughes have had 1 win from 2 runs at Ayr" are stated every day in the various racing newspapers and on racing TV channels.
Most of this information is just racing trivia, which has little relevance for the serious punter. What the serious punter needs to know is how relevant those stats are, and how profitable they are.
In the case of the Zafonic stat above knowing just the strike rate is not very helpful, as the stat does not tell us if we would have made a profit backing all his runners on firm ground. The Channon and Hughes combination stat is not very helpful either as the sample size is far too low to be reliable.
Stats information can be graded from useless to useful, or from fool's gold to goldmine. Use stats correctly and you can have a big edge over other punters. This guide explains the various types of stats that are available to punters.
Number of Wins
This stat is often used to determine who is the 'best' jockey or trainer at the course. Newspapers usually have this information tucked away somewhere in the corner of a racing page.
Jockeys at Ascot by number of Wins
According to this table Frankie Dettori is the King at Ascot. He has had 66 wins there, which is 50% more than as his nearest rival.
What that type of stat does not tell you is that Dettori had 474 rides to achieve those 66 wins. This equates to a strike rate of 14%, or in other words Dettori won with about one in seven of all his rides there.
What is also missing is the profit figure. How much would you have won or lost backing all those winners? Would you be in front if you had a pound on all those 474 runners?
Number of Wins Stat Summary
Pros: Tells you who has had the most winners. Useful for arguing with your mates over how many winners a jockey has had in the Derby etc.
Cons: Does not say how many rides the jockey had to achieve those wins. Has no 'value' information.
Strike Rate or Win%
The strike rate or win% stat shows how many wins to number of runs a particular name has had and thus is a better indicator of who is 'best'. This stat can also be used to determine if a name is better or worse with a certain condition. It can indicate which sire is good on firm ground, which jockey is good at Redcar, or which trainer is good with first time out runners.
Good Strike Rates
|Sire Zafonic runners on Firm ground||17%|
|L Dettori riding at York||20%|
|S Bin Suroor horse first time out||24%|
Bad Strike Rates
|Sire Mind Games on Firm ground||4%|
|Martin Dwyer riding at York||6%|
|N P Littmoden horse first time out||3%|
The strike rate can be calculated quite easily. All you need to know is the number of winners and the number of runners.
Strike Rate = Wins / Runs * 100%
Zafonic has had 27 winners from 155 runners on firm ground. His strike rate is therefore:
Strike Rate = 27 / 155 * 100% = 17.4%
Whilst the strike rate is great for determining if a name wins often, or loses often it still does not tell the punter if the stat is value or not. Even though Zafonic has a good record on firm ground how much would punters have won or lost backing all those runners?
Strike Rate Stat Summary
Pros: Shows the wins to runs percentage. Good for distinguishing between good and bad for certain conditions such as good sires on firm ground etc.
Cons: Has no 'value' information. Even though a name may have a high strike rate the figure does not say if all the winners were odds-on.
Profit to £1 Level Stakes
This is often used to show profitability of systems, stats and tips. It is a useful indicator for showing if a name is profitable or if it returns a loss and that is about it.
Note that you will often see tipsters quoting their profit to £100 or £250 stakes. They will say "Profit of £4,500 last year to £100 stakes". This is just a way of beefing up the figures to make them look impressive. If they said "Profit of £45 last year to £1 stakes" punters would think that they are not very good because they only made £45 profit!
Some newspapers use the £1 level stakes stats to determine which jockey or trainer are best at a course.
Jockey Profit to £1 level stakes at York
|J F Egan||£52.13|
At first you may think that Murtagh, Dettori and McEvoy are very unprofitable at York, whilst jockeys such as Hamilton, Mackay and Egan are the ones you should be backing.
The figures are misleading though as we do not know the total amount staked on each jockey in order to achieve that profit or loss. In the case of Tony Hamilton his profit included a 100/1 winner, which is skewing the results.
Whilst this time we may know if a profit or loss has been achieved we still do not know the value.
An analogy can be made with interest received from a building society.
e.g. Mr Smith receives £100 interest a year from his building society, whilst Mr Jones receives £150 from his. You may decide that you want to put your money in the same place as Mr Jones but unless you know how much each person has deposited you have no way of knowing which building society 'pays the best interest'.
£1 Level Stakes Stat Summary
Pros: Shows if a name has returned a profit or loss.
Cons: Can be flawed due to not knowing how many bets were made to achieve that profit or loss. Has no 'value' information.