flatstats February Newsletter
  Inside This Issue 20 February 2003  
1. Introduction
Into our 4th year
2. Frankie McDonald AW Stats
It's profitable to lay this "top" apprentice
3. Pittsburgh Phil's Place
The only forum dedicated to systems and statistics
4. Backing and Laying Systems Checker
More tools at your fingertips
5. Who'd be an Owner?
96% of racehorse owners lose
6. Competition & Special Offer
Win a free subscription to next years turf season
Average Losing Distance of
Last Place in 10 Runner Races

Lingfield 17.7 lengths
Southwell 37.6 lengths
Wolverhampton 42.8 lengths

Results from 11-Nov-01 to 15-Feb-03

The table shows the average losing distance of the last placed horse (10th) in races of 10 runners.

Whilst Southwell and Wolverhampton leave the field strung out like washing, Lingfield's 'fairer' Polytrack has an average distance of only 17.7 lengths between first and last place.

With races that much more competitive at the Surrey track, you need a little bit of luck to win there.

Hello, and welcome new subscribers.

Its coming upto our 4th year at FlatStats. Way back in March 2000 we set up the FlatStats site after previously running the 'Vital Statistics' website. How things have changed since then! If you think FlatStats was value back in 2000 then it is even better value now. The site has more than quadrupled in size and now offers unrivalled statistical and systematic information. A big thank you must go out to all of you who have been with us from the start.

Also looming on the horizon is the new flat turf season. Just like in November when the all weather season starts, the start of the turf season presents some wonderful opportunities for landing some big priced bets. Watch out for trainers warming up horses on the sand now ready for an early turf campaign.

Is Lingfield your most 'unluckiest' all weather track? Do you find that you get more near misses there than anywhere else? You are not alone. Lingfield's Polytrack is a commentators, judges, speed raters, and punters in general nightmare. The races are now so competitive, and the surface so fair, that the horses are finishing much more closer together than the other all weather tracks. Lingfield is more likley to have photo finishes, dead heats, and interefernce problems because the runners are so close together during all stages of the race.

The best advice for this course is to stick with the best course jockeys. Try and ensure that the horse you fancy is being ridden by a jockey with at least a 20% strike rate at the course. This should give you that extra bit of luck.

Stephen Mainwaring

"If you can't join 'em, beat 'em". Thats what I thought when I decided to set up my own messageboard. So fed up was I with the carping going on at other messageboards and forums that I decided to set up my own.

Call in to Pittsburgh Phil's Place and say hello.

Frankie (J F) McDonald
Frankie is no "Frankie". Well not yet anyway. But some are tipping him for the top.

His name seems to be everywhere these days. He is in that "there's another winner for Frankie" zone: a classic synchronicity syndrome.

He may share his nickname with Dettori, but his name sounds more like a 70's eastend gangster. So can he ride a horse as fast as an eastend gangster could drive a getaway Cortina? Is he worth his claim?

On the all weather he's currently below average. 11 wins from 170 rides is only a 6% strike rate.

To be fair though, he's not an apprentice who has been around for a few years learning the ropes. He's dived straight in at the deep end and has done well to achieve a 6% strike rate in only 6 months of riding proper on the sand. Also, 5 of those wins were in 2002, and 6 in 2003 so already he's beaten his total for last year and it is only February!

He is starting to show some biases though. And it may be profitable to capitalise on those biases until he has more experience of the sand.

  • 10 of his 11 wins were at Southwell and Lingfield. He's only had 1 win from 50 attempts at Wolverhampton. Why is this? Can he not handle the tight bends? Does he not know the best place to be in on the turns, the back straight and the run in?
  • Only 2 wins from 80 in distances of 8f or more. He clearly hasn't acquired the skills to ride the longer distances in the sand and his ability to ride effectively is currently limited to sprints.
  • Never won an "apprentice only" race from 12 attempts.
  • 0 from 15 in maiden races.
  • 0 from 16 on 2yo's.
  • 2 from 44 in small fields (10 runners or less).
  • 5 wins were from when drawn low.

Frankie McDonald certainly is showing a better ability than other apprentices. But he's going to have to show some abilities in the races where he's currently very weak: middle and long distances, Wolverhampton, small fields, middle to high draws. The stats show that he is only effective in fast run, big field sprints.

He's worth marking up on the lay list for now. Just look out for those races in which he is poor.

A couple more winners and a couple more "...yet another winner for Frankie" comments from the pundits and we could start to see him being really overbet by Joe Public, thus even more profitable for laying.

Frankie is very much in demand at the moment. He doesn't have time to learn to drive and relies on others to give him lifts to the racecourse. Just keep a look out for a '79 2.0E Mk4 Cortina in Dunstall Park car park. If it's got 'L' Plates on. Frankie's riding there.

Pittsburgh Phil's Place
Do you visit horse racing forums and message boards? Are you fed up with the idle chit chat, inane threads, trolls, and general troublemakers who inhabit most forums? Do you want to visit a place where serious professionals discuss betting techniques?

Well now you can join Pittsburgh Phil's Place.

This is a forum which is totally dedicated to horse racing systems and statistics. You won't find threads arguing about "which tipster is the best", "doesn't Tanya look nice on Attheraces", and "Thommo is a buffoon, ho, ho ho". The place is totally devoted to serious and sensible discussions about systems and statistics.

There are sections for discussing new system ideas and established systems, profiles for horses, jockeys, and trainers etc. There is even a section on how to use the features at FlatStats and a wish list section where you can suggest ways to improve the FlatStats site.

One of the more popular sections is 'Betting Action'. This is where you can post notes on who you think will win today, and more importantly why! Too many forums have threads saying "bet Lucky Jim in the 3:45" without any mention as to why you should. At Pittsburgh Phil's Place you are encouraged to post why a horse should win (or lose) as this shares knowledge with other punters.

Pittsburgh Phil's Place is free to join and is open to non FlatStats subscribers. You don't need an anorak to visit. But it does help :-)

flatstats Pittsburgh Phil's Place

Backing and Laying Systems Checker
The most popular feature of FlatStats is now undoubtedly the 'Systems Checker'. This is a feature where you can create a 'dataset' and test your own systems and theories.

Recently we have enhanced the Systems Checker to include:

Laying Systems
Create laying systems. No other site, or program currently offers this feature. It is totally unique to FlatStats. If you are into laying, then this feature is must. Create a dataset, and find out where and when it is profitable to lay certain horses. Seriously, don't visit the exchanges without running your systems and theories through the Laying Systems Checker!

10 times faster
We have upgraded the database such that the reports are now generated much faster (most reports are now returned in under a second). Doing this allows the creation of bigger datasets and the ability to display more analysis options.

The number of systems is growing daily (currently there are over 100). To enable you to find certain systems quickly we have categorised each system. e.g. If you want to see systems based on 'Form' then select Form from the drop down list. This will then show you which systems in the database have some kind of form element to them. There is now also a directory listing which displays each system and its description

New Filters
Over 50 new filter options added. Now you can filter the reports to exclude / include changes in distance or class, different last time out criteria such as Maiden, Claiming, Selling, Handicaps etc. You can also filter for penalties, apprentice allowance, jockey and trainer strike rates at the course and much more. The reports have new analysis options too.

You don't need to use the facility for creating or testing systems. You can use it to test general theories about racing which you can then apply to your own methods. For example, if you prefer to stick to your own speed ratings, but you are worried about the effect of penalties on a recent winner, then you can use the feature to find out the facts about penalties.

There is a dataset called 'Carrying Penalties' and selecting it produces a comprehensive report about horses running under a penalty. Here are some of the most important stats from the report:

Backing all horses carrying penalties on the turf returned a 9.3% loss.
Contrary to popular belief, the longer the distance, the less effect the penalty has.
The higher the course grade, the lower the strike rate and worse the loss.
Colts carrying penalties made a 6.7% profit.
Fillies made a 17.8% loss (note this is turf not all weather).
Jockeys with a 20%+ strike rate at the course made a 37% profit.

You can spend £00's purchasing systems from a systems pedlar hiding behind a PO Box number. All that will buy you is the rules. With the FlatStats System Checker you can view the rules for hundreds of systems, view the comprehensive reports and test the systems in various scenarios.

flatstats All Weather Systems
flatstats Turf Systems

Who'd be an Owner?
It is often said that you have to be rich, stupid or both to own a horse. Here are the facts to prove it:

In 2002 a total of 9576 individual horses ran on the flat turf and all weather. Of those horses, 2935 won a race.

That means that if you knew nothing about a horse, and just bought one at random, then you had a 31% chance of winning at least one race that year. Here are more facts:

  • 60% of them won some amount of win or place money
  • 14% won £10,000 or more in win and place prize money
  • 4% won £25,000 or more in win and place prize money

So if you buy a horse for £7,000, and your training, vet fees, transport fees, admin fees, entry fees etc. are £1,500 a month then you have just a 4% chance of breaking even in the year. To put it another way 96% of horse race owners lose each year.

What is even more worrying is that 40% didn't even win a bean. By not winning any win or place prize money, then that means the owner didn't achieve a winning coup and probably lost a few quid gambling on their nag.

Thank heavens for the ability to lay your horse on the exchanges!

Special Offer & Competition
Our prices rise in March when the flat turf season commences. This is because there is four times as much data to process and four times as much work for us to do. In March the monthly subscription will be £34.95 (the same as last March so now even better value) but you can take advantage of some special offers right now.

Full Turf Season
You can sign up for the full 'turf season' for just £149.95. As an extra special bonus, if you sign up now we will throw in the rest of the current all weather season free! This means that you can access all the features of FlatStats from today right through to 8-Nov-03 for just £149.95. That is a huge saving of over £100 off the standard monthly cost.

Three Months
Save at least 28% by subscribing for three months. Sign up for a three month subscription for just £64.95.

flatstats join flatstats here

N Hedges, I Parker, D Nettle, T Lewis, D Watts, and L Keys are already lucky winners of a free subscription to the 2003 turf season. They were selected at random by our computer.

There is just one draw left now. If you are a FlatStats subscriber on the 11th March you will be entered into the final draw.

Here's an extra guarantee. If you subscribe to FlatStats, and you then win the March prize draw, we will refund your original subscription in full!


That's all for now! Thank you for reading.

PS. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to absolutely anyone.

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