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When a length is a pound

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  • #1487599
    • Total Posts 150

    Jockeys being let out in front from the flag fall.

    Given leads of 5 lengths up to 20 lengths.

    A length is a pound. Correct ? so hypothetically a jockey gets a 10 length lead and thats a 10 pound advantage over lets say a 2 mile national hunt race. The same goes for the flat.

    To any real punter it has happened to us. I was on a 7 to 4 fav once and my jockey gave a 50 to 1 shot a 20 length lead. My man couldn’t get back the lost 20L and was beaten on the line. Yes I was very sore. That’s when it caught my eye.

    The BHA looked in to this subject matter but from what I see nothing has been done.

    Has anyone on TRF any views and maybe ideas on how to police it ?


    Nathan HughesNathan Hughes
    • Total Posts 22225

    Pace comes into it too.
    A horse can have a big lead but if it is set at a suicidal pace the horse won’t last home
    Giving away an easy big lead at a slow pace is poor jockeyship, it happens from time to time
    are you suggesting that these types of races are fixed.??

    Member since March 2008
    • Total Posts 150

    Hello Nathan

    I am not saying these races are fixed what so ever !

    you are right… bad jockey man ship.

    When you are on a horse that comes from 20-30L behind and gets done on the line… its hard to take knowing well he was the best horse in the race and the jockey done you.

    The racecourse stewards have looked at similar races and done nothing but pass it down the line to The BHA.

    As I originally said .. they have done nothing about it.

    What would you propose to do about ?

    • Total Posts 26588

    Yes, pace is key.
    What was the race you’re particularly referring to, Colosus?

    It is extremely frustrating, but in most cases I don’t see what the stewards or BHA can do about it.

    Horses are pack animals.

    Some like to be the leader; some leaders can also track the pace but many need to lead otherwise they’ll resent it and not consent to give of their best.

    Some like tracking the leader but won’t actually want to lead unless either forced to or no other horse wants to lead. ie Some trackers can lead and some can race mid-div, some can’t and just need to track the leader otherwise they won’t give their best.

    Some like being in the centre of the pack… some of those can track pace and some can enjoy being held up but some only want to race in the pack.

    Some are followers. Most just want to be held up or dropped out the back. Some will race mid-div if pushed but some will resent even that. Very few of this type will enjoy/show their form when leading or racing prominently if they’re asked to to it for very long. (Leading on the run is usually a different thing altogether).

    All the above put together also means that some will be capable of three or four ways of racing. ie if some mid-div horses also like tracking pace and some trackers like leading… then in turn some mid-divvers will also enjoy leading. Therefore, when looking at a horse’s form, the way a horse has run before is how it is most likely to be ridden again – but some horses are capable of more than one way of racing.

    Changing a horse’s natural traits is difficult and sometimes impossible for trainers/jockeys. Or to put it another way: A horse that does not want to lead may lead, but very few of them will show its best form in doing so. Therefore it is in connections best interests to allow the horse to do what (they believe) it enjoys doing in order to show its best form.

    I look at the horse’s last 5 starts (sometimes more) making a note of the way each horse runs its best races. They’re mostly:

    FR: Front runner (needs to lead)
    FR/RP Front runner or Races Prominently
    FR/TP Front runner or Races Prominently or Tracks Pace
    TP Tracks Pace
    TP/MD Tracks Pace or Mid Div

    MD Mid Div
    MD/HU Mid div or Held Up

    HU Held Up
    HU / DO Held up or Dropped Out
    DO Dropped Out

    Sometimes it’s a bigger mixture but fairly rare.
    The type of race I think suits the horse perfectly may be underlined.

    Sometimes although the horses have not raced very often (eg novice) and very little for the punters to go on… connections tell the jockeys how to ride – how they believe the horse will enjoy racing.

    Races where a horse gets a big lead are often novice races… and in these – when a jockey is riding a horse with no or little experience – riders are often told/at pains to teach the horse about what racing is – improving its chances in future races. It is thought by many that a horse learns more (innitially) from a hold up experience.

    Obviously there can be races that have loads of front/prominent runners, sometimes they’re flooded with hold up types. But…

    What happens in races where there’s only one runner that does not fit in to the mid div to dropped out category and/or where every jockey bar one has been asked to hold the horse up / told not to race prominently?
    Answer: If (and it is only IF) a horse gets a four length lead at the start then the next horse will effectively be leading the pack. Supposedly (in most races with a conventional pace) in the best interests of the horse’s chance of winning – exactly what connections have told the jockey NOT to do! Therefore every other jockey in the race tries to reign their horse back in order to try and get another horse to take up the mantle of leading the pack… and a four lengths lead becomes six lengths that soon becomes ten etc etc.

    Therefore, for stewards and/or BHA to take action over basically jockeys following orders of connections to hold the horse up. Is sadly often impossible.

    value is everything
    • Total Posts 26588

    Also: When a 50/1 shot goes in to the lead it is easy and (dare I say it) in most cases wise/true for jockeys of all the other horses to believe the horse will come back – won’t be good enough… And that can in turn result in an even longer lead… And of course the longer the lead it can poach the more likely it is to stay there.

    value is everything
    Captain Robbo
    • Total Posts 97

    Track bias is very important. Certain tracks highly favour front runners some tracks don’t have any major bias and some tracks suit hold up horses.

    Lingfield aw track is a track where I hate to see my horse get a lead as that track gives a big advantage to those sweeping wide and making the run late.

    Southwell aw track is the complete opposite as a lead is hard to peg back.

    • Total Posts 26588

    That said, the distance gained at any stage in a race can not easily be equated to lengths beaten.
    Length achieved in the early stages can often be achieved at a lesser or greater than 1 length per pound. ie Race sectionals matter. If a race sectionals are run at a par (ie allowing for uphill lengths being worth more energy and downhill less energy)… Lengths gained at a point where the pace is slower requires less effort than when pace is at the average speed and much less than when they’re going much faster.

    ie If a horse gets a soft 10 lengths lead in the early stages because the others have gone slow and proceeds to hang on by a short head. In truth – from a handicapping point of view – the margin the second would’ve probably beaten the winner given a normal paced race is significantly more than the 10 lengths.

    Where as in a race where the leader goes off at an overly strong pace and hangs on by a short head, the winner can be rated a lot better than the short head winning margin.

    Similarly: If a horse makes up ground hand over fist from last to first in the final furlong to win by a short head in a race where the early fractions were too fast… Then it’s probably flattered to have won the race.

    Where as a horse who’s come from last to first in the final furlong to win by a short head in a race whose early fractions were slow… Is in all probability worth rating as winning by much further than the official winning margin.

    That said: The amount os stamina and speed each horse has is important. Occasionally a slowly run race may be what a horse wants at the given trip if having plenty of speed/turn of foot – even if coming from the back… And a horse with excess stamina at the trip may need a strong pace in order for its stamina to be at a premium even if leading at a strong pace (Think Coneygree’s Gold Cup). So even though a horse may be marked better or worse than distances won by/beaten, it must also be pointed out that horses may need that type of race at the given trip to show its form again.

    value is everything
    • Total Posts 26588

    What a length is worth not only applies to how much pace was in the race but also race distance. A five furlong race can be rated as 4 lbs per length where as 2m4f flat race can be less than a length… And going. Very soft ground means the pounds per length is much less than it would be on firm.

    value is everything
    • Total Posts 26588

    I remember seeing an At The Races feature involving Hugh Taylor, Robbo.
    Lingfield’s turf track favours front runners, where as Doncaster’s front runners are particularly disadvantaged. :good:

    value is everything
    • Total Posts 26588

    Going back to the OP’s question:
    If jockeys have gone against the trainer’s orders then it is possible to do something about it. If all the other jockeys have been told to hold the horse up and/or know the horse is best held up… then I can’t see what they can do/should do.

    If a jockey has been told/knows the horse is best held up what is he supposed to do? Going after the 50/1 outsider would result in the jockey losing future rides on the horse and possibly all the trainer’s rides. Unless of course he actually wins this one. But you’ve also got to realise if going after the 50/1 outsider then it also gives a lead in to the race for every other jockey/horse. Sometimes increasing the chance of the 50/1 outsider hanging on actually improves the jockey’s chance of winning because the way the race is run disadvantages the short priced favourite.

    value is everything
    • Total Posts 150

    Ginger, I thought you were barking mad and then I found this book online. I would like you to read it in your time and summarise it for me. The author goes into some detail. I was able to download it for free. A few google ads come up so just close them and continue.

    Trading Options to Win: Profitable Strategies and Tactics for Any Trader

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    Its right up your street and can downloaded for free.

    This guy, the author S.Johnston tells us how it is….Wiley and Sons are just the publishers

    It will take you a week to read it

    Ok Ginger ..Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. —Aaron Levenstein

    Colosus :mail:

    ps.This form of knowledge risk can be almost completely eliminated by following this maxim: “When in doubt, find out. When not in doubt, check it out anyway.” Nothing but naivete or laziness can really expose us to knowledge.

    I will repost the link above as I tried it myself and didn’t bring me to the book. Maybe copy and paste it in to your URL !
    Where therz a will therz away.

    Sometimes I had to type the following in the URL

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