The home of intelligent horse racing discussion
The home of intelligent horse racing discussion

Jaunt into Southwell

By Tim Boulter

Southwell, a unique and interesting track that is the engine room of winter all weather racing for the UK. Throughout the winter the course plays regular host to deep sand racing that horses can love and hate equally, and the divide is alive amongst the British racing fans. But if you get to know Southwell, it can become a highly enjoyable and profitable track.

Like punters, the horses are divided over Southwell also. Some can go there and act with real fervor and every winter you will see a specialist or two at the course who develop a liking for it. Looking for form in the book pays, but how else can we gain an edge at the course? Breeding plays more of a part at Southwell than any of the other all-weather tracks. When we break down horses by origin to compare their performances on fibresand, horses of a USA origin perform significantly better than against the more prominent Irish and British origin horses as represented here from statistics dating to 2003.

Origin   Bets       Wins     Win%    P/L(SP)   Places Place%

(GB)       29228    3005       10.28     -6885.97 8134    27.83

(IRE)      20238    2107       10.41     -5204.57 5693    28.13

(USA)    4521       715         15.82     +87.85     1626    35.97

(FR)        853         104         12.19     -111.02   244      28.6

(GER)    436         46           10.55     -158.39   119       27.29

While there have been significantly more runners from a GB or IRE pedigree, there have been a large number of USA origin horses at Southwell in that time. There is a notable positive trend towards USA origin horses, representing a significantly larger strike rate both win and place, and importantly returned a positive P/L. Going one step further with horses of a full USA pedigree of sire, dam and damsire the statistics are largely positive again.

Bets       Wins     Win%    P/L(SP) Places   Place%

2821       448         15.88     24.47     992         35.16

What can we deduce from this? Evidently the dirt bred pedigree of the USA has some benefits at Southwell, and it pays to pay close attention in your form study to a horses breeding when they are tackling Southwell for the first time as an angle. These statistics reveal how first-time performers fare.

Bets       Wins     Win%    P/L(SP) Places   Place%

1253       201         16.04     210.63   421         33.6

An impressive strike rate when compared versus a GB origin pedigree under the same circumstances, coming in at just 9.52% at a huge loss. And furthermore, once these USA origin horses take once to the surface, they perform strongly on follow up.

Bets       Wins     Win%    P/L(SP) Places   Place%

662         128         19.34     158.15   271         40.94

We have discovered one way of honing our study on the infamous Southwell surface and it can pay significantly if we apply it well and from my own experiences, it will dig you up some very good big priced bets.

There are various angles we can delve into at Southwell, and when all combined well we can find our way into the track with a big advantage. Next time we will continue the theme of Southwell and look a bit closer at trainer and some more siring angles.

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