Thursday, June 28, 2018

Speed-Stamina Course Profiles And Juvenile Races

In an earlier posting, Speed-Stamina Fingerprints, we outlined an approach to "hoof-printing" racecourses in terms of their speed-stamina profiles based on the best times for various distances using a power-law equation, approximately of the form: Time=Speed*DistanceStamina. This approach also allows us to effectively project performances by inexperienced 2yo and 3yo horses, as follows.

For example, supposing a 2yo colt turns in an eye-catching performance in a novice race and is entered in a graded stakes race 10 days later. Historical data tells us that the median winning time of this future event is
73.57s. The question we want to ask: Is the maiden winning colt likely to be competitive in the graded stakes event? One way of answering this question is to translate the maiden performance into an equivalent performance at the graded stakes course and distance. Using our hoof-printing technique produces a time of 73.40s telling us that this promising colt is likely to be an above average contender for the graded stakes event. Fast-forward to race day and our selection wins in a time of 73.51s (just 0.10s slower than projected). (Note that we were not restricted to choosing performances at the same distance as the future event).

Obviously, this technique has restrictions in terms of producing realistic projections. It works best with:
  • Maiden 2yo and 3yo races at sprint distances;
  • Races on “Good” or “Good-To-Firm” going; 
  • Recent “In-The-Money” races;
  • Projections from one graded stakes racecourse to another (e.g. Newmarket to York); and
  • Horses that race prominently and do not require "luck in running".

That said, it has potential for projecting future times based on performances at racecourses with vastly different configurations, a goal which cannot be achieved by speed figures!