Field Strength comparisons and Trainer Analysis

Wizard Daily Report and Research - Wed, 1 November 2023 - R&R posted at noon daily

  • Wizard Field Strength - Benchmark races quality comparison.
  • Research - Australian Trainers examining the top trainers around Australia and how they perform in different locations and under different conditions continued.

Wizard Field Strength - Benchmark races quality comparison

One of the most useful metrics developed by the Wizard more than two decades ago is the Field Strength number.

The Field Strength (FS) figure measures the difference between the quality of the field against which the horse previously raced and that it will confront in the forthcoming race. 

To explain the basis of the Wizard field strength comparison we can look at some benchmark races run in Sydney and Melbourne in recent weeks.

Wizard Field Strength comparisons         
   A B C     
   D E F G H 


For Sydney, Saturday, meeting A you can see that three BM78 races were run on that day. After the meeting we evaluated the quality of each race against what we have as our standard Sydney BM78 race. 

For horse AA you can see that we assessed its race as being of standard BM78 quality (0 difference). 

The race in which AB ran was assessed as being 1kg better than standard (+1.0 stronger).

The race in which AC ran was assessed as being 1.5kg worse than standard (-1.5 weaker).

So, should B and C race against each other next start in a BM78 race we can see that B is expected to find the coming race 1kg weaker than its last start (its last race was assessed as +1.0 stronger than BM78 standard), whilst C should find it 1.5kg stronger (as its previous race was assessed as -1.5 weaker than BM78 standard).

In summary, the Field Strength figure published in the Wizard would appear as -1 for  horse B, as it is coming from a stronger BM78 race, and horse C would appear in the Field Strength column as +1.5, as it is coming from a weaker BM78 race.

(In the Wizard FS column +1.5 means tomorrows field is 1.5kg (one length) stronger than the field the horse met last start [it is coming from a weaker race]. On the other hand, -2.0 means tomorrows race is 2kg weaker than its last start [it is coming from a stronger race], thereby making the task of this horse somewhat easier than might be expected given that it would appear to be running in the same class of race.)

From the above table you can see how these comparisons are made. You will also see that there are seldom wild swings in field quality. Benchmark races, for example, generally vary by around one length (1.5kg) in quality on a day by day basis, with 3kg being a rather substantial variation.

There can be greater variation in other types of races, open handicaps for example. In these, field quality can vary by 6kg race to race.

The Field Strength calculation, when different types/classes of races are involved and at different times of the year, is considerably more complex, but the same basic principles apply.

The process of calculating a Field Strength figure for the Wizard can be complex and time consuming, but the payoff for users of the Wizard, who have a quick and accurate way to assess class changes makes all that effort worthwhile!

Wizard Research - Australian trainers analysed (Victoria)

In this series of articles, we report on and discuss the best performing trainers in Australia on metropolitan, provincial, and country tracks. Many of the names will be familiar to you, but there are others who are just as successful (in terms of strike rate) who simply fly under the radar. 

Today we look at the top 20 trainers on Victorian racetracks, in terms of race wins, for the 2022-2023 racing season.

One thing to note about these top twenty stats is that there is no differentiation between provincial and country racing in Victoria, as there is in all other states. Historically, Victorian racing has been categorised as either metropolitan or country. This is why in the top twenty listing, a stable such as the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace training partnership has no provincial stats, just metropolitan and country. (I believe Racing Victoria has now adopted the metropolitan-provincial-country classification and that should be reflected in future top twenty listings.)

It is interesting to note than in NSW 17 of the top 20 metropolitan trainers are among the top twenty provincial area trainers. The number is lower in Victoria, where only 12 of the top 20 metropolitan trainers are in the country top twenty.

There is no doubt that Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have performed admirably in the country as well as in the city, having a very good strike rate of 23.4% from 721 runners. 

Also worthy of special mention is the effort of Lindsey Smith to rank 5th in the country with a strike rate 22.10% after not featuring in the metro top 20. Lindsey Smith is especially interesting as his Special Situation winners tend to fall into the $10.00 to $19.90 odds range and return over 150% on investment. There are not too many such runners, but obviously worth the wait.


 Victoria Trainers           
 Metropolitan   Provincial   Country   
1C Maher, D Eustace9765814.7    C Maher, D Eustace16972123.4
2Peter G Moody5833617.3    Ben, J D Hayes9566614.3
3Ben, J D Hayes4536912.2    M Price, M Kent Jnr8047316.9
4James Cummings4118721.9    T Busuttin, N Young6145213.5
5M Price, M Kent Jnr4028713.9    Lindsey Smith5926722.1
6Patrick Payne3122813.6    Peter G Moody5828120.6
7Michael Moroney2926311.00    R Griffiths, M de Kock6145213.5
8T Busuttin, N Young2422710.6    Phillip Stokes5430117.9
9Phillip Stokes2219311.4    Paul Preusker5438714.0
10G Waterhouse, A Bott209421.3    Tony, Calvin McEvoy5029916.7
11Grahame Begg2010219.6    Matt Laurie4723320.2
12Anthony, Sam Freedman161858.6    Symon Wilde4735513.2
13Chris Waller162157.4    Greg Eurell4528116.0
14Danny O'Brien141887.4    Anthony, Sam Freedman4421320.7
15Nick Ryan1211710.3    Danny O'Brien4333612.8
16M, W, J Hawkes121339.0    Patrick Payne4224617.1
17Cindy Alderson116118.0    Leon, Troy Corstens3624514.7
18R Griffiths, M de Kock111746.3    Henry Dwyer3529212.0
19Peter, Paul Snowden108112.3    Andrew Bobbin343838.9
20Leon, Troy Corstens101327.6    Matthew Ellerton3327711.9