Field Strength "oils aint oils" and Trainer Analysis

Wizard Daily Report and Research - Thu, 2 November 2023 - R&R posted at noon daily

  • Wizard Field Strength - Oils aint oils.
  • Research - Australian Trainers examining the top trainers around Australia and how they perform in different locations and under different conditions continued.

Wizard Field Strength - Group and Open races - Oils aint oils

Yesterday, when discussing the Wizard Field Strength metric and how it can reveal the difference in quality between benchmark races of the same grade, I mentioned that there can be greater variation in other types of races, open handicaps for example. In these, field quality can vary by 6kg (4 lengths) race to race.

As the great John Bluthal said in the famous Castrol oil advertisement from the 1980s Oils aint oils and, indeed, one Group 1 race need not be of the same quality as any other Group 1, and the same applies at all race types and classes.

The Wizard Field Strength (FS) figure measures the difference between the quality of a field against which the horse previously raced against the expected quality of the field it will confront in the forthcoming race. It puts a number on this quality difference.

You might find it interesting to see how Wizard assessed the all-age Group and all-age Open class races run during the recent Spring carnival meetings in Sydney and Melbourne.

In the table below you can see by how much these races varied from our standard quality race of that type.


Group race Field Strength variations        
Spring 2023          
SydneyGroup 1+1.5+2.5+3.00.0     
 Group 2-1.5-1.5-1.0+1.5-1.5-0.5   
 Group 3-4.5-2.5-  
MelbourneGroup 1+2.5+1.50.0+0.5+
 Group 2-1.5-3.00.0-2.50.0+1.5-2.0  
 Group 3-2.5-6.0-1.00.0-1.5    


With the Group 1 races, which were of good quality this year, the variation was between standard Group 1 quality (0.0) to 3kg (+3.0, two lengths) better than standard.

Group 2 races varied from 2 lengths below standard (-3.0 for one race in Melbourne) to one length better than standard (+1.5kg in both Sydney and Melbourne).

There was more variation at the Group 3 level, ranging from 4 lengths worse than standard (-6.0kg) to standard Group 3 quality (0.0).

Listed races recorded a range from one length worse than standard quality (-1.5) to two lengths worse than standard (-3.0kg).

As expected, there was also considerable variation among the Open class handicap and non-group open class set weight races. Here the range was from worse than standard by more than 4 lengths (-6.5) to standard (0.0).

As the advert says, oils aint oils, and for example, one Group 1 race is not necessarily of the same quality as any other Group 1 race. The Wizard Field Strength metric gives you a quick and reliable answer to the question: Is tomorrows field likely to be harder to beat than the field the horse met in a previous 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.)


Wizard Research - Australian trainers analysed (Queensland)

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 Queensland racetracks, in terms of race wins, for the 2022-2023 racing season.

In Queensland 11 of the top 20 metropolitan trainers are also among the top twenty provincial area trainers. This number is marginally lower than in Victoria, where 12 of the top 20 metropolitan trainers are in their country top twenty, and substantially different to NSW where the number was 17.

Tony Gollan certainly dominates the metropolitan rankings in the northern state and is not far off the top in the provincial top 20, ranking 3rd to Mark Currie.

On our list of trainers with horses that fit our Special Situations category there are six from this top twenty that are currently sufficiently profitable, and consistently so, to be included. They are Tony Gollan (2 situations), Rob Heathcote (7), Chris Munce (3), Kris Lees (3), Mark Currie (6), and Chris Anderson (5). More about this later.


 Queensland Trainers           
 Metropolitan   Provincial   Country   
1Tony Gollan14170719.0Mark Currie8842120.9Bevan Johnson4828416.9
2Chris Waller6644714.8Stuart Kendrick6742016.0John Manzelmann         4626117.6
3Robert Heathcote4936013.6Tony Gollan5223122.5Tanya Parry445597.9
4S O'Dea, M Hoysted4830915.5Clinton Taylor4916429.9David Rewald3125612.1
5Matthew Dunn2722512.0Ricky Vale4816828.6Craig Smith2816217.3
6David Vandyke2516115.5Stephen Massingham4422419.6Wayne Baker2721412.6
7Annabell Neasham2318112.7Lindsay Hatch4329214.7Shryn Royes2515216.4
8Chris Munce2319711.7Nick Walsh429942.4Glenda Bell2414216.9
9Kelly Schweida222807.9Jared Wehlow4220420.6Corey, Kylie Geran236137.7
10Barry Lockwood2112117.4Georgie Holt3924416.0Toni Schofield2311120.7
11Kris Lees2117312.1Corey, Kylie Geran3929113.4Henry Forster2218012.2
12Jack Bruce1815111.9Tony, Maddy Sears3619718.3Shane Iverson2110619.8
13Tony, Maddy Sears1614211.3Toby, Trent Edmonds3515622.4Pat Webster207825.6
14Mark Currie1511313.3Chris Anderson3518618.8Clinton Taylor184639.1
15Les Ross141618.7Jack Bruce3519118.3Jay Morris166026.7
16Desleigh Forster1312810.2Annabell Neasham3416520.6Sharlee Hoffman166425
17Stuart Kendrick131976.6S O'Dea, M Hoysted3113622.8Matt Kropp167720.8
18Toby, Trent Edmonds111119.9Robert Heathcote3119915.6Denise Ballard169117.6
19Lee Freedman108911.2Roy Chillemi3121714.3Raymond Williams169916.2
20Chris Anderson109610.4Kelly Schweida3019115.7Mark Oates159016.7