Specialise - Form Cycle - The three phases.

Wizard Daily Report and Research - Thursday, 23 November 2023.

  • Form cycle - The three phases.
  • Research - Trainers - Trainers Notebook Enhanced.

Better betting - Specialise - Form cycle, the three phases.

During a full racing campaign, the typical racehorse passes through three recognisable phases of a form cycle, assuming the preparation runs its full course and is not cut short because of injury or for some other reason.

These phases are basic to an understanding of fitness and form. As a horses form is studied, a judgement is likely being made as to whether the horse is: 

* improving      

* at peak fitness          

* deteriorating 

Form Improvement

There are many reasons why horses can improve on previous race performances and the accurate forecasting of such improvement is a difficult area of form analysis. 

This discussion deals with some of the factors which lead to horses making the improvement between starts which is sufficient for them to win. 

The improvement shown by horses can be due to a number of factors, the more important and obvious ones being: 

-  Natural maturation   

-  Increased level of fitness

-  With racing   

-  Change of trainer or training technique 

-  Discovery and treatment of ailments

Improvement due to Maturity 

This type of improvement could be referred to as the normal strengthening and development which takes place steadily in all horses during their first two to three years of racing; that is, from being a still-developing two-year-old to a mature four-year-old. 

For instance, a two-year-old racing in April, according to the WFA scale can improve 10kg (6.5 lengths) by the time it is an April four-year-old. This is an average expectation and can vary considerably from horse to horse. Nonetheless the expected improvement expressed in kilograms as depicted by the Weight for Age (WFA) scale is very useful reference for the form analyst. 

The standard WFA chart lists weights for each horse age group which, if carried by a field of runners of all ages over the referenced distance, would result in a theoretical dead heat of the whole field. 

Its worth studying the WFA table, paying particular attention to the average improvement that the younger horses can make.

Improvement Due to Increased Level of Fitness 

With this type of improvement a horse that has been returned from a spell, but who is not yet in race winning condition, will normally make steady improvement by either finishing closer to the winner at successive race starts in its own class of race or show minor improvement in a higher class of race. Often the improvement is more clearly reflected in its ratings than its finishing position.

Improvement With Racing 

This improvement refers to a horse that has reached race winning condition following a spell but then proceeds to perform much better than before. This is really a difficult improvement to predict and all too often the horse has reached a new peak before you realize it. 

Apart from having some inside knowledge that a particular horse has shown signs that it could be about to improve considerably on what it has done before, the only way to predict this improvement is to study a horse's form closely. If it has run a good race out of its own class, or under adverse circumstances, then it could provide a clue to the horse improving to a new peak. 

Improvement due to Change of Trainer/Training Technique 

If a top trainer removes a horse from the stable you can be pretty sure the horse lacks what it takes to be successful in the stables preferred racing area. On the other hand, if a top trainer takes over the training of a horse from a less well performed stable they can improve its performance level substantially due to: 

-  Superior training facilities available            

-  Superior training methods   

-  Better feeding/handling       

-  Better veterinary care

Improvement due to Ailment Discovery

Sometimes a horse will lose form for no apparent reason. It may look well, run well on the track but under hard race conditions repeatedly fail to do his best. When trainers are confronted with this situation they generally search for some ailment:

-  pulled or strained muscle    

-  back problems         

-  bad feet

-  respiratory issues

When the problem is identified, and the appropriate treatment rendered the horses form can improve sharply.

Peak Form

Once a horse is fully race-fit its form is usually consistent and reliable.

The better class gallopers are able to maintain this degree of fitness and form for longer than their lower class rivals. (Such better class gallopers also usually require fewer conditioning runs in the first place.) 

Form Deterioration

A horse in full race training for some months can become stale after routine trackwork and racing and it can start to race ungenerously and lose, temporarily, its keenness to compete. It has been flattened by its previous racing and its form will deteriorate. 

A trainer will naturally want to try and win as many races as possible in any preparation and therefore the trainer will try to look for any early signs that a horse may be training off. If this is detected early enough the horse may be freshened and then brought back to full racing for a short campaign in the hope that it may at least win another race before being sent for a longer spell in the paddocks. 

Form deterioration, to the form analyst, is just as important as improvement, and it is as hard to detect or predict in the early stages. If a horse has been up for over three months and has had ten or more hard race starts then a lapse of form could be a sign of form deterioration. 

 A horse will generally show some early signs of form deterioration as follows:

-  fails in successive races when favourably handicapped    

-  lacks the zip and zest to defeat its own class         

-  races inconsistently

-  uncharacteristically misses the start

-  races ungenerously             

-  refuses to enter barrier stalls before a race

 

More on the form cycle and form patterns to come.

 

Warren

If you have any comment or suggestions about the Wizard Daily articles please feel free to drop me a line at:

Wiz-Ed@everyrace.com

 

Research - Trainers - Trainers Notebook enhanced.

Today the Wizard Trainers Notebook re-examine trainers ranked 1 to 20 on the Melbourne metropolitan tracks in the 2022-2023 racing season.

What is different about this listing is that I have identified those form factors that not only have an impact value on 1.3 but also show a win strike rate of 27% or more and a profit on turnover of 10% or more. This is obviously a more significant level of performance.

As before, I have broken down the overall stats into age groups (2yo, 3yo, 4yo and older) as there can be a difference in how these various age groups are prepared and perform. Also, I have limited the analysis to only those runs that were at odds of 10/1 or less, thereby removing the noise created by the longer odds runs which are really of no relevance in this exercise.

Note: It is possible to have more than one entry for a single factor. For example, the stable may have outperformed when backing up both within 8-14 days and 30-60 days.

Because the data is drawn from the Wizards national database, the form factors will be the same for trainers when they appear in the top trainer list in more than one state.

In the following listing those areas in which the trainer had a 1.3 impact value, and a win strike rate of 27% or better, and a positive return on investment of 10% more are highlighted in red

Warren

If you have any comment or suggestions about the Wizard Daily articles please feel free to drop me a line at:

Wiz-Ed@everyrace.com

 

                              Wizard - Trainer's Notebook - Trainers ranked 1 to 20 in the Melbourne 2022-2023 metropolitan premiership table.

 2yo3yo4yo and older
C Maher, D Eustacedays since last run 15-21days since last run 180-365days since last win 8-14
 days since last win 15-21days since last win 8-14days since last win 22-28
 Field Strength -2.5 to -1days since last win 15-21Field Strength -5.0 or more
 Field Strength +1 to +2.5dist change: +301 to +500mfinish last start: 2nd or 3rd
 runs from a spell: 2nd up previous win margin 3.1L plus
 runs from a spell: 4th up weight change: +5.0 or more
 dist change:  -100 to +100m  
    
P Moody (K Coleman)days since last run 15-21days since last win 22-28days since last win 8-21
 finish last start: 1stField Strength -0.5 to +0.5Field Strength +5.0 and higher
 finish last start: 2nd or 3rdField Strength +3.0 to +4.5finish last start: 1st
 previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0runs from spell: first race startfinish last start: 2nd or 3rd
 runs from a spell: 2nd updist change: +101 to +300mprevious win margin 3.1-5.0
 dist change: +101 to +300m runs from a spell: 3rd up
   weight change: -3.5 or more
   weight change: +3.0 to +4.5
    
B, W, JD HayesInsufficient datadays since last run 30-60days since last run 8-14
  days since last win 15-21days since last run 22-28
  Field Strength -0.5 to +0.5days since last run 180-365
  Field Strength -4.5 to -3.0days since last win 22-28
  finish last start: 2nd or 3rdfinish last start: 1st
  previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0
  runs from a spell: 2nd upruns from a spell: 4th up
  dist change: +101 to +300mruns from a spell: 6th up
   weight change: -3.5 or more
   dist change: -300 to -101m
    
James Cummingsdays since last win 30-60days since last run 180-365days since last run 180-365
 Field Strength -5.0 or moreField Strength +1 to +2.5days since last win 15-21
  finish last start: 2nd or 3rddays since last win 22-28
  previous win margin 3.1-5.0finish last start: 1st
  dist change: +301 to +500mruns from a spell: 3rd up
  weight change: -3.5 or more 
    
 M Price, M Kent Jnrfinish last start: 2nd or 3rddays since last run 180-365days since last win 8-14
 previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0days since last win 8-14days since last win 22-28
 runs from a spell: 2nd updays since last win 22-28Field Strength -5.0 or more
 dist change: -100 to +100mdays since last win 30-60Field Strength +5.0 or more
  Field Strength +5.0 or moreruns from a spell: 5th up
  previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0weight change: -3.5 or more
  weight change: +3.0 to +4.5weight change: +5.0 or more
   dist change: -300 to -101m
    
    
Patrick Payneruns from a spell: 2nd upField Strength -4.5 to -3.0days since last win 8-14
  Field Strength -0.5 to +0.5days since last win 15-21
  weight change: +3.0 to +4.5Field Strength -5.0 or more
  dist change: -300 to -101mfinish last start: 1st
  dist change: +301 to +500mprevious win margin 3.1-5.0
   runs from a spell: 4th up
   weight change: +3.0 to +4.5
   dist change: -500 to -301m
    
Michael MoroneyInsufficient datadays since last run 61-179days since last run 15-21
  days since last run 180-365days since last win 15-28
  days since last win 15-21runs from a spell: 4th up
  Field Strength -0.5 to +0.5runs from a spell: 5th up
  previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0runs from a spell: 6th up
  runs from spell: first race startweight change: +3.0 to +4.5
  runs from a spell: 1st updist change: +500 or more
    
    
T Busuttin, N Youngdays since last run 15-21days since last run 15-21days since last run 22-28
 runs from a spell: 1st updays since last win 8-21days since last run 180-365
 runs from a spell: 2nd upField Strength -5.0 or moredays since last win 22-28
 weight change: +0.0 to +2.5finish last start: 2nd or 3rdField Strength -5.0 or more
  previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0Field Strength +1.0 to +2.5
  dist change:  -100 to +100mfinish last start: 2nd or 3rd
   runs from a spell: 5th up
   runs from a spell: 6th up
   weight change: +5.0 or more
   dist change:  -300 to -101m
    
Phillip Stokesdays since last run 61-179days since last win 30-60days since last run 1-7
 finish last start: 1stField Strength -5.0 or moredays since last win 15-21
 runs from a spell: 1st upfinish last start: 2nd or 3rdfinish last start: 1st
  runs from a spell: 6th upprevious win margin 3.1-5.0
  weight change: +3.0 to +4.5weight change: +5.0 or more
  dist change: +301 to +500mdist change: +301 to +500m
    
Gai Waterhouse, A Bottdays since last run 8-14days since last run 22-28days since last run 1-7
 days since last win 8-21runs from a spell: 4th upruns from spell: first race start
 previous win margin 3.1L plusweight change: up 3-4.5Kgruns from a spell: 3rd up
 dist change: +101 to +300mField Strength -5.0 or moredays since last win 8-14
  Field Strength -0.5 to +0.5days since last win 22-28
  previous win margin 3.1-5.0Field Strength +5.0 and higher
  finish last start: 2nd or 3rdfinish last start: 1st
   previous win margin 3.1-5.0
   dist change: +301 to +500m
    
Grahame BeggInsufficient datadays since last run 61-179days since last run 8-14
  days since last win 30-60days since last run 30-60
  days since last win 180-365days since last win 180-365
  Field Strength -0.5 to +0.5Field Strength -4.5 to -3.0
  Field Strength +1.0 to +2.5Field Strength +1.0 to +4.5
  finish last start: 2nd or 3rdruns from a spell: 2nd up
  runs from a spell: 1st upruns from a spell: 3rd up
  dist change: +101 to +300mweight change: +3.0 to +4.5
    
Anthony, Sam Freedmanruns from spell: first race startdays since last run 15-21days since last run 22-28
  days since last run 180-365days since last win 15-28
  days since last win 15-60Field Strength -2.5 to -1.0
  Field Strength +1.0 to +2.5finish last start: 1st
  finish last start: 2nd or 3rdruns from a spell: 5th up
  previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0 
  runs from spell: first race start 
    
Chris Wallerdays since last run 30-60finish last start: 1stdays since last run 1-7
 days since last run 61-179previous win margin 3.1L plusdays since last win 8-21
 runs from a spell: 1st updist change: +301 to +500mField Strength +5.0 and higher
 Field Strength +3.0 and higher finish last start: 1st
 finish last start: 1st previous win margin 3.1-5.0
    
Danny O'Briendist change:  -100 to +100mdays since last run 8-14days since last run 1-7
  days since last win 8-14days since last run 30-60
  days since last win 22-60days since last win 365+
  Field Strength -0.5 to +0.5Field Strength +5.0 and higher
  finish last start: 2nd or 3rdfinish last start: 2nd or 3rd
  previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0
  runs from a spell: 2nd updist change: +101 to +300m
    
Nick RyanInsufficient datadays since last run 8-14days since last run 1-7
  days since last run 61-179days since last run 30-60
  days since last win 61-179Field Strength +3.0 to +4.5
  finish last start: 1stfinish last start: 2nd or 3rd
  finish last start: 2nd or 3rdruns from a spell: 2nd up
  runs from a spell: 1st up 
    
M, W, J Hawkesdays since last run 61-179days since last win 15-21days since last run 1-7
 Field Strength +1.0 to +2.5finish last start: 2nd or 3rddays since last run 30-60
 runs from a spell: 1st updist change:  -300 to -101mdays since last run 180-365
 finish last start: 2nd or 3rd days since last win 8-21
   finish last start: 1st
   runs from a spell: 1st up
    
Cindy AldersonInsufficient datadays since last run 15-21days since last run 61-179
  previous beaten margin: 3.1-5.0days since last win 8-14
  runs from a spell: 2nd updays since last win 30-179
  runs from a spell: 4th upField Strength -4.5 to -3.0
  dist change: +101 to +300mfinish last start: 1st
   runs from a spell: 3rd up
   weight change: -3.5 or more
   weight change: +3.0 to +4.5
    
    
R Griffiths, M de KockInsufficient datadays since last run 22-28days since last run 61-179
  days since last run 61-179days since last win 30-60
  Field Strength -2.5 to -1.0Field Strength -4.5 to -3.0
  Field Strength -0.5 to +0.5Field Strength +1.0 to +2.5
  finish last start: 1struns from a spell: 1st up
  previous beaten margin: 0.1-3.0runs from a spell: 5th up
  runs from a spell: 1st upweight change: +3.0 to +4.5
  runs from a spell: 4th up 
  dist change: +101 to +300m 
    
Peter, Paul Snowdendays since last run 8-14days since last run 180-365days since last run 180-365
 days since last win 15-21days since last win 8-14days since last win 15-21
 Field Strength -0.5 to +0.5days since last win 15-21days since last win 30-60
 finish last start: 2nd or 3rdweight change: +3.0 to +4.5finish last start: 1st
 runs from a spell: 2nd up  
    
    
Leon, Troy CorstensInsufficient datadays since last win 180-365days since last win 365+
  finish last start: 2nd or 3rdField Strength -2.5 to -1.0
  previous win margin 0.1-3.0finish last start: 2nd or 3rd
  runs from spell: first race startweight change: +0.0 to +2.5
  dist change: +101 to +300mdist change: +101 to +300m


Back