Car Reviews

A Video Analysis Interview

Today David Duffield of chats about video analysis with a professional punter and Champion Picks ratings guru.

DD: You spend a lot of your life watching videos. Talk us through the process you have?

RG: Watching replays is one of those necessities that has to be done. It can be tedious and time consuming but extremely rewarding and the more I do it the luckier I get so to speak. Prior to watching replays I need two things and they are critical. The first is a set of sectionals for the meeting and the second is knowledge of whether there was possible track bias on the day. Ultimately, having the sectionals will allow me to determine the latter. Once I’ve established that I’ll then go through each race in detail.

I view each race as many times as there are horses. So if there are six runners I watch it six times, and if there are 16 runners I watch it 16 times, each time concentrating solely on one horse. The purpose is to re-rate each individual on today’s run. All runners are given plus or minus lengths based on luck in running or lack thereof, jockey error etc. This ensures each individual is rated correctly, so when I am doing future price assessments there is no need to have to remember what happened in the run as it has already been adjusted.

These figures are recorded onto a race sheet and entered onto my data base every few days and an automated model adjusts the rating. Other pertinent race comments are also entered alongside each individual runner as well as an overview for the race itself.

I am also looking for horses that profile well for the future, particularly amongst the maidens.

And that profile is based on on-pace runners?

Yes, I make no secret of my preference for on-pace types. They generally control the tempo of the race and are therefore at a distinct advantage not to mention that they suffer less misfortune and don’t need the luck in running that backmarkers do.

What do you mean by ‘profile quite well’?

Those that fit the criteria of what I require from a horse to consider backing it. Apart from the obvious distance, class, stage of preparation, rating etc I am looking for types that have shown an ability to buck the trend so to speak. For example on-pace types who were competitive in events where the tempo was very fast and managed to hang on despite the pattern favouring runners off pace or further back in the field. Some horses can run closing sectionals off above-average tempo whilst others need to be given a soft lead. I am interested in the former.

You say that you never bet on backmarkers. Is this still the case even if there looks to be a lot of pace in the race and they’re racing at a spacious track with a long straight?

Sure. Generally I avoid staying races, choosing to concentrate on sprints and races up to 1600m. It’s a personal thing based on statistics and record keeping. Given that backmarkers in those events are at a distinct disadvantage from the beginning as they are relying on a number of factors over which they have absolutely no control. That is, they need a solid tempo and luck in running and ultimately they can often be in a position whereby it is mathematically impossible to win. On-pacers on the other hand get to control the race. For example, consider an open handicap 1200m where a race is run in 1.10.5. The tempo up front is moderate to slow and the first 600 is covered in 37.0. The final 600m sectional is 33.5. A backmarker who is 7 lengths from the lead at the 600m not only requires a clear run but a closing sectional in sub 32.5 and it just can’t be done.

So how do you assess possible track bias on the day, versus just the fact that on-pace runners win more races than backmarkers?

Figures don’t lie, provided of course that they are correct and sometimes they are not. But the use of sectional information is crucial in determining bias. If leaders are winning all races comfortably then it’s possible there may be a bias toward them on the day. If they are defying logic and still winning off very solidly run races which should have seen off pacers and backmarkers get home over the top of them it is highly probable. On days where the rail is a fast lane it will be definite.

And when talking about bias it’s often hindsight anyway isn’t it? Punters need the information before the race not after.

Absolutely. That’s where historical records are a great tool. Certain courses under certain weather conditions with the rail in or out have in the past shown particular bias. Of course that doesn’t mean it will automatically be that way all the time but by watching the earlier events those who are aware of the historical data will be able to draw an early conclusion and make the appropriate adjustments to their form.

The second part of this interview will run in next week’s newsletter.

David Duffield, author of Championpicks Horse Racing Tips Blogs, articles, and newsletters. A professional CEO of Championpicks Racing Tips that provides excellent and extensive information for his website customers and subscribers.

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