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Gary Crispe’s Fundamental Form Analysis – Fitness Part 5

Debutantes and first uppers – do race horses that have barrier trials improve fitness and as a result improve strike rates and profitability?

Gary Crispe’s Fundamental Form Analysis – Fitness Part 5

This week I will investigate debutantes and first uppers – do barrier trials make a difference to fitness and strike rates?

Last week I raised the issue of New South Wales versus Victoria regarding the effectiveness of mandatory barrier trials before a horse makes its debut at the races.

And just to complete the exercise I also looked at horses resuming from a spell and those racing second up from a spell.


But for the moment let’s look at debutantes and first uppers - the tabulated results below revealing some interesting strike rates and average winning odds.

Taking the 2015 Racing season first, and looking at debutantes only, there is a stark difference in winning strike rates between NSW and Victoria – 11.8% for NSW versus 6.5% for Victoria – almost half!

So put bluntly, debutantes in NSW won almost twice as many times as those in Victoria in the 2015 season – quite an endorsement that the enforced public barrier trials policy in NSW is better for punters.

This is also reflected in the average winning starting price for both States – first, in the average winning odds of debutantes in NSW it is $7.20 against $10.20 in Victoria and perhaps the most important of all is the strike rate of debutante favourites 34.0% in NSW versus 28.6% in Victoria.

So on the 2015 season statistics there is clear evidence that punters are much better off wagering on debutantes in NSW (if you must wager at all on them) where there is more information published for the benefit of the punter.

If we consider horses resuming from spells in both States there is no real difference between the statistics for average winning starting price and winning favourites, but there still remains a lower winning strike rate in Victoria compared to NSW for horses resuming from spells – 10.6% v 9.0%.

The strike rates and average winning odds have converged presumably because race experience has kicked in and most horses who have had at least one preparation don’t need to rely on trials as much for the education.

2015 Racing Season

We also ran the same analysis for the 2016 season thus far and it is interesting to note the same conclusions can be reached as for the 2015 season but maybe not as pronounced.

For example we see the winning strike rates for Victoria still below that of NSW for both debutantes and horses resuming from spells - (8.2% v 9.8%) and (8.4% v 10.3%) respectively.

Also as for 2015, the average winning odds in Victoria for both debutantes and first uppers are higher than NSW indicating a lack of clarity and information in the market place eg the betting ring while the favourite strike rate for debutantes has fallen in both States compared to 2015 but to an abysmally low figure of 14.3% in Victoria.

Interestingly the average winning odds for first uppers has dropped relative to Victoria which I am at a loss to explain other than to suggest it could be an aberration at this juncture and the two figures might be closer aligned by season’s end?

2016 Racing Season (to 24 may 2016)

These tables reveal some interesting trends and seem to confirm what many people suspected about debutantes and first uppers in each state - that punters wagering in Melbourne are at a disadvantage compared to Sydney due to the lack of information in the public domain.

More on trials and first uppers next week.

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