Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 1st February 2014
Racing UK
Forget Horses for Courses, Let’s Look at Jockey Records

I have recently been spending my evenings studying and on occasions having a bet on American racing. More specifically I have been concentrating on Laurel Park. You may immediately want to stop reading as I know many of you do not like horses just sprinting round a left-handed dirt track, but in terms of form study there is one lesson in particular that has been reinforced in my mind.

That lesson is that paying attention to jockey’s strike-rates at a particular track is more important than studying their overall performance.

Two jockeys who ride Laurel particularly well are Sheldon Russell and Trevor McCarthy. These two riders are excellent judges of pace and they ride the track taking into account any bias that may be in existence.

This is their manor and they dominate.

The same may not be the case at a different track against different jockeys.

The point is that perhaps we should look more carefully at how jockeys perform at different tracks here in Britain rather than concentrate on their overall performance.

I am sure that some jockeys riding here are better on straight tracks than round courses, or some are better on flat tracks as opposed to undulating ones.

Concentrating on their specific track performances may be a hidden angle that we could use to our benefit. Punters in America have been reaping the rewards of this type of study for years.

It would seem that my understanding of what happened in the Cleeve Hurdle last week was not to everybody's liking.

Debate has raged all week.

I stand by what I wrote and think it really is time to move on. Whether you believe Sam Twiston-Davies kicked too soon, or rode the great stayer correctly, neither camp are going to budge. Let's just say that a study of the cup of gas theory tells us all that a tank full of fuel is all you have to get you through a race and if you press the accelerator too soon the tank will be on empty just when you needed the fuel most. Time to drop this.

Mathematician Betting

Winner finding in desperate ground is not easy, and there could be some shocks this weekend.

I have not been able to garner much inspiration having scanned through the jumping cards, so I am going to go to the Lingfield all-weather for my selection.

The horse is Blue Wave, who is becoming a specialist on artificial surfaces. He is a synthetic freak if you like.

He is four from seven on such surfaces and his last two wins at Lingfield and Southwell have been very impressive.

His sire is Raven’s Pass, which is a positive influence as far as synthetic performers are concerned and he looks to be more than useful. He should be backed with confidence.

Angus McNae's Saturday selection:

3.30 Lingfield: Blue Wave