We’ve now had four months of wind operations being declared in Britain and some interesting patterns are emerging…
Backing all horses on their first run after wind surgery would have found 57 winners from 475 runners (12% strike-rate) but returned a loss of £56.40 to a £1 level stake at SP, even after yesterday’s 40-1 first-time wind op winner at Wincanton (backing the same horses at Betfair SP would have shown a profit, after commission, of £45.57 to £1). Hurdlers do better than chasers (16.6% strike-rate, as opposed to 8.4%) and All-weather runners are profitable to back blind at SP (+£7.36 to £1).
However, one of the more interesting angles is backing horses on their second run after a wind operation. Many trainer and jockeys I have spoken to suggest that a horse needs one run to get used to now being able to fully exert itself without discomfort. If we strip out chase runners, then backing these second-run after a wind op horses would have found 25 winners from 217 runners (11.5% strike-rate) for a profit of £26.99 to £1 at SP (+£92.93 at Betfair SP). The system I currently favour is to back the ones that ran third through sixth on their first run after the surgery (all race types, including chases), as those who won or ran second last-time out are often over-bet. This method has thrown up 18 winners from 117 runners (15.4% strike-rate) for a profit of £51.70 to £1 at SP (+£84.77 at Betfair SP).
HIGHLAND PEAK weakened into sixth in a 2m4f handicap hurdle at Perth last month on his first run following wind surgery, a highly promising effort after a break of more than six months. He received a decent speed figure from Raceform - the fourth best last-time out figure in today's line-up - and could be worth chancing to small stakes in the novices’ handicap hurdle (8.05) at the same venue today. He ran well over course and distance last summer and is dropping down from Class 4 to Class 5 level.
Kevin Ryan often sends his best juveniles to York for their debuts and I like the look of RATHBONE in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (5.05). The market usually knows where it stands with them too and he’s five from seven with favourites. At the time of writing, Rathbone is the 4-1 second favourite but backing the yard’s 2yo newcomers at this meeting, regardless of their market position, would have found four winners from 17 runners (23.5% strike-rate) for a profit of £10.13 to a £1 level stake at SP.
Highland Peak – Perth 8.05 (1pt win, 0.5pts place, 18-1 Bet365, 16-1 generally)
Rathbone – York 5.05 (1pt win, 4-1 generally)
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