Now, on last week’s Saturday Summary, I mentioned that I was working on a daily report to show Distance Travelled; the distance that a horse has had to travel to its race.

Some of you were kind enough to point out that this information is available on the Racing Post website but…

This isn’t really the information that I am after.

You see, the distance that a horse has to travel is largely dependant upon the location of it’s Trainer’s stable.

I know that that sounds obvious but,

Imagine that Black Beauty is being trained by Emma Owen (HP18 0EB) who is based at Aylesbury.

Now, Aylesbury is fairly central when you look at a map of all UK race courses.

Thus, it is possible (even likely) that Black Beauty doesn’t have to travel too far to get to a race.

Now, think about Jean McGregor (no, I’ve never heard of her either but I do know that her post code is KY13 0RW) who is based in Kinross and has the honour of being the most northern registered trainer.

She generally sends her horse to Kelso and Perth but has had entries in Ireland and English courses such as Aintree and Uttoxeter.

So, what I feel is more important isn’t the distance travelled but rather…

The distance travelled when compared to the average distance travelled by a trainer’s horses.

Taking Emma Owen an example,

She generally races here horses fairly locally but, on the 11th of March 2019 she sent a horse to Taunton.

Taunton is 150 miles from Aylesbury – far further than the 50 miles it takes to travel from her stables to Kempton Park.

So, that was a statistically significant race (the horse didn’t finish, by the way, so it was a bit of a waste of time and fuel.)

The Statistics Bit…

Although I did do Statistics A level (and passed), that was a long time ago.

I first thought that Standard Deviation was going to be the tool to use but I think that there is a simpler solution.

For every trainer I shall work out the average distance travelled and then mark as significant any race that falls outside a certain percentage of that average.

In Emma Owen’s case, her average distance to race is about 80 miles.

If we choose 40% of the Average Distance Travelled then the cut off point would be 112 miles (the Average Distance Travelled plus 40% of Average Distance Travelled.)

Emma Owen regularly sends horses to Brighton (a distance travelled of about 100 miles) so that would not be a significant distance but, at 150 miles (and, thus, over the cutoff point or, more than 40% further away than the Average Distance Travelled) if Emma Owen sends a horse to Taunton that might be of interest to us.

I intend to publish a list of those horses which are travelling more than 40% further than the Average Distance Travelled.

I will also list Distance Variance (the Distance Travelled compared to the Average Distance Travelled) on the upcoming Expert Cards – available to full members.


The process to calculate Distance Travelled is partially automated.

In Emma Owen’s case, she only has to send a horse to all of the 21 race courses that she has raced at over the last 8 years and, unless she suddenly starts sending horses to other race courses, there will never be any more calculations to do.

As an example…

If Emma Owen sends a horse to Kempton today, I may not have the distance travelled for Aylesbury to Kempton but…

If she sends another horse to Kempton tomorrow, the distance travelled will already have been calculated and inserted into the database and, thus, won’t need to be calculated again.

The Average Distance Travelled will, of course, have to re-calculated on a daily basis but, only for those horses (or, rather, Trainers) who have horses running today.

However, that will be automated and will take less than a minute to compute for all horses running today.

As far as timescales are concerned…

Well, I really don’t know but, if I don’t have any real problems, I am hoping that it will be all done and dusted by the end of the month.


Now, this might seem a bit Wacky Races but…

I have had a bee in my bonnet for the last 3 years about weather.

I have this theory that it’s not the weather on race day that really matters but…

The Trainer’s local weather for those vital 3 weeks prior to race day.

Let’s assume that Black Beauty is trained by Charlie Wallis (CO77QE – Colchester, Essex. 20 miles to the East Coast.)

Now, lets imagine that it has been peeing down with rain for the last 3 weeks on the East Coast.

Black Beauty is scheduled to run at Cheltenham today.

The Going is anticipated to be Good as Gloucestershire has been basking in sunshine for the last 3 weeks.

Now, for the vital 3 weeks prior to race day, the Trainer has been telling the stable staff… “Don’t push it too hard today; it’s very muddy down on the bottom gallops.”

The stable staff don’t really need to be told as they are wary of pushing the horses too hard, falling off as a result and not being able to work for the next 6 months.

And even Black Beauty is thinking to himself… “I’m not going to push it today; it looks bluddy mucky down on the bottom gallops. I’ll take it easy and hope that the Doris sat on top of me gets the clue and takes me back to the stable for a nice rub down.”

So, Black Beauty hasn’t hit peak fitness whereas Speedy Simon who, for the sake of comparison, let’s assume…

Is trained by James Grassick (Cheltenham based, so only a short trip for the horse but, more importantly),

Speedy Simon has had perfect weather during his vital last 3 weeks of training.

Now, assume that Speedy Simon and Black Beauty have the same rating on Focus Ratings.

Actually lets give them the same rating on Racing Post Ratings and Official Ratings as well.

Let’s understand that they both like good to firm going and really don’t enjoy heavy going.

So, they are both pretty much identical horses.

If they are both running in the same race, which one will do better? The one that has had a chance to really train or the one that hasn’t?

Put in those terms it seems quite logical and…

If I can somehow quantify that, it might just give us an edge.

The weirdest thing is,

If you check the weather when a horse doesn’t run to form,

You’ll often notice this effect.

In Statistics there is an effect known as Tuning.

In other words, if I want my mad theory to be true, subconsciously I will test the theory in such a way that I can prove it to be true.

The reason that I’m mentioning Rain is as follows…

I now have post codes for every trainer.

The Met Office publishes precipitation data for every location in the UK.

This information is in the public domain – your taxes pay for it.

Thus, I shall be able to produce a precipitation per trainer for the 3 weeks prior to race day.

I will then be able to test my mad theory to see if it provides additional information (that I don’t believe is available anywhere else) for members of Intelligent Betting.


Now, obviously…

Distance Travelled is the important thing to work on but,

I truly believe that there is value in Weather Effect.

As Intelligent Betting members (free or full) you will get access to this information.

Full members will get the additional data emailed to them every morning in PDF format.

If you have any ideas about any reports you would like me to publish, please let me know.

Members of Intelligent Betting get the following…

Really Simple Ratings (top four rated horses)
Really Simple Ratings (all horses)
Intelligent Betting System Selections
Horse Change in Class
Horse Change in Trainer
Unique Jockey & Trainer
System Builder (coming soon)

If you want more information about Intelligent Betting, please visit Find Out More.

As always…

My kindest regards



1 Response » to “Distance Travelled (and Rain…)”

  1. Roller52 says:

    That’s a very clever and unique angle I would go so far and say its off the scale I have never heard anyone come remotely close to this angle. I wish you all the best sir kind regards

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