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Wet Tracks In Australian Racing

(April 2014)

A few days I got an email from Steve that read:

"Hi, was wondering if you had a successful wet trackers racing system available. I have always thought winter racing we must be able to find an edge on Heavy tracks?"

My reply was as follows:

"Personally I have always found this to be the most over-rated and over-bet “factor” and so I avoid like the plague

But, as with all things, that’s just my observation and I know a lot of people swear by it.

I just ran small test on the data base that you may find interesting – the criteria were
1. only heavy tracks
2. only bet on horses with a 50% win strike rate on heavy tracks
3. all tracks all states

For the last 695 races (1273 qualifiers) where the track was rated heavy

Here are the results

                                       WIN                           PLACE
Races Bet:                     695                               691
Races Won:                   172                               360
S.R./Race:                     24.7%                           52.1%
Outlay($):                   1273.00                     1269.00
Return :                        977.20                      1031.10
$ Profit : -                     295.80                       -237.90
% P.O.T. :                    -23.2%                           -18.7%

Win Strike Rate/Seln. :         13.5%
Plc Strike Rate/Seln. :            34.2%
Average Win Dividend :         $5.68
Average Plc Dividend :           $2.36

I note there are also long runs of outs which would cause a degree of difficulty (!!)"

The weakness, as even the most casual observer would note, is that there are too many qualifiers to make it profitable at level stakes.

Consequently, after sending that reply, I ran some other qualifications other than those three aforementioned, and, yes, you can get to the stage with further qualifications where you break around even at level stakes by reducing the number of qualifiers from nearly 2 per race to about 80% of races having only one qualifier:

The figures (22.10.2012 to 13.4.2014) are:

                                     WIN               PLACE
Races Bet:                  417                    414
Races Won:               118                     217
S.R./Race:                 28.3%                 52.4%
Outlay($):                531.00                  528.00
Return :                   536.80                  456.10
$ Profit :                       5.80                   -71.90
% P.O.T. :                      1.1%                  -13.6%

Looking back on this issue that I have addressed before, nothing has changed. I remain convinced that "wet trackers" remain poor value. Even if they really are wet trackers and what the heck that does all mean anyway? On wet sloppy tracks, very few horses like to stretch out and extend themselves to 100% of their capability. Same as us - you do not walk at the same pace on frosty grass or wet pavement as what you may on dry because it simply doesn't feel the same or as safe. Horses aren't dumb either.

And when you put that letter (w) after a horse's name in a form guide on a wet day, the true price of that horse's chances is undermined by an unreasonable amount of money than what otherwise would have been the case.

At the end of the day, just what does that (w) mean? Does it mean it doesn't change it's running style on a wet track as compared to a dry or is it that on a day when it raced on a heavy track to record that (w), in the straight it miraculously found a drier part of the surface and gained an unfair advantage? If it did, that's not recorded - just the (w) suggesting it is some sort of special on a heavy track even though it probably won't be lucky again to find a drier running lane again.

All in all I remain unconvinced there's any value in it. However, at Steve's request, if there are heavy tracks forecast for a day's racing, I'll try and get time to run this wet trackers' programme after scratching time and post the day's selections at www.racerate.net where we post trial selections. Note very well: they will only be there when I get a few minutes and will only be published for your entertainment and not as financial advice.

If you would like to look more at what we wrote over a year ago about wet track racing - click here.