< First Part of Excerpt
One other trainer had an interesting past: G.G. Margarson,
who handled the 14 horse. In the last two weeks, Margarson
showed two wins and a third in four races at Windsor, a type
of trainer-for-course, and one of those wins came with a
amount of data available at a click from the Racing Post
is dizzying, and in order to avoid fainting from information
overload, we should always remain focused on the primary
factor. The trainer-for-course factor would have risen to a
higher layer of importance if I had found any other piece of
information surrounding the Margarson horse, but there was
nothing: nothing of sufficient consequence to trump the
American breeding of Gold Pearl, supported by the
rider-for-course info, the promising debut race and above
all, the precocity and class in the pedigree.
Furthermore, I found no particular statistical or past
performance info that would be reason enough for the
1-horse, Escholido, to be favored over Gold Pearl.
across the street to my friendly OTB (PMU in France). This
is one of the great advantages of living in a compact
neighborhood. It’s a shorter distance for me from my living
room to the OTB across the street than it is for Hugh Hefner
to go from his bedroom to his kitchen for a beer.
Gold Pearl to win, with odds of 3.4 -1 on my TV monitor.
Pearl pressed the pace and took the lead with about two
furlongs to go. He was challenged by a horse I had not
considered, trained by Richard Hannon, who showed a serious
flat-bet loss at Windsor, even if Hannon’s win percentage
was competitively high. If you’re in the lead, you don’t
ever want to be chased by a Hannon horse.
In the end, it was the skill
of Ryan Moore in the saddle combined with the intrinsic
class of Gold Pearl himself that prevented the challenger
from getting by.
Monday Night Windsor
have Monday Night Football in Europe but we have something
better: Monday Night Windsor. Exactly one week after the
victory of Gold Pearl, I found another 16-horse maiden
sprint at Windsor and waited for my favorite factors to fall
into my lap. As with Gold Pearl, I was looking for American
pedigree coupled with a big trainer stat.
time it was a bit more complicated, with more American-bred
horses in the field, but the trainer stats pointed clearly
to two of them.
the second race, the 19:40 (British races run like train
there was a flash of poetry. The 12-horse, a first-time
starter named Symi, was sired by Hennessy, the dad of Henny
Hughes, who in turn was the sire of Gold Pearl. I wanted
very much for this poetic pattern match to be my play, but I
had to subject it to empirical data.
actually bred in Europe, and the dam had long-winded route
pedigree (all this info is easily identified in the
Racing Post on-line past performances). The Hennessy
evidence started to look frail. But John Gosden, not usually
a flat-bet-profit trainer, was red hot with 2-year-olds. In
a race where the horses with past racing experience had
traveled about as fast as the contraptions that seal the
track, the first-timers had a better shot, and Symi was one
there were three American breds in the race, but two of
them, Cloud Illusion (Smarty Jones) and Porthgwidden Beach
(Street Cry) had raced like tractors in their debut outings.
The trainer of the first had never won a race with a
2-year-old and the trainer of the second had won only 5%
with his 2yos, showing a negative 75% return on investment.
These two were easy to eliminate.
American bred remained: Winnie Dixie, sired by a leading
juvenile sire of 2009, Dixie Union. Winnie Dixie’s dam sire
was Allen’s Prospect, pure sprint. Winnie Dixie’s trainer,
Paul Cole, showed a flat-bet loss in all categories
except 2-year-olds, where he had 23% wins and a 1.75
return on investment for each 1.00 pound.
tempted to leave out the Gosden horse, who technically was
not an American bred. But I couldn’t get past his sire,
Hennessy, nor could I ignore that Gosden was hot in the baby
up putting the empirical 40% of my wager to win on Winnie
Dixie, the poetic 40% to win on Symi, and the remaining
yin-yang 20% on a quinella with the two.
off, and from the start, Symi was struggling, having left
from the outside 16-hole. Even with a degree of early speed,
it looked as if Symi could not get settled comfortably in
the first furlongs. Barring a miracle, my remaining hopes
rested on Winnie Dixie.
inside, Winnie Dixie gradually moved from mid-pack to
presser and to the lead. As Symi was calling it a day, a
Richard Hannon horse came out to challenge Winnie Dixie. A
sixteenth from the finish, I witnessed a poetic symmetry
between this race and the Gold Pearl event from the previous
Monday: American bred chased by a Hannon horse.
Dixie drew away easily. She returned 5.4 –1. The exacta with
the Hannon horse, which I did not have, returned 54.60 for
more we have seen the combination of American pedigree in
Euro sprints, in juxtaposition with positive trainer
way, these maiden races are ideal for interactive on-line
past performances. There is less information required to
manipulate, meaning less of a chance for information
days leading up to our bicycle odyssey, I resolved keep a
keen eye open for any possible American pedigree advantage
for young horses in sprint races.
PS Mark paid
for this entire adventure through bets he made at these 11
tracks. But the book goes beyond those 11 tracks and
provides handicapping lessons for foreign racing in
general, with examples from England, Dubai, and other
later chapters, you can see how American speed pedigree
functions in Euro dirt races. But above all, a major point
in the book is that potent handicapping factors that work in
the USA can be applied abroad, almost anywhere on the globe.
In this case, it's the binary combination of a positive
trainer stat and a hot 2-year-old sire.