[Reblogged from 2016]
On Saturday punters face the challenge of analysing form for a metropolitan standard meeting on a relatively unfamiliar course. What track vagaries might we encounter tomorrow?
Hawkesbury’s home straight was significantly lengthened and the final turn realigned at the close of 2012. With the cancellation of all bar one race at last year’s feature programme, the most recent comparison meeting is the feature of 2014.
That occasion is memorable for the last-to-first Guineas win of Chautauqua, who made his winning run along the rails after snagging back to the tail from his outside barrier at the jump.
The eight-race card of 2014 saw one leader win, 3 winners from low barriers and 4 winners sit rails-in-run (leader included).
Hawkesbury has been a difficult circuit to forecast since the remodelling. Initially the track seemed to favour those inside but recently it seems to enhance the prospects of those in the running line.
With the above confusion in mind, I made a study of the past six meetings on a true rail. 48 races were run with an average field size just under 10. The worst going encountered was a Soft 5 on January 28.
Barriers 1-4 supplied 188 starters, were expected to win 27 races, but performed poorly, winning only 16. Barrier 1 won only twice when expected to win 6, both wins in longer races.
Inside barriers performed even worse at the short course, the chute start offering a downhill run to the turn at 1000m and 1100m. An expectation of 7.5 realised just 2 winners.
Turning to in-run position, 39 leaders were anticipated to return 6.33 winners, but only 2 survived, incidentally both trained by Clarry Conners!
Rails-dwellers (not including leaders) supplied 106 instances, were expected to win nearly 12 races, but won just 4.
My research therefore suggests that leaders and inside draws face a task tomorrow.
Of the leading riders with engagements, James McDonald, Hugh Bowman and Blake Shinn have barely ridden through the analysis period.
Brenton Avdulla has won 8 races, slightly short of expectation. Christian Reith and Kerrin McEvoy have matched expectation. Tim Clark, with 6 winners from 285% and Tye Angland, also 6 winners from 396% have a demonstrable edge under tomorrow’s conditions.
The best performing trainer is Bjorn Baker, from a limited sample (9 runners). Gerald Ryan and Team Snowden have both slightly exceeded expectation with their 5 wins apiece.
May your strategic wagering decisions bear fruit.