Pace Makes The Race
When you start to look at a race you are looking to see how it is likely to unfold and a key factor is obviously going to be the pace.
This will ultimately benefit some and negate others, hence looking at speed figures in isolation is not a quick route to success. ‘Google mapping’ a journey from ‘A’ to ‘B’ gives you a theoretical time, but doesn’t factor in any road blocks, traffic congestion or toilet breaks 🙂
Many punters purely look at the speed factor and do not consider the most important factor being the most important part of the journey – pace, or indeed lack of it!
Without any ‘indicative’ pace you are purely relying on guesswork that can throw any form-book out of the window.
Make it your first port of call and if no pace is highlighted then take the guesswork out – NO BET – there’s nothing worse than jockeys rubbernecking over their shoulders at each other as to who is going to go on.
Equally, when reviewing past races, if there’s been a distinct lack of pace they invariably have been falsely run and the outcome means nothing in terms of a true form-book?
You certainly want to answer as many questions as you can regarding the pace scenario as it may ultimately help you find an unlikely horse that will be given an assist or when we are looking at value – a false favourite that will be vulnerable because of the likely pace.
Horses can be effectively be divided in to 4 pace styles:
- Front Runner’s – set the pace and try to keep the lead
- Race prominently – up there with the above but don’t take it on
- Mid Division – race just off the pace
- Hold Ups – slip stream and like to close late with a flourish
In order to assess pace, we must first look at the running style of each horse – that can gained through historical information/video replays etc. and why from the outset we ever back 2yo or unexposed 3yo’s 🙂
Each horse has a running style that produces their best efforts, and rarely is a horse flexible enough to produce the goods outside of its comfort zone.
Types of Race
‘Lone Speed’ – horse can set the pace and not come back to the pack or set a slow pace to hinder the ‘hold up’s as they struggle for momentum coming off a slow pace.
‘Two front runners‘ – a duel that can have two of the above locking horns that usually leads to them both burning out to everyone elses advantage – also consider if a trainer has a ‘double entry’ where they look to ensure there is pace enough for thier other charge?
‘No Pace’ – as we opened with above, the ultimate betting conundrum and nightmare – PLEASE, NO BET!!!
Certain tracks are more difficult to win from the front and vice versa, there are many that are difficult to come from off the pace.
Additionally it’s worth considering how a horse ran its last race. A pace setter may have ran a fast ‘pace’ LTO on a track that didn’t suit but that very same pace on a front running track may have been enough to win. It’s worth watching trainers running horses in handicaps at unsuited tracks and the handicap mark subsequently drops. Equally, you can use to review horses dropped/raised in class or had headgear added/removed 🙂
Distance and surface should also be factored into how you assess pace. We predominantly back in sprints, or up to 10f , it’s more difficult for the hold up’s coming from off the pace in 10 runner plus races as they can get legged up in traffic.
We’ve tried to pull in the scenarios and hopefully you will be better placed to make some judgmental decisions on how a race will unfold.
- Check the running style of each horse in the field
- Determine how the race will be run – any lone speed/no speed?
- Who benefits from the likely pace?
- If NO PACE – NO BET.
Best Tools for assessing Pace
By far the best Pace analyser we have come across is operated by geegeez that used in combination with their pace maps can give you a great guide to how a race may be ran.
Check out the visuals below, where you can easily filter out:
- Draw / Pace Heat Map: Colour coded view of how draw/ run style combinations have performed over course/distance
- Draw / Pace Table: Tabular view of how draw/ run style combinations have performed over course/distance
- Check out our separate post regarding DRAW BIAS HERE
The pace map show the probable number of front runners in a race, helping to visualise how it will be run before it’s been run
If you want to take a test drive of the geegeez service, you can try it for just £1.00 at the link below 🙂