The StatsMan

THE STATSMAN: After nailing Californiadeepshot first-up, what do the second-up stats say?

The StatsMan provided an in-depth analysis ahead of Californiadeepshot's return to Happy Valley tonight

By Sohil Patel

Two weeks ago, Californiadeepshot romped home to win his first start by 1.5 lengths and added to the small list of Privately Purchased (PPs) horses that win on debut in Hong Kong. 

The handicapper  bumped him up nine rating points and the Tony Cruz-trained three-year-old finds himself carrying 133-pounds at the top of Class 3. Californiadeepshot also faces a stronger field this time; two of his rivals What a Legend and Victory in Hand have both won two in a row.  Californiadeepshot is at odds of 3.9 at the time of writing this article.

We have gone through our records to look at the last 20 debutant PP winners in Class 3 (since the start of the 2016-17 season).

The basic metrics tell us that the probability of Californiadeepshot winning again range between 14% and 33%. 


But let’s dig a little deeper. Here are some more detailed stats:

  • All 20 of those debutant PP winners in Class 3 raced subsequently.
  • Four of those 20 first-up winners, just 20%, won second-up: Yee Cheong Baby, Regency Legend, Magic Legend, and Water Diviner. 
  •  Regency Legend and Magic Legend went on to win their next three starts after their debut win
  • All four winners who won in their next start ran within a month. 

As you can see, it isn’t an easy task and the list of first-up winners that were beaten second-up contains some superstars including Able Friend. John Moore’s big chestnut was beaten as 2.5 favourite, but was returning after a four month break. Able Friend had also jumped 11 ratings points from 72 to 83 to find himself in Class 2. As the next breakdown shows, staying in the grade seems to be a disadvantage, and first-up Happy Valley winners have a slight statistical edge, albeit with a small sample size.

  • Two out of the eight (25%) that progressed to Class 2 won second-up.
  • Two out of the 12 (16.6%) that remained in Class 3 won second-up. 
  • One out of four (25%) debutant PP winners at Happy Valley won second-up. 
  • None out of one ( 0%) debutant PP winners on the All-Weather Track at Sha Tin won second-up. 
  • Three out of 15 (20%) debutant PP winners at Sha Tin won second-up.

As mentioned with Able Friend, a sharp ratings rise – either resulting in a big weight being carried in Class 3, or facing a competitive Class 2 field – is difficult to overcome. Let’s break down the records by ratings rise.

Now some analysis by odds range (odds shown for $10 outlay).

The basic metrics above tell us that the probability of Californiadeepshot winning again range between 14% and 33%.   This points to odds that should be between $30 to $61 for a $10 outlay.
Of course we must consider opposition, and when we finally look at our speed ratings of the contenders in this race there are seven horses that come into consideration.
Can Californiadeepshot overcome the 3.1 speed rating points (or approximately 1.25 lengths) deficit behind Victory In Hand?
We finally looked at the speed rating improvement (or deterioration) shown by the 20 PP debutant winners in Class 3 and noticed an alarming trend.  Nine (45%) of these debutants “bounce” or show a drop in their rating second-up.  An additional five (25%) improve up to only two rating points.  Only four (and these are the four winners) improve by more than two speed rating points.  With this alarming statistic, we would hesitate in recommending a bet on Califiorniadeepshot.

About the author:

Sohil Patel is a professional handicapper, writer and data analyst who focuses on Hong Kong racing. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, two teenage daughters and a westie called Benter and prides himself on knowing about all kinds of data related to Hong Kong racing. Follow him on Twitter @ @SohilRacequant

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