I’ve got a backing system that I want to start testing on Monday, or perhaps tomorrow if time permit’s.

Today I want to share with you an article that I came across yesterday which may shed some light on the poor performance of many backing systems and tipster services this winter. The article was sent to me in an e-mail and unfortunately I have no idea who authored it so I can’t give him/her credit:

Since February ended I have been analysing the official goings for the
past four years for the period December through to end of February. The
results of the analysis confirm my thoughts.

The information below is the number of times an official going has
occurred for all Non-Handicap National Hunt races. This IS NOT the number
of races. For example, if you have a meeting at Ayr, and the official
going is Heavy for the whole meeting, then it is listed as one occurrence.
If the official going is Heavy for Chase, and Soft for Hurdles, it is
listed as two occurrences, once for each.

Official Going Non Handicap Racing – Good to Soft; Good; Good to Firm;
Dec 2006 – Feb 2007 = 43
Dec 2005 – Feb 2006 = 133
Dec 2004 – Feb 2005 = 121
Dec 2003 – Feb 2004 = 142
Official Going Non Handicap Racing – Heavy; Soft;
Dec 2006 – Feb 2007 = 112
Dec 2005 – Feb 2006 = 79
Dec 2004 – Feb 2005 = 92
Dec 2003 – Feb 2004 = 67

The figures above are very informative, and clearly illustrate what I have
felt to be the problem all along. For example, we have only had an official
going of Good to Soft, Good, Good to Firm or Firm on 43 occassions. For the
previous 3 years it has occurred an average of 132 times. This has a
serious effect on evaluating previous form.

The reason I have combined the official goings in the groups above is
because a clear imbalance can be seen. This imbalance is highlighted
further when you analyse the performance of Non-Handicap favourites based
on SP. During the period of Dec 2006 to Feb 2007 there were 186 winning
favourites in non-handicap races. Of these 123 were odds-on (out of 204
races), and only 63 were odds against (out of 212 races).

The reason for the poor going in my opinion is due to the temperatures we
have seen this winter. It has been, officially, the warmest winter
recorded since records began in 1914. We have not had our usual
‘cold-snaps’, which take care of the under-surface water, and therefore it
has left most tracks with waterlogging problems.
This has had a serious effect on the ground and going for racing across
the board. It has meant that we have not had many frosts and cold snaps,
which has resulted in water sitting under the surface and making the
ground very heavy. 
This has also had a further knock on effect with the actual quality of
horses being sent to the track by trainers. As we all know, it takes a
certain type of horse to perform well on the extremes of goings, which
means trainers are reluctant to put their best animals out when faced with
extremely heavy going.

As I have already said, I am not one for making excuses, and it is only
with this information to hand that decisions can be made for the future. 
I will be analysing data for the Dec 06 to Feb 07 period further to see if
there is a better strategy that can be employed next year if the same
problem happens again.