Google the phrase ‘what is SP profile?’ and you’ll get results about stuff like schools and strengths.
But as a Champion Bets reader you’ll know that we’re interested in the much more important subject of betting and in this instance we are referring to ‘Starting Price Profile’.
Newer punters are probably wondering what that term actually means and how can it be applied to our form study.
Well the Starting Price (SP) is the market’s expectation of the runner to win the race. This price represents the betting investments from a Wednesday afternoon right up to jump time on a Saturday. The market has spoken – all of the people who have placed hours of form into the race and wagered many thousands of dollars have landed on this price as the most accurate expectation of each horse’s chance of winning.
The SP has been proven over many years to be a very accurate guide to the true winning chance of each horse. The market is very efficient, so over the course of a year $4 chances win more races than those who start at $5, who win more than runners at $6 and so on.
I covered the topic of True Price versus Starting Price in an earlier article.
How can SP Profiling work for us?
We will have two fictional runners that are from the same race at a previous start and are again lining up against each other:
Winx SP’d at $2 and Sunline’s SP was $101.
Last start both horses had similar runs in the race and finishing off well to the line. If we are using their SP profile we are going to rate the Winx run higher than the Sunline effort based off the SP of both horses.
The market was expecting Winx to win at that price and gave Sunline little to no chance of winning. In today’s race both horses are marked as $10 chances. In our form study we would be putting Winx ahead of Sunline in winning today’s race if we were purely using SP profiling to select the horse.
When might the SP not be as accurate?
If a horse is having its first start I would be weighting the SP less than a horse that has had 20 runs as the market has a good idea about the horse’s ability and limitations. If a runner was first up from a break last start then the market may have underestimated the horses abilities and I would also be wary of the SP on the horse in that race.
The SP can’t be taken as the only piece of information when trying to line up the starting prices on two horses. In this situation one is clearly suited at the trip and conditions compared to a horse that is a long way from its ideal trip and can’t handle the conditions of today’s event.
When does SP profiling work best?
In my opinion SP profiling is more accurate when runners meet after a second or third run onwards in their preparation. Both horses will usually be fit and the market has a good handle on their winning chance in today’s event. They then meet again in similar conditions and distance for today’s race.
Another example is horses coming off an unexpectedly good or bad run.
For example, a horse beaten a nose at $101 last start is less likely to produce a similar rating next run than a horse beaten a nose as the $3 favourite.
On the other side, a horse beaten 10 lengths as favourite last start is more likely to produce an improved rating next time out than a horse beaten the same margin as a longshot.
The lower the market percentage, the more accurate the SP is going forward. If one runner was in a city race priced $3 in a market close to 100% that is more accurate than a horse coming from another event which was also SP’d at $3 in a 130% market.
How can you use SP Profiling
A lot of punters swear by the SP Profile as a key part of the frame work to their study, others simply use it as a smaller piece of the form puzzle when doing the form for a race.
My personal opinion is I believe it does have a place in form study, however like most things in racing a lot will come down to your opinion on what SP expectation is and what the horse actually did in the race and also how does that line up going forward.
If you can master this you may have the keys to the kingdom!