The 7 day backup

By David Duffield of

Two weeks between runs has been the standard approach for Australian trainers for many years. Three times as many horses race off a 14 day break compared to any other.

So how do these runners perform from a punting perspective?

Looking at the 2010/11 and 2011/12 racing seasons and focusing on runners starting under 10/1, horses that were two weeks between runs lost 10% on turnover. This was marginally worse than the 8% loss recorded by all runners under 10/1 (regardless of days since last run).

But today I wanted to focus on horses backing up exactly seven days later. This quick back-up can signal a trainer’s confidence that the horse is going well and can often be the peak run of their campaign.

How do punters treat these horses on a quick backup?

Well the answer is that the betting market seriously under-estimates this category of horses. They have a much improved profit performance, losing just 1.5% on turnover which is far better than the all-runners record of an 8% loss. More than 6000 runners backed up off a 7 day break which is a pretty significant sample size.

So we’ll dig a little deeper into this category of horses to see if there any gold nuggets.

Runs since spell The number of runs this campaign doesn’t appear to be overly important: Runs since spell Age/Sex

Geldings are renowned as being tough and resilient so it’s probably not surprising that they have a good record off 7 days. Or that 3 year-olds and mares don’t:


 Last start finishing position The profit figures based on last start finishing position suggest that there is more value in backing unplaced runners: Last start A 7 day bonus

We never suggest to blindly follow a small category of horses that may have a history of being under-estimated by the market. That approach is too simplistic and long term punting success requires a comprehensive approach to form analysis.

However the profit figures for horses racing off a 7 day break suggest they deserve a bonus when you are doing the form and you should pay particular attention to geldings and runners that were unplaced last start.

Good punting David Duffield Champion Picks