Tuesday, October 4, 2011


From a breeding perspective, Bel Esprit has been studied every which way: pedigree, performance, sale ring commerciality, colour, sex, what he likes for breakfast … you name it.
One study which hasn’t been performed thus far – well, at least until Champion Picks came along – was how Bel Esprit progeny fared at the tote.
We sometimes forget that the punting dollar is what makes the wheels of the thoroughbred industry turn and it stands to reason that a study of a sire’s progeny – based on track ‘profitability’ – has some merit.
David Duffield of Champion Picks takes up the story:
We (Champion Picks) recently looked at Australia’s best trainers and jockeys for punters to follow, but have never really analysed sires in any depth.
Breeding is a much discussed topic in horse racing circles, but almost never from the perspective of a punter. Commentators focus on sire earnings, winners and black type but as punters, wouldn’t it be good to know how profitable our top sires are?
The top 10 sires of last season (ranked by earnings) are listed in the following table, but we’ve added a column for Profit On Turnover:

Bel Esprit had a phenomenal year for his followers with his progeny winning 13 cents on the dollar. That makes him a winner of the sires profitability table with as much authority as his mighty mare Black Caviar shows in demoralizing her rivals.
Following the offspring of the other 9 leading sires would have lost 9 cents on the dollar.
No surprise then that the standout sire in the under 1800m distance range was Bel Esprit at better than 14% profit. High Chaparral progeny also recorded a profit, albeit from much less runners than the others.
Hopefully this article has given a little insight into a neglected punting angle. Because while I don’t suggest blindly backing Bel Esprit progeny, I will suggest that the best punting edges are to be found in two areas.
Firstly, by taking a contrarian approach and debunking many of the racing myths that are no longer (or possibly never have been) true.
The second area is related to the topic of this article and it boils down to accessing and analyzing information that isn’t readily available to the everyday punter.

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