“Insightful read is setting the pace for punters”

With pace considerations very much in mind, I would like to recommend a book I have just finished. Called ‘Pace Wins the Race’, it is written by Ricky Taylor and published by Sportsworld Publishing.

To begin with, I thought the author’s approach to pace was rather simplistic – he ignores sectional timing and relies instead on the close-up commentaries provided in the racing press – but he manages to apply real scientific rigour to the subject, as befitting someone with impressive academic qualifications.

Taylor not only acknowledges certain limitations of his approach, he explains why those limitations exist and how they can be worked around. Fans of the American author William Quirin are like to warm to Taylor’s central methodology. There is plenty of wisdom scattered through the pages, in addition to some notable and, at times, surprising revelations. How about “betting hold-up horses is bad for your bank balance”? Or “in the 2004 flat racing season, pace setters performed best on heavy going”?

The writer gets the big thumbs-up from this quarter for remarks such as “If one wants to profit from draw biases then one needs to combine this information with pace analysis” and “Both class and pace determine speed ratings. As a consequence they are not a pure measure of either factor.”

It was a pleasure to read a work that has been so well researched and that, with the exception of an annoyingly high number of literals, was so well presented.”

Simon Rowlands, The Sportsman’s Racing Editor and Expert Analyst (The Sportsman, Friday June 9th, 2006).