How to pick a Derby winner

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London, June 6 (ANI): British Derby enthusiasts have long emphasised the importance of breeding a winning horse, but researchers are now turning the theory on its head.

Picking a horse that is short in the odds, was foaled in Ireland, won at least twice as a two year old and has had one jockey throughout its career, is the way to pick a Derby winner, researchers say.

Using techniques normally employed for predicting the chance of illness and injury in horses, Dr David Marlin, Jane Williams and Dr Tim Parkin, all specialists in animal health, came up with their formula for picking the winner, reports the Telegraph.

For the study, they analysed all 344 horses competing in the 22 Derbies between 1988 and 2009, paying particular attention to those that won.

According to the results, the favourite in each race was 4.8 times more likely to win than its rivals, while the chance of a horse winning the Derby increased by one and a half times for each race it had won as a two year old.

Horses foaled in Ireland had 2.8 times more chances of winning the race than those bred elsewhere, while horses ridden by one jockey only improved their chances of victory by two and a half times.

The authors said their conclusions "represent a significant improvement on the approximately six per cent chance of picking a winner at random". (ANI)

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