Continuing our look at all things flat season, we turn our hand to the shortest distance out there.

Sprint distances are a little like the money in my current account after I’ve just filled the car with petrol.





Let’s take a closer look at 5 furlong races and the performance of favourites in these races. Are these favourites more layable than backable? Are their certain elements such as the draw, course, or race type , that have influenced the performances of favourites over 5 furlongs? Stats are taken over the last 10 years and all back profits are to Betfair SP.

4’s the age!

For some reason, laying 4 year old favourites in 5 furlong races has turned a reasonable 79 points profit to level stakes.

Long distances in short sprints – one for the layers.

Look out for favourites in 5 furlong races having to travel 251-300 miles. They have a 17% strike rate and favourite layers made 63 points profit with a 51% return on investment. Lots of qualifiers at Newcastle.

Shaken not stirred.

Sire Monsieur Bond’s off spring ( probably a lot if anything like James Bond and his prolific after-hours activities) are worth backing. A 46% strike rate from 73 qualifiers. Click on the horse’s name at and you can get details of dam and sire in the form box. A 43 point profit to Betfair SP might continue on into the future.

Beware the mono-eye browed off spring.

Oasis dream’s off spring are worth laying. A recent run of 12 consecutive favourites sired by Oasis Dream ( our kid) all lost. That was ended by an 8/13 winner on 15th January this year).

These sprinters are definitely maybe not ‘mad for it’.

The weight’s the issue.

Watch out for favourites in 5 furlong sprints who are 12th or 13th in the weights ( obviously only in 12+ runner races). Only 1 winner in 27 qualifiers 12th in the weights, and 2 winners in 16  for 13th in the weights.’s race cards are fully interactible and you can sort the race cards by weight.

9/2’s the price…to lay

Favourites at an SP of 9/2 are layable . A 55 points profit to level stakes. Only a 12 % strike rate. If this continues, then you will make a profit with those odds and that strike rate as a layer. Bear in mind that this is SP, i.e. the bookie’s odds as distinct from Betfair SP which will differ .

A week to a fortnight!

An absolute standout 121 points profit has been made laying favourites in 5 furlong springs running within 8-14 days since their last run.

4 of the last 5 favourites have won their races but historically the profits are to be made laying. This may deserve a deeper dive in order to see if we can increase the profit and decrease the losing runs ( i.e. favs winning their races  – not what layers want!)

Fitness not favoured?

Lay favourites in 5 furlong races if they have had just the one run in the last month ( Again click on a horse’s name within a racing post race card to access the info) turned a 60 point profit.

6 the magic number

Laying favourites in 5 furlong races when drawn in stall 6 made a 101 point profit for the layer!. Quite something. Why stall 6 I don’t know. This is stall 6 across all race courses. I am sure a deep dive could identify those race courses where stall 6 favourites perform consistently poorly.

Oliver Curtis is yer man…

Watch out when an Oliver Curtis horse is favourite, particularly at Dundalk. 5 wins in 6 albeit with just the 2 horses. His last qualifier Inishmot Prince won in February 2022 and March 2022 at the venue at decent 3/1 and 7/2. Oliver Curtis a bit of a shrewdie?  His previous qualifier My Good Brother won 4 consecutive races. Watch out maybe if Inishmot Prince runs again in Dundalk?

What a Cotter!

My Mum’s maiden name Cotter. I wonder if she is related to Kieren P Cotter. A modest 22 point profit backing all of his horses when favourite. Watch out if he runs his horses multiple times. They will tend to win eventually. Polly Douglas won at 4/1 and 5/1 from 5 runnings. Strong Johnson won twice.

2 consecutive wins for A Step too far. Zen Silence won on its second run.

To further strengthen selections, look when Colin Keane joins Mr. Cotter as jockey. 6 wins in 7 races. I wonder if My Mum puts her money down when Keano takes the saddle?

Class 4 for the layer

73 points profit laying favourites in 5 furlong springs in Class 4 ( or letter D) races.

Horses for courses.

Southwell was the better course for backers but I have no records post 2017.

Layers lay favourites in Beverley’s 5 furlong sprints, 53 points profit. I wonder if the draw will impact further on favourites’ performances at this course where the draw bias can be pronounced ( dependent on field size)

A sharp one…

A 47 points profit was made laying favourites in 5 furlong sprints on sharp/undulating tracks such as

  • Catterick
  • Epsom
  • Folkstone ( last races 2012)
  • Goodwood

9 is fine…

9 runner races seem the optimum for favourite backers. 54 points profit to Betfair SP.

The last 12 favourites in 15 runner races over 5 furlongs have all lost. It has made a 38 points profit over time for the layer.

That’s the bare bones of 5 furlongs and favourites. I hope there is an angle or two in the above that you can put into action long-term. All of the relevant information you require will be found within a race card at The website has a variety of race cards, some allowing you to sort by column ( e.g. for the weights). Let me know if you have trouble locating them. Remember these stats are pertinent to the market favourite only.