Monday sees the start of another Galway Festival and like last year, we are going to put Fama (1970) to the test. Fama’s groundbreaking article "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work", which appeared in the May 1970 issue of the Journal of Finance conceptualized the efficient market hypothesis.
Put simply, Fama concluded it was not possible to ‘beat the market’. The house always wins. We disagree and are prepared to put Fama to the test.
Our confidence is based on prolificacy of the King on Ballybrit - Dermot Weld. Last year Dermot ran 34 horses over the seven day festival and despite the desperately soft ground, managed to saddle nine winners.
A hypothetical stake of €1 (to win) on all runners returned a €4.28 profit. That’s a 12.5% return on all Weld trained horses over the seven days in 2012!
Monday will see that start of our quest to, once again, ‘beat the bookies’. Daily updates to follow…
Day 1: We are due to go to post for the first race at 5.10pm this evening. Six horses run for us tonight. Five are currently favourites and Notable Graduate is second favourite in Amateur Handicap at 6.45pm. We have a €1 win stake on all six and a €1 accume just in case we hit the jackpot. Total stake €7. Good luck DK Weld!
Day 2: After getting off to a flyer yesterday thanks to Diplomat and Mustajeeb, we came back to earth with a bang with four subsequent losers and finish the day €2.35 behind. The day could have been much better if either Pay Day Kitten (finished 3rd but placed 2nd) or Marty’s Magic (2nd) had won. That said, we turn to day number two with optimism. Five runners today with Diplomat again leading the charge, his second run in 24 hours. Similar to yesterday DK saddles 4 favourites and 1 second favourite so plenty of chances in all races. We won’t panic about being behind so early. This strategy has worked seven times in the past ten years.
Day 3: Fama certainly wins on day two. We took a hammering. Only odds-on favourite Tarfasha managed to stem the tide, easily winning the 6.10pm fillies race. Diplomat (3rd) and Dancers Dilemma (2nd) both came close to putting us ahead but neither managed to get their neck in front up the hill. Odds-on shot Pirate Cove and 11/4 favourite Tandem both ran disappointingly under the circumstances.
Still, a long way to go yet and we won’t get too down. Our stake for the day was €6 with a return of just €1.50. That gives a loss of €4.50 on the day and, added to yesterday, has us €6.85 behind.
Day 3 sees DK Weld saddle four horses. Galway Plate hopeful Majestic Concorde is the trainer’s only steeplechase horse in training. I’m not too optimistic on this one but who knows, it could spring a surprise. However, we have live chances in the 6.05pm, 6.40pm and 7.10pm. I’ll be on course tomorrow so hopefully our presence will bring a change of luck!
Day 4: Our presence on-course has meant this post was delayed. We have some catching up to do. Day 3 proved to be ok despite a slow start. Lucky Kitten and Jayed Jidan ensured we were only just behind for the day. A stake of €6 saw a return of €4.45. However, still a loss on the day of €1.55. Added to our overall this has us behind by €8.40.
However, Galway Hurdle day has been much kinder. DK sent four horses to post and despite Rock Critics disappointing show in the big race, both Yellow Rosebud (evens) and Treasure the Ridge (7/2) have delivered. At time of writing Don’t Tell No One has yet to race. On the day, so far we have a return of €6.50 from a €5 stake. A
profit of €1.50 with one race let to run. Total loss is reduced to €6.90.
Day 5: We finished in style yesterday when Don’t Tell No One easily won the Guinness Quarter Bumper with Robbie McNamara on board. Rock Critics’ disappointing run in the Galway Hurdle was the only thing that left us down for a 325-1 accume! A great day none the less. Total stake of €5, with a return of €10.25. A profit of €5.25.
Taking this from our loss over the first three days, we are now just behind €3.15 behind. This loss is due to the four €1 accumes we have had each day, as insurance. Subtracting these would put us €0.85 ahead.
Six horses today with lots of chances, although the ground is now far from ideal. Unaccompanied is one of DK's best horses in training. Her presence in the 7.25pm is surprising but exciting none the less. Despite ground concerns she should be far to classy for the opposition. Another good day could be in store.
Day 6: The penultimate day of the Festival goes to post at 2pm today and we are in need of a recovery. Day 5 was a disaster. Only Unaccompanied delivered and at 1/2 did very little to stem the losses. Total stake of €6 with a €1.50 return. A loss of €4.50 on the day and a total net loss of €7.65.
Six runners today including a surprising two in the 3.10. Let's hope Saturday is better than yesterday.
Day 7: Days six and seven proved frustrating to say the least. The presence of two horses in the 3.10pm race prevented a €1 accume from being placed so the total stake was €6. Northern Rock delivered at 6-1 putting us €1 up on the day. Had either Mahon Falls or Leafcutter finished in front the day would have been a clear success. Overall loss after day six was €2.15.
Day seven saw DK saddle just three horses. A total stake of€4 including our €1 treble. Notable Graduate won at evens and had the fast finishing Grecian Tiger (2nd) not been denied by 20-1 shot Merrion Row, the day would have been another success. Return of €2 meaning a loss of €2 on the day.
Overall this resulted in a €4.15 loss on the week. However, subtracting our six €1 accume bets, following DK would have had you up €1.85! That’s a 4.6% return from following Weld trained horses over the seven day at Ballybrit.
Not as good as 2012 but its DK Weld 2 – 0 Fama.
Finally, three reflections on this year's Festival:
1. The recession continues to bit hard. There was no problem getting hotel rooms, booking dinner in city-centre restaurants, even getting taxis to and from the main spots. As late as Wednesday a friend of mine booked into a well-known 4-star hotel for Thursday night. Unheard of in previous years!
2. The Tiger does survive in dark corners. €9 for a beef roll under the Main Stand is a throwback from the days of Rip-off Ireland. The roll, which can be best described as an assault on the taste buds, was a ridiculous price.
3. DK Weld continues to be the King of Ballybrit. Following the county Kildare trainer would have led to a return of 4.6% (assuming equal stake on all Weld horses) over the course of the seven days.