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the stats man

Beware the Ides of March...

Victor Sheahan looks further into the impact a late birth date may have on a yearling’s sale price and discovers that a negative correlation does indeed exist

J

ulius Caesar was told to be wary of the Ides of March. Unfortunately, he ignored that advice and was stabbed 23 times. The middle of March also corresponds to the average birth date for foals in the UK and Ireland. Contrary to some previous research, I believe there is evidence that a late foaling date may impact upon sale prices. The consequences of a foaling date after the middle of March might not be a bloodbath, but should be noted by commercial breeders. For buyers, the opposite may also apply in that there could be bargains to be had among the later born foals.

Past Research Surprisingly little research has been carried out on the impact of foaling dates on sales and racecourse performance. Dr. Mina Davies Morel compared the birth dates of over 600 horses with their Timeform ratings at the ages of two and three. She found no statistically significant correlation between birth date and three-year-old ratings, but some correlation with the two-year-old ratings. In the US, research by Huntington Equine of Lexington in Kentucky, analysed the performance of May-born foals. May foals

comprised 13 per cent of the Kentucky foal crop during the period they reviewed and they proceeded to win 12.3 per cent of all graded stakes races, 13.3 per cent of Grade 1 races and 12.2 per cent of graded stakes races for two-year-olds. This research indicates that foaling dates do not have a significant impact on racecourse performance and accordingly one would expect that it would not impact on sales price I have no reason to dispute the findings regarding racecourse performance, however it is buyer perceptions (not the reality) that matter, and there may still be a lingering

Sales price and birth dates Figures

Number of colts Number of fillies Earliest date of birth in days from Jan 1st Latest date of birth in days from Jan 1st Median days from Jan 1st Average price colts Median price colts Average value colts with date of birth < 15th March Median value colts with date of birth < 15th March Average value colts with date of birth > 15th March Median value colts with date of birth > 15th March Average price fillies Median price fillies Average value fillies with date of birth < 15th March Median value fillies with date of birth < 15th March Average value fillies with date of birth > 15th March Median value fillies with date of birth > 15th March Correlation colts sales price with # of days after Jan 1st when born Correlation fillies sales price with # of days after Jan 1st when born

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Teofilo

34 24 23 133 88 €41,390 €24,733 €56,232 €48,930 €34,291 €23,300 €19,631 €10,199 €16,666 €10,199 €21,748 €10,718 -.336 .158

26 24 30 133 80 €35,698 €27,291 €52,920 €39,610 €26,580 €24,000 €34,180 €27,407 €20,917 €14,679 €45,403 €29,358 -.287 .429

24 20 20 143 74 €124,843 €111,163 €127,399 €100,000 €121,823 €140,67 €118,999 €80,000 €102,002 €80,000 €132,906 €67,279 -.183 -.011

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International Thoroughbred  

The horseracing and bloodstock magazine for the global audience

International Thoroughbred  

The horseracing and bloodstock magazine for the global audience