First Run Since Gelded: How Do These Horses Perform?

A gelding is a male horse that has been castrated. Gelding is supposed to make horses easier to handle, and they usually have little or no interest in mares. Therefore, a gelding should be more focused and not think about the opposite sex; at least that’s what some punters think. However, a gelded horse will have its speed and consistency affected and not always for the better.

While some horses will show noticeable speed improvements, it isn’t always the case. If you’ve heard that a gelded horse will benefit from an increase in its maximum speed, you’ve been misinformed. If gelding helps a horse get faster, it is simply a case of ensuring it reaches its potential faster by improving its focus. In some instances, gelding can help improve a horse’s concentration level. If a horse was easily distracted as a colt, gelding might boost focus and consistency.

Can We Make Money from Gelded Horses Straight Away?

If you decide to make a system based on a horse’s first run since being gelded, be very wary of the information you receive. Up until the last few years, it has been tough to get accurate information on colts or horses that were recently gelded. Punters would back a newly gelded horse only to discover it was gelded a few races before! Although better information is available in 2018, it is best to double check and have a second source before taking the plunge and backing the horse.

Performance of ALL Gelded Horses on Their First Run (Since 2013 on ALL Surfaces)

It isn’t easy to find the data but here is a look at how newly gelded horses have performed on their first run. For the record, the gelding was classified as a colt in their previous race.

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
6340 713 11.25% -2.79%

With a loss of under 3%, it is a promising start. The next logical step is to divide performance according to code:


Code Bets  Wins  Strike Rate ROI (BF)
National Hunt 377 47 12.47% -50.07%
Flat 3862 386 9.99% -9.39%
All-Weather 2101 280 13.33% 17.81%

The loss in National Hunt races is horrific at just over 50%. However, you can make a fantastic profit of 43.7% by laying all first-time geldings in these events. Flat races are also best avoided, but since 2013, all-weather would give you a profit of almost 18% although it would only be profitable in 2016, 2017 and so far in 2018.

A combination of a low strike rate and decent profit means many of these geldings win at long odds. Your profit increases slightly when you focus on non-favourites:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
1780 163 9.16% 22.64%

Once again, there was only profit in 2016, 2017 and so far, this year.

Here is how 2yo first-time geldings perform in AW races:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
303 34 11.22 57.46%

In what is a good outcome on paper, it must be noted that the statistics are warped by two exceptional years: 2017 with a profit of 173% and 2013 with a profit of 158%. A strike rate of 11% means long losing streaks are a guarantee.

There is a suggestion that geldings fare better for punters in races of low quality, and especially in All-Weather because the vast majority of AW runners won’t have much value at stud. Therefore, it is best to geld them and make money by achieving victories in low-grade races. The stats back up this assertion as your profit significantly increases when you look at Class 5 and Class 6 races in AW only.

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
1389 194 13.97% 34.19%

The strike rate goes up by slightly, and the ROI almost doubles when compared to first-time gelded horses in every All-Weather race. Yet again, it is a ‘system’ that has borne sweet fruit since the start of 2016:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
597 91 15.24% 99.74%

It is hard to argue with a profit of almost 100%. It seems as if the bookmakers are catching on to this new trend. So far in 2018, at the time of writing, the strike rate of over 19% is much higher than in 2017 (16.25%) and 2016 (13.1%), but the ROI so far in 2018 (11.63%) is far below the superb 46% earned in 2017 and the magnificent 181% in 2016. It’s clear that bookmakers are now cutting the odds of first-time gelded horses in low standard AW races.

Do Any Trainers Specialize in First-Time Gelded Winners?

There are a few trainers with excellent records in this sphere but the trouble is, there are few betting opportunities, but if you combine them all, there is the makings of a profitable system. Here’s a quick look at a few trainers to watch along with their race code:

Since the Start of 2013

Trainer Race Code Bets Wins  Strike Rate ROI (BF)
Saeed Bin Suroor All-Weather 28 12 42.86% 67.71%
K. R. Burke All-Weather 23 4 17.39% 69.97%
C. Appleby  All-Weather 41 17 41.46% 43.88%
M. Botti Flat 29 6 20.69% 93.2%
T. D. Barron Flat 30 5 16.67% 45.33%

To be frank, none of those trainers are worth waiting for alone. Even when you combine all five, there are only 151 bets in a little over five years. If you can find a dozen or so trainers, perhaps it will be worth your while.

Final Thoughts on First-Time Geldings

The most profitable trend is clearly Class 5, and Class 6 races on All-Weather surfaces as these are typically low-quality races. A newly gelded horse could find a little extra pace as he moves towards his maximum potential. Even if he isn’t likely to be a factor in high-class events, the relative low-quality of Class 5 and Class 6 races means a horse doesn’t have to be especially good to win.

You could also profit by combining a selection of trainers that perform well with newly gelded horses. The trouble is, there is no individual trainer worth following alone as few have more than ten such entries in a calendar year.

Patrick Lynch

Patrick graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway with an MA in Literature and Publishing but decided he would rather have the freedom of a freelance writer than be stuck in a publishing house all day. He has enjoyed this freedom since 2009 and has written thousands of articles on a variety of topics but sports betting is his passion. While his specialty is finding mismatches in obscure football leagues, he also likes to use his research skills to provide punters with detailed winning strategies in horse racing. You can check out his personal blog on or Twitter @pl1982 where he writes content to help small businesses achieve success.


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