Age remains a massively overlooked apsect of horse race handicapping. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. In England,
for example, sixty two runnings of both the English 1000 Guineas and 2000 Guineas have only thrown up one winner that was foaled in May;
the very brilliant Rodrigo de Triano, who was born on the 27th of the month.
The 4/7 favourite for the 2016 running of the 2000 Guineas, the O'Brien trained Air Force Blue, was born on the 2nd May. He ran five times as a two year old: in such circumstances the risk of over-training a horse are very high. After having finished second last in the 2000 Guineas (the lay of the decade), he ran three more times, and he was defeated on each occasion, beaten a total of forty five lengths. For many, including so-called professional punters, it was a salutary lesson: age matters.
Every year in the Kentucky Derby punters blindly bet on horses that were foaled in May. This, despite the fact that in thirty one
runnings of the race, there has only been one winner that was foaled in May - the very brilliant Thunder Gulch.
80% of the winners of the Kentucky Derby since Kauai King won it in 1966, have been foaled in either January, February or March.
Only 4 horses that were born in May, have won the race during this period: the last horse to do so, was the very brilliant Thunder Gulch in 1995.