Oaks Day Race Modelling

7 Nov

In Melbourne, Australia it has become a tradition on the eve of major sporting events for banking quant teams to propose models for the winner of the event. The Melbourne Cup, Australia’s largest sporting event by attendance was held a couple of days ago, and was no different: a couple of models proposed by local banking teams have been collected here:  http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/11/melbourne-cup-modelling/

An interesting aspect of these models is that the modelers apparently use the same techniques they apply to picking investment worthy stocks or predicting bond price movements to sporting winners – I guess everything looks like a nail if you’ve got a hammer in your hand. See for example, the way Macquarie explain their model in terms of IPOs and yield -> http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/1887492/picking-the-best-melbourne-cup-stock/?cs=9

I digress a little. As an experiment before the Melbourne cup I tried to create my own overly simplified boosting model – I picked up Best Bets at the newsagent. For each race a number of tipsters offer their best three tips, and I basically took these as votes. Three horses had multiple votes – Fiorente, Sea Moon, and Mount Athos. Fiorente won and Mount Athos came third. Hence, I have been emboldened to repeat my experiment for Oaks Day, this time using the blog to date stamp the prediction as definitely being before the race (3.40 pm today, Melbourne time). Note that I didn’t put a weighting on the horse with respect to the tipsters’ running order.

The newsagent is a little further away, but I have the Melbourne daily newspaper, The Age handy. There are fewer tippers than Best Bets, for a total of five. Here are the horses and their total votes:

May’s Dream: 5

Kirramosa: 5

Solicit: 4

Zanbagh: 5

Gypsy Diamond: 1

Hmm. As I understand it, a prerequisite of a successful boosting model is that the submodels need to be uncorrelated. The Age’s tippers appear to fail that test…see you in a couple of hours, but not expecting a stellar result.

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One Response to “Oaks Day Race Modelling”

  1. travellingactuary November 7, 2013 at 5:16 am #

    The winners were:

    Kirramosa 1st, Zanbagh 2nd, Solitcit 3rd So not bad.
    Note field was 10 horses.

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