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Course Stats For Trainers
Course Stats For Trainers – How Relevant Are They?
Course trainer stats are used by some punters as their principle method of obtaining selections. In this article I am going to try and evaluate how relevant they are. Here is how I intend to do it. The years 2004 to 2008 will be my test phase and I will be looking for trainers that fulfil the following criteria – they must have had at least 40 runs at the course; they must have had a strike rate of 14% or more; must have been in the top 10 course trainers in terms of strike rate, and must have made a profit. Whether this is a completely ‘fair’ test is open to debate, but what cannot be questioned is that any trainer that qualifies under these four ‘rules’ did perform well during that specific time span of 5 years. From here I then intend to check these trainers over the next 3 seasons 2009 to 2011 to see if their earlier success has been replicated. I have not gone through all the courses as it would take up far too much room (and time), so I have chosen 10 courses to check – these have been chosen at random. Let’s start then and I have chosen Bath as my first course:
Bath 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
Meehan, Spearing and Balding qualify – let’s see how they have fared in 2009 to 2011:
Meehan has considerably improved his strike rate but has still made a small loss; both Spearing and Balding’s bottom line figures are poor. Not a promising start! Brighton is my next port of call.
Brighton 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
Six trainers qualified from the Sussex venue. With Brighton often considered as a specialist’s track for horses, I wondered whether certain trainers specialised there too with a particularly type of runner.
The other two trainers have since retired and as it turned out neither has had a runner at the track in the past 3 seasons. Overall, this is a slightly more positive result with 2 profitable trainers from 4. However, despite this, backing all four would have yielded a small loss.
Doncaster next comes under the microscope:
Doncaster 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
Two qualifiers Dunlop and Jarvis (Jarvis who has since retired but it is still worth checking out his record in 2009 and 2010).
Jarvis made a loss, albeit a small one; Dunlop also has made a loss and quite a significant one. Continuing my trek north, let’s go to Scotland and Hamilton:
Hamilton 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
Just the top two in the list ‘qualify’ as the other profitable trainer Tim Easterby has not achieved a high enough strike rate. This is surprisingly as the quality of racing at Hamilton is quite moderate and I had expected more trainers to be in profit. Here are the 2009 to 2011 figures for Johnston and Fahey:
Similar strike rates for both trainers compared to their 2004 to 2008 ones, but small losses this time. For the record, David Barron who just missed out on ‘qualifying’ by 33 pence, has made a profit over the past three seasons.
All weather racing next and I have chosen Lingfield to check:
Lingfield all weather 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
7 trainers pass the selection procedure, all with good strike rates, and their 2009 to 2011 records look like this:
These are a much better set of results with 4 of the 7 in profit and 3 of them showing a healthy profit. Bin Suroor’s record is mightily impressive. Next stop .... Newbury.
Newbury 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
8 qualifiers from Newbury – here are their 2009-2011 figures:
Only 2 of the 8 have made a profit in the subsequent 3 years. One of the trainers Saeed Bin Suroor has produced positives figures at two courses in a row.
Back up north now to Redcar:
Redcar 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
It is interesting that the top 10 trainer strike rates for Redcar are significantly lower, when taken as a whole, than the other courses discussed to date. I am not sure why this is the case considering the racing at Redcar is not known for its competitiveness. Maybe it is down to bigger average fields? We have only 3 qualifying trainers to check to see whether they have maintained a profit from 2009 to 2011:
Ouch! All three have shown large losses and combining Channon and Camacho would have seen just 3 winners from 77 runners!
Back down south to Sandown.
Sandown 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
6 trainers make the cut from Sandown – let us see how they fared in the last 3 seasons:
Again a poor set of returns with just 1 of the 6 managing a profit – indeed Mark Johnston’s performance has been dire. Can the last two courses chosen produce better results.
8 courses down, 2 to go and it is off to Windsor next:
Windsor 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
5 of the top 10 Windsor trainers have qualified for further inspection – let’s see how the ’09-’11 figures compare:
Just the one trainer has managed to secure a profit, while three have shown quite significant losses. Onto the last course:
Yarmouth 2004 to 2008 – top 10 trainers
Yarmouth saw 6 of the 10 pass the qualifying test so let us see if the final course gives us any better results. Here are the 2009 to 2011 stats:
The pattern of poor results continues in terms of positive returns, with just 2 of the 6 in profit.
Let us now compare all the trainers from the 10 courses – their combined record from 2004 to 2008 with their combined record from 2009 to 2011:
From a positive perspective the strike rate has held up well – a difference of 0.9% is not significant over a good chunk of bets. However, the 27% profit has turned into a 15% loss. This could simply be a classic case of punters latching on to those trainers that have good course records and driving the prices down. Course trainer stats are not difficult to get hold of and this is the most plausible explanation. However, whatever the reason, I will not be rushing to back horses purely on the record of a specific trainer at a specific track. The overall strike rates from our comparison make it a factor to take into consideration, but it cannot be the only consideration.
At this juncture I should add that I have cross checked these results by changing the profit filter slightly. Some readers will argue, possibly rightly, that I should have had a minimum figure for each trainer’s profit, or at least a minimum figure for return on investment (ROI). Hence, I have looked at the results of all qualifying trainers as long as they achieved an ROI of 20% or more in the 2004-2008. Here is what I found:
As we can see the returns for the 2009-2011 results are actually a little worse than the overall figures. That is encouraging, albeit from a negative perspective when it comes to utilizing course trainer stats.
So are there any circumstances where we can follow trainers that have performed well in the past at certain courses? Well, one could argue that any trainer that achieved positive figures from 2004 to 2008 and also from 2009 to 2011 are in fact worth following as they have produced profits in two separate time frames. From the 10 courses I have looked at in this article here are the trainers that achieved this:
Brighton – Hughie Morrison / Patrick Chamings
Lingfield aw - Saeed Bin Suroor / Tom Dascombe / Peter Chapple-Hyam / William Knight
Newbury - Saeed Bin Suroor / Chris Wall
Sandown – William Haggas
Yarmouth – Chris Wall
With the all weather season around a month away, it will be particularly interesting to see how Saeed Bin Suroor, Tom Dascombe, Peter Chapple-Hyam and William Knight perform.
Thinking about the all weather season, I thought it would be worth sharing with you trainers that have performed poorly at the four courses – again using the 2004-2008 and 2009-2011 idea. My criteria for a poor trainer is to have a strike rate of 5% or less and a return on investment (ROI%) of worse than -40%. This has to occur in both time frames in order for the trainer to count. I also used a minimum of 50 runs in the first time frame and 30 in the second. So here are the trainers to avoid this winter:
Lingfield aw – Christine Dunnett, John Bridger, Linda Jewell, Paddy Butler
Kempton aw – Conor Dore, Julia Feilden, Michael Blanshard, Roger Ingram, Tim McCarthy
Wolverhampton – Alan Berry, Ann Stokell, Edward Creighton, John Spearing, Lisa Williamson, Peter Grayson, Phil McEntee
Southwell - Alan Berry, Ann Stokell, Colin Teague, Ian McInnes.
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