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Long Distance Travellers
Long Distance Travellers by David Renham
Horses travelling long distances are often perceived to be good bets. The Racing press make a point of highlighting horses that have travelled the longest distances each day. This article looks at whether any trainers are worth noting under such circumstances. The data is taken from 2004 to 2008. All profits and losses are quoted using £1 win stakes; ROI stands for return on investment.
Firstly let us look at the trainers who have the best strike rates with horses that have travelled at least 185 miles. To qualify for the list I have decided that each trainer must have had at least 50 qualifiers:
Trainers with runners travelling 185 miles+ (high strike rates)
(To give you a basic comparison – all runners that have travelled 185 miles or more have a strike rate of 11% and produced overall losses of 22%)
Sir Michael Stoute heads the list with an excellent strike rate of around 4 wins in every 10, but only very modest profits would have been achieved backing all qualifying runners. Sir Mark Prescott and Saeed Bin Suroor both have decent strike rates also, but both have made losses. Indeed over half of the trainers in the list have produced overall losses which is disappointing. More digging is required! Before I start ‘digging’, let us look at the trainers with the poorest strike rates when sending their runners a long distance:
Trainers with runners travelling 185 miles+ (low strike rates)
This list to me looks more useful. There are three trainers in the list that have considerably lower strike rates under these circumstances than their overall record – Gary Moore for example has an overall strike rate of 12% (only 3.5% for long travellers); Amanda Perrett has an overall strike rate of 10.5% (6.9% for long travellers); meanwhile David Barron has an overall strike rate of 11.7% (only 5.7% for long travellers).
To try and improve matters, I decided to restrict each trainer by looking at occasions when they travelled 185 miles or more, but with only one runner. The overall figures improved a little, so I hoped that there would be more of an edge for the better trainers. I decided to use a minimum of 20 runners this time as all trainers would have far fewer overall qualifiers. Here are the trainers with the highest strike rates:
Trainers with one runner at relevant meeting travelling 185 miles+ (high strike rates)
Better strike rates from the top trainers and combining all these trainers would have yielded a profit. Although following these trainers under these conditions won’t make you rich overnight, you have a sporting chance to make a profit long term. Remember, these are the results for all runners, and by using other factors we, as punters, should be able to improve these basic returns.
In an attempt to improve matters further I have also looked at trainers travelling 185 miles+ with just one runner who finished first or second last time out. The theory being that the horse is in form and travelling so far may mean they are trying to really take advantage of this:
Trainers with one runner at relevant meeting travelling 185 miles+ who finished 1st or 2nd LTO (high strike rates)
Overall these figures have produced a higher strike rate but all in all only a handful of trainers are worth noting – Prescott, Channon, Newcombe and Millman catch the eye.
From this research it seems that in general you are not going to make significant money backing horses that travel long distances. However, as this article has shown, there are a few trainers worth noting under specific conditions.
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