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New Year Hotch Potch


 

A New Year

Hotch Potch

By David Renham

 

To celebrate the start of 2010 I have decided to explore a variety of different angles rather than focus on one area. The first two pages look at three different trainer angles; pages 3 and 4 focus on the Racing Post Ratings. The data for the article goes back the past eight seasons. Profits are calculated to £1 level stakes; ROI stands for return on investment.

 

National Hunt Trainers with just one runner at a specific course

 

When a big trainer just sends only one runner to a specific meeting it is often perceived to be a ‘positive’. Let us see which trainers actually perform well when sending just a sole runner to a course:

 

Trainer

Wins

Runs

Strike Rate (%)

Profit

ROI

(%)

P Nicholls

114

354

32.2

+£24.04

+6.8

N Henderson

165

631

26.1

-£37.82

-6.0

G Swinbank

88

351

25.1

+£24.65

+7.0

D Pipe

62

268

23.1

+£38.51

+14.4

J Fanshawe

23

100

23.0

-£32.36

-32.4

P Hobbs

101

450

22.4

-£74.04

-16.5

J Howard Johnson

27

126

21.4

£8.36

+6.6

G Tuer

12

60

20.0

-£8.27

-13.8

R  Waley-Cohen

12

61

19.7

+£15.63

+25.6

Miss H  Lewis

11

56

19.6

+£24.00

+42.9

N Richards

83

423

19.6

+£2.85

+0.7

P Haslam

53

271

19.6

-£29.87

-11.0

J O'Neill

105

537

19.6

-£66.20

-12.3

T Tate

33

171

19.3

-£6.06

-3.5

Miss P Robson

27

140

19.3

+£33.50

+23.9

 

Paul Nicholls tops the list with a near 1 in 3 strike rate. This is a very good effort. It should be noted that when focusing on his runners that are priced 6/1 or bigger, he has produced decent profits – 12 wins from 71 (SR 16.9%) for a profit of £55.50 (ROI +78.2%). I would imagine that this has occurred due to the fact the punters follow the market closely with any Nicholls runner and hence the bigger priced runners may drift as it assumed that these horses are not fancied despite being their only runner at the meeting.

 

National Hunt Trainers in January/February with runners having their first run of the season

 

Some trainers are adept at getting their runners fit after a long break / getting debutants fit first time out. Here are the trainers that have done best in terms of strike rate with runners having their seasonal debut in either January or February.

 

Trainer

Wins

Runs

Strike Rate (%)

Profit

ROI

(%)

N Henderson

62

172

36.0

+£61.99

+36.0

N Richards

16

59

27.1

+£28.60

+48.5

P Nicholls

37

153

24.2

-£23.58

-15.4

G Swinbank

8

39

20.5

+£10.25

+26.3

N Chance

7

35

20.0

+£1.66

+4.7

Miss H Knight

10

57

17.5

+£36.75

+64.5

Miss V Williams

20

120

16.7

+£8.18

+6.8

H Daly

10

60

16.7

+£29.40

+49.0

N Gifford

7

42

16.7

-£0.75

-1.8

P Winkworth

5

31

16.1

+£15.00

+48.4

D Pipe

13

83

15.7

+£4.21

+5.1

C Mann

8

54

14.8

+£36.13

+66.9

 

Nicky Henderson stands out – 36% strike rate for seasonal debutants at this time of the year is simply excellent. For the record most of his profits come from horses making their career debuts.

 

‘Out of form’ National Hunt Trainers

 

Many punters take an interest in current trainer form. However, trainers that seem ‘out of form’ can perform better than one would think. I have looked at performances of trainers who are on a losing run of 20 or more. Here is what I found:

 

Trainer

Wins

Runs

Strike Rate (%)

Profit

ROI

(%)

J Howard Johnson

18

87

20.7

+£6.40

+7.4

J O'Neill

36

197

18.3

+£43.38

+22.0

A King

14

79

17.7

-£12.43

-15.7

K Reveley

13

74

17.6

+£21.77

+29.4

O Sherwood

15

86

17.4

+£5.04

+5.9

T Easterby

15

86

17.4

+£46.88

+54.5

P Hobbs

18

107

16.8

-£23.24

-21.7

MissV Williams

15

97

15.5

+£1.25

+1.3

N Henderson

16

104

15.4

-£1.15

-1.1

P Nicholls

11

76

14.5

-£11.79

-15.5

 

Both Howard Johnson and O’Neill are worth noting. Clearly a longish run of losers is not a major negative with these stables.

For the remainder of the article I am going to focus on the Racing Post Ratings.

 

Racing Post Ratings – a study

 

The Racing Post is now the only horse racing National daily paper. Hence it has a bit of a monopoly and many punters I am sure follow certain tipsters in it. The Racing Post Ratings (formerly known as Postmark) are actually one of the better sets of ratings around. Let us look at the performance of all top rated National Hunt horses in the period of study:

 

Wins

Runs

Strike Rate (%)

Profit

ROI (%)

7549

29417

25.7

-£2274.74

-7.7

 

To lose less than 8 pence in every £ at SP is pretty good going. Hence, any top rated National Hunt runner from the Racing Post Ratings is worth close scrutiny. One would hope that we could find some profitable angles.

 

Looking at time off the track and focusing on runners returning to the track within 7 days sees the top rated runners sneak into profit:

 

Wins

Runs

Strike Rate (%)

Profit

ROI (%)

595

1884

31.6

+£54.59

+2.9

 

Not a huge profit but a profit nonetheless. This could doubtless be improved by taking early prices or Betfair.

 

Let us look at market position next:

 

Market Position

Wins

Runs

Strike Rate (%)

Profit

ROI

(%)

Favourite

5058

13196

38.3

-£847.83

-6.4

2nd Favourite

1365

5917

23.1

-£98.11

-1.7

3rd Favourite

551

3530

15.6

-£240.31

-6.8

4th in betting

278

2267

12.3

-£129.00

-5.7

5th or bigger in betting

297

4507

6.6

-£959.50

-21.3

 

The market position in the top 4 combined with being top rated by the Racing Post Ratings has produced some very solid results. Second favourites have performed extremely well to lose less than 2 pence in the £. It looks best to ignore horses that end up 5th in the betting or higher.

 

I spent the next few days ploughing through loads of different areas - going, class, race type, age, etc to see if any clear patterns emerged. Unfortunately as with lots of research it failed to find anything worth sharing. Although certain angles improved strike rates and ROIs I still found it difficult to produce meaningful profits.

However, all is not lost as I have developed 2 systems that have proved profitable. So here goes:

 

System 1 – the out of form system

 

Rules

 

1. Top rated by Racing Post Ratings

2. Top rated by Topspeed in the Racing Post (the RPs speed ratings) 

3. Horse must NOT have finished in the first three in any of their last 6 NH starts

 

The results were thus:

 

Wins

Runs

Strike Rate (%)

Profit

ROI (%)

126

631

20

+£68.21

+10.8%

 

Although profits are fairly modest it is still quite remarkable to find a system that has made a profit with runners that have failed to reach the first three in their last six outings. The reason it has been successful is probably due to the fact that punters see recent form as crucial. Hence there is potential for value as these runners will be underbet despite being top rated by both Topspeed and the Racing Post Ratings.

 

 System 2 – Summer 7 day system

 

Rules

 

1. Top rated by Racing Post Ratings

2. Months – May to August

3. Last run within 7 days

 

The results were thus:

 

Wins

Runs

Strike Rate (%)

Profit

ROI (%)

195

579

33.7

+£79.32

+13.7%

 

We saw earlier in the article that quick returners to the track that were top rated by the Racing Post Ratings produced a profit. However, focusing on the weaker racing of the summer has enhanced profits. Perhaps it is down to the fact that punters generally study National Hunt racing less at this time of the year and hence there is a bit more value around. Perhaps it is down to the fact that summer racing is less competitive – whatever the reason it is a system that has stood the test of time. I back tracked results before 2002 focusing on 1996 to 2001 and of the six seasons, five showed a profit so it looks a system to worth trying. Of course, we will have to wait 4 or 5 months before trying it out! 

 








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