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Owners Digging For Gems


Owners – Digging For Gems by David Renham


I tend to do the majority of my flat research in the winter/early spring, looking for new angles I can “unleash” when the season starts. So when we are analyzing races what do punters look for? Recent form, career form, betting forecast / Betfair price, trainer, jockey, draw, fitness, weight carried if a handicap, etc, etc. I am sure the majority of readers have looked at some or all of the above. However, how many of us take careful note of the owner of the horse in question? Very few I would imagine and I must admit it is something I have not taken enough notice of in the past. However, the focus for my latest research has been that – owners - and I hope I have uncovered some interesting facts and figures.


The data I am looking at spans from 2005 to 2010 (UK flat racing).


Mrs H Steel


OK, are you looking at the name Mrs H Steel and scratching your head? It is not an owner I was aware of before embarking upon this piece. Indeed I have searched the internet for some facts about her but found nothing concrete; or at least nothing worth sharing with you. So best get to the racing stats which are pretty impressive:


She had her first runners in 2007 (just 2), but look at her current record with her 2yos:




Strike rate%









This is an impressive set of stats, albeit from just 4 seasons of 2yo data. However, a strike rate of nearly 30% is outstanding and 75% of her 2yo runners have won at least one race. Compare this with the average figure of just 24% for all 2yo runners (eg. 24% of 2yos win at least one race; 76% don’t win as a 2yo).

She has saddled 6 wins from 16 for those 2yos making their debut, and of the 10 losers, 4 managed to place. It seems she is keen to get her horses as fit as possible first time up. For the record, 17 of her 19 wins have come with trainer Richard Fahey, with the other 2 being trained by Ann Duffield.

The market has been an excellent guide with horses priced 9/2 or shorter producing 13 wins from 21 (SR 61.9%) for a profit of £22.38 (ROI +106.6%). In addition to this she has been as effective with male and female runners – males are 9 from 32, while females are 10 from 34. She looks an owner that deserves close scrutiny in 2yo races in 2011.

Mr George Strawbridge

In each of the last 4 seasons, George Strawbridge has secured an overall yearly strike rate of over 20%. This indicates he is becoming a very consistent owner. 56% of his runners have won at least once in their careers which is a notable achievement. He has the majority of runners with trainers John Gosden and Andrew Balding, and it is worth looking at his jockey stats. Jimmy Fortune is an eye-catching 29 wins from 103, while Nicky Mackay is 7 wins from just 18 rides. However, at the other end of the spectrum we have Robert Havlin with only 1 win from 27.

The market tends to be a very good guide to the chances of his runners. When his runners have been in the top 4 of the betting the results have been 52 wins from 182 runners (SR 28.6%) for a profit of £46.08 (ROI +25.3%). With Gosden as a major trainer it should come as no surprise that he is 12 wins from 46 at Newmarket. Finally, he has only had 5 runners at Yarmouth but 4 of them have won.

K Abdulla

This should be a much more familiar name to you all. Abdulla has over 200 horses in training so for the stats gurus there is plenty of number crunching to be done. In the 6 seasons of study, his yearly strike rate has exceeded 20% which is an outstanding effort. Let me now look at some areas that have shown decent profits in the past 6 seasons:




Strike rate%



Course - Haydock






Course - Newmarket


















2yo Debutants






Trainer – H Cecil







His 2yo record is very good. He has had 238 different 2yo runners of which 98 have won at least once. This equates to 41.2% which is well above average (see above). Cecil seems to be the trainer to follow with a 2yo strike rate in excess of 34%; indeed Cecil is 10 from 37 (SR 27%) for 2yo debutants which is a stat worth noting. One more worthwhile positive on the 2yo front for Abdulla is that in races of 1 mile or more his record reads an impressive 36 wins from 122 (SR 29.5%) for a profit of £51.42 (ROI +42.1%). Finally, although his 2yo LTO winners win 22% of the time you would have lost £32.75 backing them all (ROI -48.9%).


JC Fretwell

Fretwell is a trainer where the focus looks best to be on 2yos. He has had 99 2yos in the past 6 seasons of which 50 have won (50.5%). Backing all his 2yos would have yielded a small profit but the strongest stats are as follows:

2yo Variable



Strike rate%



Distance 5-7f


















Jockey – R Mullen







His 2yo runners certainly seem to prefer shorter trips as those tackling 1 mile or more have managed just 2 wins from 35. The market tends to be a good guide to the chances of his runners with the top 4 of the betting providing 64 winners from 234 runners (SR 27.4%); compare this with runners 5th in the market or bigger who have managed just 5 wins from 108 (SR 4.6%).


Mrs J Wood

Richard Hannon trains all her runners and 67.3% of her runners have won at least once. Her runners have performed far better in non handicaps than handicaps – in non handicaps her record reads 62 wins from 305 (SR 20.3%) for a small profit of £32.49 (ROI +10.7%). In handicaps though, her strike rate is half that at 9.8% and percentage losses accrued (ROI) stands at a dismal -42.7%.

I have found that finding positive angles for Hannon horses in general is difficult and hence they are few and far between despite an above average overall record for this owner. Having said that, horses returning to the track within 2 weeks have shown a small profit of £14.83, thanks to a near 1 in 4 strike rate. The market has been a decent guide with favourites winning 50% of the time and horses priced 9/2 or shorter providing 47 winners from 148 runners (SR 31.8%) for a profit of £36.65 (ROI +24.8%). Finally on the negative front, steer clear of her debutants as they have lost over 50 pence in the £.

Sir Robert Ogden

Not really an owner to follow but he has a 22% strike rate with 2yos (N.B only 2 from 21 for debutants; non debutants 11 from 38). For the record horses aged 3 and older have scored under 11% of the time.

Mrs T Burns

Here is another relatively unknown owner. Mick Channon is her main trainer, and she has a decent record from a limited number of 2yo runners. She has run just eleven 2yos but 7 have won at least once, and their overall record reads a solid 13 wins from 73 (SR 17.8%) for a profit of £45.29 (ROI +62%). Channon, as we know, is not averse to running his 2yos regularly – hence on average her runners have had 6 to 7 runs as 2yos.

There are some interesting angles worth noting. Firstly, from August onwards her record reads 9 wins from 44 (SR 20.5%) for a healthy profit of £52.91 (ROI +120.2%). In addition she is an impressive 5 wins from 17 for 2yos priced 10/1 or bigger.

Hopefully this article has uncovered some gems that we can profit from in the coming months.


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