As a punter, you should certainly take the record of a horse’s trainer into account when placing a bet. For some, the trainer is almost an irrelevance but ignoring their influence is a huge mistake. It’s a fact that yards are ‘in’ and ‘out’ of form at different times of the season. Sometimes, the bookies will ‘price in’ a horse from an in-form yard to the point where it becomes a bad value bet.
However, there are occasions when the bookie can completely ignore an in-form yard which may allow punters to cash in.
In this article, I will look at a number of well-known Jumps trainers in order to find out profitable patterns. For example:
Do they have specific months where their yards perform better than normal?
Do they have certain courses they prefer above others?
Do they have a partnership with a jockey that can help punters win money?
Forget About Months!
Right off the bat, I can tell you that focusing on specific months isn’t a productive way to spend your research time. I went through several trainers and couldn’t find any monthly patterns over the last 5 years whatsoever.
For example, backing Neil Mulholland’s mounts in May 2016 would have given you sizeable profit but you would have incurred losses in May 2014 and 2015. He had a good October 2015 but won just 13 out of 94 races in the previous three Octobers. It was a similar story with other trainers so I’ll be looking elsewhere to see if we can make some profit.
At the time of writing, King had an impressive 29% win rate over Jumps in the 2016/17. This is the highest of any trainer with 11+ wins this season. However, this doesn’t correspond into the punter’s goldmine as you might think.
Yes, you would make a profit from backing all his horses blindly but you might expect an ROI of more than 6.72% from an almost 30% win rate.
After looking at his record over a longer time, it definitely appears as if King is merely having a nice run of winners. Since 2012, his win rate is just 16.6% and punters would suffer an ROI loss of 19.65%.
How Can We Profit?
Research revealed that King has a penchant for Maiden Hurdle events. In the season so far, following his horses would result in a small loss but it’s a very different story since 2012.
That’s a good strike rate and a downright impressive ROI.
Let’s see if he has any preferred class for Maiden Hurdle events:
As you can see, he typically only has entries in Class 4 and 5 events. It is also apparent that his mounts in Class 5 events go off at shorter prices as you receive a much lower ROI than in Class 4 races even though the strike rate is slightly higher.
Then I discovered that King does extremely well in Hurdle events when Wayne Hutchinson is the jockey. These stats are since 2012:
The strike rate is reasonable and corresponds into a very healthy ROI all told.
Mulholland has trained the most winners in 2016/17 to date although there is admittedly a very long way to go in the season. Interestingly, blind backing all of his horses over Hurdles this season would actually yield an ROI over 23%! As you might have guessed, this is merely a hot streak for Mulholland as backing all his horses over Hurdles since 2012 would give you a loss of almost 9%.
So, how can we make Mulholland a killer Jumps trainer for the punter? Let’s look at courses first.
The one that sticks out like a sore thumb is Fontwell where he has a good record over Hurdles since 2012:
Indeed, punters would make a profit if they backed all of his horses at Fontwell in 2016/17 where he has 5 wins from 15 races in Hurdles and Chases.
I also discovered that Mulholland does well for the punter in Handicap Hurdle events; here is his overall record in this race type since 2012:
With a strike rate of below 18%, it’s clear that you need to be very selective so let’s look at class when it comes to Handicap Hurdles:
The vast majority of his Handicap Hurdle entries take place in Class 4 and 5 events. As you can see, it is best to ignore Class 5 events and focus on Class 4 races. His Class 3 record is also excellent for the punter but with just 40 races since 2012, you could be waiting!
In terms of jockeys, Mulholland favours Noel Fehily and Michael Byrne over Hurdles. Here are their stats since 2012:
Fehily enjoys a better strike rate but Byrne offers much better ROI which suggests he rides bigger priced winners.
Other Trainers to Watch
I took a look at a few more trainers and found them to be profitable under the following criteria over the last 5 seasons:
Pipe does well at Leicester (42% win rate) and Perth (46% win rate). However, he has only had 54 entries between both courses. This season he is 3/6 at Perth with no entries at Leicester.
In terms of jockeys, the Pipe/Tom Scudamore partnership does well in Chase events with a profit of 7.51% from their 448 races. However, this combination yields a slight loss in 2016/17 to date.
Donald McCain Jr.
McCain has been one of the most prolific Jump trainers in 2016/17 in terms of entries with 158 so far this season. Even though his win rate over Hurdles this season hasn’t been spectacular at 18%, you would still enjoy a slight profit if you backed his horses blindly so far.
Over the last 5 seasons, McCain does well at Kelso (27% win rate) and Musselburgh (22% win rate) with profitable ROIs for both. They also happen to be two of his favoured courses; he has entered a combined total of 267 horses in both tracks in the last 5 seasons so punters have plenty of potential betting opportunities. It’s a good idea to focus on Chase events at Musselburgh as this is where McCain does best.
When it comes to jockeys, look no further than Will Kennedy. The McCain/Kennedy partnership has the following statistics over the last 5 years.
Not a splendid strike rate by any means but an impressive ROI for the punter.
Vaughan has also been active in 2016/17 with 160 entries so far and even though he only has a win rate of 18% over Hurdles, you would make a small profit if you backed his horses blindly this season.
Over the last 5 seasons, Vaughan has enjoyed a 34% win rate at Perth although he has only had 44 entries during that period. He has also had a few long priced winners at Wincanton, Southwell and Ludlow as punters would make a profit at each course despite the win ratio being below 20% in each case.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a profitable jockey partnership. Champion jockey Richard Johnson had ridden over 900 Vaughan mounts in the last 5 seasons but only has a 15% win rate.
Punters like to back ‘a yard in form’ and while that can be a profitable short-term tactic, it is always best to see if there are any long-term trends. Trainers don’t seem to have a preferred month so you’re better off looking at favoured courses, jockeys, race types and even race Class. As you can see from above, this has the potential