Portfolio Corner – July Trainers To Follow

July brings the start of the two year-old nursery season and there are a number of trainers that have had decent success with their juveniles in this sphere. But before I get on to a couple of those trainers I would like to pass on a massive warning.


The best season wins wise since 2003 was in 2008 when he managed to produce 13 winners from 67 runs (19%) yet showed a loss of £2.91 at industry SP. In the last twelve years the Johnson nursery runners have produced a profit just once (2007), a wallet busting (not) £0.41

Betting with Betfair on their SP since 2009 has been a layers paradise. Just concentrating on these last half dozen years between July and December has produced the following;

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 17.58.51

The three highest priced winners during this span has been just 12/1 (twice) and 11/1.

It’s a bit of a head scratcher as to why Mark Johnson’s record is so bad in two year-old handicaps. After all, he has a large number of juveniles, many of them are very well bred.

It could possibly be that his horses have run well in their maidens and the handicapper takes no chances. But my theory is one that is similar to Mark Prescott. Many of Johnson’s horses are bred to race over a distance (1 1/2 mile plus) as three year olds or older. He uses the nursery route to get these horses handicapped over say 6 furlongs before they race on the All Weather during the early months of their three year old career or for the turf season from April onwards.

Be what it may, tread carefully when considering any Mark Johnson two year-old handicap runner.

Moving on to a couple of trainers that have had consistent success with simple base rules.

Michael Bell (Turf and AW), Class 4, 5 or 6

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 17.54.03

(NB: 0 from 6 at 20/1 or bigger)

Richard Fahey (Turf and AW), class 4, 5 or 6, four or more runs in current year, finished 1st or 2nd LTO

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 18.03.43

(NB: 2 from 22 +12 pts at 17/2 or bigger)

Put these two trainers nursery runners in your portfolio.

Until next month, enjoy the racing packed month which includes York and Goodwood and as I always say ….


Derek Sheppard

Left school at 16 and went into my first employment as a mechanical technical engineer. Those first five years of employment were perhaps my most enjoyable and I finished my apprenticeship having gained a degree, as well as the usual ONC, OND, HNC and HND. The company I worked for moved away from England, across the Atlantic to America whilst I was in my fourth year. I never did join up with them and head my own team as I had not long before hand got engaged, and my roots were in England and I'm one of those patriotic people. I went from one job to another, never really settling and being under paid as Company's were feeling the pinch under a Tory government led by Mrs T. Some thirty years later I decided it was the time I started out betting for my living. My interest in racing and betting first started out when I wrote a piece about 'probability' for Maths during my second year of my apprenticeship. This was later than my first bets, and as with most people, this started out as a child with a bet on the National. My interest grew and I read as many books as I could on betting, no internet back in those days. What was written then and still holds true today is that you can't win every day, you will by the very nature have more losing days than winning days. If anyone wants to be a winner, then they will have to accept this. I have seen so many people go 'on tilt' because they can't accept they are going to have a losing day. I started to get interested in racing systems after reading Clive Holt's Fineform publication 'Profitable Betting Strategies'. I still have this and a number of his other publications today and I still re-read them. I have now become a successful bettor of horses (and sports) in as much as I make a comfortable living. I'm restricted by many bookmakers and most of my betting is now done through the exchanges.
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