Tag Archives: trainers

2000 Guineas Weekend – The Trainers

Guineas weekend is here. With Punchestown winding down today, the last reminders of the jumps season will simply become memories and a flat season which up until now may have felt as if it was still beginning to kick into gear is most definitely in full swing. This weekend at Newmarket will see some of the game’s most talented, most exciting fillies and colts battle it out over what is one of the truest tests of the thoroughbred possible, the Rowley Mile.

While the Lincoln at Doncaster may seem like a long time ago, it has to be acknowledged that this is still early in the season – many see this as the turning point, when the warmup ends and the game begins. Plenty of horses we see this weekend (indeed plenty of the protagonists in some of the biggest races, including the Classics) will be having their first run of the season, so it pays to take a look at which trainers tend to have their horses primed and ready, and which have the best record at this meeting.

Andre Fabre

The first mention has to go to the Frenchman who in the last decade has brought 7 horses to Newmarket on Guineas weekend, with 3 winners and a 2nd and 3rd to boot. Fabre’s runners at this meeting since 2003 have form figures of 351514112513, and perhaps most interestingly, only 4 of them were favourites. Baking all of Fabre’s runners since 2003 would have given a tidy SP profit of +9.91. The profit figures, along with Fabre’s A/E of 1.61, suggest that the market still may underestimate French raiders, favouring horses from these isles whose form we know better.

Ralph Beckett

Beckett hasn’t had a winner at this meeting in the last 3 years, but can’t be criticised for this – three of his five runners in that period of time went off at double-figure prices, and his form read 02262, with the three runners-up going off at starting prices of 7/1, 16/1 and 9/1. Looking back at the three years prior to that, he had a winner at a double-figure price each year, with his overall record over the last decade reading 4 winners from 17 (24%) and a further 5 places, meaning that more than half of his runners have made the frame despite the fact that not one of them was sent off favourite (in fact, not one of them was shorter than 4/1 and 10 of the 17 went off at double-figure prices). This brings Beckett’s A/E to an impressive 2.41.

Sir Michael Stoute

Sir Michael Stoute has had more runners at the meeting than either of the two trainers discussed so far, which makes his 22% strike rate (9 winners from 41 runners) all the more impressive. He drew a blank last year with neither of his two runners making the frame, but had a winner at the meeting in each of the 5 preceding years, and it would have been profitable to blindly back all of his runners in each of those years. In earlier years his runners tended to be well fancied in the market, although he has only trainer one clear favourite at the meeting in the last 3 years. His A/E over the last decade is 1.15.

Charlie Appleby

It would be ridiculous to discuss trainers at the meeting without mentioning Charlie Appleby, who trained 5 winners across the two days last year. 2018 was a big step up for Appleby in terms of the amount of ammunition he fired at the meeting (17 runners, compared to 6, 5 and 2 in the previous three years) and so somewhat surprisingly, backing all of his runners last year would have resulted in a small loss (of -0.59 at industry SP, although backing all of them at Betfair SP would have resulted in a profit of 1.47 – his A/E was 1.29). Appleby didn’t have any winners from his 11 runners in 2014 and 2015, although 4 of them did finish either 2nd or 3rd. In 2016 his success was eyecatching, with form across the two days of 23114, and he went on to train another two winners at the meeting the following year (517166) before sending out 5 winners and 5 placed horses from 17 runners last year. Overall, his strike rate is 9 from 39 (23%), with an A/E of 1.22 and a win/place strike rate of 51% (20 from 39).

Jim Bolger

Bolger might not be the most obvious trainer to finish up with, as he’s not renowned for sending his horses here – he has saddled 115 runners at the Irish Guineas meeting in the last 10 years, and has sent just 10 runners to Newmarket for Guineas weekend in the same space of time. These have yielded just one winner (Dawn Approach in the 2000 Guineas in 2013) but 6 of the 10 have made the frame. You could argue that Bolger has underperformed with Trading Leather (4/6 favourite) and Lucida (9/2 favourite) only managing 3rd and 2nd respectively in recent years – however, his other three placed horses returned odds of 15/2, 12/1 and 25/1 and it’s striking that the only four Bolger runners in the last 10 years which failed to make the frame had starting prices of 28/1, 50/1, 25/1 and 20/1. Using the implied probabilities from Betfair’s place markets, Bolger’s A/E in terms of making the frame is 1.77.

This Year

Fabre, Beckett and Bolger don’t run anything at Newmarket on Saturday, which leaves just two trainers, with three runners between them:
1:50 – Elector (Sir Michael Stoute) – 1st
1:50 – Vintager (Charlie Appleby) – 3rd
3:35 – Al Hilalee (Charlie Appleby) – 16th

And Sunday:
1:50 – Melting Dew (Sir Michael Stoute)
2:20 – Veracious (Sir Michael Stoute)
2:55 – On The Warpath (Charlie Appleby)
4:10 – Path Of Thunder (Charlie Appleby)

The Irish Grand National – One For The Small Yards

This year, the Irish Grand National will play a vital role in the year’s Trainer’s Championship, which both Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott desperately want to win. Mullins has 4 runners, which Elliott has an incredible 13. Last year was similar, however, with Elliott running 9 horses but the race ultimately going to Jessica Harrington’s Our Duke.

Whilst Harrington’s can hardly be called a small yard, it has been worth looking beyond the obvious powerhouses in this contest in the past. In the last 10 years, only Mouse Morris has won the race twice. 5 of the last 10 winners were their yards’ sole representatives at the track that day, and these horses (96 of them in total) were, as one might expect, underestimated by the market (Betfair SP’s would have suggested that they would account for 3.3 winners – although the Betfair place market would have suggested 13.9 places, despite only 9 of them actually making the frame).

It’s quite incredible that neither Elliott nor Mullins has ever won this race despite the attractive prize money on offer and the fact that both have won the English equivalent. Mullins has fired 23 darts at the race in the last 10 years and has had just 2 placed horses to show for it, despite 7 of his runners going off at 10/1 or less (none of these 7 even made the frame). Elliott, meanwhile, has had 20 runners in the last 10 years and has come away with just 3 places. He hasn’t trained as many contenders at the top of the market as Mullins has (just one horse with a starting price of 10/1 or less), but last year his runners took up around 30% of the total book and just one made the frame.

This is not a critique of either Mullins or Elliott – the reason for their ducks in this race aren’t clear and it’s never an easy task to win a National of any description, but it may be worth looking beyond the obvious big names (particularly in a race which attracts once a year punters who are likely to back horses from iconic yards, causing their prices to contract). Indeed, at the time of writing, 7 of the top 8 in the market are trained by either Mullins or Elliott. It may pay to look beyond the obvious.

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In-Form Trainers: February 12th

After some top quality action in Newbury this weekend (and a few Cheltenham festival clues), it’s back to the midweek racing with only 29 days to go until the highlight of the season.

As ever, here’s our update on the trainers operating at high strike rates over the past couple of weeks:

John Gosden has had 3 winners and 2 placed horses from 5 runners in the last 14 days, with form of 21211. He runs one horse today at Wolverhampton:
5:40 Wolverhampton – Orchid Lily

Mrs R Dobbin has had 4 winners from  7 runners in the last 2 weeks, although her good form stretches back slightly further than that, with form of 1211141F51 since January 26th. She has two runners today:
2:00 Catterick – Jack Devine
3:35 Catterick – Monfass

Ed Walker has had 3 winners from 6 runners in the last 14 days. He runs one horse today:
8:10 Wolverhampton – Bold Prediction

Rebecca Bastiman has had 3 winners and 2 placed horses from 7 runners in the last 2 weeks. She runs two today:
7:40 Wolverhampton – See Vermont
8:40 Wolverhampton – Gone With The Wind

J Scott has had 4 wins and a place from 10 runners in the last 2 weeks (in fact, he has had 4 wins and a place from 7 runners in the last 7 days). His form in the last 7 days reads 11118P2, with the horse than finished 8th having had a starting price of 50/1 and the horse than pulled up having had a starting price of 100/1. He has two runners today:
3:50 Plumpton – Two Hoots
4:20 Plumpton – Shoofly Milly

Dr Richard Newland has had 2 wins and a place from 4 runners in the last 7 days (2 wins and a place from 5 runners in the last 14 days). His form over the last 7 days reads 4211. He has one runners today:
2:35 Catterick – Aaron Lad

In-Form Trainers: February 5th

As we recover from an incredible weekend at Leopardstown, it’s time to settle back into midweek racing, so, as usual, here’s our update on the trainers who have been in hot form over the last two weeks.

Robin Dickin has had 4 wins and 3 places from his 8 runners in the last 14 days, with form of 111342131. He runs two horses on Monday:
2:30 Southwell – Myroundorurs
4:35 Southwell – Tara Well

Rose Dobbin has had 6 wins and 3 places from her 13 runners in the last 14 days. Her more recent record is even more impressive, with form of 1211141 since the 26th of January, and 3 wins from 4 runners in the last 7 days. She runs two horses on Monday:
3:50 Newcastle – Log On
4:20 Newcastle – Le Gavroche

Kevin Ryan has had 3 wins and a place from 8 runners in the last 14 days (including 2 wins and a place from 6 runners in the last 7 days). His two runners so far this month have won. He runs one horse on Monday:
5:45 Wolverhampton – Al Khan

Anthony Honeyball has had 3 wins and 2 places from 8 runners in the last 14 days (all in the last 7 days) with form of 11288621 (the two horses to finish 8th had starting prices of 33/1 and 25/1). He runs one horse on Monday:
3:00 Southwell – Don Lami

John Gosden has had 3 wins and 3 places from 9 runners in the last 14 days (with his two runners in the last 7 days finishing 2nd and 1st at 17/2 and 5/1 respectively). He runs one horse on Monday:
7:15 Wolverhampton – Natch