January 8, 2020

January Acorns

It’s Happy New Year or Merry Christmas depending when you are reading this article. There’s plenty of high-class racing over the Festive period. Indeed, I seriously looked at doing a Christmas themed article but given you may be reading this after Boxing Day. I decided it would be wise not to.

I’m not a big fan of January. If you’re like me, you will hate January. It’s the bleakest, darkest month of the year and I can’t wait to see the back of it. Also compared to the previous two months the big race action just doesn’t quite hit the spot either. I could have done another article on trainers who excel with their runners in heavy ground which I did last year but given we hardly saw much heavy ground again maybe not. That said I think we we’ll see more mud this time around.

Anyway, instead of doing any of that I have decided to highlight those trainers who do better than expected in the very highest class of National Hunt races.

As ever the excellent www.horseracebase.com  with its mine of detailed information and stats is the starting point for this month’s investigation.

Before analysing further. To keep the data as relevant as possible, my starting point is all National Hunt racing for the last four years only. 

The only specific filters I have used at this point are that the runner’s SP is 20/1 or shorter and the trainers had a minimum of 25 runners in the period under research.

Trainers in National Hunt Class 1

Use the A/E & Chi Stats

For those of you have read my previous articles you will be aware of how highly I

regard the A/E stat but for those new to my writings. Here’s what I mean when I talk about the A/E and Chi Stats.

A/E Stat

The A stands for Actual whilst the E stands for Expected and the stat shows the actual winners to expected winners.

The A/E stat is simply a great way to find value bets, or of course value lays. If a given stat has ‘more winners than expected’ then you have found a good ‘value bet’ and

conversely if a stat has ‘less winners than expected' then this in an indication of a bad ‘value' for bet. 

As a quick rule of thumb for the ‘newbies’ amongst you:

•           A/E Index of 1.00 is as expected

•           A/E figure below 1.00 indicates runners are winning fewer times than the odds imply

•           An A/E figure above 1.00 is indicative of runners winning more regularly than expected

I personally look for an A/E index figure of at least 1.25 for back systems.

Chi Stat

The other stat that I like is the Chi Score. For those readers new to the term. It’s simply this. The chi squared test is used to indicate if the results are due to luck or skill. A low Chi score means that the results are mostly likely to be random. Meanwhile, a high chi score means the results are less likely to be down to chance or randomness.

I know some people who will look for a Chi score higher than 5 but I am more than happy to see one at around 3.

Both those stats in combination with a decent sample size, as gauged by the number of expected winners, are very useful in finding value betting propositions.

A decent sample size is required to gauge genuine profitability of any stats. Some will like to see the expected number of winners to be 10+ but 5 + is an acceptable figure to me.

The Trainers

Most of us like watching the big races. It’s these races that get all the headlines and

garner the major talking points for racing fans. Let’s begin by looking at some trainer stats.

The stats are for UK only National Hunt Class 1 races from Jan 2015 to date and consist of 1012 winners from 10221 runners 2615 placed.

Here are the top ten performing trainers in terms of numbers of winners.

Looking at those stats:

Colin Tizzard’s Class 1 runners has a good win strike rate at 17% and have been

profitable to follow during the period under research. The only other trainer in that top ten to have profit is Gordon Elliott. The rest have poor A/E stats and don’t offer punters much in the way of value, well certainly not backing blind that’s for sure.

Here are two notable trainers whose runners have underperformed in Class 1 races and by some way.

The figures for David Pipe are a surprise but show that he hasn’t been getting the

quality of horse into his yard to compete in the best races in recent seasons.  The Jonjo O’Neill stats have not been helped by a virus that seemed to have hit the yard over the past two winters. He’s added a crop of younger horses and hopefully more quality to his yard this season then those Class 1 stats could improve.

Both trainers are performing below market expectations according to the A/E stats and their runners in Class 1 races are not offering much in terms of value.

Going back to those top performing trainers. Here are two that are worth looking at in more detail. Starting with Colin Tizzard

Colin Tizzard

Let’s dig into those stats a bit further. Looking first at last time placing.

We can see that his runners that finished in the first three on their last start have provided punters with plenty of profit.

A 24%- win strike rate is a good starting point for following his runners in Class 1 races.  We can improve that further by concentrating on those qualifiers that had 0 to 2 runs in the previous 90-days.  They provided the following set of results:

A near 29%-win strike and healthy profit. Qualifiers are operating 48% better than

market expectations. The Chi Score is well above 5 and the Exp/Wins figure shows we are dealing with a robust sample size. Those Class 1 qualifiers have also produced a profit in each of the last five seasons.

System 17: Back Colin Tizzard runners in Class 1 races, that finished in the first three on their last and had run between 0 to 2 times in the previous 90-days.

Nicky Henderson

This month’s second trainer is Nicky Henderson.

A near 1 in 5 win-strike rate with his runners in Class 1 races is impressive but if you had backed all his Class 1 runners during the period under research you would have lost £102.18 to a £1 level stake.

How can we improve that profitability?  Once again let’s begin by looking at last time placing.

Those of his runners having their first run or first start in Britain & Ireland or had won their last race have produced the following stats.

The win strike rate has improved to 31% and if you had backed all those qualifiers you would have made a £74.64 profit to a £1 level stake.

Drilling down further and looking at his record by race type:

We can see his Class 1 runners in novice races and NHF races don’t anything to the profit. By discarding those and just leaving Chase, Hurdle, Handicap Chase and

Handicap Hurdle leaves us with.

Granted the A/E stat is just below my 1.25 threshold, but the profit is good, and the Chi Score and Exp/Wins are acceptable. Most importantly such qualifiers have produced a profit in the last five seasons.

System 18: Back Nicky Henderson runners in Class 1, Chase, Hurdle, Handicap Chase and Handicap Hurdle races only, that either won their last race or were having their first run for the trainer in Britain or Ireland.

Plenty of stats for you to digest there but hopefully you will have found this article

informative and it will help make your betting even more profitable. You can back both trainers’ qualifiers throughout the year.

Until next month.


Featured Image: cc-by-4.0 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/vegaseddie

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John Burke

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