In the blink of an eye the festive season has come and gone for another year as most countries around the globe continue to try and get to grips with the Covid pandemic.
The racing industry have inevitably been affected with generally no spectators affecting the revenue of the tracks and in a recent interview Mark Johnston stated that his yard would be around 20 per cent down on the number of horses for the 2021 campaign. He expressed concerns that if this was repeated amongst other yards the “ridiculous fixture lists” would be a challenge with a significantly smaller pool of horses.
However enough of the Flat scene, for this second piece of the New Year we will continue to focus on the National Hunt action and see if we can uncover some trainer based angles in the run up to the Cheltenham Festival in a couple of months’ time.
To keep things refreshed and hopefully relevant we will base our research on the last 3 years, so, which trainers have historically performed well during the second month of the year?
The following table shows the top 20 yards, with at least 50 runners, in terms of number of winners during the month of February 2018-20.
If we use the useful barometer of the “Actual vs Expected” figure, where anything above 1.00 is considered to be a positive indicator, there are a quartet of very familiar yards that look worthy of our closer attention.
Paul Nicholls (1.05 A/E)
Given the status of the stable with Nicholls having been crowned Champion Trainer 11 times over the past 14 campaigns, it is quite surprising that the most recent results for February would have turned a blind profit.
Over the years Nicholls has had in his care a good number of top class horses such as See More Business, Kauto Star, the mighty Denman, Master Minded and of course Big Buck’s.
As a rule the yards runners are rarely overlooked by the market so let us see if we can uncover the reason behind the profits achieved during the last three years during the month of February.
First up how did the individual years pan out during the second month?
The above points to an improving trend in terms of both winning Strike Rate as well as the Return on Investment which we can take as a tentative positive.
There was one stand out winner though with Pic D’Orhy in the 2020 running of the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury as he returned an SP of 33/1 but paid a stonking 110.00 on the Betfair SP!
If we set sensible maximum odds on the Betfair SP at 20.00 or less it would take that one out of the equation and we still would have turned a profit at BFSP blindly backing all of the runners during the last three February’s, albeit to a more modest level…
As a basic starter it should pay to concentrate on the runners saddled by the Paul Nicholls yard during the month of February. He contributes to a column on the Betfair Strategy portal which can be found here.
If you keep a regular eye on his scribes you should be able to pick up a few hints as to the likely chances of his runners, especially at the weekends, and this may help in honing in on the ones with the strongest chances.
System: Back the horses entered to run from the Paul Nicholls yard during the month of February. Either use the general odds available in the morning markets or the maximum odds setting on Betfair with a 20.00 filter.
For our Gold members this month Steve drills down into the Nicholls runners and finds a system with a 34% strike rate and a 76% ROI as well as big profit systems for Fergal O’Brien and Sue Smith runners.
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