At the time of writing, we have just witnessed the final Classic of the Flat Turf season, the St Leger, which was won in impressive style by the Charlie Appleby trained Hurricane Lane.
Although there is still 7-8 weeks of the Flat season to go for this month’s Research piece, we are going to turn our attention to the forthcoming “Proper” National Hunt campaign which gets underway during October. Later in the month Cheltenham play host to the Showcase meeting over Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd.
We are going to focus our attention on the final quarter of the year and to keep things relevant the most recent 3 years, 2018-2020, and one final aspect of the criteria will be handicap races only.
As ever we will turn to our trusty research partner, the System Builder tool on the Horseracebase site.
The following table details a select bunch of 5 trainers that have achieved solid success in Handicap races over the 2018-20 periods during the final three months running October through to the end of December.
We will take a closer look at each of the above trainers starting with Sandy Thomson.
Before training horses Sandy had a successful rugby career winning the Scottish Championship with Kelso, playing for the South of Scotland on numerous occasions including games against the All Blacks and Australia, and representing Scotland B.#
He rode in a few point to point races but the risk of injury meant that rugby and racing were not a good mix.
Sandy Thomson had been a farmer at Lambden, but once his rugby days came to an end, he turned his attention more fully to establishing a horse racing training base, initially with some homebred point to pointers and having had a few winners under Permit.
In 2012 he took out a full license and his first big win was in 2013 when Netminder won the Wetherbys £60,000 Novice Chase at Ayr on Scottish Grand National Day.
As the figures in the earlier table showed the yard appears to do well in the early months of the main part of the National Hunt campaign, particularly in Handicap races.
So how do the individual years stack up?
Clearly the standout period was that of the 4th quarter of last year and the big profits came via a win for Yorkhill at 66/1 on his second start for the yard having been switched from the Willie Mullins stable after a series of poor runs during 2019.
However, the fact that both 2018 and 2019 also produced a profit from his Handicap runners in the 4th quarter provides evidence for optimism.
How do the Handicap Hurdlers fare against those over the bigger obstacles?
The results are pretty clear cut based on the 3 years of data that the yard clearly has a bias towards the Chasers when running in Handicaps in the 4th quarter of the year.
System 01: Back the runners trained by Sandy Thomson when they are competing in Handicap Chases during the months of October through to the end of December.
Moving on next up is Oliver Sherwood
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