January 8, 2021

Research Corner – January Trainer Snippets

As we head towards the conclusion of one of the most unusual years in quite a while, it is time to look forward to 2021 and see if we can uncover some trainer based angles that may help us with a flying start to the New Year

We will be focusing on UK racing and in particular, given the time of the year, on the National Hunt scene as plenty of the top yards start their preparations for the Cheltenham Festival in March.

To keep things refreshed and hopefully relevant we will base our research on the last 3 years, so, which trainers have performed well during the first 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 Jan 2018-20.

As you would expect at the mid stage of the main part of the NH campaign a good number of the big yards appear in this table. However, backing Nicky Henderson’s runners blindly would barely scrape a profit to BFSP and Paul Nicholls runners would have left you just shy of 46 points down.

If we take note of the “Actual vs Expected” figure, where anything above 1.00 is deemed to be a positive pointer, the trio of Olly Murphy (1.27), Sue Smith (1.53) and Chris Gordon (1.32) look worthy of our closer inspection.

Olly Murphy

From an early age Olly Murphy had aspirations to be involved in the racing industry. Initially this involved attending the Pony Club, hunting and leading his mother’s string of horses, before progressing to ride in point-to-points and then on to riding as an amateur under National Hunt rules. He managed to ride 30 winners before he lost the battle with keeping his weight down!

Following this he made the decision that he wanted to become a trainer and initially spent a year with Alan King. He then made the move to Ireland, joining Gordon Elliott as Assistant Trainer.

Murphy spent four seasons with Gordon Elliott, tasting success at the highest level. During that time, Elliott won several Grade 1’s, numerous Cheltenham Festival winners and reached the pinnacle with Don Cossack winning the 2016 Gold Cup.

In 2017, the decision was made for Olly Murphy to take up the reins himself and in just those three years into his training career he has amassed 216 winners, won over £2 million in prize money and is a Grade 1 winning trainer. Quite a feat in such a competitive arena!

He has based himself at Warren Chase Stables which are at Wilmcote, Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire.

The following details his top-line figures during those 3+ years: –

The overall strike rate has been in the solid range of 15-20% and more than 1 in 3 of his runners at least make the frame by being placed. The Actual vs Expected would indicate that the market expectation is slightly overrated to the final outcome but some of that may be because he writes a column for the folks at Betfair as one of their Ambassadors.

Next let’s take a look at how the runners in each National Hunt race type have fared over the same period: –

Maybe at this stage of his career it is likely that he had handled a number of younger horses which generally start out in Bumpers (National Hunt Flat races) and then progress to hurdles before, if they have the right make-up, going over the bigger obstacles.

We will now take a closer look at the performance of each of the NH disciplines starting with the Bumper runners: –

If we make a small allowance for his debut year in 2017 the Bumper runners have performed with credit at a better than 20% strike rate.

Interestingly and possible quite surprising is that when the four times Champion Jockey Richard Johnson has been booked to ride one of the yards runners in a Bumper the results have been decidedly lukewarm: –

16 of those 29 went off as the favourite (including joint) but only 3 of them finished as the winner so the A/E of 0.43 does put things into perspective and has the potential to be a nifty micro method for those “layers” amongst you.

If we simply ignore the Bumper runners from the Olly Murphy yard when Richard Johnson is booked to ride the overall P&L returns a small profit of +4.64 points to Betfair SP.

The market can be a useful guide with all 19 that were quoted in the forecast odds of 10/1 or bigger losing, in fact only 1 even placed.

Taking account of those two factors we can turn a profit by supporting the Olly Murphy runners in National Hunt Races:

System 75: Back the runners trained by Olly Murphy when running in Bumpers and NOT being ridden by Richard Johnson or quoted at 10/1 or bigger in the betting forecast of the Racing Post.

For Gold members we have another Murphy system and dig deeper into the performance of Sue Smith and Chris Gordon.

If you would like to upgrade to Gold go to https://www.oncourseprofits.com/upgrade

All that remains is to wish you all a Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year.

Happy punting and stay safe.

Steve Carter

Featured Image: https://www.pxfuel.com/en/free-photo-jflti

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Steve Carter

Steve Carter is the Associate Editor of On Course Profits magazine. He has relied on his betting skills and knowledge for his income for the past 15+ years. He specialises in horse racing and football betting & trading and knows what it takes to make a living from betting. He is always looking for new angles for himself and On Course Profits readers.

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