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Research Corner – The Irish Scene

I have to admit that after close to 50 years of backing horses, my dad put my bets on when I was in my early teens, that I have never really showed much interest in the racing scene over in Ireland despite the fact that the likes of Willie Mullins and Co. have been harvesting a good number of the big races at the Cheltenham Festival etc.

A quick scan on the usual internet search sites indicates that in 2022 there was 67 million Euro in prize money awarded and the industry in general is seen as vital revenues for local economies throughout the island of Ireland. What happens on the track is important but equally it is seen as a catalyst for investment in bloodstock and in particular from foreign based owners.

With a vibrant and properly funded racing programme, underpinned by strong prize money levels, it creates the platform for breeders to race their progeny which, if successful, enhances the demand and value of their stock. This in turn allows breeders to recoup their significant expenditure through the sales rings and re-invest within the industry.

 In 2022, turnover at Irish sales was €215m, while Irish breeders achieved €538m in sales worldwide.

In effect, the prize money offered for Irish racing acts as a trade stimulus for Irish-based breeders and the wider bloodstock market, producing a further significant financial contribution for the rural industry.

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If we turn our attention to the key trainers on the Irish Flat Racing scene the name that immediately springs to mind is Aidan O’Brien who since 1996 has been the private trainer at Ballydoyle Stables near Rosegreen in County Tipperary for John Magnier and his Coolmore Stud associates. In the subsequent years he has been responsible for winners all over the globe and he has become the most successful Epsom Derby trainer of all time with 9 wins.

If we consider the leading trainers in Ireland during 2022, we find: –

The top five are fairly well known even to those who like me don’t follow the Irish Racing much but 6th in the above chart with well over 1 million Euros in prize money is P Twomey.

What is pretty remarkable about “Paddy” Twomey is that he has only held a full training license since 2016, so to achieve a winning strike rate of 29.52% in 2022 is no mean feat especially if you reflect on the fact that 59% of all of his runners finished in the first 3 during the 2022 Irish campaign.

If we next consider his performance as a trainer in Ireland since he took out a full license we find: –

Perhaps understandably he took a few years to get going but the last 4 campaigns have seen an increasing number of winners but more interestingly for us punters a decent return blindly backing the yards runners.

As can be seen from the next chart Paddy Twomey has had winners at pretty much all of the tracks in Ireland bar one, Clonmel.

If we next consider the yards runners by race type, we find the following: –

Although showing a profit with the runners in handicaps the eye is drawn to the A/E of 1.24 with the non-handicap runners.

Before he took out a training license Paddy Twomey was well-known in the breeding, breeze-up and pin-hooking business and therefore will have acquired an eye for spotting young horses with potential. That is borne out from the following: –

A close to 1 in 4 strike rate with the juvenile runners is quite a feat when you consider that they are most likely to be competing against the more established and long standing Irish yards.

Of equal note is the winning strike rate of the horses that have ran when staying in training after their juvenile campaign.

At the time of writing Paddy Twomey has had 7 runners in the last 14 days of which 3 won their respective races. If we take out the runner in a handicap race that leaves us with a 50% strike rate and according to the Racing Post 86% of those runners ran to form based on their metrics.

As a handy addition to a portfolio approach, it would seem that back the runners trained by Paddy Twomey has some merit until the market corrects itself as is its want.

System 90: JO-106-90-09-23-RC-SC – Back the runners in Ireland trained by Paddy Twomey when they are running in Non-Handicap races.

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