Systems Corner for October 2021

First up a quick look at how last month’s Heather main systems have gone:

System 96: 2 winners from 5 selections +0.85pts to BFSP

System 99: No selections

System 100: 0 winners from 3 selections / 0 placers from 3 selections -3.00pts to BFSP

With our regular acorns slot, we have always tried to find what we would describe as “micro” methods, which offer up a small number of runners over a short time period, with a view of adding these in to a regular “portfolio”, but as anyone who has tried it knows, creating a profitable portfolio from just one sport is not easy.

There is still the argument that the trainers know best, but the trainers never actually tell the horses they are supposed to win and the past 12 -18 months have been difficult to say the least.

Profits have been difficult to find and when found slow to develop and it can become completely disheartening when you think you have hit a hot vein of success only to find that suddenly someone has thrown a bucket of cold water over it to turn it in to a damp squib and the dreams of retirement fly away with the thought that they will never be seen again.

When we reach these points, and let’s be honest, they happen to us all, it is so easy to throw in the towel and say, “that’s it, I’ve had enough”, and if you are someone who says you never experience a losing run, and you are making a success with your betting, well, what are you reading this for?

Fancy sharing your success with the rest of us?

So, this month we have decided to try and take a different tack, rather than finding one or two trainers to add to a portfolio, we are going to look to find a portfolio of trainers.

(Disclaimer: This piece was written BEFORE the resident master Steve Carter gave us his article, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top!)

National Hunt Handicap Hurdle Races

We are looking to find a group of Handicap Hurdle trainers who we can then add to and remove as the months progress in a “moving portfolio”. We have chosen the Handicap races as over the past 3 years you would have lost less money backing blindly in the Handicap Hurdles rather than the Non Handicap, and in addition if we can come across a couple of lesser known trainers in the process their handicap runners may still offer significant value compared those of the bigger names, which we will aim to steer our betting away from.

A quick look at horseracebase and a little play with the handicap hurdles races shows us straightaway 24 trainers who have had some success over the past 2 years. When we say success, we mean you would have turned a profit backing these runners blindly.

Close to 100 points on a WIN only basis to 205 points staked to ISP (48.23% ROI)

Had you backed Each Way you would have achieved an ROI of close to 52% and had a place strike rate of 58.54%. 

So, if you are someone who isn’t keen on losing runs then chances are you would be better betting Each Way to level out some of the losing bets. (The longest losing run backing to Win Only was 15).

Approaches like these though also mean that you may well on occasions backing more than one horse in the same race. Generally speaking, this doesn’t bother us, particularly if we are backing at 5/1 or greater.

Looking through the list of trainers above we can see a couple of the larger trainers, in particular Paul Nicholls.

Nicholls’s place strike rate is over 55%, but as we are all probably aware his horses are often over bet, and prices can be shorter than the true chance of winning in some cases. In fact, Nicholls, although one of the more popular and well known trainers would have left you in the red had you backed his runners to Win or Each Way during October 2019/2020 combined.

Of the above listed trainers there are 10 which when combined have been standout over the past 2 years.

A Win ROI of 3 figures and an Each Way ROI of almost 100% sounds unlikely to be achievable again, but if we can achieve a 10-15% return in 2021 we’ll be happy with that. Anything higher is a bonus! We also get to hopefully reduce and minimise losing runs with the longest losing run backing to Win Only reduced to 6.

System 19: Back the above trainers when they have Handicap Hurdle runners on all tracks (UK and Ireland) during the month of October Each Way. (Results will be shown at ISP and Betfair Win and Place SP’s).

So, the next step is can we apply this trainer portfolio approach to Handicap Chasers?

National Hunt Handicap Chase Races

An initial selection of 21 trainers comes up when investigating Handicap Chase Runners over the past 2 years.

A 60% Win ROI (longest losing run 11) and a 75% Each Way ROI are firm foundations to work with.

The Irish trainer W J Austin has a small stable and had just one runner in October 2019 and 6 in October 2020 none of which managed to win their race, but of those 6 in 2020 each one finished within the places, and with prices ranging from 4/1-2nd to 25/1 2nd and results could have been so very different. 2021 hasn’t been profitable for the trainer, but the last quarter of the year may be the time to watch these handful of runners when they come out again.

Oliver Greenall runners have a 25% Win strike rate and a 62.5% place strike rate, but you would have struggle to make much of a profit on his Handicap Chasers over the past 2 years as you would with Stuart Edmunds. Edmunds had a place strike rate of 66.67% during the 2019/2020 period with his small stable but backing each way wouldn’t have seen a profit. As is the case with the Ben Case yards runners even though they had a 50% place strike rate.

Nicky Henderson fits in the mould of Nicholls in terms of backing his runners and in terms of any value you may be able to achieve when backing his runners.

For us this October we will settle on the following 10 trainers and their Handicap Chasers.

These trainers Handicap Chasers during the 2019/2020 produced a steady 60 points profit combined each year.

A WIN ROI over the period of 161.73% and an Each Way ROI of 126% are massive, and we in no way expect them to be achievable each year but a fraction of that return would be very nice thank you. Our longest losing run when backing to WIN Only doesn’t really reduce (down to 10) over the period reviewed, but again backing Each Way can soften that blow with 4 of those 10 runners having finished in the places at prices ranging from 2/1 2nd – 11/1 3rd.

(As you can see, along with our counterpart we too have picked up on Mr Honeyball)

System 15: Back the above trainers when they have Handicap Chase runners on all tracks (UK and Ireland) during the month of October Each Way. (Results will be shown at ISP and Betfair Win and Place SP’s).

It’s time to try a different approach to out betting. To some it may appear a scatter gun approach, but we are hoping that there will be a little more action (possibly a little too much but we will review that after the month is over), and a little more in terms of the returns for our efforts.

Who knows if this offers up a profit it may be the way for us to go on a rolling month by month basis? If nothing else, it is an exercise in changing an approach to our betting, because sometimes you really do need to make a change.

The OCP Systems Corner

Featured Image: Horse Lands After Fence Jump | Paul | Flickr

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