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Trainer Patterns in 2yo Races

By the time you read this, the flat season will be getting into full swing and for this article I am going to delve into trainer patterns in 2yo races.

The data collated will combine both turf races and all weather going back to 2012.

Profits and losses have been calculated to £1 level stakes using Betfair Starting Price (BSP) taking the 5% commission into account.

I have looked at UK races only, not Irish ones or those abroad.

The problem with many 2yo races is that you have little, or no form go on, especially during the first half of the season. Over an average season, 28% of all runners in 2yo races will be unraced / making their debut. Indeed, this increases to 51% in April and May and remains at 44% in June.

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For many punters therefore, 2yo races are particularly problematic, especially those who primarily use a form reading approach to betting.

Hence how does one go about tackling these races? One option is to use past trainer data.

Many trainers are creatures of habit. What I mean by that is they tend to train their horses in a very similar way year in year out. This is especially true if they have been successful in the past.

It takes a brave trainer to change their methods / approach if they have previously done well.

2yos need careful handling as they are very inexperienced, and hence trainers are even more likely to replicate previous training patterns, be it how they train them and / or how they campaign them. Therefore, past 2yo trainer data is one potential guide to future performance.

Of course, we cannot be 100% sure that past patterns will continue, but ultimately along with 2yo sire stats, 2yo trainer stats are the best we have to work with.

First things first let us look at all trainers combined, analysing the difference in performance with horses making their debut and those having their second career start.

Career startsBetsWinsSR %Profit / Loss (BSP)ROI (BSP)A/E
Debut2889722637.80+ £869.23+ 3.000.82
1 previous run23470298112.7– £191.49– 0.800.86

Don’t be seduced by the £869.23 profit for horses making their debut as this is purely down to some huge, priced winners on Betfair.

34 horses in the last 12 years have won with BSPs in excess of 100.00, five of which started at bigger than 300.00.

Compare this to 2yos having their second career start and we find only 19 horses winning at odds in excess of 100.00 and just two were higher than 300.0.

If we look at the strike rates, we can see that horses win far more on the second start than their first ever run.

Indeed, they are 1.63 times more likely to win on their second start compared to their debut run.

Also looking at the A/E index we can see that in general second starters are slightly better value than debutants.

Digging down into some individual trainer data now, let us look at the most successful trainers with debutants in terms of strike rate. I will give the profit/loss figures too, (to qualify – Strike Rate 12% or more; minimum 100 runners):

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David Renham

Featured Image: (CC BY 4.0)  –  Two Horses Working On The Gallops

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