Trainers to follow in October

It’s hard to believe that we are about to enter the final weeks of the 2019 flat season. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were looking forward to Newmarket’s Craven Meeting and the first Classic trials of the season.

By the time you read this, the winter jumps season will be almost with us.

Chepstow hosts the first big jump meeting of the autumn with a two-day meeting on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th. It’s a meeting where the likes of Cue Card, Silviniaco Conti and Finian's Oscar have made their seasonal returns in recent years.

At the end of month Cheltenham holds its first meeting of the 2019-20 jumps season.

The flat season is starting to wind down now, although there is still some top-class horse racing for us to look forward too.

Over the English Channel we have Arc Weekend at Longchamp.

At Newmarket we have the Dubai Future Champions Weekend which also includes the Dubai Cesarewitch Heritage Handicap, the second leg of the historic Autumn Double, after the Cambridgeshire.

A week later we have the end of season spectacular; Champions Day at Ascot.

The month ends with Britain’s final Group 1 of the season the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster which is on the same day as the second day of Cheltenham’s Showcase Meeting.

In this month’s Acorns I’m looking at trainers who have been profitable to follow during October in recent years.

With the winter jumps season about to get underway I have included two NH trainers, there’s also trainer on the flat and two on the all-weather.

As ever the excellent with its mine of detailed information and stats is the starting point for this month’s investigation.

To get a decent sample size and to keep the stats as relevant as possible, I have concentrated on trainers who have had at least 20 runners during the period under research and taken into consideration only their results from 2014.

Here is what I found during my research, beginning with the jumps.

National Hunt Trainers

The top six trainers ordered by winners are:

Looking at those stats the two trainers I’m drawn to are Paul Nicholls and Nigel Twiston-Davies. Both trainers have good win strike rates with their runners during the month and both have posted profits during the period under analysis.

Paul Nicholls

Paul Nicholls is winning with almost 1 in 3 of his runners during the month and almost half of them are placing.

Digging a bit further and breaking them down by NH race type:

Nicholls has an excellent win strike rate with his NHF runners, albeit he hasn’t had many runners in the sphere.

Looking at those stats it looks like his runners over fences are worth investigating further.

Firstly, breaking them down by handicap and non-handicap races:

And then breaking them down by horses’ age:

Looking at those results his 5yo & 6yo chasers are worth a deeper look.

Looking at the results by year:

The trainer has made a profit in each of the last five years. Last year there wasn’t many qualifiers, but they still made a profit.

The Exp/Wins figure indicates we are dealing with a decent sample size and the high Chi score indicates his figures are not down to luck.

System 84: Back Paul Nicholls 5yo & 6yo Chasers in October.

Nigel Twiston-Davies

Nigel Twiston-Davies is winning with almost 1 in 4 of his runners during the month.

Digging a bit further and breaking them down by NH race type:

He does well with his runners in all three race types.  Now breaking it down by handicaps and non-handicaps:

Again, there isn’t much between his handicap & non handicap runners.


Twiston-Davies has handicap hurdle winners during the month but for now it’s his non-handicap runners over the smaller obstacles that are worth investigating further.


Most of his hurdlers are 4yo or 5yo’s.

Looking at the results by year:

Profits in four of the last 5-years and performing 61% better than market expectations. 


Before I finish my look at the Twiston-Davies runners I will have a quick look at runners over fences.

His handicap chasers are worthy of further investigation.

Runs in Last 90-days

He clearly has plenty of winners returning from 90+ days absence. However, the profit lays with those handicap chasers that one run in the period.

Two for the price of one.

As we have two profitable angles for the Cotswold’s based trainer.

System 85: Back Nigel Twiston-Davies 4yo +5yo non-handicap hurdlers in October.

System 86: Back Nigel Twiston-Davies Handicap Chasers in October that had one run in the previous 90-days.

Flat Trainers

The flat season maybe ending but there are usually trainers who can be relied upon to bang in the winners during the month.

The top flat trainers during October ordered by winners are:

Two trainers whose runners are worth looking at deeper are Charlie Appleby & Ger Lyons.

Charlie Appleby

The trainer has been winning with almost 1 in 4 of his runners during the month.


I was expecting his juvenile runners to be performing best of the age groups but actually it’s 3-year-old’s that have been the most profitable.

Concentrating on his 2yo & 3yo runners.

Race Class

A good win strike rate for the trainer in Class 1 races but it’s his runners in Class 3 & 4 company that catch the eye.

Looking at the results by year:

A profit in four of the last five years and not too much damage done even if he was to have a season like 2016.

System 87: Back Charlie Appleby 2yo & 3yo turf runners in Class 3 & Class 4 Races in October.

All Weather Trainers

The top all-weather trainers during October ordered by winners are:

A few trainers worthy of further investigation. The three that stand out are Roger Varian, Michael Halford & James Tate.

Roger Varian

A healthy win strike rate for the Newmarket based trainer. Digging a bit deeper and looking at the sex of the trainer’s runners:

The trainer has a good record with his fillies in general and that comes across in his stats here.

Looking at the fillies only and adding two simple filters:

Race Class

Wins In Career

Looking at the results by year:

Another trainer with four winning years out of five.

He had a very poor 2016 but overall that looks a blip he’s bounced back in the last two seasons.

System 88: Back Roger Varian fillies, with 0 to 1 career wins, in Class 3, 4 & 5 races on the all-weather in October.

Michael Halford

The return of all-weather racing at Dundalk is a good time to catch our final trainer.

Looking at the above table most of his profit has come from those of his runners yet to race at Dundalk.

So, that’s the area that I will investigate further, starting with race distance.

Race Distance

Given the trainer is 2 winners from 26 runners -18.1 11 placed in race distance above a mile. It’s his runners a mile and under that I will concentrate on.

Looking at his Dundalk runners who had yet to win at the track, in races up to a mile and adding a further filter:

Wins In Career: 0 to 1

Looking at those results by year:

A profit made in each of the last five years and such qualifiers have been performing 73% above market expectations.

System 89: Back Michael Halford runners at Dundalk, with no course wins and 0 to 1 career wins.

Like many of these methods. The above figures are based on historic data and whilst history has a good habit of repeating itself, it often doesn’t.

It is important to remember that these bets are purely for the month of October and as such there maybe too many or indeed to few qualifiers for you, depending on your betting strategies.

Until next month.John

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