New Statistical Analysis

by Chris James of Talkingracehorses

 I am a numbers geek. I love playing around with statistics looking for different angles and strategies to get ahead of the crowd and make a profit! Clive asked me to find something that everyone, novice to pro, could use and use straightaway. Something that didn’t take too much effort and time to work through and something that can either be used as a standalone ‘system’ or as part of a set of strategies, which is no tall order. I ran through a few ideas that I have been working on and kept coming back to something I used 20 years ago when I was living and betting in the US. This was a list of trainers and ‘angles’ or training patterns.

So what are these ‘Trainer Angles’? Whether you know it or not racehorse trainers are creatures of habit; when they find a winning formula they tend to stick to it, as do we all. So all established trainers have patterns that they follow, particularly when they are looking at landing a gamble!

Now if we can spot these winning patterns, within the way that each trainer enters their mountsand into which races and when, then bingo! What we have is a formula to spot when a trainer is going to have a winner. You may be familiar already with some ‘trainer angles’; Nicky Henderson trots out winners in November or Mick Channon and his ability to get a winner out of a 2 year old on its first visit to the track. Some of these ‘urban legends’ are based in fact, some are the result of a couple of  winners close together.

Firstly, there are more ‘trainer angles’ than you can think of, and if I left you to think about it for a few minutes I’m sure that you could write down a list of 20 or 30 different angles without breaking a sweat.

Today I have prepared the ‘days’ ‘trainer angle’. This is the number of days since the horse last raced. Some trainers can turn a horse round quickly, in some cases within one day, to produce a winner. Others take a week or so and some can bring a horse  back after a long lay-off to win. I have also added a few little extras when looking at the data, which I’ll explain later.

Now before we get to the facts and figures, let me quickly run through the process.

The way I arrive at these ‘trainer angles’ is to look over 10 years worth of data, that’s almost 1 million runners! I’m only interested in angles that have a strike rate of over 40%, that produce a Return On Investment of over 100%, and in the past 10 years have NOT had a losing year! Ok, now you know what we’re playing you can see that we must have some pretty impressive facts to go at! Here are the top 10 ‘trainer angles’ for the All-Weather and National Hunt, the data actually produced close to 100 angles but space does not permit me to display them all.

Trainer Days Criteria Strike Profit Rate


Lanigan D R 14 SP <= 8/1 47% 28.18

Johnson Houghton E 100+ SP <= 7/1 43% 18.75

O`Gorman P J 14 KEMPTON(AW) Only 46% 31.38

West Sarah 5 SP <= 5/1 69% 24.75

Green P 100 SP <= 9/1 44% 24.50

Morris Paul 5 All Weather Only 40% 17.75

Lanigan D R 100 SP <= 7/1 50% 11.88

Attwater M J 5 SP <= 3/1 75% 10.88

Smyth L 35 SP <= 18/1 43% 27.00

Lanigan D R 14 Place Last Out 57% 16.25

National Hunt

Curtis R 100 SP <= 10/1 44% 20.44

Vaughan Tim 35 BANGOR Only 42% 17.33

Elliott G 14 Place Last Out 82% 31.09

Mulholland N P 14 SP <= 3/1 73% 11.83

Fleming A 100+ SP <= 7/1 60% 18.58

Haynes A B 100+ Chase Only 38% 61.00

Cann J G 0 SP <= 16/1 50% 40.00

Tinkler C 35 STRATFORD Only 40% 18.50

Williams Nick 35 WORCESTER Only 63% 13.83

Greatrex W J 35 SP <= 9/1 40% 13.83

The data can either be used to back the selections blindly or reinforce a selection that you may already have, I try to give people the facts to have the faith in the selections.

All the data that you need to find these selections is available free of charge on a number of websites or in your chosen daily paper.

Definition of the table above

Days = this is the number of days since the horse last ran

It is the number after the horse’s name on the racecard

Days = 0 means this is the horses first ever race

Days = 1 means one day since its last race (ie yesterday)

Days = 5 means two or five days since its last race

Days = 14 means 6 to 14 days

Days = 35 means 15 to 35 days

Days = 100 means 36 to 100 days

Days = 100+ means over 100 days since the horses last run ‘SP’ or Starting Price, for some of these statistics I have used the SP as a filter; the SP must either b above or below a set value.

Wait until close to the race and watch the live match to ensure that the SP is below the criteria value.

Use the ‘Betting Forecast’ from your chosen publication, to be found at the bottom of the racecard.

Specified Course Only, some ‘angles’ are only valid at specified courses.

The course name is at the top of the racecard. Specified Race Type Only, some ‘angles’ are for certain race types, either Chase, Hurdle, NH Flat. The Race Type can be found in the Name or Title of the race, found at the top of the list of runners on the racecard.

Specified Finish Position in last race.

This is the right-hand most number in the Form Figures, the row of six or seven numbers found to the left of the horses name on most racecards. Win Last Out the right most number must be ‘1′. Place Last Out the right most number must be either ‘2′ or ‘3′.

Unplaced Last Out the right most number must be a ‘number’ between 4 and 0 and not a letter, in other words, the horse finished its last race. Next time I’m going to take a closer look at The Cheltenham Festival to find some nice juicy ‘trainer angles’ which will hopefully bring home a few winners!

Chris James
Clive: My thanks must go to Chris for sharing his knowledge with us. Go out and use the above table and see how strong these stats are for the trainers mentioned!