In response to a recent twitter exchange I am posting this up from an old article I wrote in 2010. I had previously written and shown that NH figures seemed to say the opposite ie one was better off backing trainers ‘in form’. Interestingly the flat figures below also show what Joseph Buchdahl’s football figures showed for teams in or out of form ie that there is sweet spot before positive results swing the other way.


Last month I took a look at how recent trainer form affected the performance of runners and the pound in your pocket. It showed that some improvement on your bottom line can be obtained from looking at recent strike rates of trainers although not enough to produce any outright profits. Last months article focused on National Hunt racing. This month I will take a similar look at Flat trainers and see if any similar trends emerge.

As with last months article I will look at trainers with an overall strike rate of more than 10%, but this time on the Flat. This would hopefully rule out small trainers with very few runners which could in turn skew the results.. My first port of call was to see how these trainers faired when their recent form was inferior to their overall form. To do this I plumped for the last 25 runs as an indicator of recent form. A broad brush approach would therefore initially be to state that any ratio ie overall SR% / last 25 SR%, greater than 1 would mean ‘out of form’. Yes very broad brush I know but we have to start somewhere. The results were as follows for all horses going off under 8/1 for the years 1999 to 2005.


All horses regardless of recent form :-

Bets                          Wins                           PL                        ROI%

48469 10846 -4674 -9.6%


Strike rate ratio > 1

23077 5160 -1963 -8.5%


Slightly better returns for those trainers on the wrong side of the ‘in form’ ratio. If we increase the ratio to greater than 1.2 ie more significantly out of form, we have

18179 4018 -1427 -7.85%


Further improvement in the returns !.

Here are a full set of ratios :-


Ratio                Bets                      Wins                PL                       ROI%

>1.4 12524 2779 -876 -7.0
>1.6 9960 2192 -735 -7.3
>1.8 8133 1770 -675 -8.3
>2.0 6795 1462 -631 -9.28
<1.0 24854 5562 -2708 -10.8
<0.8 15632 3519 -1463 -9.3
<0.6 7162 1609 -586 -8.19
<0.4 2070 422 -277 -13.4


The interesting figures from the above are the improvement shown when a trainer is out of form but not drastically so ie when the ratio of strike rate to recent strike rate is somewhere between 1.4 and 1.8. In fact betting those within that band produced :-

Bets                            Wins                           PL                        ROI%

4391 1009 -201 -4.5%


Using the above band for the following 3 years ie 2005 to 2008 produced for those 3 years :-

Bets                            Wins                           PL                        ROI%

2661 606 -97 -3.6%


Certainly -3.6% is surmountable using Betfair.

When it comes to which trainers are best to follow when ‘out of form’, here is a list of profitable trainers when the ratio is set to > 1.4 and < 1.8

Trainer                 Profit

T D Barron 39.53
Saeed Bin Suroor 38.03
M A Jarvis 27.39
W R Swinburn 24.75
T G Mills 21.01
N A Callaghan 19.43
Andrew Reid 19.3
M C Pipe 16.21
J Noseda 15.28
R Hannon 12.93
P R Webber 11.75
N J Henderson 10
Ferdy Murphy 8
L Lungo 7.5
M A Magnusson 7.25
N J Vaughan 7
Tom Dascombe 7
M Wigham 6.75
D R Lanigan 6
R M Beckett 6
H Morrison 5.91
H Candy 5.24
Miss S J Wilton 5
Carl Llewellyn 4.87
John M Oxx 4.87
D R Loder 4.86
J W Payne 4.75
A C Stewart 4.5
E S McMahon 4
Miss Tor Sturgis 4
S P C Woods 3.88
M Pitman 3.33
D J Daly 2.5
George Baker 2.5
A P O’Brien 2.36
R Brotherton 2.25
Paul Johnson 2
A M Balding 1.72
W Jarvis 1.7
P W Chapple-Hyam 1.62
M Botti 1.33
D Flood 1.22
R J Smith 1.1
M Johnston 0.12


Good luck with the above figures. One thing for sure most media pundits are guessing when they refer to trainer form.