Is it ethical for race horse trainers and indeed jockeys to have financial connections with bookmakers. Most punters would think it is unethical and I would tend to agree. Even if you cannot stop under the radar connections, the sport still has to be seen to be clean and financial ties between trainers and bookmakers is just another example of the degree to which bookmakers run racing.
There has been plenty of talk on this subject recently on Twitter and forums so I decided to take a look at 10.00am prices and track the occurance of top priced bookmaker by trainer. The bookmaker had to be outright top priced and not joint and the data spans from September 2018 through to today, the 20th February 2019.
The most frequent top priced bookmaker is Matchbook and their most frequent trainer connection when top priced was Richard Fahey who they got right most of the time. They had one of his horses top priced 84 times and the total profit/loss to Betfair SP on these horse amounted to -34.04 from an average odds of 13.07/1 (14.07 to decimal odds).
Matchbook do not however have a flawless crystal ball. in next was D Skelton who they tended to get wrong with 80 top priced horses returning +77.44 before com’ off average odds of 10.16/1.
So what about the most high profile trainer bookmaker connection, Nicky Henderson and Unibet. Unibet have been outright top priced 8 times with Nicky Henderson for a BFSP loss of -0.21, hardly suspicious but with all these numbers probably worth a revisit in 12 months time.
For the time being be cautious when R A Fahey is outright top priced with any bookmaker at 10am until bigger samples say otherwise.