Strike rate and losing runs, a cut out and keep table

I have ‘borrowed’ the  quote below from a recent blog by Kieran at Make Your Betting Pay. I will put the link at the bottom of this blog for the full article. It is so useful, especially the table, and uses such a scientific approach, that i have used about half the blog below.

Keiran says:

“We need to strike the right balance between leveraging our profits and protecting the integrity of our bank.

My usual starting point when carrying out this kind of analysis would be to calculate the longest expected losing run over 1000 bets. There is a formula for calculating this (mail me if you’re interested) but I tend to use a table which makes life a lot easier. I’ve reproduced the table below (it’s accurate enough for our purposes)

The important thing to remember here is that the larger the number of bets you look at, the longer the likely losing run will be. As an example with a 15% strike rate looked at over 1000 bets you are likely to hit a maximum losing run of 43 bets. However, if you were to have 10,000 bets with a similar strike rate, at some point you are likely to hit a losing run of 57 bets. That being the case, it’s useful to have a reasonable idea of the number of bets your selection method is going to throw up over a period of time. If you are looking at a method that throws up 300 bets a year then calculating your longest likely losing run over 1000 bets is ample. If you are looking at a method that throws up 10,000 bets a year, you need to dig a bit deeper than that.

Let’s assume the method we are analysing has 1000 bets a year with a strike rate of 60%. We can see from the table that we are likely to hit 8 consecutive losers at some point during year 1.

You can see that if we were to choose a 10% staking plan on such a method, we are almost certain to hit trouble and quite possibly decimate our bank at some point.

We therefore need our bank to be several times the size of our longest likely losing run – it is well within the realms of statistical possibility that we could get 2 such runs in quick succession!

For safety, I would say it is best to work with your bank broken down into a number of points that equates to 5 times your longest likely losing sequence.”


I think 5  times the maximum losing run is on the conservative side. A lot depends on what sort of start you get. If you’re off to a flyer, by the time the inevitable ‘crippler’ comes along you should have taken out more than enough profit  to set up a new bank  and won’t care. If you start on the bad run your faith in the system/method/tipster etc is shaken and you would probably abandon what may be a good thing. What is often forgotten though is that with percentage staking the stakes go down during losing runs so a losing run of ten wouldn’t be ten points lost but considerably less.

I heartily agree with everything else though. There is no doubt that basing your staking on avoiding one long  losing run is folly as it is more common that a series of losing  runs is the bank breaker. Therefore it is wise to allow for this.

The debate will rage on but, in the end, we are back to another grossly underestimated factor in betting – psychology. Some thrive on risk others prefer the more softly softly ” I don’t need the stress as  I would like to live to spend the winnings” approach. There is no “wrong” nor “right” way, (try telling the Frankie Dettori backers that day at Ascot that they were throwing their money away backing 7 horse accas!). Granted, the same people could do a £1 acca 7  every day  for the rest  of their lives and lose every day. But  they wouldn’t be complaining as the stakes would come out of the massive interest on their winnings!

There again though, if you are backing seriously, you have to work on the basis of probability and not possibility so it is a question of finding the optimum. For those who shun risk it will be five times the max or more. For those who thrive on it, maybe twice the max and for those who are trying to strike a happy medium, 2-4 times the max.
Whatever your appetite for risk, the  table above offers a  basis for making an informed choice. You can’t say you weren’t warned!

Here’s the link to Kieran’s site:  . You will find the whole blog on there dated 18/1/12.

Irish Oaks trends


6 of the last 17 favs won and 6 second favs.

14 were from the first 4 in the betting. All the last 10 were from the first 3.

A 33/1 shot and two 12/1's have won but the rest were sent off at 9/2 or less – including the last 10.


Of the 6 with a rating, all were rated 101 plus.

All the last 10 were rated 126+ by RPR.

All the last 10 were rated within 4lbs of the top on RPR (6 were top  rated).

Form Profile

None of the last 17 winners had run beyond todays trip.

15-17 had run between 2 and 6 times in the past year.

16 posted a top  4 finish last time with 8 winning (7 in the  last 10 years).

9 of the last 10 posted a first two finish last  time.

The Irish 1000 Guineas, (Marvellous), has been a poor trial for this with the last winner coming from that race in  1979.

Similar with The Ribblesdale Stakes winners where 7 have tried and all have failed in this in the past 10 years. In fact 11 have tried and none won since  1994.

The Epsom Oaks has been a good  trial with 17 of the last 30 to try winning. However, don't look too far down the field as it was 1997 the last time  any horse finishing worst than third in that race won this.


The first thing to strike me is that one stat will have to give today. A horse rated more than 4 lbs off the top RPR and rated less than 126 adjusted will win, or an Irish Guineas winner will win.

Form figures wise, a first two finish from the first 3 or 4 in the market (9 of the last 10 years) narrows it down to two: Bracelet and Tarfasha.The former has the plus of being a last time winner but the minus of winning the Ribblesdale. The latter has the plus of being from the Oaks and running  second last time (Volume just missed second place by just a nose in that race and could be the best each way play at 4/1 as English based trainers have won 4 of the last 5 – it is 2008 since an irish based trainer won).

However, this is a trends blog and the trends say a first two finish last time. Therefore TARFASHA is the selection but i think Volume, from the bang in form Luca cumani stable, will go close and is the best each way.




Summer Mile: trends & selections



Favs have won 3 of the last 17 runnings with, interestingly, 7 second favs winning – which is way above par.

16 winners came from the first 5 in the betting and there has only been  one shock – a 33/1 winner, all the others were returned 11/1 or less.


All carried at least 9-1 and  5 have carried 9-5 plus.


15 had an official rating and, of these, 13 were rated 107 plus while the last 8 with a rating were rated 110 +


4 yo's have won 7 renewals from 57 runners for a 12% strike rate.

3 yo's (2/12 or 17%) and 6yo's (4/21 or 19%) have the best strike rates but from lower samples. However all between 3 and 7 have at least a 9% wins to runs ratio.

No horse above 7 has won this over the period

Form profile

16 had between 1 and 8 runs in the last year with 14 having a maximumm of 6 runs.

Only 10 were distance winners but ALL had had a run over a mile plus.

15/17 posted a first 5 run last time out.

Trainers and jockeys

It looks ike Tullius, Baltic Knight and Graphic are non runners so i will ignore any stats for these.

Adam Kirby has a 7/17 strike rate for Charle Appleby who runs Long John. However, this horse finished 6th last time.

Fergus Sweeney is 2/4 for Seamus Durack who runs The Rectifier – a 20/1 shot with an atypical profile for this.


If we begin with the first 5 in the betting, we can discard Mull of Killough right away on the age stats (an 8yo). Long John can also go to as he doesn't meet the first 5 place last time out. This leaves us with 3: Guest of Honour, Highland Knight and Producer.

Highland Knight has had 9 runs in the past year therefore just 2  fit the profile to  win this. I am going to opt for Marco Botti's second fav, GUEST OF HONOUR, who, even allowing for the 3 non runners, is now 7/2 from 6/1 first show and when the oney is down for this yard it is  well worth a second look!






Sat big race trends and stats summary


The first 4 in the betting have won 16 of the last 17 so best to start there.

3,4 and 6 yo's have  the best record with 5 yo's just 1-36, which raises question marks against Stepper Point, and no horse older than 6 won, which rules out Kingsgate Native.

None ran more than 60 days ago.

Only 3 horses drawn higher than 4 have won which narrows it down to a horse that was unlucky for us a few weeks ago when it would have won but for badly missing the break – STEPS. Even if it misses the break today the Sandown hill should give it every chance of getting up late.



13 of the last 17 and 8 of the last 10 were from the first 3 in the betting so we will start there.

8 of the last 17 won (from just 34 runners) won last time compared to just 4 who finished 4th or worse.

John Gosden has won this 3 times from  10 runners in the last 10 years.

The clear trends selection is the unbeaten and lightly raced SULTANINA.



Other than a 40/1 shock, no horse was returned at 16/1 or greater and 15 of the last 17 runnings were won by one from the first 8 in the betting.

With only 2 favs and 2 second favs winning in that time i will strike those out too.

There are distinct weight and ratings trends too with 16  carrying 9-3 or less and 15/17 rated 97 or less.

4 yo's have won 12 (11% of runners) with a wins to runs twice as good as the rest.

This narrows it down to 3: Salutation, Mighty Yar and Dashing Star.

The latter are both too high in the weights and ratings which leaves us with THE MIGHTY YAR.

However, the record of those with a first two finish last time  is 8 wins out of 86 runners which makes me think Salutation may well be a big danger. Mighty Yar finished 7th last time and this finisihing position has a 2-10 strike rate.



All bar one came from the first 5 in the betting 14 of the remaining  16 came  from the first 3. The fav has won 6 while the second fav won 4.

This narrows it down already to The Fugue Night of Thunder and Kingston Hill.

5 yo's have won 6 from 29 runners (21%) compared to 3 and 4 yo's 11-94 (12%). No horse older than 5 won.

The clincher here is class, which in my book, trumps all:

ALL the last 8 winners with a rating had an OR of 122 plus.

ALL had an RPR of 126 plus (not god news for War Command fans)

9 of the last  10  were rated within 5 lbs of the RPR top rated.

THE FUGUE is 7 lbs clear on RPR and 5 lbs clear on the official rating (OR) for a reason – she beat perhaps the most impressive winner of one of the classiest Arc de Triumphe  (Treve) last time. Ok, Treve was injured and ran 10 lbs below her RPR best in the Arc (won by an amazing 5 lengths!). But Magician, according to RPR, ran his best ever race yet could only just get within  2 lengths of the selection. And let's not forget Magician is no mug, he won the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Breeders cup Turf.

These are some trends followers who will point out that a filly hasn't won this since Kooyonga in 1992. But, firstly this mare is better than Kooyonga and secondly not many fillies have tried – just 5 in the past 10 years.







Northumberland Plate race trends & stats





Not too good for the head of the market with just 3 of the last 17 favs winning and no second favs.

Two 33/1 shots have won along with one returned at 25/1 and another at 16/1.

However 13 of the  17 were returned from the first 8 in the betting so, although not a race for the head of the  market, nor is it a race for big priced shocks.



Just one horse has carried more than 9-5.

15/17 carried 9-3 or less.

14/17 carried 8-11 or less, though it must be noted that the recent trend has been for those higher in the weight with the last two winners carrying 9-3 and 9-10 – these are two of the three highest weights carried in the last 17 runnings.



None of the last 17 won off a  mark higher than 104 – which doesn't  augur well for the top weight.

Again, as with the weights, the very recent trend has favoured those higher in the handicap with the last two winning off 101 and 102 – two of just four horses to win off a three figure rating these  past 17 years.

12/17 were rated 93 or less which makes it statistically a 70% chance that the winner will come from race card number 15  and lower.

9 of the last 10 winners were rated within 6 lbs of RPR's top rated.



3yo's are 2-6 but there are none in todays race.

4yo's have won 6 of the last 17  renewals from 127 runners,  a respectable 5%. However, they don't seem to offer much value as they show a 31.5 pts loss if you backed them all

Worse still are 5 yo's who haven't had a single winner in the last 17 years from 66 runners.

7 yo's are 1-35 (3%) but show a 20 pt loss.

The two best ages are 6 yo's with 6 winners from 59 (10%) and a 9.5 pts level stakes profit and 8 yo's who are 2-10 with a 20 pts LS Profit.


Form Profile

All had at least 2 runs in the last year and 16 has at least 3 runs. None ran more than 15 times.

11-17 were distance winners.

All ran between 8 and 60  days ago.

12 posted a first 3  finish last time, 14 were in the top 5 and 16 finished in the first 8.



There has been a definite advantage for those drawn in a single figure stall with them having statistically almost double the chance than those drawn 10 or higher. 11 have won from stall 9 or lower with 6 winning from a double figure draw from an almost identical number of runners.


Trainers and Jockeys stats


Peter Chapple -Hyam has a 2-4 strike rate at the course in the shape of Boite whose chance on the trends is diminished greatly by his 352 days lay off.

Donald McCain has won this race twice from just 4 runners in the last 10 years. His record is 2-5 overall at the course as his his record here in handicaps. He runs Mawaqeet who has the stats disadvantages of being a 5yo with no first 8 run last time.

John Quinn is 2-4 in handicaps here but his Agreeent is another who lacks a first 8 finish last time.



I am going to take the first 8 in the betting.

Exclude the 5 and 7yo's.

I am not sure whether the last two winners are flukes or the beginning of a new trend so i am not going to attach too much importance to weight and ratings.

I want a horse with  a first 8 finish last time – preferably first three – that ran between 8 and 60 days ago.

Also a single figure draw is important.

This leaves me with a shortlist of 3: ORIENTAL FOX, NEARLY CAUGHT and DARK CRUSADER

Given the record of 6 yo's, the first named is of interest. Ran a blinder last time when only 9 lengths sixth in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup won by Leading Light. As you will notice he carries 9-10 and will need to beat the handicap mark record by one to win today.

However, given the most recent stats this doesn't put me off too much. Another stat against though is that only 2 of the last 10 winners won over further than 2 miles and his sole recent win was over 2 m 2f in last seasons Cesarewich trial. In summary though, this horse has 9-10 because it has class and this represents a sizeable drop in class that must give him a good chance. the record of 6 yo's only gives further encouragement.

Nearly Caught has run just twice over this sort of trip over whhich he got by far his two best RPR ratings. Went down by just 2 lengths over the trip last time to Noble Silk in what the clock says was a slowly run race. This classier faster run race may suit better but he will need to iprove – as he may well with this being only his 8th run.

Tony Martin sends over Dark Crusader who has been running over lesser distances and is now just 5 lbs higher than when he only needed to be ridden out to win the £47K Melrose Cup at York last August on going officially described as Soft (though the time was just a couple of seconds below standard indicating Firm). He is not proven at this trip though.

My first choice is for the class horse ORIENTAL FOX

However this is such a tricky race i want another on my side. Nearly Caught will like the  trip but does he have the class? His last time out second was in a £16K handicap.

DARK CRUSADER has the class but will he get the trip? Anyone who watched his York win last season couldn't help but be impressed by the manner of victory in such a competitive event. Martin is canny and wouldn't  have sent the horse over unless he was very confident of the longer distance being no problem so i will make the one my other choice.








Royal Hunt Cup race trends

18TH JUNE 2014





The fav has win just 1 from the past 17 runnings, though the second fav has done ok with 3 wins.

There have been winners at 33/1, 28/1 twice, 25/1 twice and 20/1. So don't be afraid to back a big  priced one, just not too big!

On the other side of the coin, the first 11 in the betting have won 15 times and the first 9 won 14 of the last 17 renewals. So, if you use that as your starting point, you can immediately discard around two thirds of the field.



All carried 9-5 or less and 15/17 carried 9-3 or less.



None ran off a mark higher than 105

16/17 ran off 102 or less.

9 of the last 10 were rated within 7 lbs of the RPR



Only 4, 5 and 6 yo's have won this in the last 17 races. 5 yo's have by far the best record with 7-123 (6%). 4 yo's, numerically, are next best with 8 winners but that was from from 233 runners (3%). Percentage wise 6 yo's have an identical record to the 4 yo's with 2 of 73 runners winning (3%).


Trainers and jockeys

George Baker has had just 2 runners in this race and 1 won. He runs last years winner Belgian Bill. No horse has won this more than once in the period we are looking at but, other than that negative, this horse has a lot going for him trends wise.

Tom Tate is 1-3 in this race but his charge, Prince of Johanne, is an 8 yo and that age has a 0-18 record.

Joe Doyle has a 2-7 strike rate for John Ryan and he rides top weight (10-1) Ocean Tempest.

George Baker has an identical record for Hughie Morrison but, again, Chil The Kite will have to break the recent weight carrying record if he is to carry 9-9 to victory.


Form profile

First 4 finish last time 11/17 and first 12 finished in the first 7 last time.

All the last 10 were distance winners.

All the last 10 had between 1 and 3 runs



If we look at 5 yo's, from the first 11 in the betting, carrying 9-3 or less, rated 102 or less and rated within 7 lbs of RPR top rated who are distance winners with between 1 and 3 runs this season and a first 7  (preferably 4) run last time, we are left with just one – NICEOFYOUTOTELLME.

However, 6 yo's are no back number in this and, because of George Baker's record in this race  and the fact his horse qualifies on all other filters, i can't resist splitting my stake by including last years winner, BELGIAN BILL.


Epsom 3.15 Sprint Handicap trends and stats


Over the past 17 years, as you might expect in a handicap as competitive as this, there have been a couple of shock winners (50's and 33's) and a couple of biggish priced winners at 20/1 and 16/1. Overall though this is not  by any means a lottery as 13 of the last 17 winners were returned 14/1 or less.

Favs have won 4, second favs just 1, (so the market usually gets it right between the top two). Third favs have won 4 too, giving the first 3 in the betting a 50% strike rate.

The first 10  in the betting have won 15, the first 9 – 14, first 8 – 13, first 7 – won 12.



Pretty inconclusive though no  horse has carried more than 9-10, which is a shame as the only horse excluded by this stat is Steps, who was my initial fancy.

15/17 carried at least 8-7, which takes out just the bottom two.



Again, inconclusive as all qualify – even top weight Steps comes back into the picture

All the last 9 winners were rated within 6 lbs of RPR – again though, all qualify!



6 & 8 yo's have the best strike rate with 6-55 (11%) and 2-20 (10%) respectively. The former looks more reliable from a bigger sample.

4 yo's have won 5 times from 73 runners (7%).

The rest, up to and including 9 yo's, are much of a much around  7 or 8% but from relatively few runs. The one exception is 5 yo's who have by far the worst record with just 1 winner from 47 runs.


Form profile

All bar one were distance winners but 12 had won beyond 5 furlongs too.

15 ran in the last 60 days.

Notably, no last time winner in the last 17 runnings,  from 30 to try , had won its last race!

12 posted a single figure finish last time out.


Trainers and jockeys

Stuart Williams has had 7 runners in this and won with 2 of them. He saddles Eton Rifles who has good credentials. I wouldn't let the age put me off either as 9 yo's are 1-12 in this.

Robert Cowell has had 5 winners from 15 runners in the past fortnight and runs the 5yo Free Zone.

Last Saturday's hero,David O'Meara,  is 15/54 in the last 14 days and saddles the 4yo joint fav, Smoothtalkinrascal, who has a big  chance on the stats.

Clive Cox has a 4/13 strike rate at the track and saddles Seeking Magic – another trends chance.

Scott Dixon is 4/12 at the course and his all age handicappers have scored 4/11, but Even Stevens has three duck eggs to overcome.

Oisin  Murphy has an 11/40 strike rate for Andrew Balding and rides New Fforest. He has a 245 day absence to overcome.



This is an utra competitive handicap and i am  loathe to oppose the top two. However, Steps will have to break the weight carrying record over the last 17 years while Eton Rifles is not the ideal age (though i wouldn't want to put you off as the 1-12 strike rate for 9yo's is no forlorn hope).

However, this is a trends preview above all else and we have to be true to these.

We are looking, ideally, for a 4,  6 or 8 yo from the first 10 in the betting that posted a single figure finish last time (but not a win) within the past 60 days. A win at the distance is obligatory  and one  or more over further would give further confidence.

Using the above criteria I have narrowed it down to two, SMOOTHTALKINRASCAL & BARNET FAIR. The latter is currently 20/1 and so would be joint the third longest priced winners in the period covered.

The former has a bang  in form trainer and is from the right part of the market (don't forget the first three in the betting won 50%). So, my selections are:


BARNET FAIR each way.


2000 Guineas race trends and trainer stats




Favs have won 4 of the last 17 runnings (including the last 3 ) and second favs have won 4 .

33/1and  25/1 shots have taken this but 15/17 went off 11/1 or less.

First six in betting won 15/17.



All those that had an official rating were rated 112+

The last 3 winners have been top on RPR.

All the last 10 were rated within a stone of the top on RPR.



Form profile

2 – 5 runs, 14/17

15 had won (14 over a maximum of 7 Furlongs or a Mile)

None had won beyond a Mile.

12 won last time and a further 3 were placed.

The last 4 were unbeaten.

8 of the last 10 won on their 2yo debut.

Only 5 had won a Group 1 as a 2yo and 4 of them were trained in Ireland.


Trainer/Jockey stats

Just the two above my 28% threshold and both for horses with big trends chances.

James Doyle is 3/4 for John Gosden and 2/2 on the fav, Kingman.

Andrea Atzeni is 10/33 for Roger Varian and he rides fifth fav Kingston Hill.

It should be noted that Aidan O'Brien has won this 6 times since his first winner in this in 1998 and he is bidding for a record 7th 2000 Guineas win today. Although he has had 4 wins in the last decade, that has been from 23 runners. However, allowing for pace makers and suchlike, that is still an impressive record.



15 of the last 17 winners have come from the first 6 in the betting and have been returned 11/1 or less. The latter narrows it down to just 4 on the current betting with Kingston Mill on the cusp at 12/1: Australia, Kingman, Toormore and War Command.

I know nothing about breeding but i do know that having a Derby winner for your Dad and an Oaks winner for your Mum might suggest that stamina, rather than the mix of speed and stamina needed for this race, might point more towards a Derby winner than a winner of this. And, indeed, Australia is the fav for the Derby.

Formwise he has done nothing wrong, winning a Group 3 over the trip at Leopardstown in his last run last season by  6 lengths, on merit, from a very good 2/5 yardstick. The one chink is he was beaten on his juvenile debut because of a slow start and he hasn't broke well  since.

Taking those two factors together i can see him staying on well for a place and enhancing his Derby fav status but i think he may have just a little too much to overcome trends-wise, to win today.

Aidan O'Brien's  other trends contender seems to have the opposite problem. He had the speed to win the 6 furlongs Coventry Stakes by 6 lengths as a 2yo. However, he was doing  all his best work at the end when winning the G1 Dewhurst Stakes over 7 furlongs here when he had subsequent G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile winner, Outstrip, a length behind in third.

Two of the 5 Dewhurst winners to try have won this, including the last two, and this one has to be on the shortlist. However, it is rare a horse is fast enough to win such a speed test as the 6 furlongs Coventry Stakes by 6 lengths, and this.

The Craven Stakes has not been the best trial for this with 1 of the 9 winners following up in the last decade but the National Stakes at the Curragh has, with 2 of the 7 to try succeeding. Toormoor won both and, with his CD win in the Craven, he proved he gets the trip well.

KINGMAN was impressive when winning the Greenham Stakes, (1 of the last 7 winners to have won that race have won  this). There couldn't have been any more striking illustration of his wellbeing than that recent win and, despite some concerns about the going and some wondering if he will get the trip, he looks the one to beat and, indeed, value now at the current 7/4.

With trends doubts about the O'Brien pair, Toormoor looks the each way best at 9/1.






Bet365 Gold Cup race trends and trainer stats

SAN 3.50 – BET365 GOLD CUP



Just 1 winning fav in  the last 17 runnings and the same for the second favs.

Two 25/1 shots and a 20/1 shot  have won but the other 14 were 16/1 or less.

First 8 in the betting won 13 times.



All carried 10-00 to 11-12 but only once, out of 16 to try in the last 17 renewals, has a horse carried 11-10 plus to victory. Which would make the top two unusual winners.


Handicap Ratings

All were rated 149 or less, which ties in exactly with the weight stat  above.



All ages between 6 and 11 have won but, if we look at wins to runs, 9 and 10 yo's have done significantly worse than the others. While 6 and 7yo's have achieved 8% strike rates, 8yo's 10% and 11yo's 9%, the 9yo's won just 3 times from 73 runs (4%) and the 10yo's just the once from 66 runs (less than 2%).

With 6 wins and a 10% stike rate the 8 yo's are best but the 7 and 9 yo's are only a little behind.


Form Profile

All had run between 1 and 9 times in the past year with 15 running at least 3 times.

11 of the 13 to have completed last time (3 unseated, 1 pulled up but none fell) posted a first 6 finish in its last race.

5 finished second last time.

Only 1 distance winner has won.

Only 2 hadn't won over at least 3 miles.

All ran within the last 60 days.


Trainer and Jockey stats

Venetia Williams has a 4/9 record with her handicap chases and she is certainly having a good crack at this today as she saddles a fifth of the field! She runs the 9yo who pulled up last time, Rigadin DeBeauchene,  the 10yo Summery Justice, the top weight Houblon Des Obeaux and the pulled up last time Emperors Choice.

Aidan Coleman is 4/9 For Venetia Williams and rides Houblon Des Obeaux.

Noel Fehily 22/72 for Paul Nicholls and rides Bury Parade (too high in weights for the trends).

Tom O'Brien is 20/64 for Grand national winning trainer Dr Richard Newland and rides another trends shortlist horse, Ardkilly Witness.

Tom Scudamore is 2/4 for Venetia Williams and rides Emperors Choice who pulled up last time.



Looking at the first 8 in the betting, there is one with a perfect profile, Godsmejudge, and three others with near perfect ones (unlike the above they didn't finish second last time). these are Spring Heeled, Same difference and Adkilly Witness.

The first two in the betting are now different to the forecast and this is doubtless due to the rain they have had and the genuinely soft ground which, according to yesterday's race times for the flat, is riding on the Heavy side of Soft.

A cursory look at the form (and listening to Jim Culloty on the Morning Line) will tell you that the aptly named Spring Heeled is not seen to as good effect on ground like this. Accordingly he has taken a walk in the market out to 12/1 from 8/1 last night. He would have been my selection on decent ground.

Godsmejudge is 3/7 on Good ground with a best RPR of 153 achieved when second in the Scottish National last time. He is no slouch on Heavy though with a 1/1 strike rate on which he achieved a 143 RPR in a decent 3m 2f £9K Warwick Novice Chase last season. He has improved since then and i don't think the ground will be a problem. Big player.

Same Difference is 0-5 on going worse than Good to Soft though he did run a good race when achieving an RPR of 147 (compared to the151 scored when he ran second in this last year) when finishing third to Unioniste over 3 miles  on Soft last season.

He has only run on Heavy once and that was when he scored an RPR of 131 in a Novice Chase when 4th of 6  over 3 miles at Newcastle   "plugging on at the finish". So, he might be ok on this ground but the market says otherwise. He was forecast 7/1 fav for this last night but is now available at 9/1 co fav of four. He has 30 lengths to find with Spring Heeled on his last run on Good ground at the Cheltenham festival and, although he is well handicapped and has had this as his target all year, he is not for me.

All ground seems to come the same to Ardkilly Witness who represents the up and coming Grand National winning trainer, Dr Newland. Before winning a small race last time he has run consistently well since Boxing day with perhaps his best effort being when a close up 5th in the £56K Betbright Chase on Soft ground at Kempton.

This was the race Bury Parade should have won (see earlier post) but he was blocked on the rail till too late. Ardkilly  Witness finished just a few lengths back and has a 4 lbs pull today which should put him in with a great chance.

In summary, GODSMEJUDGE has the perfect profile for this and should handle the ground. Couple that with his trainers record with handicap chasers at the track and he looks the best trends play.

However, ARDKILLY WITNESS has a near perfect profile too and is another who won't mind the near Heavy ground though his current status as co fav of 4 is a little disconcerting. Notwithstanding that and considering the excellent trainer and jockey combo too, i am going to split my stake between the two:







Irish Grand National Race Trends & Trainer stats




Lousy race for favs as just 1 has won in the ast 17 runnings – and that was a co fav of 5!

Second favs fared slightly better but have scored just twice.

5 of the last 6 winners had SP's of 50/1, 33/1 x 3 and 25/1

However, the long term percentage call has been the first 8 in the betting as 11 of the 17 winners came from there.



10-00 to 11-4 has been carried in the period we are looking at but 16/17 carried 10-12 or less.

More recently, all the last 10 winners carried 10-8 or below.



No horse was rated higher than 136 by the official handicapper.

All the last 10 were rated within 15 lbs of the RPR top rated.



6 to 11 yo's have won this and all, (except, curiously, 9 yo's with a 2% strike rate), have around 5% wins to runs records with 7 yo's doing the best with 5 wins from 76 runs – 7%.

Not many 6 yo's or older horses have tried but the 6 and 11 yo's have just one win each.


Form Profile

All had at least 3 runs in the past year.

14/17 won between 2miles 6 furlongs and 3m 2f.

12 won between 3m and 3m 2f – only 2 had won beyond 3m and 3m 2F and NONE were distance winners. So it looks as though speed as well as stamina is required for this.

All had their last run between 8 – 60 days ago.

Only 1 didn't complete last time and that one was brought down. No fallers,  unseated riders or pulled ups won.

14/17 posted a first 9 finish last run.

All the last 10 had won going right handed.


Trainers and Jockeys stats

Not many clues here.

Robbie Power is 2/5 for WJ Burke and Paul Townend 8/22 for Willie Mullins.

They saddle My Murphy and Touch The Eden respectively and both would beat the last decades weight carrying record were they to win today.



Using the filters above, I narrowed it down to 3: Goonyella, The Westerner Boy and Daring Article.

Goonyella was a well fancied 12/1 shot for this as a 6yo last year but its saddle slipped and it pulled up at the 7th The only niggling doubt i have is that it has won over 3m 6F and therefore wouldn't be a typical winner as just 2 of the last 17 winners had won beyond 3m 2F

The Westerner Boy looks to have been plotted up for this but has only had 2 runs in the last year whereas all the last  17 had at least 3 runs.

This leaves us with DARING ARTICLE who has an excellent profile for this having won at both 3m and 3m 2F, not from the first 2 in the betting but within the first 8, carrying a low weight, from the right age group and having won right handed at Punchestown.


Scottish National trends




Fav won 2 of the last 17  and second fav won 3 times

66/1 and 33/1 shots have won in that period. All the rest were 20/1 or less.

The first 12 in the betting won 15/17



10-00- 11-12 but 16/17 carried 11-10 or less



124 – 150

132 plus – 16 times.

8 of the last 10 were rated  within 8lbs of RR top rated



7 to 11 yos have won this in the last 17 runnings but 8 yo's have at least double the wins  to runs strike rate (8%) than any other age and have won 7 renewals.


Form profile

All ran between 2 and 8 times in the past year.

All ran no more than 6 times that season in the past 10 years.

9 of the last 10 won over at least 3 miles with 8 winning over 3 miles  2 furlongs.

All the 17 posted a top 6 finish last time with 6 winning.

All ran 90 days ago or less.


Trainer/Jockey stats

The are two stand out trainer stats: Tim Easterby's overall record at the course over the past few years with 2 of his 5 runners winning and Nicky Richards' record in handicap chases here of 3-6. The former has Trustan Times who ticks nearly all the boxes and the latter has last years third, Mister Marker, who has a good profile but is not the ideal age.

Sam Twiston-Davies is 3/4 for Paul Nicholls and rides Tidal Bay. No 13yo you has won this in the last 17 runnings but only 2 have tried. Of more concern is its last time finishing position.

Paul Carberry's booking for SRB Crawford's Yes Tom is interesting  and he is another with a good profile but not an 8 yo.

Wilson Renwick is 2/7 for Tim Easterby ( see above) and Ben Dalton is 2/2 for CA Bratney but their Sole Witness finished outside the first 6 last time.



There are a good 8  contenders on trends but, if we start with the first 12 in the betting with a top 6 finish last time, and ideally aged 8 and rated 132 +, we can narrow it down to just two, the above mentioned TRUSTAN TIMES and MENDIP EXPRESS .

The former has very good recent form giving 4lbs and finishing just a neck behind last weeks Grand National winner, Pineau De Re, when they were 3rd and 4th behind the Grade 1 class Fingal Bay in a big Cheltenham handicap hurdle last time.

This horse looks to have been laid out for this by the shrewd Easterbys as he has had just 5 runs over fences and runs off just 134 today although his hurdles rating is 147.

Mendip Express has to put a below par run last time behind him but, whereas Trustan Times has not won beyond 3 miles, he has better proven stamina having won over 3 miles 3 furlongs in a decent Cheltenham handicap chase the time before. Unlike his trends rival, he is in the handicap proper and almost conforms to the RPR stat in that he is 9 lbs of the top rated while Trustan Times is 20lbs below (two have won in the past 10 years rated 21 and 30 lbs off the RPR top).

It is a head scratcher with TRUSTAN TIMES so obviously plotted up and  possibly thrown in on his hurdles form but the other, MENDIP EXPRESS almost fulfilling the RPR trend and having the more proven stamina. I am going to back both against the rest of the 30 strong field!






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