One question that is rarely asked in the media is what is the role of a trainer? Are they there to simply get the horses fit? Are they meant to plan races, look after owners, talk to the media, update their social media? Surely it’s impossible to keep on top of all these tasks.
That’s why it has become important to employ a specific race planner for your stable.
Race planners are a rare commodity these days but some of the top stables employ them, such as Joseph O’Brien employing Kevin Blake. It’s something that can give punters an edge as those stables with a race planner generally have a better strike rate.
Having a race planner can take a lot of the pressure off the trainer as they can focus on getting the horse fit while the race planner will try to find the most winnable race for the horse. We can take Northern Ireland based trainer, Stuart Crawford, as an example. He has an impressive 19% strike rate in bumpers in Great Britain in the last five seasons. He has trained 15 winners from 78 runners with a further 19 of those being placed. Crawford isn’t afraid to send his best horses on the boat to the UK which has been highlighted most recently by the success of Hollymount at Carlisle who subsequently sold for £300,000. Crawford and his race planners have a clear strategy when it comes to placing their best young horses.
Blake, for example, is much more than just a race planner for Joseph O’Brien though. He also assists the young trainer in pre-race tactics, pedigree research for the sales and sourcing tried horses to buy into the yard.
Race planners have certainly become more popular in recent years with such a wide variety of races on the calendar so it’s invaluable to have someone on your team that knows the racing calendar backwards. It can also assist punters in trying to pick winners because if they are aware of what stables employ race planners, they may be able to get an edge when trying to find those winners.