One of the most important factors of putting your racehorse in training is deciding on who to put it in training with. Some people like to go with the best in the business while others prefer the smaller trainer where they get a more personalised experience.
Ask yourself the question
Something that may be forgotten in this is asking yourself what sort of strike rate does your future trainer have? What races do they do well in? What are my expectations once the horse starts its racing career?
Average Strike Rate
Expectation management is a key ingredient when getting into racehorse ownership or racehorse syndicates. In Ireland and the UK, the average trainers strike rate is less than 20% with anything above that number considered very good. That means that less than one in five runners that a trainer runs, will win. So if your horse ran eight times a season, for example, they should win one race and anything more than that is considered above average. Therefore, it’s important that trainers and owners are on the same wavelength when managing expectations.
Certain trainers excel in certain races and this can provide punters with a new angle to their betting strategy too. Let’s have a look at some examples;
1. Paddy Twomey – Paddy had an exceptional 23% strike rate in 2020, higher than Aidan O’Brien’s 19% and Johnny Murtagh’s 18%. Paddy particularly excels with his three-year-old runners, having eight winners from his 22 runners in 2020, giving him a 36% strike rate.
2. John Gosden – John Gosden’s strike rate with his late season juvenile runners is very impressive. There are numerous examples of this statement in recent seasons. In August 2020, he had a 26% strike rate with his juveniles while 61% of his runners finished in the first four. In September 2019, he had a 33% strike rate with 77% of these finishing in the first four. In October 2016, he had a 32% strike rate with 70% of his runners finishing in the first four. These are just a selection of John’s most profitable months in recent season.
3. Michael Halford – Michael Halford’s strike rate with runners over certain distances on Dundalk’s polytrack surface is noticeably good. In the last five years, Halford has had 33 winners over 7f as well as a further 62 runners finishing second, third or fourth. That means that 57% of his runners over 7f at Dundalk finish in the first four. Over 8f and 9f, his record is also impressive with 40 winners over those distances in the last five seasons. That gives him a 23% strike rate while 59% of his runners finish in the first four over 8f and 9f at Dundalk.
The most important trainer to focus on now is Sunday’s trainer, Jack Davison. Jack only began training in 2017 but his strike rates are impressive. In 2017, 18% of his runners finished in the first three. In 2018, he had one winner and 14% of his runners finished in the first three. In 2019, he had five winners and 37% of his runners in the first three while in the 2020 turf season, he had four winners and 28% of his runners finished in the first three. Jack’s horses are incredibly consistent and he is a trainer on the up, judging by these statistics.
At Sunday, we want all our racehorses to be competitive in their races, no matter the class of race. However, it’s important to remember that some horses learn on the job. We can take Cisco Disco as an example. Early on last season, he didn’t know what he was doing in his races but he learned more and more with each race. He ended up winning on the final start of his juvenile career, rewarding his owners and trainers patience.