Keeping that Winning Feeling or Too Much to Repeat Victory?

August 12th, 2019

The recent wins thread is something we looked at for National Hunt rules back in the Spring, now it is time to examine flat turf races and see where the data is pointing us.

This time of year we are just past the halfway point of the season and racing still comes thick and fast for another month before daylight foils us.

Plenty of races means plenty of winners, some trainers seem to take the spoils more than most so let’s dive in and see what trainer angles can be uncovered.

*All tables will be from 01/01/2014 and Flat turf only unless stated

[Filter: LTO Position =1,Filter to Runners >=50 and Chi Score >=2.0, Present by Trainer]

It surely can’t be that simple this game, right off the bat we see that John Gosden, man of the moment with zero filtering is a man to follow with his last time out winners, all ages, all distances, and while conditions races come out far stronger than handicaps he also does better than expected there.

We see that the yard does well across all days since last run ranges. But those off a break particularly

[Filter: Race Turf Only, Trainer John Gosden, LTO Horse Fin Position =1, present by DSLR Ranges]

Compare those who didn’t win last time coming off a layoff and it is nearly half of that strike rate at 21%. Given that it is such a powerful yard there has been few large prices in there. Only 10 of the 189 winners going off at a double figure BSP!

For the past 10 seasons now it has maintained a win rate of greater than 21% except for a dismal 2011 and is on course for a decent 2019 to make it 5 out of 6 successful seasons on this angle.


Another who ranks highly on our earlier table is Ian Williams. The dual purpose trainer has an impressive 25% strike rate of following up a win, compared with 11% with those who did not win last time. We omit those who ran under NH rules last time out and break down by class.

[Filters: Race Turf Only, LTO Horse Finishing Position =1, Horse Age = 3, Trainer = Ian Williams, LTO Race Turf and AW, Present by Race Class (letters 1-7)]

The graphic displays that he is more prolific with runners in the lower grades. He also seems to have a high distribution of those winners at distances around 6f-1m and at staying trips which probably comes as no surprise given his NH prominence.

So removing those in class 1 and 2 events and breaking down by DSLR ranges, he is an absolute master with quick turnarounds

[Filters: Race Turf Only Class 3 and lower, LTO Horse Finishing Position =1, Horse Age = 3, Trainer = Ian Williams, LTO Race Turf and AW, Present by DSLR]

The West Midlands trainer is one definitely worth adding to your portfolio, it has been flying in the sample period.


An angle that sprung to mind is 3yo last time up winners stepping into all age company. They get the weight for age allowance from their elders and generally show a pretty healthy 23% strike rate.

Filtering by trainers who have had at least 50 runners in the 5 year period and no surprise as to the two names who were returned.

[Filters: LTO Race = Turf and AW, Max Age = 3, Horse Age = 3, LTO Horse Finishing Position =1 Race- Turf only, Max Age = Open, Filter >=50 runners, Present by Trainer]

Both are renowned for the busy campaigns with their 3yo and winning a few races in their classic year.

Richard Fahey is an interesting one his strike rate generally with last time out winners is nothing special, in fact it is rather poor at 13.8% (90/654 in the period) but under these conditions it is of interest.

Looking at 3yo who won last time and they perform below expected in their own age group but above expected in open company.

[Filter: Race = Turf Hcap Only, Trainer = Richard Fahey, LTO Fin Position = 1, Present by Race Upper Age Limit]

This accentuates with those who go from a win in open company and are trying to follow up in that same classification next time are 7/50 (14%) and in subsequent 3yo only races are 3/34 (9%).

Flip that to those who won a 3yo Hcap last time and this is how the picture changes:

[Filter: Race = Turf Hcap Only, Trainer = Richard Fahey, LTO Fin Position = 1, LTO Race Max Age = 3 Present by Race Upper Age Limit]

We see that you follow them when stepping into open company where they are afforded allowances but avoid them when opposing their own generation.