Trainer Records in Class 1 Races
28th January, 2012
This article gives a brief overview of the performance achieved by trainers in the period 2005 to 2011 with their runners in Class 1 races. This covers the seven seasons that the B2yoR website has been on-line. Class 1 events in Britain cover only the Group and Listed races so equate to what should be the very highest quality fields and performances. There have been minor changes to the cast of races during the period. The number of Group races up to 35 in 2011 when it began at 33 in 2005 and had been just 26 in 1988 and you could make a good case for a weakening of the overall standard with the increases. The roll call of Group races is given on the main 'Season Index' page for each season.
The number of Listed races in 2011 was three fewer than in 2005 and there have been various changes in the period of this review. Some notable differences have been the downgrading of the only 10f Listed event (the Zetland Stakes) and the fillies' 5f Hilary Needler Stakes. Two early May events have been newly created but only the Marygate Stakes at York has survived and has contributed to the decline of the Hilary Needler.
Remember that the Group Races are part of British Racing's "Pattern" while the Listed events are a level below although they are now under the control of the Pattern Race Committee. Which perhaps makes distinctions a little academic. But, with everyone trying to sell their races as 'Top Class' aided by the 'Class 1' labelling then some academic pushing back to try to maintain a clear view of the obvious heirarchy of races. Not to give in to the marketing hype without some response.
The following sections consider the performances of trainers in the Group & Listed races. Which trainers are winning most of them? Which trainers have lots of runners but little success and seem to be going for a 'day out' with their Group race runners? Are some trainers profitable to follow with their representatives and does the Market give any hints as to where to find those profits? These are the core questions that are addressed.
The three sections that follow cover just the Group race runners and then Section 5 is an overview of the returns with Listed races. Highlighting items such as trainers with notably different records in Listed races compared to the Group events, for example. Section 6 sonsiders whether the prices that a trainer's runners trade at in the Market before an event might hold any useful clues to finding profitable seams.
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The following table gives details of the top fifteen most successful trainers in Group races in the period. This covers those which have gained at least five Group race wins. The first three columns give the number of wins, number of runs and the Strike Rate that the previous two columns represent. The fourth column is the number of runners that have placed meaning that they finished second or third in the Group event they contested. The figure in brackets in the column is the percentage of all the trainer's runners that made the first three places, including wins.
The last column labelled 'ROI' stands for 'Return on Investment' and is the percentage profit or loss from having a level stake £1.00 bet on each of the trainer's Group race runners at the returned Starting Price (SP). Profits are colour coded Green and +0.15 is a return of 15 pence, or 15%, on each £1.00 invested. Losses are colour coded in Red and, for example, -0.32 is a loss of 32 pence or 32% on each £1.00 bet.
|R. Hannon||33||220||15.0%||45 (45%)||+0.15|
|A. P. O'Brien||18||125||14.4%||33 (41%)||+0.13|
|M. R. Channon||14||138||10.1%||21 (25%)||+0.53|
|B. J. Meehan||13||123||10.6%||29 (28%)||-0.32|
|J. H. M. Gosden||11||57||19.3%||10 (37%)||-0.29|
|J. Noseda||10||67||14.9%||22 (48%)||-0.21|
|S. B. Suroor||10||60||16.7%||14 (40%)||-0.55|
|B. W. Hills||9||95||9.5%||21 (32%)||-0.42|
|P. W. C. Hyam||8||55||14.5%||11 (38%)||+0.01|
|M. Johnston||8||73||11.0%||18 (36%)||-0.25|
|K. A. Ryan||8||72||11.1%||11 (26%)||-0.04|
|J. S. Bolger||6||29||20.7%||7 (45%)||+0.79|
|C. E. Brittain||5||73||6.8%||8 (18%)||-0.21|
|W. J. Haggas||5||35||14.3%||10 (43%)||+0.14|
|M. Stoute||5||31||16.1%||10 (48%)||-0.12|
A total of 61 different trainers have had a Group race win in the period and the remaining 46 are split as follows :-
Successes for non-British based trainers breaks down as Ireland at 31 wins, France at 2 wins and a single success for the USA.
The figures largely speak for themselves but a few general points to note. The top 15 trainers accounted for the winners of 163 of the 242 Group races or over 67%. Although there is a long tail of trainers with the odd win these are typically rare occurences and relate to the trainer having a useful horse probably from a cheap buy or unusual source. Pam Sly's single win was with Speciosa who was a rare expensive breeze-up purchase for the yard, for example. Rae Guest's single success came with Group 1 winner Serious Attitude who had cost just 7,500 guineas at the sales for another.
Picking out the trainers in the 4-or-less category who might be progressing into the higher level is interesting. MA Zarooni has only had a licence for two seasons to get to 4 wins so will break into the top level and Henry Cecil's record has improved in recent years although his only two wins came from Frankel and no Group runner in 2011. Of the younger trainers with increased funding then Clive Cox, Tom Dascombe & Alan McCabe should improve their records but hard to pick out any strong candidates from others on the listings.
At the top the performance of the Hannon team over the last 3-4 seasons has been remarkable. They had long competed for having the most juvenile runners each season with the final total around the 100 mark. In the last 4 seasons their number of representatives has grown hugely and reached an all-time high of 157 individual 2yos in 2011. What has been impressive is that the scaling up has not seen a lessening of quality nor in overall results. In fact the returns have improved in many areas. This is an issue that needs thinking about. They have had more money to spend over the last few years while the general level of spending has been down. But, they have proved again that the key to their success is buying the right horses and an area they do very well in. The number of Group wins in the 7 seasons reads 4-2-0-4-6-9-8 and again indicates how the increase in numbers has not meant packing in lesser types to fill the boxes. An increase to 17 Group wins in the two years 2010-11 after 16 in the previous 5 seasons. Really impressive, and the trainers in 3rd & 4th on the list both spent time as assistants to Hannon.
One question to ponder, answered below, is which is the only trainer to have had a Group winner in each season 2005-11? The obvious answer is incorrect as the numbers in the previous paragraph show. This trainer also had a Listed winner in each year to complete a unique set.
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The top 15 trainers given in the previous section have the figures for the 'Return On Investment' given and a total of six in Profit and 9 producing losses. The small profit for Richard Hannon probably partly reflects how well he chooses the runners in Group races and also how the Market has still not caught up with just how real the improvement has been in recent years. One notable feature of his record which helps tip him into profit has been four long SP wins in late season Group races. All these runners have been on between their 5th to 10th runs and have only needed to show minor improvement to be successful. The four have produced just a single win between them in their entire subsequent careers and have mostly ended up competing off ORs in the late 80s to mid 90s. With hindsight the SPs reflected the correct view by the Hannons on their horse's ability but them underestimating just how soft some Group races actually are. Also worth noting that the 12 SPs which got below 3/1 included 7 at Goodwood and that set contained the four shortest SPs. Hannon's love affair with the course shows up in lots of areas.
Aiden O'Brien's profit relied entirely on a peculiar 2011 and he had a solid loss to the end of 2010 and drew a blank that year. A crop of 5 wins in 2011 of which 4 were in late season as the British Group events were poorly defended by local talent and produced inconclusive results. A 25/1 success for Crusade in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes feels untypical and 14 of his 18 wins have been at SPs of 6/1 and under. But he also had a 33/1 win in the Group 1 Dewhurst in 2009 with Beethoven. That horse won a soft Irish Group 3 as a 3yo and is flogging around in handicaps in Dubai most recently. Interesting to see how Crusade's career develops. But, a mixed story with a solid loss on the shorter SPs which keeps getting rescued by huge surprises. As with Hannon the long SPs have come in late season events with Newmarket again featuring strongly. What might the story be there?
Look further down the table and more of the same narrative with Jim Bolger. A good record overall but particularly noteworthy in the late season events at Newmarket. The same mix of short SPs and long priced upsets as O'Brien. Three winners of the Dewhurst with New Approach a sensible success at 6/4f. But a pair of 20/1 shocks with Intense Focus in 2007 and Parish Hall in 2011. You might start to wonder about the timing of the Newmarket races and whether draw biases and the like might play some part as the fields run down vast strips of rarely used turf.
Mick Channon is another trainer with a hugely mixed set of results. A big profit from just a 10% Strike Rate hints at some long priced winners and half his successes have been at rates from 11/1 up to 50/1 with other surprises at 22/1, 25/1 & 33/1 included. Unlike the previous trainers he has had two long priced winners at Royal Ascot to add to some late season shocks. Nearly all of his wins have been for arab owners and fillies owned by Jaber Abdullah a notable feature. The message seems to be that if the trainer really thinks he has a good one the SP will be 4/1 or shorter. If he lacks that view then the SP can drift anywhere in a huge range because the owners are not giving the Market any signals.
Although the examples above are informative in some ways they are not particularly helpful. The sample sizes, even for Hannon, are not large and as the O'Brien record shows can bounce between losses and profits with one year's results added. More general lessons about the quality of a lot of Group races, and their future insignificance, are probably more useful. Unless you like backing all the runners for a major stable year after year waiting for a 33/1 shock. Perhaps more interesting to look at those trainers with fewer runners to see if a particular trait shows up. Specifically, are some trainers very good at choosing just the right types to try in Group events? Probably worth asking as a subsidiary whether the Market takes them seriously as well.
A trio of examples to track to see how they fare would be Irish trainer Ger Lyons, Mark Prescott & Marco Botti. The first of those has a 3-7 record in Group races during the period with another one placed. Signs that the Market takes him more seriously with a 20/1 win in 2007 followed by two at 7/2 and 3/1 in 2009 & 2011. But clearly a trainer, unlike Tommy Stack on previous evidence, who brings competitive types over to British Group races and has a solid profit so far. Mr. Prescott has long been a trainer that prides himself on being able to put horses in the correct races where they can compete well. His record in Group races has been 4-16 with another 5 placed. Typically his best results come from those horses at 5/1 or less but he did get an 11/1 win with Hooray whom he was struggling to work out at the time. Another choosy trainer and one to take seriously in Group races with his small number of representatives. A similar comment for Mr. Botti with a 2-8 record and 2 other placed and another trainer who eschews 'Day Out' runs in Group events and normally runs those who belong at that level.
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The tables of trainers with Group wins is one side of the story but it is necessary to identify those handlers who are not recorded there but you would think ought to be. A total of 151 trainers had at least one representative in a group race in 2005 to 2011. Of those, 31 trainers had 5 or more runners. Those with more than 10 runs in Group races comes to a total of 13 and include some trainers you would expect to have done better.
At the top of the table with unsuccessful runs is a surprise with Richard Fahey. 41 runners in Group races for a total of 5 places. His record would probably have been different if Wootton Basset had run in a British Group race rather than winning the lucrative 'Sales Races' prior to a Group 1 success in France. But, even if you gave him a couple of wins by that horse the overall record would still be less than you would expect. In 2005 the stable had a total of 29 individual 2yo runners and 10 wins from 6 different horses. Move on to 2011 and the number of individual 2yos was 78 who totalled 40 wins by 28 different horses. 2011 was a step back from an even better 2010. But, an overall story of strong progress and improvement.
However, despite all that improvement you would expect a bit more impact in Group races. Is the problem with the purchasing of yearlings or with the training and placing? A difficult one to split and perhaps 2012 might see a breakthrough but an inconvincing effort so far in this area. Worth comparing his record with other Yorkshire yards like Kevin Ryan & Bryan Smart. The first of those is a close comparison and Mr. Ryan has managed 8 Group wins spread across 5 of the 7 seasons. Mr. Smart would have less firepower overall and has produced 3 wins from a similar number of runs and has a much better record in Listed races.
The next three trainers have had between 29-23 runs in Group races without success and two are similar types in Stan Moore & David Evans. Both have built their way up from working with small strings of very cheap horses. Mr. Evans has never had much spending power and most of his Group runners have been 'Days Out' and none have been at 10/1 or less. On the positive side Mr. Evans has often won multiple races with his Group race runners before they take part so it is reasonable to at least try a higher level. But, he has never had a Group place in Britain but has won two soft Group 3s in Ireland.
Mr. Moore has had a more varied history including being in partnership with the Hays (owners who have spent huge amounts on yearlings for moderate results) then falling out with them and dropping back down the spending levels. He develops his horses in a less smooth and predictable way than Evans but has had 5 places although his SPs have been lower overall. But, less of the 'Day Out' excuse and a moderate to poor effort overall.
In between that pair with 26 unsuccessful runs is a trainer from an entirely different background who ought to be doing better. Andrew Balding took over his father's long established stable and his social strata means he has a lot of high level contacts to assist him. But, just 5 Group places and a single Listed race success in the period. Another area where the stable performs just about adequately but leaves the impression that it ought to be performing one level higher, at least.
Amongst those with numbers of runs in the teens is Ralph Beckett who has a similar priveleged background but has had to build up his own stable. Mr. Beckett would class as a much better trainer than Balding and his overall record is strong in many areas. Which means it is a surprise to find him with 3 Group places from 19 goes and a 0-24 record in Listed races. A finding which leaves you pondering what the reasons are.
A few others to note with David Elsworth 0-20 and can get the odd Group win with a classy one but has not had that type of late and still runs a lot of lesser types. Roger Charlton is at 0-13 and Jamie Osborne 0-17 and two trainers with mixed fortunes in the last few years and both are struggling to compete at Group level. Both have managed a single Listed win in the review period. Irish trainer Tommy Stack targets 2yo racing and has a good record in his own country and a solid 1-3 in Listed races. But, 0-13 in Group races including four that started in single figures suggest he has not got a good grasp on the quality required in British Group events. An honourable mention, perhaps dishonourable, for Charlie Hills who took over the licence at his father's stable in mid-2011. He raced to a 0-11 record in a half a season and Barry did well to keep those 11 off his record which featured a low Strike Rate despite the wins.
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The table below shows the 13 trainers who have had 4 or more successes in Listed races in the period 2005 to 2011. The format of the table is the same as for the Group races in Section 2. As a reminder the percentage figure in brackets after the number of places shows what proportion of horses made the first three places overall. The ROI column shows the percentage profit or loss for a level stakes £1.00 bet on all of the trainers runners at Listed level. The numbers are colour coded green for profits and red for losses.
|R. Hannon||24||163||14.7%||39 (24%)||-0.22|
|B. J. Meehan||11||72||15.3%||13 (33%)||-0.13|
|M. R. Channon||8||120||6.7%||30 (32%)||-0.46|
|M. Johnston||8||60||13.3%||12 (33%)||-0.54|
|B. Smart||8||40||20.0%||9 (43%)||+0.41|
|K. A. Ryan||7||64||10.9%||9 (27%)||+0.02|
|C. E. Brittain||5||39||12.8%||8 (33%)||+0.37|
|P. W. C. Hyam||5||26||19.2%||7 (46%)||+0.25|
|M. A. Jarvis||5||19||26.3%||2 (37%)||+0.62|
|S. B. Suroor||5||31||16.1%||9 (45%)||+0.10|
|R. A. Fahey||4||42||9.5%||11 (36%)||-0.44|
|J. H. M. Gosden||4||20||20.0%||7 (55%)||+0.02|
|D. Nicholls||4||10||40.0%||3 (70%)||+0.29|
A total of 75 different trainers had at least one Listed race win and the remaining 62 are split as follows :-
Successes for non-British based trainers breaks down as Ireland at 5 wins and a single success for the USA.
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A theme running through the articles this year is to look for examples of how much information the Market may actually have about horse's prospects. At one extreme someone might say that trying to analyse races themselves is pointless. The Market knows so much about each runner and race that you cannot beat it and you would be better off teaching yourself how to react to the Market position. At the other end you could propose that the Market is working with largely incomplete knowledge and input from poorly informed individuals. The summation of everyone's input improves the final result to be presentable but there will with lots of examples of horses at the wrong SPs.
Reality is presumably between the extremes and hard work and thought will be required to tease out what is really going on. If we take the example of trainers in Class 1 races are there examples where the Market accurately identifies which are the handler's competitive runners? Even if it can identify the competitive runners does it over-react to produce losses in following such hints? Is the Market clueless about some trainers?
This section highlights a few examples on either side of the choice to indicate how thoughtful analysis might produce some useful clues, but with some trainers will have nothing much to say. Also, to highlight how profitability is not directly linked to being able to tune in to how much the Market appears to know.
Because of the small sample sizes each trainers runners were split into one of three Starting Price (SP) groups - up to 5/1, over 5/1 to 10/1 and the third group of over 10/1. The Strike Rates along with the ROI for each group were then calculated. The records for each trainer were then reviewed to look for any simple patterns. For example, at the basic level does the Market tell when a trainer thinks they have a good one and when they know they are there to give the owners a 'Day Out.
An interesting example to pull out first is Mick Channon and see what you make of the following splits :-
How to summarise that in the Pundit context of the Market being all powerful? When the SPs get below 5/1 it would seem to reflect some real trainer input and the Market reacting to that. A good Strike Rate and a profit even at SP. Things then get a bit less clear and a very poor record with horses between 5/1 to 10/1. A lot of these are single figure prices in Group races so the trainer & Market must know something, surely? Not obvious from the figures what anyone might know. Go on to the long SP runners and a reasonable Strike Rate and a 100% profit. If you think you have seen something in a Channon juvenile that makes you think they can compete at Group level then ignore the trainer and the Market. Trust your own judgement. As usual, reality is far more beguiling and intricate than pondering the simple world of either extreme view.
Keep the Channon pattern in mind as we move on to consider two trainers with more targeted sets of runners in Group races. Both show variations on the theme with the Market a bit more tuned in than with Channon. Peter Chapple-Hyam would count as a trainer who really does now how to evaluate the quality of his 2yos at home. He is also realistic in how they can compete in Group races. You would expect his record to be more clear-cut than Channon's with the Market appearing to know more. Here are his splits :-
Even with small samples it seems a clear message that when the SPs get short it really does reflect knowledge that this really is a good one. High strike rate and a solid profit at SP. As with Channon the 5/1 to 10/1 range produces poor results and a solid loss and you could propose that the 'Day Outs' start around 5/1. Go to the long prices and an example of how even a canny trainer can get caught out. His 25/1 winner, that means he breaks even in that group, was Authorized in a heavy ground Racing Post Trophy that was transferred to Newbury. That kind of surprise may well have been a one-off unlike the Channon set-up.
Move on to Jeremy Noseda and another very good trainer like Chapple-Hyam and one who has a good knowledge of the ability his juveniles have even before they run. His splits are :-
With the usual caveat about small sample sizes Noseda's record seems balanced and the Market has a good knowledge of what to expect. But, difficult to make a Profit because the strongly competitive ones get to short SPs and turn in just an ok level Strike Rate rather than anything startling. Also, look at this record with runners at longer than 10/1 and three have placed including a 50/1 second place so a shock profit not impossible even here. Look at the subsequent careers of those placers and none have won at Group level and only one at Listed level who improved for artificial surfaces. All three would appear to fit into the OR95-100 range and perhaps indicate that Noseda thought, correctly, they were below Group winning level and 'Days Out' and their places were 'soft'.
On the reverse side there are examples where the Market is less useful and counter-intuitive even when it is ordering horses into the right levels. The obvious examples are with the trainers with poor record highlighted in the Section above. Richard Fahey is 0-41 overall and has had 4 representatives start at under 5/1 and a further 11 at under 10/1. Balding & Beckett shower higher percentages of starters at 10/1 and under than Fahey for their empty win records.
Aiden O'Brien is a good, somewhat counter-intuitive, example of how the final SPs return can be split reasonably well by ability but still be 'wrong' for the punter. Look at his record and the Strike Rates and number of wins goes down pleasantly in the expected manner as the SP range increases in the 3 categories. But, the ROI moves in exactly the reverse direction with solid losses on his shorter SP horses, roughly breaking even on the 5/1 to 10/1 set and then a good profit on the over 10/1 long-shots on a poor Strike Rate. In 'Value' terms the short SPs are poor and the Market seems to have over-reacted. This reaction lessens to the point of under-reacting with longer shots and getting a bit sloppy. Understanding what the Market is saying, when it knows anything at all, really is a tricky business.
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There are 4 Group races for juveniles at Royal Ascot in late June and the first of their type each season. There are a pair of 5f Group events (Norfolk & Queen Mary) and another pair at 6f (Coventry & Albany). Given their early position it is interesting to see which trainers have their strings forward enough to compete at this stage. The table below shows the trainers who have had at least one Group win at the Meeting in the period 2006 to 2011. This covers only 6 seasons, unlike the other tables in the article, because the 2005 Royal meeting was moved to York while the Ascot racecourse was redeveloped. As an example of whether trainers are ready to compete note the absence of either Godolphin trainer from the table despite a total of 6 runs in Group events over the period.
|R. Hannon||5||39||12.8%||6 (28%)||-0.14|
|M. R. Channon||2||21||9.5%||2 (19%)||+2.24|
|P. W. C. Hyam||2||9||22.2%||1 (33%)||-0.25|
|A. P. O'Brien||2||16||12.5%||2 (33%)||-0.45|
|M. L. W. Bell||1||4||25.0%||2 (75%)||+1.25|
|J. S. Bolger||1||6||16.7%||1 (33%)||-0.71|
|E. A. L. Dunlop||1||3||33.3%||0 (33%)||+4.67|
|J. H. M. Gosden||1||3||33.3%||0 (33%)||+0.08|
|W. J. Haggas||1||3||33.3%||0 (33%)||+4.67|
|J. H. Johnson||1||3||33.3%||1 (66%)||+0.25|
|G. M. Lyons||1||2||50.0%||0 (50%)||+9.50|
|B. J. Meehan||1||15||6.7%||4 (33%)||-0.27|
|J. Noseda||1||13||7.7%||4 (38%)||-0.62|
|M. G. Quinlan||1||1||100.0%||0 (100%)||+25.00|
|K. A. Ryan||1||13||7.7%||1 (15%)||-0.46|
|B. Smart||1||6||16.7%||3 (66%)||-0.17|
|W. A. Ward||1||6||16.7%||0 (17%)||+-0.25|
There are two Listed races for juveniles at the Royal Meeting with the Windsor Castle at 5f and the Chesham Stakes at 7f. The 12 races during the 6 seasons have seen 2 wins for Hannon and single successes for John Best, Clive Brittain, David Brown, Richard Fahey, Michael Jarvis, Sylvester Kirk, Aiden O'Brien, Jamie Osborne, Bryan Smart & Wesley Ward. The trainer with the worst wins to runs record in Listed races at the Meeting have been Mark Johnston (0-11), Mick Channon (0-10) & Stan Moore (0-10).
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The data for Group races was split down by race distance to see whether trainers showed any differences in success in each category. The four race distances in the split were 5f, 6f, 7f & 8f. As with other areas the study showed interesting differences between trainers which can be usefully fed into race analysis. A few examples are given here and the full data, along with that for other splits, will be linked to from the daily 'Declarations Lists' during the 2012 season on days when Class 1 races are run.
Richard Hannon sets a good benchmark and the consistency of his record perhaps also shows that he has 'enough' runners in his samples to start to smooth out the final results. Look at his record for both Group and Listed races and his Strike Rate is between 12% to 16% for each race distance and both race types. He basically gets winners at the same rate at any distance and can clearly prepare one to compete in any category. But, it is instructive to see that his ROI on these similar Strike Rates varies markedly. For the 5-6f categories in Group races he delivers a small loss overall and the average SP of his winners is in the 4/1 to 5/1 range. For the 7f & 8f splits he returns a 60% profit and the average winning SP gets up to around 9/1 to 10/1. A useful exercise in understanding how British 2yo racing 'works' to define what the differences are for Hannon in knowing how his 2yos will compete at the longer distances relative to the quality of fields they will face.
Mick Channon has a more varied record despite the large number or runners. In Group races he has a moderate record at 5f and a large loss. His returns at both 6f & 7f show Strike Rates around 13% and ROI around 100%. At 8f he is then 0-13. But, that is not the whole story and his Listed race record is poor with huge losses at 5f, 6f & 7f. His record at 8f is terrific with a 5-15 record and an ROI of 233%. What might that be saying about the way he chooses which horses to run in Listed & Group events? Also, what is it saying about how his horses seem to improve of 8f in late season? His Listed record at 8f owes a lot to his targeting of the Pontefract Silver Tankard.
Kevin Ryan is different in that he recognised his ability with sprinters some time ago and has targeted buying yearlings to compete in 2yo 5f & 6f races. 30% returns on his 5f runners in Group & Listed races on 18% & 12% Strike Rates. Lower Strike rates and 50% losses but a solid number of wins at 6f and probably showing how the 6f races are higher quality. The 5f to 6f runs account for around 85% of his Group & Listed runs. But, in an item that shows up with a number of trainers, he shows a high profit 7f runners in Group races and 8f in Listed events. Only a few runners but a long SP when one does pop up and probably indicating how the trainer's knowledge is flawed and can mislead the Market.
The item of profits on the few runners at one distance while the bulk of the runners produce losses shows up in reverse with the more 'Classic' minded handlers. Unlike Ryan they do not see themselves as competing in 2yo Group races out of choice and it is a necessary part of developing horses for 3yo careers. John Gosden, for example, has the bulk of his Group runners at 7f & 8f and they produce most of the wins but usually at a loss overall. Very few runners at 5f but they tend to be competitive when he does have them. Similar with Saeed bin Suroor where even a 25% Strike Rate with Group runners at 7f & 8f combined bring solid losses. 1-22 with his 5f & 6f Group runners but a 1-3 record at 5f means he returns a good profit. The same with his Listed runs where he has a 1-2 record at 5f and a profit.
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