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As you might expect I am quite a big fan of trainer stats with them being such creatures of habit, and especially over the jumps. As such I am mulling over whether to develop a new menu header for All-Inclusive Service members called ‘Trainer Trends’. If so, it wouldn’t be reams and reams of copy or endless lists of figures, I’ll just be getting directly to the bottom line of where we should respect and beware certain trainers.
For example, The Racing Weekender have a profile on Brian Ellison this week. What I like about the Weekender’s stable tours is that they give ten-year stats as they can prove far more enlightening than the four-year stats that appear in the daily paper. As good a target trainer as Ellison is, looking at his record over jumps over the last ten years, there are some serious warning signs for punters if you fancy any of his horses in the south or his novice hurdlers in the north.
For example, whilst Ellison is 0-27 at Cheltenham in the last decade, which is significant in its own right, it’s when we start clumping stats together that a much wider picture emerges. Take the top five jumping tracks in the south which I would class as Cheltenham, Ascot, Newbury, Sandown and Kempton in that order where Ellison’s ten-year record over jumps then reads a combined 0-87. Yikes! Being one of the most accomplished dual-purpose trainers in the north, you might think that Ellison could be worth following in novice hurdles at some of their best tracks. Think again as he is 0-54 combined in said races over the last decade at Ayr, Aintree, Doncaster, Newcastle and Carlisle.
Of course, Ellison’s stable isn’t about novices and it is the handicaps where we should take note and particularly handicap hurdles. It is some achievement that over such a long period of time as ten years that punters would have made a profit backing all of his favourites in handicap hurdles as there is no one-or-two big priced winners to skew those particular stats. That tells us they know exactly what they are doing. You would also have made a profit backing all of Ellison’s first-time-out contenders in handicap hurdles in the last ten years.
Another significant trend is that Ellison has by far his best strike rate in August (30.4%). That shouldn’t come as a surprise given that jump racing is not as its most competitive at that time of the year but I do think it is very interesting that, by contrast, by a mile his worst month is the preceding month where he has just a 7.8% strike rate in July. That’s a huge difference from a similar number of runners (64 in July and 69 in August) which suggests to me that some of his July runners are getting ready for their big day in August.