Jumps Season - At The Races

Trendspotting: Trainers

    David Myers takes a close look at the key trends for the coming jumps season.
  • Trendspotting

By David Myers

Welcome to the 2017/18 Jumps Trendspotting Guide, in which I will be looking back at recent seasons in the search of some winner-finding angles. We’ll look at everything from early-season top trials to profit-friendly sires and even some tasty Placepots that paid well during the autumn.

But first up are the statistics often the first port-of-call for many punters weighing up a bet, and that’s the overall records of trainers.

PAUL NICHOLLS

Last five seasons: (GB only)
2016/17: 171-673 (25%)
2015/16: 122-568 (21%)
2014/15: 124-518 (24%)
2013/14: 118-587 (20%)
2012/13: 131-565 (23%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Ayr (chase 7-25 +£24)
Wincanton (hurdle 67-170 +£22)
Newbury (chase 25-111 +£17)

Overview: Despite sending out a whopping 171 winners last season, Paul Nicholls had to settle for second in the championship behind Nicky Henderson, despite sending out 17 more winners than that rival. Nicholls will be keen to wrestle the title back this time around and punters looking to make a profit should make a note of his runners dropped in trip by 1f to 4f from last time 213-731 (+£63), while those wearing new headgear for the first time in the UK struck at 49-220 (+£56).

NICKY HENDERSON

2016/17: 154-618 (25%)
2015/16: 81-414 (20%)
2014/15: 129-500 (26%)
2013/14: 124-514 (24%)
2012/13: 125-509 (25%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Doncaster (hurdle 30-72 +£48)
Kempton (hurdle 39-153 +£47)
Sandown (hurdle 34-126 +£41)

Overview: Nicky Henderson won his fourth champion trainer title last season courtesy of 154 winners, and he’ll be keen to defend the title against old foe, Paul Nicholls. Henderson will again team-up with Nico de Boinville, who continues to show a profit for the yard at 92-320 (+£53), while his 6yos shone at 199-762 (+£68). As for the type of races in which Henderson rewarded backers, then Listed events (33-172, +£17) and maiden races (102-272, +£50) were be the ones to concentrate on. It’s also worth looking out for his runners officially rated 127-130 (45-195, +£43).

PHILIP HOBBS

2016/17: 111-593 (19%)
2015/16: 113-523 (22%)
2014/15: 102-552 (18%)
2013/14: 106-542 (20%)
2012/13: 68-504 (13%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Newbury (chase & hurdle 27-142 +£112)
Stratford (chase 15-50 +£27)
Worcester (chase 11-44 +£25)

Overview: Another century racked up by Philip Hobbs was a timely reminder of Philip Hobbs’s consistency, and his long-term partnership with Richard Johnson has stood the test of time. With the partnership not proving profitable to level stakes, however, it may pay to concentrate on Hobbs’s runners dropped in class (154-664, +£50), along with those who ran last time out at Aintree (25-106, +£40) and Kempton (25-122, +£34). Hobbs’s runners officially rated 124-126 also connected at 36-180 (+£44).

ALAN KING

2016/17: 104-490 (21%)
2015/16: 68-403 (17%)
2014/15: 75-448 (17%)
2013/14: 75-444 (17%)
2012/13: 60-419 (14%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Ascot (hurdle 12-65 +£35)
Doncaster (hurdle 17-76 +£15)
Stratford (hurdle 11-38 +£10)

Overview: Alan King enjoyed a terrific season last time around when he struck his first century since 2008/09, and the fact he is showing a 30% strike-rate this season for a clear profit bodes well for 2017/18. King’s string are worth noting in maiden races at 42-161 (+£62), while his partnership with Wayne Hutchinson blossomed at 117-540 (+£64).

JONJO O’NEILL

2016/17: 78-689 (11%)
2015/16: 81-560 (14%)
2014/15: 104-634 (16%)
2013/14: 134-810 (17%)
2012/13: 90-705 (13%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Cheltenham (chase 18-120 +£30)
Warwick (hurdle 14-101 +£22)
Worcester (chase 31-130 +£16)

Overview: With Jonjo O’Neill’s numbers on the decline in recent years, along with a poor overall strike-rate (just one in ten runners won), a word of caution is advised for punters looking to get rich following this yard. If there is one area to look out for, then Class 2 races proved more receptive to O’Neill’s performers at 44-283 (+£39).

NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES

2016/17: 95-586 (16%)
2015/16: 72-482 (15%)
2014/15: 73-488 (15%)
2013/14: 77-559 (14%)
2012/13: 74-542 (14%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Newbury (hurdle +£55)
Uttoxeter (chase 16-70 +£30)
Leicester (chase 13-56 +£25)

Overview: A career second-best tally of 95 winners last season was a reminder as to Nigel Twiston-Davies’s talents, and this time of year is ideal for following the Gloucestershire trainer. Indeed, Twiston-Davies has shown a clear profit in each of the last five months of October, and the good news is that the market still hasn’t latched on, with his record during October last year returning at 20-62 (+£23).

DAN SKELTON

2016/17: 118-698 (17%)
2015/16: 104-529 (20%)
2014/15: 73-377 (19%)
2013/14: 27-171 (16%)
2012/13: N/A

Most profitable track (2012-17):
Uttoxeter (hurdle 14-49 +£15)

Overview: Dan Skelton is a trainer going from strength to strength, having recorded centuries during his last two seasons, including a career-best tally of 118 last term. Skelton’s rise has been monitored by the odds-makers, however, making it hard for punters to show a profit, though one angles shows that following just Skelton’s handicappers officially rated 103-115 returned 55-219 (+£42).

NEIL MULHOLLAND

2016/17: 108-556 (19%)
2015/16: 60-427 (14%)
2014/15: 51-262 (19%)
2013/14: 31-251 (12%)
2012/13: 19-191 (10%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Fontwell (hurdle 21-83 +£35)
Fakenham (hurdle 13-31 +£30)

Overview: Last season saw Neil Mulholland break the century mark for the first time, and the fact he has already chalked 25 winners on the board this term suggests those numbers may be repeated. Mulholland’s 104 winners last time around also showed an encouraging +£12 profit to level stakes, but those profits were increased on runners that were beaten 30l or less last time, as they provided good value next time at 158-871 (+£37).

WILLIE MULLINS (Ire only)

2016/17: 180-571 (32%)
2015/16: 185-557 (33%)
2014/15: 187-554 (34%)
2013/14: 185-665 (28%)
2012/13: 193-595 (32%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Gowran Park (chase & hurdle 54-142 +£62)
Clonmel (hurdle 30-74 +£36)
Punchestown (NHF 30-92 +£28)

Overview: Willie Mullins was pushed all the way in the Irish Trainers Championship by Gordon Elliott last season, who actually trained 13 more winners than Mullins. It was in the prize money department, though, that Mullins stuck his neck out via earnings of €4,580,200 against Elliott’s €4,380,705, and Mullins has taken note that his new rival is closing by sending out over 70 winners this term – around 20 clear of Elliott.

It will be fascinating to see the pair’s duel throughout the current season, and punters may take advantage of Mullins concentrating his efforts on retaining the title, especially with his 4-5yos that struck at 533-1378 (+£150). There were also profitable clues via a horse’s form, as those who had yet to race for Mullins struck first time up at 163-159 (+£51).

GORDON ELLIOTT (Ire only)

2016/17: 193-1234 (16%)
2015/16: 123-791 (16%)
2014/15: 92-533 (17%)
2013/14: 56-436 (13%)
2012/13: 54-329 (16%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Tramore (chase 11-46 +£15)
Punchestown (hurdle 29-213 +£31)
Roscommon (hurdle 12-53 +£13)

Overview: Gordon Elliott has made huge strides in recent seasons, so much so that he pushed the mighty Willie Mullins all the way to the title last term. It would be no surprise should Elliott get close to the title once more, and backers looking to get in on the act may want to look out for runners in Grade 3/Listed events at 46-189 (+£37), while those making their debut/first outing for Elliott should also be noted (45-239, +£15).

HENRY DE BROMHEAD (Ire only)

2016/17: 68-427 (16%)
2015/16: 48-296 (16%)
2014/15: 49-327 (15%)
2013/14: 48-315 (15%)
2012/13: 32-220 (15%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Galway (chase 11-48 +£32)
Killarney (chase 13-59 +£15)
Down Royal (chase 7-21 +£23)

Overview: Henry De Bromhead was another trainer to record career-best figures of 68 in Ireland last time around, and is worth noting with his 9yo+ runners (36-184, +£29).

JESSICA HARRINGTON (Ire only)

2016/17: 48-353 (14%)
2015/16: 47-244 (19%)
2014/15: 31-260 (12%)
2013/14: 35-233 (15%)
2012/13: 28-252 (11%)

Three most profitable tracks (2012-17):
Punchestown (32-171 +£100)
Limerick (chase 7-18 +£35)
Gowran Park (13-57 +£26)

Overview: Jessica Harrington recorded her best tally since 2008/09 last term, and while making a blind profit has proven difficult, concentrating on her runners in beginners chases proved fruitful at 30-137 (+£38). Harrington also gets her string in good from during the spring, where she has an impressive record of 52-372 (+£41) during April/May.

As for the improving trainers to look out for, then Joseph O’Brien is one to keep onside, having returned figures of 38-269 in Ireland last term, prior to topping that via 40 winners already this jumps season.

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