I am going to write about something that I don't often write about today... trainer comments!
The reason I don't write about the connections of race horses very much is that I don't use them very often anymore. I do follow certain trends and patterns but I don't follow the trainer/jockey comments.
Is that because I couldn't get them to work for me?
No. It is because the only way to use them is alongside your own form reading. There is no way to quantify this information and when I moved to a database handicapping approach I needed to be able to quantify everything.
But, most people aren't doing database handicapping and are very interested in what the trainer says. The problem is that the majority of punters use the information in the wrong way because they assume that what the trainer is saying must be gospel and...
...nothing could be further from the truth!
Trainers also have their own agendas and they have their clients. They want to work with certain jockeys and they have to please the owners of the horses that they are paid to train. This, for example, means that they could be racing a horse when they don't want to because the owners are going to a track and want to see their horse race.
To follow this process we first of all have to get our comments. You can get these from a variety of sources but one is on the Racing Post. If you go to the home page at www.racingpost.co.uk and then scroll down until you see the Horse Racing Tips box. In this box is the red text Quotes. Click on this and you will see something similar to the image below.
These change throughout the day and you can get a quote from the race around 20 minutes before the off. Taking this as an example we want to first break down the major points that this trainer is saying about his horse. These are:
- Good form
- Too much weight
- A win today would be his fifth win in a row
- Not confident in handicaps
- Doesn't know if he will be good enough
When we break down what the trainer is saying we can see immediately that he is actually quite negative about todays run on a horse that is second favourite. He feels that there is too much weight, doesn't like handicaps and not sure if his race will be good enough. The only positive is that he is in good form.
We now want to confirm or not each of those points. It is very easy to confirm point 1 as Buckland has won all of his last four races. To confirm point 2 we need to look at Bucklands previous races...
Today Buckland is carrying 9-2 in a class 2, two mile race on the AW standard ground. Looking at previous races we can see that he hasn't won a race while carrying more than 9 stone and this includes races in lower classes and over shorter distances. His most recent races have been a shorter distances than today and less weight and only the last race was a class 2. He now has to run another five furlongs with a weight he hasn't been able to win with at lower classes. It looks like there is every reason for Adielsson to be concerned.
We can move past point 3, as we already know this is correct, and get straight to point 4. There is no reason for this statement, it is clear that this horse can run well and win in handicaps and has been running in them for a long time. This is a personal sentiment and one that we should ignore.
The last point, number 5, we already know to be true because of the weight issue.
So all in all we can say that we think that the horse could have some issues in this race. Next we need to double check that there is another horse that can contend against it.
Looking at the market...
We can see that the market thinks there are three other contenders to Buckland. For each of these we scroll through their past results and are looking for information that highlights they could contend today. We aren't trying to do extensive form reading, although if you have the time that is even better, but rather get an indication that Buckland will have competition.
The confirmation we are looking for is found in The Tiger:
On the 8th March he came third, just 1.25 lengths behind the winner, and raced competitively in a similar race to today with the same weight as today.
If you can find more than one confirmation then that is ideal but we want at least one to be happy to place our bet. In this race we can be confident that Buckland is going to struggle to win and as we don't have a single strong contender we would choose to lay him. If we had a single strong contender then we may choose to back that horse instead.
This will also work when the trainers comments are positive for a horse. We follow the same process of confirming the comments and then look for horses that could take the win. As long as there are no more than two potential horses we can consider placing our back bet on the horse with positive comments.
As you can see, although our winner didn't come from our potential contender, Buckland didn't win this race and our bet would have brought us a nice profit for only a few minutes work.
You can use this on any track, any day, in as many races as you want. It will work well for you on its own, but I'm sure that you will be able to use your imagination to take this further in a way that suits your betting style.