Halloween Horror Show? Get Over it by Nabbing National Hunt November Profits

(Last Updated On: October 28, 2018)

By the time you read this, the British Flat season will officially be over which means it is time to switch focus to the National Hunt scene. While summer Flat racing is associated with fancy hats, Pimm’s, and the occasional sunny day, we’re about to get deep down and dirty.

National Hunt racing in the UK is traditionally a mucky affair so dust down your winter jacket, and bring your Thermos to the racecourse because we’re about to show you how to make enough profit to afford your winter heating bill after energy companies jack up the price, again.

Do Any Trainers Love November?

November is not associated with major National Hunt events. It would be incorrect to suggest that it is devoid of top-quality racing as we have the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in the middle of the month, but in general, most meetings are low-key. As such, it may be best to avoid the likes of Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson for now, but there are a few trainers who love National Hunt Novembers.

Venetia Williams

Williams used to be an amateur jockey until a bad fall, and a broken neck forced her to retire in her late twenties. After working for Martin Pipe and John Edwards, she decided to branch out on her own in 1995 and has become a successful and well-respected trainer. Her biggest win was 100/1 outsider Mon Mome in the 2009 Grand National.

Williams has also gained a reputation for being a fast starter to the season. Here is her November National Hunt record since 2013:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
331 57 17.22% 19.27%

2017 was the only year in the last five where she has not performed to expectations with a loss of 31%. In every other year, backing all of her entries in NH races would provide at profit of at least 19%. Also, her A/E rating is 6% above market expectations which means you’re also getting value for these bets. 

Her record in handicap races is even better in November:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
250 46 18.4% 37.74%

Again, she had a bad 2017, but overall, it is worth looking at her entries this November, especially as the A/E is 12% above expectations. 

Finally, Williams is a superstar in Handicap Chase races:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
173 36 20.81% 60.01%

Yet again, 2017 was a disaster after four great years in a row. The question is, will Williams return to her old November form or will this year be as bad as last year? By the way, the A/E for her Handicap Chase entries is 1.23, a full 23% higher than par. 

Gary Moore

Moore is another ex-jockey and rode over 200 National Hunt winners during his career. Upon his retirement in the early 1990s, he decided to try his hand training. Eventually, he took over from his father, Charlie, and has a fantastic setup in Cisswood, West Sussex, which has stabling for more than 100 horses.

His overall November NH is not much to write home about:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
243 33 13.58% 1.4%

He is very hit and miss with two profitable months and three bad ones. However, things improve significantly when his son, Jamie, is the rider:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
107 20 18.69% 26.91%

It is still a touch hit and miss, but the combination has had three profitable years and an overall A/E that is 2% above par. 

For the Moore’s, it is all about Class, and you make a higher profit by focusing on races at Class 1-4 only:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
85 17 20% 43.52%

Although the A/E is very high at 1.16, there is a risk of having a bad month. In 2017, you would have suffered a loss of 36%. In 2016, your profit would have been 95% and in 2015, the Moore’s combined for a 53.85%-win rate and an incredible ROI of 387%. 

Harry Whittington

Although it remains to be seen, it could be a case of saving the best for last with Harry Whittington. His November record since 2013 doesn’t tell the full story:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
70 17 24.29% 16.8%

The immediate thing to note is the high strike rate. The next thing you must be aware of is that Whittington only had two entries in 2013 and seven in 2014. He has significantly increased his entries since with 25 in 2016 and 24 in 2017. Aside from a blank 2013 with his two runners, only 2016 proved disappointing.

Otherwise, Whittington has performed well with a 45% profit last year on Betfair if you backed all 24 of his runners; he had eight winners. Even more relevant is the A/E figure of 1.26 which shows that his horses perform above market value to the tune of 26%. In 2014, 2016, and 2017, that value was at least 50% higher than par. 

You may think there’s no point filtering his runners down any further, but when you look at Hurdle races only, the picture gets brighter:

Bets  Wins Strike Rate ROI (BF)
41 11 26.83% 28.36%

He is likely to have a Hurdle runner every 2-3 days in November, and these runners will be worth waiting for, especially as they are unlikely to be overbacked. By the way, pay special attention if Harry Bannister is the jockey in any Class 4 NH race. The duo combined for seven winners in 14 races last year for a betting profit of 137% on Betfair.

Final Thoughts

As always, you need to back these selections on their merits rather than blindly betting on everything, but as far as all three trainers are concerned, there should be value in backing many of the November entries. Venetia Williams is one to watch in Handicap Chases, for example, the Gary and Jamie Moore combination is worth analysing, and Henry Whittington could be the man to help you break the bookies this month. 

Patrick Lynch

Patrick graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway with an MA in Literature and Publishing but decided he would rather have the freedom of a freelance writer than be stuck in a publishing house all day. He has enjoyed this freedom since 2009 and has written thousands of articles on a variety of topics but sports betting is his passion. While his specialty is finding mismatches in obscure football leagues, he also likes to use his research skills to provide punters with detailed winning strategies in horse racing. You can check out his personal blog on or Twitter @pl1982 where he writes content to help small businesses achieve success.


  1. if you look at Harry Whittingtons’horses aged 5 or 6 with Bannister, P N O’brien or gavin sheehan aboard then the percentages zoom. Also he had 3 out of 4 winners is novice chase.s .

  2. Whittington only really came on the National Hunt training scene in 2013 (he had a few runners in the years before that). From 2013-16, you would have earned at least 45% ROI per annum. In 2017 and 2018 to date in all races, you would have lost 29% and 43% respectively. His A/E figure in 2018 is awful at 0.66 by the way.
    O’Brien hasn’t rode a Whittington horse since 2015. Whittington and Sheehan is a formidable combo for punters though. 23 wins from 94 races and an ROI of 154%. Not so good in 2018 so far with 2 wins in 8 and a slight ROI loss but we’ll wait and see. Alas, Sheehan has not ridden a Whittington horse in November since 2016.
    Also from what I found, Whittington has only had 11 runners in Novice chases in the last few years with 4 winners. Maybe things will change this season.

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