Tag Archive for: Rebecca Menzies

Trainers with older runners (4 and up)

In this sixth and final piece in the trainer performance by age jigsaw, I will be looking at the how trainers have fared with their with older runners, specifically those aged four and upwards. As with the previous articles in the series I have used UK flat racing data from 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2021 giving us six full seasons to examine. The results include turf and all weather racing.

I have used the Geegeez Query Tool once more for all  data analysis, and all profits / losses have been calculated to Industry Starting Price, although as we know these figures will be improved using either BOG, early prices or the exchanges.

Let us start by specifically looking at trainer performance with four-year-olds only.

General trainer performance with 4yo runners 

Many top trainers lose their stable stars at the end of their 3yo campaign, usually to stud or to race overseas, but a few top quality animals continue domestically into their fourth year.  Here are the top 20 trainers in terms of strike rate with their 4yo runners (minimum 150 runs). The data include both handicap and non-handicaps. It should be noted that the vast majority of races that 4yos compete in are handicaps:



There is a smattering of profitable trainers here; six to be exact. This includes the Gosden stable, and they have also secured the highest win strike rate. Nine of the 20 have achieved an A/E index of 1.00 or more suggesting that their runners have been good value as a whole. While on the subject of A/E indices, here are the remaining trainers who have achieved an A/E index of over 1.00.



That's another 15 trainers, making 24 in total. The chart includes several names we have not seen too often before and I would put many of these in the underrated trainer category.

Before digging into some of the individual trainers in more detail I want to look at a different measure of 4yo performance. To wit, I am going to focus on the top ten trainers in the table and look at the percentage of their runners that won at least one race as a 4yo. The reason for doing this is that some trainer figures can be skewed a little if they have winners of multiple races in their yard. To calculate this we take the number of a trainer’s 4yos that won at least once as a 4yo and divide it by all the horses that ran as a 4yo; that gives a decimal and then we multiply it by 100 to give the percentage. Here are the findings:



Four trainers have secured percentages in excess of 50% with Chris Dwyer hitting a very impressive 75%. It should be noted Dwyer has only had 24 individual 4yo runners in total but for 18 of them to win at least once is very impressive. Of the six that didn’t manage a win as a 4yo, five made the frame at least once. William Haggas is close to the 60% mark which, considering he has saddled 126 four-year-olds in the study period, is impressive. At the other end of the scale, Charlie Appleby’s and Team Crisford’s figures are lower than expected.

Now, of course, these figures could also be skewed if several 4yos in a stable have run just once or twice in the season. However, looking at the overall data, most trainers have similar spreads when it comes to number of runs for their horses.


Individual Trainer Performance with Four-Year-Olds

Moving back to individual trainers and their overall performance, let me drill down first into the performance of John and Thady Gosden. Here are some key stats:

  1. If you had backed all Gosden 4yo runners at Betfair SP the profit would stand at £73.24 equating to returns of 18p in the £.
  2. Their female 4yo runners have performed exceptionally well with 36 wins from 126 runs (SR 28.6%) for a profit of £54.97 (ROI +43.6%).
  3. In Group 1 races, the Gosdens have saddled 12 winners from 48 for an excellent 1 in 4 strike rate; in Group 2 contests this improves to 15 wins from 43 (SR 34.9%) showing a profit of £32.66 (ROI 76.0%).
  4. The best performances have been at distances of 1m2f or more where they have secured a 26% strike rate and returns of 9p in the £.


The Gosden stable has shown good consistency with their 4yos and this is illustrated when looking at their performance at different courses. Their win SR% are shown below (minimum 15 runs):



All tracks bar Newmarket have figures of 20% or higher. Chelmsford is a clear leader thanks to 7 wins from 16.

A look at William Haggas now and his strongest stats:

  1. Amazingly, his male and female runners have hit exactly the same win strike rate% of 21.4%.
  2. 4yos that have started favourite for Haggas have delivered with 65 wins from 174 runners (SR 37.4%) for a profit of £21.77 (ROI +12.5%). His second favourites have also proved profitable returning just under 15p in the £ from a 23.5% strike rate.
  3. Haggas is not one for sending 4yo runners to the front that often but when he does they have won 34% of their races (17 wins from 50).
  4. He has struggled a little at the very elite level with 0 winners from 19 in Group 1 races, although five did place. He has a better record when the level drops to Class 3 races or below; here he has secured 56 wins from 176 (SR 31.8%) for a healthy profit of £37.41 (ROI +21.3%).


Onto a few of the other trainers now and their strongest stats:

  1. Grant Tuer is an impressive 24 from 44 (SR 54.5%) with favourites. Backing all of them would have seen a profit of £26.97 (ROI 61.2%).
  2. Sir Michael Stoute has an excellent record on the all weather – 26 wins from 70 runners (SR 37.1%) producing returns of 24p in the £.
  3. Saeed bin Suroor has made a small 5p in the £ profit with horses priced 8/1 or shorter. Longer priced runners (above 8/1) have lost over 64p in the £ due to just 2 winners from 88.
  4. Chris Dwyer has saddled 12 winners from 46 runners when using 3lb claiming jockeys. They have produced a profit of £43.88 (ROI 95.4%). Also it should be noted that seven different 3lb claimers have secured at least one win. Hence these figures are not skewed by one jockey.
  5. William Knight has a decent record on the all weather hitting a win rate of slightly better than 1 win in 5. He is 8 from 18 at Wolves and 5 from 11 at Newcastle.


Individual Trainer Performance with Five-Year-Olds and upwards

Moving up in age now let's look at all runners aged five and older. Only trainers with 200+ runs have been considered. Here are the top 20 in terms of win strike rate:



As we get into the realms of more exposed and generally less elite horses, we see quite a few new trainers on the list when compared to previous tables in this series of articles. Making a profit however, is hard to come by as one would expect. Just two trainers were in profit at SP across the six year period, and both were barely in profit at that. It is, however, good to see ten trainers with A/E indices of 1.00 or more, implying they might offer value.

Roger Varian leads the table but he has made significant losses of around 32p in the £.

John Quinn has the best record as far as returns are concerned and these are some of his stronger stats:

  1. Quinn has made all his profits in turf races (returns of 16p in £). In all weather races he has had losses of 30p in the £.
  2. Shorter distances of 7f or less have produced the best overall performances with 48 wins from 256 runners (SR 18.8%) for a profit of £71.62 (ROI +28.0%).
  3. He has a 23% strike rate in non-handicaps; 11% in handicaps.
  4. Jockey Jason Hart has ridden over half of Quinn’s older runners securing a return of 16p in the £ over 260 rides.


It needs to be appreciated that horses aged five and older, especially handicappers, are typically not going to be the most consistent animals. Although if we look at Quinn’s yearly win strike rates they are all similar except for 2021, where his runners probably over-performed compared with previous seasons:



I thought it may be interesting to compare trainer performance when we split the older runners into two age bands – 4yos & 5yos, and 6yos and older - comparing Win% (SR%), A/E indices and Impact Values. To qualify a trainer needed at least 100 runners in each age band.

The right hand columns compare the 4 & 5yo Win% data with the 6yo+ Win% data by creating a ratio of one to the other. The greater the number above 1.00, the more 4 & 5yos are favoured; the smaller the number below 1.00, the more 6yos and older are favoured. Any A/E value of 1.00 or more has been highlighted in blue. I have also highlighted any win ratio of 1.4 and above or 0.7 and below. These ratios help to highlight where there is a significant difference in the Win SR%:


It is worth noting that both Derek Shaw and Rebecca Menzies have achieved A/E indices of 1.00 or more in both age bands. That is high achieving in this context. William Knight was close also with figures of 1.1 and 0.99. Meanwhile, Jane Chapple-Hyam’s strike rate for four- and five-year-olds is double that of her six-year-old and up group. She is the only trainer to attain a win ratio% of over 2.

And that brings the final curtain down on this trainer series. Hopefully you have found some nuggets within the six ‘episodes’ that will aid your betting and produce some additional profits. For me, it’s time to start some new research on a different aspect of racing. Until then, you'll find links to the other five articles below; and may I wish you the very best of luck with your punting.

- DR