As Christmas time approaches (and more importantly the Christmas Hurdle and King George VI!) we are blessed with lots of racing to look forward to including eleven race meetings in the UK and Ireland on Boxing Day. While all the attention may be on the biggest horses like Faugheen, the list may make surprising reading with no big name trainers featured!
All of the stats complied from 2011 to 2015 for trainers with 50 runners or more during the month. Profit figures are given to a £10 flat stake on each of the trainer’s runners.
5th – EOIN DOYLE (+£330)
The only trainer on the list based in Ireland, the team based at County Kilkenny have a 14.49% strike rate during the period with a £33 profit to SP, with 10 winners poking their heads in front from a grand total of 69. Although not the most well known of yards, Doyle’s horses clearly enjoy this month and are sent to the perfect races, which is indicated by his good statistics that make him Number 5 on the list. Although he had no December winners in 2014 and 2015, he’s already had one winner this month, with Ardera Cross taking victory at Tramore so his runners need careful consideration.
4th – CAROLINE BAILEY (+£330.70)
The profit speaks for itself for the Holdenby based trainer who shows a 19.05% strike rate during the period with a 33.70 profit to SP, with 12 runners flashing past the post first from a total of 63 that ran. Her team is not to be taken lightly and although she has sent out the least amount of runners in the Top Trainers List, her runners always need a second look as the statistics would indicate.
3rd – CHRIS GRANT (+£360.63)
Although the yard has a reasonably unappealing strike rate at only 6.72%, the County Durham trainer can boast a good 36.63 profit to SP, sending 119 runners out with 8 of them returning home to win, many of them at bigger prices. It is however good to note he had no winners in December 2015, so some caution is advised in terms of the backing of his horses.
2nd – MALCOM JEFFERSON (+£400.42)
It all seems to come together for the Jefferson yard at this time of year, as he can boast a 20.59% strike rate, sending out 102 horses with 21 of them returning to the winners enclosure. Last season he had 5 winners during this month all at 6/1 or shorter prices but he still has a good 40.42 Profit to SP which shows that the North Yorkshire trainer thrives during the colder season. His biggest success during the month came in 2011 when According to Pete was a 33/1 success on Boxing Day, making all to win a Grade 3 in great style.
1st – NICK WILLIAMS (+£640.02)
The Devonshire based trainer is indeed the man to follow through the Festive Period, with a 27.03% strike rate, sending out 111 horses with 30 of them taking victories. With a 64.02 profit to SP, Williams seems to have the knack for getting winners during the chilly month, and big winners at that, as in 2013 he had a 33/1 and two 12/1 winners in a brilliant spell for the yard. He’s also won several Grade 1’s during the month, including when Tea For Two stormed clear in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton last Boxing Day, so it shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise to see Williams on this list.
The list speaks for itself, with it being clear that the smaller stables seem to do best over the Christmas period. This may be due to their runners going under the radar, with more recognisable owners, trainers and horses being over-bet in the market with the extra interest from more casual punters. This opens up value betting opportunities on the less recognisable names.