Trainer in focus: betting pointers and key statistics for Nicky Henderson 🐎 🕵️

Sandown - Nicky Henderson

The Champion Trainer of National Hunt racing in Great Britain on six occasions, Nicky Henderson is one of the most recognisable names in racing. Training from his Seven Barrows base in Lambourn, he’s trained some of the all-time greats. Sprinter Sacre, Long Run, Altior, Bobs Worth and Finian’s Rainbow all were trained by the maestro, and Shishkin will likely join that list soon.

As with any trainer, there are places where Henderson excels and races where he has a superb record. We’ve done the digging and found all the key ways to extract maximum profit from Henderson’s runners. There are some very interesting statistics in there and you can find all the details below. Unless otherwise stated, all statistics are life-time.

Most profitable venues to back Henderson

There are several venues where Henderson’s runners have posted a sizable profit. Ludlow is where his runners excel at, however, with a 31% striker-rate from 492 runners yielding a level stakes profit of £71.00. Kempton, Hereford, Plumpton and Leicester complete the top five:

  • Ludlow: 152/492 (31%, +£71.00)
  • Kempton: 277/1091 (25%, +£56.93)
  • Hereford: 70/204 (34%, +£48.85)
  • Plumpton: 66/216 (31%, +£42.15)
  • Leicester: 49/170 (29%, +£25.42)

Best strike rates for Henderson’s runners

Interestingly, there is one venue where Henderson has a 100% strike-rate at. That place is Sedgefield, where he is three from three, for a small level stakes profit. If he sends runners to the below venues, then you should certainly take notice:

  • Sedgefield – 3/3 (100%)
  • Newcastle – 15/24 (63%)
  • Carlisle – 2/4 (50%)
  • Kelso – 13/29 (45%)
  • Hexham – 7/17 (41%)

Places to exercise caution with Henderson runners

No one is perfect and there are several venues where Henderson’s runners seemingly run below their best. Cheltenham, Ascot, Aintree and Newbury are the four places where he has the worst loss margin, but given those are where the most competitive festivals are, it’s best to take that with a pinch of salt.

Beyond those courses, these are the five places that Henderson’s runners have the loss margin:

  • Haydock – 44/244 (18%, -79.75)
  • Bangor – 51/242 (21%, -77.91)
  • Chepstow – 41/260 (16%, -76.81)
  • Wincanton – 44/244 (21%, -75.75)
  • Ayr – 44/244 (17%, -59.47)

Most successful races for Henderson runners

Looking with Cheltenham in mind, there are several races that Henderson has an excellent record in. That includes six races where he is the leading trainer, the Arkle, Champion Hurdle, Coral Cup, Paddy Power Plate Handicap, and the Champion Chase.

  • Arkle: Remittance Man (1991), Travado (1993), Tiutchev (2000), Sprinter Sacre (2012), Simonsig (2013), Altior (2017), Shishkin (2021)
  • Champion Hurdle: See You Then (1985, 1986, 1987), Punjabi (2009), Binocular (2010), Buveur D’Air (2017, 2018), Epatante (2020)
  • Coral Cup: Spirit River (2010), Whisper (2014), William Henry (2019), Dame De Compagnie (2020)
  • Champion Chase: Remittance Man (1992), Finian’s Rainbow (2012), Sprinter Sacre (2013, 2016), Altior (2018, 2019)
  • Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase: The Tsarevich (1985, 1986), Liberthine (2005), Non So (2006)
  • Triumph Hurdle: First Bout (1985), Alone Success (1987), Katarino (1999), Zaynar (2009), Soldatino (2010), Peace And Co (2015), Pentland Hills (2019)

Away from the Festival, there are several other big races that Henderson excels in. The major example is the Clarence House, which he’s won on six occasions. If you’re looking for a handicap example, always take a note of his runners in the Scotty Brand Handicap at Ayr, which he’s won three times.

One trend you’ll notice from his most successful races, is that the vast majority are over two miles. The Arkle, Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Triumph Hurdle are all over the two-mile distance and he’s made the two-mile divisions his own in recent years.

Should I back Henderson runners over hurdles, fences or in bumpers?

The truth is, there isn’t much difference in his strike-rate between the three disciplines. His best strike-rate comes in bumpers, where he holds a 25% record, though he does have less runners in that sphere. The statistics for the last five years make for more interesting reading, however:

  • Chase: 162/695 (23%, -110.01)
  • Hurdle: 362/1476 (25%, -138.16)
  • NHF: 68/283 (24%, -61.24)

What grade does Henderson do best in?

In the last five seasons, there is one race class that Henderson has a huge profit margin; Listed races. That is not the type of race he has the most success in, however, as his best strike-rate comes in maiden races:

  • Graded: 88/464 (19%, -143.20)
  • Listed: 31/119 (26%, +47.23)
  • Handicap: 153/1016 (15%, -73.18)
  • Maiden: 82/237 (35%, -11.68)
  • Novice: 240/864 (28%, -154.79)

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