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Handicap Debutants System

As mentioned yesterday I've been reading Peter May's In Search of the Winning System and I've been trying to replicate some of his findings using the Horse Race Base service.

With the majority of races run in the UK these days being Handicaps Peter spends a lot of time investigating Handicaps.

In 2012 there were 70,793 handicap races.

One area that Peter has investigated is that of trainers that do well with their handicap debutants IE their horses having their first run in a handicap.

So the basics of the idea are that we look at horses running in a handicap today who havent run in a handicap before.

We exclude 2 year olds (and I've added a top limit of 10) and we exclude females.

The raw figures for all trainers for 2010 – 2012 are…

Runs = 9514
Wins = 899
Strike Rate = 9.45%
Profit/Loss = -2372.98

On Course Profits free Horse Racing magazine

The trainers that Peter proposes are…

Andrew Balding = 9/79 -2.25 -2.8%
Hughie Morrison = 4/25 +0.25 +1%
Luca Cumani = 9/48 +12.63 +25.3%
Amanda Perrett = 6/39 +22.00 +56.4%
Richard Fahey = 6/60 -12.17 -20.2%

The figures after each name are the wins/runs, the level stakes profit, the return on investment.

As you can see the figures I've researched show that only Luca Cumani and Amanda Perrett are worth following in these circumstances.

Peter then goes on to suggest some supplementary trainers in the shape of…

John Gosden = 21/99 +38.75 +39.1%
Sir Michael Stoute = 13/75 -19.33 -25.7%

So it looks like we can add John Gosden to our list.

I'm not sure why he doesnt include Saeed Bin Suroor who always pops up when I'm looking at handicaps.

Saeed Bin Suroor 17/64 +20.18 +31.5%

I would also add…

Richard Hannon 17/93 + 62.33 + 67.0%

So what we are left with is…

Flat or All Weather Handicaps
Horses between 3 & 10 years old
Horse sex = Male
Previous Handicap runs = 0
Trainers = Luca Cumani, John Gosden, Richard Hannon, Amanda Perrett or Saeed Bin Suroor

The results for 2010 – 2012 are…

Runs = 343
Wins = 70
Strike Rate = 20.4%
Profit/Loss = +156.89
Return on Investment = 45.45%

So how has that held up in 2013, well it's in profit, so that's good but so far the ROI is 15.23%, although if we drop the All Weather runs that pops up to 36%.

We'll have more on Peter May's ideas next week

Today's Selection

Newmarket 4.20 Seek Again – win bet – 3/1 Bet Victor

4 thoughts on “Handicap Debutants System”

  1. How does one find runners with previous Handicap runs = 0 ?

    If you have to look at each race in the previous form, then this is going to be time consuming.

    1. Good question Ian, I have horseracebase tell me each day. I’m not sure if the Racing Post newspaper lists 1st time handicappers in their pointers section.

      Horseracebase access can be had for a small monthly donation.


  2. The value goes when these trainers are identified, imo, or maybe they change their ideas eg Balding, Morrison, Fahey have been clocked before this book (so has Luca?) which may account for the lack of returns.

    1. Hi Chris

      I agree, value always disappears as people pick up on it, thats why we have to keep finding new angles.


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