horse racing

Ayr Scottish Grand National Meeting Trainer Trends: The Ferdy Factor…

Ayr’s Scottish Grand National Meeting is always a richly contested affair with a plethora of raiders making the trip from South of the border.

But who are the trainers we should be focused on and under which circumstances should we be looking to side with their runners?

Do the South send enough firepower up to plunder all of the big prizes or do the North keep something up their sleeves especially for these 2 days to fend off the southern raiders?

Lets take a look at a clutch of trainers (North & South based) that we should keep a keen eye on over Friday and Saturday and exactly where they have excelled at in recent seasons –

Figures from seasons 2006 – 2011 and sourced from the excellent ProForm database

Ferdy Murphy

This appears to be a meeting that good old Ferdy targets every season and his overall figures stack up well –

7/32 | 22% S/R | +£49.87 BFLSP – Win & Place 11/32 | 34 % S/R

When we dig a little deeper into those overall figures things start to get really interesting. Take a look at the record of his horses running at this meeting within 14 days of their last start –

Murphy runners returning to track with 14 days of last run (at Scottish National meeting)

6/10 | 60% S/R | +£56.90 BFLSP – Win & Place 8/10 | 80% S/R

Wow! 6 of his 7 winners can be found using this simple filter. The fact that 8 of the 10 qualifiers won or placed suggests this is a well devised plan on the go from Mr Murphy.

Last year he had 2 such qualifiers, both in the same race (I’M DELILAH & BEGGARS CAP) with the outsider of the pair BEGGARS CAP winning at Betfair SP 18.58!

I highlighted this intriguing angle on the blog last year and Ferdy came good for us then; can he do it again?

Nicky Henderson

The Seven Barrows trainer has the most victories of any trainer in recent season’s and he generally sends up a sturdy looking team to do battle. Here are his overall figures –

9/45 | 20% S/R | -£2.75 BFLSP – Win & Place 17/45 | 38% S/R

Backing all his runners would have left you with a minor level stakes loss but there are areas where we can concentrate our efforts –

  • 8 of his 9 winners came over 21f or less
  • 8 of his 9 winners started in the top 3 of the market
  • All 9 winners were aged 7 or less
  • 6 of his 9 winners finished in the top 2 on their last start
  • 6 of his 9 winners were ridden by Barry Geraghty
  • A P McCoy is 2 winners from 3 rides at the meeting for Henderson (placed on other ride)

Also pay particular attention to his bumper runners –

Henderson Bumper runners at the Scottish National meeting

2/3 | 67% S/R | +£1.97

The profits may not be life changing but thats not the reason I highlighted the angle. What I wanted to point out was that 1 of those winners was the mighty SPRINTER SACRE, who won the race comfortably in 2010. He isn’t afraid to take future stars on the lengthy trip up to Ayr….

Jim Goldie

Goldie has stepped up the amount of runners he takes to this meeting in recent seasons and it can pay to follow his string –

5/23 | 22% S/R | +£52.60 BFLSP – Win & Place 9/23 | 39% S/R

  • He has a decent record in Novice races – 3/7 | 43% S/R | +£36.80BFLSP
  • 4 of his 5 winners came over hurdles

Pauline Robson

The Northumberland based trainer is very select with her runners from her small string but when she makes the effort to come to this meeting it is worth taking note –

3/8 | 38% S/R | +£29.42 BFLSP – Win & Place 3/8 | 38% S/R

Nigel Twiston Davies

The ‘Twister’ doesn’t send as many as you may think to the 2 day meeting but the select few of his string that have made the trip more than hold their own –

3/9 | 33% S/R | +£12.65 BFLSP – Win & Place 4/9 | 44% S/R

  • All 3 winners ran within the past 28 days
  • All 3 winners came over 3m+
  • All 3 finished in the top 2 on their last start

Paul Nicholls

The champion trainer is an interesting one at this meeting. He sends plenty on the long trip but overall his runners have been under-performing and backing them all would have left quite a dent in your betting bank –

7/62 | 11% S/R | -£40.78 BFLSP – Win & Place 27/62 | 44% S/R

We can tighten things up a touch for Nicholls and look at the areas where most of these winners have come from –

  • 6 of the 7 winners were ridden by Ruby Walsh
  • 7 of the 7 winners had been off the track for 30 days+
  • 6 of the 7 winners started as SP favourite
  • 6 of the 7 winners were aged 4 or 5
  • 6 of the 7 winners started in the top 2 of the market on their last start

If you can pull all of the above factors together then you stand a great chance of finding a Nicholls winner at this meeting –

Nicholls trained | Ridden by Walsh | Fav | Off track for 30 days+ | Aged 4 or 5 | Top 2 in market LTO

4/5 | 80% S/R | +£6.15 BFLSP – Win & Place 5/5 | 100% S/R

Granted these are pretty stringent rules and won’t leave you with many qualifiers at all but at least you have a solid chance of a Nicholls winner at the meeting!!


Although I would never suggest taking these type of stats as gospel they are a good pointer as to which yards are likely to be targeting the meeting and bringing some lively ammo with them for an Ayr spring-time raid.

Best of luck if you plan to get involved over the 2 day Ayr Scottish Grand National meeting (Friday 20th and Saturday 21st of April).

Ben (NTF)




2 responses to “Ayr Scottish Grand National Meeting Trainer Trends: The Ferdy Factor…”

  1. Ben

    It is great when you give us free stuff like the trainer/jockey combinations to follow on the flat, but I don’t have time to check on a daily basis. What do you suggest? Can you not notify us when one combination comes along?

    Thanks – Nick

  2. Hi Nick

    I have a database that informs me of these combos (as well as many other angles I utilise). Not sure about notifying when a combination comes along as that would be a lot of work on my part and would cut into my own personal punting time. I may consider something like that in the members area, however I’m not always in a position to update things so would be frustrating for some people if winners were missed.

    Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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