horse racing

NTF Aintree Festival Files: Alan King – How to become a King for a week…

With Cheltenham 2013 done and dusted and in the form books we now have the unenviable task of unraveling the Aintree puzzle.

Similar to my Cheltenham Festival Files I’m going to spend the days in the run up to Aintree taking a look at the facts and figures behind some of the major players (trainers & jockeys) that are likely to be vying for the plentiful pots on offer over the 3 days at Liverpool.

Today in ‘NTF Aintree Festival Files’ we start with a trainer who knows what it takes to fire in an Aintree Festival winner or 2; Alan King…

#Figures sourced from the excellent Proform database – Figures from the 2007 – 2012 Festivals


NTF Aintree Festival Files: Alan King

The bare figures…

9/59 | 15% S/R | +£4.69 BFLSP – Win & Place 20/59 | 34% S/R

It is a decent, if not earth-shattering, set of figures for King at the Aintree Festival but importantly it gives us a glimpse that he does know how to ready one for the 3 day meeting. Outside of the 2 powerhouse yards of Nicholls (17 winners) and Henderson (16 winners) Alan King is the next winning-most trainer on the list, that in itself deserves our respect.

Statistically speaking (and using the market as a guide) King is over-performing with his band of runners and they are probably going off at slightly more enhanced odds than they should be (due in main to the dominance of the big 2 yards).

But from what angles and avenues do his winners come from, where are the zones he needs to improve upon and can we profit from any section of his squad in particular?

Let’s start digging…


ALL 9 of his recent Aintree winners had their ‘warm-up’ run at the Cheltenham Festival…

Since 2007 King has sent 31 runners to Aintree on the back of a run at that years Cheltenham Festival, 9 have won with a further 4 placing.

That is pretty good going in anyone’s book and clearly any notion that Cheltenham ‘leaves a mark’ on a runner isn’t backed up by King’s figures.

Let’s look at these runners by the figures…

9/32 | 28% S/R | +£31.69 BFLSP – Win & Place 13/32 | 41% S/R

One healthy looking set of figures wouldn’t you agree? It looks like Cheltenham is the ideal place for a King runner to have a ‘warm-up’ spin before tackling Aintree on Grand National week.

Based on market expectations this sub-set of runners are over-performing and are well worthy of keeping in mind.


All 9 winners were ridden by Robert ‘Choc’ Thornton…

Stable jockey Thornton has been on-board all recent Aintree winners.

Now clearly that isn’t going to happen this year as Thornton is out until the end of the season with an injury. However, if we look at it another way and consider that ALL 9 winners have been ridden by King’s number one jockey then maybe we should be paying particular attention to Wayne Hutchinson’s mounts over the 3 days.

Lets look at the split between Thornton (Number 1 jock) and other riders at the festival over recent seasons…

King/Thornton – 9/44 | 20% S/R | +£19.69 BFLSP – Win & Place 18/44 | 41% S/R

King/Other Jocks – 0/15 | 0% S/R | -£15.00 BFLSP – Win & Place 2/15 | 13% S/R

18 of the 20 Win & Place horses have been ridden by Robert Thornton (Number 1 stable jock) and as that mantle will be falling to Wayne Hutchinson this year then we should pay particular attention to the King/Hutchinson axis.

Obviously most winners will be/should be ridden by the stable’s number 1 but what I find interesting about the above figures is that he rides most of the placed horses as well, others rarely get a look in.


Only 1 winner has started at double-figured odds…

The market has been a good guide as 8 of his winners started at an industry SP of 8/1 or less.

His winners are generally well enough supported in the market to stop them going off at double figure odds so if you are wanting to narrow down the range a bit this would be a good area to concentrate on…

King Aintree runners SP 9/1 or less – 8/32 | 25% S/R | +£12.05 BFLSP – Win & Place 14/32 | 44% S/R

King Aintree runners SP 10/1+ – 1/27 | 4% S/R | -£7.36 BFLSP – Win & Place 6/27 | 22% S/R

Personally I wouldn’t rule out his larger priced runners completely but some of you do like to utilise these sort of angle so the figures are there should you want to ponder over them.


Alan King – Aintree Festival: The Money Shot!

Money-Shot time! There are not that many angles to work with here but the money-shot is robust and pretty straightforward.

Taking all of my in-depth Proform searching into account I’ve come up with the following King ‘Money Shot’…

Alan King Aintree runners | Last start at the Cheltenham Festival | Top 5 in the market Last Time Out

9/20 | 45% S/R | +£43.69 BFLSP – Win & Place 11/20 | 55% S/R

Amazingly this ‘Money-Shot’ encompasses ALL 9 of King’s recent Aintree Festival winners and would have been profitable in 5 of the past 6 seasons. In the losing year there were only 2 qualifiers and one of them finished 2nd.


*Figures for this article have been sourced from the brilliant Proform Professional Database.

Check out their website >>


2013 NTF Cheltenham Festival – JPFestival TV Review

There will be a jam-packed review of the Cheltenham Festival tonight over on JPFestival TV so make sure you check in and catch all the discussion live at 7pm >>>


FREE NTF 2013/14 Cheltenham Festival Guide

If you are yet to download my own FREE NTF Guide looking at 4 horses to follow from the 2013 Cheltenham Festival then head to the following page and this exclusive guide can be yours to download and digest today –

>>>FREE NTF 2013 Cheltenham Festival Guide – 4 to follow for next season

Ben (NTF)

8 responses to “NTF Aintree Festival Files: Alan King – How to become a King for a week…”

  1. Not sure there will be too many qualifiers this time around, Master Echart maybe interesting, Smad Place too, not sure if Aintree will suit Godsmejudge, looks a good plodder

    • Hi Jon

      Yes not that many potential qualifiers on the money-shot but there isn’t usually that many anyway. Smad Place possibly the most likely of the 3 I think.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  2. hi shame choc is out but w hut,is spot i would hope a,k has 3 wins if not 3 then 2 &afew placed bye now tony cloragh mills dublin

    • Hi Tony

      Thanks for comment. Wayne Hutchinson is a fine replacement for Choc, hopefully he will land a couple of winners for King.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  3. Thanks Ben,

    Nice little angle there. Have plugged that in to my notifications. Interesting way of looking at jockey angle and as Wayne Hutchinson is no slouch in the saddle, then with choc out I think that should only help to preserve the value on AK’s runners.

    Wishing choc a speedy recovery and let’s hope we can profit in his absence.

    All the best,


    • Hi Eamon

      Yes I’m a big fan of Wayne Hutch and I don’t think it is any negative at all that he is in the saddle instead of Choc, both jockeys of equal talents in my opinion.

      Well said about Choc and lets hope he is back in the saddle sooner rather than later.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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