horse racing

NTF Aintree Festival Files: Nicky Henderson – How to profit from the Henderson Aintree squad…

Under a week to go to Cheltenham’s less exalted, but no less competitive, northern sibling – The Aintree Grand National Festival.

Today in ‘NTF Aintree Festival Files’ I’m looking at a trainer who fired in 6 winners at the meeting last season alone; Nicky Henderson

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


NTF Aintree Festival Files: Nicky Henderson

The bare figures…

16/112 | 14% S/R | +£68.47 BFLSP – Win & Place 27/112 | 24% S/R

16 winners at recent Aintree Festival’s from Henderson which is hot on the heels of his great rival Paul Nicholls who has fired in 17 winners in recent years. The main difference is that backing all Henderson’s runner would have netted you +£68.47 level stakes profits whilst backing all the Nicholls runners would have burned a -£50.46 hole in you punting pocket!

Statistically speaking (and using the market as a guide) the Henderson runners are over-performing at the meeting.

But where do the Henderson winners come from, what are his strong areas and where should be look to avoid his runners?

Let’s start digging…


His runners fire at a higher rate in the Non-Handicap races than in the Handicap races…

14 of his 16 winners have come in the Non-Handicap races.

Profit wise there is little between them but when we look at strike-rates and overall winners there is a clear differentiation.

Lets look at the split….

Henderson Non-Handicap Aintree runners – 14/61 | 23% S/R | +£34.95 BFLSP – Win & Place 21/61 | 34% S/R

Henderson Handicap Aintree runners – 2/51 | 4% S/R | +£33.52 BFLSP – Win & Place 6/51 | 12% S/R

The healthy profit from his handicap runners can solely be attributed to the fact LIFESTYLE won the Conditional Jockeys race last year at the mammoth Betfair SP of 62.81! Take him out of the equation and you have an average set of Handicap figures. As I often point out when analysis this angle the reason for the difference between the 2 is probably down to the fact that Henderson is unlikely to be arriving at this meeting with many well-handicapped horses up his sleeve, we are in the latter stages of the season and most of his runners will have shown their hands by now and the handicapper will have acted accordingly (plus thrown on an extra couple of pounds because it is a Henderson horse!).

If we look at the Non-Handicap figures the 23% Strike-Rate is a very healthy rate to be operating at and again highlights the dominance of the Henderson string at the top levels.


The Henderson string have been showing up stronger over the shorter trips…

13 of his 16 recent Aintree winners have come over 2m4f or shorter.

There are not drastic differences between the 2 sets of runners (2m4f & less | 2m5f & further) but it is worth taking a look at the figures and keeping them in mind.

Lets look at the splits for his runners over longer and shorter trips…

Henderson runners at Aintree | 2m4f or less – 13/74 | 18% S/R | +£69.98 BFLSP – Win & Place 21/74 | 28%S/R

Henderson runners at Aintree | 2m5f or further – 3/38 | 8% S/R | -£1.52 BFLSP – Win & Place 6/38 | 16%S/R

In fairness his 2m5f+ runners are not exactly under-performing but the split, in terms of strike-rates, is fairly large and it has been his runners over the shorter trips that have been pulling in the most winners.


Henderson’s Novice runners are a group to be feared…

9 of his recent Aintree winners have come in Novice events.

He has had a very strong set of novices’ in recent seasons but he still has to get them here cherry-ripe and the figures tell us that’s exactly what he does…

Henderson Aintree novice runners – 9/26 | 35% S/R | +£8.30 BFLSP – Win & Place 12/26 | 46% S/R

A 35% Strike-Rate in Novice events at the meeting is not to be sniffed at, neither is a 46% Win & Place Strike-Rate.

Based on market expectations Henderson’s Novices’ are actually over-performing and that’s an interesting fact to consider given the strength of his Novices’ in recent seasons.


His runners coming off the back of a run at the Cheltenham Festival show up extremely well…

14 of his 16 recent Aintree Festival winners had their last start at the Cheltenham Festival.

Plenty of punters go into this meeting thinking that a run at Cheltenham will have left it mark on a horse but that really is not the case, especially when it comes to the Henderson squad…

Henderson runners | last start at Cheltenham Festival – 14/62 | 23% S/R | +£70.29 BFLSP – W & P 19/62 | 31% S/R

The fact that a mammoth 88% of his recent Aintree winners had their last run at the Cheltenham Festival is not something we should ignore, especially when as a group they are operating at a 23% S/R and are, based on market expectations, over-performing.

Nicky Henderson – Aintree Festival: The Money Shot!

Money-Shot time! It wasn’t too easy finding a really solid money-shot and I did tinker with a couple of options but I eventually settled on the following.

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

Nicky Henderson Aintree runners| Ran at the Cheltenham Festival LTO | 2m4f or less | Non-Handicap races

11/28 | 39% S/R | +£13.98 BFLSP – Win & Place 14/28 | 50% S/R

Last year alone that would have netted you 5 winners from 6 qualifiers, only reason it wasn’t 6 from 6 was because 2 were in the same race!

I’m sure Henderson will have winners outside of the money-shot angle but for a quick fix the above looks a tasty one.


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

Check out their website >>


NTF Aintree Race Analysis Service: JOIN TODAY!

It is now less than week until the tapes go up on the Aintree opener and with that in mind the doors to the NTF Aintree service are now open. Full details can be found at the following link (plenty free guides can also be downloaded on that page) –

>>>Join NTF for the Aintree Grand National Festival

On sign up you will gain access to my 13 page NTF Stat-Attack guide (as well as, obviously, being part of the team for the 3 day Aintree Festival and receiving the exclusive NTF race analysis guides).

Ben (NTF)


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