horse racing

Perth Festival Pointers: 4 trainers you NEED on your side…

Perth’s April Festival is unashamedly one of my favourite festivals of the entire year. If you have never been then make sure you make a point of going at some stage in the near future.

If I’m 100% honest Perth racecourse was not always a happy punting ground for me. Probably because it falls in the gap between the Scottish National meeting and the Bet365 Gold Cup meeting at Sandown and also signifies that the National Hunt game is starting to wind down for the season. That used to mean for me 2 or 3 days of letting my hair down, having a few (plenty!) drinks with mates and throwing some pointless bets at a couple of long-shots or tasty outsiders. Thankfully I can now say I’m just a tad more disciplined than my student days (just a little!!) and my punting eye is a hell of a lot sharper for these 3 days and not blunted by the excesses of copious amounts of alcohol!

Here are some ‘Perth Festival pointers’ that will hopefully also give you guys a fighting chance of turning a profit over the 3 days –

The following figures have been sourced from the excellent ProForm database and look at the 2006 to 2011 Perth Festivals (119 races)

The Perth festival is not a place to be relying upon fancy priced outsiders…

At the past 6 Perth Festivals there have only been 3 horses that have won with an sp of 20-1 or bigger. Take a look at the over figures of horses with an sp of 20-1 or larger –

3 winners from 472 qualifiers | 0.5% S/R | -£353.31 BFLSP

The facts are the big outsiders very rarely win at this meeting. I would assume the majority of the bigger priced horses come from the smaller yards and they really struggle to match the firepower of some of the bigger yards that tend to make the journey north for this 3 day extravaganza.

The figures look even worse when we look at the really big outsiders; those horses priced at larger than 33/1 –

0/233 | 0% S/R | -£233.00 BFLSP

Zero winners priced at an SP of above 33/1! These horses can (and will) run into the places but if you are relying on one of them stonking home in-front to dig you out of a hole then it may be wise to think again!  I’m sure there will be 1 or 2 that do manage to stroll into the winners enclosure from these lofty prices at some stage in the next…eh…5 years but at the moment the figures suggest a vast majority of the outsiders can be overlooked when searching for Perth Festival winners.

The 4 trainers you want on your side…

Gordon Elliott

An obvious one to start with maybe but his record is so strong at this meeting that it really is worth pointing out his figures –

13/41 | 32% S/R | +£25.12 BFLSP – Win & Place 25/41 | 61% S/R

  • 10/13 winners came over hurdles – Overall hurdle record of 10/26 | 38% S/R | +£29.43 BFLSP – Win & Place 18/26 | 69% S/R
  • 10/13 winners started in the top 2 in the market
  • 11/13 winners were Irish bred (IRE) runners
  • 7/13 winners were ridden by Jason Maguire

Gordon Elliot mini-angle

Elliott runners ridden by Maguire | Hurdle races only

6/9 | 67% S/R | +£33.78 BFLSP – Win & Place 8/9 | 89% S/R


Nigel Twiston-Davies

This used to be one of the favourite hunting grounds for ‘The Twister’ until Elliott decided to target his runners at the track. That certainly doesn’t mean Twiston-Davies has stepped aside though and he still fires in some solid figures –

11/59 | 19% S/R | +£3.81 BFLSP – Win & Place 24/59 | 41% S/R

  • 11/11 winners started in the top 4 of the betting (as well as 23 of the 24 win & place horses)
  • 8/11 winners were aged 6 or less
  • 7/11 winners came in NON-handicap races

NTD mini-angle

Twiston-Davies runners | Aged 6 or less | Top 4 in the market

8/26 | 31% S/R | +£22.23 BFLSP – Win & Place 16/26 | 62% S/R


Venetia Williams

Venetia is fairly selective with her runners that make the trip up here but when they do embark on the lengthy journey they are well worth noting –

6/24 | 25% S/R | +£16.43 BFLSP – Win & Place 11/24 | 46% S/R

  • 6/6 winners were ridden close to the pace (CP)
  • 5/6 winners came over hurdles
  • 6/6 winners ran in a handicap race on their last start
  • 5/6 winners recorded a top 4 finish last time out
  • 4/6 winners were running within 14 days of their last start
  • Aidan Coleman has an excellent record for Williams at the festival – 4/8 | 50% S/R | +£19.54 BFLSP | W&P 6/8 | 75% S/R
  • Runners that ran at Cheltenham on their last start are 3 from 3

Venetia Williams mini-angle

V Williams runners | Hurdle races | Ran in a handicap on their last start and finished in the top 4

5/7 | 71% S/R | +£23.40 BFLSP – Win & Place 5/7 | 71% S/R 


Victor Dartnall

Dartnall is pretty selective with his runners at this meeting but when he goes to the bother of embarking on the mammoth trip (500 miles+ one-way!) it is safe to say we should take note –

5/18 | 28% S/R | +£10.54 BFLSP – Win & Place 9/18 | 50% S/R

  • 5/5 winners had been off the track for 29 days or more
  • 5/5 winners came over 2m4f or further
  • 5/5 winners came over hurdles

Victor Dartnall mini-angle

Victor Dartnall hurdlers | 2m4f or further | Off the track for 29 days or more

5/8 | 63% S/R | +£20.54 BFLSP – Win & Place 5/8 | 63% S/R


Perhaps a surprising omission from the 4 is a certain Donald McCain. Although his overall Perth record stacks up well (5/22 | 23% S/R | +£11.93 BFLSP) he hasn’t actually had any runners at the 3 day April Festival before. He saddles his first 2 today and it goes without saying it will be interesting to see how his string perform at the meeting after a fairly long season for the Cheshire based trainer.

As always I would never suggest taking these types of stats as gospel but they are a good pointer as to which yards are likely to be targeting the meeting and which yards maybe don’t have the correct ammo for Perth in the springtime.

Best of luck if you are having a punt at the Perth Festival and if you are heading there I may well see you on Friday 🙂

Ben (NTF)

6 responses to “Perth Festival Pointers: 4 trainers you NEED on your side…”

  1. Thanks, Ben, a really useful post. Could have done with this at the last Perth meeting I went to, on the way to Aberdeen. Lovely venue and met many good folk.

    • Hi Peter

      Yes great venue, love the place personally. Hopefully the stats helped you today.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  2. As punters we all get carried away with our own little ways of betting,then when we actually take the time to read stats it sort of clears our heads abit,in other words for me makes picking horses a bit more possitive,cheers ben interesting reading today mate

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