horse racing

The best way to pinpoint winners at Perth’s spring festival…

All hail the duffle-coat at Perth!

You can keep your Cheltenham Festival, your Aintree Grand National Festival and your Punchestown Festival! The Perth Spring Festival is where its at!

For me it’s right up there with the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals (laugh if you will but that’s my opinion and I’m bloody well sticking to it!!). I love it. I love punting over the three days and I love sitting back watching it. It used to be a regular fixture for me to attend. It probably will be again in the future.

It is also a great Festival to get stuck into on the trends front and that is what I want to concentrate on in today’s post.

Today I want to look at a bunch of trainers trends, on the positive and negative side, as well as a handful of general trends to help you (and me) navigate the smooth waters (for Perth will never be choppy to me!) of the three day Perth Spring Festival.

A Perth Festival that this year is graced by none other than the title chasing Willie Mullins, which as far as I can see is a first. He isn’t coming mob-handed to the meeting so ‘hopefully’ he doesn’t skew the stats too much, he’s been doing that enough this season!!

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

The following figures have been sourced from the excellent ProForm database and look at the 2011 to 2015 Perth Festivals (101 races)


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

At the past 5 Perth Festivals there have only been two horses that has won with an sp of bigger than 20-1.

Take a look at the overall figures of horses with an sp greater than 20-1…

2 winners from 198 qualifiers | 1% S/R | -£109.53 BFLSP – Win & Place 13/198 | 6.5% S/R

32% below expectation

The facts are the big outsiders very rarely win at this meeting. The majority of the bigger priced horses come from the smaller yards and they really struggle to match the fire-power of some of the bigger yards that tend to make the journey north (or across the Irish Sea) for this three day extravaganza.

There are plenty of decent pots to plunder here and the big boys come with their guns fully loaded.

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

0/106 | 0% S/R | -£106.00 BFLSP – Win & Place 3/106 | 3% S/R

Zero winners priced at an SP of above 33/1! These horses can (and will, occasionally) run into the places (although the strike-rate is barely improved upon in that respect) 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 to 10 years but at the moment the figures suggest a vast majority of the outsiders can be overlooked when searching for Perth Festival winners.

It may also be a good way to attack the placepot? With very few of these ‘no-hopers’ landing in the places it could significantly cut your options for runners to include in your placepot permutations…

The Perth Festival used to be a regular haunt of mine in my younger days and one of the reasons I often left with my pockets considerably lighter than when I went in was because I was always looking for the big pay-day, that one big priced ‘no-hoper’ that would roll home at 40-1. The one that would make me a legend down the pub as I’m getting the rounds in with the winnings. As The Faces once sung… “I wish that I knew what I know now when I was younger”…probably would have saved me a few (numerous!) wasted sheckles. Still, it’s all part of the learning curve of this glorious betting game…

At the other end of the market…

Those runners that start at evens or shorter can, generally, be relied upon to collect the odds…

9/13 | 69% S/R | +£1.94 BFLSP

20% above expectation

It won’t make you rich but it can be a dangerous game to try and play against them.


The four trainers you want on your side at Perth this week…


Nigel Twiston-Davies

This used to be one of the favourite hunting grounds for ‘The Twister team, in fact he used to be uber-dominant… then big Gordy Elliott decided to target his runners at the track! That certainly doesn’t mean Twiston-Davies has stepped aside and let the Irishman have an easy passage to the top of the Perth-trainer-tree, far from it in fact as he is still (just!) the winning-most trainer at recent Perth Festivals…

11/46 | 24% S/R | +£27.39 BFLSP – Win & Place 22/46 | 48% S/R

39% above expectation

  • 11/11 wore no headgear (TT excluded)
  • 10/11 were aged 8 or younger
  • 7/11 came over Hurdles
  • 7/11 came on the Friday
  • He’s saddled at least one winner at the last 5 Perth Festivals

NTD Non-Handicap runners

His Non-Handicap runners are well worth a keeping a look out for…

6/11 | 56% S/R | +£14.48 BFLSP


Gordon Elliott

Big Gordy at Perth; you can’t stop him you can only hope to contain him! Saying that he only had ONE runner in 2013 and NO RUNNERS in 2014. He did, however, fire in two winners from six runners in 2015. Does he potentially have a bigger eye on Punchestown at this point of the season?

Despite those strange ‘no-shows/almost no-shows’ years he does still hold extremely fetching figures for this festival…

10/31 | 32% S/R | +£7.83 BFLSP – Win & Place 13/31 | 42% S/R

29% above expectation

  • 9/10 winners were in races worth less than 5k to the winner
  • 9/10 winners came over hurdles
  • 7/10 winners finished in the top 4 last time out
  • 7/10 winners were (IRE) bred
  • 5/10 winners started as Fav last time out

Elliot at Perth Festival on GOOD ground…

It’s worth pointing out his figures at the meeting when the ground is riding good…

8/18 | 44% S/R | +£17.42 BFLSP – Win & Place 10/18 | 56% S/R

85% above expectation

When the Perth Festival gives out Good underfoot conditions we should take even more notice of those Elliott raiders.

Gordon Elliot mini-angle

Elliott runners | Hurdles | Good ground | Race worth less than 5k

8/12 | 67% S/R | +£23.42 BFLSP – Win & Place 10/12 | 83% S/R


Donald McCain

It’s fair to say the McCain fortunes have been a bit up and down the past couple of seasons but he still likes to make the trip up to Perth and he does fire at a steady enough rate to make him a trainer of interest over the three days…

7/35 | 20% S/R | +£1.89 BFLSP – Win & Place 16/35 | 46% S/R

35% above expectation

  • All 7 winners started in the top 4 in the betting
  • 6/7 came over 20f trips or shorter
  • 6/7 came in fields of 7 or less (1/19 in fields of 8+)


.Victor Dartnall

Victor Dartnall’s yard don’t quite fire to the level they used to and they’ve been struggling a little bit again this season. However, he has some serious figures when making the trip north for the Perth Festival and his runners over these three days are always worth a second look.

Dartnall is actually 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…

5/19 | 26% S/R | +£0.92 BFLSP – Win & Place 12/19| 63% S/R

27% above expectation

  • 5/5 winners came in fields of 8 or less
  • 4/5 came in Novice events (form in novice races is 12P11122)
  • 4/5 started as fav
  • 4/5 WON last time out


Interestingly if you look at Dartnall’s form at the meeting since 2007 you get a serious set of figures…

10/33 | 30% S/R | +£15.47 – Win & Place 20/33 | 61% S/R

A 30% Win S/R and a 61% Win & Place S/R are not to be sniffed at and Dartnall really isn’t coming here just for the fish and chips!


Others worth a mention…

Philip Hobbs

3/10 | 30% S/R | -£1.60 BFLSP – Win & Place 6/10 | 60% S/R

Hobbs doesn’t waste the limited bullets he fires at this meeting and although you would have made a slight loss backing all his runners it is worth keeping a look out for any runners he sends on the long trip up north.

Tom George

5/33 | 15% S/R | +£5.41 BFLSP – Win & Place 14/33 | 42% S/R

The win strike-rate has just dipped in the last couple of seasons but the win & place strike-rate has held up well and the George runners are worth keeping on the radar at the Perth Festival.


…and four trainers we want to be just a little bit cautious of at this Perth meeting…


Lucinda Russell

5/76 | 6.5% S/R | -£14.64 BFLSP – Win & Place 17/76 | 22% S/R

28% below expectation

Now I know what you are thinking, she has had five winners, that’s not to be sniffed at. I agree. However, she is also the trainer that has sent the most runners to this meeting in the past five seasons and the strike-rates are not quite what they should be. It is her local track so it’s no surprise that she sends a fair old number of runners to the meeting but with a 6.5% strike-rate we do need to be just a little careful.

Here are some areas to concentrate on…

  • 5/5 winners came over hurdles
  • 5/5 ran over hurdles lst time out
  • 4/5 were aged 6 or younger

…and a couple of areas to possibly avoid…

  • She is 0/28 over fences (2 places)
  • She is 0/24 when the ground is riding SOFT (2 places)
  • She is 0/19 with horses who have had 0 runs in the last 3 months
  • She is 1/40 with her runners aged 7+


Others with poor records are…

Lucy Normile

0/25 | 0% S/R | -£25.00 BFLSP – Win & Place 1/24 | 4% S/R

Stuart Crawford

1/19 | 5% S/R | -£16.21 BFLSP – Win & Place 4/19 | 21% S/R

Rose Dobbin

0/16 | 0% S/R | -£16.00 BFLSP – Win & Place 3/16 | 19% S/R


All four have plenty of runners at the track in the spring but the returns are poor to say the least and I’d want plenty else in my favour before considering backing one of their runners.


Keep a look out for runners coming from the Aintree Grand National meeting…


Runners that had their last run at the Aintree Grand National Festival produce strong figures at the Perth version of the greatest show on earth (last part of that sentence may or may not be a slight exaggeration!!)…

Runners who ran at the Aintree Grand National Festival on their last start

7/22 | 32% S/R | +£12.18 BFLSP – Win & Place 10/22 | 45% S/R

73% above expectation

If you concentrate on those that start 1st or 2nd in the betting you get…

6/9 | 67% S/R | +£14.10 BFLSP


Best of luck if you are getting involved on the punting front at Perth over the next three days, hopefully the trends point towards plenty profits.

Ben (NTF)



9 responses to “The best way to pinpoint winners at Perth’s spring festival…”

  1. break- down of stats,worth noting.will use them,and see what happens,fingers crossed.thank you for your help on what to look for and what to avoid.

  2. Using your info my day 1 picks. Any mistakes?

    2.10 wicked willey @ 4/1
    2.40 song saa @ 7/2
    3.15 fagan @ 5/4
    3.50 no duffer @ 5/2
    4.25 frontier vic @3/1
    5.00 florida coming @ 5/1
    5.30 banyu @ 9/4

    • Hi Daniel

      On a strict reading of the trends I couldn’t knock them.

      A couple of the George runners maybe questions marks on their own form and Fagan obviously has to try and fend off the Mullins duo but as I say a strict reading of the trends would point towards your picks, if of course you are playing in all races (I won’t be).

      Cheers and best of luck – Ben (NTF)

  3. Thanks for the info. To 1 point win stakes 5pts up over 3 days but i covered a couple of other bets each way. Well done ben. Any help for the weekend

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