horse racing

The definitive method for pinpointing winners at the Perth Spring Festival…

The Perth Festival – 23rd, 24th & 25th of April

“Perth’s three-day festival meeting, one of the best fixtures in the British jumping calendar, starts at 2.10pm on Wednesday the 22nd with record prize-money of £196,000 on offer”

Those aren’t my words, they are lifted directly from the Perth Racecourse website. However, I would wholeheartedly agree with the “one of the best fixtures in the British Calendar” comment. For me it’s right up there with the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals (laugh if you will but it’s my opinion and I’m bloody well sticking to it!!). I love it. I love punting over the three days and I love 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, a couple of jockey trends and a handful of general trends to help you navigate the smooth waters (for Perth will never be choppy to me!) of the three day Perth Spring Festival.

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 2008 to 2013 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 has only been 1 horse that has won with an sp of bigger than 20-1.

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

1 winners from 309 qualifiers | >0.5% S/R | -£258.63 BFLSP – Win & Place 22/309 | 7% S/R

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 firepower of some of the bigger yards that tend to make the journey north for this 3 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 –

0/179 | 0% S/R | -£179.00 BFLSP – Win & Place 7/179 | 4% 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. 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…


The four trainers you want on your side…

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 –

15/60 | 25% S/R | +£32.04 BFLSP – Win & Place 28/60 | 47% S/R

  • 14/15 winners started in the top 4 of the betting (as well as 25 of the 28 win & place horses)
  • 13/15 winners were aged 7 or younger
  • 10/15 winners came in Non-Handicap races
  • 9/15 winners were (IRE) bred
  • 9/15 winners came on the Wednesday (at a 45% S/R and a +40.20 BFLSP)
  • NTD has recorded at least 1 winner at each of the past six Perth Festivals

NTD mini-angle

Twiston-Davies runners | Aged 7 or less | Top 4 in the market | Non-Handicap race

7/12 | 58% S/R | +£13.25 BFLSP – Win & Place 9/12 | 75% S/R


Gordon Elliott

Big Gordy at Perth; you can’t stop him you can only hope to contain him!…unless he only turns up with 1 runner like last year of course!! Despite that strange ‘no-show’ last season he does still hold extremely fetching figures for this festival –

14/50 | 28% S/R | +£18.28 BFLSP – Win & Place 27/50 | 54% S/R

  • 12/14 were (IRE) bred (backing all would have returned +£26.99 level stakes profit)
  • 10/14 winners came over hurdles
  • 9/14 started as SP fav

Gordon Elliot mini-angle

Elliott runners | (IRE) bred | Top 2 in the market

10/14 | 71% S/R | +£17.72 BFLSP – Win & Place 12/14 | 86% S/R


Venetia Williams

Venetia is fairly selective with her runners that make the trip up here (she sends on average 3.5 runners – you don’t want to be backing the 0.5 runner!!) but when they do embark on the lengthy journey from her Kings Caple base they are well worth noting –

6/21 | 29% S/R | +£21.75 BFLSP – Win & Place 10/21 | 48% S/R

  • All 4 runners that ran here after a break of 8 days or less WON! (recording figures of 4/4 | 100% S/R | +£31.78 BFLSP)
  • 5/6 winners came in Handicaps
  • 6/6 ran in a Handicap last time out
  • Her runners that had their last start at Cheltenham have an excellent record – 4/4 | 100% S/R | +£26.93 BFLSP

Venetia Williams mini-angle

V Williams runners | Handicap race | Ran in a handicap on their last start

5/12 | 42% S/R | +£28.96 BFLSP – Win & Place 6/12 | 50% S/R 


Victor Dartnall

Victor Dartnall’s yard are still not quite firing to the level the used to (they are operating around an 8% strike-rate this season, they used to operate around the 16% rate) but he is getting runners to the track and he has manage to capture more prize money than he did last season (if you remember his yard was besieged with health problems last season).

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 | +£1.82 BFLSP – Win & Place 8/18| 44% S/R

  • 5/5 winners came over Hurdles
  • 5/5 winners ran close to the pace
  • 4/5 winners came in fields of 8 or less
  • 4/5 winners came in novice events

Victor Dartnall mini-angle

Victor Dartnall Hurdlers | Novice Hurdles

4/4 | 100% S/R | +£13.20 BFLSP – Win & Place 4/4 | 100% S/R


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

Lucinda Russell

5/72 | 7% S/R | -£26.52 BFLSP – Win & Place 20/72 | 28% S/R

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 7% strike-rate we do need to be just a little careful.

Here are some areas to concentrate on…

  • 5/5 started in the top 5 in the betting
  • 5/5 were aged 7 or younger
  • 5/5 were (IRE) bred
  • 4/5 winners came in Hurdle races
  • 4/5 winners ran in a Novice race last time out
  • Interestingly 3 of her 5 winners Pulled-Up on their last start

…and a couple to possibly avoid…

  • She is 1/29 over fences (3% S/R | -£17.55 BFLSP)
  • She is 0/27 win runners that have had 5 or less races in the past 12 months
  • She is 0/30 with runners that were NON (IRE) bred


Jim Goldie

2/27 | 7% S/R | -£6.79 BFLSP – Win & Place 8/27 | 30% S/R

Big Jim is fairly well represented here and although his figures are far from disastrous they are a touch below what is expected. It could be he maybe just has one eye on getting his flat string fit and bouncing at this juncture.


If jockey angles are more your thing…

Then you really want to be concentrating on Jason Maguire…but he is injured. No problem, lets move on to the second on the list with regards to victories, Paddy Brennan. Ah, he’s injured as well. Hmmm…

Two top Perth jockeys unfortunately injured and out of action. Perth will miss their talents but lets wish them both a speedy recovery.

In their absence it may be worth concentrating on…

Sam Twiston-Davies

6/25 | 24% S/R | -£3.19 BFLSP – Win & Place 11/25 | 44% S/R

He obviously has the backing of his all-Perth-conquering dad Nigel to supply him with plenty ammo but he still has to convert, and so far he is making a decent fist of it. The level stakes profit figures aren’t great but a bit of digging into the stats can help on that score…

  • 6/6 started in the top 3 in the market
  • 5/6 winners came in Non-Handicaps
  • He is 0 from 7 on hold-up runners


Barry Geraghty 

4/9 | 44% S/R | +£3.92 BFLSP – Win & Place 5/9 | 56% S/R

Geraghty doesn’t make the trip up that often but when he does he generally makes it count! But then again he is Barry Geraghty and Barry Geraghty doesn’t f@ck about!


Aidan Coleman

5/13 | 38% S/R | +£30.46 BFLSP – Win & Place 7/13 | 54% S/R

Coleman is another who hasn’t made this festival a regular hunting ground in recent seasons but when here he makes the visit well worth his time.


…and here are a couple who have struggled at the meeting in recent seasons…

James Reveley

1/22 | 5% S/R | -£16.38 BFLSP – Win & Place 4/22 | 18% S/R

Reveley quite simply has been failing to convert and grab that top spot on the podium. The place side of things don’t really improve things much either.


Ryan Mania

0/33 | 0% S/R | -£33.00 BFLSP – Win & Place 7/33 | 21% S/R

He may have mastered the National fences but he is on quite a losing streak at the Perth Festival. Thirty three and counting…


Keep a look out for runners coming from Aintree & Cheltenham…

Runners that had their last run at either the Cheltenham or Aintree Festivals 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 Festival on their last start

12/46 | 26% S/R | +£14.66 BFLSP – Win & Place 20/46 | 43% S/R

Runners who ran at The Cheltenham Festival on their last start

10/35 | 29% S/R | +£29.08 BFLSP – Win & Place 15/35 | 43% S/R

If we combine those tracks as a power-pairing then we get…

22/88 | 27% S/R | +£44.19 BFLSP – Win & Place 35/88 | 43% S/R

That is a strong hint that we should be looking out for runners coming here from those two venues.


Those German runners are AGAIN well wor…

Nah! I’m only jesting this time!! I cannot fit my favourite nation into this stat attack post. No matter how I juggle the figures there really isn’t a strong angle to point out.

Unless you want to look at German bred hurdle runners over 2m5f or less that started in the top 2 in the betting. They returned form figures of…


…that incorporates all 3 winning (GER) breds from the 28 that have run.

I just couldn’t leave it, could I!?!?!


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 over the three days of the Perth Festival (I’m sure you will be!) and hopefully the above figures lead you to untold riches (or at least a few winners 🙂 ).

Before I leave the subject of Perth though…


How to solve a Problema like Tic…

Ah, me old mucker PROBLEMA TIC. He runs today in the 5:00. He has also done…well…bugger all since he landed the Perth Gold Cup in scintillating style last summer. That was a day and a half for myself and plenty NTF followers. I highlighted the race for him TWO MONTHS before, after he ran a 35L 4th at the Aintree Festival. We waited patiently as he ran under the wrong conditions, running pretty uninspiring in the process. He then turned up in my suggested target for him. We lumped on, he strolled home. It was a good day. Probably one of my best.

But can he bounce back to form today?

I reckon he is worth risking. A lot of his runs since that Perth Gold Cup win can, in my opinion, be ignored. In those runs he has been –  running on the wrong ground – on too high a mark – running against too many opponents – going the wrong way round – over the wrong trip – in the wrong grade – or a mix of all or some of those factors.

Today is much more his bag.

He is 1 from 1 at the track – 5 of his career wins have come on Good or Good to Firm (he is at least a 10lb better horse on Good ground) – his form at a bare 3 miles is 115 – his record in races worth 20k or less to winner is 416102105611111 compared to 5F8F40050P0 at higher levels – his record in fields of 11 or less is 611145112 – his record in chases on right-handed tracks is 21105 – he is 4lbs below his last winning mark and 9lbs below his highest winning mark.

In other words he has plenty in his favour today.

I’ve actually only backed him once since his Perth Gold Cup victory (he has run seven times) as he has really not had his conditions. Today he has. Today I back him again. He does have to bounce back to form quite dramatically but if he is ever going to do that it will be under these conditions. Win or Lose I’m happy to put my money down on my old pal today. Let’s just hope he is willing to play his part…


Cheltenham April Meeting Trends

Before I leave you today it’s a good time to do a bit of housekeeping on the Cheltenham April Meeting trends. I sometimes find it a tricky meeting to get stuck into but the stats I stuck up on the eve of the meeting did point to a couple of juicy winners…

Positive Trainers

Paul Nicholls – He sent plenty ammo to the track (11 runners) but only returned 1 winner and 3 further placed efforts. That winner was, however, enough to produce a +£5.10 level stakes return over the 2 days.

In all honesty the Nicholls string is a bit tricky to get right at this meeting, I didn’t find his winner and neither did my narrowing down stats.

Phillip Hobbs – Hobbs also sent plenty to the track; 10 runners producing 2 winners and a BFSLP of +£3.18.

Richard Johnson rode both his winners (from 7 rides) producing +£6.18 levels stakes profit.

Nicky Henderson – Henderson managed to continue his run of getting at least one winner at this two day meeting. He was a bit more selective with only seven runners, producing one winner and 2 placed efforts for a BFLSP of +£5.92.

Barry Geragthy predictably did his job with 1 winner and 2 placed efforts from his 3 rides, giving +£8.88 level stakes profit.

The winner again came at the mid-range trips (both runners at further than 21f failed to score).

He yet again struck with a mare and she was aged 6.


Negative Trainer

Alan King – Not too bad this year from King. He only sent five to the meeting but he did come away with a winner and two placed efforts. Again, however, he was unprofitable to follow with a BFSLP of -£1.58.



McCoy was highlighted as having a poor record at the meeting and he failed to score from his three rides.


German (GER) bred runners

As for the Germans, well they only had one runner (Gauvain) and he fell outside the 10-1 or under range so was of no real interest to us.


Hopefully the Perth Festival trends produce to a similar, nay better, level. Last year the trends highlighted on the Blog held up well, fingers crossed they supercharge us through the next 3 days as well…


Ben (NTF)

Figures sourced from the excellent Proform Racing database

Proform Racing | The Professionals Form Database


2 responses to “The definitive method for pinpointing winners at the Perth Spring Festival…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You currently have JavaScript disabled!

This site requires JavaScript to be enabled. Some functions of the site may not be usable or the site may not look correct until you enable JavaScript. You can enable JavaScript by following this tutorial. Once JavaScript is enabled, this message will be removed.