I’ve been excited about introducing Gold’s latest feature for a very long time. It was quite an ambitious remit, and has taken a while to get most of the plates spinning… but we’re just about there now. So, with some excitement, I’d like to unveil the first stage of the Trainer Snippets project.
What is/are Trainer Snippets?
I first introduced the concept of Trainer Snippets in this post back in April. At that time, we were working on the sire equivalent – Sire Snippets (natch!) – which was a significantly smaller project.
But now we’re ready to share the trainer version. Trainer Snippets comprises contextual stats for a given horse in a given race, based on its trainer’s performance in the past two years. The data is published in a ‘top down’ report and in ‘bottom up’ trainer form snippets in the racecard.
For example, let’s say The Geegeez Geegee is running in a handicap chase over 2m2f. The form of his trainer, Anthony Honeyball, appears both in the card and in a report.
As of now, as well as the historical 14 day, 30 day, course 1 year and course 5 year trainer form figures, you’ll also see the trainer’s record under similar race conditions. So, in this example, Anthony Honeyball’s record in chase races (the report can also be filtered by handicap chases), and his record with horses running over ‘speed’ trips in the National Hunt sphere.
Theory is all well and good, but it doesn’t really bring this stuff to life, does it? So how about some practical examples? Let’s start with the top down report approach…
Here’s the Trainer Snippets report for today, Tuesday 16th August, as it looks on the default view. [N.B. This content is still in BETA – i.e. in final stages of confidence testing – so caution advised for a few more days]
As mentioned, I’ve got the ‘default’ ALL button selected in the image above. This brings back a composite of the content of all of the snippet types, allowing the user – i.e. you – to filter the entire dataset as you’d like, and see the results in a single view. Neat-o, eh?
And the filters for this are awesome. Let’s take that image above – displaying the first few of hundreds of lines of trainer snippets – and apply a few common sense filters. I’ll say I want at least 10 runs to give a modicum of confidence in the sample size, a win strike rate of 20% to truncate losing sequences, an each way PL or +5 or better, and an A/E (see this explanation of A/E and IV if you’re new to those) of 1 or better.
I’ve also selected the ‘Handicap’ Race Type filter. For 1st and 2nd Start snippets, this shows the trainer’s record with horses making their first / second start in handicaps, as opposed to in the UK/Ireland overall.
What we see now is a tailored subset made up only of those snippets that meet my criteria. And there are considerably less of them with which to work. Sweet.
N.B. There is a full breakdown of the various snippets and sub-types on the Trainer Snippets report page, here.
“Top Down”: How to use the Trainer Snippets Report
So you’ve chosen your filters, produced your shortlist and… now what? Well, how you use this data is, ultimately, up to you. Some will set negative parameters to find lay opportunities, others will request high place strike rates for placepots or exacta/trifecta wagering, and still another group will back the qualifiers en bloc.
Personally, I use the Trainer Snippets output – and indeed a number of the other reports’ output – for placepot and shortlisting purposes. For placepot purposes, I’m looking for some interesting and esoteric (i.e. not common knowledge to the betting public) snippets to highlight lively outsiders.
For straight win or each way betting purposes, I never use report output in isolation. Rather, I’ll take the highlighted runners and look for at least one more supporting component to justify a bet. The strength of the bet will be based on the number of supporting elements: trainer form, horse ‘back class’ under similar circumstances, draw, pace/run style and, of course, the available odds.
Here’s the example highlighted above from today’s report, in the inline format…
We can see that Richard Hughes in his short time as a trainer has shown he knows the time of day when placing horses in handicap company for the first time. But that is only one tick for an attractively priced horse (Fast Play is showing as 11/1).
When a horse is running in a handicap for the first time, I look for something materially different as a positive indicator. In this case, Fast Play is stepping up from seven furlongs to almost ten furlongs. In other words, she’s up more than 40% in distance.
Looking at her breeding – below – we can see that progeny of Fast Company fare better than their overall average at this sort of range (compare ‘all’ stats against ‘flat-middle’ stats).
It could be argued that she showed nothing over ten furlongs on her second start, but that was her first for a year, and her price of 80/1 says everything about expectation that day.
It is perfectly possible that Fast Play is not very good at all. But this is weak contest and, if she’s to win a race, it might very well be this one – for a trainer whose record with such types speaks for itself.
And that, in a nutshell, is the Trainer Snippets report. The report can be found from the dropdown ‘Report Selector’ on the Cards page, and also from the Reports menu dropdown, and the Reports page (also accessible from the main menu).
Bottom Up: Using Trainer Snippets in the Race Card
Within the card itself, Trainer Snippets are ‘just’ another item to consider, albeit an often very interesting one. Along with whichever other elements of the card layouts you interact with, it is worth getting into the habit of clicking the trainer icon in the card menu bar, see below:
Clearly, in terms of the form study process, we need to be considering a broader range of elements than ‘merely’ trainer form. But sometimes a strong pointer here, allied to the right price, affords leniency and forgiveness when other factors appear not to support the wagering case.
Here’s a (rather less sexy) example from today’s racing where the snippets are compelling:
Odds of 6/5 in a maiden wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea – it’s not really mine – but there is plenty to like in terms of the trainer’s record. That said, while he has won with two of his nine second time starters in the past two years, seven of them have hit the frame. Placepot banker anyone?
Obviously, as with any other snippet, we’d be looking for compelling evidence elsewhere in support of playing – or not – this runner, but I hope this short post has piqued your interest as to what is possible with Trainer Snippets.
The Bottom Line
I’m really excited to bring this information to your fingertips/eyeballs. In fact, in a year when we’ve already upgraded Gold with in-depth draw and pace info, the extended Full Form Filter v2.0, and Sire Snippets, I think this is a strong podium contender for ‘best new feature of 2016’.
But who cares about what I think? What do you think? Have a play with this and let me know how you get on – do leave a comment below and share your thoughts / experiences.
Hope you like it!
p.s. not yet a subscriber? If you’ve never tried Gold before, you can get your first month for just £1. Click here to get started.
p.p.s. free subscribers can access a number of races each day – highlighted in yellow on your Cards menu page – where this feature is available. You’re welcome 😉