Every trainer has a NATIONAL AVERAGE – but what is it?

Posted by Paul Moon in Blog | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Every trainer has a NATIONAL AVERAGE but what is it, and what relevance has it to a wager?


The Racing Horse will attempt to answer those two questions. We use the strike rate recorded by the trainer over the last five years, this number is deemed to be an honest indicator against which current form can be measured - this is called the NATIONAL AVERAGE. This figure is factual and helps to remove random, bias and opinion from the wagering process.

This mathematical BASE figure is TOTALLY ignored by punditry despite its core VALUE!

Secondly, the national average is (always) certain to be relevant, contextual and pertinent because of the cold mathematics contained within them.  As a general rule trainers with bigger numbers (over time) must be better/more skilful than those with small numbers.

We look at the national averages of 20 trainers currently competing in the UK and ask the reader to absorb then consider the relevance of them:

  • Charlie Appleby 28%
  • John Gosden 24%
  • William Haggas 22%
  • Saeed bin Suroor 21%
  • Michael Stoute 20%
  • Hugo Palmer 17%
  • Mark Johnston 16%
  • Andrew Balding 15%
  • Clive Cox 14%
  • Richard Hannon 12% 
  • Aidan O'Brien (UK) 11%
  • Richard Fahey 11%
  • Simon Dow 10%
  • Phil McEntee 9%
  • Gay Kelleway 8%
  • Scott Dixon 7%
  • Ali Stronge 6%
  • Sarah Hollinshead 5%
  • J S Moore 4%
  • Nikki Evans 1%


  • Do we believe Charlie Appleby is a better trainer than John Gosden? No.
  • Do we think Aidan O'Brien is only 1% inferior to Richard Hannon? NO!
  • Would we back a Simon Dow juvenile to beat a William Haggas horse on debut? No.
  • Would we be back an Evans, Moore, Hollinshead, Stronge, Dixon or Kelleway horse in any race? No, they simply do not have the commensurate figures conducive to profit (at least from a backing point of view)!
Trainer form is a decisive and indicative test and removes a concatenation of random factors, opinion and bias. In a general sense it suggests/confirms/proves the well-being of the stable’s horses whilst delivering an up to the minute litmus test on a horse's readiness to run positively. Conversely, and assuming one does not have specific inside information (which may contain an edge), backing the horses of trainers on the cold list must be unwise.

There are any amount of random factors that can affect a result and it takes small margins to win most races. These issues are more likely to be compounded if the horse is not ready or prepared for the particular task! Furthermore, if one accepts that handicap racing forms more than half of all races on the cards of UK race meetings a few pounds of improvement or decay can mean the difference between winning and finishing down the field. These margins are contained and embedded within the national averages.

Each horse has a potential ability level, whether they achieve that is another matter. The better the horse is trained and looked after the more it is likely to achieve. Finding the bandwidth to which each horse can aspire needs the trainer to be totally in tune with his charge and, whilst some achieve, most fail in this regard. Based on this incongruity we only trust recent form and trainer's of some quality. These levels are contained within the national averages.

In conclusion, we believe the national averages are a form of seeds or rankings and definitely matter when processing/filtering a race. Once we have identified a race of interest we seek to confirm the form of the trainer. We do this by simply measuring his current or course form against the national average. Remember, this is not a fixed position, the term national average is always used in context.

For example, John Gosden has a national average of 24% and Richard Hannon has one of 12%. Had Gosden shown a current strike rate of 12% over the last month or so, that would be a cause for concern, if Hannon had shown the same strike rate there would be no cause for concern, because he is replicating his natural average.

We know there are many professional bettors who do not consider trainer form as the cornerstone of betting as we do and we accept the fact. The Racing Horse know of a number of accomplished bettors who enjoy betting in both high and low grade handicaps, where literal trainer form does not have the same supremacy. These are areas where argument weighting and prices are more important, but our betting and emotional need is based on higher strike rates and smaller losing runs.


Our information and betting advice is for educational purposes only. Please exercise caution when acting upon our advice and remember that gambling carries risk. No liability is taken by the site or product owner following any of the information given or sold to you. Betting always involves a level of risk and you should never bet more than you can afford to lose.

Proven mathematical laws are the governing force of horse racing betting. Consequently every bet we place is conceived then predicated from statistical analysis protected by a math-based edge with perceived value attached. Our formula is simple because we are yet to be convinced that a complication of a system is proportional to profit. So what do we mean by a math-based edge? It means finding something with a solid mathematical core, something historically profitable and something that is unlikely to change or suffer fatigue going forward. Then, if we can filter negative influences from the original proposal and provide a sound rationale for doing so, we can claim that betting edge.

3 Responses to Every trainer has a NATIONAL AVERAGE – but what is it?

  1. simon boardman says:

    I like the concept of this Paul , could you use it for Jockeys and maybe Sires ? on my database i have Hugo Palmer slipping down the table to around 14 % . Are we excluding any race data such as Race Types etc ?

    • Paul Moon says:


      Regarding the Pacafi (or our bigger bets), trainer form and quality are always the first thing we look for – everything else follows this. Next we want our horse to be up to the class and have race conditions to suit, then we make a decision on the jockey. As you know even in the short time you have been with us, we rarely use lesser jockeys either, there are so many races to chose from there is no need to risk.

      On our composites we do alert members to the jockey national average, their course form and their combination figure with the trainer.

      One thing we passionately believe in is the fact many over-complicate things and include factors not really relevant to the day of the race and we do not want to go down that road. We believe the 10 categories on our composite is perfect and it produces a type of rating.

      As regards sires, we use the information from the Racing Post. We used to include our thoughts about this aspect, but found hardly any of our members read it. In fact most of the time nobody read it so have stopped producing our views. Of course, this all takes a lot of time and we found we gave members too much information. The dashboard on our site shows us what members read and are interested in etc.

      We still have Hugo Palmer at 17% over the past 5 years. For 2022 he is 11-58 for 19%. By the way, figures we use and rely on are usually over the past 5 years, I appreciate they can show a difference between ALL-TIME & 5 YEARS etc.

      Good point about what is included in the figures, it includes every race type and multiple entries. For example, Aidan O’Brien is only 11% in the UK but as you know he can 4, 5 or 6 runners in a race and this dilutes his figures!

      Great to get your comments, important that I keep things clear.

      Oh, just one more thing regarding figures. Racing Post, Timeform and Attheraces will give different figures on most things, I tend to lean on the Racing Post and especially ratings. Not sure if you have read any of the Southwell Tapeta stuff, but those 3 have completely the wrong figures for the new course, so it appears nothing is absolute. When they start racing there again I will give you an update about this…



  2. simon boardman says:

    Thanks for your comments Paul , very insightful .

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