East Yorkshire expert Tony McCormick from www.irishbigracetrends.com highlights a trainer to follow in the first couple of weeks at Beverley Racecourse.
If you followed the Seven Steps To Winning The Grand National column on this website last week, you would have come up with a shortlist of nine on Saturday morning.
Three of those came to grief in the race, with the luckless Across The Bay being carried out by a loose horse (who turned out to be the enigmatic Tidal Bay).
Not only was the winner Pineau De Re to be found in those nine runners, but the gallant Balthazar King, who chased him home in second, ticked all the seven boxes on the Grand National trends.
All in all, the shortlist was responsible for four of the first seven home in the 40 runner field, a 25/1 winner and a 14/1 second in the world’s greatest race isn’t a bad start for the column – now to follow it up.
Beverley races opening meeting of the season takes place on Wednesday. It’s a difficult time for punters in the early part of the flat season trying to decipher which trainers have their charges ready for April and May.
In the last three seasons on the Westwood, Mark Johnston has had a number of his string primed and ready to win. Since 2011 Johnston has had 64 runners at Beverley in April and May with 18 successful, a strike rate of 28% and a level stake profit of £28.25, a pretty good return simply backing Johnston runners blind, but digging a little deeper into those figures, can we improve on them?
First up, if we lose his bigger priced runners – the market usually knows if a Johnston horse is worth taking on – concentrate on the Middleham trainers three and four-year-olds and focus on his runners at 1m2f to 1m4f.
With those figures now, although missing out on eight winners, we also offload 36 losers, leaving us with figures of 28 runners, 10 winners, a strike rate of 36% and a LSP of £36 to a £1 stake.
In the last three years, on Beverley’s opening meeting Mark Johnston has hit the target on each day, with winners at 5/1 and 13/2 in 2011, 4/1 in 2012 and a 26/1 double last year, that’s five winners from eight runners, evidence enough that the stable hits the ground running at the start of the season on the Westwood.
Another angle, though not imperative, is to look for runners fit from the All Weather, particularly having their last run at Wolverhampton or Southwell.
Top trend: Mark Johnston runners at Beverley in April and May, running between 1m2f and 1m4f, starting price up to 12/1, runners aged between three and four years old.