Horse trainers have a major influence on the out come of any race, after all, it's the horse trainers job to bring its charge up to peak fitness if it is to win any race.
In the racing press a Trainer is said to be “inform” or the “Stable is on fire” with winners, conversely a Trainer is said to be “out of form” with a low percentage of winners to runners ratio.
But what is form in regard to a Stable and its runners?
When I first became interested in horse racing I heard the terms mentioned above bounded around all the time (as it still is today) and I excepted the perceived wisdom that to measure a trainers form one had to look to its winners to runners ratio, any trainer with a healthy winning percentage must be in form whilst those Trainers with a low strike rate must be out of form. There is a good deal of truth in the above statement but there is also a massive grey area that a simple approach such as a winning percentage can often hide.
As an example lets take the recent form of 2 Stables, Stable A and Stable B.
Stable A has had 20 runners and 6 winners, 30% strike rate. Stable B also had 20 runners but only 2 winners, 10% strike rate.
On face value Stable A looks to be in much better form, but is it a true representation of the actual form?
Some Questions to ask.... Did one trainer have better horses from the yard running recently whilst the other had runners at the poorer end of his Stable? Were the horses themselves in good recent form whilst the majority of the other Trainers horses were coming back from a brake off the track?
Did the betting market indicate that one trainer had winners/runners that had good chances on form to win their races whilst the other Trainer had runners with little chance on form?
Often a quick look at the recent winners from a Stable will reveal that the winners had decent chances on form anyway and the losers had less of a chance on form. The Starting Price (SP) is a good indicator of form, the majority of winners come from the first 3 in the betting market.
A little time spent on this angle may well reveal a Trainer that at first sight appears out of form but closer scrutiny reveals otherwise.