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Trainer Profile, Sir Michael Stoute

By Tim Boulter

With the flat season now imminent in these strange times, I thought it worth a look at some trainer profiles in regard to their seasonal reappearing runners. Regarded as one of the best of all time, Sir Michael Stoute is a stalwart of British racing and there is not a jewel that he does not have in his crown. But what can we learn about the great man? Well diving through some his runners we can get insight into some interesting statistics that give us an idea of the habits of his training style.

It is the start of the season, many horses are returning from a long lay off and we are second guessing whether they are fit, but statistics can help paint a picture. Having a trawl through my database, assessing Sir Michael’s runners on 100+ day absences brings up some interesting data. What we will see is a marked difference between his three-year-old seasonal debutants and his four-year-old seasonal debutants. Here is how his three-year old’s shape up.

Bets       Wins     Win%    P/L(SP) Places   Place%

775         156         20.13     -97.95    370         47.74

Now this is important to stress, that these runners perform pretty much to Sir Michael Stoute’s general strike rate, so they are not under performing, just running to expectation. When we set the same parameters for his four-year-old runners we see a significant difference.

Bets       Wins     Win%    P/L(SP) Places   Place%

273         88           32.23     99.36     141         51.65

Whilst it is off a smaller sample set than the three-year-old’s, it is a marked difference between the two age groups of horses, and it seems a trait very much that Sir Michael Stoute works on and one that does not show signs of stopping, with last year returning a good level stakes profit of near +15pts. Trainers are very much creatures of habit it is said, and given his two year old statistics also (starting very slow with debutants), there is seemingly a clear pattern to his method in so much as his four-year-old horses specifically are ready to win first out.

Let’s look a little further into his training patterns and look at his two-year-old runners. Not famed as a two-year-old trainer we probably should not expect too much of him, and what we will find backs that up. Here is a look at Sir Michael Stoute’s two-year-old debutants.

Bets       Wins     Win%    P/L(SP) Places   Place%

882         96           10.88     -209.42 268         30.39

These statistics back up the perception that Sir Michael Stoute’s two-year-old horses are not generally as ready to win on debut as they could be. But as we investigate some further parameters to gain more understanding of his young performers, there is an exponential rise in performance for having had one run.

Bets       Wins     Win%    P/L(SP) Places   Place%

486         120         24.69     -116.48 256         52.67

Now we see a sharp rise in strike rate and strength of performance when turning out after a debut run. Unfortunately, it comes in at a heavy loss, so no real edge gained there. But is gives us an insight into the trainers’ methods and what to expect from his horses of all age groups.

The ability to apply statistics can give us a big insight into a trainer’s habit and performance and is one tool we can apply to gain a deeper understanding of the great puzzle that is horse racing. We have had an observation into the workings of Sir Michael Stoute, and we have learned an important angle in his four-year-old runners, as well as dig into some other aspects of his training style to help us better understand him as a trainer. Look out for those Stoute four-year-old seasonal debutants.

Next for readers we will continue this theme looking into seasonal debut performances across a broader range. Identifying those to keep on side, and those that are best to avoid as the season starts.

Statistics courtesy of horseracebase.com

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