BDH Weatherwatch: Which trainers strings shine in the mud?

Muddy Lovely!

June is on the horizon, the sun is shining, we are all out sunning ourselves in the garden and firing up the barbecue...

Eh, no not quite! It's raining and raining hard. Hell Beverley had to draw stumps on their Hilary Needler card last night due to water-logging!

The non-runners are already flowing like a fine wine today (29th May) but then again that is in direct response to the rain flowing like a bottle of Buckfast down a *ned's throat on a Glasgow Saturday night! It's evil, we don't want it!

(*I believe the England-shire version of a ned is a chav)

Anyway there is no point in mumping and moaning about the weather. It will be what it will be. We can only prepare, research and be in a position to act should the rain continue throughout June.

Today I'm going in search of trainers that can keep their strings firing despite the adverse weather and non-standard June going descriptions.

What I'm concentrating on are trainers that in the past five seasons have managed to keep producing the goods in June despite the ground riding Soft or Heavy. It hasn't happened too many times (compared to the normal expected ground of Good or better) but there is enough data to make an informed decision.

I'm only concentrating on June as, apart from the obvious in that next month is June!, I want to zone in those yards that will have their string ready and firing for this important month in the flat calender. Trainers, as we know, are creatures of habit, consciously or unconsciously,  and I want to know which ones we can still rely upon despite the ground turning a nasty shade of brown.

I've looked at the past five seasons and have used my Proform Database to highlight the trainers that have done well when the ground has been officially described as Soft or Heavy. To compare I've also pulled up their records during June when the ground is riding as it should be - Good or better.

I've deliberately left out Good to Soft as I would take that as natural variance. I would expect some patches of Good to Soft to appear during June, that is standard.

I'll also highlight any interesting trainer pointers that spring to my attention as well.

Let's get started...

JOHN OXX's runners love a bit of June mud...

Soft/Heavy - 11 winners from 38 runners | 29% strike-rate | +£8.30 BFLSP - Win & Place 18/38 | 47% strike-rate

Those figures are not to be sniffed at.

When the June ground is riding 'normal' he does still get plenty winners they just strike at a much lesser, although still decent, rate...

Good+ - 30 winners from 170 runners | 17.5% S/R | -£0.35 BFLSP - Win & Place 64/170 | 37.5% S/R

Within his Soft/Heavy runners there is one particularly potent group we should be concentrating on.

If we look at his runners that had there last run between 15 & 42 days previous, between a 2 & 6 week break, then we get the following...

Soft/Heavy - Last run between 15 & 42 days

10 winners from 16 runners | 63% S/R | +£22.33 BFLSP - Win & Place 12/16 | 75% S/R

Fit from a recent run and ready to do damage on testing summer ground. Keep a look out for them.


JOHN GOSDEN's strike-rate significantly improves with a bit of June mud...

Soft/Heavy - 9 winners from 38 runners | 23.5% S/R | +£15.01 BFLSP - Win & Place 16/38 | 42% S/R

Like OXX he does have a decent record on normal June ground but there is significant strike-rate improvement on more testing ground...

Good+ - 38 winners from 256 runners | 15% S/R | +£16.45 BFLSP - Win & Place 103/256 | 40% S/R

He does make a smidge more profit for punters on the better June ground but he strikes at a more regular rate on the soft stuff.

The bare facts are that Gosden has his string in fine fettle during June and come rain or shine he will fire in the winners and make punters profits.

If you do, however, want to tighten things up just a little on the soft/heavy stuff then consider the following...

Soft/Heavy - Non-Handicaps only

8 winners from 23 runners | 35% S/R | +£25.46 BFLSP - Win & Place 13/23 | 56.5% S/R

His Non-Handicap runners can do plenty of damage if the rain gets into the ground in June...


MICHAEL DODS is a sneaky one to keep in mind...

Soft/Heavy - 8 winners from 28 runners | 28.5% S/R | +£5.17 BFLSP - Win & Place 13/28 | 46.5% S/R

Dods was firing in the winners in April although he has dipped a bit during May. If the ground turns up soft next month there is a fair chance the winners will start flowing again.

His testing ground June figures are a bit more pleasing on the eye than his Good+ ground figures...

Good+ - 28/214 | 13% S/R | -£19.36 BFLSP - Win & Place 78/214 | 36.5% S/R

They ain't a bad set of figures but you do have to dig a bit deeper for the profits. His soft/heavy runners do also win at almost double the rate expected.

Is there a way to squeeze more profits out of his Soft/Heavy ground runners? Why of course there is...

Soft/Heavy - Class 4 or below

7 winners from 17 runners | 41% S/R | +£13.42 BFLSP - Win & Place 10/17 | 59% S/R

Look out for him cleaning up the lower levels in the mud...


AIDAN O'BRIEN will have plenty of winners...

But they come at a price...

Soft/Heavy - 12 winners from 70 runners | 17% S/R | -£37.76 BFLSP - Win & Place 30/70 | 43% S/R

The Ballydoyle master will fire in the winners but backing all his testing ground runners will leave a large hole in your pocket. They also do fire some way below expectation as well. There is maybe a (wrong) assumption that O'Brien's runners enjoy the testing stuff.

Interestingly, where his Soft/Heavy runners fire below expectations his Good+ runners fire above expectation...

74 winners from 364 runners | 20% S/R | +£39.99 BFLSP - Win & Place 164/364 | 45% S/R

...and they also pull in a bit of profit.

The O'Brien runners will win plenty if it is testing in June but they will be over-bet and not win as many as they should.

If the rains stay then pick your Ballydoyle spots carefully...


All being well we won't need to worry about the rain in June. What we are currently experiencing will be a blip and we can pack away the waterproofs and dig out the shorts and suntan lotion.

This is, however, Britain, we need to be prepared...

Ben (BDH)

Stats have been sourced from the excellent Proform Professional Database

Proform Racing | The Professionals Form Database


  • peter daniel glassborow

    Reply Reply May 29, 2014

    Ben(BDH) great bit of info!I’m halfway round the world in Perth Western Australia where the likes of this kind of free information is almost unheard of re Australian thoroughbreds!? consequently of recent months I have only been investing at UK meetings.Thanks again PG

    • Ben

      Reply Reply May 29, 2014

      Hi Peter

      Great to have someone commenting from the other side of the world 😀

      Shame there is no similar free content for Australia racing.

      Keep reading here as I’ll have plenty more free info throughout the season you can utilise.

      Unfortunately not planning on delving into the Australian market any time soon though! 😉

      Cheers – Ben (BDH)

  • Roy Bedford

    Reply Reply June 1, 2014

    Hi Ben, Did you have a bet on 17.10 York yesterday San Cassiano? Backed it at 16.1 only small stakes because LH track. I had Muteela 16.40 Nwmk down as one to follow, was not sure if it handled the soft, I notice it turned out good ground after and of course won again. T<hgansk for all the hard work. Regards. Roy.

    • Ben

      Reply Reply June 1, 2014

      Great stuff Roy

      I didn’t actually back San Cassiano (damn!) as I thought he just had a few angles against him.

      Good stuff for you backing him and using the information for your own good though, that is exactly what it is for 🙂

      Top stuff and as cheesy as it may sound I’m more than chuffed when a BDH follower backs it and profits from it even if I didn’t. Makes my work all the more worthwhile.

      Cheers – Ben (BDH)

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