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Gary Crispe’s Fundamental Form Analysis – Part 8

What trainers have an exception strike rate for first up and debut runners? Read the article to find out.

Gary Crispe’s Fundamental Form Analysis – Part 8

Some trainers have outstanding first up strike rate records, such as Peter and Paul Snowden who prepare horses to win on debut or first up at 20% and 25% respectively.

First Up Strike Rates of Trainer

Peter and Paul Snowden prepare horses their to win on debut or first-up at well above the industry standard – so when this stable has a horse first up and in the market it is worthy of serious consideration.


Also some jockeys have a huge strike rate with Team Snowden and if one of these riders is also on the horse in question then it adds further merit to the argument the horse will perform close to its best when resuming.

Why you might ask? Well as we have seen so far in these articles, there is a huge effort involved by the trainer to carefully prepare the horse for a first up win – several weeks of painstaking training and planning goes into presenting a horse ready to win fresh up.

All of that effort can easily go out the window with a bad ride so it makes perfect sense that the trainer will go to one of his most successful stable riders.

At that point, the trainer hands over the horse to a trusted rider who will get the win if at all possible – like most successful things to do with planning in life – leaving as little as possible to chance.

Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes also have an excellent fresh strike rate – not quite as good as the Team Snowden but excellent all the same striking with debutantes at 19% and first uppers 20%.

We saw them bring off a successful plunge at Scone recently with Kaepernick.

If we study the Horse form short form screens below we will see some interesting trends.


Before his Scone first up run, Kaepernick had three first up runs for a win, second on debut and one unplaced run at Flemington.

If we look at the notes in the Racing and Sports short form following the 12th September 2015 run there were genuine excuses for his failure in the Group 2 feature.


So that effort can be ignored. We can also see that Kaepernick has won two trials coming into the Scone race and if you get a chance to watch them you will notice he was never pressured in either, confirming the earlier point I made about horses being set for first up wins.

While the Hawkes and Snowden stables tend to specialise in preparing horses for first up wins. Gai Waterhouse has been the benchmark at having horses fit to win when resuming for a long period - And her technique has not changed a great deal in that time – generally two very good trial performances leading into the first up run is normally the successful strategy.

Gai’s later father, the legendary T J Smith was also a master at the craft.

It is easy to isolate these trainers from the Free Racing and Sports Trainer look up.

Of course not all horses are suitable to be prepared for first up wins and this is another facet of the analysis that needs to be discussed.

For example don’t get drawn into supporting average stayers in sprint races when they are resuming from spells.

Some do win but they are in a very small majority but are hard to predict so your bank balance will be considerably enhanced by keeping your money safely in your pocket for horses like these.

Once again there will be exceptions to the rule and this involves versatile middle distance gallopers who have the ability to sprint well when prepared to do so.

Once such galloper that comes to hand is Hauraki whose Racing and Sports Horseform screen shot sits below.

We can see that he has performed well first up at 1400m, a distance well short of his preferred distance of 2000m.


Age of runner

The age of a runner is very important to gauging how it will go when resuming. Younger horses will as a rule, reach peak fitness quicker than older horses and it is a pretty reliable assumption. Generally as a horse gets older it will require more racing to reach winning form.

So you will notice that most of the winning first up horses will fall within the age group of two to four-years-old.


Racing And Sports



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