Nigel Twiston-Davies: October

A quick post following a valid question/comment from Malcolm about why NTD wasn’t in the ‘October Trainers’ list – and what I have discovered following a quick dive into HRB.

Firstly I like to stick to handicaps only for the monthly angles. No overly strong reasons but often non-handicaps are won by the best horses, regardless of race conditions- and there can be less of an edge with these types, esp if ‘word is out’. Also personally I rather back horses with a bit of evidence on paper – weighing up whether a horses past exploits entitle them to go close, or whether they are doing something different and may leave past form behind. Also it is hard to guess what the trainers are up to in novice/maiden races – esp at the lower level – ie are they getting a handicap mark etc – which is fine, no problem with that – which is why knowing the MO of the yard is useful.

So, in general I find it hard to gain an edge and as a rule I don’t like betting in novice/maiden races – a few too many unknowns and by the time you have worked out a bet the price may have gone. But, that is just me. I know many will only ever bet in maidens/novices and will do well. And there will be those who are breeding experts – which isn’t an aspect of the game I have ever dived into really. 

Having said all that, there is an interesting non-handicap angle for NTD…


So, NTD.

Well his handicap stats during October are ok, but nothing more, and however you dice them I found him hard to include. Handicaps in Oct since 2010: 183 bets / 30 wins / 78 places / 16% SR / -12.SP / AE 0.99 –

I like the trainers to be profitable at a top level, even if only slightly at SP, before digging deeper. NTDs are increasingly over bet now at this time of year i think – if there is one trainer angle the masses probably follow – it is NTD at this time of year. 

14/1 or under are: 30/162, 18%SR, +8.8 SP, AE 1.02. – Performing just 2% above market expectation based on starting price is an edge, but not a very big one. An average of less than 2 points per year is not ideal.

One angle for NTD is those with X number of runs in the last 90 days – he is renowned for getting his fit at home and a break is no barrier to success – however, with his handicappers there is no real difference with those that have run 0 times in 90 days or more.


Well this is a different matter.

A quick word of warning – his overall non-handicap stats in this month are swayed by a 66/1 winner, +124 BFSP. BUT, remove that (1/10 above 16/1) and look at those priced 16/1 or shorter…

110 bets / 27 wins / 56 places / +33.44 SP / AE 1.13.

That is ok, but his combined record with chasers and NHF horses is only:

51 bets / 9 wins / 22 places / 17.65% SR / -6.14 SP / -5 BFSP / AE 0.79

Some will win this October, but long term they are hard to profit from. I still want an angle to cover its face or be profitable at industry SP. And actually taking opening odds is only worth +5 more points above SP. I am happy to leave those runners.

Non Handicap Hurdlers is a different matter…

59 bets / 18 wins / 34 places / 30.51% SR / +40 SP / +53 BFSP / AE 1.44

That is more like it. Also the 66/1 winner was a non handicap hurdler, 1/10, so we can all dream maybe.

These stats can be improved by looking at those with 0 or 1 run in last 90 days only. So, they are fresh. Those with 2 or more runs are 1/10, 2 places, -8.5 SP. Not a massive sample clearly, but enough to suggest they are worth avoiding for now. That loss suggests these are over bet also.


  • NTD
  • October
  • Non-Handicap Hurdles ONLY
  • 0 or 1 run last 90 days ONLY
  • 16/1 or under (although you can chase the big one if you wish, one will go in next 5 years no doubt!)
  Bets Wins Win% P/L(SP) Places Place% P/L(BF) ROI(BF) P/L(Plc) A/E
ALL 49 17 34.69 47.38 32 65.31 61.61 125.74 13.9 1.53
2014 7 3 42.86 10.18 5 71.43 11.45 163.53 2.76 1.6
2013 11 3 27.27 7 4 36.36 10.14 92.14 -2.94 1.59
2012 8 3 37.5 2.29 6 75 2.08 25.97 4.19 1.4
2011 5 2 40 3.83 3 60 3.75 74.9 0.78 2.56
2010 18 6 33.33 24.08 14 77.78 34.21 190.04 9.11 1.35

Even just taking Opening Show odds (10 mins before off or so) is worth +17 more points above ISP on those figures.

This is his most predictable month in the year for this type of runner. He does ok in the summer from a limited number but the stats go southwards from November-April in general.  

These are solid stats,for win only or EW betting. Maybe for this once I will go with a non-handicap angle!

I will include these qualifiers in the ‘October Trainers’ from now on. (while having a quick look to see if there are any others) 

There are no qualifiers today. 





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2 Responses

  1. hi josh
    I found that ntd lto runners that pulled up are worthy of strong time they run.go very close or win at odds bordering at double figures.

    1. cheers Robert – yes I remember looking at something about that some time last season, think may have a micro angle saved away somewhere – Nicholls was good at it as well. I will have another look – but as you say, a PU against one of his runners should not be off putting.

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