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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Trainer Profile: Sir Mark Prescott

Many trainers are respected within racing but few have gained a reputation as the shrewd owner of Heath House, Newmarket, Sir Mark Prescott. Often quoted as the master of handicap ‘good things’ he generally has a string of 70 or more horses in training. In 2010 the stable won over one million pounds in total prize money for the Flat season in Great Britain.

There is little doubt Prescott has been connected with many noted gambles with his older horses but what are we to make of his two-year-olds?

In 2010 he managed 18 juvenile winners from 88 runners featuring an overall win rate of 20% with 43% (38/88) finishing in the first three placing. A level stake bet would have resulted in a loss of - 20.19.

HCE analysis pinpoints a number of interesting facts.

Over the last few seasons Prescott has featured only a 5% win rate on debut suggesting two-year-olds progress with racing. Of the handful of debutante winners in recent years, all bar one were priced 4/1 & less and interestingly three of these were owned by Cheveley Park Stud (Café Elecktic, Hooray & Clinical). Debutantes seem to fall into two categories: those who are fancied and those not. When making their debut, juveniles priced 13/2 & less attained a 22% win rate and 61% win and place. However, the majority of this sample went on to win or proved to have an adequate level of ability irrespective of their initial finishing position. It is notable that juveniles racing early season (in recent years no two-year-old has raced before May) achieved success. Certainly his first few two-year-old runners are worthy of respect on their next few starts.

As is generally the rule for most two-year-old trainers, second-time-out statistics yielded much higher win rate. Those priced 13/2 & less attained a 30% strike rate and 70% win and place. The majority of runners are well placed and clearly learned from previous experience. Talented juveniles are often durable types coping with their racing admirably – Krypton Factor was a prime example last year. Unlike many trainers, Sir Mark Prescott has the potential to train top-class two-year-olds, competing at Group level.

A highlight of the 2010 season was Hooray, a daughter of Invincible Spirit, a home bred, poignantly winning the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) – sponsored by the fillies’ prestigious owners.

Key Points;

  • Early season runners are likely to attain winning ability
  • Debutantes have a poor strike rate although juveniles priced 13/2 & less are likely to progress with racing, often attaining a winning standard
  • Two-year-olds are much more likely to win on their second start and feature fair win and place statistics when fancied in the betting
  • Owner Cheveley Park Stud has the potential to breed classy two-year-olds - although those priced at speculative odds on debut have seemingly little chance of winning