Number 2 – Liking the course
You’ve heard the term “horses for courses” – well it’s true. Some horses, jockeys and trainers do better at one course and worse at another. This could be due to the temperament of the horse, it’s physique, whether the course has a right or left hand bend or just that the course is similar to the gallops it’s used to at home. One example of this is Mark Johnston, who trains in Middleham in the Yorkshire Dales. The relatively harsh environment and the uphill gallops he has make Johnston horses tough and very hard to pass because they just keep galloping. So it won’t surprise anyone with this knowledge to know that Johnston horses do well on galloping courses and those with uphill finishes such as Leicester, Beverley, Sandown, Newmarket and Doncaster where he has 20%+ strike rates.