Trainer in Focus – Alan Swinbank
Alan Swinbank is a dual purpose trainer and a bloodstock agent, who operates out of the small village of Melsonby in North Yorkshire. Since taking his licence out in 2001, Swinbank has amassed over 700 winners on both the flat and over jumps. In the last 10 years, the wily handler has operated at a strike rate of 15.70% – well into the upper echelons of the training fraternity. In this article we take a look at Swinbank’s runners in different races and codes, identifying areas where he excels and where he struggles.
2 Year Olds
Alan Swinbank only has a handful of 2 year old newcomers each season. His record over the last 10 years with juvenile debutants is 9/115 (7.83%) for £9.25 LSP, giving an A/E of 1.13 – they don’t have a particularly high strike rate, but do win marginally more often than the odds imply they should do.
Although he has a limited number of juvenile horses, a trend can immediately be found in Swinbank’s results – his 2 year olds improve significantly for their debut experience. Those runners who did not score on their debut are 17/86 (19.77%) with a further 20 places, giving a LSP of £98.88 and an A/E of 1.77 (they win 77% more often than they should do based on odds)
3 Year Olds
Again, like with his 2 year olds, Swinbank tends to only have a select number of 3 year old debutants each year. However, he does do well with the ones he’s got; 9/82 (10.98%) with a further 12 places for a £12 LSP and an A/E of 1.49
Their second time out record is just fair when they did not win on debut; 7/75 (9.33%) for a loss of £-17.68, giving an A/E of 1.13. Some trainers also prime their runners who have had 3 starts in maiden company to win on their handicap debut, Alan Swinbank does not. His horses with 3 runs under their belt (typically the requisite amount to obtain a handicap mark) and switching from maiden company, are just 3/55 (5.45%) for a loss of £-31, giving an A/E of 0.53
3 Year Old + Handicappers
Swinbank does not exhibit a strong seasonal bias in his performance. Some months are better than others. There is however a small trend towards the back end of the year.
3 Year Old+ Handicappers
*A/E denotes actual number of winners divided by expected number of winners. A figure over 1 represents good value, anything under 1 is poor value.
October is his poorest month of the year, as the flat turf season is winding down, but is followed by two excellent months in November-December: 19/77 (24.68%) giving a LSP of £34.04 and an A/E 1.63. Most of these runners are on the all-weather and are perhaps the horses who would not appreciate the late season ground.
Days Since Last Run
3 Year Old+ Handicappers
Swinbank has the best A/E with runners off for 15-42 days, but in honesty, his horses generally outperform market expectations off most lay-offs. There is however one exception; when his runners are off for over 3 months, where his horses are 20/265 (7.55%) for a loss of £-84.75, A/E 0.75
3 Year Old+ Handicappers
It is interesting that Swinbank does poorly at three of his local track with his handicappers. Catterick, Redcar and Ripon are all relatively close by, and trainers often like to do well at the venues in close proximity to their yards.
National Hunt flat races, (or bumpers as they are more commonly known) are an opportunity for trainers to give their inexperienced horses runs before sending them over hurdles or fences. Swinbank has a strong record with 32/133 (24.06%) his bumper runners winning first time out. There is a discrepancy in performance based on age:
3 and 4 year olds do better than their older counterparts. There are no courses where the North Yorkshire trainer does terribly with his newcomers, but he does excel at Wetherby, Catterick and Carlisle, sporting 35%+ strike rates at all of the aforementioned courses. It seems that Swinbank’s runners are primed for their debut, as their second time out record is moderate; 9/77 (11.69%) for a loss of £-42. A/E 0.55. His runners are over bet on their second racecourse start, winning just over half the races they should do based on odds.
Swinbank doesn’t really exhibit any bias with his hurdlers or chase runners.
- Swinbank 2 year olds learn plenty from their debut and are profitable second time out, winning 77% more often than they should do based on odds.
- 3 year olds have a reasonable record.
- Swinbank does very well in sellers – 20/69 (28.99%) for £43.75 LSP, giving an A/E 1.73
- November/December is the time to catch the trainers’ all-weather runners – they are very profitable at the back end of the year.
- Newmarket, Pontefract and Musselburgh are the courses where Swinbank does well with his handicappers.
- There isn’t really a bias when it comes to days since last run, apart from Swinbank’s runners who are off for 3+ months (they do poorly)
- Swinbank’s bumper 3 & 4 year old runners are profitable and worth following.