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Trainer in Focus – Clive Brittain

Despite being into his 80’s, Clive Brittain is still training race horses. Known for his post victory dancing jig, the charismatic Newmarket handler has been operating since the early 1970’s. Over the last few years his number of runners have decreased, but with such a passion for the game, it would be no surprise to see Brittain carry on for years to come.

In this article we take a look at his performance across different race types and under a range of conditions.

2 Year Olds

Brittain isn’t prolific with his 2 year old debutants, although they are usually priced accordingly, generally starting at double figure odds. In total, he is 16/270 (5.93%) in the last 10 years, for a loss of £-121.67, with an A/E of 1.08 – they win slightly more than they should do on odds.

Breaking down his runners into distances on debut, a trend is established:

2 Year Old Debutants by Distance

Distance (Furlongs)RunnersWinnersWin S/RP/L to SPA/E

*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.

Those runners making their debut over 6f do best in terms of win percentage, return and A/E. At Yarmouth over 6f, they are 3/22 with a further 5 places for £17.50 LSP, giving an A/E of 2.33.

Brittain’s second time out 2 year olds who did not win on debut are 16/209 (7.66%) for a loss of £-93.92, giving an A/E of 0.92. His horses who have had 3 runs in maidens and are switching to nursery company do moderately; 1/46 (2.17%) for a loss of £-38 A/E 0.32.

Although they have a poor record in their first start in nursery company, those horse who have had 4 lifetime starts have a great record; 9/44 (20.45%) with a further 9 places for £45 LSP, giving an A/E of 2.00.

Clive Brittain appears to use his runners’ first start in nursery company as a warm up, before they are really ready to go next time out.

If punters are looking to back Clive Brittain juveniles, the best time to catch them is over 6f on debut, especially at his local track of Yarmouth, or after they have had 4 starts and are racing in nursery company.

Clive Brittain

3 Year Olds

Brittain’s 3 year old debutants have limited success:

3 Year Olds by Number of Runs

Run NumberRace TypeRunnersWinnersWin S/RP/L to SPA/E

His horses are generally poor value for their first 3 career starts, with moderate strike rates, big losses and disappointing A/E’s.

After 3 runs in maiden company, horses are generally eligible to obtain an official rating which enables them to enter handicap company – Brittain’s strike rate with his thrice raced 3 year olds moving from maiden to handicaps is much improved.

3 Year Old+ Handicappers

3 Year Old+ Handicappers by Course

CourseRunnersWinnersWin S/RP/L to SP

When looking at Brittain’s performance across the different courses, a pattern emerges. All-weather tracks make up 3 of his best 4 records, whilst he has a poor record at the higher grade tracks which feature more competitive races.

When looking at Brittain’s overall record on the turf and the all-weather, there is a clear bias to the latter:

SurfaceRunnersWinenrsWin S/RP/L to SPA/E

His runners win at a higher percentage and give a better A/E (although it is still worth noting that his turf runners win more often than they should do based on odds).

3 Year Old + Handicappers by Month

MonthRunnersWinnersWin S/RP/L to SPA/E

Brittain’s 3 year old+ runners generally do well in handicaps, with more months than not showing an A/E of over 1.00 (meaning his horses win more often than they should do).

The best two months in terms of profit and A/E are February and October. Interestingly, both of these high performance months follow on from his two worst ones (January and September).

Brittain does not really show any performance bias in terms of days off the course, when using claiming jockeys or under any other circumstances.


  • Clive Brittain first time out 2 year olds have a moderate strike rate, but win slightly more than odds suggest they should do. They do much the best over 6f, especially at Yarmouth.
  • Brittain’s nursery debutants have a poor strike rate when they have had 3 runs and are switching from maiden company. On their second start in nursery company they do very well (4 runs total).
  • His 3 year old debutants have an average strike rate, and his runners tend to be poor value on their 1st-3rd runs in maiden company. Once they get an official rating and switch into handicap company, they do better.
  • 3 of Brittain’s 4 top performing tracking in terms of 3 year old+ handicappers, are all-weather courses. He generally does better on artificial surfaces.
  • Brittain does best with his handicappers in February and October.