Trainer in Focus – David Pipe

david pipe im

David Pipe is the son of the infamous Martin Pipe, a handler widely accepted to have influenced the way that horses are trained nowadays. He introduced a new, scientific approach to racehorse training and was renowned for having his horses hard fit. Pipe junior took over the reins several years ago and has had plenty of success in his own right. In this article we try and uncover some trends and traits in Pipe’s training methodology, identifying when his horses offer betting value, and when they should be avoided.


National Hunt Flat races (commonly known as bumpers), are races designed to give National Hunt horses racecourse experience before they go jumping. They are essentially flat races over 14-18 furlongs and contain horses with varying degrees of ability. Pipe has a very good record in these races, and excels at a few courses in particular:

National Hunt Flat Debutants by Course


*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.

His runners need to be respected at Towcester and Plumpton, where their strike rates are superb. The West Country handlers tends to bring his backwards types out to local track Exeter, and is yet to have a debutant winner at the course.

National Hunt Flat Debutants by Age

national age

It is with 4 year olds that David Pipe does best when it comes to bumper newcomers. His strike rate is very high, he produces a big profit and the A/E is impressive.

When Pipe’s bumper runners do not win on debut, they make good laying opportunities next time up, significantly underperforming market expectations; 6/72 (8.33%) next time up, for a loss of £-39.73, A/E 0.47


Pipe’s novice hurdlers don’t really exhibit any particular trends or biases in performance.

His maiden/novice/juvenile to handicap switchers have a moderate record. Horses typically need 3 runs before they qualify for an official rating and can run in handicaps. Overall, Pipe is 17/170 (10%) with these runners, producing a loss of £-86.09 and an A/E of 0.77. Those runners that are unfancied (10/1 or bigger) can be disregarded by punters, as they are 0/54.

Handicap Hurdlers by Month

December and January are the two months when Pipe excels. His runners who are fancied at this time of year (10/1 or shorter) are 48/203 (23.65%) for £20.81 LSP, producing an A/E of 1.31

Last Time Out Winners by Days Since Last Run

last time

Pipe’s last time out winners who are turned out within a week have a particularly high strike rate, produce a decent profit and have a good A/E. They should be followed. His winners who have been off the track for more than 4 weeks have a contrasting record; 11/136 (8.09%) for loss of £-84.21 A/E 0.52 and make good laying opportunities.


David Pipe starts off the season strongly each year with his novice chasers:

Novice Chasers by Month


From September to December, his runners operate at a 30%+ strike rate and those that are in the front three in the market at this time of year are 32/72 (44.44%) for £22.41 LSP, giving an A/E of 1.24. At other times of the year, he is 52/226 (23.01%) for a loss of £-65.89, A/E 0.87

Pipe’s handicap chasers follow a slightly different pattern. Whilst they do well at the start of the jumps season, that form continues into the next year:

Handicap Chasers by Month

handi month

In January-February, Pipe’s handicap chasers are 51/261 (19.54%) for £42.91 LSP, A/E 1.41. He does much better from October-February than he does from March-September.
There are two times to catch David Pipe’s handicap chasers;

Handicap Chasers Days Since Last Run

handi last run

When they have been off for 8-14 days, they have a very good strike rate, profit and A/E. However, when his runners have had a mini-break (off for 57-90 days), they do the best, winning nearly 80% more often than the odds imply they should do.

Claiming Jockeys

David Pipe used claiming jockeys well and when his horses have an inexperienced pilot aboard, although their strike rate is lower, they provide better value to punters:

Runners Based on Jockey Claim


Those runners who have a claiming jockey on board, have run within 2 weeks and are favourite provide great value; 43/86 (50%) for £34.65, A/E 1.37


  • Pipe does very well with bumper debutants at Towcester and Plumpton. His runners should be avoided at Exeter.
  • He is most profitable with 4 year old newcomers to bumpers.
  • If they do not win on debut, Pipe’s bumper runners provide poor value next time out.
  • David Pipe doesn’t have a great record with his hurdlers who switch to handicap company, especially if they are unfancied in the betting. They make good laying opportunities.
  • He does best with handicap hurdlers in December and January.
  • His last time out winners racing in handicap hurdle company do well when turned out quickly, but are poor value when off for more than 4 weeks.
  • Novice chasers do very well in September-December.
  • Pipe’s handicap chasers have a very profitable record in January and February.
  • They do best when off for 8-14 days or after a mini break (57-90 days)
  • His horses are good value with claimers aboard, particularly when turned out quickly and favourite. Bookie Selector

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