Trainer in Focus – Ron Harris
Ron Harris has been around racing on and off for his whole life, and finally realised his dream of training horses himself in 2004. Renowned for being a dab hand with sprinters, Harris has a commendable overall strike rate of 8.31%. In this article, we take an in depth look at Ronald Harris’ runners, from 2 year olds up, identifying any strengths and weaknesses in his performance.
2 Year Olds
Harris generally usually deals with cheaply bought horses, and therefore it is no surprise to see his strike rate for 2 year old debutants being very modest; 2/93 (2.15%) for a loss of £-65 A/E 0.56. Even worse is the Welsh trainer’s record with 2nd time out horses. While they can be expected to learn plenty from their debut, Harris’ runners don’t, with a record of 1/86 (1.16%) for a loss of £-83.25 A/E 0.20
Nurseries are a 2 year old race type that Ron Harris excels in. As mentioned above, he specialises in sprinters, and in particular 5 furlong runners, and his juveniles in nursery company over the minimum trip when fancied in the betting (10/1 or shorter) are 16/45 (35.56%) for a £33.50 LSP, A/E 2.00
2 Year Olds By Month
*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.
2 year old runners are 6/136 (4.41%) for a loss of £-61, A/E 0.71 in March-June. This is hardly surprising as the contests are maiden races at this time of year. The Welshman’s runners need respecting in the summer months of July-August; when they are 10/1 or shorter, they are 17/58 (29.31%) for £36.40 LSP. A/E 1.60. From September onwards, the strike rate and A/E start to decline again.
3 Year Olds
Very rarely does Ron Harris have a debutant 3 year old; in the last 10 years he is 1/19 for a loss of £-13.50.
Harris definitely favours putting his 3 year olds up against their own age group when competing in handicap company. His 3 year olds in all age handicaps have modest record; 6/193 (3.11%) for a loss of £-150 and an A/E of 0.42. Contrastingly, when confined to their own age, his runners are 44/520 (8.46%) for a loss of £-80 and an A/E of 1.01 – a much better set of results.
3 Year Olds+
Harris is renowned for being a trainer of sprinters, and the general consensus is backed up by the statistics. He has his highest number of runners over the minimum distances and the highest win percentage:
3 Year Old+ Handicappers By Distance
There is a general pattern of lower strike rates, and poorer A/E’s as Harris’ runners step up in trip (with the exception of his 10 furlong runners, who seem to be an anomaly)
Last Time Out Winners
3 Year Old + Last Time Out Winners in Handicaps
The data shows that when Harris has struck with one of his horses, he generally likes to turn out his performers quickly, with the vast majority of last time out winners reappearing within 14 days of their success. Trainers often use this method to run their horse under a penalty when they think that the handicapper will put their runner up more than the penalty of 6lbs for a success. Let’s see if that is the case with Harris:
Last Time Out Winners in 3 Year Old+ Handicaps
Interestingly, he does much better with horses carrying no penalty – a better strike rate, profit and A/E.
Non-Last Time Out Winners
Non-Last Time Out Winners in 3 Year Old + Handicaps
What can we glean from the information regarding Ron Harris’ non last time out winners in handicaps? Well firstly, he doesn’t get them fit off an absence – they are 0/110 in the last 10 years off a break of 150+ days. Secondly, their strike rate is best when turned out within 7 days. Runners off for 8-21 days have a moderate record.
- Ron Harris 2 year old debutants do poorly and do even worse second time out.
- Back Ron Harris 2 year olds in nurseries over 5 furlongs – their record is fantastic when they are fancied in the betting (10/1 or shorter)
- July-August is the time to catch Harris’ 2 year olds, especially when they are strong in the market.
- The Welshman has a much better record with his 3 year olds in 3 year old only races than all age handicaps which he does poorly in.
- Harris’ handicappers provide the best value over 5f, and there is a general decline in performance the further they go.
- His last time out winners in handicap company are generally turned out within 2 weeks. They have a much better record when not racing under a 6lb penalty.
- Non last time out winners do best when turned out within 7 days, and do poorly when off for 8-21 days.
- Harris has not had a winner in handicap company when the horse has returned from a 150+ day absence.