Tim Easterby is a member of the Easterby dynasty – a family of North Yorkshire shrewdies who have been in the racing game for several generations. Whilst his overall strike rate may not match up to the top handlers, Easterby definitely knows the time of day, and when the money is down, punters should pay attention. In this article we try and uncover Tim Easterby’s modus operandi, identifying when his horses are primed to strike, and when they are best avoided.
Easterby is certainly not renowned for his 2 year old debutants. They generally need the run, and by and large, are ignored by the market. There is one exception – when his juveniles debut early season at Ripon.
2 Year Old Debutants
*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.
At Ripon in April, he is 6/20 (30%) with his first time out 2 year olds, for a £30 LSP and an A/E of 3.03. It is obvious that each year, Easterby sends his sharpest and best young juveniles to the ‘garden racecourse’. Past April, they can largely be ignored at the same course, with just 1 winner from 52 runners. Overall, from May onwards, his 2 year old debutants have a terrible record and are just 5/383 (1.31%) for a loss of £-320, giving a poor A/E of 0.32
Easterby’s 2 year olds don’t do too much better second time out – they are 22/407 (5.41%) for a loss of £-224 and an A/E of 0.71. They seem to learn slowly and do better with experience – his runners with 4 racecourse starts or more in 2 year old maidens are 17/82 (20.73%) for an A/E of 1.14
Although his strike rate is not fantastic, Easterby’s first time 3 year olds actually do better than his juveniles; 12/177 (6.78%) for £40 LSP and an A/E of 1.82. They can win at big prices, with 3 of the runners scoring at 33/1.
Maiden to handicap switchers
Horses generally qualify for a handicap mark after having 3 starts in maiden company without winning. Some trainers use this process to their advantage, running their horses over the wrong trip/not completely fit/on the wrong ground etc. to ensure they obtain a favourable opening handicap rating. Tim Easterby doesn’t seem to do this – he is just 7/118 (5.93%) with his 3 year old maiden to handicap switchers (didn’t win last time out), producing a loss of £-71 and an A/E of 0.86
While some trainers have perfected the art of getting their horses fit and ready to do themselves justice on the back of a racecourse absence, Easterby tends to favour the ‘old school’ approach of letting his string run themselves into full fitness on the track. As a result, their performance on the back of a lay-off is moderate to say the least; they generally make very solid lay opportunities.
3 Year Old + Handicappers
Horses that are off for 90+ days do poorly. However, in June-August, horses having their second start after being off for 90+ days last time out, off for 2+ weeks do well: 14/106 (13.21%) with a 18 places A/E 1.71
Last Time Out Winners
There is a pronounced difference in Tim Easterby’s success with his last time out winners depending how long they are off the track for:
3 Year Old+ Last Time Out Winners In Handicaps
When Easterby’s last time out victors return to the track within 3 weeks, they do well. After that period however, their strike rate is much poorer, and importantly the A/E is just 0.69
3 Year Old + Runners In Handicaps
There is no huge deviation in Tim Easterby’s performance throughout the year. He does however do poorly in April and better towards the end of the year.
Apprentice & Amateur Contests
One area where Tim Easterby runners are worth paying close attention to, is in amateur and apprentice races. These contests are confined to riders of little or minimal experience, and as an experienced trainer, Easterby has become adept at picking the right horses and jockeys to be successful in these contests. In the last 10 years, his record reads; 30/231 (12.99%) for £32.50 LSP and an A/E of 1.20
Although he has far fewer runners on the all-weather than turf, Easterby has a much better strike rate:
The time when he is particularly hot on the artificial surfaces, comes just after the turf season finishes. In November-December, his runners are 28/135 (20.74%) for £95 LSP, producing an excellent 1.66 A/E.