Tony Carroll is a dual purpose trainer who generally operates in low grade handicaps and sellers and claimers. Although he has a fairly modest strike rate, the Carroll yard have been behind some big gambles in the past and know the time of day when the money is down. In this report, we primarily dissect Tony Carroll’s flat runners, identifying any circumstances where he excels, or really struggles. This information can be valuable when assessing whether the Worcestershire based trainer’s runners make solid betting propositions.
In the last 10 years, the number of Tony Carroll debutants has been low to say the least. He generally buys horses out of sellers or claimers, or gets sent older runners. When he does have debutants, they are not very successful:
In fact, Tony Carroll’s younger runners, inexperienced or those with plenty of runs under their belt, are poor value:
*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.
He does much better with older horses, who have a higher win percentage and a significantly higher A/E.
While some trainers can get their horses fit after an extended absence, Tony Carroll is not one of them.
His flat performers actually do best with a moderate break from the track; 29-90 days off and they are 79/911 (8.67%) for a loss of £-289 and an A/E of 1.12. By narrowing that down to fancied runners, (i.e. +1000 and shorter), the loss is turned into a profit, with 67 winners from 392 runners (17.09%) for a LSP of £24.73 and an A/E of 1.24. When the money is down for Carroll runners off this sort of break, it should be respected.
Runners returning from a longer absence (90+ days) are usually making their seasonal reappearance, and have a poor record; 12/379 (3.17%) for a loss of £-262. A/E 0.61. They make good laying opportunities.
Some trainers prime their horses to run up a sequence of victories, getting them well handicapped and finding optimal conditions. Others focus on one race, without a future plan in mind, and consequently have a poorer strike rate with their last time out winners. Tony Carroll’s performance with runners who scored on their last start is very much dependent on how long they have been off the track:
Those horses that return to the racetrack quickly have a fair record and a decent strike rate, whilst those runners off for over 2 weeks have a really poor record:
Horses off for more than 2 weeks win just half the races they should do based on odds. Carroll’s runners are most profitable when they won last time out and have been off for 1-2 weeks.
There definitely appears to be a method in the madness of the Tony Carroll. He performs best in the first couple of months of the year on the all-weather, when the racing is less competitive. As the months progress into summer his strike rate and returns diminish. Interestingly, he does particularly poorly in December before his runners start firing again in January.
Although he is primarily known as a flat trainer, Carroll actually has more success under National Hunt rules, particularly at the start of the year:
From January to March, his hurdlers, chasers and bumper runners have a fantastic record; 62/528 (11.74%) for £114.46 LSP, producing an impressive 1.36 A/E. Their record is fair throughout the bulk of the season but tails off in October and November, with just 21 wins from 414 runners (5.07%), producing a £-204 loss and an A/E of 0.72
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