Over the years a lot has been made of jockey trainer combinations and some providers of past performances now include the stats for them as well. As with most knowledge that is “common” among the handicapping crowd, this information is so widely dispersed that it is now of little value by itself. For instance, in any race you may find three or more jockey trainer combinations with a very good win average. So which one of the combinations is really notable and which ones mean nothing?
Horse racing handicappers are living in the information age and what this means is that the more information we have, the more we need to try to keep our edge and eke out a small profit from betting on horses. So how can we still use the information about jockeys and trainers? The answer to the “too much information” (TMI) dilemma is only that you must now figure out how to put together combinations of information in a creative way to arrive at conclusions that might be obscure to the general public.
This is also called “thinking outside the box,” though the term has been used to the point where we cringe when we hear it. But it is still true that we must think in ways that the crowd does not. In order to do this, you must do several things. The first step is to keep accurate notes.
I like to use columns. I write the top jockey trainer combinations on a sheet of paper when I am handicapping and I do it for every race. Then, beside each one, I write the other factors that I notice for each horse. These may range from, top speed figure last race, top class, significant class drop, distance switch, surface switch (turf to dirt, etc.) and any other factor.
My next step is critical and is probably the number one way to validate any suspicions I have that the barn is going for the win. I check the pools and use my method to ascertain if the horse is live or just being bet down by the public because they can read the jockey trainer numbers.
After the races, I take my sheets that I’ve kept notes on and compare them. If you do this for one track or circuit, you’ll soon have a complete dossier on each notable trainer and will also be able to spot patterns in the horses and betting that will let you know when they are going to win or just breeze the horse.
This kind of added information to be used together with the jockey trainer combo stats will help you decide which jockey trainer combo is hot and which one is not.