Why Sunshine Coast trainer is the punters’ favourite
LAST week we looked beyond the raw premiership tables to analyse the strike rates and profitability of jockeys in Queensland racing this season. Now it's the turn of the trainers.
Queensland has been a happy hunting ground for favourite backers in 2019-20, well above the national average, and there's quite a few stables that have produced profitable figures for punters.
The most notable is the Sunshine Coast's Natalie McCall, who has quite an astonishing record this season when her runners are sent out the top pick by the punting public.
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From 34 favourites the stable has saddled up, McCall has led in 22 winners at the remarkable strike rate of nearly 65 per cent and a profit on turnover (based on flat staking) of more than 50 per cent.
Her figures continue through to those runners up to $10 in the market, where only North Queensland based Steve Massingham has a better strike rate among trainers to have had 50 or more starters in that bracket of runners.
The Tony and Maddy Sears partnership has been quick out of the blocks, with favourites from that stable striking at 54.5 per cent this season and showing a 24 per cent profit on turnover.
Michael Nolan and Les Kelly have also been reliable commodities with public elects, with both just under the 50 per cent mark this season.
From the bigger stables, punters have managed to make a profit backing Rob Heathcote trained favourites this season, with a strike rate of better than 42 per cent, showing a 3.4 per cent profit.
Typically, the biggest stables tend to be 'over bet' by the market place, but Tony Gollan's figures for the season compare more than favourably with the leading interstate stables.
He has had 42 per cent of his public elects win, at the relatively minor loss of just 2.7 per cent.
Compare that to other big yards like Chris Waller (27% strike rate, 29% loss), Ciaron Maher and David Eustace (37% strike rate, 6% loss) and Lindsay Park (36% strike rate, 8.7% loss) and you can see why punters have seen a bigger number of top picks roll in compared to other states this season.
Overall, Queensland has had the highest percentage of favourites out of any state to win at TAB meetings this season, with almost 37 per cent of them winning, compared to Victoria, which has had just 32.5 per cent.
In summary, there have been 70 stables that have started 10 or more favourites in Queensland this season, 30 of them had strike rates of 40 per cent or higher and 21 per cent of them showed a profit.
Further, there were 35 trainers to have 20 or more favourites and 26 to have 30 or more, of which six showed a profit betting flat staking.
MOST PROFITABLE (30 or more favourites)
Trainer Winners/Runners S/R Profit/Loss
Natalie McCall 22/34 64.7% +52%
Tony and Maddy Sears 30/55 54.5% +24.4%
Les Kelly 18/38 47.3% +8.7%
Ricky Vale 13/32 40.6% +5.6%
Michael Nolan 19/39 48.7% +3.8%
Rob Heathcote 30/71 42.2% +3.4%
30 OR MORE FAVOURITES
Best Strike Rates (30 or more favourites)
Trainer Winners/Runners S/R
Natalie McCall 22/34 64.7%
Tony and Maddy Sears 30/55 54.5%
Michael Nolan 19/39 48.7%
Les Kelly 18/38 47.3%
Steve Massingham 23/52 44.2%
Lindsay Hatch 23/53 43.4%
Rob Heathcote 30/71 42.2%
David Vandyke 29/69 42%
Tony Gollan 72/172 41.8%
Jared Wehlow 14/34 41.1%
Ricky Vale 13/32 40.6%
Matt Dunn 20/50 40%
UP TO $10 IN THE MARKET - 50 or more starters
Best strike rate
Trainer Starters S/R
Steve Massingham 94 34%
Natalie McCall 91 32%
Peter & Will Hulbert 61 31%
Lindsay Hatch 147 29%
Ms S Hoffman 57 28%
Tony and Maddy Sears 176 27%
David Vandyke 142 27%
Clubs jostle for slice of media rights pie
As the June 30 deadline draws closer, Racing Queensland is still in discussions with thoroughbred clubs on how the new media rights deal will be distributed.
The Brisbane Racing Club struck a deal for its media rights last month with SKY, but vision for the remaining thoroughbred clubs, plus harness and greyhounds, has remained the subject of ongoing, drawn-out negotiations.
Earlier this year, those closest to the negotiations suggested a deal would be struck by the end of February, but the process has dragged on right to the deadline.
RQ acts on behalf of the greyhound and harness codes, but needs the approval of thoroughbred clubs to sign off on the deal.
RQ chief executive Brendan Parnell did not shed any light on who the remaining rights will go to on Thursday, but said he expected "an in-principal agreement" to be in place by next week when the current deal with SKY expired.
"It has been a pretty intense period as we shop our rights," Parnell said.
It is understood Racing Queensland's board met on Monday to discuss where the media rights would land after offers were tabled from more than one media provider.
The approval of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast clubs remain crucial to the outcome of the negotiations.
Meanwhile, RQ has conducted a "holistic review" of prizemoney levels since the COVID-19 crisis began, with a new schedule to be in place by August 1.