Course Connoisseurs


Today, lovely readers, we have a guest post from Ben Aitken, author of ‘Narrowing the Field- Using the Dosage Method to Win at National Hunt Racing’

I’ve been a big fan of Ben’s work for a while now and today his meticulous research has identified one of those special horses that excel at a particular track – the course specialist.

Over to Ben:

Course Connoisseurs

Course Connoisseurs, Track Specialists, Horses for Courses…… whatever you may call them these types of animals are well worth sourcing, analysing and getting to know and adding them to your punting weaponry.

I personally have an exhaustive and detailed list compromising of a vast array of horses and their individual preferences – horse profiling if you will. Amongst this list there are numerous ‘Course Connoisseurs’, 1 of which I want to share with you here today.

The horse in question is the Jonathan Portman trained SHESHA BEAR, who runs in the 6.05 at Epsom tonight.

What is special about SHESHA BEAR running at Epsom? Simple, she is an Epsom connoisseur!

Take a look at the mare’s form figures over the unique contours of Epsom Downs –

Epsom form figures – 2-1-1-1-2-9

A 50% WIN strike-rate at the track and an 83% Win & Place strike-rate is not to be sniffed at!

The 9th place finish on her Epsom record may at first look like a concern but this is a horse I know well and that 9 doesn’t worry me. Why not? Quite simply she is a horse that always runs poorly on her first run back after a lengthy break (150 days+ record reads 5-9-5-4) and if we remove her Epsom run which was after a 213 day break her track record improves to 2-1-1-1-2. A quick look at the mare’s overall form also tells me that all her win and place form has come when returning to the track within 40 days of her last start. On the face of it her 9th place finish at Epsom looked a slight worry but if we dig a little deeper we begin to see exactly why she underperformed at her favourite track.

Clearly you need to take other factors into account when analysing the chances of any horse in a specific race but if you know the horse has a particular liking for a specific track, like SHESHA BEAR at Epsom, then you are already in the process of building up a profile on the horse and putting yourself in a strong position to stay ahead of the crowd.

In summary then we know that SHESHA BEAR…

ü  Has strong course form (2-1-1-1-2-9)

ü  Runs at her best when returning within 40 days of last start

..and by looking at her CV we also know that…

ü  Her 3 wins at the track have come over 1m4f (12f)

ü  All career wins have come on Good or softer ground

She looks to have conditions firmly in her favour tonight (Epsom 6.05) and looks to have a great chance of enhancing her reputation as an Epsom connoisseur.

On my website – – I’m currently giving away a FREE ‘Course Connoisseurs’ guide when you sign up to my FREE NTF service. Simply pop your details in the sign-up box on this page – – and you will be sent a link that allows you to download the FREE NTF Course Connoisseurs guide. There are also numerous other FREE NTF guides you can download at the same time including my ‘Introduction to the Dosage Method’ guide.

Happy Punting

Ben Aitken (NTF)

Owner and creator of and author of ‘Narrowing The Field – Using the Dosage Method to Win at National Hunt Racing’


  1. An average run from the mare tonight, never really getting competitive on her favourite track. I do hope you all enjoyed the basis of the analysis, however, and more so found the Free guide(s) of value to you and your own punting arsenal.

    Big thanks to Kieran for allowing me to guest post on his brilliant Blog.

    Ben (NTF)

  2. Hiya Ben, some very interesting comments made and some valid points raised. I would just like to add that this mares form has another twist to it when you break it right down. In her preceeding seasons she has taken a minimum of four runs to hit winning form. Now following that run last week, statiscally for her, she has had the required amount of races now this season, therefore, if connections can find a soft ground race for her at epsom for her next outing and the race falls into the comfort zone of her previous performances then perhaps we should really be following her in again.

    Good Luck and once again many thanks for the statistical input.



    1. Hi John

      Very valid and interesting point regarding the 4 run minimum for the mare. Taking all this into account lets hope there is an Epsom race that fits her criteria soon.

      Glad you enjoyed the guide and brilliant insight from you that we can now all add to the mares profile as we look to make a profit from her.

      ps. hope all MYBP readers were on Haydock Course Connoisseur NUMBER THEORY in the Old Newton Cup on Saturday! A tasty 8-1 winner for the guide 🙂

      Regards – Ben (NTF)

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