One of the highlights of the Irish summer racing season ended on Sunday evening in Ballybrit, Galway when You Oughta Know one the final race on the card for champion trainer Willie Mullins. It was Mullins' 10th winner of the week, and bookended the Festival perfectly for the trainer as he had also saddled the 1st winner of the week-long festival back on Monday.
Mullins has become the annual winner of the Leading Trainer Award at Galway - replacing the legendary Dermot Weld - and will continue to dominate the Festival in the years ahead. I noticed this trend some time ago and started to follow the Mullins' trained runners.
For the past 5 seasons, a even stake on all Mullins' runners during the Festival had proved to be a strategy that could successfully beat the market. Horses priced 9/2 or shorter were "win" stakes, while 5/1 or longer priced horses were backed each-way.
In total 62 horses were run by the trainer. Things were going very well from Day 1 to Day 4 with a return of more than 30%. The last three days proved to be poor. By Friday, the return was still 6% but by the last race on Sunday evening, a 9% loss was the outcome.
It may be that the trainer just had a slightly poorer meeting that previous years. An 11th winner may have returned a profit. a 12th win would almost certainly have done so. It could also be that the bookies have figured this strategy out and are pricing the horses accordingly. Or maybe it is both of the above.