Trial watching tips from Shane Adair

The new season 2yo are stepping out for the first time in barrier trials, so what should punters be looking for?

barrier trial

Trial watching tips 

It’s that time of the year when the new babies step out for the first time in barrier trials around Australia. Hope and optimism of both trainers and owners fill the air as all the hours of trackwork and preparation come to fruition.

These trials will shape the markets heavily when these horses start their racing careers. So of course the question is what should punters be looking for from these trials?

Here is a list of key factors to find that future Golden Slipper winner:

Gate speed/early speed:

This is what I believe to be the number one factor. The ability to leave the gates quickly and hold a forward position in the trial without urgings from the rider is a key ingredient. The majority of 2 year old races are run over 1200m or less, so come race day knowing your selection will jump well and be forward in the run without pressure from the jockey is a big plus.

Stable pattern to trials:

Get to know the patterns of each stable when they step their horses out in barrier trials. In NSW the Waterhouse team’s stable runners will traditionally roll forward and attempt to find the lead. Whereas, the Snowden and Hawkes runners will usually be a given a quiet time at the back of the field letting their runner hit the line strongly or under its own steam in the concluding stages. While we would prefer our selection to be more forward it is impossible to write off any horse that has gone around under no pressure. The trial may have been purely an education for the horse to get it used to runners around it.

Relaxed in the run:

Once the runners have jumped and found their running positions it is important that your selection is able to hold the forward position with minimal to no urgings from the rider. This is suggesting to us that the horse is relaxed, travelling comfortably and has more up its sleeve. If it is under hard riding to hold its position the pressure of an actual race might be too much for its current ability at this stage of his or her career.

Don’t write horses off after one trial:

The horse has missed its start or the trial has been run on a heavy track. If this is your selection’s first ever trial I would not be writing off the animal just yet. The improvement that can be made at this stage in their career can be dramatic. There could be myriad reasons of why it may not have performed that well and most of them you won’t be privileged to know. It’s best to give the benefit of the doubt and watch again in these instances.

With these tips you can now start to look at the early two year old trials with confidence and form your own opinions on horses before they even get to races. At Champion Bets we have our own man, Dean The Trial Spy who will do that hard work for you. He has made his edge by being a trial perve and finding the diamonds in the rough on those early trial mornings.

He’s had such success that his membership service is currently closed to new members.

So if you’re on you’re own….happy trial watching!