York hosts the Sunday Series this weekend
The Sky Bet Sunday Series continues at Haydock Park

Sky Bet Sunday Series: Haydock Park course guide and key stats

Timeform’s in-depth guide to Haydock Park, featuring all the key facts and figures for the latest Sky Bet Sunday Series fixture of 2022.

Timeform’s Haydock Park course guide

Left-handed, flat. Oval-shaped, about thirteen furlongs round, with a run-in of four and a half furlongs which rises slightly throughout.

Runners in races of seven furlongs and further tend to stick towards the far rail in the straight, though often switch nearer the stand side when the ground is testing.

Sprints take place on the straight six-furlong course, with runners usually racing down the centre of the track.

High Stakes: The story of the Sunday Series

Leading active jockeys at Haydock Park

Sorted by strike rate in the last five years (minimum 20 rides)

  • William Buick 26.37% (24-91)
  • Callum Shepherd 24.14% (7-29)
  • Jack Mitchell 22.64% (12-53)
  • Adam Kirby 22.58% (14-62)
  • Frankie Dettori 21.74% (5-23)

Other points to consider

  • Danny Tudhope has ridden 32 winners at Haydock Park in the last five years, more than any other jockey in action on Sunday’s card. Tudhope has five rides on Sunday and the pick of them could be Frankenstella (18:45), who won over this course and distance back in May 2021 and is still a stayer to be interested in having shaped encouragingly on her return to action at York.
  • William Buick doesn’t have any rides on Sunday’s card at Haydock, but Jack Mitchell, who has an excellent 22.64% strike rate at the course in the last five years, will be in action in three of the seven races. Perhaps his best chance of a winner is Rose Barton (18:15), who produced a career best to get off the mark at Windsor last time. She is clearly going the right way and remains one to keep on the right side from just a 4 lb higher mark.
Jockey Danny Tudhope
Danny Tudhope has five rides on Sunday's card at Haydock Park

Leading active trainers at Haydock Park

Sorted by strike rate in the last five years (minimum 20 runners)

  • Chris Wall 34.78% (8-23)
  • Michael Bell 30.43% (14-46)
  • John & Thady Gosden 25.74% (26-101)
  • Charlie Appleby 25.40% (16-63)
  • William Haggas 25.13% (48-191)

Other points to consider

  • Tom Dascombe, who moved yards earlier this year, is the most prolific trainer at Haydock Park in the last five years with 58 winners – William Haggas (48) and Charlie & Mark Johnston head the opposition (39). Dascombe has just one runner on Sunday’s card, namely Miramichi (17:15), who is still potentially well treated judged on the balance of her form, lining up from the same mark as when beaten just a head at Newbury last month.
  • Chris Wall doesn’t have any runners on Sunday’s card at Haydock Park, but Michael Bell, who has an impressive 30.43% strike rate at the track in the last five years, saddles the nursery debutant Indian Dream (17:45). Indian Dream showed improved form after seven weeks off (gelded in the interim) to open his account at Epsom last time and an opening BHA mark of 82 looks far from insurmountable on that showing.

Running style

The tactical advantage front-runners have in any given race, both on the Flat and over jumps, should never be underestimated. For example, if you had backed every horse who recorded a Timeform EPF (Early Position Figure) of 1 in British Flat races since the start of the 2018 season, you would be operating at a strike rate of 18.10% and celebrating a profit of over 23,000 points at Betfair SP.

By contrast, the statistics tell us that backing hold-up horses simply doesn’t pay in the long run. Horses who recorded an EPF of 4 (towards rear) in British Flat races during the same period have a strike rate of 7.58%, while horses who recorded an EPF of 5 (in rear) have performed worse still with a strike rate of just 5.56%.

  • Timeform EPFs range from 1 to 5 and help to explain where a horse was positioned during a race. An EPF of 1 is recorded by a horse who led and an EPF of 5 is recorded by a horse who was held up.

It’s worth pointing out that these figures can vary drastically from one course to the next. At one end of the spectrum there is Epsom, where front-runners have a strike rate of 27.54% since the start of the 2018 season, and at the other end there is Ascot, where front-runners have a strike rate of just 11.06% for the same period.

When looking at the overall data, Haydock Park appears to fall somewhere in between. For context, front-runners have a strike rate of 18.58% in all Flat races run at Haydock Park since the start of the 2018 season, once again faring better than horses who recorded an EPF of 2 (12.52%), 3 (10.64%), 4 (9.69%) or 5 (9.54%).


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