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Andy Newton gives you eight in-form trainers to look out for this week………..
VICTOR DARTNALL (4 winners from his last 7 runners, 57% strike-rate):
Okay, so the focus on the NH racing might be lessening with the flat starting to take over, but there is still plenty of summer jumping on the horizon and it would be foolish to ignore the form of the Dartnall yard at present. Four of their last 7 runners have won, while their last 4 to go off favourite have finished as follows: 1-1-2-1, suggesting if the money comes you should be even more confident of their chance. Denis O’Regan, who is riding at the very top of his game at present, has been on two of those recent winners, so keep an eye if he’s booked. They ended the 2011-12 season with 24 winners, which meant they have fired in 20+ successes in all of the past six campaigns, while 4 of those 6 seasons have seen a + level stakes profit too. No entries on the horizon, but with their horses clearly in good heart it could pay to spend an extra few minutes looking for their runners over the next few weeks.
PAUL RICH (3 winners from his last 7 runners, 43% strike-rate):
This Welsh-based yard featured a few weeks ago and with three more recent winners they are back again. Not being one of the more well-known stables then their runners can often go a bit under the radar still – backed up with 11/1 and 8/1 winners of late, while with jockey-of-the-moment, James Doyle, being booked to ride as much as possible they’ve got one of the best up-and-coming pilots on the circuit. That puts them on 6 winners from just 24 runners so far this season, but 60% of those 24 have also finished third or better. In terms of their track stats keep an eye on anything they run at Southwell (AW) as they are 3 from 9 there, while the same applies to Wolverhampton (AW) – a track they are 5 from 16 at. Upcoming entries and track stats: Chepstow (no runners yet)
REBECCA CURTIS (4 winners from her last 11 runners, 36% strike-rate):
Ended last jumps season with an impressive 39 winners from just 180 sent to post and with that being their best-ever tally then you might forgive them a few weeks to celebrate – not likely! With 2 winners from just 4 runners in the last week then they’ve began the new campaign as they left off. AP McCoy rode their two most recent winners and although that does impact the prices I’d rather be on a 5/4 winner than a 5/1 loser (excuse the cliché). Having improved their figures every season since they began in 2007, then bigger and better things can be expected in 2012-13 and with AP and a lot more high profile owners getting behind then this yard are only heading in one direction. Keep an eye for the odd flat runners, as I know they have one entered at Bath on Monday, but it’s in the NH Flat races that they are fast making a name for themselves – last season they managed 9 wins from 35 runners in that arena.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Chepstow (5 from 33, 15%), Bangor (14 from 51, 27%) Uttoxeter (6 from 19, 32%), Bath (1 from 2, 50%)
JOHN QUINN (4 winners from his last 11 runners, 36% strike-rate):
You can find their runners over both codes, but at this time of the year they will be having a lot more flat runners. They ended their jumps campaign with 17 winners, but that came from just 74 runners, while punters that followed them blindly will be happy as they ended with +£35 too. So far on the level they are 11 from 50 and well on their way to challenging their best-ever total of 45 winners in a season (2009). Keep an eye on their juveniles as they are 2-from-2 so far this term, but most of their winners will come from their 4+year-olds – 8 of their 11 have come in that age bracket. Young jockey Michael O’Connell has been given plenty of chances in the saddle and he was on three of their last four winners, with Luke Morris riding the other. They are set for a big day on Saturday with their Red Duke entered in the 2000 Guineas, but looking at their track stats it could pay to side with anything they run at Hexham on Saturday – they are 7 from 18 at the northern venue.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Musselburgh (6 from 57, 11%), Newmarket (1 from 18, 6%), Thirsk (4 from 72, 6%), Hexham (7 from 18, 39%), Doncaster (5 from 103, 5%), Beverley (15 from 147, 10%)
DONALD McCAIN (10 winners from his last 35 runners, 29% strike-rate):
They ended the season with 153 winners and only had the Henderson team ahead of them in that respect, and while most NH yards are taking their foot off the pedal it seems the McCain team have other ideas. They sent out three winners and two seconds at the Perth Festival last week and in fact 12 of their last 15 runners before Wednesday have finished either first or second! Jason Maguire and last season’s leading conditional, Henry Brooke, are huge assets when it comes to jockeys and between the pair have been on all-bar-one of their recent stake of winners. Big things are expected again in 2012-13 as they look to close the prize money gap between themselves and the Nicholls and Henderson camps and with more and better horses being sent their way I suspect another huge season is on the cards. Don’t forget they will be hoping to run last year’s Chester Cup winner, Overturn, in the race again later this month and despite 7lb more this time he’ll be very popular in the betting to follow up. Looking ahead they’ve got a big squad heading to Bangor, a track they have a 19% strike-rate at, on Friday
Upcoming entries and track stats: Kelso (9 from 84, 11%), Bangor (55 from 287, 19%), Uttoxeter (34 from 209, 16%), Hexham (14 from 85, 16%)
VENETIA WILLIAMS (7 winners from her last 27 runners, 26% strike-rate):
An Exeter double on Tuesday meant that the good form of the yard continues and that brace in fact made it 5 wins from their last 9 runners. Aidan Coleman gets the bulk of the rides being number one stable jockey and rode 4 of those recent winners, with Grand National-winning rider, Liam Treadwell, on the other. After what looked like being a shocking year towards the start of the season the yard certainly turned it around in the second part to end with a decent 52 winners, and if they can just keep things ticking over during the summer months then that will give them an excellent foothold to make 2012-13 a season to remember. Look out for recent Exeter winners Rydalis and Bennys Mist, especially the last-named as he won as he liked despite pulling hard during his race.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Hereford (18 from 97, 19%), Fontwell (9 from 50, 18%), Bangor (11 from 87, 13%), Uttoxeter (3 from 70, 4%)
MICHAEL EASTERBY (3 winners from his last 13 runners, 23% strike-rate):
With three winners from their last 6 runners then things are starting to hot up at the Easterby yard. Keep a look out for when they use 5lb claimer David Simmonson – he’s been on two of those three recent winners and that now puts them on 7 for the season. Over the past 16 campaigns they’ve averaged 34 winners, so remain on target to continue that trend. They are 1-from-1 with their 2 year-olds this season, but we a little bit wary in that respect as last term they only managed 4 wins from 106 juvenile runners. Looking ahead to the rest of the season it could pay to make a note of anything they send down to Lingfield (AW), as they are 5 from 21 (24%) there, while the same applies to Leicester where they are 4 from 15 (27%).
Upcoming entries and track stats: Musselburgh (1 from 18, 6%), Wolverhampton (31 from 293, 11%), Bangor (2 from 42, 5%), Thirsk (7 from 108, 6%), Hexham (1 from 24, 4%), Doncaster (7 from 100, 7%), Beverley (5 from 148, 3%)
JIM BOYLE (3 winners from his lat 14 runners, 21% strike-rate):
The Epsom-based trainer doesn’t have the best of records at his home track (2 from 79, 3%), but I’m sure with 17/2, 12/1 and 33/1 winners in recent days he’ll not be too worried about that. Expect to see most of their runners at tracks like Lingfield, Windsor, Brighton, Folkestone and Kempton, but take note if they send anything up to Southwell (AW) as they have a 30% record at the moment on the fibresand, plus with Chester’s May Meeting not too far away then with a 33% strike-rate on the Roodee this is another thing to note. In terms of breaking records they will have 59 as a target – a tally they managed back in 2009, but barring that will certainly be looking to better last year’s 29 instead.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Brighton (4 from 43, 9%), Salisbury (1 from 10, 10%), Warwick (1 from 9, 11%), Windsor (5 from 101, 5%)
This Week’s Cold Trainers……….
TOM DASCOMBE (22 days and 26 runners without a winner)
LUCINDA RUSSELL (26 days and 40 runners without a winner)
Click on a trainer’s name to see all their up-coming entries