Andy Newton moves onto day two of the Aintree Grand National meeting with his key trends and stats......... Read more
Stat of the Day: 5th April 2012
Good old Johnny G put us in front for the new month of April yesterday, when his Camborne was a very ready winner of a decent Lingfield handicap. He still looked green, but was plenty too good for an established group of Class 4 'cappers, and looks a Class 2 beastie in the making. Definitely one to keep on side, though it should not be assumed he will act as well on turf.
Today, we’re off to the Midlands and the…
After a couple of more speculative plays the last two days (which both paid off at least to some degree), it's a return to punting 'terra firma' this afternoon, as I nail the SotD colours to the mast of a horse with a proven level of ability. Curtains, surely!
The horse is trained by Tim Vaughan, a man in cracking form with seven winners from 29 runners in the last fortnight. And eleven of the last twelve who completed (two failed) were in the first three!
Today he saddles Elsafeer, in a two mile good ground Class 3 handicap hurdle. Given that this chap can already boast a two mile good ground Listed hurdle win, he has more than enough ability for a race like this.
After that Listed win, he went off co-favourite in a race that Champion Hurdle runner, Brampour, won! He then got stuck in the mud in a race that Cheltenham Festival winner, Attaglance, won! And last time out he was bogged down a little again in a Grade 3 event.
Back to good ground and Class 3, in a small field, ought to be the key to him (he's 4/4 plus a second in fields of eight or less, and 0/5 in bigger fields). 11/4 is available BOG and being taken, so do...
Andy Newton highlights the trainers who are heading into the Easter period in tip-top form............... Read more
As we head into March and ever-nearer to the Cheltenham Festival see which trainers are the punter's pals at the moment. Read more
Did you know that Tim Vaughan is now 52 days and 57 runners without a winner? Andy Newton looks at who's hot and who's not this week....... Read more
Entries for this year's Grand National were released yesterday. Managing director at Aintree, Julian Thick, pronounced himself not at all concerned that the number had fallen below 100 for the first time since 1996.
He described the 82 entries as top-quality, and pointed out that one of the changes that has been brought in following last year's race was the horses now had to have earned a rating of 140 before they can be entered for the National. Thick said, "The Grand National is a higher quality race nowadays and trainers are far more selective about the horses they enter. The race has been evolving and changing in recent years and, while the number of entries is down on last year, we believe this is a testament to the status of the race."
In fact, entries have been falling over the past five years, having peaked at 150 in 2008, which Thick said was largely because trainers recognised that their lower rated horses were unlikely to get a run. That may generally be true, although Willie Mullins' total of 12 entries accounts for 1 in 7 of the total.
Trainers seemed to share Thisk's view. Nigel Twiston-Davies, who has Crescent Island, Hello Bud, Little Josh and Viking Blonde entered, said, "You’ve got to be rated 140 just to get in. The lower entry has nothing to do with the adverse publicity around the race last year. It's all about people realising some horses have no chance of getting in. The prize-money is so good for the National now that many of the better horses are being aimed at it."
Tim Vaughan expressed similar thoughts. "You've got to be realistic about your chances of getting into the race. The overall quality of Grand National runner has risen sharply in recent years. I'm hoping two of my four entries (Our Island, Postmaster, Stewarts House, and Tartak) get in. It's the race everyone dreams about winning."
The next big day for the National entries is on 14 February when the weights will be announced. How many trainers will be sending a card to Phil Smith, the BHA head of handicapping, as he worked out how much each horse will have to carry?
With the current cold snap it looks like it could be mostly AW action for the next few days - but we've got a flat handler that's red hot at present......... Read more
Stat of the Day: 7th January 2012
Our winning run came to an end yesterday when My Kingdom finished 4th. I wasn't too impressed by the riding of Jamie Spencer in that race, but I'll leave it at that. Nobody likes a sore loser!
In a bid to get back to winning ways, we're heading West to Somerset for a Class 3 Handicap Hurdle over 2.5 miles, it's the...
Trainer Tim Vaughan has an impressive record at Wincanton with a strike rate fast approaching 26% (9 winners from 35 in recent times). His yard's in decent nick at present too with 15% of his horses winning in the last fortnight and almost half of his runners making the frame: good news for the E/W backers.
He sends just the one horse to Wincanton today and that's Gallox Bridge. This horses's record reads as 3 wins from 5: a wiining debut in a bumper for Charlie Mann, then two unspectacular rides for Milton Harris, before joining Tim Vaughan's yard where they seem to have got the best out of him so far. He won 2 Novice hurdles at Uttoxeter within a fortnight back in October on decent ground. Today's Soft / Good to Soft going shouldn't pose any real problems, though, as his debut bumper win came on similarly soft ground at Fontwell.
Gallox Bridge was available at 13/2 with Victor Chandler when I wrote this piece, a price that would suit thos of you wanting an E/W bet in line with Tim Vaughan's current form. I expect that price to shorten during the day.
Sat TV Trends – 31st Dec
As 2011 draws to a close this Saturday, Andy Newton gives you all the trends & stats that matter ahead of the LIVE C4 races at Newbury and Warwick. Read more
As the year draws to a close Andy Newton highlights which trainers are heading into 2012 in good form Read more
No racing after Thursday for three days, but with nine UK meetings on Boxing Day it could pay to know which trainers head into the festive period in form........... Read more
Andy Newton gives you all the trends & stats that matter ahead of Saturdayâ€™s excellent Cheltenham card Read more
Can Paul Nicholls land his fourth Hennessy Gold Cup this Saturday? We look at all the TV races from a trends & stats angle......... Read more
See which trainers are heading into this weekend at the top of their game as Andy Newton picks out eight handlers that have caught his eye in recent days, while thereâ€™s a big NH yard that are now almost a month without a win.............. Read more
With the jumps season starting to hit top gear find out which NH handlers are hitting the ground running, while thereâ€™s a high-profile flatÂ trainer who is on the cold list and heading for his worst campaign for over 20 years..... Read more