JOHN RYAN (4 winners from his last 8 runners, 50% strike-rate): The focus might be on National Hunt racing at the moment, but John Ryan is a flat trainer that certainly has his string in cracking order and like, I mentioned last week, it could pay to stand up and take notice. Okay, so having a small string means his runners can be a bit on the thin side, but another 3/1 winner on Monday justified his inclusion last week and that takes his all weather winners this season to 4 from just 9 runners! Jockey Kirsty Milczarek gets the leg-up on most of theirs and has been on three of their 4 recent winners, while in terms of the AW tracks then look out for any runners at Lingfield â€“ theyâ€™ve got a +Â£46 level stakes profit at the southern venue.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Lingfield (8 from 65, 12%) & Wolverhampton (5 from 64, 8%)
JIM BEST (4 winners from his last 10 runners, 40% strike-rate): Â Based in East-Sussex this up-and-coming yard are another that have shown some signs recently that it could pay to follow their runners in the coming weeks. Yes, only 4 winners, but they only had 10 runners and they did have a 13/2 shot turned over a 4/9 favourite at Uttoxeter on Wednesday. They often secure the services of AP McCoy, so although this is likely to be factored into the price if the champ is onboard then you can be sure that runner is well-fancied. Just 7 winners to date this season, but 49% of their 38 runners have finished fourth or better, while in terms of final numbers they will have their sights set on bettering their 2008-09 tally of 22 winners, their best yet.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Market Rasen (4 from 14, 29%), Leicester (0 from 8), Wincanton (4 from 11, 36%), Aintree (no runners), Wetherby (4 from 12, 33%) & Warwick (0 from 3)
NICKY HENDERSON (20 winners from his last 51 runners, 39% strike-rate): Bobs Worth looked a horse to follow over fences after he just got up to beat Cue Card in a thriller last week at Newbury, but apart from him the yard are still lacking the big high-profile winners. Okay, so theyâ€™ve been unlucky with a few taking late falls, especially Oscar Whisky, who was just about to serve it up to last weekâ€™s Fighting Fifth winner, Overturn, when coming to grief â€“ form that, despite falling, now looks rock solid. However, the Seven Barrows yard are still firing in the winners in midweek and, yes, a lot of them are very short prices, but, like I said so many times, to maintain this sort of strike-rate when having so many runners is no easy task. They are still trailing Nicholls by over Â£400,000 in total prize money, but that can all change very quickly in the coming month, but with 51 wins then at this rate they remain easily on target to better last seasonâ€™s 153 tally. Finally, like I mentioned last week â€“ keep a close eye on their bumper runners, they are currently 9 from just 26 this season (35%).
Upcoming entries and track stats: Market Rasen (10 from 29, 34%), Wincanton (9 from 57, 16%), Leicester (10 from 20, 50%), Sandown (25 from 118, 21%), Exeter (6 from 20, 30%), Aintree (15 from 109, 14%), Chepstow (3 from 21, 14%), Weatherby (3 from 14, 21%) & Warwick (11 from 34, 32%)
EMMA LAVELLE (7 winners from her last 21 runners, 33% strike-rate): Flying the flag for the ladies this week and with another winner on Wednesday then the yard is ticking over very nicely. Sheâ€™s currently sitting on a cool +Â£62 level stakes profit for the season and with 21 wins then the yard will be extremely unlucky not to better last seasonâ€™s tally of 30 â€“ their best yet. Stable jockey, Jack Doyle, is fast becoming one of the new breed of pilots to follow, while the final thing to note is keep an eye on their bumper runners â€“ they are so far 3 from just 8 runners in this sphere!
Upcoming entries and track stats: Wincanton (8 from 41, 20%), Exeter (12 from 59, 20%), Sandown (3 from 43, 7%), Chepstow (6 from 36, 17%) & Warwick (1 from 17, 6%)
COLIN TIZZARD (6 winners from his last 18 runners, 33% strike-rate): Colin defended his sonâ€™s ride on Cue Card last week, when he just got touched off by Bobs Worth at Newbury and although at the time I was fuming (having backed Cue Card) I think that in hindsight it wasnâ€™t jockey error, but more the horses slight reluctance to put it all in. Donâ€™t forget weâ€™ve never really seen this former Cheltenham bumper winner get into a real scrap and although thereâ€™s no doubt heâ€™s a class act when he comes up against a real battler (like Bobs Worth) I know who Iâ€™ll be siding with in future. Anyway, enough of all that as the yard are actually in cracking form despite that disappointment last week. The big thing to note is that 5 of their last 6 winners were sent off as favourite â€“ suggesting if the money is down then this is a huge positive. In terms of numbers they are already on 22 winners for the season, but will have last seasonâ€™s total of 41 (their best yet) in their sights, while itâ€™s also worth noting that of their 21 successes so far two thirds have come over fences, while from 12 bumper runners they are yet to get off the mark.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Wincanton (17 from 150, 11%), Exeter (6 from 99, 6%) & Chepstow (14 from 98, 14%)
JAMES EWART (5 winners from his last 15 runners, 33% strike-rate): Not another name that will be familiar with your everyday punter, but 14 of their last 15 runners have finished sixth or better, which is a clear sign the yard are in good order.Â Jockey Brian Hughes does most of the steering for their runners, having ridden three of those recent winners, but also keep an eye out for Nick Schofield â€“ heâ€™s been on the other two. Looking back the yard has only been going since 2004-05, but they are steadily improving things year-on-year with 16 successes last term their best yet. They are currently on 10 winners for the season, from just 53 runners and despite a small string they do have some fair sorts â€“ most notably Allow Me, Best Lover, Quicuyo and Sa Suffit who should all be noted as horses to follow. Â
Upcoming entries and track stats: Wetherby (3 from 16, 19%), Aintree (1 from 5, 20%), Kelso (15 from 91, 16%) & Musselburgh (5 from 43, 12%)
EVAN WILLIAMS (8 winners from his last 25 runners, 32% strike-rate): A 49/1 double at Ffos Las earlier in the week was an indication that this Welsh-based yard are ready to hit a purple patch, Â plus of those recent wins theyâ€™ve actually been returning at very decent prices â€“ 11/1, 16/1, 11/1 and 8/1. These successes have seen their tally for the season hit 48 as they try and better last seasonâ€™s haul of 90 â€“ theyâ€™ve never broken the 100 winner barrier in a season. Paul Moloney and Adam Wedge are the jockeys to look out for, having ridden all-bar-one of their recent 8 winners, while the final point to make is be a bit wary of their runners at Chepstow. Being a Welsh track youâ€™d think they would do well there, but theyâ€™ve actually only had 11 winners from their last 133 runners at the track!
Upcoming entries and track stats: Leicester (5 from 34, 15%), Wincanton (5 from 54, 9%), Sandown (0 from 34), Exeter (9 from 57, 16%), Chepstow (11 from 133, 8%) & Warwick (2 from 26, 8%)
DONALD McCAIN (16 winners from his last 56 runners, 29% strike-rate): Apart from obviously landing the Grand National last year, my question is â€“ has there been a better time at the McCain yard? Overturn firmly put Binocular in his place in the Fighting Fifth last week and Peddlers Cross looks a machine in the Novice Chasing division, while Weird Al has already won the Charlie Hall for the stable. Add in plenty of exciting others like Cinders and Ashes, Lively Baron, Hollow Tree and Golden Call then things are certainly looking rosy in the McCain camp. I fully expect them to start challenging the likes of Nicholls and Henderson in the next year or so and in Jason Maguire, who, incidentally, sounds more and more like AP McCoy by the day, is a jockey riding at the top of his game. Theyâ€™ve already bagged 68 winners â€“ more than Henderson and Nicholls â€“ and are currently operating around the 22% mark. They netted 100 winners last term, so should have no trouble bettering that, while despite a string of odds-on winners of late they are actually sitting on a level stakes profit of +Â£33 so far this season. Â
Upcoming entries and track stats: Leicester (5 from 32, 16%), Market Rasen (12 from 73, 16%), Sandown (1 from 19, 5%), Exeter (6 from 19, 32%), Aintree (10 from 117, 9%), Wetherby (19 from 97, 20%), Kelso (13 from 90, 14%) & Chepstow (4 from 30, 13%)
This Weekâ€™s Cold Trainer...........
NEIL KING (23 days and 23 runners without a winner): Not many big names on the cold list at the moment, which, I guess, is actually good news. There are plenty of flat yards that have not seen a winner for a while, but despite a lot of all weather racing at this time of the year I donâ€™t think itâ€™s fair to flag one up as some tend to ease off a bit with their runners. Anyway, this weekâ€™s stable are a small outfit, but they do have a few that go off a shortish prices and, therefore, it could pay in the coming days to avoid their runners with almost a month without a winner. Only on Monday they had a well-fancied 4/1 shot finish 40 lengths last at Folkestone, while earlier in November they had a 2/1 favourite beaten at Fontwell. At this stage I would certainly only treat their slight bad form as a watching brief, based on the size of the yard, but if another week or two pass without a winner then I would certainly stand up and take notice.
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