A good mix of NH and Flat handlers in cracking form at present, while there’s one handler to note that’s having success over both codes........
RALPH BECKETT: (3 winners from his last 5 runners, 60% strike-rate): Another of the flat boys that’s in flying form at the start of the year. Their last five runners stats read an impressive 1-3-1-3-1, and with two of those winners, By Invitation and Oasis Dancer both winning very easily then there’s a good chance we’ll see them on the track again soon. Jim Crowley, who rides most of theirs have been on all those recent three winners, while as the season pans out you can expect the bulk of their successes to come from their 2 and 3 year-olds – last season 49 of their 56 winners fell into that age bracket. They also fired in 19 all weather winners from just 91 runners, and although they’ve got fair records at all four of the sand tracks keep a special eye on any Southwell runners – they are 9 from 32 (28%) there in the last 5 seasons.
Up-coming entries and track stats: (Wolverhampton (11 from 63, 17%)
ROBERT COWELL: (3 winners from his last 6 runners, 50% strike-rate): The yard had a bit of a lean spell towards the backend of 2011, but it looks like they’ve firmly put that behind them with three winners already in 2012 from just 6 sent to post. They’ve enjoyed their biggest ever success last term when Prohibit took the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, but that was one of only 9 successes for the team in 2011. Despite those low numbers the bank manager would have been happy as 2011 was by far their best-ever in that that respect, but they will be hoping to return to the winning tally of around 21 that they achieved in 2010 over the next 12 months.
Up-coming entries and track stats: (Kempton (8 from 80, 10%), Lingfield (2 from 13, 15%) & Wolverhampton (9 from 85, 11%)
JOHN FERGUSON: (3 winners from his last 6 runners, 50% strike-rate): Not a trainer most punters will be familiar with, so for those of you that don’t know the Suffolk-based handler has only had a licence from 2010-11 and does extremely well with buying well bred flat horses that didn’t quite cut the mustard on the level. In fact a lot of his inmates are well bred flat cast-offs that didn’t even make it to the track – and therefore can run in NH Flat races – and area this yard have excelled in. They’ve notched a very tasty 16 winners from just 39 runners (42%) so far this season and are sitting on a cool +£40 level stakes profit - jockey Jack Quinlan is another asset as he claims a very handy 5lbs. However, almost all their runners will be either over hurdles of in NH Flat races – they’ve only had one runner over fences this season. But with 5 victories from just 11 runners in bumpers then with their well-bred flat cast-offs it looks like they’ve found a decent angle into making a name for themselves.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Catterick (no runners), Kempton NH (0 from 1) , Warwick (no runners) & Kelso (no runners)
JAMES GIVEN: (3 winners from his last 6 runners, 50% strike-rate): Not had a winner since we mentioned him last week, but they’ve only had one runner! Prior to that the stable fired in three winners from just 5 runners and being a yard that sent out 26 AW winners in 2011 then you can expect to see a lot of them on the sand tracks over the next few months. Looking back at the past 10 years or so they are one of the most consistent outfits having sent out 20+ winners EVERY season since 2000, and a lot of those years saw them hit 30+. Jockey’s Frederik Tylicki and James Sullivan are the men to look out for in the saddle – between them they’ve ridden all-bar-one of their recent six runners.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Kempton ( 18 from 124, 15%) & Wolverhampton (23 from 215, 11%)
IAN WILLIAMS: (8 winners from his last 21 runners, 38% strike-rate): I actually think there’s no hotter outfit at present than the Ian Williams team, and this is the trainer I refer to in my opening teaser. The Worcestershire-based yard has not only sent out 8 winners since Dec 30th, but ALL of their last eight runners also finished third or better! Don’t forget that they are a stable that operate over both codes – advertised well on Tuesday with a winner at Leicester over the sticks and another at Southwell on the AW. On the level last year they ended with 41 winners and a +£66 level stakes profit, while so far over jumps they are 20 from 148 and only need five more to beat last season total.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Fontwell (1 from 15, 7%), Kempton AW (16 from 100, 16%), Lingfield AW (15 from 62, 24%), Musselburgh (0 from 1), Huntingdon (6 from 39, 15%), & Warwick (5 from 49, 10%)
SCOTT DIXON: (4 winners from his last 11 runners, 36% strike-rate): I brought this new trainer to your attention last week and he’s another that’s not let us down with another 7/1 success at Kempton on Wednesday, and a 12/1 third in the same race, then anything they run at the moment should be noted . Of his 11 recent runners 9 have finished fourth or better, and, like I said last week, with his famous father, Paul Dixon, behind him then he’s sure to have plenty of ammo for the up-coming all weather fixtures. They’ve had most of their runners at their local track Southwell, but they did bag their first winner at Lingfield last week too, while being a new name on the block then the prices of his horses are still on the attractive side.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Southwell (3 from 10, 30%) & Lingfield (1 from 2, 50%)
BRIAN ELLISON: (5 winners from his last 14 runners, 36% strike-rate): Not only are they sending out plenty of winners of late, but ALL 10 of their recent runners have finished third or better! Again, keep a close eye for entries over both codes, as although they have more flat runners they also have a decent jumping string. They sent out 53 flat winners in 2011, and being 3 from just 4 runners in 2012 then they are well on their way again this term. Of their 53 successes last flat season 23 came on the AW – with Southwell is, by far their best sand track (53 from 215, 25%). In terms of their jumping stats they have already sent out 24 winners, meaning this is their best-ever jumping season.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Southwell AW (53 from 215, 25%), Catterick (4 from 11, 36%), Musselburgh (4 from 27, 15%), Huntingdon (2 from 19, 20%), Wetherby (10 from 40, 25%), Warwick (0 from 1), Wolverhampton (23 from 157, 15%) and Newbury (0 from 5)
NICKY HENDERSON: (17 winners from his last 49 runners, 35% strike-rate): Yes, it’s the Henderson team again – I hear you say! Well, it’s hard to keep this power house of a yard out of the hot list at the moment. Captain Conan defied his huge market drift to land last Saturday’s Tolworth Hurdle at a huge-looking 9/1, while how impressive was Darlan at Taunton on Monday? That last-named horse is now into around 14/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and I know a good friend of mine – Richard Dunwoody (sorry, I’m not name dropping) – was told about this horse at the start of the season and really likes what he’s seen so far. Anyway, those wins and a tiny lean spell for Nicholls means that Henderson is now around £350,000 adrift in trainers’ title race is. True, that might sound a lot, but with Long Run likely to run in the Denman Chase (The Aon to you and me) next month and then Cheltenham and Aintree still to come he could close the gap very quickly (Betting: Nicholls 1/3, Henderson 5/2). They are currently on the 96 winner mark, and look on target to get close to last season’s tally of 153. I say it every week (sorry), but in case it hasn’t sunk in yet – keep their NH Flat runners on side – they are 11 from 32 (34%) so far this season.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Fontwell (11 from 38, 29%), Huntingdon (37 from 104, 36%), Kempton NH (60 from 198, 30%), Wetherby (3 from 15, 20%) & Plumpton (4 from 30, 13%)
GEORGE BAKER: (4 winners from his last 14 runners, 29% strike-rate): We flagged him up last week and he didn’t let us down after a 15/2 winner at Lingfield on Saturday. Their stable star, Humidor, also ran well to finish third in a valuable Meydan race last Thursday and is bound to pick up a decent race over in Dubai over the next few months. They are also starting to have the odd jumper – so far they are 3 from 44 in that sphere. For a yard that’s only been going since 2008 they have done very well to hit 40 winners in 2010 and 49 last season. They will, therefore, have those figures in their sights, but, I guess, more importantly they will want to better last season’s total prize money haul of £182,000, and if they can find a few more like Humidor then that could be on the cards.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Lingfield AW (19 from 94, 20%), Huntingdon (2 from 15, 13%), Wolverhampton (35 from 180, 19%) & Kempton AW (7 from 91, 8%)
VENETIA WILLIAMS: (3 winners from her last 14 runners, 21% strike-rate): The Grand National-winning trainer actually featured on the cold list a few months ago after a very slow start to the new NH season, but things are looking better now! In the Racing Post recently Alistair Down said they should rename January ‘Ven-uary’, and after the gambled on Ciceron (Pricewise) won at Sandown on Saturday and they fired in a 40/1 double at Hereford on Sunday it’s easy to see why he said that - but the yard have always found their form at this time of year and that should be noted. Okay, they are having plenty of runners at the moment and you can’t back them all, but Aidan Coleman riding is generally a good sign, as well as any support in the betting – Oh, and it helps if Mr Segal fancies one of there’s too! This recent good spell puts them on 16 for the season, but because of their slow start they are still 22 off their 2010-11 tally, and 30 off the season before.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Fontwell (9 from 51, 18%), Huntingdon (6 from 63, 10%), Kempton (5 from 59, 8%), Warwick (8 from 55, 15%) & Wetherby (0 from 9)
This Week’s Cold Trainers...................................................
MICK CHANNON: (76 days and 35 runners without a winner): Yes, the Channon team have not exactly been sending out their normal level of runners with there only being AW action at the moment, but I thought with things sure to increase on that front at the yard and the fact they are starting to have the odd jumper then you should be aware that they’ve not had a winner for well over 2 months now. To be fair they’ve only had one flat runner so far in 2012, but they will have a few on show over at Meydan in the coming months too. They sent out 13 AW winners last term, but have also fired in 90+ flat winners in every season since 2002. A recent second at Kempton was an encouraging sign, so you can expect to see more of theirs on track from here on in, however, it just might take a race or two for them to hit top gear, we’ll see!
KEITH GOLDSWORTHY: (139 days and 41 runners without a winner): They yard tried their hardest to break this poor run with four runners at Ffos Las on Wednesday, but they were all beaten and that now extends this dismal spell to 4 ½ months and over 40 runners without a winner. Add in that a few of those this week were well-fancied, plus William Hogarth was even well-backed before the race suggests things are still not 100% at the yard. I know they had some issues with their horses a while back, so the stats are probably a little bit unkind, but all the same a note of caution should still be attached to their entries at the moment.
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