Andy Newton's got six more stables to look out for this week in his regular 'Hot Trainers' feature...
SUSAN GARDNER (3 winners from her last 6 runners, 50% strike-rate): Having a good run at present with 3 winners from just 6 sent to post and with two of those ridden by daughter Lucy then it’s smiles all round for the Gardner family. Based in Devon with 14 winners this will already be their best ever season since they started in 2000 – with 12 last term their previous best. Nine of those 14 winners have been with their hurdlers, but it’s worth noting they are 4 from just 11 (36%) with their chasers this season and have also had the one NH Flat winner. Being based in the south west then it’s no surprise that a lot of their horses run at Exeter and Newton Abbot, but also look out for anything they send to Wincanton as they are currently 5 from 20 there.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Exeter (8 from 69, 12%), Uttoxeter (1 from 23, 4%), Ascot (no runners)
PAUL NICHOLLS (7 winners from his last 16 runners, 44% strike-rate): I guess I’m holding my hands up a bit here as Nicholls was flagged up last week as having a bit of bad run during the early part of December, but like most of the big yards it wasn’t long before they turned in around. With 7 winners since last Friday, including a big race double with Zarkandar and Unioniste then it was a great weekend at Cheltenham for the camp. Those wins keep them clear of Henderson in the trainers’ title race with £1,115k playing £769k, but with the news that both Big Buck’s and Al Ferof will miss the rest of the season you suspect the momentum has swung back to Henderson. Obviously the King George on Boxing Day will be the next big pot and with Henderson’s Long Run the current market leader then he looks sure to pocket something there at least. Back to Nicholls and in terms of sheer numbers they are on 64 winners now, just under half of what they managed last term (138), while they could have Poquelin and/or Ghizao running in Thursday’s re-routed Peterborough Chase at Exeter, plus Dodging Bullets is still engaged at Ascot on Friday. With the trainers’ title betting seeing Nicholls around 5/2 and Henderson 4/11 then the bookies clearly feel it’s only a matter of time before the Seven Barrows stable overtake them, but we all know Nicholls is a fighter and at 5/2 he’s sure to still have his supporters, being that he’s also still over £300k ahead.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Newbury (45 from 210, 21%), Exeter (37 from 126, 29%), Ascot (22 from 119, 18%), Kempton (26 from 127, 20%)
JEREMY SCOTT (3 winners from his last 8 runners, 38% strike-rate): Ticking along nicely with 17 winners, that’s just 7 shy of last season’s 24 their best yet. They’ve always been a very selective yard, but it looks as if the owners are starting to take notice as over the last few season’s they seem to be having a lot more runners – 103 already this season and they had 138 in the whole of 2011-12! Nick Scholfield and Matt Griffiths are their main jockeys, while in terms of track stats with 7 winners from their last 12 runners then keep a special lookout for any runners they have at Huntingdon – especially over hurdles (5 from 8, 63%).
Upcoming entries and track stats: Ludlow (2 from 15, 13%), Newbury (3 from 23, 13%), Exeter (13 from 70, 19%), Ascot (1 from 14, 7%), Haydock (1 from 7, 14%)
REBECCA CURTIS (5 winners from her last 13 runners, 38% strike-rate): A Ffos Las Monday double followed up her Cheltenham weekend win with At Fishers Cross, who certainly looks a horse on the upgrade. This Welsh-based yard are already on 33 winners and need just 6 more to equal their 2011-12 tally – something they will do before too long. Teaforthree is their big Xmas hope has he tries to get back on the winning trial and land the Welsh National on the 27th and after an encouraging 6th in the Hennessy then he should be ready to bounce back to the form that saw him land the National Hunt 4m race at last season’s Cheltenham Festival. Looking at their race splits, they’ve had 5 NH Flat winners from just 23 runners, but interesting of their 33 winners a massive 22 have been with their hurdlers.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Ascot (1 from 11, 9%), Chepstow (7 from 42, 17%)
MARCO BOTTI (3 winners from his last 9 runners, 33% strike-rate): Being on the 47 winner mark for the season then I suspect the Botti team will be going all out to try and hit 50 winners before the year's out – something they’ve yet to do since holding a licence in 2006. That said, even if they don’t have another winner this will be there best ever campaign, having already beaten last year’s tally by one. They’ve also backed a nice £477k from their UK runners and although not as much as last season don’t forget they did have Excelebration during that time who banked them a fair few quid. Plus their classy Joshua Tree also won the Canadian International back in October and a cool £569k, so I’m sure it’s going to be a great Xmas at the Botti yard. The bulk of their 47 winners have been with their 3 year-olds (23), but they also have plenty to look forward to next season with 16 juvenile successes too. Looking ahead they’ve got several entries at Kempton and Lingfield later in the week.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Lingfield AW (16 from 120, 13%), Kempton AW (28 from 225, 12%)
EMMA LAVELLE (5 winners from her last 16 runners, 31% strike-rate): Had a great Saturday with four winners at Lingfield, Doncaster (2) and Cheltenham – but to be fair they needed them! Surprisingly that only puts them on 10 winners for the season, but hopefully they’ve turned a corner now and can bat on towards the 42 they managed in 2011-12. Being realistic they might just have too much ground to make up being that we are almost in January, but I’m sure they will give it their best crack and with exciting prospects like Highland Lodge, Kentford Grey Lady and Easter Meteor in their care then these horses are sure to play their part. In terms of jockeys, obviously, Dominic Elsworth gets the bulk of their rides, but it’s interesting that they’ve also been using conditional Conor Quish, who can claim 10lbs, a lot of late too.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Newbury (7 from 61, 11%), Ludlow (1 from 11, 9%), Exeter (12 from 66, 18%), Ascot (3 from 48, 6%)
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