As we enter a new year Andy Newton gives you six stables that are heading into 2013 in tip-top order.
MALCOLM JEFFERSON (5 winners from his last 11 runners, 45% strike-rate): The North Yorkshire-based yard have been banging in the winners, that included a 21/1 Boxing Day Wetherby double, over the Christmas period. They followed that up with more winners on the 27th and 29th to suggest their horses are heading into the New Year in great order. Jockey Harry Haynes has been given a real opportunity to make a name for himself as the yard has been using him on most of their runners, but Jack Doyle was used on their stable star Cape Tribulation's recent win over fences at Wetherby. This good spell puts them on 16 winners now for the jumps season and they look in a decent position to better the 26 they managed last term, and even try and surpass the 31 (their best ever) that they managed in 2006-07. As the season progresses keep a look out for any runners thy send up to Perth, especially over fences – they’ve currently got a 39% record with their chasers at the Scottish venue.
Track stats and upcoming entries: Catterick (3 from 40, 8%), Ayr (3 from 29, 10%)
STEVE GOLLINGS (3 winners from his last 7 runners, 43% strike-rate): Had three winners since Boxing Day with their limited runners, and young jockey Paul Bohan, who claims a handy 7lbs, has been on two of them. Make a note of any money in the betting for theirs too, as the their last two to be sent off favourite have gone in. In terms of the professional pilots they’ve been using Tom Scudamore and Brian Hughes when they can too, while don’t forget they do have a fair few flat runners too. Their jumping figures so far this term sees them on 10 winners, and that’s already matched what they ended up with in 2011-12. They will now be pushing on towards 13, which they’ve managed twice before and with two of their recent winners going in by 14 and 25 lengths then you suspect they can overtake that target with ease in the coming months. Look out for any runners they send to the tight Fakenham track as they have a 28% record there, while they do quite well with their flat runners at Kempton too – and have Landesherr entered at the Southern track this Thursday.
Track stats and upcoming entries: Kempton AW (9 from 51, 18%), Musselburgh (no runners)
RON HARRIS (3 winners from his last 8 runners, 38% strike-rate): No luck with their only runner on New Year’s Eve with a horse called Diamond Vine, but it was interesting that it was well-backed before the off and with conditions not ideal a the Surrey track I wouldn’t give up on that one just yet. With 63 flat winners in 2012 this was by far their best-ever campaign, with 52 their previous best and although they lack quality they do extremely well with what they have. On the turf you’ll find most of their runners at tracks like Bath & Chepstow, but the bulk of their runners are sent to all four of the AW tracks. Luke Morris is used the most when free, but they are one of many stables that have also started to recognise the talents of William Twiston-Davies on the level and book his services when they can too.
Track stats and upcoming entries: Kempton AW (36 from 278, 13%), Lingfield AW (34 from 317, 11%), Wolverhampton AW (39 from 516, 8%)
NICKY HENDERSON (7 winners from their last 22 runners, 32% strike-rate): Made giant strides into catching Paul Nicholls in the trainers’ title race over the Xmas period, most notably with Long Run landing the King George for a second time. After a great Boxing Day they actually failed to have a winner over the next two days, and, I guess, if you want to be over critically then you’d also be pointing out they had two well-fancied odds-on shots beaten at Taunton on Sunday. That said, the ground was desperate that day and I wouldn’t read too much into those runs, especially the useful flat recruit Electrolyser’s poor showing – he’ll be much better on slightly quicker underfoot conditions. The standings now between Henderson and Nicholls stands at £1,263.00 (Nicholls) to £1,059.00 (Henderson) and with the Seven Barrows team now long odds on in the betting you suspect that even if Nicholls pulls another Grand National-winning rabbit out of the hat later in the season, even that might not be enough!
Track stats and upcoming entries: Fakenham (17 from 43, 40%), Lingfield (3 from 13, 23%), Musselburgh (4 from 11, 36%)
DAVID PIPE (7 winners from his last 23 runners, 30% strike-rate): Had a stream of runners since Boxing Day which they notched 7 winners from, while, although beaten just over 14 lengths, it was good to see Grands Crus run a decent third in the King George. Their Home Run (engaged at Exeter on Tuesday & Lingfield on Friday) has been running up a sequence of wins too under some of the stable’s conditionals and with another easy win at Taunton on Sunday then his winning run might not be over yet either. They are now on 55 winners for the season, but although they might get near the 101 they managed last term they might be hard-pressed to better their best-ever tally of 134 (2006-07). With over £500,000 in total prize money they are ticking along nicely on that front, and will be hoping for a big run from their Sona Sasta and Master Overseer in Saturday’s Coral Welsh National. The yard have won that famous race 5 times, but it’s worth pointing out their last victory was way back in 1993 with Riverside Boy. Finally, they have a few entered still at this stage up at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day and they are currently 2-from-2 at the Scottish venue.
Track stats and upcoming entries: Exeter (15 from 162, 9%), Musselburgh (2 from 2, 100%), Ayr (3 from 16, 19%), Lingfield (5 from 25, 20%), Chepstow (18 from 85, 21%)
NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES (5 winners from his last 17 runners, 29% strike-rate): Have always been a yard to follow when you see them fire in a few winners, so with three winners from their last 6 sent to post then it could pay to have them on your side in the coming weeks. African Gold was a gutsy winner in the heavy at Newbury on Saturday and looks a horse on the upgrade, but you get the feeling that he had quite a hard race that day and it could be that connections see how he’s come out of that run before sending him out again. Son, Sam, has been on the bulk of their runners and has now ridden 57 winners this season and looks a banker to better the 81 he managed last term. The yard’s numbers read as 50 winners for the season, and they’ve been split almost 50-50 with their hurdlers and chasers. They notched 70 last term, while 97 is their best-ever, and that was achieved during the 2010-11 campaign. Looking ahead they will be hoping the rescheduled Coral Welsh National gets the all clear on Saturday as their Viking Blond looks to hold a real chance of add to the stable’s two wins in the gruelling contest, plus at this stage they’ve also got Major Malarkey running too. Finally, look for any runners they send to Hexham in the coming months – they have a 42% record there overall, but are also 4 from 8 (50%) with their hurdlers at the track.
Track stats and upcoming entries: Catterick (0 from 1), Lingfield (4 from 22, 18%), Chepstow (11 from 113, 10%)
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