This week Andy Newton’s got seven in-form flat handlers to keep a look out for.
ED WALKER (5 winners from his last 10 runners, 50% strike-rate): Nicholascopernicus winning last week’s King George VI Stakes would have been a nice way to continue his upward curve, but he still ran a fair race and after a hard few weeks I’m sure given a break will be winning again. This is just their third season, having notched 11 winners in 2011, so with 8 already this term you can expect Luca Cumani’s former assistant’s to continue on the up. They tend to use William Buick and George Baker in the saddle the most – they’ve bagged two wins a-piece for the yard in recent weeks – with Neil Callan riding the other. Looking at the breakdown of their winners it’s their 3 year-olds that they are excelling with – 6 of the 8 winners fit into this age bracket. Taking a glance ahead to their up-coming entries they have a one entered at Lingfield on Saturday night, and that’s a track they have a 21% strike-rate at, while they must be exciting about potentially having their first runner up at Chester on Friday too.
Track Stats and Up-coming entries: Warwick (0 from 1), Doncaster (1 from 5), Chester (no runners), Newmarket (July) (0 from 3), Lingfield AW (3 from 14, 21%)
RON HODGES (5 winners from his last 12 runners, 42% strike-rate): With 10 of their last 12 runners actually finishing third or better then things are looking rosy in the Hodges camp present. You will still find them having the odd jumps runner at this time of year too, but the bulk of their runners will be on the flat. Just 7 wins in 2012 so far, from 47 runners, and although they are unlikely to get more than 15-20 winners this season (their best-ever was 27 in 1991) it still pays to know the yards that are in-form and those that aren’t. Three of their last five winners were sent off as the market leader, and you will find the bulk of their runners at Bath, where they had another winner on Wednesday evening, Wolverhampton or Lingfield.
Track Stats and Up-coming entries: Warwick (0 from 16), Lingfield (6 from 90), and Salisbury (0 from 28)
DAVID BARRON (5 winners from his last 16 runners, 31% strike-rate): One of their stable stars, Waffle, came close in last Saturday’s Wokingham Stakes when finishing runner-up in that race for the second year on the bounce, but with four wins from five runners before that the signs have been good for the Barron team. They are another extremely consistent yard, having fired in 40+ winners in each of the last 12 campaigns and with 29 already they are odds-on to do so again. The yard have sent out 3 juvenile winners from 17 runners so far in 2012, but the bulk of their winners come in the 4+year-old bracket (17 so far). Jockey Graham Gibbons is their main man in the saddle, but also look out for Luke McNiff – the 5lb claimer is getting his fair share of rides for the yard and with 10 wins under his belt is becoming more experienced by the week.
Track Stats and Up-coming entries: Newcastle (8 from 79, 10%), Chester (2 from 16, 13%), Windsor (1 from 4, 25%), Curragh (1 from 8, 13%), Doncaster (8 from 74, 11%)
ED DUNLOP (3 winners from his last 10 runners, 30% strike-rate): Having had a slow start to the season the signs have been there in the last week or so that things could be about to explode at the Dunlop yard. Just 15 successes so far, but they’ve consistently got around 40-50 in all of the last 10 seasons, so you can expect a flurry of winners soon. No wins at Royal Ascot last week, but they only had 5 runners and were rewarded with a 66/1 third in the Queen Alexandra Stakes, while Red Cadeaux ran is normal reliable race to finish third in the Hardwicke. Just 2 juvenile winners from 15 so far too, but they’ve managed double-figures in that age group in all of last 4 seasons, so that’s another area to keep tabs on in the coming weeks/months. At this stage they’ve got a few heading up to Newcastle on Saturday – a track they are currently 5 from 10 at!
Track Stats and Up-coming entries: Doncaster (6 from 56, 11%), Folkestone (0 from 21), Newmarket (July) (9 from 87, 10%), Chester (1 from 15, 7%), Newcastle (5 from 10, 50%)
DAVID O’MEARA (5 winners from his last 17 runners, 29% strike-rate): In fact 20 of their last 35 runners have finished third or better, but the key trend at the moment is if their runners go off favourite. Three of their last four to start the race as market leader have won, so keep a note of any positives in the betting. Jockey Daniel Tudhope gets the bulk of the rides now Silvestre De Sousa has moved to greater heights, but also keep a look out for young David Bergin. The 5lb claimer is 2-from-2 with his recent rides for the yard, including a fine front-running effort to get Elusive Bonus home up at Beverley on Tuesday. With 29 winners they remain on target to better last year’s tally of 48 and considering this is only their third season training then 102 winners in that period is no mean feat.
Track Stats and Up-coming entries: Newcastle (3 from 38, 8%), Hamilton (0 from 5), Chester (1 from 9), Newmarket (July) (0 from 6), Doncaster (6 from 70, 9%), Pontefract (6 from 35, 17%)
WILLIAM HAGGAS (4 winners from his last 14 runners, 29% strike-rate): Last week’s Britannia Stakes win with Fast or Free was the highlight last week, but they followed that up with wins at Goodwood on Friday and Pontefract on Sunday. That puts them on 35 now for the season, and just over halfway to bettering last season’s tally of 76. A massive 63% of their runners this term have managed to finish fourth or better, while with 3 two year-olds wins from just 9 sent to post then any juvenile runners should also be noted. Looking ahead they’ve got some entered at Chester - a track they’ve got a 33% strike-rate at - later in the week, and especially any 2 year-olds as they are 5-from-7 on the Roodee with their youngsters. Finally, they rarely leave Newcastle empty handed (9 from 22 at present), so anything they send up to the weekend’s Northumberland Plate meeting should also be respected.
Track Stats and Up-coming entries: Warwick (8 from 33, 24%), Yarmouth (16 from 98, 16%), Leicester (4 from 32, 13%), Doncaster (12 from 75, 16%), Chester (9 from 27, 33%), Newmarket (July) (13 from 108, 12%), Newcastle (9 from 22, 41%), Windsor (9 from 45, 20%), Salisbury (4 from 29, 14%)
SIR MICHAEL STOUTE (8 winners from his last 32 runners, 25% strike-rate): Landing last week’s Queen’s Vase for Her Majesty would have been added to the many career highlights Sir Michael has achieved during his career, and with Sea Moon, who took the Hardwicke Stakes, adding to his Ascot haul it was good to see this powerful yard back in the big-time. Yes, the last few campaigns have not been that great, and they drew a black with five fancied runners around the country on Wednesday, but this is mainly due to the high standards they’ve set themselves over the years, but it looks as if they could have turned a corner, albeit a small one. Stable jockey Ryan Moore, who ended the week as top jockey at Royal Ascot, is a huge asset to have at their disposal and all-in-all look set for a good few months ahead. That said, they are still on just 23 winners for the season, and it’s hard to see them getting anywhere near the 73 they managed in 2010 or even the 99 the season before (116 is their best-ever – 1989). On the horizon they’ve got plenty entered, but it’s their 3+ year-olds at either Chester or Windsor we should be looking out for in the coming days.
Track Stats and Up-coming entries: Doncaster (9 from 65, 14%), Chester (11 from 49, 22%), Newmarket (July) (13 from 108, 12%), Windsor (23 from 103, 22%), Salisbury (8 from 58, 14%)
*All trainer stats correct as 28th June 2012
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