Andy Newton highlights the trainers who are heading into the Easter period in tip-top form...............
WARREN GREATREX (3 winners from his last 6 runners, 50% strike-rate): Not been having many runners of late, but the ones they are sending to post are clearly doing the business. Three of their last 7 have gone in and with 20 winners now in 2011-12 this is their best season so far. They only been operating for the three seasons and with powerful owner Malcolm Denmark behind them then you can expect bigger and better things in the years to come. They’ve had more hurdles winners than chase successes, but they do seem to excel with their NH Flat horses – they are 7 from just 32 (22%) so far this season.
Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Newton Abbot (0 from 6), Towcester (2 from 12, 17%), Plumpton (2 from 16, 13%), Chepstow (2 from 19, 11%) & Huntingdon (0 from 15)
HENRY DALY (4 winners from his last 10 runners, 40% strike-rate): The Shropshire-based hander only had his first runners of the month on Tuesday, but that resulted in a 10/1 third and if you add that to the 4 winners they had at the backend of March then it’s clear their horses are in good heart. Jockey Andrew Tinkler gets the bulk of the rides these days, and has been on 3 of those 4 recent winners, while in terms of winners they are now on 23 from the season and considering they managed only 8 last term then I suspect Daly’s bank manager is breathing a bit easier. They do slightly better with their chasers, with 14 winners compared to 9 over hurdles, but on a negative it’s worth nothing they are 0 from 22 with their bumper horses this season.
Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Ludlow (13 from 129, 10%), Haydock (6 from 32 19%), Newton Abbot (0 from 8), & Towcester (10 from 80, 13%)
PAUL NICHOLLS (8 winners from his last 20 runners, 40% strike-rate): With only around £10k in the trainers’ title between Nicholls and Henderson then next week’s Aintree Festival is really going to swing it one way or the other. Henderson’s Seven Barrows yard are the clear favourites with plenty of ammo heading to Liverpool, but Nicholls could not have his horses in much better form with 8 of their last 20 going in. They are now on 119 for the season - 30 behind Henderson in that respect, but for such a big yard it’s remarkable that they’ve been sending out winners around the 20%+ mark for the past 17 seasons!
Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Ludlow (4 from 31, 13%), Wincanton (59 from 225, 26%), Newton Abbot (46 from 146, 32%), Haydock (10 from 48, 21%), Chepstow (45 from 221, 20%) & Plumpton (8 from 34, 24%)
PAUL WEBBER (3 winners from his last 8 runners, 38% strike-rate): Another that is seemingly going for quality over quantity at the moment with only a handful of runners recently – but I guess the drying ground is somewhat to blame. Dominic Elsworth gets the majority of the stable rides and has been on two of those recent winners, while their stable star, Time For Rupert, could be heading for the bet365 Gold Cup later this month. They do also have the odd flat runner and were actually 6 from just 26 (23%) on the level in 2011. In terms of their jump numbers they are currently on 30 for the season and need just 6 more to make this their best-ever campaign in that respect. Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Haydock (1 from 14, 7%), Towcester (4 from 41, 10%), Chepstow (0 from 9) & Huntingdon (7 from 61, 11%)
J R JENKINS (3 winners from his last 8 runners, 38% strike-rate): Yes, the yard have only had 8 winners so far in 2012, but considering three of those have come in the last week and that they normally get between 20-30 for the whole season then things have started well for the Jenkins team. They do operate mainly on the AW tracks, in particular at Kempton where they’ve had over 350 runners in recent years. With only 5 flat turf wins last term then this further backs up that we should be focusing on their sand runners, while it could pay to look out for any 3 year-olds they run at Southwell as they are 8 from 30 (27%) with that age group there. They also have a fair few runners over the sticks and are 6 winners from 37 so far this season, while in the last 5 seasons all bar one of their NH wins came over hurdles. Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Yarmouth (2 from 106, 2%) & Fakenham (1 from 16, 6%)
DONALD McCAIN (13 winners from his last 36 runners, 36% strike-rate): A 12/1 double up at Sedgefield on Tuesday means last year’s Grand National-winning stable will be heading to Aintree in tip-top order. That puts them on a staggering 142 wins for the season – that’s more than Paul Nicholls and only a handful adrift of Henderson. They are also operating at +£35 for level stakes if you’d backed all their runners this season, and considering they won the Merseyside marathon last term they are only £160,000 off last season’s total prize money haul. With 96 of their 142 winners coming over hurdles then that’s worth noting, while they are 15 from 66 (23%) with their bumper runners.
Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Wincanton (3 from 13, 23%), Haydock (35 from 143, 24%), Carlisle (20 from 146, 14%), Towcester (7 from 79, 9%) & Aintree (11 from 120, 9%)
TOM GEORGE (4 winners from his last 13 runners, 31% strike-rate): Like the Henry Daly yard they’ve only had a small amount of runners so far this month, but they ended March with four victories from their last nine sent to post. With 38 wins now for the season they are just 12 shy of their best-ever tally for a season, while 53% of their runners this campaign have finished fourth or better. It normally pays to stick with their chasers with 24 wins in that sphere as opposed to 9 over hurdles, but they have also fired in 5 NH Flat winners from just 13 runners. Looking ahead they have a few entries at Ludlow and Haydock, but it’s worth pointing out they are only 1 from 21 at Haydock in recent seasons. Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Ludlow (4 from 46, 9%) & Haydock (1 from 21, 5%)
DAVID PIPE (6 winners from his last 23 runners, 26% strike-rate): No luck with their three runners at Exeter and Hereford on Wednesday, but they've been slowly going about their business this season and are now on the 91 win mark, however, it’s unlikely they will better their best-ever tally of 134, which they achieved in 2006-07. They are another yard that have one of the leading Grand National fancies in Junior, and are, of course, no strangers to landing that famous prize. 61 of their 91 successes this season have been over the smaller obstacles, but they are only 2 from 36 with their hurdlers at Aintree. Also keep an eye on the Irish Grand National entries as they’ve still got this year’s Midlands National winner, Master Overseer, in the race.
Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Wincanton (25 from 181, 14%), Haydock (9 from 56, 16%), Newton Abbot (37 from 255, 15%) & Aintree (5 from 78, 6%)
TIM VAUGHAN (7 winners from his last 29 runners, 24% strike-rate): I flagged up the Vaughan yard last week and despite not having many runners they have still fired in three more winners, including a double at Exeter on Wednesday. For a stable that have done so well in recent years they had their biggest blip to date over the past few months with a very lean spell, but things are certainly back on track now. I mentioned it last week, but because they had 2-3 months without a winner they will no doubt have some very well handicapped horses on their hands to go to war with and considering that bad patch they have still sent out 96 winners this season. That makes this term their best-ever and are sure to break the 100 mark for the first time in the coming weeks – the only thing they are lacking at the moment are a few more top-end horses to take on the likes of Henderson and Nicholls with, but I’m sure being a young handler it won’t be long before they are attracting the slightly bigger owners. The final thing to note is that 70% of their bumper horses, which includes 9 winners from 42 runners, have finished fourth or better this season.
Track Stats and Up-coming Entries: Wincanton (9 from 37, 24%), Ludlow (8 from 54, 15%), Haydock (0 from 10), Newton Abbot (22 from 135, 16%), Plumpton (11 from 58, 19%), Towcester (13 from 56, 23%), Fakenham (15 from 51, 29%), Chepstow (9 from 97, 9%) & Huntingdon (6 from 40, 15%)
This Week's Cold Trainers..................................
KEITH GOLDSWORTHY (223 days and 61 runners without a winner)
NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES (14 days and 25 runners without a winner)
Click on a trainer’s name to see all their up-coming entries