JAMES GIVEN (4 winners from his last 8 runners, 50% strike-rate): Another of the flat trainers that seems to have their horses in decent nick at the moment and after bagging 42 winners in 2011 then the Given team could be one to follow over the next 12 months. That tally was their second best-ever, but their best since 2003. Of those 42 victories 26 came on the AW, so you can expect to see plenty of their runners in action over the next three months. Another 11/8 winner at Kempton on Wednesday night was another sign that Mr Given has his string in good order, while in terms of jockeys - they tend to use Frederik Tylicki, who I predict big things for this year, the most but don’t be put off if you see James Sullivan in the plate – he’s 2 from 3 on their horses recently.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Lingfield (7 from 58, 12%) & Wolverhampton (23 from 215, 11%)
TONY COYLE (3 winners from his last 7 runners, 43% strike-rate): Based in North Yorkshire the Coyle team are not on everyone’s familiar trainer list, but with a 50/1 double at Southwell on Tuesday they should be for now at least. That brace came after another winner on Boxing Day, while ALL of their last 7 runners have finished fifth or better! You will see most of their runners on the level, but they have been running River Dragon over the sticks of late, winning once, of late too. They’ve only been in operation since 2011 – bagging 8 winners on the flat, from just 46 runners last year – while over the sticks they’ve had 2 winners from just 9 sent to post.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Wolverhampton (0 from 5) & Southwell (2 from 12, 17%)
SCOTT DIXON (4 winners from his last 10 runners, 40% strike-rate): Not a name most punters would recognise, but a lot of you will be familiar with his dad – Paul Dixon, the chairman of the Horseman’s Group. His famous pink and blue silks can be seen on the AW weather tracks most days, and with his father’s backing then he should be able to get a bit of a head start. The yard has actually only had 11 runners to date, having only had their first runners at the backend of 2011, so to already bag 4 victories is remarkable. They struck gold again on Wednesday with their first ever run at Lingfield when Thunderstuck continued the yard’s excellent run at a very rewarding 20/1! Expect to see them plying their trade at the all weather tracks over the next three months, and in particular at their local track Southwell – three of their four wins have come there!
Up-coming entries and track stats: Wolverhampton (0 from 1), Lingfield (1 from 1, 100%) & Southwell (3 from 9, 33%)
NICKY HENDERSON (21 winners from his last 54 runners, 39% strike-rate): It’s hard to keep the Seven Barrows team out of the hot list at the moment, but with plenty of ground to make up on Nicholls in the trainers’ title race - £934,000 plays £1,323,000 – it’s great for racing and you can expect that deficit to close over the next 2-3 months. Four more winners and two seconds from their six runners on Wednesday would have had the bookmakers reeling again this midweek. They are currently sitting on 93 victories for the season, but with just over 150 last term then there should be plenty more to come. Remarkably for such a huge yard they are operating around the 30% win strike-rate, while, like I say most weeks, keep their NH Flat runners on your side – they are 11 from 32 (34%) in that sphere this season. Looking ahead there are entries galore, so let’s just hope this mild weather continues – but the word is that Captain Conan, who could make his debut for the yard in Saturday’s Tolworth Hurdle, is well thought of.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Ludlow (37 from 95, 39%), Lingfield (5 from 13, 38%), Chepstow (3 from 24, 13%), Bangor (14 from 52, 27%), Sandown (27 from 126, 21%), Wincanton (9 from 58, 16%), Hereford (12 from 39, 31%) & Taunton (7 from 39, 18%)
PAT EDDERY (3 winners from his last 8 runners, 38% strike-rate):The former champion jockey has not exactly hit the heights that many predicted as a trainer, but, to be fair, he’s not really had a major owner behind him. He only bagged 10 winners in the whole of 2011, from 122 runners, so I guess this really could be a make or break campaign for the yard. That said, with three of their last 8 runners going in then they couldn’t be heading into 2012 in better form. Young jockey Ryan Clark, who still claims 3lbs, gets plenty of action for the yard, while it could pay to just stick to their AW runners – 8 of their 10 successes came on the sand surfaces in 2011. The only downside is that the yard doesn’t seem to have any entries on the horizon – I still thought they were worth a mention though.
Up-coming entries and track stats: (No entries)
STEVE GOLLINGS (3 winners from his last 9 runners, 33% strike-rate): They ended 2011 well and with a victory at Catterick on New Year’s Day then it looks as if they’ve carried that good form into 2012. Okay, so that only puts them on 7 NH winners for the season, but that’s from just 40 runners, and actually 55% of those 40 have managed to finished fourth or better. They did, however, end last season with 16 wins over the sticks, so will have that as a target, but when looking out for their runners keep an eye on the AW entries too – in 2011 they had 6 winners on the sand surfaces, from just 28 runners.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Sedgefield (2 from 9, 22%)
GEORGE BAKER (4 winners from his last 13 runners, 31% strike-rate): Another of the flat boys that started to make a name for himself in 2011, so it will be interesting to see how he builds on that in 2012. Keep an eye if the yard book one of the big-gun jockeys – Kieren Fallon was on a 2/1 winner for the yard on New Year’s Day, while Frankie rode several winners for the stable in 2011 too. However, young David Kenny, who claims 5lbs, has been on three of their last 4 winners, and he could just be one of the new names we see more of over the next 12 months. Their 2011 stats saw them finish on 49 winners, but that was from just 244 runners meaning they were in the winners’ enclosure 20% of the time – not bad considering this will only be his fifth year with a licence. If 2011 is anything to go by, they tend to do best with their 3 year-olds – they bagged 15 winners from just 59 sent to post with that age bracket. Finally, they do have the odd runner over the sticks (3 from 44 so far), while they have also sent their classy Humidor over to Meydan.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Lingfield (18 from 93, 19%) & Ludlow (2 from 20, 10%)
DAVID SIMCOCK (3 winners from his last 10 runners, 30% strike-rate): You wouldn’t think we are deep in the heart of the NH season would you? Yes, another flat handler that’s making hay at present with three recent wins, while 9 of his last 10 have finished fifth or better, including a 16/1 third at Kempton this week. They ended 2011 with 46 successes, 3 short of their best tally the season before, but in terms of prize money – helped by Dream Ahead – they banked over £800,000. It will be interesting to see how they get on this year without their stable star, but many shrewd judges have been predicting big things for this yard for a few seasons now – so, for me, it’s time to see if they are right 2012. They tend to have most of their AW runners at Lingfield, Wolverhampton and Kempton, but watch out for any Southwell entries – they are currently 3 from just 15 (20%) at the Notts venue. Finally, you can also expect to see them have the odd runner at the lucrative Dubai Winter Carnival over the next three months too – starting with Mabait on Thursday.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Lingfield (14 from 126, 11%) & Wolverhampton (20 from 158, 13%)
NICKY RICHARDS (3 winners from his last 13 runners, 23% strike-rate): His figures are actually better than they look as those three winners came with his last 4 runners! That puts them on 19 for the season, already one more than the 2010-11 campaign, so hopefully they can kick on again to the sort of figures they achieved from 2004 to 2008. It could be nothing but their last two horses to go off favourite have won, and in terms of jockeys Brian Harding, Fearghal Davis and Dougie Costello get the bulk of the rides. 13 of their 19 successes this term have been with their hurdlers, while 4 of their 7 bumper runners have finished in the frame, including one winner.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Bangor (6 from 34, 18%), Newcastle (13 from 89) & Newbury (0 from 5)
IAN WILLIAMS (7 winners from his last 28 runners, 25% strike-rate): Operating over both codes at present, with 4 flat successes and 3 over the jumps from those recent 7 victories. Their classy grey Barbatos was an eye-catching winner at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and could pop up at a decent price at the festival in a few months. Looking at their jump figures first, they are currently on 19 and well on target to make this another decent campaign over the sticks, while on the level in 2011 they sent out 41 winners, but more importantly ended with a +£66 level stakes profit. They tend to do slightly better with their hurdlers, with 14 of their 19 NH winners coming over the smaller obstacles, but be a bit wary of their NH Flat runners – so far this season they are 0 from 17.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Ludlow (2 from 29, 7%), Wolverhampton (27 from 206, 13%), Lingfield (15 from 60, 25%), Chepstow (2 from 26, 8%), Bangor (6 from 52, 12%), Wincanton (1 from 11, 9%), Sandown (2 from 18, 11%), Southwell (10 from 62, 16%) & Taunton (1 from 15, 7%)
This Week’s Cold Trainers........
LAWNEY HILL (40 days and 21 runners without a winner): Okay, I don’t expect this shrewd yard to be on the cold list for much longer, but all the same not many will know that they are now well into their second month without success. They had a well-fancied bumper horse get beaten, albeit into second, at Southwell on Wednesday, and to be fair that was their third silver medal finish from their last 7 sent to post. Despite this lean spell they have still sent out 18 winners this term and like the last three seasons are also showing a level stakes profit (+£13) and are only 9 winners away from making this their best-ever campaign. However, with all this in mind, like I said, I expect them to turn the corner soon, but until they do find that all important winner to drag them out of this mini-slump the advice is to be a shade cautious with their runners.
MICHAEL SCUDAMORE (44 days and 26 runners without a winner): Like Lawney Hill, the Scudamore operation are now into their second month without a victory, and with only 7 NH winners from 94 sent to post this season then it’s not been a great time. That said, they only managed 9 last season and 12 in both the two seasons before that. A lot of theirs have also not exactly been fancied in the betting, and they did go close with a ¾ length second at Lingfield last week so let’s hope this Herefordshire-based yard can turn things around soon.
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