Andy Newton’s got six more trainers to look out for this week, including two high-profile NH yards that could not be heading to Cheltenham in much better form.....
HANS ADIELSSON (3 winners from his last 6 runners, 50% strike-rate): A former champion trainer in his native Sweden he’s now based in Oxon and is doing well with his limited string. He does have the backing of well-known owner Eric Penser, which helps, but with 7 winners from his last 21 runners then anything they run at the moment is worthy of a second glance. A horse of theirs called Hurricane Spirit dotted up at Kempton last month and looks an improving sort, as does Buckland, who has won his last two starts in eye-catching fashion. 11 successes last term looks like being smashed in the coming weeks, but with the bulk of their runners coming on the AW tracks then there is not a lot to say about their potential runners on the turf in the coming months. Of the sand venues they do best at Kempton (16%), so will be hoping to improve their figures at both Lingfield and Wolverhampton –strike-rates at both tracks are just 6% at present. The up-and-coming Nicole Nordblad gets the majority of their rides, and she could be a name to look out for this season as the female pilots look to further enhance their appeal to owners and trainers.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Lingfield (3 from 49, 6%), Wolverhampton (4 from 68, 6%)
PAUL NICHOLLS (14 winners from his lat 34 runners, 41% strike-rate): For a yard this size to have a strike-rate in the 30% region is remarkable in itself, but the Nicholls team are into the 40% mark at the moment and with Cheltenham just around the corner they couldn’t have hit form at a better time. With the string they’ve got heading to Prestbury Park arguably not as good as previous seasons then it’s no surprise in the ‘top trainer’ betting they are behind Henderson and Mullins, but with their horses flying at present then maybe that’s where the value lies – he’s around 9/1! This current good run saw them break the 100 winners mark again last week – something they’ve done in all of the past 11 campaigns. They are sitting on 108 and with 153 (2004-05) their best yet they will certainly go close to bettering that. Mr Mole is currently a leading fancy for Saturday’s Paddy Power Imperial Cup, and if he wins that will be eyeing up the sponsor’s £75k bonus the following week – possibly in the County Hurdle. Also, surprisingly, they could be having their first runners at Leicester in a long time with Gwanako entered in a Hunters’ Chase there on Friday, while look for anything they send to Fontwell on Wednesday – they’ve a 35% strike-rate there.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Fontwell (34 from 97, 35%), Wincanton (60 from 218, 28%), Sandown (29 from 134, 22%), Leicester (no runners), Chepstow (37 from 191, 19%), Warwick (7 from 32, 22%), Cheltenham (69 from 408, 17%)
MICHAEL BELL (3 winners from his last 7 runners, 43% strike-rate): It could have been so much better had their Star of Rohm got up at 1/2 last week too. Hayley Turner has been on two of their three recent winners, with Willie Twiston-Davies doing the steering on the other. With the season yet to kick in for these kinds of stables then it must be encouraging for the yard to know then are heading into the new turf campaign in form. 4 winners so far from just 20 sent to post, but as the year moves on you can expect them to get in the region of 45-50 winners if recent seasons are anything to go by. 72 in 2008 was their best yet, while in terms of prize money it’s no surprise that 2005 – their Derby winning year – was their most profitable with over £1.2 mill banked. Over the last three season’s they done by far the best with their 3 year-olds (124 winners), while the tracks to look out for their runners at are places like Yarmouth, Redcar and Hamilton. Plus, they could even have a runner at the Cheltenham Festival next week as The Betchworth Kid does hold an entry in the Coral Cup and County Hurdle.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Kempton (14 from 116, 12%), Cheltenham (no runners)
GORDON ELLIOT (4 winners from his last 12 runners, 33% strike-rate): Another powerful NH yard that are heading to Prestbury Park next week with his horses in great heart. They’ve not had as many runners over in the UK as they might normally, I suspect the bad weather over the last month or two has not helped. That said, they’ve still sent out 16 winners from 73 UK runners (22%), but over in Ireland they are on 41 winners, one better than last season, but still 21 short of their best. You can expect the former Grand National-winning trainer to have a big team heading to Cheltenham next week and with their horses in this form it will be a shock if they can’t bring at least one winner back across the Irish Sea.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Cheltenham (9 from 73, 12%), Downpatrick (22 from 152, 14%), Clonmel (4 from 53, 8%), Gowran Park (9 from 77, 12%)
JEREMY GASK (3 winners from his last 9 runners, 33% strike-rate): Sent out 20 winners last term, but managed his best ever tally of 34 the season before (2011). With 7 already on the board for 2013 from just 34 runners (21%) then things are looking healthy for another decent campaign. As we get into the turf season in a month or so if there is one word of caution then it’ll be with their juveniles – they’ve had just four 2 year-old winners from their last 91 runners! They do okay with their 3 year-olds, but it’s with their older horses they do best (81 winners in the last 5 seasons). They do farm a lot of the AW tracks, with Kempton and Wolverhampton the two they have the most runners at, but as we see more racing on the green stuff then be sure to note any runners they have at Ripon, Brighton or Pontefract – all tracks they’ve done well at in the past. In terms of jockeys they use Robert Winston a lot, but are one of many yards that have also discovered the talents of apprentice Robert Tart.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Wolverhampton (20 from 245, 8%)
TONY CARROLL (3 winners from his last 11 runners, 27% strike-rate): Operates over both codes, but his three recent winners have all been over the sticks. Josh Hamer, who claims 7lbs, has been on two of those and the stable are sure to take advantage of his allowance in the coming months. In terms of figures this puts them on 14 winners over the sticks as they chase 23 being their best yet, while on the flat they’ve are also sitting on the 14 winner mark – with 50 (2011) their best tally on the level. Sticking with the flat you will see most of their runners at Kempton and Wolverhampton, but in recent years they are actually 3-from-4 up at Ayr, while they also seem to do well with their Goodwood (19%) runners. Over jumps they’ve currently got the best strike-rates at tracks like Cartmel and Doncaster, but in particular Market Rasen (31%).
Track stats and up-coming entries: Fontwell (1 from 16, 6%), Kempton (53 from 477, 11%), Wincanton (1 from 13, 8%, Wolverhampton (25 from 321, 8%), Sandown (1 from 39, 3%), Leicester (5 from 50, 10%), Chepstow (2 from 56, 4%), Warwick (4 from 54, 7%), Cheltenham (1 from 19, 5%)
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