It‘s simple this week – just look out for a trainer with the surname ‘Williams’ - Maybe Serena, Robbie and Venus should take up a licence!
JOHN GOSDEN (3 winners from his last 8 runners, 38% strike-rate): All bar one of their eight recent runners have finished third or better and with three of those winning then this powerful yard are having an excellent start to the year. That puts them on 5 wins for 2012, which might not sound a lot, but they have come from just 11 runners, while a monster 10 of those 11 have finished fourth or better! Last season they ended one winner shy of 100, and recorded 23 AW victories. Jockey Nicky Mackay is making the most of William Buick riding over in Dubai as he’s been on all of their last 8 runners, including those 3 recent wins.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Kempton AW (41 from 210, 20%) & Lingfield AW (26 from 118, 22%)
CHARLIE LONGSDON (5 winners from his last 16 runners, 33% strike-rate): With four wins from his last five runners and a huge 12 of his last 16 finishing third or better then you’d be foolish to overlook any of their runners at present. Apart from a minor lean spell 2-3 months back this yard have been in scintillating form for virtually 18 months now and with 51 wins already this season then this will already be their best-ever campaign since taking out a licence back in 2006. This will, therefore, be their sixth season, and it was only in 2009-10 that then didn’t end on a positive level stakes profit – they remain on target to uphold this trend being +£43 ahead so far. They tend to do slightly better with their chasers with 25 of their 51 wins, but they are also 10 from 32 with their NH Flat runners, while many shrewd judges are predicting this up-and-coming yard to have a really good Cheltenham.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Warwick (3 from 24, 13%), Huntingdon (11 from 73, 15%), Fontwell (4 from 51, 8%), Uttoxeter (8 from 37, 22%) & Taunton (1 from 26, 4%)
JAMIE OSBORNE (3 winners from his last 10 runners, 33% strike-rate): The former jumps jockey seems to have his all weather string in cracking order and anything they run at the moment should be noted – they even had a runner at Meydan last Friday that was a credible sixth in a decent race. On the domestic front they’ve fired in winners at Southwell, Wolverhampton and Lingfield in recent weeks highlighting that they are equally as effective at all the sand tracks. All three victories came over 5-7f trips, while although they tend to use jockey Fergus Sweeney a lot this trio of wins came under Franny Norton, Stevie Donohoe and the beautiful Leonna Mayor! That puts them on only 4 wins for the season, but that’s from only 16 runners and after all we are only a month into the year – last year they notched 24 victories, of which 13 came on the all weather. Finally, it’s a bit early in the season for the 2 year-olds, but in a few months keep an eye out for their juveniles – last year half of their 24 wins came with their youngsters.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Wolverhampton AW (21 from 208, 10%) & Lingfield AW (13 from 149, 9%)
IAN WILLIAMS (6 winners from his last 20 runners, 30% strike-rate): The first of the Williams' - I’ve lost count how many weeks this yard have featured in this list, but there seems to be no let up with more winners last Friday, and this Monday & Tuesday. Those wins again advertised how versatile the yard is with one coming over jumps and the other two on the level. In terms of pure numbers that puts them on an impressive 8 from 22 on the flat (+£25), while over the sticks this season they are now have 21 winners and need just 5 more to better their 2010-11 jumps tally. With leading flat owner Dr Marwan Koukash putting more and more of his horses their way then you can expect big things from this stable in 2012 – they will have 50+ winners as their target – last year they ended with 41 (their best yet). My last observation is that look out for any money in the betting – their last runners to be sent of clear favourite looked like this – 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st !
Upcoming entries and track stats: Warwick (5 from 53, 9%), Kempton AW (17 from 103, 17%), Huntingdon (6 from 39, 15%), Wolverhampton AW (32 from 225, 14%), Uttoxeter (10 from 82, 12%), Doncaster (1 from 31, 3%), Ffos Las (2 from 7, 29%) & Sedgefield (1 from 8, 13%)
KEITH REVELEY (4 winners from his last 14 runners, 29% strike-rate): With seven of their last 13 runners finishing third or better, including 4 winners then this northern-based yard are one to keep an eye on. Son James, of course, gets the bulk of the rides despite now also being stable jockey to Nick Williams and here at geegeez we are predicting big things for this rider in the coming years. From a punting point of view what’s been good is that these recent successes have also been fairly decent prices – 6/1, 85/40, 5/1 and 9/2 – meaning for those of you that like the each-way security then most of these would have appeal to you too. Last season then ended with a +£27 level stake profit and they are on target for a repeat as they currently sit on +£31, while with 22 winners they’ve already equalled last season’s tally and will be pushing hard to try and top their best ever finish of 32 (2005-06). They’ve also had 3 NH Flat winners from just 12 sent to post, and actually over all three NH disciplines are currently operating at over 20% on each!
Upcoming entries and track stats: Newcastle (15 from 94, 16%), Huntingdon (5 from 28, 18%), Doncaster (7 from 68, 10%) & Sedgefield (9 from 49, 18%)
STUART WILLIAMS (4 winners from his last 14 runners, 29% strike-rate): Another with the Williams name that is making hay at present. Jockey William Carson gets the bulk of the rides for the Newmarket-based team, and in recent weeks 6 of their last 10 runners have finished third or better. That puts them on five winners from 18 runners in 2012 as they look to beat their 2009 haul of 42 for a season. If last year is anything to go on then of their 28 victories 15 came on the sand surfaces, while they had 20 aged 4 or older, and, finally, be a shade wary when their 2 year-old come out – in 2011 they were only 1 from 27 with their juveniles.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Kempton AW (30 from 212, 14%) & Lingfield AW (21 from 137, 15%)
MARK JOHNSTON (7 winners from his last 25 runners, 28% strike-rate): The yard’s slogan is ‘Always Trying’, but it seems their winter runners are doing more than just trying at the moment. This powerful yard are laying down a real marker at this early part of the year and have already bagged 10 victories from just 34 sent to post in January. In fact a monster 69% of their last 27 runners have finished fourth or better!! Of course, due to the size of the yard and just the sheer volume of runners then send to post these figures will come down as we get into the heart of the year, but after failing to break the 200 winners in a season mark for the first time since 2008 last year then they will be keen to put that right. Of their 179 victories last term 54 came on the all weather tracks, while a huge 107 came with their 3 year-olds. Jockey Joe Fanning is making hay while Silvestre De Sousa takes a break from the UK action having ridden all of their last 7 winners. In terms of their AW stats they seem to do best at Wolverhampton, Lingfield and Southwell where their strike-rates are all 20%+, while at Kempton it’s only 14%. Also I was at Lingfield last Thursday and had to look twice at the card – it was a jumps fixture at the southern track and the Johnston team had a runner – so don’t forget to look out for their jumpers too – that said their last NH win was back in the 1997-98 season!
Upcoming entries and track stats: Southwell AW (65 from 275, 24%), Kempton AW (45 from 322, 14%), Lingfield AW (67 from 316, 21%), Wolverhampton AW (78 from 363, 21%), Doncaster (no runners) & Ffos Las (no runners)
KEITH DALGLEISH (4 winners from his last 15 runners, 27% strike-rate): A 15/1 double at Wolverhampton on Monday and one going in at Lingfield on Wednesday was another clear sign how well this yard are going at present. This former jockey made a big splash to his training career last year with 39 wins in his rookie season, and with a string of loyal owners behind him then you can expect Mark Johnston’s former rider to be a name to look out for in 2012. He tries to snap up his old riding colleague Joe Fanning when he can, which is a move that’s also paying dividends with Joe being on all his recent successes. Their last four to be sent off as clear favourite in the betting finished 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, so that’s worth bearing in mind too. Upcoming entries and track stats: No entries on the horizon, but with the AW racing coming thick and fast now you can expect this to change.
PAUL NICHOLLS (7 winners from his last 28 runners, 25% strike-rate): Playing second fiddle in terms of sheer winners to the Henderson team, but they won’t mind that too much being almost £400,00 ahead in the prize money stakes. They are currently on 89 for the season, while last term they hit 134 and their best-ever was 155 back in 2008-09. I’m not sure if they will hit those numbers in 2012, but you never know as when the yard get on one of their runs then they can fire in 10+ winners in under a week! 3 NH winners from 21 tells a story on that front, but 120 of their 175 hurdles winners (69%) have finished fourth or better this season – including 46 wins. That said, their chase figures are almost identical with 114 of their 175 chasers ending fourth or better (65%) with 40 victories, but you can expect those numbers to increase this weekend with a big team heading to Cheltenham trials day on Saturday. The stable’s second jockey, Daryl Jacob is having his best-ever season with 64 wins and he remains well on target to hit his first century, while Ruby is currently on 33 wins this season in the UK – his best-ever tally in the UK was 81 back in 2004-05.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Warwick (5 from 30, 17%), Fontwell (31 from 94, 33%), Huntingdon (3 from 17, 18%), Cheltenham (64 from 415, 15%), Doncaster (11 from 43, 26%) & Ffos Las (3 from 16, 19%)
NICKY HENDERSON (10 winners from his last 41 runners, 24% strike-rate): I mentioned the Henderson team most weeks, but it was last Thursday at Ludlow that that yard fired in their 100th winner for the season. They are now on 107, and those wins have come from just 364 runners – so considering they had over 600 runners last year then they are well on their way to bettering last year’s final win tally of 153. What’s slightly amazing is that the bookmakers are also still letting some of theirs go off at semi-decent prices – with 11/2 and 8/1 successes only on Sunday, while the Seven Barrows handler is also firing in the winners at tracks he doesn’t normally venture too after 12 wins combined at the Yorkshire tracks, Catterick, Doncaster and Wetherby. In terms of their split this season they’ve had almost double the amount of hurdle winners than chasers, while I say it most weeks ignore their bumper runners at your own peril – they are now 12 from 34 in that area. They are still, however, just under £400,000 adrift of Paul Nicholls in terms on total win prize money – and despite Cheltenham and Aintree to come they will need to eat a bit more into that during February if they are to come out on top by the end of the season.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Warwick (12 from 38, 32%), Fontwell (11 from 38, 29%), Huntingdon (38 from 107, 36%), Uttoxeter (14 from 50, 28%), Doncaster (18 from 70, 26%), Cheltenham (44 from 308, 14%) & Ffos Las (16 from 43, 37%)
VENETIA WILLIAMS (5 winners from her last 22 runners, 23% strike-rate): Yes, it’s that Williams name again! Without blowing the preverbal trumpet too loudly we’ve flagged up Venetia for the past few weeks and she’s certainly not let us down. Yes, you still have to hunt a bit harder as they are running quite a lot at the moment, but hopefully some of you were on their monster 40/1 winner at Lingfield last Thursday, while they followed that up with another 4/1 success on Friday. Sam Thomas gets a lot of rides, but, like I said last week, Aidan Coleman seems to be the key at the moment – he’s ridden four of their last five winners, including that 40/1 shot! After a very slow start to the season they are now on 21 winners, still a way off the 70’s and 80’s they were hitting between 2002 and 2008, but I don’t think they’ve quite got as good a string this year, while there is still plenty of time left. Of their 21 winners it’s an almost even split between their chasers (11) and hurdlers (10), but they have had less chase runners so their overall strike-rate over the bigger obstacles is, therefore, better. They normally have a fair record with their NH Flat runners, but so far this term they are 0 from 7.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Warwick (8 from 57, 14%), Huntingdon (8 from 65, 12%), Fontwell (9 from 52, 17%), Cheltenham (11 from 132, 8%) & Uttoxeter (14 from 111, 13%)
EVAN WILLIAMS (4 winners from his last 18 runners, 22% strike-rate): Another Williams that’s doing well at the moment, so it’s either just too common a name or there could be something in the training genes at the moment! This Welsh-based jumps yard have been ticking along nicely with 58 victories to their name so far, including a decent 11/2 success at Leicester on Tuesday, but with 72, 77 and 90 winners in the last three seasons then they will be hoping to kick on again in the second half of the season as they look to get near those figures this term. Stable jockey Paul Moloney obviously gets on the lion share of their runners, but also keep a note of young Adam Wedge as he’s been on quite a few of theirs in recent weeks, including riding a NH Flat winner for the yard last week. In fact the stable are 5 from 19 (26%) with their bumper horses this term, while 12 of those 19 finished fourth or better suggesting their runners in these races are tuned to go well. Despite their good form with Cheltenham’s trails meeting this weekend I’d still be a shade wary of their runners at Prestbury Park – they are just 5 from 84 at the track!
Upcoming entries and track stats: Warwick (2 from 28, 7%), Huntingdon (5 from 45, 11%), Uttoxeter (16 from 137, 12%), Doncaster (0 from 1), Cheltenham (5 from 84, 6%), Ffos Las (29 from 219, 13%)
This Week’s Cold Trainers..........
TIM VAUGHAN (24 days and 30 runners without a winner)
NEIL MULHOLLAND (51 days and 26 runners without a winner)
Click on a trainer's name to see all their up-coming entries