Trainer Watch by Andy Newton
Itâ€™s been a fairly quiet week on the racing front, but with the Coral-Eclipse on Saturday and the three-day Newmarket July Meeting at the backend of next week letâ€™s take a look at which trainers are heading into July at the top of their game, and those that arenâ€™t.......
Some highlights from last weekâ€™s spotlighted trainers........
Bryan Smart: Okay, no winners since last week, but the yardâ€™s horses are still running well with nine of their last 15 hitting the top four â€“ donâ€™t write this stable off in the coming days.
Brian Ellison: The North Yorkshire-based trainer continues to fire in the winners with six more since last Thursday, while only one of his last nine runners has finished out of the top four!
Peter Bowen: Another 4/1 winner last week at their beloved Ffos Las, plus a 9/1 second in Sundayâ€™s Summer National up at Uttoxeter. Add to that a near 13/1 double at Perth on Wednesday and the Welsh handler is still riding on the crest of a wave.
Sir Michael Stoute: Last weekâ€™s cold trainer didnâ€™t disappoint and is now 19 days and 29 runners without a win. Carlton House was their big chance to turn things around in last Sundayâ€™s Irish Derby, but he finished unplaced at 5/4 to underline the yardâ€™s current poor form. A win for Workforce in Saturdayâ€™s Eclipse would surely erase these form doubts, but it wonâ€™t be easy with Ballydoyleâ€™s So You Think in opposition.
This Weekâ€™s Featured Hot Trainers
HEATHER MAIN (3 winners from her last 8 runners, 38% strike-rate): Not one of the better known trainers, but sheâ€™s doing extremely well â€“ actually thatâ€™s probably an understatement - with her limited string at the moment. Three wins from her last 8 runners backs this up, while she also had a 16/1 winner at Kempton on Wednesday night disqualified into second after an objection. In terms of jockeys, keep an eye if she books a certain Kieren Fallon â€“ the former champion jockey has been on two of those winners. The only negative is that the yard has just one entry in the coming days with Cloud Illusions set to run at Sandown on Saturday.
ROGER CHARLTON (4 winners from his last 13 runners, 31% strike-rate): Heâ€™s not quite got the string he used to have, but heâ€™s currently got his team in great order and should be closely followed in the coming weeks. Okay, two of those winners were odds-on shots, but theyâ€™ve still got to win, while his Genki landed a valuable Group Three at Newcastle last Saturday. Looking ahead heâ€™s got runners at Haydock, Epsom and Newbury this Thursday, plenty more on Friday and Saturday too, while at Newmarket next week heâ€™s still got Genki and Bated Breath entered.
NOEL WILSON (4 winners from his last 14 runners, 29% strike-rate): Another trainer that not many will know a lot about, but based up in North Yorkshire his runners have hit a real purple patch. Whatâ€™s also significant is that the bookmakers have not quite latched onto his runners yet with recent winners priced at decent odds - 14/1, 15/2, 8/1 and 6/1. In the next few days heâ€™s got four set to run on Friday and another three on Sunday.
ROGER VARIAN (5 winners from his last 17 runners, 29% strike-rate): After taking over from Michael Jarvis this new kid on the block is really starting to make a name for himself. Yes, heâ€™s still got Jarvis advising behind the scenes and heâ€™s been blessed with inheriting a decent string, but the horses still have to run for him, and they certainly seem to be doing that. Heâ€™s only had seven runners since last Wednesday, but with three wins and a second itâ€™s clear his horses are going well. Add in that his recent winners returned 5/1, 6/1, 4/1 and 13/2 then if youâ€™ve followed him lately then your bank balance will be healthy too. Looking ahead it could be significant that heâ€™s got both Maloof and Watercourse entered twice in the coming days, while can his Sri Putra upset the big two in the Eclipse on Saturday?
NICKY HENDERSON (2 winners from his last 8 runners, 25% strike-rate): Yes, two of his last three were unplaced, but they werenâ€™t really fancied and although his runners are very limited at present Iâ€™d still advise keeping them on your side. Iâ€™ve said it before, but when these big NH yards keep a few summer jumpers on the go then thatâ€™s a clear tip in itself. Before those two unplaced runners Nicky had five finishes in the top four, while especially make a note when AP is booked. In terms of up-coming entries Saturday and Sunday look big days for the yard with Sentry Duty potentially heading to Sandown, while at this stage they still have four entered at Market Rasen on Sunday.
JEREMY GASK (4 winners from his last 16 runners, 25% strike-rate): This Wiltshire-based trainer is currently keeping the bank manager at bay with four recent winners and heâ€™s another whose runners seem to return a fair price (7/1, 7/2, 8/1 & 8/1). He uses a variety of jockeyâ€™s, but keep a close eye if Clare Lindop or Luke Morris are booked. On the horizon the yard look set to have runners this Friday at Doncaster and Sandown, while thereâ€™s a bigger string heading to Haydock on Saturday.
PETER BOWEN (5 winners from his last 20 runners, 25% strike-rate): Another trainer thatâ€™s appeared several times on the hot list in recent weeks and although he was in danger of missing out this time a near-on 13/1 double at Perth on Wednesday means he sneaks back in at the eleventh hour. Tom Oâ€™Brien was onboard both winners at the Scottish track, but donâ€™t be put off if Jamie Moore gets the leg-up either â€“ heâ€™s ridden two winners for the yard since last week too. The only downside is that youâ€™ll going to have to wait until Sunday to see any of their runners again with several heading to Market Rasen.
JOHN GOSDEN (12 winners from his last 50 runners, 24% strike-rate): In the last few weeks thereâ€™s not been many yards that have sent out more runners and this â€˜safety in numbersâ€™ approach seems to be paying off for the Newmarket-based handler. The yard have really kicked on since their two Royal Ascot wins earlier this month with nine winners since, including two of their last five runners going in. Stable jockey William Buick has been on the majority of those winners, but keep an eye if Robert Havlin gets the leg-up on any â€“ his last four rides for Gosden read 1-5-3-1. Theyâ€™ve got too many entries in the coming days to mention them all, including an army heading to HQ at the backend of next week.
BRIAN ELLISON (10 winners from his last 42 runners, 24% strike-rate): Mr Ellison is becoming a regular on hot trainers list this month and with the winners still flying in thereâ€™s a good chance heâ€™ll be making the line-up again next week. Another winner at Southwell on Tuesday took his recent tally to ten winners since the 15th June, but like I alluded to earlier in this piece with eight of his last nine runners finishing in the top four then this further backs up the stable's good form. Expect another busy end to the week with entries all over the place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Cold Trainers of the Week
SIR MICHAEL STOUTE (19 days and 29 runners without a win): I didnâ€™t expect to see this heavyweight handler still on the cold list after he featured here last week, but the fact heâ€™s still not had a winner and Carlton House ran so moderately in the Irish Derby last weekend then weâ€™ve all still got to be wary of anything he sends out. True, heâ€™s not had many runners this week, but maybe this is an indication that things are not quite right. Last yearâ€™s Epsom Derby hero Workforce runs in Saturdayâ€™s Eclipse for the ten-times champion, so I guess this barren spell will be forgotten if he can land that Group One, but before that heâ€™s got a few out on Thursday and Friday. The advice is, therefore, to see if thereâ€™s any sign of a return to form with these runnersâ€“ if so, then the drifting Workforce could look a big price come Saturday.
TOM DASCOMBE (14 days and 27 runners without a win): Question â€“ Which horse was Tom Dascombeâ€™s last winner? Answer â€“ Black Panther. That much talked about Royal Ascot win was now over two weeks ago and with 27 runners since and no winners a small word of caution should be attached to anything the Manor House team run at present. Yes, theyâ€™ve had 14 of those 27 hit the top four, but all three of theirs on Tuesday were well beaten at Southwell , including a 3/1 favourite that finished sixth of nine. For me, itâ€™s not quite panic stations just yet, and with plenty of runners out on Thursday letâ€™s hope they can turn things around. That said, if they draw another blank at the backend of this week then anything they send out over the weekend should be treated with care.