Trainers In Form

David O'MearaTrainers In Form, 9th June 2011

There are plenty of different trainer form angles out there for punters to adopt when accessing the chances of a horse, but sometimes we can look too hard and it’s just a case of following the stables that have their strings in good heart.

With trainers having their own way of doing things within the yard, whether it be the time of year, the amount of work they are giving their runners, targeting certain races, or even as trivial as the feed the horses are getting – when a handler has his team in winning form it can often pay to spot these patterns early, especially with the slightly smaller stables.

Hot Trainers this week

Geoffrey Harker (4-10, 40% strike-rate): With a limited string this is a classic example of riding on the back of a small trainer in-form. The North Yorkshire-based handler has sent out an impressive 4 winners from his last 10 runners, and funnily enough as I write this he’s just had a heavily-punted winner at Beverley making those stats even stronger! He uses a variety of jockeys but take special attention when he jocks-up the find of last season Silvestre De Sousa – The pocket Brazilian has now won on three of his last four rides for the yard.

Ed Vaughan (4-5, 80% strike-rate):
Wow, talk about red hot! With four winners from his last 5 runners (other runner came 4th) then there’s arguably no hotter trainer at present. Again, Ed doesn’t have the biggest of strings, but it’s clear the ones he does get he knows what to do with them -  something that was backed up by the decent Dance And Dance, who is entered in the Royal Hunt Cup, winning  the Investec Mile Handicap last week on Oaks day at Epsom. He’s got a one entered up at Yarmouth (Whitby Jet) and a couple more on Friday, with recent winner Cinderkamp the most interesting mainly because he’s entered at both Goodwood and Sandown  - suggesting that connections are keen to get him out again. If the Newmarket-based trainer uses the services of Jamie Spencer then all the better – he’s ridden two of those four recent winners.

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David O’Meara (pictured) (7-32, 22% strike-rate):
Another of the northern-based trainers that’s having a real purple patch at present and, like Geoffrey Harker, as I write this there seems to be no let-up with the O’Meara camp firing in another winner at Beverley on Wednesday. Before today’s winner the last three all came over 7f, which is interesting, while in terms of jockey’s he’s either using the in-form Daniel Tudhope or Silvestre De Sousa. Looking ahead he’s got four entered up at York on Friday and another three on Saturday spread across York and Chester.

Keith Dalgleish (5-13, 38% strike-rate):
The former jockey is really making a name for himself in the training ranks and despite not really getting quality horses he can only train what’s put in front of him and, although it’s still early days in his handling career, the signs are good. Based in South Lanarkshire, before Wednesday he’s actually saddled four winners from his last four, while most of his runners are sprinters. He tends to use his old pal from his Mark Johnston days in Joe Fanning the most, backed up with the veteran pilot winning on four of his last five rides for Dalgleish. In terms of forthcoming runners he’s got a few entered up at York on Friday, plus next Monday he’s got two at Carlisle and interestingly one at Windsor as he doesn’t tend to  venture too far south!

Paul Webber (5-9, 55% strike-rate):
The jumps action is a bit stop-starty at present but when we do have some NH fare then keep a close eye on any Paul Webber-trained horses. With a 55% recent strike-rate he’s right at the top of the hot jumps table list at present and if you actually drill into his last 9 runners you’ll notice that he’s actually only had one horse out of the top 4! The yard has Citrus Mark, who was a recent second at Stratford, entered at Market Rasen on Friday, plus one on the flat heading to Windsor next Monday.

Peter Bowen (10-27, 37% strike-rate):
The Welsh-based trainer is certainly a man to follow during the summer months and this year looks no different with an impressive 10 winners from his last 27 runners. Yes, two recent meetings at nearby Ffos Las (5 winners from 13 runners) is one of the main reasons for his current rich vein of form, but the horses still need to be on song and it’s evident his team are!  They are racing again over the sticks at the Welsh track on the 16th (next Thursday) so it goes without saying make a special note of anything he runs that day. In the nearer future he’s got an army entered up for Aintree’s evening fixture this Friday.

Nicky Henderson (6-15, 40% strike-rate):
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this year’s Gold Cup winning trainer would probably be winding down his operation at this time of the year, but think again. The top stables, often keep a few summer jumpers in training and the fact they hand-pick those to campaign over the hotter months is a clear tip itself. Obviously most of his runners will be over the sticks, but also keep a check on any flat runners they have too as I know Sentry Duty and Ghimaar are entered up in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle later this month.


Cold Trainer of the week:

Clive Brittain (45 days without a winner, 52 runners): It can often be foolish to write-off any Clive Brittain-trained runner, even if his string does seem a shade out of form at present, but with no winners from his last 52 runners then the figures are there for all to see. He does, however, look to have a leading chance in Thursday’s 3:50 at Yarmouth with Eshooq, so, I guess, the advice is if this one runs poorly then it might be safe to leave his runners alone until there’s a sign of better things. [Note, Eshooq finished last at 7/2]

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16 replies
  1. david says:

    Hi Matt

    All good stuff…Interestingly, one of my customers has a horse with Paul Webber and was informed y’day that the Windsor runner on Monday is set for a huge run!!

    All the best

  2. GB says:

    Excellent piece on the small trainers. Always useful to know as often that is where the value is. Nice to see somebody noting these trends as often we only hear about the big stables only.

  3. gary says:

    This is the stuff i think most followers would find more interesting on the back of your recent survey, rather than betfair systems or other ‘products’ being trailed etc or even odds comparisons- lots of places for that. Stuff like this is the real nitty gritty info we should be using

  4. Cornelius Rod Hunt says:

    I’ve followed Andy’s advice on other sites and he’s always bang-on and informative – Great new feature Matt!

  5. Harvey says:

    Hi Matt,

    I must agree with Gary, this is really the type of info that I am interested in.

    Please keep it coming.

    Kind regards.


  6. kol says:

    Fantastic info matt Just what I like..Already had a winner tonight with Bowen horse Sunday City keep up the good work !!!

  7. shaun says:

    Im quite suprised at the exclusion of Noseda from this list, arguably in the best form of any trainer. of his last 15 runners only 3 of them have finished outside the first 3. these 15 include 6 winners. Surely deserved of a place on the list

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Shaun

      Perhaps you missed the word ‘small’ from the title? There are a bunch of big dudes we ignored, in favour of the little guys. This is not an exhaustive list, nor even the best list. It is simply a bunch of ladies and gents Andy and I believe are worth tracking. Cool? 😉


    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Clearly we don’t just focus on small trainers, Shaun. Thanks for enjoying the value in the piece 😉


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