It's Tuesday, so it's time to look at the week ahead, courtesy of Malcolm Boyle's excellent Well I Declare feature. As Mal has rightly identified, the race planning bods have changed quite a lot of the fixtures around last week and this, so the trends are not as strong as usual.
We're all expecting normal service to resume next week with the Grand National meeting, but there are still sure to be some gems in the below.
TUESDAY 3rd April:
General stats: Sometimes I have to offer ‘boring’ stats that top trainers have farmed venues down the years and with Paul Nicholls (33/98) and Nicky Henderson (12/41) leading the strike rates at Fontwell, this is one such racecourse.
2.40: The only favourite not to prevail via four renewals to date was an even money chance which beat the 5/6 market leader in a ‘match’ event two years ago.
General stats: Four of the last nine runners saddled by Tom George have won at the time of writing and with Tom boasting a 25% strike rate here at Sedgefield (2/8), Cottage Acre (5.00) could be worth a saver.
General stats: Apple Blossom Time is blinkered for the first time (5.20) representing Derek Haydn Jones who boasts an LSP figure of sixty two points during the last five years at Southwell.
WEDNESDAY 4th April:
General stats: Donald McCain saddled twenty one winners last month via a 23% strike rate and his representatives have performed well at this venue in the past. Six of his twenty runners have won (30% strike rate) producing an LSP figure of eight points in the process.
Class 4 handicap hurdle event scheduled for 4.20: The last four winners have carried weights of eleven stones or more whilst favourites have secured three of the last seven contests.
General stats: Although Jim Best, Warren Greatrex, Nicky Henderson and Gary Moore have better strike rates of the potentially represented trainers on Wednesday, Charlie Longsdon’s 118 points of level stake profits (26% S/R) grabs the headlines at Hereford.
Two and a half mile maiden hurdle event scheduled for 2.10: Six-year-olds have secured three of the last five renewals. Just one favourite obliged during the same period, flanked by gold medallists which were returned at 25/1-14/1-14/1-8/1.
General stats: Tom Dascombe’s runners have been figuring prominently in recent days and his level stake profits at Lingfield of sixty three points certainly catch the eye. Pat Phelan is another trainer whose runners deserve plenty of respect via his seventy three point LSP return during the last five years.
General stats: The usual suspects line up at Wolverhampton with Mark Johnston still leading the way in terms of trends. That said, Frank Sheridan remains a trainer to keep on the right side having recorded an LSP figure over one hundred and twenty points at the venue in recent times.
THURSDAY 5th April:
General stats: Having ridden four of his six mounts at Folkestone to winning effect thus far, Kieran O’Neill’s solitary booking at the time of writing caught the eye. Reinvigorate was taken out of a Kempton event at the weekend and Richard Hannon potentially re-routes the juvenile to the Kent venue with O’Neill supposedly in the plate. Richard boasts an LSP figure of 24% at Folkestone which is bettered by Stuart Kittow (33%) and William Knight (36%) though naturally, far less runners have been sent out by those trainers. Paul Cole and Clive Cox also raid the racecourse to good effect.
2YO maiden event scheduled for 2.40: Multiple entries in just a twelve strong five-day field were held by Mick Channon (4), Richard Hannon (2) and David Evans (2).
General stats: Martin Keighley and Charlie Egerton boast decent strike rates though Nicky Henderson very much rules the roost here at Ludlow. Nicky has saddled forty winners during the last five years producing an LSP figure of fifteen points via a 38% strike rate, which is formidable given the number of runners the trainer saddled at the course.
Two and a half mile novice chase event scheduled for 2.50: Evan Williams and Paul Nicholls shared the four top weighted horses for the this contest at the penultimate entry stage. Evan was responsible for six of the seventeen potential runners at the time.
Three mile novice hurdle event scheduled for 3.20: Five favourites have won via seven contests thus far, whilst the same umber of gold medallists carried a minimum weight of eleven stones to success. Keith Goldsworthy has saddled the last two winners and his only entry at the time of writing was Oca De Thaix.
General stats: Steve Dixon holds just one entry at the track on Thursday which is Warsaw Pact (due to contest the scheduled 2.00 event). Steve has saddled three of his ten runners at the course to winning effect, with Jim Best (two potential representatives) also recording good figures at Wincanton. Jim’s record of 4/12 in recent times has produced a positive LSP figure, though nothing like Steve’s thirty nine points of profit.
Twenty seven furlong handicap chase event scheduled for 4.00: All three market leaders have finished out with the washing thus far. The three winners carried weights of 11-3 or more, as have six of the seven horses to have secured toteplacepot positions.
NO RACING GOOD FRIDAY, 6TH APRIL
SATURDAY 7th April:
General stats: Musselburgh also race on Sunday and Bryan Smart held eighteen declarations for the two day meeting at the time of writing. Bryan boasts a 25% recent record producing an LSP figure of forty six points, whilst other trainers to take into account are Julie Camacho (4/9) and Rae Guest (2/4).
2YO maiden event scheduled for 2.45: Seventeen of Bryan Smart’s twenty seven recent winners at Musselburgh have hailed from the trainer’s juvenile ranks and Rhagori Aur was Bryan’s only potential runner in the race. The Exceed And Excel filly should be followed through the early weeks of the season irrespective of how she performs here (if taking her chance) as Bryan thinks a great deal of his potential raider. That said, Richard Fahey comes into the contest on a hat trick having secured a silver medal with his only other runner in the race. Richard’s only option earlier in the week was his Kyllachy colt Polski Max. It’s worth noting that Woodford Mill (touted up in this column last week before wining at 5/1) won the first juvenile race for the season for Richard, who scored with six of the first sixteen two-year-olds he saddled last year.
Five furlong conditions event scheduled for 4.25: Bryan Smart secured the previous two renewals before an 18/1 inmate ran third in the contest last year. Note the general stats for Bryan above whilst digesting the fact that Bryan held just the one entry (Excel Bolt) for the contest at the five day stage. The five favourites thus far have secured four gold and one silver medal.
General stats: Manadam was the only potential Ian Williams (2/4 at the track) runner earlier in the week, whilst Mick Easterby is the other trainer to keep on the right side. The dual purpose trainer has made a decent start on the level this week but his heart lies in the NH sector I fancy and Mick revels in training winners at the northern venues.
General stats: Caroline Bailey (4/9) and Nick Williams (5/16) are ‘new kids on the block’ to take note of, even though this is very much Donald McCain country. Colin Tizzard and Lucy Wadham have both saddled three winners form a small number of runners at the track.
Class 2 two and a half mile handicap hurdle event scheduled for 2.55: Favourites come into the event on a four timer, whilst eight-year-olds have secured three of the five contests.
Two and a half mile handicap hurdle event scheduled for 4.05: Two favourites have secured toteplacepot positions via four renewals (no winners).
Three and a half mile handicap chase event scheduled for 4.40: We still await the first successful favourite following five contests thus far.
Nicky Henderson has saddled two of the last three winners of the closing bumper event which is due to be contested at 5.15. Four-year-olds have won three of the last four contests.
General stats: David Pipe has not quite lived up to dad’s ‘monopoly’ of Newton Abbot contests despite sending out thirty seven winners in recent years. Martin didn’t have Paul Nicholls to contend with for many years however, the Ditcheat based handler boasting a 32% strike rate via forty six gold medallists in the last five years. Bedarra Boy would be an interesting raider from David Arbuthnot’s yard if given the green light.
General stats: Charlie Hills had won with four of this last ten runners when writing this column early on Tuesday morning and it was great to witness Barry supervising representatives at Kempton on Saturday. Charlie has already saddled three winners at Kempton during his brief career at the helm and plenty more winners will be saddled at the Sunbury circuit.
2YO maiden event scheduled for 1.35: Three favourites have won via six renewals thus far, with Richard Hannon scoring on two occasions. Richard held two options at the time of writing. Mick Channon is entering plenty of juvenile runners during the early days of the turf season with another four inmates potentially running here.
Class 2 one mile qualifier scheduled for 2.05: All six winners have carried weights of 8-12 or more thus far during which time, two favourites have prevailed.
Listed one mile fillies event scheduled for 2.40: Just five of the thirteen penultimate stage entries were four-year-olds which was surprising, given that vintage representatives have won seven of the eight contests. Three favourites have obliged whilst six winners scored at odds of 9/2 or less.
‘Queen’s Prize’ scheduled for 3.15: Four-year-olds have won half of the renewals during the last decade during which time, four favourites have scored.
Class 3 seven furlong handicap: Mark Johnston claimed this event two years ago and the trainer was represented by four inmates at the penultimate stage. Market leaders come to the gig on a four timer, whilst the biggest priced winner via six renewals was returned at just 5/1.
- Malcolm Boyle