PETER HIATT (3 winners from his last 6 runners, 50% strike-rate): The only flat handler on the list this week, but with plenty of AW action over the next few months then we should start to see a few more pop up. The Hiatt team have fired in three winners from just their last 6 runners – 2 at Kempton and 1 at Southwell, while one they also tend to secure one of the best AW jockeys in Chris Catlin when they can. They are sitting on 23 wins for the season, which is very respectable for a yard this size, but more importantly for punters they are showing a +£16 level stakes profit. Of those 23 successes, 14 have come on the sand surfaces – and of the 4 AW tracks they currently show a level stakes profit at them all except Wolverhampton!
Up-coming entries and track stats: Southwell (27 from 180, 15%)
ALAN SWINBANK (6 winners from his last 13 runners, 46% strike-rate): Interestingly five of those six winners went off as favourite, so keep an eye for any money in the betting, and don’t forget they are a yard that operates over both codes – in fact all of those six recent winners did come on the AW tracks. They often use the experienced Joe Fanning when they can – he’s been on four of the six winners. In terms of figures they are on 35 wins on the level and just 8 over the sticks – but I fully expect their jumping numbers to get better over the second half of the season. Comparing their flat number to previous seasons then I’m sure they will be a shade disappointed as they bagged over 40 winners in all of the past 5 seasons. They do have a few heading to Sedgefield on Thursday, a track they have a 22% strike-rate, but do also have plenty engaged at Southwell (AW) and Wolverhampton after Xmas too.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Sedgefield (14 from 64, 22%), Southwell (20 from 95, 21%) & Wolverhampton (11 from 66, 17%)
NICKY RICHARDS (4 winners from his last 9 runners, 44% strike-rate): Not exactly hit the heights of his dad Gordon in the training ranks yet, but those were very big boots to fill and despite a fairly slow start to the season it looks as if things are starting to click into place. The Greystoke-based trainer has only sent out 16 winners this season so far, but considering they’ve only bagged 18 successes for the past two campaigns then we could be heading back to the better times between 2004 and 2007 when they sent out 50+ winners in each of those three seasons. Yes, they might still be a year or two off those figures as they’ve clearly not got the string they had back then, but all the same it’s good to see the Richards name back in the winners’ enclosure. Obviously, the bulk of their runners are at the more northern tracks, and they do have plenty engaged at Sedgefield on Thursday – a track they currently boast a 20% strike-rate at! The final thing to note is that of their 16 winners this season it could pay to know that 12 have come over hurdles and only 4 over the bigger obstacles.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Sedgefield (8 from 41, 20%)
NICK WILLIAMS (3 winners from his last 7 runners, 43% strike-rate): No luck on Tuesday with their only runner, but it did manage to finish second at 11/1 to a very short-priced favourite, which indicates things are still looking good for the Christmas period for the Williams camp. Zaynar was a high-profile winner for them at Ascot last Friday and now he’s got back to winning ways then he could be one to keep on the right side of in the second half of the season. Stable jockey James Reveley obviously gets the pick of their runners and has been on two of those 3 recent winners. They are only on 11 successes for the season, but they are very much a yard of quality not quantity – something that is backed up by the fact they’ve already amassed just shy of £200,000 in total prize money this campaign. Their best-ever season was back in 2009-10 when they clocked up 21 victories, from just 113 runners and already being over halfway to bettering that tally then it will be a brave man to bet against them surpassing that total. Looking ahead they have one heading to Hereford on Thursday, but, of course, all eyes will be on Diamond Harry who bids to gets his career back on track when taking on the big boys in the King George on Boxing Day.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Hereford (1 from 17, 6%) & Kempton (1 from 9, 11%)
PAUL WEBBER (5 winners from his last 14 runners, 36% strike-rate): Another 12/1 winner on Wednesday cemented their position in this week’s list – let’s just hope we’ve not missed the boat! That win puts them on 24 for the season, just 4 short of their tally for the whole of 2010-11, while they are another yard that should easily make this their best-ever campaign – they need to beat just 35, which they achieved in 2003-04. They’ve had 3 NH Flat winners, but more noticeable is that from their 15 runners in that arena this season a massive 10 have finished fourth or better – looking ahead they currently have Brass Monkey heading to Towcester for a bumper on Boxing Day.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Huntingdon (7 from 57, 12%), Towcester (4 from 37, 11%) & Wetherby (5 from 19, 26%)
KEITH REVELEY (4 winners from his last 12 runners, 33% strike-rate): We gave Keith a plug last week after a fine December and with although he’s not had any more winners he’s only had two go to post since. Of those 12 recent runners 8 have finished third or better and with 16 winners from just 80 runners this term then the yard are currently operating at a 20% strike-rate and are a cool £25 ahead if you’d have backed all their runners for £1. Their best ever season came in 2005-06 with 32 winners, so they will have that in their sights, while with a decent record at Sedgefield then they could have a good day at the track this Thursday. Finally, with 2 winners from just 7 (29%) NH Flat runners then it’s also worth keeping an eye on anything they run in that sphere.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Sedgefield (8 from 44, 18%, +£15.96)
NICKY HENDERSON (16 winners from his last 49 runners, 33% strike-rate): The Henderson and Nicholls camps go head-to-head in the King George on Boxing Day and although Paul Nicholls is currently around £240,000 in win prize money ahead it’s the Henderson yard that are heading into Christmas in slightly better form. The next few weeks will have a huge part to play in which one of these heavyweight handlers wins this year’s trainer’s title, but there is still a long way to go with the big Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals yet to come. Henderson currently sits two winners ahead on Nicholls with 73 victories and it’s the Seven Barrows yard that also has the edge in terms of their winning strike-rate (29%). Drilling into their wins then it won’t surprise you that 44 of their 73 wins have been with their hurdlers, while 37% (11 from 30) of their bumper horses have gone in – including another at Ludlow on Wednesday.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Hereford (12 from 37, 32%), Kempton (55 from 184, 30%) &Chepstow (3 from 22, 14%)
COLIN TIZZARD (5 winners from his last 17 runners, 29% strike-rate): Their stable star Cue Card is set to be in action over before the month is over, and with another 8/1 winner at Ffos Las on Wednesday to add to the double they fired in at Plumpton on Monday the yard could not be heading into the festive period in better form. Actually six of their last 8 runners have finished third or better as to further back up the well being of the stable. This purple patch takes their tally for the season up to 27 for the season, and considering they ended their 2010-11 campaign with 41 victories (their best-ever tally) then I would certainly think they can better that. If there is a negative then it could be to stay away from their NH Flat runners for the moment as they’ve had 14 runners without success so far.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Hereford (5 from 31, 16%), Wincanton (17 from 151, 11%), Towcester (3 from 11, 27%) & Chepstow (14 from 100, 14%)
DR RICHARD NEWLAND (3 winners from his last 11 runners, 27% strike-rate): Seven of their last 11 runners have finished third or better and although there doesn’t seem to be many entries on the horizon I still thought they were worth making a note of ready for when the action gets going again after Christmas. For one of the smaller yards they do have a few that are more than capable of winning some of the big weekend races through the season and because they might go under the radar then it’s easy to see why they’ve shown a level stakes profit in both of the last two seasons. They are currently on 15 wins this term – with 22, which they managed last year, their best ever haul.
TIM VAUGHAN (6 winners from his last 28 runners, 21% strike-rate): A 14/1 winner for the yard at Taunton on Tuesday might have looked hard to find but the Tim Vaughan team had fired in three other winners , from just 9 runners, before that – so the signs were there. That said, they did have seven runners without success at Ffos Las on Wednesday, so, I guess, things are still a little bit up and down. In terms of figures they are sitting on a very healthy 79 victories for the season and will be sure things to better their best-ever tally of 91 that they notched last term and are also certainties to bag their first 100 winners in a season. 51 of their 79 wins have come with their hurdlers, but a decent angle might be to look out for a young jockey called Robert Kirk that they have started using. He claims a useful 5lbs and looks more than capable having finished second on a 40/1 shot and riding that 14/1 winner on Tuesday.
Up-coming entries and track stats: Hereford (13 from 93, 14%), Sedgefield (5 from 33, 15%) & Chepstow (8 from 88, 9%)
This Week’s Cold Trainers………………….
BRIAN MEEHAN (64 days and 43 runners without a winner): Okay, so we might be in the heart of the NH season, but as we know there is also a lot of AW action at this time of year too and, therefore, it could pay to know that the Meehan team are struggling to find a winner at present. Yes, their better horses would have been put away for the winter, but they will still have an AW team for the next 2-3 months and with no successes now for over two months with 43 sent to post then you can either take the view that they are bound to have a winner soon, so maybe something minor is up with their string.
MICK CHANNON (55 days and 30 runners without a winner): The same as above really, although I did read the other day that the Channon team are planning to have a few jumpers on the go – so watch out for them! Anyway, they do tend to have a fair few AW runners over the winter months, but with 55 days and 30 runners without a win then a word of caution is advised when looking at their runners. It’s a shame really as they have been on the 92 win mark for all that time and with the days running out they will need a big turnaround in their form if they are to find those 8 winners before the month is over.