As the year draws to a close Andy Newton highlights which trainers are heading into 2012 in good form
PETER HIATT (3 wins from his last 7 runners, 43% strike-rate): With three victories from his last six before Christmas then the Hiatt team are clearly ending 2011 with a bang and with 23 successes so far this season then I suspect the team are fairly pleased with their year’s work. Of course, any yard would like more winners, but this outfit are one of the most consistent in operation and have notched over 20 victories seven times since 2002. Of their 23 flat wins this term 14 have been on the AW surfaces, while of the four sand tracks it’s only Wolverhampton that they haven’t shown a level stakes profit at over the past 5 seasons. Plus, keep an eye for the odd jumps runner – they had so far had 2 victories over the sticks this season from 37 runners.
Up-coming entries and course stats: Kempton (18 from 135, 13%), Wolverhampton (11 from 125, 9%) & Southwell (27 from 181, 15%)
DAVID SIMCOCK (3 wins from his last 8 runners, 38% strike-rate): Not had a bad year with Dream Ahead winning the July Cup the highlight and with 46 winners they will be trying their hardest to get as close to the 50 mark as they can. Mainly due to Dream Ahead the yard have amassed just over £800,000 in total prize money this term – their best-ever, while of their 367 runners so far 53% have filled the first four places in their races. Jockey Martin Lane has become a regular in the last few weeks with their AW runners and with plenty of entries at Kempton, Wolverhampton and Lingfield over the next few days then it will be a shock if they can’t get at least one more success before the year is out.
Up-coming entries and course stats: Kempton (23 from 205, 11%), Wolverhampton ( 25 from 176, 14%) & Lingfield (4 from 24, 17%)
NICKY HENDERSON (15 wins from his last 51 runners, 34% strike-rate): Is there no stopping the Seven Barrows team firing in the winners? It’s now 80, actually make that 82 after a 54/1 double at Leicester on Wednesday, for the season, but despite their good form the yard will know that they are around £400,000 behind the Nicholls team and will be keen to close that gap. Yes, King George winner, Kauto Star, grabbing around £100,000 away from Long Run didn’t help on that front, but with the big Cheltenham and Aintree festivals still to come then there is plenty of time for Henderson to close up – I think he’s around 5/2 in the trainer’s title betting, with Nicholls 4/9. The yard also fired in five winners over the two-day Kempton Boxing Day fixture, and although Long Run was a shade disappointing the same can’t be said for Sprinter Sacre, who firmly put Peddlers Cross in his place and is now the 2/1 favourite for the Arkle next March. With 82 winners from 279 runners then the team are operating on a cool 29% strike-rate, while, like I say most weeks, don’t forget about their NH Flat runners – they’ve fired in 11 from just 32 in that arena this season!
Up-coming entries and course stats: Doncaster (14 from 63, 22%), Taunton (7 from 35, 20%), Haydock (8 from 55, 15%), Uttoxeter (14 from 50, 28%), Newbury (54 from 237, 23%), Warwick (11 from 36, 31%), Exeter (6 from 20, 30%), Fakenham (16 from 39, 41%) & Cheltenham (43 from 305, 14%)
EMMA LAVELLE (5 wins from her last 16 runners, 31% strike-rate): Kentford Grey Lady was an impressive 5/2 winner for the yard at Kempton on Tuesday, but with a double on the 20th at Taunton then the signs were there before Christmas. The ever-improving Jack Doyle gets most of the rides for the stable, but they do tend to also use Noel Fehily on the odd occasion – his last three rides for the yard read, 1-2-2. They are currently sitting on a cool +£62 level stakes profit for the season, while with 27 victories and firing in the winners at a 22% strike-rate then it’s only a matter of time before they break the 30 wins in a season mark and make this their best-ever campaign. Of their 27 successes 16 have come over hurdles, from just 65 runners, but it could also pay to keep an eye on their NH Flat runners with 3 wins from just 14 sent to post, while 9 of those 14 have finished fourth or better.
Up-coming entries and course stats: Taunton (8 from 31, 26%), Newbury (6 from 66, 9%), Cheltenham (4 from 44, 9%) & Exeter (12 from 60, 20%)
MARCO BOTTI (3 wins from his last 11 runners, 27% strike-rate): The Italian handler has had 9 of his last 11 runners finish fourth or better, including three wins – all of which have come at Kempton. Jockey’s Adam Kirby and Andrea Atzeni get the bulk of the rides – but it’s been Kirby that’s ridden all of their three recent winners. Win, lose or draw over the remaining few days of the year won’t matter much to the team as with 46 successes this has already been their best-ever season, while it’s unlikely they will make it to 50 as looking at their entries they only have three left this year – and two are with the same horse! It also might surprise a few that 27 of those 46 wins have come on the AW tracks, so keep that in mind for 2012 – especially Kempton as over the last 5 seasons they had a +£68 level stakes profit.
Up-coming entries and course stats: Lingfield (19 from 153, 12%)
MARTIN KEIGHLEY (3 winners from his last 12 runners, 25% strike-rate): With former jockey Warren Marston helping behind the scenes the Keighley team that are based near Cheltenham are really starting to make a name for themselves. They need just one more success to make this their best-ever season in terms of winners, while from their 179 runners this season 59% have finished fourth or better! Jockey AP Crawley is getting the bulk of the rides and has been on the back of all three of those recent successes. In terms of the split between chase and hurdles wins then it’s pretty even, but they are still looking for their first bumper winner this season from 13 tries.
Up-coming entries and course stats: Warwick (1 from 12, 8%), Uttoxeter (4 from 51, 8%), Newbury (0 from 8), Cheltenham (5 from 42, 12%) & Exeter (1 from 23, 4%)
JONJO O’NEILL (10 wins from his last 43 runners, 23% strike-rate): Been a bit in and out so far this season, but they are very much a yard to follow when in form and the signs are there that we could be set to see another purple patch. The team fired in a big-race winner with Synchronised in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Wednesday, but with wins on Boxing Day and Tuesday this week then the signs were there. Of course AP gets the leg up on most of their runners, and he steered Synchronised home, but that was actually the champ’s first win for the yard since Dec 16th – suggesting if you do see another name in the plate don’t be put off too much. That win sees their season tally hit 76 as they move quickly towards breaking the hundred winner mark – something they didn’t do last season, but have managed in 7 of the last 10 campaigns. They tend to do equally well with both their chasers and hurdlers, but they are another yard that are worth noting in the NH Flat arena with 8 successes from just 29 runners.
Up-coming entries and course stats: Doncaster (3 from 25, 12%), Haydock (4 from 58, 7%), Taunton (0 from 30), Uttoxeter (32 from 277, 12%), Newbury (7 from 96, 7%), Cheltenham (12 from 162, 7%), Exeter (17 from 118, 14%), Fakenham (9 from 39, 23%) & Warwick (7 from 79, 9%)
TIM VAUGHAN (9 winners from his last 41 runners, 22% strike-rate): A regular trainer in this weekly feature and with a monster 84 wins for the season then it’s clear to see why. Okay, so they don’t have many top-notch superstars, but they are clearly doing something right with what they’ve got and I don’t think it will be long before some of the leading owners start sending their horses to the Welsh-based yard. With 60% of their 405 runners this season finishing fourth or better then followers can be sure of a good run for their money more times than not, while it’s amazing that despite all those runners their level stakes profit is virtually at zero. Of their 84 successes 55 have come with their hurdlers, 22 over fences, while they’ve had 7 NH flat winners from just 30 runners. Looking ahead they could be having their first ever runners up at Kelso in the next few days, but be a bit wary of their Cheltenham runners on New Year’s Day – they haven’t had a winner at Prestbury Park from their last 42 runners!
Up-coming entries and course stats: Kelso (no runners), Taunton (5 from 32, 16%), Uttoxeter (23 from 117, 20%), Newbury (3 from 16, 19%), Warwick (3 from 13, 23%), Exeter (5 from 30, 17%) & Cheltenham (0 from 42)
ALAN SWINBANK (3 winners from his last 14 runners, 21% strike-rate): A yard that’s active over both codes, so make sure you look at future entries on both the flat and over jumps. That said, all three recent wins have come on the level – two at Southwell and one at Lingfield. On the flat they’ve sent out 35 winners so far, which is around 15 shy of what they’ve normally achieved over the past six campaigns. In terms of their jumping figures then with just 8 successes so far they will be hoping to bump that figure up in the second half of the season, but to be fair those 8 wins have come from only 48 sent to post. Finally, it’s no real secret that the yard often do well with their NH bumper horses and with 50% of their 8 jumps victories coming in that sphere this season then this is being further backed up.
Up-coming entries and course stats: Kelso (10 from 40, 25%), Southwell AW (22 from 116, 19%), Fakenham (0 from 1), Catterick (10 from 38, 26%) & Musselburgh (4 from 27, 15%)
This week’s cold trainer………..
BILL TURNER (59 days and 41 runners without a winner): Better known for his runners on the flat, but they do have a few that go over the sticks too, and with almost 2 months without a win then it might pay to think twice before backing their runners until we see a change of fortune. Yes, a fair few of their recent runners have been big prices and therefore probably expected not to win, but they are still an average size yard and this lean spell is still worth bringing to your attention. In terms of figures they are on 18 flat wins and just 6 NH successes, but they’ve also had 19 NH flat runners so far this season and all have been beaten.
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