Andy Newton continues with his weekly look at the yards that are firing in the winners at present.
JOHN FLINT (3 winners from his last 7 runners, 43% strike-rate): Based in Bridgend, Welsh trainer John Flint is another of the smaller yard that seems to have his string in decent order. Sons, Thomas and Rhys, have been doing most of the riding, and with 14 winners over the sticks this season they need just 4 more to make this their best-ever campaign. They’ve also shown a positive level stakes profit for the past two seasons and with +£24 are on course to follow that trends again this term. Looking at their split then do markedly better with their hurdlers, with 12 of their 14 winners coming over the smaller obstacles, and actually they’ve had just one chase winner since 2010. Track stats and up-coming entries: Fontwell (1 from 14, 7%) & Newbury (0 from 1)
MARK JOHNSTON (9 winners from his last 28 runners, 32% strike-rate): There’s been no let up in at the yard whose slogan is ‘Always Trying’ as Johnston heads towards another AW trainers’ title. While the focus over the last week has been all about Cheltenham the flat handler has been quietly going about his business and with the flat turf season still to start they are already sitting on a very tidy 42 winners this year. They’ve come from just 132 sent to post too, meaning they are firing them in at around a 32% strike-rate at present, while with a +£23 level stakes profit from their 2012 runners then punters will be happy too. Joe Fanning will be on most of theirs, but they did book champion jockey, Paul Hanagan, to ride a winner for them last Saturday – so keep that in mind. They’ve sent out over 100 winners every season since 1994, so there is no doubt that will happen again, but with this good start they will surely have the 200 mark in their sights – something they’ve only achieved twice before (2009 & 2010). Of the 4 AW tracks, they do best at Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton, with 20%+ strike-rates at them all, in contrast to Kempton where they are only operating around the 15% mark.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Wolverhampton (90 from 393, 23%), Kempton (49 from 334, 15%), Lingfield (77 from 365, 21%)
PETER HIATT (3 winners from his last 10 runners, 30% strike-rate): Based in Oxon this yard are a new name to figure on the hot trainers list, but with 3 winners from their last 10 sent to post, including their last two going in at 11/1 and 14/1, then their horses are certainly seem to be in rude health. In terms of jockeys they tend to split the rides between Luke Morris, Chris Catlin and William Carson, who have all ridden one winner each in this recent spell of winners. Looking at their win tally they are now on 7 for the year, which might not seem a lot, but that’s already just under a third of their total 2011 tally of 23. They have also boasted a positive level stakes profit in 3 of the past 4 campaigns, while their best AW track seems to be Kempton – they are +£69 and 21 from 134 (16%) at the Sunbury-On –Thames venue. Finally, despite being mainly a flat yard, they have sent out two NH winners this season too – one over hurdles and one over fences.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Kempton (21 from 134, 16%), Wolverhampton (9 from 97, 9%)
KIM BAILEY (5 winners from his last 18 runners, 28% strike-rate): This former Gold Cup winning trainer doesn’t have anywhere near the string he did 10+ years ago, but it’s clear he’s still got what it takes and was unlucky not to grab a festival winner last week when his Wedger Pardy ran a decent third in the Cross Country race. Jason Maguire, when he’s not booked to ride for the McCain yard, gets most of their mounts these days, with Sean Quinlan filling in otherwise. They are so far on 27 winners for the season and need just 11 more to equal last season’s haul of 38, while are currently showing a +£6 level stakes profit too. They do slightly better with their chases – no surprises there – but it is worth taking a second look at any NH Flat horses they run – they are 4 from just 15 (27%).
Track stats and up-coming entries: Fontwell (6 from 22, 27%) & Newbury (3 from 34, 9%)
PAUL RICH (3 winners from his last 13 runners, 23% strike-rate): Not a yard many punters will be familiar with, despite being on the go on and off since 1991, but this Welsh-based trainer is starting to make a name for himself with three winners from his last 13 runners, while all of those recent runners have finished sixth or better. They also operate over both codes, with 1 flat and 2 jumps winners being the split from those 3 winners, and despite being one of the smaller yards they can attract some of the best jockeys in Jason Maguire (jumps) and Adam Kirby (flat). Finally, pay special attention to anything they run on the AW at Southwell – they are currently 3 from just 7 (43%) at the fibresand track.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Stratford (1 from 2, 50%)
NICKY HENDERSON (14 winners from his last 62 runners, 23% strike-rate): Stole the show last week at the Cheltenham Festival and as we all know has now trained more winners at the four day meeting than any other handler in history. Their winning run continued over the weekend with more successes at Kempton and despite being around £300,000 adrift of Paul Nicholls in the trainers’ title race before last week their excellent Cheltenham now sees them ahead, albeit by only £10,000. This also now puts them on 147 winners for the season, which is now just 6 shy of their best-ever total of 153 that they racked up last season – All-in-all I’d say things have never been better at the Seven Barrows yard and with plenty to still look forward to this season at Aintree and Punchestown, then it’s easy to see why Henderson is now as short as 1/3 to land the trainers title.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Chepstow (3 from 24, 13%), Fontwell (12 from 41, 29%), Newbury (57 from 265, 22%), Stratford (9 from 44, 20%), Bangor (14 from 56, 25%) & Wincanton (10 from 64, 16%)
SUE SMITH (6 winners from her last 26 runners, 23% strike-rate): A 251/1 double at Uttoxeter and a 7/2 winner at Newcastle last Saturday cemented the Sue Smith yard in this week’s trainers to follow list – wins that have seen their tally hit 34 for the season, still, however, 40 off their best-ever total of 74 (2002-03). Jockey’s Ryan Mania and the 7lb claimer Jonathan England have been on all their recent six winners, while of their 34 winners 23 have come with their chasers. Looking ahead over the past 5 seasons they are boasting an impressive +£29 level stakes profit at Carlisle and are currently 20 from 107 (19%) with their chasers at the track.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Hexham (23 from 144, 16%), Bangor (6 from 62, 10%), Kelso (6 from 49, 12%), Sedgefield (16 from 174, 9%) & Carlisle (24 from 152, 16%)
MICHAEL APPLEBY (4 winners from his last 19 runners, 21% strike-rate): Based in Notts the Appleby team are another of the smaller based yards that are making hay at the moment, both on the flat and over the sticks. Of their recent winners they’ve had two each over each code which is a clear sign all of their horses are in rude health, while 6 of their last 7 runners have finished third or better. They’ve only had 7 jump successes this season so far, but are a monster +£65 in profit in that sphere, while on the level they’ve also had 7 winners. In terms of jockey’s they are giving plenty of chances to young 7lb flat claimer Jack Duern, while they also use leading AW pilot Luke Morris when they can. They will be hoping to beat their 2011 tally of 15 flat successes, which has been their best yet. Track stats and up-coming entries: Stratford (2 from 16, 13%) & Newbury (0 from 1)
LUCINDA RUSSELL (6 winners from her last 28 runners, 21% strike-rate): Their Brindisi Breeze lowering the colours of Boston Bob in the Albert Bartlett last week was a sweet moment for the Russell camp and they followed that up with two more wins up at Carlisle on Sunday. Jockeys Campbell Gillies and Peter Buchanan get the bulk of the rides, but also look out for Grant Cockburn – he claims a handy 7lbs and has been given plenty of chances in recent weeks. They are now on the 50 wins for the season mark meaning no matter what happen from here on in this has been their best-ever season in terms of winners, while that’s also the case looking at their prize money with over £358,000 banked so far. Of their 50 winners they’ve had 3 NH Flat successes, but the split between hurdles and fences is almost 50-50 with 24 over the smaller obstacles and 23 with their chasers.
Track stats and up-coming entries: Carlisle (18 from 160, 11%), Sedgefield (2 from 27, 7%), Kelso (26 from 190, 14%), Newbury (0 from 1) & Hexham (20 from 158, 13%)
This Week’s Cold Trainers…………………………
PETER BOWEN (53 days and 48 runners without a winner)
ALISON THORPE (71 days and 33 runners without a winner)