Did you know Willie Mullins has already fired in 122 winners this season? He’s one of seven trainers on Andy Newton’s hot-list this week…….
ROBERT MILLS (4 winners from his last 7 runner, 57% strike-rate): Yes, their runners are a bit few and far between and the moment, but of the seven they’ve run in 2013 four have won. All of those wins have come at Lingfield – a track they’ve currently got a 23% strike-rate at. Being based in Surrey then it goes without saying you’ll find the bulk of their runners at the southern tracks, while they are a yard that have quickly latched onto the talents of Robert Tart, who can claim a handy 7lbs at present – his last two rides for the yard have been winners. Looking ahead they’ve only got one engaged at Kempton on Sunday at the moment, but they are a stable slowly making a name for themselves – since taking over from his dad, Terry, the yard have fired in 13, 11 and 12 winners in the three season’s they’ve been going, so with 4 already this year are firmly on track to make 2013 their best yet.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Kempton (6 from 71, 8%)
DAVID O’MEARA (10 winners from his last 19 runners, 53% strike-rate): Some might argue that the recent O’Meara bubble has burst after his last four horses, including two odds-on shots, have been well beaten, but, for me, that would be foolish. Of course he was not going to continue firing in the winners at that sort of strike-rate, but it’s still clear that his horses are n cracking form. Yes, you could say that he’s already gone to the well with his better handicapped runners and now that the handicapper has caught up with them unless he’s got another batch waiting in the wings then, true, we might see a slight lull before things pick up again. However, I think this yard are going to have a very big season, especially when the flat turf season kicks in again in a few months, and are very much a stable to watch. In terms of their figures they are now already on 10 winners for 2013 and as they’ve increased their win tally each season since they started in 2010 then you can expect the 69 they managed in 2012 to be a firm target. Finally, don’t forget they do have the odd runner over thr sticks too – they’ve sent out 5 NH winners so far this season and could be running their exciting Ifandbutwhynot in the Supreme Novices’ Trial at Haydock at the weekend.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Wolverhampton (13 from 47, 28%), Musselburgh (0 from 4), Haydock (1 from 4, 25%)
KEITH REVELEY (6 winners from his last 16 runners, 38% strike-rate): Flagged up last week as a trainer to follow at the moment and they didn’t let us down with 3 more winners, including a nice 20/1 success at Doncaster last Wednesday. Son James is riding at the top of his game at present and I suspect you’ll start to see him getting rides for some of the bigger NH yards in the coming months/years – he’s been on all 6 of their recent winners. This puts them on 24 winners for the season and now need just 7 to better last terms 31, while 32 was their best yet (2005-06). Of their 24 winners it could pay to know that 16 have been with their hurdlers (26%), and they are also showing a very healthy +£32 level stakes profit with their hurdlers. The only slight disappointment is that they’ve only got 3 horses entered at this stage this week.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Musselburgh (7 from 52, 13%), Doncaster (10 from 76, 13%)
VENETIA WILLIAMS (6 winners from her last 18 runners, 33% strike-rate): Flying high at the moment and with Rigadin De Beauchene landing the Betfred Classic Chase last weekend then they are starting to land some big pots too. Their horses have been in great form for a while now and in Aidan Coleman they’ve got a stable jockey right out of the top draw. Add in Grand National-winning jockey, Liam Treadwell, who picks up the scraps and Robert Dunne then the yard have plenty of strength in depth in that department too. Jupiter Rex, Bennys Mist, Red Brick are all ones that look on the upgrade, but their Katenko, who could even take in the Gold Cup, is the horse most people are talking about after his recent impressive Sandown win – he could be in action in Saturday’s Peter Marsh Chase at Ascot next. They are now on 54 winners and that’s already better than what they’ve managed for the past three seasons and will now have the 89 they notched back in 2003-04 in their sights. Looking ahead to Cheltenham they look as if they will be heading to Prestbury Park with one of their strongest hands for some time – keep an eye on anything they run in the Coral Cup, Pertemps Final and the Byrne Group Plate as these are all races they’ve targeted with success in recent years.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Newbury (10 from 77, 13%), Ludlow (13 from 64, 20%), Wincanton (10 from 79, 13%), Market Rasen (3 from 11, 27%), Chepstow (9 from 98, 9%), Musselburgh (3 from 8, 38%), Ascot (2 from 51, 4%), Taunton (19 from 76, 25%), Haydock (5 from 57, 11%), Towcester (19 from 113, 17%)
WILLIE MULLINS (9 winners from his last 29 runners, 31% strike-rate): Ireland’s leading jumps trainer is in scintillating form this term with a staggering 122 winners already. If we compare that to the 70 odd that Henderson and Nicholls have, and the fact that there is not as many meetings in Ireland then this tells you exactly how well they are doing. They need just 16 to equal their final tally last season and 25 to make this their best yet – something they should easily do (weather permitting) before we even get to Cheltenham! Then there is no reason why they can’t push towards the 200 mark – something that will be a remarkable feat. In terms of prize money they’ve banked £1.4million so far, while 66 (over half) of their winners have been with their hurdlers. I guess the only surprising stat is that they’ve only had 15 winners from 161 runners in the last 5 seasons in the UK – and all of those came at Cheltenham. The Cheltenham bumper is the race most punters associate the Mullins camp with, and, yes, they do have a fantastic past record in the race, but be a bit careful as they do fire a lot of bullets at that race and at the moment are in fact just 1-from-17 in NH Flat races at Prestbury Park. After hearing a recent interview with jockey Paddy Mullins Clondaw Court could be the one they like in that race this season, but are sure to, once again, be mob-handed.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Thurles (41 from 165, 25%), Dundalk AW (3 from 32, 9%), Naas (27 from 91, 30%), Fairyhouse (69 from 246, 28%), Gowran Park (41 from 142, 29%)
DAVID EVANS (8 winners from their last 26 runners, 31% strike-rate): They are having plenty of runners at the moment, so backing their horses blind is not really an option, and yes, their winner on Monday was also their first for 8 runners. However, last week they sent out 7 winners, that included three last Wednesday, while 14 of their last 26 runners have finished third or better. Look out for when in-form AW jockeys Luke Morris and Adam Kirby are booked – they’ve been on the bulk of their recent winners, but they are also taking advantage of the promising-looking Philip Prince’s 7lb claim. In terms of their AW stats you will find most of their runners at Wolverhampton, but, although closed at the moment, it’s Southwell they have the slightly better record at with their runners – 17% and +£17 level stakes profit. It might surprise some people when looking back on their win tallies with 82, 114, 88, 77 and 82 winners in the last 5 seasons, and with 13 successes from just 46 runners (28%) in 2013 they are well on the way once again. Also, don’t forget they are another yard that have the odd NH runner too – they need just 1 more winner this season to equal their best ever tally of 11 jumps winners in campaign.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Ffos Las (3 from 33, 9%), Lingfield (54 from 461, 12%), Newbury (0 from 2), Kempton (36 from 346, 10%), Ludlow (8 from 70, 11%), Wolverhampton (82 from 783, 10%)
NICKY HENDERSON (7 winners from his last 23 runners, 30% strike-rate): Surprisingly the Henderson yard went 11 runners without a winner last week, but they soon bounced back by firing in 6 on the spin from last Friday! Yes, a lot of those were sent off odds-on and, therefore, expected to go in, but the well-handicapped Oscar Dara was a decent winner of the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday and that good prize has helped the Seven Barrows yard narrow the gap in the trainers’ title race with Paul Nicholls to less than £180,000. They are still heavily odds-on to get the better of Nicholls in that particular battle and with Spinter Sacre looking a cert to add another big pot when winning the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot on Saturday then it’s easy to see why. Add in horses like Oscar Whisky, Darlan, Bobs Worth, Long Run and Simonsig etc, and the fact Nicholls has no Big Buck’s this season, then unless Ditcheat can win the Grand National again the title should be Henderson’s. In terms of sheer winners it’s 72 to Henderson and 76 to Nicholls as we stand at the moment, but the Nicholls camp have had around 40 more runners (303 to 264).
Upcoming entries and track stats: Newbury (55 from 251, 22%), Kempton AW (0 from 1), Market Rasen (16 from 39, 41%), Wincanton (8 from 47, 17%), Ludlow (36 from 106, 34%), Chepstow (2 from 21, 10%), Haydock (11 from 71, 15%) Ascot (45 from 155, 29%), Taunton (9 from 49, 18%), Lingfield AW (0 from 1), Towcester (14 from 61, 23%), Fairyhouse (0 from 5)