With the jumping action still a bit hit and miss due to the weather Andy Newton’s got six more flat yards this week that are in tip-top form…..
RALPH BECKETT (3 winners from his last 4 runners, 75% strike-rate): 4 winners, a second and a third from just 8 runners means the Beckett yard are another that have started 2013 well. Main stable man Jim Crowley has been on all of those winners, while with 20%+ strike-rates at all the 4 AW tracks then you expect a plenty more successes before the turf campaign gets underway in March – of their 64 winners in 2012, 26 came on the AW surfaces. Again, something to note for later in the year as the Southwell track is still closed and it’s not the time of the season for the 2 year-olds – but do look for any juveniles they do run on the fibresand track – they are currently 3 from 7 (43%) there.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Kempton (49 from 228, 21%), Lingfield (23 from 113, 20%), Wolverhampton (15 from 70, 21%)
JOHN HILLS (3 winners from his last 4 runners, 75% strike-rate): Based in Lambourn the Hills team have so far had 4 winners from their 8 runners in 2013 and considering they only notched 9 in the whole of 2012 then they must be happy. All four winners have been with their 3 year-olds and despite only being a seller their Mick Dundee, who was retained at auction after a recent win, could be one to follow in similar grades – he’s entered again this Thursday (Lingfield) Friday (Wolverhampton) and Sunday (Lingfield). Once the turf season kicks into gear they do quite well with their older horses at tracks like Bath, Brighton and Sandown, but in contrast you might want to think twice about backing anything they send to Kempton AW – in the last 5 season’s they are just 5 from 145 there.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Lingfield (7 from 84, 8%), Wolverhampton (11 from 145, 8%)
MARCO BOTTI (5 winners from their last 10 runners, 50% strike-rate): With 10 winners in 2013 already then Botti team have made a great start to the year – that’s almost a fifth of what they managed last term (52). You can fully expect them to smash that figure out of the water this season, and with a decent batch of horses I would certainly not be surprised if they get very close to the 100 mark. They are not afraid to run their horses in the quieter months on the AW tracks so that will help them in getting near that figure, while in Adam Kirby they’ve got a jockey riding right at the top of his game. Add in Andrea Atzeni, who also gets a fair amount of their rides, then the Botti team are one to look out for in 2013! Of their 10 winners this year it could pay to know that 8 have been with their 3 year-olds, while they are another yard to look out for once Southwell reopens – especially with their 3 year-olds (31%).
Upcoming entries and track stats: Wolverhampton (62 from 303, 20%), Kempton (35 from 240, 15%), Lingfield (20 from 132, 15%)
DAVID SIMCOCK (5 winners from his last 11 winners, 45% strike-rate): Flagged up last week, and with two more winners from just 5 UK runners then they didn’t let us down – one of those successes was also returned at 8/1 (Ray Ward). That puts them on 7 in 2013 now, from just 20 sent to post (35%), and will firmly have the 68 they notched last term in their sights as the season progresses. Don’t forget they are having the odd runner out in Dubai too, and although no winners as yet Glass Office and Ottoman Empire have both run well in defeat over there of late and could be worth looking out for. You can expect them to have another decent batch of 2 year-olds this season as last year 61% of their 92 juveniles finished fourth or better – but obviously we won’t see any for at least another few months. I’m sure they will be a yard that feature a lot through the year, but if you can remember then look for anything they run at Brighton, Ffos Las and Thirsk – all tracks they’ve done very well at in the past. Of the AW courses they are yet another that will be hoping Southwell opens again soon, as they have a 27% hit-rate there, but in the coming months also look out for any 2 year-old they run at Lingfield’s AW track too.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Lingfield (25 from 158, 16%), Wolverhampton (33 from 226, 15%)
GEORGE MARGARSON (3 winners from his last 7 runners, 43% strike-rate): Flying high at the moment, but the key seems to be if their runners are being sent off favourite – all three recent winners were market leaders in the betting. Young Jackie, a half-sister to the smart Young Mick, was the latest of those winners and despite only getting up by a neck it was a bit easier than the winning distance suggested – she’s holds several entries over the next few days. Storm Runner is the other horse that’s been providing the yard with a lot of winners over the winter – he’s notched up 4 victories now at Lingfield since November. All these recent stable winners would also be a welcome tonic as the yard sadly lost arguably their best horse, Imperial Guest, at Kempton earlier this month. With 4 winners from their 13 runners they are already well on the way to bettering the 10 winners they got in 2012, and will be hoping that the fast-improving Woolfall Sovereign, who is now 4-from-4 over 5f, can become another big horse for the yard – 21 winners in the 2011 season is their best yet.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Lingfield (7 from 41, 17%), Wolverhampton (10 from 39, 26%)
MARK JOHNSTON (4 winners from his last 13 runners, 31% strike-rate): Yes, the Johnston team were flagged up last week as having a bit of a lean spell, but what I did say is that it won’t be long before that was going to change – and that’s exactly what happened! Almost as soon as last week’s feature went up the ‘Always Trying’ Middleham yard fired in their first winner of 2013 when Broxbourne bolted up at Lingfield at 6/1, and they’ve since followed that up with three more successes, including a 14/1 winner at Kempton on Monday. So, now that things have taken a turn for the better it really is time to look out for ALL their runners. Jockey Joe Fanning has been on three of those 4 recent rides with old stable favourite Franny Norton on the other and you can expect this pair to get the bulk of the stable’s rides in the coming months. Last season they banged in a staggering 215 winners in total, so, yes, there is a fair way to go to better that tally, but, like I said last week, almost a quarter (50) of those came on the sand surfaces. Of the four AW tracks they have the worst strike-rate at Kempton (15%), but are over 20% at all the others, while note any 3 year-olds they send to Southwell once they are back racing at that track – they’ve got a 29% strike-rate in that age group.
Upcoming entries and track stats: Lingfield (73 from 351, 21%), Wolverhampton (85 from 432, 20%)
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