As we gear up for Royal Ascot this week Andy Newton’s takes a look at which trainers to keep on your side through the five days…..
AIDAN O’BRIEN (4YO+ 7 winners from 25, 28%): Not the best overall Ascot record at 15%, but when you drill into the actual age groups of his winners you’ll quickly see that the Ballydoyle maestro does very well with his 4+ year-olds. With 7 winners from his last 25 (28%) runners in this age group then all his older horses that run this week at the Berkshire track should be noted, with last year’s Epsom Derby winner Camelot (4 years-old), who runs in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes, his most high-profile entry. You can expect to see a few 2 year-olds in action this week too, and being from this powerful yard then are also likely to be short in the betting. However, with just 3 juvenile winners from their last 25 sent to post at Ascot then you might want to think twice about backing them.
JOHN GOSDEN (2YO 3 winners from 13 (23%), 4YO+ 12 winners from 53, 23%): An overall Ascot track strike-rate of 14% is again only average, but that percentage is only really dragged down surprisingly by their 3 year-old runners. In recent years they are just 5 from 75 (7%) in that age bracket, so be wary of that over the next five days. In contrast they do extremely well with both their juvenile runners (3 from 13, 23%) and their older horses (12 from 53, 23%). The Fugue, who is likely to run in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes, is one of their big hopes for the week, but you can keep up to date with all their runners and entries using the link below.
WILLIE MULLINS (4YO 2 winners from 6 (33%): More famed for his NH runners, Willie Mullins had a fantastic time mixing it with the flat guys at last year’s Royal Meeting with his Simenon landing both the Ascot Stakes and Queen Alexandra Stakes. So, yes, his stats are rather reliant on this one horse winning those two races last year, but the fact this is his only runner again suggests he’s not to be ignored. He will be a leading player in Thursday’s Gold Cup, and despite this being another step up in grade he won his two Ascot races last season by 6 and 7 lengths, so clearly loves it at the track. A recent fourth in the Chester Cup was a cracking effort (only beaten 1 ¼ lengths) and should have him spot on for this week. He’s also got Midnight Oil engaged in Tuesday’s Ascot Stakes, with Richard Hughes an eye-catching booking too.
DERMOT WELD (3YO 1 winner from 3 (33%), 3 winners from 7, 43%): No 2 year-old winners from just 2 runners, but this legendary Irish trainer does extremely well with his other aged horses at the track. He doesn’t bring many over, but the ones he does more often than not mean business – backed up 12 months ago when his classy Princess Highway landed the Ribblesdale Stakes, while let’s not forget Rite Of Passage’s Gold Cup win in 2010. That last-named horse, although not a certain starter, will be hoping to regain his Gold Cup crown on Thursday, but they have a few other entries dotted around the week to note – and no matter what price they are they should all be given a second glance – trust me!
CLIVE COX (2YO 4 winners from 14, 29%): Their Reckless Abandon was an excellent winner of the Norfolk Stakes at last year’s Royal Meeting as a 2 year-old and it’s this age group that the Cox team have excelled at here at the course. With 2 juvenile winners from just 9 sent to post (3 seconds too), then the yard are ticking along nicely with their youngsters this season, and although not certain runners they do have an entry in the Queen Mary on Wednesday.
HUGHIE MORRISON (3YO 4 winners from 17, 24%): Again only an average overall strike-rate at Ascot with 7 winners from just 63 runners (11%), but 4 of those 7 successes have been with their 3 year-olds. They are also boasting an impressive +£33 level stakes profit with that age group of runners at the track and do have a fair few entered again over the week. Of their 16 flat wins in 2013 it’s also significant that 11 of those have been with their 3 year-olds, so it’s clear that they excel with this age group anyway. In the last 5 seasons they’ve had 99 winners aged 3 years-old and that’s the winning most age bracket they’ve had.
CLICK ON A TRAINER’S NAME TO SEE ALL THEIR ASCOT ENTRIES AND THEIR ASCOT TRACK STATS
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