Jumps Trainer: Philip Hobbs (Click trainer’s name to view a full list of entries)
Philip Hobbs generally comes into form at this time of year, as the graph below shows, and he has been on a roll of late, with nine winners this month at the time of writing.
Hobbs has a host of entries over the coming days, including Midnight Glory, who is entered twice; in a handicap hurdle at Huntingdon on Sunday, and in a mares’ handicap hurdle at Leicester on Wednesday. She was well-supported when well beaten on reappearance at Newton Abbot in October, but it was particularly heavy that day, and she scored in good style at Ludlow on her next start last month. She gave the impression that she has more to offer yet, and can go close off just 7 lb higher.
Later in the week, Hobbs has three entries in a maiden hurdle at Uttoxeter on Tuesday, the most interesting of which being Ebony Gale. He has failed to complete on his two starts over timber so far, but he looked booked for second at the very least when departing at Chepstow most recently, and would be a threat if ironing out his jumping with more to come. On the same card, Hobbs is due to send out Keep Rolling and Raven Court. Both have made solid starts to their careers, but the latter is perhaps the better prospect, travelling well on debut at Aintree last month, and only losing second on the line.
Later in the week, Hobbs has several entries at Taunton on Thursday, including Roll The Dough, who holds an entry in the novices’ handicap chase. He’s been in good heart of late, winning three of his last five starts, and has built up a good rapport with the champion jockey Richard Johnson – so it may be worth keeping an eye on the jockey bookings for that particular race.
Flat Trainer: Ian Williams
Ian Williams is of course a highly adept trainer both over the Jumps and on the Flat, but he has enjoyed a fine 2018 on the level, and remains in good form as the year comes to a close – as the graph below shows.
Williams has several entries on the All-Weather next week, including three at Wolverhampton on Monday. The most interesting of those is undoubtedly Western Duke, who along with Paddy A holds an entry in the stayers’ handicap. Western Duke shaped as if he was still in good form when seventh at Kempton last month, having every chance two furlongs out, and he merits plenty of respect now back in 0-85 company.
Paddy The Chef shaped as if he was back in form when sixth at Kempton last month, not being seen to best effect having been trapped wide throughout. He would be worth a second look if taking up his engagement at the same course on Wednesday, as would Lucky’s Dream, the best of Williams’ three entries at Lingfield on Thursday. He disappointed slightly when failing to complete a double at Wolverhampton at the beginning of the month, but there’s still scope for improvement with him and he looks worthy of another chance off the same mark – which is still a basement one.
Under The Radar: Jeremy Scott
To say that Jeremy Scott is enjoying a rich vein of form would be an understatement, considering that this is easily the strongest run he has been on over the past five years – as the below graph outlines.
Scott has just a handful of entries for next week, though they are intriguing ones, beginning with Kissesforkatie, who is entered in a listed mares’ bumper at Huntingdon on Sunday. Having switched to this after one start in Ireland in January, Kissesforkatie opened her account on her first start for Scott at Fontwell in October, winning readily, before progressing again to finish third in a listed contest at Cheltenham last month. She took on geldings that day, and switched back to face her own sex, she has place claims at the very least.
The yard also has three entries at Fontwell on Tuesday, the best of whom being Blue April, who holds an entry in a handicap hurdle. Blue April isn’t the most consistent of types, and has something to prove on the back of his last run at Warwick in May, when well beaten, but he has slipped back to his last winning mark, which came at this track, and he can go close if ready to go after an absence. Colmers Hill holds an entry in the novices’ handicap chase on the card, and would arrive here on the back of a win if taking his chance, making the most of testing conditions to score at Ffos Las last month. A 6 lb rise makes life tough, and whilst he isn’t an obvious type to follow up, he would be worth a second look if the ground came up particularly soft. Meanwhile, Peloric is due to take his chance in a juvenile contest, and whilst he showed plenty to work on when third on debut in a bumper at Huntington in October, his two subsequent starts over timber suggests he would need more to feature.