Flat trainer: James Tate
James Tate hasn’t had that many runners so far this season, but the ones he has run have all acquitted themselves well, and as the table below demonstrates, the yard are in much better form than has previously been the case in recent years.
Tate has one of his star performers Hey Gaman declared for the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp on Sunday. The big, well-made colt made an encouraging reappearance when a good three-quarter length third to James Garfield in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury last month, leading inside the final furlong until fitness seemingly told. Given his size, Hey Gaman is expected to come on plenty for that, and could out-run his odds in what is his toughest assignment to date. On Monday, both Hard Taskmaster and Via Via could take their chance at Windsor in the five-furlong novice and mile handicap, respectively. It could be the two-year-old Hard Taskmaster who has the stronger claims, though, having shaped as if he’d be better for the experience on his debut at Brighton recently. Also on Monday, another well-bred juvenile Second Generation is entered at Beverley, and could be up to making a winning start for respected connections; she would be of strong interest if prominent in the betting.
Jumps trainer: Chris Gordon
There is no jumps trainer in England or Ireland that is in better form than Chris Gordon on our figures, and his runners in the coming days command plenty of respect.
He goes to Plumpton on Sunday with three strong chances in the shape of Ladofash, Mellow Ben and Roparta Avenue. The second-named horse is perhaps best of the trio, having showed improved form when winning a handicap at Fontwell last time, going with enthusiasm and asserting after the last to win by two lengths. A subsequent 4 lb rise looks fair and he should continue to give a good account. At Kempton on Monday, Ballycoe could take his chance in the two and a half mile handicap chase. Admittedly, he has plenty to prove after falling on his last two starts (over hurdles latest), but he is leniently treated on the pick of his form, and rattled off a hat-trick around this time of year in 2016, so isn’t one to dismiss totally. Ramore Will holds an entry at Warwick on Wednesday and could be turned out quickly after running creditably at Fontwell this week. He is now up to a career-high mark after his two wins in April, but the step back up in trip will help, and he should make another bold bid.
Under the radar: Simon Dow
Simon Dow doesn’t have many runners, but he knows how to get the job done with the ones he has, just as he proved when winning a valuable three-year-old handicap at Epsom with the unexposed Corazon Espinado at Epsom last month. As the table below shows, he is even better with older horses, and he has several in the coming days that are of interest.
Le Torrent has proved progressive since joining Dow in 2015, winning four of his six starts, and he could notch a fifth win if lining up in the two-mile handicap at Wolverhampton on Monday. He put in a rare below-par effort at Goodwood last time, but that came on soft ground, and he is expected to fare much better returned to the all-weather. Later in the week, the progressive Sparkalot holds an entry at York on Wednesday. He has done the majority of his racing on the all-weather (not disgraced sole start on turf), but is the type that should have even more to offer, not seen to best effect at Kempton last time, and he should be competitive if getting a run. Native Fighter is another entered at York, and is another to have done well since joining the yard. For all the bubble burst at Epsom last time, he seemed unsuited by the track, and should fare much better returned to a more galloping course.