Jumps: Jamie Snowden
Jamie Snowden had 31 winners in the 2018/19 jumps season. It’s only the start of December but he’s already had 38 this term and is showing no signs of stopping, with his team continuing in excellent form.
Last Saturday he sent out rising star Thebannerkingrebel to win a listed hurdle with ease, and the trainer has struck twice since from seven runners.
Barrowlands still looked raw when winning at Sedgefield on Tuesday, but it was just his second start under Rules and he is entitled to carry on improving. He kept on well under a very positive ride and looks likely to benefit from the step up to three miles.
Thomas MacDonagh made a striking handicap debut at Wetherby on Wednesday, winning by 15 lengths and going through the contest with plenty of zest. He is set for a hike in the weights but is improving all the time and could be turned out quickly under a penalty as he holds entries at Lingfield and Southwell on Tuesday.
Irish point winner Redbridge Gold showed plenty of promise when landing a bumper at Doncaster in January and shaped as if she would be better for the experience when finishing fourth on her hurdles debut at Ludlow in October. She would be of interest if taking up one of her three engagements this week.
Tractor Fred was disappointing at Exeter last time but his cause was not helped by some less-than-fluent jumping and he is not one to write off. He has made only two starts for the yard but showed enough at Southwell on his first start for Snowden to suggest he is fairly handicapped and can win a race off this mark. He runs at Plumpton on Monday.
Under The Radar: Alex Hales
In the past week Alex Hales has had two winners and two horses finish placed from just six runners. Both horses who were sent off at a single-figure price were successful, while the starting prices of the placed runners were 25/1 and 12/1, highlighting the excellent form of a trainer who has already surpassed last year’s tally (13 compared to 10).
The form of Flow Away’s maiden hurdle win at Market Rasen has proved strong and she improved on that effort to defy a penalty at Uttoxeter last Sunday. She was given a good front-running ride but still had to dig deep under pressure and she demonstrated a good attitude.
Millers Bank showed a similar level of form in winning his novice hurdle at Bangor on Saturday. It was noteworthy how readily he saw off the challenge of the runner-up, forging clear between the final two flights, and he remains open to improvement after just two starts over hurdles.
Dandilion is quirky but has strung together a sequence of consistent performances and she put up another solid effort when runner-up at Lingfield on Saturday.
Hales could introduce a half-sister to one of his stable stalwarts, Duel At Dawn, as Shiroccsmyworld holds entries at Lingfield, Ludlow and Market Rasen. In addition to being a half-sister to useful chaser Duel At Dawn, Shiroccsmyworld is a sibling to five other winners over jumps. It’s a decent family she hails from and, with the stable in sparkling form, she is worth watching out for.
Swilly Sunset racked up a four-timer on the Flat in 2017 for Anthony Carson but has largely been out of form since. He has moved to Hales’s yard and could make his debut for the stable at Market Rasen.
Flat: Richard Fahey
Seven of Richard Fahey’s nine runners have hit the frame in the past week, and two of them won, highlighting the good health of the yard.
Only four of those runners – including the two winners - were sent off at single-figure prices, which shows how the yard’s runners have largely been performing above market expectations.
Another Touch, a 7/1 shot, struck at Chelmsford on Thursday, landing a decent handicap in which the cream rose to the top. He was dropping in trip to a mile on his all-weather debut and he did well to win having been shuffled back at half-way and conceded first run as a consequence. He had slipped a fair way in the weights prior to that victory and will remain of interest.
Luis Vaz de Torres had better form on turf than the all-weather but his mark reflected that and he registered a first win on an artificial surface at Lingfield on Saturday. He could be turned out quickly at the same course on Wednesday. Furzig will be of interest if running on the same card. He is compiling a good record on the all-weather and produced his best effort yet when finishing runner-up at Wolverhampton last month. He remains on a decent mark.
Savage Beauty shaped nicely on her first start at Catterick in October and will be of interest if taking up her entry at Newcastle on Friday. She looked as if she would come on for the run at Catterick and she should be a different proposition with the benefit of that experience under her belt.