Jumps trainer: Venetia Williams
Over the three months between December and February, Venetia Williams’ stable sent only eleven winners in an unusually quiet spell. However, the yard has hit form in no uncertain terms of late. Doubles at Ludlow and Wincanton (where both winners were ridden by the stable’s 7lb-claiming amateur Mr Hugh Nugent) last Monday were quickly followed by a treble at Williams’ local track Hereford the next day to make a total of seven wins over the two days. Charlie Deutsch was in the saddle for the five winners at Ludlow and Hereford. The Grand National-winning trainer is yet to win the Scottish version but has three entries at Ayr next Saturday, including Yala Enki who gave the stable its biggest win of the season in the Grand National Trial at Haydock. Closer to hand, one of those Scottish National entries Pressurize is engaged at Ffos Las on Sunday in a less competitive race than those he’s been contesting of late. The Mon Mome colours of Vida Bingham could be carried to success in a handicap chase at Plumpton on Monday by Achille who looks potentially well treated after returning to form when second at Wincanton last month. Cepage signalled the stable had turned a corner when winning at Kempton last time and he could bid to follow up in the Silver Trophy Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday.
Surprise in the 3.15 as Cepage wins at 14-1 in the hands of Charlie Deutsch for trainer Venetia Williams pic.twitter.com/K0g8GOiT10— Kempton Park (@kemptonparkrace) March 17, 2018
Flat trainer: Simon Crisford
Simon Crisford is yet to have a runner on turf this year but if the stable’s current form on the all-weather is anything to go by, the yard is in for a good start to the Flat season proper. While there’s only been one winner for the stable so far in April, no fewer than six of the stable’s ten runners this month have finished second – a better representation of the sort of form the stable’s in, if rather a frustrating sequence of results. Either of the Sheikh Mohammed Obaid pair Global Conqueror or Regal Director could bid to get the yard’s turf campaign off to a winning start in the ten-furlong novice event at Windsor on Monday. Dante entry Global Conqueror showed the better form of the pair at two, though he’s also entered in a handicap at the Craven meeting on Wednesday. Regal Director has a bit more to find but takes the eye on pedigree, by Derby winner New Approach out of a half-sister to Dubawi, and he holds a Derby entry himself. Elsewhere, both of Shrewd Approach’s wins last season came in the mud, so she shouldn’t be inconvenienced by testing conditions if reappearing in a seven-furlong handicap at Beverley on Wednesday, while she has an alternative engagement at Newcastle on Thursday.
Under the radar: Lucinda Russell
Around this time last year Hot to Trot flagged up the good form of Lucinda Russell’s yard ahead of the Grand National which she went on to win with One For Arthur. While the stable’s star has been on the sidelines this season, it’s worth noting that Russell has hit a good spell of form again this April. 5 lb conditional rider Blair Campbell has been getting plenty of opportunities recently and took advantage when successful on Haul Us In and Kelpies Myth who were successful at Kelso and Carlisle respectively last weekend. The mare Haul Us In is in terrific form, and having completed a hat-trick last time, could bid for a four-timer back at Kelso on Monday, though stablemates Jump For Dough and Behindthelines (also in a novice handicap on the same card) are also entered and are others who have been running well. Among other possible runners for the stable on Kelso’s card is Chanceiton in the hunter chase. He hasn’t shown much under Rules to date but has been in good heart in points more recently, winning twice this season under Cameron Wadge, and it will be interesting to see how he fares under his regular rider on his steeplechase debut. Finally, useful novice chaser Big River is one to look out for at Ayr’s big meeting next weekend – he currently holds a Scottish National entry, but there’s also a novice handicap for him on the same card.
Just sharing this one more time. Lucinda Russell talks about her season so far, gives the latest on One For Arthur and highlights some promising young horses to follow. @petescu https://t.co/hkxtkeKUZS— Racing Up North (@RacingUpNorth) February 14, 2018