It might be taking time for temperatures to improve in the UK, but the turf flat season is warming up nicely with lots of top-notch action for beth.bet subscribers to enjoy and plenty in prospect over the coming months. Now we are starting to see the emergence of this season’s quality performers prepared by horse racing’s most capable trainers, with the Newmarket Guineas meeting this weekend a real chance to see the best horses in Britain and Ireland at the moment.
Let’s turn our attention to those trainers who are profitable to follow on the turf, and my exclusive pick of horses from each stable well worth keeping on side of over the summer months. We also take a look at a couple of trainers who are often overrated by the market and can have some short priced runners worth opposing by more astute punters.
This French born trainer has made a real impact over the last couple of years with his small team based in Pulborough in Sussex. David took over the reins at the former home of Guy Harwood (for those of us who remember this legend and have followed racing for a few years). Menuisier has made an immediate impression and has a particularly good record with young horses who he improves into handicaps. The market is an extremely accurate guide to his horse’s chances, so it is well worth noting when Beth.bet puts up one from the yard using their unique algorithm. A horse to follow from this stable is the four-year-old filly ‘Shouldering’, who was very heavily backed by all the right faces on her reappearance at Kempton in March but could only finish 5th, refusing to settle and pulling very hard under Jamie Spencer – but still shaping with immense promise – she is sure to do a lot better on the turf this summer as she becomes more tractable with racing experience.
John & Thady Gosden
This father and son partnership is a new one for the 2021 turf season. The duo made an immediate impact when they amassed an incredible four million pounds prize money with their first runners, winning a hugely valuable contest (The Saudi Cup) in Riyadh with the globe-trotting ‘Mishriff’ which is our horse to follow for the rest of the season. ‘Mishriff’ is a terrifically tough and genuine performer at the top level and the Gosden’s have already mapped out a campaign for the summer ahead that is going to take in the Juddmonte International, The Eclipse, The King George and finally the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Longchamp in October.
Simon & Ed Crisford
Simon and Ed were one of the first father and son duo’s who teamed up a couple of years ago and have chalked-up a really good strike rate with their horses. Over the last five years they have had 64 winners from 311 runners with a very creditable 21% strike rate. The Crisford’s have a particularly exciting range of young two and three year old horses to go to battle with. Their horses are always really well prepared and rarely need a run, with the betting market particularly accurate in pinpointing the strength of confidence behind each runner. Our horse to follow for me is ‘Torrkee’, a scopey three-year-old bay colt. He reappeared at Wolverhampton over seven furlongs in a warm novice contest in March and ran really well finishing strongly on just his second career start. It was very significant that he was so heavily backed there and is just the sort of 3-y-o to improve into handicaps in the summer when upped to a mile and beyond.
This Newmarket trainer has now had a staggering nine hundred career winners overall (all the more remarkable given he has only been training in his own right for a decade). He achieved a Group 1 winner in his first season as a trainer (after taking over from the legendary Michael Jarvis in 2011). Now in his tenth year as a trainer Varian has a large number of Group 1, 2, 3 and listed class horses in his armoury alongside some progressive three-year old handicapper’s (who he is expert at inching out gradual improvement from over the summer months). Our horse to follow in 2021 is ‘Troll Peninsula’, who returned from five months off at Kempton in the spring with a very impressive victory under an ultra- confident ride from Atzeni. There is a lot more to come from this horse and is very much one to follow into handicaps over the next few months.
George was Hugo Palmer’s assistant trainer for six years and has also trained in Australia, now making an immediate impression in his own right. A young trainer who is really going places – positioning his horses really carefully with an excellent strike rate. He moved to Newmarket in 2019 and that has attracted a higher quality of horses into his stables in the Hamilton Road. His horse to follow is ‘Thunder Love’, a filly who was extremely well backed before making a winning debut at Kempton in March. Quickening up smartly despite looking extremely green under pressure, she could develop into a Group performer in the next few months with plenty of natural improvement to come as she gathers racing experience.
Two trainers that it could pay to avoid this season have been legends of the game in the past – however often their horses are overbet because of reputation rather than current performance:
Sir Mark Prescott
A genius trainer, famed for landing gambles with unexposed horses into handicaps, but there is no doubt from a betting point of view the market overreacts (and his runners are very much underpriced in relation to their true chances of success). The market is now fully aware of his tactics, and while there will be plenty of winners again this season, it is very hard to make a profit overall from following in the money (with layers very cautious and quick to shorten prices up).
Sir Michael Stoute
This Newmarket stalwart who has won everything in his long and illustrious career, but his horses tend to need a run or two before peaking and are always overbet given the following he has among punters. There are very few secrets from the yard, with the fancied runners usually a short price the night before racing, and astute punters are advised to generally look elsewhere for value bets.