BEST TRAINERS at NEWCASTLE
The Racing Horse looks at the trainers with the best strike rate over the past five years at Newcastle and records the number of entries they have for Monday. There is no current form to go on regarding the horses, trainers or jockeys which makes things difficult and the advice must be to tread softly, though as always the market and history will tell us plenty!
Michael Stoute: 14-36 for 39% 2 runners
Charlie Appleby: 13-34 for 38% 0 runners
John Gosden: 43-122 for 35% 3 runners
William Haggas: 33-93 for 35% 0 runners
Charlie Hills: 16-67 for 24% 0 runners
Any runner from the above must be taken seriously - if we do not bet them we rarely oppose them!
STOUTE, GOSDEN & CURTIS to FEATURE
Michael Stoute runs Alignak 5.05 (10/3) and Thibaan 5.40 (9/2) whilst John Gosden runs Good Tidings 5.05 (4/1), Frankly Darling 5.40 (8/11) and Byzantine Empire 6.15 (3/1). Charlie Appleby, William Haggas and Charlie Hills have 0 runners and the top trainers seem loaded for Kempton on Tuesday. The numbers suggest we concentrate on the 5.05 and 5.40 and it is likely Stoute or Gosden will score at least one winner between them.
Jockey Ben Curtis has 7 rides and one imagines him featuring prominently given his expertise on this surface and track.
The newest all-weather course in Britain, Newcastle converted its turf Flat track to a tapeta surface and began racing in 2016. It has added something totally different to the all-weather season, not least in being a track which serves the Northern trainers much more conveniently, but also in the totally different test it provides. The course is left handed and galloping in nature with a wide-open straight which can see fields spread right across the track in a finish. Races up to a mile are run without a bend - this has made for some gruelling tests and slow-motion finishes with stamina at an absolute premium. Hold-up horses have a considerably better record at Newcastle than any other all-weather track, to such an extent that missing the break can almost be an advantage in some situations.
The fact that the track provides such a thorough test is not to be considered as a negative, however, and the switch to all-weather has been a success. The track has provided great opportunities for local trainers at a lower level and several horses have run up sequences, suggesting the track lends itself to course specialists - but it has also been well supported from further afield with Newmarket trainers John Gosden, William Haggas and Charlie Appleby racking up impressive strike rates, particularly in the novice/maiden events.