Trainers & Jockeys Turf 2019
Brazilian Silvestre De Sousa was crowned Champion Jockey for a third time in 2018 in the Stobart Flat Jockeys Champioonship. He will no doubt be up near the top of the table again this year if he chooses to go for the title again and is odds-on to retain his crown. Mark Johnston supplies his largest number of winners but he has eye-catching strike-rates whenever Richard Hannon or Simon Crisford give him the leg-up so any he rides for them are worth noting. He also of course won the LONGINES International Jockeys Championship at Happy Valley in December. As of March he now has a new job as retained rider for King Power Racing and as such he may not now have as much opportunity to chase around the country in pursuit of a fourth title in five years.
Oisin Murphy won the 2018 Stobart
Annual Jockey title – the award based on number of winners during a calendar
year – as well as finishing second in the Championship table to De Sousa. The
twenty-three-year-old rode a total of 198 winners including five British Group
Ones throughout 2018. Qatar Racings retained jockey will be booting home plenty
of winners again in 2019 no doubt and looks likely to be the one to take
advantage if De Sousa doesn’t put in the hours. James Doyle was of course free to ride for other stables last
season not being retained for Saeed bin Suroor at Godolphin and reached a total
of 106 winners in the Jockey Championship for fourth place. His new working
relationship with William Haggas proving particularly fruitful and he had the
best strike-rate of the top lads at 23%. Talking of Godolphin William Buick enjoyed plenty of
success, including winning the Derby,
with Charlie Appleby and Godolphin having such a stellar season and you can be
sure the same will be hoped for in 2019. Through 2018 the Appleby/Buick
strike-rate was 29% confirming what a cracking year they had. They have some
nice ones to look forward to over the coming months and though he won’t be
winning the Jockeys Championship he will be getting more than his share of big
prize pots again I would expect.
Jim Crowley was as busy as ever and finished third in the Stobart Flat Jockeys Champioonship. He has eye-catching stats when getting the call from Hugo Palmer or Simon Crisford. Daniel Tudhope had another good year booting home 92 winners in the ‘Championship’ (93 in 2017) and will be looking to break into triple digits during 2019 I would imagine. He has been notably successful when getting the leg-up from Sir Michael Stoute. Andrea Atzeni had another solid season, sixth in the ‘Championship’ table, and continues his relationship with Roger Varian. He has said before he would love to be Champion one day. As he turns 28 this season time is very much on his side (Silvestre De Sousa is 38) but it’s a lot of hours and travelling to put in – will the Italian go for it this year? You cannot leave out a certain Ryan Moore who will be doing what he does – riding winners in big races for big stables across the Globe. Considered by many the best of the best you are more likely to see him at Sha Tin than Salisbury these days but take note on the rare occasion he gets the leg-up on one you wouldn’t expect. He won’t win the championship but will win plenty of Group races. The 29-year-old Ben Curtis achieved a lifetime ambition when a hat-trick of victories at his local track Carlisle took him over100 winners in a calendar year for the first time in 2018. He has been wintering in Dubai riding a few and has gone on record saying he is after that elusive Group One. Richard Kingscote will be doing what he does primarily for Tom Dascombe and Michael Owen as the Manor House stable jockey and will notch his fair share of winners over the coming months.
Joe Fanning is a grafter and deserves every victory he gets. His partnership with Mark Johnston has grown over the years with hundreds of winners coming from it. He won’t win the title, probably won’t win a Group race, but he’ll be picking up wins on the Northern circuit and the All-Weather tracks from January – December. Talking of grafters, few jockeys work harder than Luke Morris but his strike-rate was only 10% in 2018 and is something like 12% averaged out over the last five seasons – he aint one to follow blindly! That said he’ll put in the hours and will likely be in the top 10 again and can certainly ride when given a good’un. Franny Norton is another of those jocks that grafts week in week out without the acclaim some of his weighing room colleagues receive. He shows no sign of slowing down at 48 years of age and will get the leg-up from Mark Johnston, his main provider for years, on few more over the coming months no doubt.
As for the young guns; Jason Watson was Champion Apprentice for 2018 riding 77 winners – actually rode over 100 in total during 2018 including a first Group 1 success on God Given in Italy in November. He has already stated that he will be aiming for the Flat Jockeys Championship sooner rather than later and has been slashed in price to win it in 2019; his total of 77 saw him finish tenth in the table for 2018. He has taken the role of stable jockey to Roger Charlton in 2019 and the plan is for him to take up his new role at Beckhampton in March. Talking in December the 18-year-old said "It's obviously a great opportunity and I can't wait to get started. I've never even been to the yard before so it's a completely fresh start for me. As for future targets, he added: "The main target is to just ride as many winners as possible and surpass last year's total. I'll still be riding out for other people where I can and hopefully I can keep on that upward curve." Charlton's principal rider in 2018 had been 22-year-old Kieran Shoemark who had an up and down year to say the least. He suffered a horrendous fall at Lingfield in the June in which he broke six ribs and punctured a lung keeping him off track for three months. He is currently suspended after testing positive for a banned substance in November, believed to be cocaine, and is facing a ban of six months. Charlton has suggested he will stand by Shoemark, but he will likely be suspended well into the 2019 turf season. He had looked a prospect and hopefully can get his career up and running again when he has finished his enforced time on the sidelines. Callum Rodriguez looks like one to keep an eye on. He has started to get rides for some of the bigger yards now and he has been busy steering home the winners for Michael Dods, where he is based, and Keith Dalgleish on the All-Weather over the winter to name but two. Rossa Ryan linked up with the Richard Hannon yard in January 2017 and is making his way up the ladder.
Update 25/02/19: Out in Ireland it has been announced Shane Foley will replace Colm O'Donoghue as Jessica Harrington's number one rider for the forthcoming Flat season. Harrington said that Foley's ability to fully commit to the role was one of the main reasons for the switch.
Luca Cumani has of course brought an end to his illustrious training career after 43 years at Bedford House Stables in Newmarket, from where he trained two Derby winners and numerous of stars.
Far from resting on his laurels having been crowned Champion Trainer for a third time John Gosden will have been hatching plans for another batch of cracking three-year-olds headed by Too Darn Hot and Calyx at Clarehaven Stables down Bury Road in Newmarket. There is also the small matter of plotting a route for Enable on her way to a potential historic third Arc, that reliable mare Coronet to campaign at some summer prizes and Stradivarius looking to remain on top in the staying division. He will be somewhere near to top of the table again in 2019 you can be sure of that.
Aidan O’Brien had just the 24 winners in the Trainers Championship and still amassed over £6 million in prize money to finish second to Gosden. You know that plenty of midnight oil will have been burnt down at Ballydoyle, Co. Tipperary mapping out three-year-old campaigns for colts Ten Sovereigns and Magna Grecia and the fillies Just Wonderful and Fairyland. He will be sending a select few over the Irish Sea again in the coming months for the big races and meetings; always note his runners at Chester where the yard has an outstanding strike-rate.
Charlie Appleby will be looking to carry on the good work from 2018. Back at the end of last season he stated “My ambitions are to carry on and to try to be successful and do the best we can for Godolphin and his Highness Sheikh Mohammed and having international winners. Every time we do that I feel that’s a sense of achievement. To do that you have to have the momentum going. On January 1st we start at zero again. We’ve got to build away. We’ve given ourselves a bit of a path to maintain, let alone go above. The Kentucky Derby is of course on everybody’s lips. It’s not been done and to win a Dubai World Cup for myself would be great. Saeed (bin Suroor) has won plenty (eight) and I would like to get involved if I can. The Dubai World Cup and a Kentucky Derby would be high on the agenda and I imagine for His Highness Sheikh Mohamed’s point of view he’d like to win the Kentucky Derby as well.”
He has the likes of Derby winner Masar, Ghaiyyath and Blue Point to work with to name but three and looks set for another exciting season. Quorto was put away having won the G.1 National Stakes at the Curragh and the trainer is on record as saying the 2,000 Guineas has always been the long-term plan.
The aforementioned Saeed bin Suroor was somewhat in the shadow of Appleby last year but actually sent out nearly as many winners for Godolphin with a total of 84 compared to Appleby’s 88. Thunder Snow will no doubt be aimed at the Dubai World Cup again and an attempt at retaining his crown before another European campaign. Whilst Benbatl will no doubt be on his travels for the yard again as well.
Sir Michael Stoute was third in the table last year with Expert Eye winning the G.1 Breeders Cup Mile bringing the curtain down on a cracking season down at Freemason Lodge. Crystal Ocean looks likely to be the stables flag bearer in 2019 with Poets Word and Expert Eye having gone to stud.
Mark Johnston continued to do what he does sending out 226 winners from 1,440 runs in 2018. ‘Always Trying’ is the yard motto and you certainly couldn’t accuse the Scotsman of being lazy! The Master of Kingsley Park in Middleham North Yorkshire has been as active as ever during the winter on the All-Weather and they will be aiming for 200+ winners again no doubt. It must be something in the Yorkshire air as about an hour away by car in Musley Bank Richard Fahey is another who loves a runner, and a winner, and he wasn’t far behind Johnston in number of winners with 190 last year and actually was busier having 1,599 runs! Down in Marlborough, Wiltshire Richard Hannon was taking it easy compared to the two above with just 1,401 runs in 2018 from which he achieved 172 wins. He doesn’t quite have the quality the likes of O’Brien, Gosden and Appleby do but he remains a shrewd operator who will win his fair share again in 2019. William Haggas has been amongst the winners with only a few runners on the All-Weather which bodes well for the season ahead for the team at Somerville Lodge. He is unlikely to be Champion Trainer but the Old Harrovian knows a trick or two and will be amongst the top Trainers again in 2019. Roger Varian didn’t exactly have a stellar 2018 down at Carlburg Stables and by the end of the year had to write to owners to rubbish the persistent rumours connecting former members of his team with corruption. He will be hoping to make the headlines for the right reasons in 2019; UAE Jewel is an unraced 3yo that’s bred to be good. Andrew Balding will be doing his thing at his base in Kingsclere. Beat The Bank will no doubt be his main flag bearer again this year whilst Crossing The Line was progressive last season and should win a race or two. Archie Watson has to be a trainer to watch for the new season and beyond. I backed Soldiers Call more than once last season and that colt was just one of many to catch the eye sent out from his historic Saxon Gate yard in Upper Lambourn; he had a strike-rate of 20% through 2018 with a total of 105 winners and finished twentieth in the Trainers table. This will be his fourth year as a licensed trainer and he is unarguably on the up.
Whilst looking at the big names and their prospects for 2019 I couldn’t help but take a peak at some of the, lesser lights, shall we call them. Andi Brown for example down at Southfields Stables in Newmarket. He has worked with Guy Harwood and John Gosden in the past and was, before becoming a trainer, a work rider for Jeremy Noseda. The yards last five years record on the Flat reads 92 runs, 8 wins at 9% strike-rate. The yard did not have a winner in 2018 and he finished ranked 398th in the Trainers Championship with total prize money of £5,223. The biggest money-earner in the yard last year was 45 rated Camino a mare that didn’t trouble the judge all season and last won back in June 2017. Arguably the best horse they have ever had was the mare Red Shuttle who peaked at an OR of 78. For all the big name trainers with their majestically bred thoroughbreds and owners with seemingly bottomless pockets horse racing needs trainers like Andi Brown and syndicates such as In For A Penny In For A Pound that own Camino. Long may they keep going and I sincerely hope that get a winner or two in 2019.
list of the websites of various Trainers and some owners worth keeping an eye on include:
Al Shaqab Racing: http://www.alshaqabracing.com
Qatar Racing: https://www.qatarracingltd.com/
George Scott: http://www.georgescottracing.com/home.htm
Jamie Osborne: http://www.jamieosborne.com/
Roger Varian: http://www.varianstable.com/
Marco Botti: http://www.marcobotti.co.uk/
Mick Easterby: http://www.mckeasterby.co.uk/
David Simcock: http://davidsimcock.co.uk/
Richard Hughes: http://richardhughesracing.co.uk/
Mick Channon: https://www.mickchannon.tv/
Jeremy Noseda: http://jeremynoseda.com/
Simon Crisford: http://crisfordracing.com/
Roger Charlton: http://www.rogercharlton.com/
Ruth Carr: http://www.ruthcarrracing.co.uk/
David O’Meara: http://www.davidomeararacing.com/
Robert Cowell: http://robertcowellracing.co.uk/
Clive Cox: http://www.clivecox.com/index.php
James Tate: http://www.jamestateracing.com/
Martyn Meade: http://www.martynmeaderacing.com/
James Fanshawe: http://www.jamesfanshawe.com/
Archie Watson: http://www.archiewatsonracing.com/
Andi Brown: http://southfieldsstables.co.uk/