It may just be 'one of those things' but Richard Newland is still not firing on many cylinders and I continue to oppose the vast majority of his runners.
Since the end of July he has had five winners from 99 runners, all those successes coming in October when it looked like his horses might have turned some sort of corner.
I saw a couple of his run at Market Rasen on Thursday and both ran shockers - neither Summer Moon nor Seinesational looked as if they were ready to win, carrying condition and poor in their coats - yet were taking a fair chunk out of the market.
There have been one or two running okay but since the spring they've been almost non existent and this from a yard that very rarely drew a blank for long. Perhaps he just happens to have a poor bunch in at the moment and I can't think off the top of my head of a single good horse under his care, yet he could always be relied upon to do well with whatever went through his hands.
I'm sure things will turn around at some point - he'll probably end up with a yard full of well handicapped horses - but for now it's still a case of treading very carefully especially as the racing gets more competitive.
Becky Menzies is everyone's favourite trainer these days, well - in the north at least - and justifiably so as her numbers get better by the year. I'd say she tends to handle the bulk of her National Hunt horses in an 'old fashioned' way, leaving something to work on for later in the season, and it's been noticeable how her horses are behind a lot of the other yards at the moment. It's a long season and we need more rain - I doubt if she's been able to get them on the grass much.
I've always viewed her as the type to enjoy most success in the deep winter months and she's getting some nicer types sent to her now. Success breeds success and Bex is well on the way to passing last season's best of 31 winners.
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