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builds for a summer of British Classics, the sport of horse racing is finally back to normal after a difficult few years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully races behind closed doors are now a thing of the past, as we gear up for the JubileeFestival, which sees the Derby and Oaks take place at Epsom.
It’s still proving hard to call a winner on sites like https://www.betdaq.com/exchange/horse-racing-100004 for either of the races, but the role of the trainer in victory should certainly not go overlooked. A good trainer could well be the difference between success and failure, especially in the British Classics. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three trainers to keep an eye on ahead of this year’s flat racing season.
First up, last year’s Champions flat trainer — a stalwart in the flat racing training game — Charlie Appleby is one of the most successful around, approaching 50 wins this season and boasting a plethora of champions across different categories, including a stable with Noble Style, Symbol of Light, Coroebus and Native Trail.
Godolphin’s frantic start to the season is down to the good work of Appleby as much as anything and heading into the Derby, which he won last year with Adayar, in order to win consecutive races, the trainer believes entering Nations Pridecould be his best chance. Something of a wildcard entrance, the three-year-old could have William Buick aboard, a favourite for Leading Jockey in today’s horse racing tips and earnt praise from Appleby already.
“Nations Pride was impressive at Newmarket and he’s in the French Derby, where we have Modern Games as well,” he said.
“He’ll work on Wednesday then we’ll make a decision as to whether we supplement him on Monday. We’re hoping we will—there’s only one Derby and you only want to go there if you think you can win it. He has a great profile and ticks most boxes out of our three possible runners.”
When it comes to recent form, not many have done better than William Haggas as of late. The British trainer enjoyed a respectable 2021, where he was just pipped by Appleby to the Leading Trainer title, but did manage 180 winners, with highlights including the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Prix Du Moulin. While also successful in Australia and Dubai, Haggas will be hoping for more wins on home soil this year, with his star thoroughbred Addeybb hoping to improve on a rather underwhelming performance to end last season on, where he wilted to fifth in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Something of an outsider in the billing for Trainer of the Year, Roger Varian has managed to slip under the radar in the early weeks of the season, but did in fact earn over £600,000 in prize money last year — more than Aidan O’Brien and Michael Appleby. He’s looking to add the 31 wins he has racked up already this season with success at Haydock. His best chance stands with Dragon Symbol, with Varian speaking highly of the four-year-old in the build up to the Nifty Fifty Achilles Stakes.
“He’s come out of his run at York well and he’s worked nicely, so he’s ready to run again.” He said: “We were disappointed at York but we can’t find a reason for it – perhaps he just ran a bit fresh and needed it.
“We are planning to go to Haydock and he looks in good shape, so hopefully we can get back on track on Saturday. It looks a good opportunity on paper and he should cope with the ground and the drop back to five furlongs, so we’re looking forward to running him again.”