Which trainers could go under the radar in the National Hunt? - The Stratford Observer

Which trainers could go under the radar in the National Hunt?

Stratford Editorial 27th Sep, 2023 Updated: 27th Sep, 2023   0

The success of a racehorse can make or break depending on a number of factors, but picking the right trainer is a key moment for any owner. Hiring the right one can turn a horse that has outstanding potential into a regular winner on the track at major events.

There is great demand for the leading trainers from the National Hunt such as Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson, who can afford to be more selective in their choices and their prices for training charges from across the world. But, there are those that are less heralded on the circuit and always manage to get results out of their respective horses, punching above their weight in the major races at Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Festival among others.

Here are two trainers you should watch out for in the 2023/24 National Hunt season and beyond.

Venetia Williams

Williams etched her name in the history of the sport with an outstanding feat in the 2009 Grand National, winning the event with the 100/1 outsider Mon Mome. It was only the second time in the history of the Grand National that a horse at that price had won the race, the other being the legendary Foinavon. Williams has excelled in developing outstanding talent. She does not have the largest yards around compared to Mullins and Henderson among others on the National Hunt. But when Williams does have a good horse she maximises its potential.

L’Homme Presse is one of her best horses at the moment and he should be in contention for the 2024 Cheltenham Gold Cup after missing the 2023 race due to injury. It’s what owners want to see and hear, and why she is included among the raft of trainers that have horses available for racehorse ownership online. Williams has a number of talented horses available, and if she can conjure the same magic on Jolly Nellerie among others then becoming part of a syndicate with one of her charges could be both enjoyable and fruitful.

Dan Skelton

Skelton is another trainer who gets the job done on the National Hunt. Much like Williams, he goes about his business quietly, operating a smaller yard, but he does have quality competitors in his ranks. He has produced six winners at Cheltenham Festival in his career, and the 2023 Festival was his most successful to date after producing two champions. Langer Dan won the

Coral Cup with a fine run, while Faivior continued Skelton’s excellent career in the County Handicap Hurdle with a fourth triumph in the event.

Skelton won the Betfair Chase with Protektorat in 2022, but he has yet to make a decisive impact in the major events in the National Hunt at Cheltenham and Aintree Festival. He does have quality charges, but for one reason or another, he has yet to seal the deal. However, there are signs that he is slowly improving and rounding out the quality in his yard. It may be only a matter of time before he clinches his maiden Gold Cup triumph.


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