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12 May 2020

Three Significantly Underrated UK Trainers

There are a number of trainers who have gained notoriety for regularly producing winners at high-profile events such as Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival. Whilst the likes of Nicky Henderson and Charlie Appleby are superbly astute operators, who deserve enormous credit for their assiduous attention to detail, there are also a whole host of handlers who are rarely courted by the media yet continue to thrive at a lower level. We take a look at a trio of trainers who go about their business in a hugely efficient manner, yet rarely find themselves in the spotlight.

Roger Fell 

Roger Fell has been involved in the sport since purchasing Arthington Barn Stables back in 2008 and although he only took out his license four years ago, his partnership with fellow trainer David O'Meara gave him the perfect grounding and experience required to make a success of going solo. One of his most notable successes in recent years is Burnt Sugar, who had seemingly lost his way for Richard Hannon. The eight-year-old enjoyed a hugely profitable 2018, taking the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket before following up in the Gigaset International Stakes. Although his class 2 competitors are few and far between, the trainer has been worth following in all-weather events over the last twelve months. 

Fell is a regular at Newcastle and Southwell and occasionally makes the trip south to Kempton and Lingfield. If today's racing results page features any of the UK all-weather tracks, it's highly likely that the Yorkshire-based trainer will feature prominently. He's operating at 12% in 3-year old events on artificial tracks, returning a profit of £64.38 to a £1 stake. Roger Fell is undoubtedly worth keeping a close eye on throughout the course of the season.
Nicky Richards

Nicky Richards is synonymous with horse racing in the north of England, and is arguably one of the most underrated trainers in the UK. Based at Greystoke in Cumbria, the 64-year old rarely goes a week without firing in several winners. Over the last five years, he's been operating at 20% over larger obstacles, and if you'd bet £1 on each of his chasers during that period, you'd currently have a profit of around £40. The cunning handler has a fairly pragmatic approach to his runners, and his knack of finding the perfect race for his performers is admirable. Monet's Garden may be his most successful horse to date; however, punters who enjoy betting on class 3 and class 4 events will undoubtedly be familiar with some of his more recent representatives such as Caius Marcius and Takingrisks.

Olly Murphy 

Based in the beautiful countryside of Stratford-upon-Avon, Olly Murphy has quickly become one of the brightest training talents in the UK; although he may not quite be a household name just yet, he is surely destined for bigger and better things. He managed just six winners in 2019, but he has made a superb start to 2020 with Itchy Feet's victory in the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase undoubtedly the highlight. Although the six-year-old wasn't able to land a blow at Cheltenham next time out, he is likely to come back stronger when the National Hunt season recommences later this year. Murphy also has a small clutch of flat performers with Krazy Paving recently proving a hit at Chelmsford City. At just 25 years old, the Warwickshire-based operator is one of the youngest handlers in the country, and he appears to be improving with every passing season.
Dedicated fans of the sport may already be familiar with the likes of Nicky Richards, Olly Murphy and Roger Fell, but they rarely get the column inches that they deserve. This trio of savvy operators continue to go about their business surreptitiously, and their runners should always be taken extremely seriously.