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21 Sep 2020

These Flat Racehorse Trainers Have Had A Fine 2020

While there is nothing unusual in John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien leading the British Flat trainers’ championship, their annual battle for the most prize money masks other handlers having fine seasons. The usual suspects sit atop the standings, but even in early September there are eight racehorse trainers with more than £1,000,000 in earnings. Who are the best of the rest outside the big two? Let’s take a look.

Mark Johnston 

If the Flat trainers’ championship was awarded on most wins, then Middleham maestro Mark Johnston would be leading the way. He has sent horses out to victory over 100 times yet again from his Yorkshire Dales stables, including Royal Hunt Cup winner Dark Vision during Royal Ascot. Johnston has also had by far the most runners with over 800 going to racecourses right across Britain. The yard has enjoyed a number of Group 3 success thanks to the likes of Sagaro Stakes scorer Nayef Road, Musidora heroine Rose Of Kildare, Acomb victor Gear Up and March Stakes winner Subjectivist. He also won the Group 2 Dante at York with Thunderous.

Andrew Balding 

A Classic winner came out of Andrew Balding’s Park Hill Stables at Highclere earlier in the season when Kameko stormed to 2000 Guineas glory on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. The way in which this yard started the campaign was impressive with Berlin Tango also winning at Group 3 level on the all-weather at Kempton Park. Dashing Willoughby and recent recruit Spanish Mission have both gained wins in black type races for Flat stayers too. There was success for Queen Elizabeth II at Royal Ascot and the July Festival with Tactical, while Happy Power took the Supreme Stakes at Goodwood.

Richard Hannon 

While there have been one or two disappointments for Richard Hannon, most notably Threat, he is still having a good campaign. His reputation for getting the most out of juvenile horses is entirely justified after saddling a third winner in four seasons of the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury in Happy Romance. There was a big handicap winner in the Bunbury Cup courtesy of Motakhayyel. Hannon also laned the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown Park with Etonian. As an expert horse racing betting guide will tell you, follow trainer form carefully as they purple patches just like this one is having or Balding enjoyed in early June.

Roger Varian 

The association with major racehorse owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid continues to pay dividends for Newmarket handler Roger Varian. He has saddled Fujaira Prince to two big handicap wins in the famous yellow and black spotted silks, including the Ebor at York. Although the Varian yard sadly lost popular grey Defoe this season, there were also big Royal Ascot wins in the Jersey Stakes for Hamdan Al Makotum’s Molatham and the Wolferton Stakes with Mountain Angel. Expect this stable to continue adding to its 80 winners in the autumn.

Charlie Appleby 

As Godolphin’s retained trainer in Britain, Charlie Appleby always gets sent good horses. While Pinatubo was the great hope for this season, he has only won one of his four starts and that came over in France. Space Blues has been the undoubted success in the stable after making fine progress. Ghaiyyath has also finally become the finished article, notching a Group 1 hat-trick with wins in the Coronation Cup, Eclipse and Juddmonte International. Exciting juvenile Master Of The Seas also look another top prospect for Appleby and backer Sheikh Mohammed.