5 trainers to follow for the 2021 flat season

With the official start to the 2021 flat season just a few months away now, Jack Nunn spoke to five trainers to ask them which horses we should all keep an eye on this year. So if you want an inside track into the horses that you should keep an eye on during the 2021 flat season, read on.

5 trainers to follow for the 2021 flat season

Tom Clover (@Tomcloverracing)

Tom has increased his winners year on year since he first took out a training licence in 2016, gaining an impressive 26 winners in 2020, which proved to be his best season to date. His move last year to the historic Kremlin House Stables proved to be successful and can provide the base for him to reach the top of the training ranks. Tom has some very exciting unexposed and unraced 3-year olds who can be operating at a high level this year, along with some promising 2-year olds and a few solid older handicappers. Tom highlighted the following 3 horses to keep on the right side of throughout the 2021 flat season:

Sugauli – “He won well on debut at Yarmouth before fluffing his lines in the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury. He has been gelded and should be competitive off a mark of 72.”

Appreciate – “He was the eye catcher when 4th on debut at Newmarket over 7 furlongs. He will be suited by further and is a lovely colt who can hopefully win races.”

Fairy Dust – “She’s done well physically over the winter and has already shown a decent level of form. The aim is to win a listed race with her. Her best chance of this might be in France or Germany.”

George Boughey (@gbougheyracing)

Formerly assistant trainer to Hugo Palmer, George Boughey enjoyed one of the most brilliant full first seasons as a trainer we have seen in recent years. He sent out 26 winners operating at a 20% strike rate and landed a valuable Newmarket Nursery with Mystery Angel who was subsequently placed in a Group 3 and 2 Listed races. His string has increased drastically on the back of this success, receiving some nicely bred horses from notable owners. After a great first season, and with more ammunition, things can only get better for George and he is destined for another great season. George nominated the following three as horses to follow for the upcoming season:

Air to Air – “He was unlucky not to win on Handicap debut at Redcar. He is a horse I have always liked; he was weak at 2 and appears to have strengthened up over the winter. I hope he may be able to progress into a nice miler through the summer.”

Mystery Angel – “She was our stable star last year gaining three pieces of valuable black type. She will be ready for the early part of the season and may well head to France for some soft ground stakes races. It would not surprise me if she improved up in trip.”

Lostwithiel – “He won on debut at Bath and has not been seen since. He is a late maturing type and has done very well. I would imagine the further he stays the better he will be.”

James Fanshawe (@James_fanshawe)

It is very rare that James Fanshawe does not have a Group 1 winner in a season and last year was no exception, with Audarya landing the Prix Jean Romanet before providing James with arguably his biggest win to date in the Breeders Cup Filly and Mares Turf. He is a master trainer at gradually improving horses and getting them to peak on the biggest days. In all likelihood there is another star lurking amongst the ranks who no one is yet aware of and that’s what makes James a great trainer to follow year on year. I spoke to Tom Fanshawe, James’s son and Assistant who gave the following 3 to follow:

Isola Rossa – “A nice filly who was very professional winning her debut at Lingfield.”

Hickory – “A nice 3-year-old colt who was impressive in winning first time out at Yarmouth. He comes from a fast family.”

Second Slip – “He was very much a frame as a 3-year-old, a type to improve a lot as a 4-year-old. He won quite a hot maiden at Salisbury before getting stuck in very soft conditions at Nottingham.”

James Ferguson (@Jamesferguson89)

James is another trainer who enjoyed great success in his first full season. He saddled 18 winners from just 83 runners including 5-time winner Awesomedude and Listed scorer Zoetic. He has some top owners behind him with some nicely bred, unexposed horses who can be competing in top level races this season. Using experience gained from Sir Mark Prescott and Jessica Harrington, James looks set to have another great season, and establish himself as a name to look out for. James Highlighted the following horses to keep an eye on during the 2021 flat season:

Copinet – “This lightly raced three-year-old filly by Mehmas has just come back into the yard from her break. She was very impressive first time out when very green at Wolverhampton to finish a close 2nd. She then proved her ability when winning comfortably next time out. Off a mark of 80 I believe she will be competitive and if she continues her upwards curve, she can provide her owners with a lot of enjoyment.”

Francesco Guardi – “An exciting prospect by Frankel who won first time out at Salisbury and then went on to come third in the listed Denford Stakes at Newbury. A strange mishap at Yarmouth can be forgiven and I would be hopeful that with a step up in trip he can compete at the top level for the yard this season.”

Zoetic – “The star of last season for us as she won the Listed St Hughes Stakes at Newbury and has done well from her winter break. She is very fast, and, on her day, I believe she can compete at the top level. I would hope she could pick up some more black type for her owners.”

Kevin Philippart De Foy (@kpfracing)

This is Kevin’s first full season as a trainer after an impressive education including stints with Criquette Head, John Oxx, Christophe Clement, and latterly as assistant trainer to James Fanshawe. Kevin is training at Newmarket’s Machell Place Stables, and currently has around 25 horses in his care. He has already sent out 3 winners from just a handful of runners, including a double at Newcastle. With his drive and ambition, it will be no surprise to see Kevin have a great first season and become a name to look out for. Kevin nominated the following three horses to follow for the season:

Sealed Offer – “We bought her at the Horses in Training sales, and she won her novice on her first start for us over Seven Furlongs. She is enjoying her winter break at the moment but will come back a better and stronger filly as a three-year-old.”

Minster – “He has just turned 4 and has only run three times so far. He was very weak and backward, but the family does well with time. He should appreciate the step up to two miles and will be a decent stayer.”

Street Kid – “He won his maiden by 3 lengths in Ireland, beating some nice horses. He is a son of Street Boss and with his American pedigree will be versatile between fast ground and the all-weather. I look forward too seeing him come back as a 3-year-old.”

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