Big movers at top of latest trainers log
Here is the list of trainers whose stars are in the ascendant and those whose marks are disappointing
The national statistics for the 2016-17 season have been released and, like end-of-term school reports, there are those trainers whose stars are in the ascendant and those whose marks are disappointing.
As reported last week, the national trainers log has been dominated by Sean Tarry whose stake earnings total was R15m more than that of his nearest rival, Justin Snaith.
However, rather like discovering how your favourite club fared in the Premier League, the table showing who made the top 20 is of particular interest.
Here — in alphabetical order — are those movers compared to the 2015-16 campaign.
BRETT CRAWFORD What a season for the amicable Cape-based trainer who moved up from 12th to third place in the national log. He went from 81 to 112 winners, including Sun Met victor Whisky Baron, who has to be on the shortlist for Equus Horse of the Year.
ALAN GREEFF He saddled the third-most winners and runners last season (behind Tarry and Snaith) and improved from 15th to eighth place in the national log. His winner strike rate of 14.12% was only bettered by those of Andre Nel, Mike de Kock, Tarry, Crawford, Geoff Woodruff, Dennis Drier and Johan Janse van Vuuren.
DUNCAN HOWELLS This leading trainer in KwaZulu-Natal moved up from 14th place in 2015-16 to 11th last term. He looks to have a good team of owners and is likely to make the top 10 this season.
LUCKY HOUDALAKIS This vibrant Vaal-based trainer enjoyed his best season, improving from 18th place to 13th in the national log. He has enjoyed international success with JJ The Jet Plane and it is a huge plus factor that a number of the country’s top owners are knocking at his door.
GLEN KOTZEN What a great finish to the season for another Cape-based trainer who won a grade1 (Eyes Wide Open) and grade3 (Princess Peach) on Gold Cup day at Greyville. With 92 winners compared to 62 in the 2015-16 season, he shot up from 20th to ninth place in the log.
VAUGHAN MARSHALL A master trainer who has been in the top flight for many years, he has moved up three places from 10th to seventh in the national trainers log.
ANDRE NEL There has been some achievement by Sabine Plattner’s trainer as his winner strike rate of 16.25% was the best in the country. It even bettered those of top stables such as De Kock, Woodruff and Tarry, who clocked up 16.06%, 15.70% and 15.25% respectively.
PAUL PETER This Gauteng conditioner finished the season with a flourish, pushing him up from 26th place to 17th in the national log. He saddled a notable double with Maximizer and Fort Ember in the Champions Cup at Greyville on Champions Cup day.
JOHAN JANSE VAN VUUREN He made a great start to last season with a bagful of winners and — while the going got tougher towards the end of the campaign — will be happy to have moved up from 19th place to 14th in the national log. Janse van Vuuren saddled 53 winners in the last term compared to 39 in 2015-16.
GEOFF WOODRUFF The five-time champion will not have enjoyed finishing in 16th place in the trainers log in 2015-16. He predictably bounced back last season, once again winning the Sansui Summer Cup with Master Sabina, and ended in sixth place with a strike rate bettered by only Nel and De Kock.
Some trainers who slipped in the national log were:
MICHAEL AZZIE The Van Vuuren saga was a tough call for anyone, so it was perhaps predictable that the stable slipped from fifth place to 16th in the log. Michael is now sharing the training with his polite and talented son Adam.
GAVIN VAN ZYL Another who dropped out of the top 10, slipping from sixth to 15th place, Gavin’s son Gareth is now training in his own right so it is perhaps understandable that the winners dropped from 89 in 2015-16 to 73 last term.
ALEC LAIRD Another trainer from a famous family, Laird’s campaign hasn’t been great, slipping from 13th place to 23rd. But we must not forget there was no Smart Call in the yard last season.