horse-racing

Top Jump-Trainers of 2016: Who Will Reign Supreme

August 18, 2016

- Grant Whittington

While the jump season may lack the prestige and financial pull of the flat alternative, there is something extremely alluring about the hurdle and chase fixtures that take place across the UK. It is also refreshing to see such intense levels of competition at the top of the trainer rankings, with a number of participants going head-to-head to determine who will deliver the greatest earnings and win-rate this season.

The Season So Far: Who has Shone?

While appraising the season so far, there is little doubt that Paul Nicholls has been the stand-out performer. Not only has he earned the second highest amount (£167,292) since April, for example, but he has also enjoyed an impressive win-rate of 22% (with 2 victories from just 83 outings). So while he narrowly trails the experienced David Price (£171,018) in terms of  prize money, the latter has managed to win a little over 13% of his races to date this season.

Interestingly, Charlie Longsdon (14%) has a marginally higher win-rate than Price, although his earnings of £156,662 are somewhat lower than his rivals. The same can be said for the impressive Philip Hobbs, who has succeeded in 17 of his 96 outings (18%) while recouping £150,613 in annual earnings to date. With these figures in mind, Nicholls and Price seem the best placed to compete for the honour of best-performing jump-trainer for 2016.

What Next For The Leading Jump-Trainers?

The upcoming weekend will see a renewal of this intense competition, with all four of these trainers set to enter runners in a popular event at Newton Abbot. Paul Nicholls’ sole runner Abidjan is considered to be one of the front-runners in the prestigious Toteexacta Handicap Hurdle Race, for example, which has a huge prize in excess of £22,000. His rival Pipe has three runners in the same race, however, including the fancies Unanimate, Ennistown and Purple ‘n Gold.

Longsdon and Hobbs both have a single entry in this lucrative race, in the form of Sharp Rise and Golden Doyen respectively. The initial odds and the sheer law of averages seem to favour a Price win, although Nicholls penchant for training winning horses and the Pedigree of Abidjan means that he cannot be discounted for contention. With a large prize fund at stake, however, there can be no doubt that this race (and the meeting as a whole) will have a key bearing on who will emerge as the best jump-trainer from this action-packed season.

Whatever happens, the race to become Britain’s most successful jump-trainer is likely to go to the wire this term. This should certainly lead to some exciting and keenly contested races in the days and weeks ahead!

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