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Simon Mapletoft on the AWC: Stable Tours – David Simcock

The Newmarket trainer was among the top performers last winter with an impressive strike rate of 25 per cent, and excelled at Kempton Park.

It’s a case of quality over quantity for Newmarket trainer David Simcock, whose exciting team of All-Weather performers have the credentials to acquit themselves well in the Championship races. Simcock’s record last winter was enviable, to say the least. He saddled 21 winners at a strike rate of 25 per cent and excelled at Kempton where nine winners from 22 runners yielded a return of 41 per cent. He really was the punters’ friend at the Sunbury circuit, performing to a level stakes profit of 78.50.

Doctor Sardonicus, a lightly raced four-year-old, has the speed to become one of the surprise packages in the Sprint division. Charles Wentworth’s gelding scored for the second time at Chelmsford at the end of September, posting a fast time without ever being seriously challenged. Equally effective over five or six furlongs, he can win another handicap before trying his luck in conditions or even Listed company on sand.

Dragon Mall didn’t fire in a Group Three on turf but his victory at Chelmsford prior to that was a head-turner. The US-bred colt produced one of the best performances over a synthetic mile all year to land a valuable conditions race in a fast time. Going into battle off a mark in the low 90s, this speedy juvenile must be of interest in Fast Track Qualifiers and could easily find the necessary improvement to play a starring role in the Good Friday final.

It would come as no surprise to see the steadily improving Majeed hold his own in Pattern company as the winter unfolds. This five-year-old gelding readily defied a mark of 93 in a 10-furlong Chelmsford handicap at the end of September and is now officially rated high enough to be competitive in conditions qualifiers for the Middle Distance Final or high calibre events up to a mile and a half. “The Chelmsford win was his fourth of the season and arguably his most impressive,” Simcock says on his web site.

Barye was progressive on the Chelmsford Polytrack last season, improving almost 20lbs throughout the campaign. Rested since finishing down the field in a Newmarket handicap in August, this powerfully built son of Archipenko hails from a solid All-Weather family and, with time on his side, may well be up to defying a career-high mark when he returns to action later in the winter.

Simcock’s highest money earner last season was Related, who posted two handicap wins at Kempton. Effective over six and seven furlongs, and lightly campaigned this summer, the five-year-old should prove competitive as he remains unexposed over the shorter trip and qualifies for the better races.

Moving through the classes in the Mile division is three-year-old gelding Intrude, who broke his maiden over that trip at Lingfield at the end of May before defying a mark of 87 in a Wolverhampton handicap in mid-September. “He’s always shown ability but was too weak to see out his races last year,” says the trainer. “He’s benefited massively from being gelded and enjoys the All-Weather.”

There are races to be won with Gleaming Girl, who notched back-to-back handicap wins over seven furlongs at Kempton last winter and is another who has been kept fresh. She will resume on a fair mark in the mid-70s and, despite her liking for the London track, will be well worth a try around Chelmsford – particularly against her own sex.