Graeme Rodway with his pound-for-pound assessment of how the very best chasers, hurdlers, trainers and jockeys measure up
Introducing the all-new Racing Post Power Rankings: do you agree with Graeme Rodway’s picks?
Movers and shakers
When I published my first list of top ten trainers and jockeys, there was a lot of consternation from punters about who I had placed where. Let me try to explain the rationale behind them.
The rankings do not aim to list the best trainers and jockeys in Britain and Ireland, nor are they a list of those in form. When it comes to assessing these unique creatures, there is only one way that punters should do it and that is to compare them with how the market sees them.
The Power Rankings are here to help identify who is offering the best value against market expectations in the biggest races over the last year and added weight is given to trainers and jockeys who excel with horses consistently rated Class 2 or better on Racing Post Ratings.
Consistency is the key word – added weight is given to those who do it race in, race out. This is particularly true from a training perspective and I have rated the trainers who are able to keep a horse at their peak race-by-race higher than those who prime for just one target a year.
Despite everyone knowing the strength of Willie Mullins and Paul Townend, it seems punters still don’t appreciate how much better they are than everyone else and they top both lists. Their consistency in top-class races is unparallel and the market still doesn’t reflect that.
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
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Charlie Deutsch is the most underrated jockey in Britain right now, says Graeme Rodway
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Another power couple are on the move into the top three on each of the lists, with the biggest climb coming from Charlie Deutsch, who goes up six spots to join his back-in-form boss Venetia Williams in the places. Deutsch is the most underrated jockey in Britain right now.
Jockeys are only as good as the horses they are riding, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that couples have become a theme of the Power Rankings and both Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville make the top five. Henderson is up one and often hits form at this time of year.
The rolling 365-day snapshot aims to bring in other trainers who excel at this juncture of the season. Philip Hobbs and Emma Lavelle are new entries, while Tom Lacey is up four places and all three are worth looking out for in the coming weeks, when they could climb further.
You might wonder why Paul Nicholls is on the slide after seemingly starting the winter so well. Take a closer look and ask yourself how many big races has Nicholls won this season?
The answer is one – Bravemansgame in the Charlie Hall – and that is from nine runners in races worth £50,000 or more in October and November. His other eight representatives were all beaten and that is why he fell two places in the rankings to ninth.
Henry de Bromhead sneaks into tenth, suggesting that he had a good period over the coming months last season. It surely won’t be long before he makes his way even higher up the list.
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