The new season may still be relatively new when it comes to the meat of the National Hunt winter but already we are seeing a number of newer names continue to make an impression on the sport. The Trainers Championship will of course be dominated by Henderson and Nicholls once again but if the early stages of the winter are anything to go by, there could be some new names towards the top of the standings come April.
One Trainer who has certainly made a thrilling start to the season is Charlie Longsdon who is quickly making a name for himself from his base in Chipping Norton. Longsdon has been training on his own for just seven years but with over seventy horses now in his care, he certainly seems to be improving with every season. Last winter he managed to pick up 54 winners which was a decent tally but those statistics are already looking under threat this campaign.
So far this season, up to the time of writing, Longsdon has already managed to rack up no less than 37 winners before the end of November. Those wins have come at a cracking strike rate of 28% and included a fabulous across the card, 194/1 five timer, at Carlisle and Newton Abbot earlier this month. He has a red-hot jock at his disposal in the form of Noel Fehily and it would be no supervise to see Longsdon continuing to make a major impression as we continue through the season.
Another slightly newer name having a good start to the season is John Ferguson, who had already picked up an impressive 20 winners at the time of writing. Ferguson only managed 24 winners throughout the entire campaign last winter and with good horses in his yard like New Years Eve and Sea Lord, he could be one to follow in the build up to Cheltenham.
It is also worth mentioning the exploits of Harry Fry down in Dorset who is assembling a strong team of young horses alongside star names like Rock On Ruby and Opening batsman. The same can be said of Rebecca Curtis in Wales who has an ever improving string at her disposal, headed up by Teaforthree and At Fishers Cross.
It is clearly very difficult for a young or new trainer to break into the top flight of the Trainers Championship but there are signs that one or two could be on the verge of doing just that. There is no doubt that come the end of the season we will see Henderson, Nicholls, Pipe and McCain et al lead the Championship but there are one or two signs that some new names could be ready to challenge their dominance.