The new jumps season is slowly beginning to come to life and often at the start of the season it can be tough for punters to work out which horses and stables are the best to follow.
Stats and strike rates are often not worth bothering to look at as many of the bigger yards have very few runners throughout the summer. With many horses coming back from a layoff, their fitness isn’t something many putters will know about. However, if you are looking for a pointer in the right direction then one trainer, Philip Hobbs, could already be giving you it.
While Hobbs is perhaps not at the level he once was when it comes to the quality of his runners, he still has a strong string to go to war with this season. He has around 75 horses fit and ready to run right now. Some of those will be unraced or lightly raced prospects, while others will be familiar names to us all as many old favourites near their return to action as we move through October and into November.
Anyone who does look at stats will see that Hobbs had a terrible start to last season. Don’t let that put you off backing his horses when they return for their new campaign. Hobbs struggled to get his horses fit and healthy at the start of last season, with illness in the yard affecting many runners. Things couldn’t be further from that right now for them, with the horses reportedly looking happy, healthy and putting in some serious work on the gallops.
Anyone who needed proof that Hobbs was ready to fire only needs to look at the results from Thursday afternoon’s meeting at Worcester. Hobbs landed a nice treble at the meeting, with Thyme Hill, Awake at Midnight and Bradford Bridge all winning for him. If you were to take any of those three and follow them in the future then the recommendation would certainly be Thyme Hill, who took the bumper in fine fashion and looks sure to improve when facing hurdles and fences in the future.
The three races were not the highest quality action you will see over the coming days, but it was a sign to punters that Philip Hobbs could be one to follow over the coming weeks. He has a nice string to utilise though he may be lacking a real superstar. His top handicappers should give him a chance to land a nice spot early in the season, while he has a number of solid horses who can grind out wins through the week at the lesser meetings.
Pretty much anything would be better for Hobbs than the start he made to last season, but if Thursday and the vibes from the stable are anything to go by, the start to this season could be far, far better for the yard. If you are looking for someone to follow over the early part of the jumps season, Philip Hobbs could be your man.