Malcolm Jefferson started training in the 1988/89 season, when he sent out 8 winners from 71 runners for total prize-money of just £16,071. However, he’s come a long way since those early days, recording his highest prize-money total of £304,945 in 2011/12, and achieving his highest number of winners in a season in 2015/16 with 37. However, 2016/17 looks sure to be his best season yet with 32 winners already from just 141 runners, and he’s already banked £246,808 in prize-money.
Therefore, we thought it was high-time we looked at the horses that Jefferson thinks might help him achieve his record-breaking season.
The winner of two bumpers and two hurdle races, he also finished second in the Scottish Champion Hurdle on his final start over hurdles. However, he’s already made-up into a much better chaser, winning his first two starts over fences before finishing second to two promising types in Buveur D’air and Forest Bihan. He should now be well enough handicapped to make his presence felt at one of the Spring Festivals and, having raced only at 2-miles so far over fences, a slight step-up in trip may bring about a bit more improvement.
Well-beaten in all 3 novice-chases so far, but that’s no great surprise as his performances before Christmas last season were pretty-average. However, he won a novice hurdles and a handicap hurdle in March and April, with the latter win coming off a mark of 126. Rated 130 over fences after his last run, he looks capable of winning a handicap chase off that kind of mark once he finds his form.
Got off the mark in bumpers at the fourth attempt, when staying on powerfully in the final stages, and it was no surprise that he ran with credit without being pacey enough to win over 2-miles on his hurdles debut. One to keep an eye on for the future as he’s highly-regarded, and looks sure to be suited by a step-up in trip over hurdles, especially if that coincides with his first run in a handicap.
Jefferson thinks this could be the horse to put the stable firmly on the map, which is some statement considering he once trained the mighty Dato Star. Won his first three starts in bumpers before being surprisingly turned-over on his hurdles debut at odds-on. Made amends since, and is another who looks sure to be suited by a step-up in trip, with the EBF Final a possible long-term target this season.
A chase winner off a mark of 147, he’s struggled in chases off higher marks since, before reverting to hurdles to win off 140 at Market Rasen, where he’s 2 from 2. Could be of interest in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival if he gets qualified, especially if the handicapper doesn’t raise him too much for that last win.
Got off the mark over hurdles on his third try, but has simply oozed class over fences in winning 3 from 3. The form of those contests also has some serious depth to them, with subsequent winners Burtons Well and Forest Bihan filling the runners-up spots in those races, whilst his win from Politilogue and Its’afreebee last time means he could be a serious contender for something like the JLT Chase come Cheltenham in March.