BERNARD Llewellyn’s stable has been in prime form, with three winners in the last fortnight.

The latest was Nabhan in the final race at Ffos Las on Sunday. He looked beaten when four rivals made a dash for home turning into the home straight, but his superior stamina came into play when those others fell, made mistakes, or ran out of energy. He took the lead on the run-in to score for the first time since winning the Ladies’ Derby at Epsom in the summer, ridden by the trainer’s granddaughter Jessica.

Herm’s victory for David Evans at Wolverhampton last Thursday consolidated his position as leading trainer there in 2019. Seventeen winners from 96 runners is a good strike rate, especially considering most of them are in handicaps. He and Ron Harris aren’t having many runners at the moment, but their opportunities are limited by the number of flat fixtures being below average at this time of year.

David Probert is taking a week off, having got to within one of his previous personal best for a year, which was the 107 winners he achieved in 2014. A break is desirable, because his agent has kept him very busy. The Welshman has had 1,060 rides so far in 2019, 169 more than in any previous complete calendar year. The more rides you have, the more winners you are likely to get.

Satchville Flyer had his second run since moving to Milton Bradley’s yard last week at Wolverhampton. This eight-year-old has won on ten occasions, but the last of them was 18 months ago. Nevertheless, he showed a glimmer of ability on this latest outing, after being slowly away and not getting the clearest of passages. He was 80/1 that day, but if the veteran trainer can get a little improvement out of him he could run into a place at big odds before long.

Although Ascot’s November Sales sounds like a very grand affair, it’s actually a place where horses can be bought for modest sums. 111 were sold there last week for an average of £5,165. This is distorted by a few sales at much higher prices and the median price – found by putting all 111 prices in order and selecting the middle one – was £2,500. That’s the amount Grace Harris paid for a five-year-old mare called Sin Sin, a 24-race maiden who started life in the classic-winning Jim Bolger stable.

At this level, horses are simply slow or have physical or mental problems, and the challenge for the new trainer is to see if they can overcome them. Patient, understanding owners who pay their bills promptly are also a necessary part of the equation.

Nikki Evans acquired two horses at Ascot, one of them an unraced ex-Nicky Henderson inmate called Jukebox Junior, for just £1,400. Although she is the less well-known Evans to train in the village of Pandy, she is certainly bred for the job. Her parents were trainers in Herefordshire and Nikki herself rode winners and was attached to the Josh Gifford yard before she entered the training ranks 15 years ago.

Chepstow are back in action on Wednesday 20th. At this time of year the novice, maiden and bumper races are always worthy of attention. Decent horses can appear, on their way to bigger and better prizes later in the season. Glen Forsa, who won at this meeting last year, went on to score at Kempton on Boxing Day and then beat Kalashnikov at Sandown. Tickets are available for just £16 if booked in advance.