Readers could be growing tired, even slightly bored at this column’s constant allusion to the achievements of the Greystoke stable.

But the fact of the matter is that horses trained by Nicky Richards have dominated the Cumbrian jumps scene since the early autumn and another series of winners at Ayr and Musselburgh over the New Year has maintained the stable’s stranglehold.

The only significant difference to the trend has been the fresh names on the scoreboard illustrating the depth of talent at Richards’ disposal.

The trainer welcomed in 2020 by saddling the Trevor Hemmings-owned Marowen to land the opener at Ayr. Marowen was an impressive winner and the one surprising feature of his success was his starting price of 9/2.

Both Richards and his jockey Brian Hughes had previously highlighted the potential of the Milan gelding. Hughes had been in the saddle when Marowen had won his sole Bumper at Newcastle back in the early summer.

Richards was equally fulsome with his praise describing Marowen as “a lovely strapping horse, typical of the chasing type that Mr Hemmings liked to buy.”

“Marowen stands at over 17 hands and, though he won his one Bumper, he is not that sort and he will go straight over the jumps. He is a stayer and will be suited by two-and-a-half-miles and further given time.”

Hemmings has had horses at Greystoke over a number of years. His Turpin Green actually finished a 40/1 third for Richards midway through the last decade.

Hemmings’ racing manager Michael Meagher rode as stable jockey for the late Roger Fisher and likes to see that his boss is represented by promising horses at Rectory Farm.

The Hemmings colours were seen again in action at Ayr last Monday. Hughes donned the blue and yellow halves as he partnered the Richards-trained Castle Rushen, a half-brother to Marowen, in the Bumper.

Castle Rushen was sent off at 15/8 second favourite to the Irish raider Get Rich Die Plyin, ridden by Richard Johnson.

Could it be a portent for the end of the season, one wonders, as Hughes and Castle Rushen swept aside the champion jockey to record a ready success.

Greystoke’s new name at Musselburgh was Elios d’Or carrying the colours of David and Nicky Robinson. This well-regarded type had finished lame when strongly supported in the market at Newcastle on debut, but brushed aside any fitness worries to score cosily in the hands of Ryan Day.

Fellow Greystoke jockey Danny McMenamin landed Musselburgh’s featured chase on Ann Hamilton’s resurgent Nutswell, but was not quite so lucky on the Martin Todhunter-trained Bulls Head at Ayr on Monday, when he came from well off the pace to take second place.

Talking of jockeys, the outstanding performance since Christmas has been the riding of Connor O’Farrell. The former top conditional, with David Pipe, moved north a couple of seasons ago to ride as a freelance.

Not surprisingly, he took a while to acclimatise and make new associations. But Connor stuck at it and, by dint of determination to succeed and sheer hard graft, O’Farrell has turned the corner.

Working from his Carlisle base, he has established relations with a growing number of northern trainers, riding work throughout the region and picking up as many spare race bookings as he can find on his travels.

O’Farrell is now riding on a regular basis for Hackthorpe’s Dianne Sayer and recently partnered a winner for Iain Jardine. Since Boxing Day, he has notched seven winners from 23 rides.

More immediately, O’Farrell is likely to be in action at Wetherby today. So will Hughes, with a full book of rides, headed by Tim Easterby’s Hawk High over fences and Richards’ Big Bad Bear in the handicap hurdle.

Warwick stage their most important meeting of the winter with the Edward Courage Handicap and the Classic Chase the two highlights.

Sue Smith’s horses are in much better form now. She has a sound strike rate at Warwick and her recent Haydock winner Joke Dreamer has to be fancied for the Courage Chase.

Lucinda Russell’s Big River, unlucky to be brought down when closing on the leaders in the Borders National at Kelso, should be noted for the Classic Chase.