Members 60 NH horses to Follow

WIDE RECEIVER

What better way to reach the 60, than where we started it last season, WIDE RECEIVER  was Originally a £410,000 purchase at the Tattersalls  Cheltenham February Sale in 2019 for Elliott/Malone.

The tall bay son of Sholokhov won a Cragmore 4yo Maiden, running over the shorter two and a half mile trip, Wide Receiver ran out an emphatic winner putting eight lengths between himself and Colin Bowe’s better fancied Premiumaccess.

He has obviously ran plenty of times since, and is one of which I had marked down the Martin Pipe from a very early stage,  a mark of 132 sees him as ridiculously well handicapped, with plenty of improvement to come from Wide Receiver once sent back out in distance from the minimum trip.

That handicap mark, is there to be exploited, so I am assuming that he will target a big pot over hurdles, though as with his PtP above, he should certainly make a useful Novice Chaser.

Which ever way they decide to go with Wide Receiver as he hopefully comes back from injury, There is sure to be a big pot able to be won with him, whether that’s the Martin Pipe, the Kim muir, or something in-between, he is one well worth following, with his runs through out the season, giving us a piece of the jigsaw to put together, in seek of his final destination.

LETS GO CHAMP

Another from the Donnchadh Doyle academy, The three-parts brother to Our Conor, Lets Go Champ created a really big impression when winning his P2P at Bartlemy in May 2019, after which he changed hands to Roger Brookhouse For £375,000.
The most impressive part of the performance was the ease with which he made up ground on the leaders down the far side, andbstayed all the way to the line despite making a couple of minor mistakes at the last 2 flights. Roger Brookhouse obviously agreed, to pay the monster sum and subsequently send him to Tom George, where has had prior success with Summerville boy.

“I went over to see him before he ran while I was at Punchestown and I’ve liked him ever since then,”

A fine specimen, the Jeremy five -year-old looks to possess the size and scope to go with his engine, and it will be disappointing if he can’t make a decent impact under Rules this season, and make up for lost time.

Whether he starts off in a bumper, or goes straight over hurdles LETS GO CHAMP is one to follow for the season ahead.

Minella Melody

Minella melody is one that I would absolutely not put anyone off for the Mares chase,  i got one of our members to add her to the market where she is 25/1 with bet364, and have inquired about whether to she is going chasing.

I have the strong impression that anything she did over hurdles was somewhat of a bonus, as I have always thought that she would make a cracking mares chase prospect, such as the impression she made when winning her PTP.

In her P2P at boulta, she Justified her lofty reputation, the daughter of Flemensfirth picked up the running from three-out, before staying on stoutly to see off the runner-up Old Dominion by ten lengths.

It is noteworthy that she has come up short in both the Mares novice hurdle and the Mares hurdle in open company at the Cheltenham Festival,  however they were strong contests, and I am not excusing those runs,  imo the difference between the level of the Mares Hurdle and the Mares chase, combined with the improvement I expect to see from her over the larger obstacles, does imo bring minella melody in to play here.                After all, Elimay was out classed herself in the mares hurdle.

IMO Minella melody, is one to follow as she enters the mares chase division, where i expect her to show improvement for the change of discipline. 

Shewearsitwell

I have seen some chat about shewearsitwell for the champion hurdle, I find this extremely optimistic and she most certainly would not be one for me down this route.

The Mares hurdle or the Coral Cup/ Martin Pipe would be of a much more realistic level imo.

Atm the Mares Hurdle looks a fairly open race, Black Tears will not be trying to make a repeat, Concertista has had a wind issue, and time will tell of that has been rectified, Gauloise comes up to Mares Open company and may show more improvement up in trip,  and Shewearsitwell  may be capable of coming in to the equation, due to her visual impression early last season.

The form of Shewearsitwell is not great, however the visual impression leaves you to belive that she may be capable of finding more, and potentially making the grade.

Make no mistake, more is required,
so for me it’s very much a watching brief for the Mares, with champion hurdle aspirations, imo far from the mark.

In summary, Shewearsitwell is one to follow in the Mares Hurdle division, with the fall back of the intermiate trip in handicaps making her of interest for this thread, she is one to watch and assess throughout the season, to see where her destination may lay, rather than being a viable early season Antepost prospect.

O’toole

 O’Toole (25/1) showed a good turn of foot on his bumper debut when bounding clear at the furlong pole, eventually hitting the line well and beating 250/1 runner-up Little Big Rocky by 15 lengths.

“we thought he was a nice horse and should have been going point-to-pointing, that was the plan.

“He’s a very good jumper but he was ready to run and we had to get him out somewhere.

“My brother (Ben) has done all the work on him and I’m just sorry he wasn’t on him today. He was confident he’d go well.

“He’s a lovely horse and he’s for sale.”

“Jordan gave him a good ride and did everything I asked – hopefully I can get him again, if he keeps getting winners he’ll be hard to get.”

O’Toole was purchase my munir / Soudley and took a huge leap up, in quality of opposition when running in the punchestown champion bumper.

He finished 2nd, splitting leading bumper horses Kilcuit and Sir Gerhard, and you may choose to note that his rider, was without receipt of his 7 pounds claim.

I personally would choose to negate this  with the big 2, having hard a hard race a month prior.

For the ground conditions, they were going a good gallop and it ended up being a staying race. O’toole came off the pace and was ridden whilst tracking Sir gerhard,  he was unable to get to him, as sir gerhard was ridden for home early to chase kilcruit.
O’toole stated at the task, and eventually managed to get the better of Sir Gerhard, on the approach to the line, with the latter tenderly handled late on.

Imo Sir Gerhard would beat O’toole every day of the week, o’toole was flattered by the fact that this race was turned in to a stamina test, and Sir Gerhard had to go for home early, and use his speed to chase kilkruit.

But saying this, it is absolutely no shame for o’toole, he stuck at the job well, coming in to the race with limited experience, what he found off the bridle was generous, and without winning  he showed the desire to try and get there.

O’toole is not going to be a Supreme winner, and he’s underpriced for the ballmote imo, however he is one to follow in the staying novice hurdle division, where what he found off the bridle, should stand him in good stead for the season to come.

Time will tell if he could turn in to a potential Ballymore or Albert bartlett candidate, he has a long way to go, to reach that level, and this is not factored in to the prices, though it won’t be the will to win that stops him getting there.

Journey With Me

Journey with me could not have been more impressive in the four-year-old maiden point to point at Ballindenisk.

Always to the fore and setting a good pace, it was particularly notable how strongly he saw out the race, while his long-time closest pursuer began to tread water from the penultimate fence.

A tough track like this would certainly catch out any frailties in a front-runner, but even as the eventual runner-up emerged from the chasing pack, he was certainly not getting any closer as the line approached in a performance that ticked all the boxes.

Journey With me subsequently changed hands to Henry De Bromhead and ran next in a bumper at Gowran, where It may be worth noting that Minella Melody claimed this race for de Bromhead in 2019, while they again teamed-up with the exciting Bob Olinger twelve months ago.

“He’s a real galloper. He was obviously an impressive point-to-point winner and we were fortunate enough to be able to buy him. Mick Murphy recommended him to us and we’re delighted to get him.”He’s A big jumping type and still very raw.

A summers grass now and he’ll be a lovely horse for hurdling next year.”

in summary, Journey with me won his PTP and Bumper in very good fashion, the opposition was not great, and the heavy ground saw significant gaps between the finishers, which although he was very authoritive, it did flatter him.

Journey with me, is one to follow in the staying novice hurdler division, though the hype around him, imo lacks substance to date. Time will tell, whether he makes an impact at the highest level this season, he is most certainty not to be ruled out, he is just not for me at this stage.

Gaelic warrior

Sixth for his debut, in the Prix Wild Monarch (L, hurdles) on April 21, Gaelic Warrior (Maxios) then finished third on the hurdles of Auteuil at the Prix de Pouilly and Rocking Chair. This ex-representative of Christopher Bryan and Palmyr Racing was declared exported on June 30, on the France Galop site. Pierre Boulard, who is behind the transaction, explained: “He was a pupil of the Niarchos family that I bought € 9,000 at the Baden-Baden sales when he was a yearling. His father, Maxios (Monsun), was not fashionable at the time, hence the price very reasonable. A few months after this purchase, Maxios released Quilixios which won five races in a row, including the Triumph Hurdle and the Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grs1). Gaelic Warrior was a beautiful, model yearling, whose pedigree corresponded to a future show horse. His mother being by Hernando (Niniski), there is behavior both on the paternal and maternal side. In the race, Gaelic Warrior showed quality by placing himself twice in a row at Auteuil, under the training of Hector de Lageneste and Guillaume Macaire. He's going to practice at Willie Mullins’s on behalf of Rich and Susannah Ricci. He will probably become a good chaser, he has the right physique for long distances. "

Gaelic Warrior has recently been registered to run over here for the willie mullins/ ricci team, and one i have been waiting to add to this thread.

Gaelic warrior is one i have seen mentioned elsewhere, however i feel they have considerably under rated him.

He has ran 3 times in decent juvenile races, where he has been held right up, with the absolutely key point of being able to retain his novice status.

Gaelic Warrior has the perfect amount of experience and substance, to be a big player, going straight for the Boodles (Fred winter) should he be sent that way. At this very early stage, he is undoubtedly on the top of my list for that race.

Gaelic warrior is also one that could take on a route of attempting Graded honours, with the aim of not losing his novice status cheaply. It is not completely out of the question that ridden more prominently, Gaelic warrior could develop in to a a Triumph Hurdle contender, such as the improvement I see in him.

However why not go straight there, or Bury him in a Graded race, and leave the improvement for the boodles handicap hurdle itself.

Gaelic warrior is one to follow in the juvenile hurdling division, where a possible tilt at the Fred winter, is very much on my radar.

No Ordinary Joe

No ordinary Joe was noted last year, and was thrown in to the deep end over hurdles.

He is well regarded at home, and has subsequently ran in a couple of races that wouldn’t have made people take much notice, However he has taken on a very simular route to Champ.

No ordinary Joe has built up some valuable experience over the intermediate trip, his jumping is still to be improved upon, however i will be massively surprised if he does not better his handicap mark of 133.

The 2 runs given at a quiet part of the season, we’re very much ti give him a mark, they have absolutely primed him for a decent pot.

The Ladbrokes handicap hurdle at Newbury in December, would look the obvious port of call, for him to take his handicap pot, on route to trying graded honours over the intermediate trip, and possibly further.

No Ordinary Joe is one to follow, with a big handicap pot surely on the horizon, he may even be a wild one, for the Grade 1s.

Heia

Heia has a very simular profile to Gauloise, she has been here for over a year now, so the timeline is right for her chance to be taken this season, she will be very popular in the market, upon entries when the owner is disclosed.

With no hurdles experience, her AQPS bumper wouldn’t be as strong as over here.  However should she come out and win a micky mouse race, you are unlikely to see double figures again, until the possibility that she may bomb at some point up in grade. Ofcourse there is a chance that Heia goes all the way.

“Regarding Heia, I had already declined several offers to buy, but some, like that of Willie Mullins, are hard to believe. refuse. From now on, the filly will wear Kenneth Alexander’s colors and should race next year at Cheltenham in March in the hens for 4 years+. I think she can become very good because she was already a very good student. Whatever is asked of her she does well and her character is very good. In addition, Willie Mullins is an excellent trainer who waits and lets the horses adapt well. Heia has a 2 year old brother. It’s a very nice gelding from Montmartre that will soon go to training with Isabelle Gallorini. The mother, Ulla de Montot (Dark Moondancer), was empty in 2019. This year she is full of Karaktar and later in 2021 she will return to No Risk at All: if Heia is good, you might as well make a full sibling. ! This stallion, with a fairly feminine profile, is well suited to this broodmare who is a large model and who generally produces quite large. “

Vauban

Vauban was a Listed winner at Vichy in July, officially rated 104 on the Flat, he looks to be a highly capable acquisition for the Willie Mullins stable.

At vichy he came in with a last time out victory, though was stepping up to listed level. He tracked the leaders in 4th during the early stages, while he was a little keen and the jockey opted to restrain him and drop back to 5th place. with plenty of horse under him, the jockey elected to make his move at the 4 Furlong marker, with little room, he moved wide around the outside and had 1 run at the MICHAEL TABOR owned Friendly Face who had taken the same route and had looked gone. Vauban picked up very well to get up in the shadow of the post in a fine manner.

Vauban was sold prior to the Listed win, under permission for Former owner/breeder Phillippe Decouz to run in that race before being moved on to Closutton. Officially rated 104 on the level, he has no doubt been bought with a hurdles career in mind

To be fair, Vauban was sold before the race. We asked the buyer, in this case Willie Mullins, permission to run this Listed under our colours. We had fixed this condition. The goal was to bring black type to his mother’s breeding line. Since his victory at Lyon-Parilly, we had been negotiating. On Monday, after his victory, we received even more offers! My accountant will be happy, because she often tells me that horses don’t bring in much money. She will be reassured now, as I think she was beginning to wonder”

Former owner/breeder Phillippe Decouz

The was of which Vauban travelled and picked up very well over 12F, would look to give him every chance of being a smart Juvenile/ novice depending on when they elect to run, either way, Vauban is one well worth waiting for, and indeed a horse well worth following. He may well take in the same route as tax for max last season.

Bold Endeavour

Bold Endeavour produced one of the most notable performance from the early weeks of the p2p season when he ran out a wide-margin winner on his debut at Necarne – a track that has played host to the initial successes of horses such as Briar Hill and Bun Doran. Out of an Accordion mare that won four races for John Kiely, this son of Fame And Glory made almost all of the running around this undulating venue before beginning to pull clear from the third-last fence. It was from this point that his superiority became clear as he simply pulled further and further ahead of his rivals, to ultimately cross the line with a notable 11 lengths to spare. His p2p as well as his bumper are displayed below.

 Bought by RaceCrowd at the Goffs November P2P sale at Yorton Stud, Bold Endeavour ran in the above Sedgefield Bumper, where he travelled notably well throughout, displaying stamina in the final furlong to pull clear of his rivals.

Bold Endeavour looks one to follow for the season ahead, where he should be well caspable of winning maiden hurdle. With his decent cruising speed, and staying power, indicating that the intermediate tip may well be where he is seen at his best, the European Breeders´ Fund ´National Hunt´ Novices´ Handicap Hurdle Final (Grade 3) at sandown, would look to be a potential late season target, with all routes potentially leading there.

Happy D’Ex

Gordon Elliott is set to train Happy D’Ex, once he has served his ban from racing, after the daughter of Saddler Maker was purchased for £195,000. Happy D’Ex is out of a multiple winner in the Fragrant Mix mare Soiree D’Ex, a half-sister to the Listed-placed chaser Azrou D’Ex. 

The striking grey filly was a 15 length winner of her P2P debut at Dromahane, a race of which you can watch via the link below.

Happy D’Ex – Bing video

Murphy said: “She’s a lovely, attractive filly and a filly that’s going to go far after a summer’s grass. She could be anything and was very impressive with the way she won, you’ll hear a lot about her.”

O’Ryan, who revealed she had been bought for KTDA Racing, the owners of Kim Muir winner Mount Ida, added: “Her looks speak for themselves, she’s gorgeous, and her sire speaks for himself having produced the likes of Apple’s Jade. She’s a queen. 

“She came recommended by Denis and we saw her in February before she ran and loved her. She’s gorgeous and we’re delighted to have her.”

In her P2P debut at Dromahane, as you can see, Happy D’Ex was happy to sit and wait, whilst tracking the leaders, travelling well within her comfort zone. She began to make her move 3 from home, ridden, she picked up well and jumped in the lead 2 out, ridden to extend that advantage in to the last, she duly jumped it well and bounded clear by 15 lengths in the manner of a smart horse.

The manner of victory here, leaves Happy D’Ex as one to follow for the season ahead, she travelled well throughout the race, and would look capable of making her mark in bumpers. Longer term, her relaxed nature gives her new trainer Gordon Elliot the option of running at 2miles, as well as going out in trip towards any potential handicap targets.

Jonbon

 A full brother to one of the most talented NH performers of any era in Douvan, Jonbon could potentially be an exceptional individual in his own right.

commanding €140,000 as a three year old when purchased as a store, and subsequently £570,000 at the Goffs UK November P2P Sale, Jonbon is sure to be the hype horse of the season.

Though will he be what Flinteur Sacre, was to Sprinter?

Where as Flinteur was bought cheaply as a store Jonbon has had a head start. At Dromahane Jonbon made his debut and everything about his performance suggested he can add further to his exceptional pedigree and that he was well selected as a store. He moved with great ease through the race but once he went to the front from three out his class told. He eased clear and when asked to pick up after the last the response was instant. Furthermore he showed exceptional use of himself over the final fences showing himself to be neat in front and an accurate jump along with having considerable scope. He received a rating of 97+ which is the highest rating achieved by any four year old maiden winner since ratings began and he looks value for quite an amount more as he inevitably will step up in company to attempt to make it to the very highest level of the NH sphere.

Having subsequently been sold for the £570,000 that i can’t stop myself from quoting again, Jonbon arrived at the yard of Nicky Henderson, which was no surprise having been bought by JP Mcmanus.

The 5-6 favourite settled and travelled smoothly – and was too strong for nearest challenger Flying Demon, readily stretching four and a quarter lengths clear at the line.

Henderson said of the six-year-old: “We are very lucky to be sent horses like this, and you’ve got to say you feel the pressure that comes with it. We were waiting for what fortunately happened – he was relaxed during the race and quickened up well.”

“He’s a bit of a fidget at home and doesn’t stand still for long, which is one reason I wanted to bring him to Newbury. But he appears to have everything – the pedigree and the looks. He ticks every box you could wish to see and is a gorgeous horse.”

Henderson added: “We have sighed a sigh of relief and can now dream of what might happen next year. I think he is a bit special.

Now to reality, WhiskeyWealth who was 4th behind Jonbon gives a reasonable look to his form, having looked a certainty to win his maiden hurdle before falling at the last. Although the others around Jonbon in his P2P have done very little to enhance the form. in the bumper of Jonbon the 5th was well beaten, whilst the last place finisher who clearly did not run his race, won next time.

In summary, the strength and depth to the races of Jonbon do not look of a great standard, though again, not too bad, with the manner of victory dictates that he could have done more if need be. Time will only tell how he will match up to the likes of Kilcruit, though with the usual lack of depth on these shores comparative to Ireland, it would be disappointing to see him beaten beforehand.

Should he be beaten beforehand in the uk, it would be very hard to see him winning at chelt, should he not be, then its easy to question, what will he have come up against? when all the best bumper horses are in Ireland.

Therefore at 10/1 for the 2 suitable Cheltenham Novice races, the untested Jonbon, remains one to follow with interest, to see whether he is making the market, or indeed the hype is real. The price does not take in to account his untested nature, but that is not his fault. it is supply and demand of those willing to take a chance on a horse yet to go anywhere near graded level. Something that simply isn’t for me.

One thing I can say for sure, is that he’s almost certain to be a fair bit better than Flinteur sacre. Better than Douvan? Probably not.

silks

American Mike

American Mike flourished on his debut and put up a big performance to win by 20 lengths, the largest winning margin on the day and in the quickest time too.

American mike cruised to the lead before 2 from home, while the visual impression that was given in the home straight as he stormed clear in such emphatic fashion was particularly taking and he stands out as a potential future graded horse.

It was clearly not only me who was visually impressed, AMERICAN MIKE proved the star attraction of the Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale when selling to  Noel and Valerie Moran for £195,000. To be trained by Gordon Elliott.

“He covered the ground really well and was well thought of by the lads.”

“He was a beautiful mover, a very well bought store (€20,000 at last year’s Derby Sale) and just did everything very simple. 

“When we’ve got the job done we need somewhere to show them off, so it was great to have the chance to do that as eventually we think this lad will be very good”. 

It would be common place for American mike to at least start his season off in Bumpers, and he looks capable of making his mark in this sphere. Long term, the visual impression that was given in the home straight as he stormed clear, was one of a horse which would look to be seen to better effect as he goes out in trip to middle distances, and possible beyond.

American mike is one to follow for the season ahead, he can make his mark in a bumper, with graded prospects over hurdles looking possible in time, until proven otherwise.

American mike left quite the impression.

Amarillo Sky

Amarillo sky had started pretty slowly for the Tizzards considering the very lofty £280,000 purchase fee. However as noted by myself, he was ridden without confidence in his earlier races, before being poorly placed up in trip.

Amarillo sky turned his hurdles form around markedly once ridden more prominently, and allowed to dictate with an aggressive ride over 2 miles.

Although far from a world beater over hurdles, he is one which i do believe is capable of showing improvement over fences, when ridden without restraint over 2 miles, which he surely will be.

The Tizzard yard can be a very hard one to read, they often neglect handicap races, to run in Graded races even with what would be considered to be a lesser individual, so Amarillo sky is well worth noting early doors in the small field novice races, where being allowed to dictate would see him as looking capable of causing a shock. longer term he is also worth noting across the season, should he be tried too highly, or sent over a trip in excess of 2 miles, where a drop in to handicap company where he is ridden without restraint over 2 miles, could easily see him bag a decent pot.

Amarillo sky is one to note as a 2 mile Novice Chaser.  The preceding two renewals of his p2p had been won by Andy Dufresne and Sporting John, and with how easily he travelled in front and how slickly he jumped fences at Borris House while clocking a time 11 seconds quicker than the day’s average. Chasing may well be the making of him.

Call Her Now

Call her now was a debut winner of a mares maiden point-to-point in her only start to date, and is out of a half-sister Denman

Call her now travelled well throughout, she pecked on landing at the third from home where despite it being a notable mistake, she did not let it bother her, and duly carried on her slender lead, she jumped notably well 2 from home where asked for a big one, and delivering. Trailed to the final flight, she was again ridden in to it, an jumped it with confidence to open up a 5l lead at the back of the flight, which she retained to the line.

Call her now was sent off to the sales, where she fetched a fee of £230,000.

“She’s got a lovely pedigree, I bought her privately off Kieran Cotter,” Doyle explained. “I always loved her, she was a lovely mare from day one, she was the best mare I had in training all year.”

Call her now made a favourable impression in her P2P, the 3rd has backed this up with a victory, where as the 2nd who was in close proximity to her until the last flight, has come out and finished 4th in a very average looking maiden hurdle. Therefore Call it now would look to be a fair looking Mares novice hurdler for the season ahead. Despite her mistake on landing, i liked her jumping here, therefore confidently ridden from the front, she could be a fair one to peg back over hurdles.

it would be ideal if Call her now happened to start in a bumper and was beaten, as i expect further improvements over hurdles where she would move onto having gone under the radar. Therefore Call her now is a horse to follow for the season ahead, over obstacles rather than bumpers.

Jim Key

Jim key made £215,000 at the Goffs November sale in 2020, with his speed while his speed was the eye-catching aspect of this performance.

The talented son of Shantou Jim key made a big impression on debut at Lisronagh. Derek O’Connor was content to let the race develop before moving into a challenging position before the second last but it was soon clear why he could demonstrate such patience and confidence as the response from this winner was instant. He showed a turn of foot rarely seen in three mile contests and quickened all the way to the line, and in truth for some distance passed the line also. The placed runners both came down at the second last at Monksgrange on their previous outings when second and third respectively so they appeared to add real depth to this race. The time was the fastest of the day and notably faster than the average by thirteen seconds.

Jim key may start off the season in a bumper where he would most certainly be one to not in the overnight markets, with speed being the eye-catching aspect of this performance. Though long term he should make up in to a capable 2 mile Novice hurdler with notable scope when required.

The Subsequent for of Jim key has worked out pretty well, with Brorson going close twice in bumpers at Southwell and the 3rd Clear the Runway finishing 2nd in a P2P, subsequent to being beaten a simular distance by the very useful Grangeclare west. Jim key is a pacey son of shantou that should be capable of making his mark in the season ahead. He may well be under the radar for a bumper, and is without doubt one to follow.

please Note that JIM KEY has gone to the U.S, we still may be able to have a bit of fun with him, at some point on a night throughout the season when he runs.

Au Fleuron

Noel and Valerie Moran have reaffirmed their support of suspended trainer Gordon Elliott by purchasing the Tipperary point-to-point bumper winner Au Fleuron for £220,000 

Au Fleuron did all his best work late on, he was pushed along to get the better of his rivals who have done little since, though this looked to be as much about the fact that he was green, than any lack of ability. he gave the strong impression that he is open to considerable improvement.

“He’s a lovely horse who came very well recommended by Denis and Jamie Codd, they both liked him a lot,”

“I love the sire, we’ve been lucky with him before with horses like Diamond Cauchois; we’ve had only two or three of them but the ones we’ve had have all been nice.”

said Aidan O’Ryan, Elliott’s bloodstock agent.

whilst the vendor was quoted as saying “He jumps like a stag.”

‘He is very nice and his work was savage at home, it was unreal and if that lad got beaten we were going to be in bother!

“We wouldn’t be training them fast enough and train them differently and he was green, and he is savage to jump.”

Au Fleuron is open to considerable improvement over obstacles, with the strong prospect of going out in trip from 2 miles. If indeed “He jumps like a stag.” then he would look to be a player in novice hurdles from 2 and a half miles upwards, with graded races not to be discounted, the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle at the Cheltenham festival, may well become an obvious port of call, as the season progresses. Au Fleuron is most certainly a staying novice hurdle prospect to follow for the season ahead.

Ballybough Native

Ballybough Native looked to have caught the eye of Henry De Bromhead when winning hisn P-To-P bumper at Tipperary for former handler Ian John Mcarthy, as a representative of henry later struck the winning bid of £195,000 at the Cheltenham March Sale.

Ballybough Native was impressive at Tipperary, he travelled to the lead 2f out, staying on strongly to obtain a lead in excess of 10L crossing the line. It was Notable that the market indicated this to be no surprise, with Ballybough Native going off the heavily backed Favourite. with the following quote backing this up.

“I’ve always liked him,. Richie Kerins, his owner, had another winning point to point mare with me so that’s two from two. This horse will go to the sales now. That’s my first racecourse winner and with the current restrictions I can run under my handlers’ license, although I won’t go for a trainers’ license. I am happy to have a few point-to-pointers and turn them over and have a lot of young horses and a lot of pre-trainers. I’ve run three horses, two have won in point-to-points and this is the third horse.”

 Ian John McCarthy, trainer.

“He’s been bought for an existing client in the yard and Henry is suitably delighted to get the horse. Obviously he couldn’t get here himself because of the 14-day quarantine situation with Fairyhouse coming up.”

The race which Ballybough Native won has not worked out particularly well, however the visual impression made there, would make you stand up and take note. Ballybough Native will likely make in to a useful novice hurdler to follow for the season ahead, who is likely to start out over 2 miles, and have no issues going out to the intermediate trip when asked to do so. Time will tell whether he is capable of being a graded horse, though an average looking maiden hurdle would look to be somewhat of a formality.

Queen’s River

Queens River had done plenty to enhance her value before going to the sales as she had made an impressive winning debut at Boulta under Derek O’Connor, Beating Getaway Lily Bear who is now in the hands of Olly Murphy for the Owners Group Syndicate. The pair had disputed the race between the from the 2nd flight onwards, with Queens River taking control on the run in to win by 3 or 4l whilst looking to have something in reserve.

A full-sister to Grade 2 chase winner The Long Mile, Queens River is out of a Supreme Leader half-sister to graded chase winners Pairofbrowneyes and Master Of The Hall. Another of their siblings is the dam of multiple Grade 1 winner Samcro.

“She did it herself because she’s such a good mare,” said Fitzgerald when asked how he had transformed a €20,000 store into a six-figure pointer. “The minute we bought her we loved her and Queens Brook was running at the time so I said I’d call this mare Queens River after her.

“She won fierce well the other day, she did it so easily. Derek got off her and said it’s hard to know how good she is because she never even broke sweat. We knew she’d win but we didn’t think we’d get anything like that price for her. It’s brilliant.”

Her price tag of £330,000 pulled up just shy of the record for a National Hunt filly or mare, with that honour belonging to the £400,000 My Whirlwind who was bought by JP McManus at last year’s Festival Sale. However Queen river does look to possess more toe than last seasons purchase, as well as having something left in the tank, therefore she should be making a bigger impact in mares hurdles, which with how My Whirlind has gone to date, in all honesty wouldn’t be difficult.

Queens river look one to follow in the Mare Novice Hurdle division, where she should be capable of making her mark, Although she may indeed be one for the longer term future, as she looks to be a purchase with the 2023 mares chase in mind.

Gaillard du mesnil

Gaillard Du Mesnil has been keen early, though that has been less noticeable with each run, even with him being a bit lit up early, he has always hit the line very well. He has yet to run over 3 miles, however he did run over 2m6F at the Dublin racing festival, where he did all his best work late, he did not look to be lacking in stamina.

At Chelt over 2m5 he stayed back on once beaten to hit the line well. At punchestown over 2m5 again he did not look to be stopping.

The RSA has his stablemate as leader in Gallopin des Champs. Gallopin des champs bolted up in a weak looking Martin Pipe off a mark of 142. This was a good performance, though but Gaillard in there off 142 I would expect the same. Gallopin  followed  up his Cheltenham win at punchestown, beating the same horses that gaillard du mesnil did previously over 2m6, however by a wider margin. This was over 3m, with Gaillard not stopping previously over 2m6, should he have had another 2f to run there, he would likely have extend his advantage over stattler.

Gallopin des Champs was more stylish in picking up stattler, and going away in a quicker manner. That was plain to see, however you could elect to combat this with the fact that Gallopin des champs has had a fairly easy route to the race, without going to the well previously. Where as stattler had just come off the back of  hard races at the DRF and in the Albert Bartlett.  Stattler was unlikely to be cherry ripe.

In conclusion, I am not saying that Gaillard is a better horse than Gallopin right now, However I am saying that I believe there is little between them, and that i expect further improvement from Gaillard Du Mesnil over 3 miles.

What could split them, in terms of ability is clearly how they take to fences. There have been no huge mistakes from Galopin, though He has made 2 over hurdles both at the last flight. With Gaillard at 25s, with the bonus of Cash Out being available, he is the right price, with the potential of coming up in trip to the 3 mile Novice Chase division.  

Grand Paradis

Grand Paradis is a horse that improved markedly with each run, and gave the visual impression of being a potential Grade 1 winner in waiting.

Grand paradis was set to take the big step up to grade 2 company at fairyhouse where my money would have been on the line before he was taken out due to the ground conditions.

One thing to note about Grand paradis, is that his 2 big wins were on heavy ground, I am of the personal opinion that he doesn’t need this. Though until seen otherwise it is noteworthy.

Grand Paradis having missed the fairyhouse engagement is in a fairly tough spot now, he has yet to be truly tested, with open company on the horizon, should he stay over hurdles.

On the assumption he does stay hurdling then My heart tells me that he left me the visual impression that he can take the leap, though the formbook tells me that this is is going to be tough.

So the route to make sense for Grand Paradis would imo be the Grade 3 Dublin hotel hurdle at Galway in October, to avoid the Hattons Grace, and take in a Grade 2 at limerick in December, before the Limestone lad at Naas in January.

The above route would give him the best opportunity to test the waters in the lower levels of Graded company, whilst retaining a handicap mark which would leave the option of the coral cup open.

Grand paradis, is an extremely exciting 5 year old that wouldn’t look out of place should he be thrown in to the deep end over hurdles, Therefore Grand paradis is a horse to follow for the season ahead, where a tentative route of testing the waters in Graded company, could see him end up in the Coral Cup, should they elect to stay over the smaller obstacles, or the plate/ Kim Muir over fences.

Hollow Games

Hollow games was a useful bumper horse for Gordon elliot last season who looked to be crying out for a trip. He came to the yard with a tall reputation and a £255,000 price tag having won a P2P by a distance.

“There’s a nice horse that I like. He keeps catching my eye on the gallop every morning.

“He’ll be a nice Bumper horse this year. He’s a horse called Hollow Games. he’s one that just keeps catching my eye.”

When I personally think of Hollow games, the Albert bartlett, Martin Pipe and Ballmore would be races that immediately spring to mind, in that order of likelihood.

where as I think the aforementioned chemical Energy may be capable of causing a surprise and potentially springing an upset. Hollow Games is one that I EXPECT to be winning an Albert bartlett trial.

should he not go very close to winning the monksfield or the Grade 2 at limerick in December, then he is to be closely watched in terms of handicap company and the Martin Pipe. However at this stage I would be thinking Graded honours until proved otherwise.


“Our better winter horses are starting to come out. We have a few really nice bumper horses but this lad is right up there. He’s very, very good,” said Codd.

“He’s a real winter horse. He won a point-to-point impressively and is a really exciting horse for Noel and Valerie (Moran). He’s 16.3 and I’d say he’s very good.”

“This is a very good horse. He’s a lovely staying prospect and it was nice to get that done today,” said Codd.

“He’s still a big green horse, he’s 16-3, and he’s going to improve again.

“He’s a really nice addition for Noel and Valerie and he’s going to be good.

“He’s a staying horse for the future. When you’re able to do that, win two bumpers, you’re more than likely going to end up being a good horse.”

Hollow games has showed class and stamina in his 2 bumpers over 2 miles, as well as in his previous P2P. He is undoubtedly one to follow as a staying novice hurdler, where it would be no surprise to see him take Graded honours on route to Cheltenham.

I am maximus

I am maximus to get straight to the point, look as absolute cracking bet at 50/1 with cashout for the Supreme Novice. If it was not only available with 365, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to advise this bet.

I am maximus is owned by Mike Grech and cost a tidy sum privately.

He made his debut at Cheltenham to win a bumper that has worked out extremely well, he has been left of the track since to mature, and has been at Henrietta knights for some intense schooling over hurdles.

I AM Maximus, is one that would be a shade disappointing should he not make up into a horse that is atleast capable of running in the Supreme Novice Hurdle.

During his bumper, he was very green, he came on and off the bridle, and didn’t seem to know his job, yet he still won a very strong looking race.

At a first glance you may think that he was tapped for toe, and may want further, however this was immaturity. At this stage, and knowing Nicky Henderson, that would very much look to be a final resort should he be beaten up in grade over 2 miles.

I Am Maximus would look to be a very exciting novice hurdler for the season ahead. It would be bitterly disappointing if he did not make light work of his maiden hurdle, which would see his odds tumble well beneath the current 50/1 for the Supreme Novice.

Therefore I am maximus is one to follow for the season ahead, with those who have bet 365 and cashout, surely likely to make an early move that could well give them a free run each time, with the likelyhood of getting their money back should he disappoint up in grade, being very high.

Ofcourse there is a chance that there will be no need to cash out at all, with I Am Maximus holding the bumper form which would look to give him every chance of developing in to a genuine Supreme Novice Hurdle contender.

Conflated

Conflated is a horse which is already entered up this season, with a potential big season of handicaps infront of him.

He is interestingly entered up on the flat, and I can see why, as this gives him a nice pipe opener for the season, with a handicap mark well worth protecting.

A handicap mark of 145 for Conflated, gives him a great deal of options. The kerry National could be an option to attempt 3 miles for the first time, with the Troytown in November also looking to be a very real possibility.

Should they want to stick to 2 and a half miles, there is a nice starting point at limerick in October, a rated chase won last season by Visioman, and contested by Dallas des pictons.

I am in no doubt that Conflated is very capable of picking up a big pot from his rating of 145. It would be almost a crime should he not.

It is also noteworthy that he retains a very workable hurdles mark, so should he pick up a big pot over fences, he is capable of switching codes and pot hunting.

Conflated is undoubtedly one to follow for the season ahead, with his experience now built up, it is time for him to pick up a big handicap pot.

his entries will be watched closely.

Stage Star

€60,000 as lot 9 of the Goffs land-rover sale

Stage Star was a bumper horse for Paul Nichols, who is set to go novice hurdling this season.

He cost €60,000 as lot 9 of the 2019 Goffs land-rover sale, before making his debut in a weak looking Chepstow bumper, he duly bolted up by 7L whilst looking the winner throughput.

He was due to back up quickly, stepping up to listed level straight away at Cheltenham in the High Sheriff Of Gloucestershire Open NH Flat Race, which has previously been won by the likes of Ballyandy and Rock On Ruby, though Stage Star missed this engagement due to not being quite right on the day.

It wasn’t too long before he made his way to Ascot in a Listed level bumper previously won by Supasundae. Stage Star went of a well fancied fav, which in all honesty was as much to do with him being owned by the Owners Group, which has an awful lot of Members, rather than just the visual impression he made on debut.

Stage Star had the smart and well regarded last time out winner Wonderwall behind him, and only Knappershill in front.

Knappers Hill was a £155,000 purchase at the aforementioned Goffs Land-rover sale, who had bolted up by 7L on his bumper debut, and was highly regarded at home. Stage Star ran very well here showing plenty of pace, he ultimately set the race up for knappers Hill who possesses more stamina, however Stage Star ran with great credit and ran in to a very smart one, this was a strong race.

The Grade 2 Aintree bumper was ti be next, with the aforementioned bumper franked in no uncertain terms. The 1-2-3 here all came from that prior race, it was also ran in a carbon copy, Stage Star set it up for knappers Hill, and again ran with great credit.

Stage Star should make a useful 2 mile novice hurdler, he clearly ran in to a very smart one in knappers Hill, which is absolutely no disgrace. I am not expecting stage Star to make up in to a Supreme Novice hurdle horse however, I am expecting him to make in to a horse capable of going well in the likes of the Betfair Hurdle, or the EBF Final at Sandown.

2 miles would look to be the trip for Stage Star, who will be closely watched as he accrues runs to enable him to run in handicap company, therefore Stage Star is one to follow for the season ahead.

Party Central

Party Central i personally feel has the potential to be the best of last seasons bumper mares, on both sides of the Irish sea.

This does not always translate to hurdles, and bumper form itself has not been very successful in finding the Mares nov winner.

So will party central do any better than those before her who failed?

Daylight Katie, Tintangle, darling daughter have also disappointed over hurdles after a productive bumper season, However where i believe the difference lies with party central, is that her form has gone the opposite way, as the races she is running in have increased in competition, so as her performance, for me she has improved considerably with each and every run, to give me the impression that she has yet to reach her ceiling.

“She’s lovely. She was entitled to do that after Leopardstown and she did it nicely,. Jamie’s head was on the block as he had her from the word go, he won the bumper on her for the Motherways. He was glad that he put the right mare in. She’s absolutely lovely and the world is her oyster. There is a Grade 3 for her in Punchestown and she’ll make a lovely novice hurdler next year. She’s jumped already and she’s brilliant. She’s very exciting and I’m delighted for the Morans”

Party Central looks to me to have the right combination of speed and stamina, with apparent experience of obstacles at home already obtained, her form and visual impression made during her runs has improved significantly, Therefore Party Central is capable of making her presence known in mares novice company, leaving her as one to follow.

Lynwood Gold

It is not often that i will include an older handicapper as one to follow, however Lynwood gold gives me the impression of a horse that could potentially pick up a handicap hurdle over 3 miles.

He ran ok in a Pertemps qualifier last season at face value, though a watch back would show the tender handling of Robbie Power that looked to have one goal in mind, which was to qualify for the final with little damage to his mark as possible.

This run was not un noticed and he has been well backed since in handicap company, where he has disappointed in big valuable handicaps. Though this is what made him of interest for me.

Lynwood gold has simply been unable to make his mark in very competitive races, It is clear that although he would have no issue qualifying for the final, The Pertemps final itself would look beyond him for win purposes, so rather than giving him the clever looking ride he received previously, why not use the fact that the majority of others around you are looking to finish just outside of the places to protect their marks, and go for the smaller Gold, which is picking up a qualifier itself.

I believe that Lynwood gold should have his sights lowered within handicap company, where his new mark of 131 would see him as one to follow in a Pertemps Qualifier rather than the final itself.

Chemical Energy

Chemical energy is a bumper horse from last season, who i feel will go under the radar this season, I like him as an individual, he has a good attitude, and i feel that although he was beaten soundly in his last few runs, he can compete at a good level up in trip over obstacles.

Chemical energy was unable to make his mark at the highest level against the likes of Sir Gerhard and kilkruit, or even Whatdeawant for that matter, However left me with a visual impression that this wasn’t for want of trying, He had a distinct lack of pace at the highest level, which left him unable to feature.

Over obstacles, he will have his chance, He is not going to be winning a Supreme Novice, but it would not be out of the realms of possibility that he could pick up an Albert Bartlett trial.

Whether he starts over 2 miles, until he gets a lenient looking handicap mark and then goes out in trip, or, is ran to merit over longer distances immediately, will be known in time. Whichever way is chosen, Chemical Energy is a horse worth noting for the Martin pipe, as the visual impression he gave me is of a horse crying out for a trip with a desire to win.

Chemical Energy is one to follow over a trip.

Fire step

Fire step is a Nicky Henderson Novice Hurdler for the season ahead, who i gave a bold shout to on debut, he was green and ran all over the place, however was always set to win, as his engine was not to be matched.

Fire step could make in to a smart individual over obstacles, though he is uncertain to make that impact at graded level immediately, in fact i would not be surprised to see him turn up in a bumper for a pipe opener on the race course, before cracking on over obstacles.

Fire step’s work at home lead them in to dipping back in the market to buy his sibling, his Racecourse form backs this up, with 2 runs and 2 wins for Fire step last season in bumpers. Midnight moon, Neon Moon and Imperial storm have all franked the form, and that form is not to be taken literally, (in a positive way) as his raw nature and lack of experience lead to the winning margins being unflattering. The pure superiority of Fire step from a visual impression would lead me to believe that he is a horse full off potential, with no clear limits to his ability.

Fire step is most certainly one to follow this season, Though not necessarily one for early season Graded honours, he should progress all the way throughout the season as he builds experience, he is a very exciting individual that may find himself at a high level before the season is over.

Run wild Fred

Run wild Fred will be familiar with all, though particularly with last years members as we backed him at 33/1 for the kim Muir, where he was a long term fav before missing the race in favour of the Irish National. Frustrating of course, however quickly forgotten with our second and final bet in that race going on from obscurity to fav and winning.

Run Wild Fred is This seasons fav for the National Hunt Chase, a close 2nd place finisher in the Irish National off a mark of 140, preceding a 2nd place finish in the Thyestes off 136, and what looked like a defeat from the brink of victory in a novice chase where the 3rd went on to win a very competitive staying handicap, all screams stamina, invaluable experience and the retaining of a Novice Status for Run Wild Fred.

Everything above gives him an extremely good profile for the National Hunt chase, he has he status to allow him to run, and his odds are appealing at 14/1. However, will he run?

Run Wild Fred went up a lenient looking 5 pounds in Ireland, to an already lenient handicap mark.

He is now on 145 (irish) and is all but certain to have a higher uk mark, which in turn,would all but rule him out of this years kim muir. Where he would be a sure fire fav, should he start the season poorly and manage to get in.

I would be willing to completely rule out his chances of getting in to the Kim Muir, as it would be pure stupidity to let him in there after what he has recently achieved. Therefore the NH Chase and the RSA would be the only viable races for Run Wild Fred. As mentioned his profile fits the NH chase perfectly, his uk mark which will likely be in the very high 140s, would see him as one of the highest rated contenders for that race, and fairly likely the highest by the time the Cheltenham Festival comes around.

That sees him hit the trends in every aspect of the NHC, However the recent trend backed up by vastly improved prize money, is one of skipping the festival all together and lining up in the Irish Grand National.

The Irish mark of Run Wild Fred is still lenient, his course and distance form in last years renewal is there for all to see, as well as the prior modus operandi of Giggingstown House Stud not caring about the National Hunt Chase, prior form sees them refusing to run Don Poli, Roi Des Francs and Dounikos, who were all prior favs for the race in the colours of Run Wild Fred. Therefore with the extra Prize money on offer at Fairyhouse, his mark, C&D form, and the fact he has never travelled over to Cheltenham previously, all lead me to be unable to back Run Wild Fred for the NHC.

What ever happens between now and the festival, his chance in next years Irish Grand National, imo looks too good to pass up.

Run Wild Fred is most certainly one to follow, However perhaps possibly not for the National Hunt Chase, but for a National.

Prunay

Prunet, S Dehez, Maisons Laffitte, 15/07/2020, photo: Zuzanna Lupa

Prunay has been in Ireland since the (25/07/2020) and should be a decent novice hurdler for the season ahead, he finished third in last years Prix Aguado (G3) for 3-year-old hurdlers at Auteuil, before fetching  €240,000 Offered by Jean-Marie Callier as a Wild Card at the sales. He has seemingly been given plenty of time to acclimatise to his new surroundings since.

“He will go to a client of mine in Ireland. We had plenty of opposition for him and he was perhaps a little more expensive than we were expecting,” Jones said. “But when you have a physical specimen like him who really stood out and who has good form but is still a maiden, you have to go that bit further.”

Prunay having ran a good while ago now, does have a fair bit of collateral form available, though is not to be taking literal, as he would be likely to come forward for both what was just his second run over obstacles, and the time to strengthen up.

In the Prix Aguado, Prunay finished 3rd to Magneto and Jeu De Paume, though the latter has contested much higher grades, i would comfortably put him as a solid listed level performer, Likewise Magneto who is now a decent chaser having finished midfield in graded races over hurdles. So it would be no surprise to see prunay being able to mix it at graded level later in the season.

Prunay is a good-looking individual who still being a Novice, would be likely to stayover hurdles for the season ahead, where he should do reasonably well. In time he should have no issue what so ever going over fences, where he may well show further improvement out in trip. Prunay really ticks all the boxes, and it would be no surprise to see him do well over here.

Foxy Girl

Foxy Girl ran in the female equivalent of the race which Paradiso beat Matterhorn, the PRIX WILD MONARCH (POULICHES), which is a listed race for 3yo’s which has been previously contested by the likes of Salsaretta.

Foxy Girl went off favourite here as the apparent first string for David Cottin, though her stablemate MATILDA DU BERLAIS was still prominent in the betting. Foxy Girl was held up stone last in the opening stages, before moving a little more prominent, in to midfield after the 3rd obstacle, content to stay in the middle of the pack, she made a notable mistake at the 7th, however she did not lose much ground, and slowly cruised her way up effortless to the leaders on the turn in, approaching the 2nd last, nothing was going better, however she stuck to the middle of the track tenderly ridden, whilst her stablemate was allowed to come across to the golden highway down the Auteuil stands rail, foxy girls rider seemed content in taking 2nd place behind her stablemate, and she was pushed out hands and heels to the line to follow her home, with a generous gap back to the 3rd, and the rest strung out a distance behind.

MATILDA DU BERLAIS has ran since to give a view of what foxy girl had achieved, having won another listed race next time by 10L, before being beaten very narrowly in a Grade 3.

Therefore the form of Foxy Girl does look strong, and she should undoubtedly make a useful juvenile. In my opinion the retaining of her novice status was very important, as in theory, it would able to her to be tried highly this season in Graded Juvenile races, with the idea of it being all good if she wins one, and the experience accrued if she doesn’t, would see her as a potentially very big player for next seasons mares novice hurdle.

Despite my thinking, that does not entirely rule out this years mares nov, where she would qualify to run, and be of interest, however it is very logical, so may well be applied.

Foxy Girl is a smart juvenile who will receive the allowance against the boys, who wouldn’t look out of place in Graded company. She is most certainly one to follow, quite possibly even longer term, if indeed Henry De Bromhead elects to take the path which i feel would be he right way forward.

Foxy Girl looks to be a good purchase with a long term future ahead.

Olympic Man

Olympic Man continues a theme of Willie Mullins novice hurdlers, and although i do not yet have confirmation, i am strongly assuming that he is owned by the double green of Munir/Souede such as the former trainer owner and vendor providing them with the likes of Montecristo and James Du Berlais.

Olympic man has a pretty solid profile, that i do like. A 6th placed finish behind triumph 3rd, and now stablemate Haut En Couleurs on debut, was followed up with a win by a nose on the flat, Though it was his 3rd run at Compiegne which made me sit up and take note. He was ridden in such a way which made made me inclined to believe that retaining his novice status was of significance.

The winner kendara had previously finished a close 2nd to the solid listed horse Youtwoglas, with the 4th behind kendara here winning two minor races on the bounce since. Olympic Man himself was held right up whilst travelling well within himself, the jockey was very content in keeping him back, before he made up ground to track the leaders with ease, whilst allowing the eventual winner on the inside of him Kendara to pick up, whilst Olympic man himself was tenderly handled to come home content in 2nd place. I am left with absolutely no doubt that Olympic Man could have won this race if asked the question, yet if he had been, he wouldn’t of retained his valuable novice status.

Olympic Man travelled as if 2 miles is absolutely no hinderence to him, and i will be disappointed if his new connections do not have a whole host of fun with him, he retains his novice status for the season ahead where the Supreme Novice Hurdle may well look a pipe dream for now, however we will see how he goes on debut. The county hurdle, could become an option in time, however again, until he is beaten, i’m sure they will be shooting for the top with Olympic Man, who looks a very interesting horse to follow.

Hardi du Mesnil

Hardi Du Mesnil is set to carry the colours of Robert Waley-Cohen after heading the first session of the Arqana February Sale in Deauville on Monday on a bid of €250,000.

David Powell of Highflyer Bloodstock signed for the four-year-old son of Masterstroke, who was catalogued as a supplementary entry by trainer Matthieu Palussiere following his winning debut over jumps at Pau last month. Also successful in an AQPS bumper last July at Vittel, Hardi Du Mesnil boasts a significant pedigree update as a half-brother to Gaillard Du Mesnil, the recent winner of the Grade 1 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown, coincidentally Hardi Du Mesnil made the same price his brother made here in November 2019.

“I bought him for Robert Waley-Cohen,” said Powell. “He’s a horse that deserved to be fought over a bit. We are going to let him rest a little so that he will gain strength.”

Palussiere said: “He’s been very straightforward and from day one we’ve always thought a good bit of him. He’s a fine horse that never had any problems and just gets on with the job. I’ve always thought he was a proper one. 

“We bought him at the Osarus Maisons-Laffitte sale in November 2019 for €32,000, so we paid a bit of money for him at the time. But his brother was already black type on the Flat in France. We always knew he’d be one for the jumps, and nothing bothers him. He’s just a good horse.”

Palussiere added: “His brother winning at Leopardstown was the cherry on the cake and came at the perfect time. We had already decided to come here but I knew Gaillard Du Mesnil had an entry for the Grade 1 and I was banking on that going well.”

Hardi du Mesnil held the colours of the famous French impressionist Nicolas Canteloup who purchased Hardi Du Mesnil from the Cerdeval stable as 2 years old for €32000 during the Osarus (OSARUS holds 3 sales a year at two different racecourses: the Breeze-up Sale & the select Yearling Sale take place in La Teste (60 km from Bordeaux) and the Mixed and Yearling Sale is conducted at Le Lion d’Angers (200 km from Paris)

having been a winner on the in flat last summer in Vittel and placed in the autumn in Parilly, Hardi du Mesnil (Masterstroke) imposed himself with style here despite making a couple of minor mistakes on his way round and at the last if very picky, he stalked the leaders round the bend whilst travelling within himself, made his move going to the last where he landed very narrowly in front and took the measure of his main opponent Happy de Rêve (Trained by Erwan Grall), at the last obstacle. where he landed very narrowly in front and never looked back. opening up for an authoritive victory.

In my honest opinion, i do not think that Hardi du Mesnil is likely to reach the pinnacle of the hurdling division. He doesn’t retain his novice status over hurdles, and I feel his price tag wasn’t the greatest use of 250k, however i am open to being proved wrong. his vendor rated him as ” a proper one” and time will tell whether they were right all along. 

For form asessment it is worth noting that the 6th placed finisher behind Hardi du Mesnil, is now also on there shores, although that form is not to be taken literally, Hermes Bellevue (6th) may well be out beforehand and could give us a small indication of what to expect from Hardi du Mesnil and vice versa.

Hubrisko

Hubrisko is another novice hurdler for Willie Mullins, this time in the colours of ms Ricci, who indeed used to be the go to place to look for a Supreme Novice Hurdle Candidate, Though a change in the types of horses they purchase seems to have changed, with dual purpose horses off the flat from France now looking to be the main objective, with flat handicaps such as the Cesarewitch commanding premium prize money, and the Melbourne Cup, once only a pipe dream, now looking possible, having come close to winning the race with Max Dynamite.

Sharjah in recent times has been a top class 2 Mile Hurdler, twice coming 2nd in the Champion Hurdle having been purchased off the flat in france, where as the same connections Jon Snow, and the not so mighty one time supreme fav by walk in the park that i have tried for around 10 minutes to just remember his name (Senewalk), show the huge contrast in results from horses changing codes off the flat for the connections of Hubrisko.

However they have gone against this recent policy here, where since the ill fated Allez Colombieres, off the top of my head i can not remember them purchasing another AQPS horse, Which they now have with the son of Doctor Dino, named Hubrisko.

Hubrisko had received 2 entries before finally running at Lion-Dangers in an AQPS flat race (bumper) with just the 5 runners, he was settled in 4th, racing as single file, as the pace increased and the leader was pushed along, Hubrisko made his move wide, he was pushed to lengthen away from the field here, to be well on top as he hit the line hard with daylight between himself and the rest of the field. The manner of victory was impressive, he made the impression of him being a smart individual that holds every chance of attempting to recapture the glory days of a Ricci Novice hurdler.

The trip of 1.5 miles or 2400 Meters in his AQPS race, and the way he picked up the bridle and went to the lead with relative ease would see 2 Miles looking to be his trip over hurdles, whether he can recapture the glory days of a ricci fav, is let down by the stats of AQPS horses in recent years, with Buveur D’air and Epatante reaching the peak of the hurdling division, however in there second season over hurdles rather than the first.

However should this lad win on debut, he is sure to get hammered in the betting for the supreme novice hurdle, and will likely even shorten up at the mere mention in a stable tour, such was the visual impression he made on debut.

8.

Bring On The Night

Bring on the night has been with Willie Mullins since  (13/06/2020) and carries the colours of AL Boum Photo to join State Man on the novice hurdle team of Mrs Donnely.

Purchased as a three-year-old from the stable of Andre Fabre earlier in the 2020 season, Bring On The Night was bought by owner Laurent Benoit as a yearling for €115,000. Bred by Ecurie Serval, the first crop son of Gleneagles is a half-brother to Stakes performer Bolleville. He looks a nice type of horse that was expected to be seen in the second half of last season. Though it is no shock to see him having been given more time along with State Man due to the fact that Haut En Couleurs was already set to lose his novice status at the end of the season and the Triumph hurdle looked particularly strong at the time.

Bring On The Night ran 3 times for Fabre on the flat winning twice, 8th on debut, he learned quickly on his 2nd start at Compiegne, though looking tapped for toe, he seemed to be green and not quite sure of his job, as when he came off the bridle he found plenty, and responded generously to go from looking in trouble, to superior than the rest of the field, he opened up and hit the line hard with seemingly plenty left in the tank.

The Andre Fabre-trained colt who won had won his second start when last seen, was sent off favourite on return in the three-year-old conditions contest over an extended mile and a half. Tracking the leader under Pierre-Charles Boudot, he was asked to challenge two furlongs from home and ran on well again to score by three parts of a length from L’Aigle.

Bring On The Night had looked open to any amount of improvement on the flat, as although he wasn’t tested at a higher level, he gave the impression that he had more in the tank when crossing the line. So its a suprise to me that he would change codes so quickly and join the yard of Mullins, as Fabre hadn’t looked to have had the finished article.

Bring On The Night is an interesting proposition for Novice Hurdles, where it is hard to know what to fully expect, on one hand he looks progressive, raw, and sure to improve as he finds more on the bridle, on top of what he already finds off it, on the other hand, this is a completely different discipline where he jumping of obstacles is as important as the engine. Therefore i’m not going to Going to guess where he will be in the pecking order, or nominate any Festival targets, i am happy to watch him race to race, in a campaign which could see start off at 2 miles and potentially go out in trip, as he looked full of stamina when he was hitting the line well in France.

Matterhorn

Matterhorn is another juvenile for the season ahead to have joined the team of Paul Nicholls. He has had one start to date over hurdles, running in the Prix Wild Monarch for Gabriel Leenders who provided last years Triumph Hurdle 3rd Haut En Couleurs, as well as last seasons very useful Gordon Elliot juvenile Teahupoo.

Recent graduates of the Prix Wild Monarch consist of State Man, Busselton, Footpad and Botox Has, whilst Salsaretta had ran in the Female equivalent. 

Matterhorn who went off at 17/1 was the apparent 2nd string for Leenders who had the well fancied Inscrit also lining up here under the first choice rider. Matterhorn in the well known colours of his owner and Breeder MME HENRI DEVIN Jumped the first hurdle infront positioned out to his left, whilst allowing his stablemate Incrit to take up the lead. Matterhorn tracked his stablemate throughout using the rail, He wasted absolutely no ground on the inside, and while his jumping started tentatively, leaving him briefly to lose a position now 3rd in single file behind icrit, he quickly warmed up to match his stablemate and comfortably track him. Incrit was hard ridden on the turn in, and elected to stay to his left, whilst Matterhorn seemingly having plenty left, opted to manoeuvre to his ight and take the golden highway down the Auteuil stands rail. By this point it looked ominous that the race was a straight shoot out between Matterhorn who had bagged the rail and Paradiso who was also still travelling well to the outside. Unfortunately we were robbed of what was going to be a grandstand finish, as Matterhorn lost his footing after jumping the last, and Paradiso scooted away for a very easy victory.

Paradiso has since followed up winning easily in the Prix Stanley before going on to take the Prix Aguado very stylishly, this leaves Matterhorn, despite needing to find improvement in the jumping department, with the pick of the form in france of the juveniles to come here so far. All eyes will be on the prix Cambaceres in November to see if Paradiso can further frank the form of Matterhorn against the very best of his Generation.

whilst it is also noteworthy that my eyes will be on the cheque book of JP Mcmanus, having purchased last years martin pipe fav Gentlemen De Mee from the save owners, and prix Grandak winner Mica Malpic from the same yard.

Matterhorn would look to be a real player in the juvenile hurdling division over here, and should have little issue getting off the mark, whilst arguably our hurdles would suit him. However it is early days yet, there is avsolutely no need to act early with an Antepost bet for the Triumph hurdle, as you can sit and watch the Prix Cambaceres in November to see whether or not Paradiso can further frank the form.

And indeed if Paradiso himself remains in the same colours.

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Magistrato

The well-bred four-year-old Magistrato has left the yard of David Cottin for that of Paul Nicholls on (20/04/2021).

Second on his debut in the Prix Grandak hurdle at Auteuil the son of KapgardeMagistrato was Purchased by J.H Bloodstock Ltd  who had already provided both Adrien du Pont and Samarrive previously, with the latter a recent addition who easily got off the mark over hurdles at Kempton in April.

Having ran in the Prix Grandak hurdle at Auteuil  he follows a long list of horses to have ran in or moved to the UK. Kalkir, Adjali, Style De Garde, Five O’Clock, Prunay, Mica Malpic, Konitho, have all ran fairly recently for other yards, with Sao,Far West, Frodon, Quel Destin, Qualando and Marracudja all arriving at the same Ditcheat home of Magistrato having started in the same contest.

In the Prix Grandak hurdle itself,  Magistrato took the lead going into the 3rd obstacle, where he would remain until the final flight. He jumped very well throughout, and was ridden to hold every chance, having obtained the golden highway down the stands rail at Auteuil. However he did always look a sitting duck, and subsequently was bettered by the superior finishing kick of Porticello who opened up well for pressure off the bridle. However It was noticeable that Magistrato dug down and did find more to not just repel the horses behind, but to pull back away from them and leave a 2 or 3L gap at the line.

The jumping of Magistrato was what kept him in pole position up to the last obstacle, rather than raw pace, his jumping was exemplary, he just lacked a change of gear at the finish.

IMO whatever Magistrato does over hurdles would look to be a bonus, he will likely make up in to a useful staying chaser in time. For this season, he is already priced up for the Triumph Hurdle, where i would not advise an Antepost play, however with run run on the board already, that would be an advantage towards getting a mark for the fred winter (Boodles), should connections decide to go that way.

Ginto

It may be a strange thing to say in August, however Ginto is a horse that i have always had in mind for the martin pipe.

In his p2p he took control after the last to win very easily, pulling away from his opposition over 3 miles, he has since changed ownership and ran in a couple of bumpers ran on heavy ground.

First time up he was beaten by the useful whatdeawant who despite being beaten over 20L on his next start, did actually frank the form there in my opinion, such as the strength and depth to that contest won by kilcruit.

On Ginto’s next start in a bumper, he hosed up at Navan beating next time out winner Shantreusse by 13L. The form of that race was fair, as was the time comparative to the other races on the card, so this is something not to get carried away with at this stage with grade 1 prospects as a novice hurdler.

In my opinion Ginto will be seen in his best light stepping back up in trip from 2 miles to the intermediate trip, He should have no problem in winning a maiden hurdle before he will step up into graded company, which at the very highest level, this may well find him out. However this is of little worry, as with 3 runs he will achieve a handicap mark which needs to be on or under he 145 ceiling of the martin pipe. Ginto starting over 2 miles would be likely and also a preference in terms of improvement expected from at a later date from him up in trip.

So in summary, if you look at the historical races taken in by the likes of column of fire and wide receiver and note these down. Ginto would be of strong interest should he take that route all the way to the Martin Pipe.

“he’s a big chaser and that’s what he was bought to be; he’s a horse for the future.

“The problem is when they come with a big price tag there is always plenty of hype with them. He is a nice horse and we really like him.

“He really wants a jump, he’s not really a bumper horse. Jamie said he was actually doing his best work at the line and said he doesn’t need to do a lot more this year; he has done all the schooling with him and says he’ll be a different horse when he gets a jump”.

Dysart Dynamo

Dysart Dynamo looks almost nailed on for the 2 mile division over obstacles, whether that is at graded level by the end of the season, i am not sure. However he possesses plenty of pace, and a high cruising speed.

The supreme novice hurdle should he make it to the highest level, or the county hurdle should he be met with defeat along the way, would look to be two clear targets. It would be a surprise to me, should he be able to step up in trip any time soon, despite the race he ran in throwing up ballymore horses.

I have added some post race quotes from his first start.

Patrick Mullins said: “It is a great family, and the Mannings’ bred him and own him.

“He is a big, big baby and that’s why I was quite keen to take a lead for the first bit and get him to settle and relax. To look at him he is a three-mile chaser on soft ground.

“If we get nice ground for him he could go for a winners’ bumper and I think there’s lots of improvement in him.”

Dysart Dynamo then stepped up in grade at the punchestown festival to beat Oscar Dai Dai who had won nicely on his previous start, having been purchased for a five figure fee by walter connors who himself has purchased the likes of champion hurdle winner Espoir D’allen amongst many others to have won at the highest level.

I have added some post race quotes….

 “he looks a real nice acquisition for the yard. I don’t think I’ve seen a horse pull as hard as him and still finish a race in a long while. He looks a real exciting prospect.

“He’s every inch a chaser to look at and he must have some engine. They have to stay sound and stay right but it’s certainly nice to have a horse like him in the yard.

“He’s a home-bred (by owner Eleanor Manning) and I think they’ve landed on a nice one.”

he beat the aforementioned Gordon Dai Dai there who had previously received some interesting quotes, after winning at galway.

 I didn’t know what to expect out of him to be honest as I had nothing done with him on grass and never had him away anywhere. He is a fair beast because he was very green. He was desperate green and he (Tom Feeney) said he had to let him go a bit because he didn’t know what was going on. Any horse that’ll run to the line here isn’t a bad one. He has plenty of size, is a very honest horse but I didn’t know what to expect today. That’s the owner’s (William MacDonald) second bumper winner here recently and he has been lucky for me. In fairness he is a long time sitting on these horses since they were yearlings, so it is great to get winners for him as he is a great owner. 

In summary Dysart Dynamo is perhaps one for the 2 mile hurdling division. he has yet to jump an obstacle in public, so i would be very cautious of taking early Antepost odds on him for the supreme novice hurdle, however his manner of victory in his 2 starts in bumpers to date, does indeed make him one to follow with interest, as he couldn’t have been more impressive in a race where there does seem to be some substance in behind.

Ballyadam

Ballyadam was in last years horses to avoid when he was the current supreme fav, he somewhat disappointed in the supreme when you take in to consideration both that blue Lord likely had him covered before falling, and the distance he was beaten by appreciate it who routed him.

Whether you agree or not that he disappointed in the supreme, there is no doubt that he completely bombed at Aintree, having stepped up in trip off the back of having had a long season.

In terms of his prospects for the coming season, firstly I would be very much assuming that he is going novice chasing. He was inclined to take a chance at his hurdles, especially when under pressure, so the respect needed for the larger obstacles will need to be found. However he is with a yard that do pretty well with 2 mile chasers, and has prior experience of a ptp, Ballyadam is a good raw starting point for Henry De Bromhead to work with at current odds of around 33/1.

Ballyadam seemingly has it all to do with Appreciate it, However every horse has his price. Should anything happen to Appreciate it, that should see him miss the Arkle, then Ballyadam would not be far down the pecking order for me as it stands at this point.

It wouldnt particularly be a surprise to see him bounce back in his opening novice chase of which i would strongly assume would be over 2 miles, then the craddockstown, the racing post novice chase, and the irish arkle may all be on the current agenda.

Beacon Edge

Beacon Edge would be an interesting novice chase prospect, now 158 rated, i thought he ran an absolute stormer in the stayers hurdle despite unplacing in 4th.

He travelled well throughout the race, and for me, he looked as if he was going to come with a potentially winning challenge, when he was collared for 2nd by 2 of the best stayers around Cheltenham in very recent times. There was absolutely no disgrace in a 4th placed finish here.

The RSA would look the obvious port of call, and i would not knock that at all, though the Marsh would most certainly be an option where he could be made more use of, and i could see that suiting.

for me, the staying novices, in particular over 3 miles, could well be vulnerable this season to more exposed hurdlers changing codes.

I personally would somewhat liken this year, to the year where might bite, and whisper finished first and 2nd, with the previous years leading novice hurdlers to go chasing… Bellshill, Fagan, Ballyoptic, champers on ice and Coney Island, not looking a great bunch. This would see the likes of Beacon Edge, klassical dream and James De Berlais have a shout of making there mark in the staying novice chase division.

Classic Getaway (Novice Hurdler)

Classic getaway, is current Antepost Fav for the Champion Bumper at around 8/1.

Classic Getaway won his ptp very nicely, before winning a bumper over 2m4 in reasonable fashion. It is worth noting that in my opinion he lacks the raw pace to be a champion bumper contender, and from all quotes that I have seen, he is set to go hurdling.

At this stage, I would be thinking that the Albert bartlet 3m Novices Hurdle may well be his end destination, I would not put anybody off backing him for that race with cash out available, however for the bumper, I would have no interest what so ever in the favourite Classic Getaway, infact i would strongly advise against backing him, leaving him one to avoid for that race.

“He is a beautiful-looking horse and I think he was a little bit more expensive than a Rolls-Royce Phantom! But I’m pretty sure Mrs Thomson will get more fun out of him than a Rolls Royce. He’s a big baby and that’s why I was keen to teach him and get him to stride out. He is a big baby at home for a five-year-old who had a point to point run and he’s not a bumper horse. I imagine he’ll go jumping later in the season – he wouldn’t have run only the ground was so wet and we said we’d get a run into him. Willie didn’t rush him and let him settle in – he didn’t have to run this season but it just happened with the weather. I think he’ll continue to improve mentally”. 

 W P Mullins

But more on him as a potential staying novice hurdler, Classic Getaway cost £570,000 at the Goffs UK December P2P Sale at Yorton Farm.

In his P2P Itself when he ran at Borris house, he sprinted clear then genuflected at the back of the last fence, spooked himself and then sprinted again because he’d frightened himself.

You can only do what he did at the back of the last fence if you have so much in hand, and He was well touted beforehand. However its a good job he was so impressive, as the form of this race was awful.

Most of the opposition in that race have pulled up on their next start. the 2nd has been well beaten 3 times under rules, likewise the 3rd in his 2 starts under rules to date.

So caution is needed when assessing classic Getaway, there is no need to get carried away with that price tag, or either of his wins. Yet there is optimism that he can get out and build up some hurdles experience, as over a trip, it looks very much as if he can progress as he builds upon his efforts to date in lesser company.

 “You never think you’re going to have to give it but you have to if you want them. Would you rather underbid and see someone else winning with it or push the boat out? We could all look foolish in a year’s time, but if you don’t buy them you can’t look foolish or be happy whatever way they turn out.”

Although its hard to justify the fee paid, Classic Getaway is one to follow in the staying novice hurdle division, where those who have taken the champion bumper odds, may well be the only ones who “look foolish.”

Demnat

Demnat is no longer a novice over hurdles having won at Fontainebleau last season,  however having won a steeple chase in April of this year, this relative of Sceau royal, still retains his novice status over fences for the incoming national hunt season.

Demnat has ran 8 times over obstacles, and has plenty of experience to put to good use, with both of his wins coming over a trip of just over 2 miles.

Despite having won twice, in my opinion the pick of his form would be a 3rd placed finish behind youtwo glass and Jeu De Paume. Both have ran at graded level and would be very capable of winning a Listed race.

Therefore Demnat should be capable of putting his prior experience to good use and winning a novice chase on these shores for venetia Williams,  where he may go underestimated due to his form figures.

It is worth noting that Demnat has enough runs accrued over both obstacles to receive a handicap mark by the brittish handicapper, where he may find life fairly  tough should he start his life here over hurdles in and around the mid 130s,  however that could well see leniency to his chase mark which could see significant improvement from him to be exploited.

Laishann (Gordon elliot)

Laishann has ran twice on the flat to date, and comes in to his 4yo season in the hands of Gordon Elliot, where prospects of 3 runs and the Fred Winter, may well be on the horizon.

Laishann had finished a fair 4th in his prior race at Granville, and looked to have stepped up markedly on that next time out at craon where he came 2nd to new Willie mullins inmate Parmenion. 

He has already been gelded so I would expect them to not hang around, I see no reason why he would not be out fairly early to build both experience and the 3 runs  needed, prior to a potential festival target of the boodles (Fred winter).

Irish handlers have won the last four renewals of the Fred Winter.
The Emerald Isle trainer to enjoy the most recent success is not Willie Mullins but Gordon Elliott.
In fact, previous to this years renewal won by Jeff kidder, he has had horses finish at least second in each of the three previous years, winning the race twice in that period (and three times overall).
Elliott saddled three of the first four home in the 2020 Fred Winter.
In contrast, It is one of the few races at the Festival that Willie Mullins has yet to win, despite having had 14 runners down the years.

Laishann could plausibly end up there this year, looking to enhance the fine record of Gordon Elliot in this race.

Haxo  (willie mullins)

Haxo is a distant relative to former tolworth 2nd Capitaine and has joined the closutton team of Willie mullins, having already ran 4 times on the flat.

Haxo got off the mark at the 4th time of asking at the French provincial track Le Pin Au Haras. He narrowly beat Hat Trick Sivola and Happy Joy who has ran over obstacles himself for Yannick Fouin to no avail thus far.

On haxo’s latest start he finished 6th at Lion D’angers over 12f  before being purchase by Willie Mullins trusted eyes and ears in France Pierre BoullardPierre Boullard for €25,000.

Haxo I’m sure will be given time to acclimatise to his new surroundings, before making his first start over obstacles, however it will be interesting to see how he fares, as with the general consensus that Willie mullins has all the funds, haxo like many others at closutton has actually been purchased at the lower end of the market, for a price accessible to most.

With absolutely no depth to his form, he is very unlikely to be a graded winner in waiting, and I certainly wouldn’t back him blind on debut. However haxo is one that i thought was interesting to follow as a wild card, mainly to see what €25,000 would get you in the hands of Pierre Boullard, who may well have seen something that I hadn’t.

Saint Felicien

Saint felicien is owed by robcour and is currently in training with Gordon Elliot.

it is worth noting that he does not retain hus notice status having won in March at Auteuil, However he is very notable for handicaps.

With just 1 run on the board, he does need 2 more runs to receive a handicap mark, and here she gives early season will be crucial, however no matter what the thoughts on Gordon Elliot are, it is without doubt that he can ready one for a handicap.

The form of Saint feliciens win has worked out very well, with even the 9th Blackwood now following up with a victory. The 5th Historien is useful and has won on his first start in a steeplechase, prior to being beaten by Saint felicien he had oblitered fred Winter runners houx Gris and historien by 20L.

The 4th behind siant felicien has got off the mark in a steeplechase for Francois Nicolle, the 3rd has followed up, while also placing at listed level, and the 2nd Gallipoli also followed up before placing in a Grade 2.

It is without doubt that Saint felicien brings some very useful form over here, almost regardless of what he does on her first couple of starts, from his 4th run onwards he is a danger to all in handicap company.

Saint Felicien is most certainly one to follow at the festival, in handicap company

State Man

state man is one I have already mentioned multiple times. He was purchased as a juvenile and had a Triumph Hurdle entry where we did back him with NRNB incase of a potential bid.

he ran on debut in France in a race which was won by busselton, though the Guy Cherel owned state man was very much tenderly handled with his valuable novice status secured with a 2nd place there. This form is not to be taken literal, he may improve significantly ahead of busselton.

It is also worth noting that guy cherel has provided allaho, Saint roi and capodanno in back to back seasons

State man will run in the colours of al boum photo this season, where he may well rank highly amongst the novice hurdlers in the yard.

I have previously added him to the any race market where he would have been of considerable interest bearing in mind that his stablemate ended up well fancied in the County Hurdle last season despite a blip, as well as the yard winning the martin pipe.

State mans prior run is very much a help in terms that he only needs 2 more runs to recieve a handicap mark, however graded races will be the first port of call should he get off the mark on his irish debut.

State Man is one worth noting

Holly/Harmonie star

Holly is a Jp McManus owned 4yo filly that may well be pointed towards the mares novice hurdle.

she has ran in AQPS bumpers following the same route as Epatante having also ran in the PRIX JACQUES DE VIENNE.

Holly racked up a sequence of wins, she won at vichy on debut with a subsequent winner habit jaune in behind.

Holly then stepped up in to Grade 3 company when just getting up on the Line to beat the now Willie mullins trained Harmonie star.

Holly and Harmonie star Both backed that form up by winning Grade 3s each on their next start

The pair would look to have every chance of developing into mares novice hurdle contenders, Epatante has come from the same route and has done extremely well despite bombing in the mares Nov itself. Bloody Mary came in with a simular profile and finished placed in the 2016 renewal.

Holly and Harmonie Star represent the latest fillys to come down the AQPS route, with a considerable ammount of race course experience that will be looking to better the above record.

It must be said that they have yet to jump an obstacle, so it’s not all plain sailing until the big day itself, however they are 2 fillys worth noting.

I am also yet to know if Holly is with nicky Henderson, if she is, she is sure to be extremely popular in the market, where she would be hammered early doors upon any mention in a stable tour. Where as Harmonie Star will have the colours of bacardys on top, being owned by the Shanakiel racing syndicate. This would not put me off her, however it is noteworthy from a betting angle, that she is unlikely to receive strong early market support unless in the fairly unlikely case that she is given some bold quotes early season.

idoles des jeunes

An €110,000 puchase at the Arqana sales Idoles des jeunes was set to be a potential player for last season Mares Novice Hurdle, until injury cut her season short.

her prior form in France was on the flat where she had most notably beaten subsequent irish cesarewitch winner Cape Gentleman.

Cape Gentleman has been running over hurdles himself, winning the dovecote, and most recently placing In the valuable €250k Galway Hurdle behind Saldier.

it is very obvious that you can not take flat form, and use it literally against a rival which has subsequently switched codes, and off the back of an injury, that gives 2 reasons to be cautious. However being at Clossutton with with Willie mullins, would lead to optimism in terms of a potential Mares Novuce Hurdle campaign, should she manage to stay sound this time around.

It is worth noting that Lamarckise, chante Neige, and a handful of others I’m aware of that didn’t even make the track, have all failed to come right again, having been on the same trial to Cheltenham before succumbing to injury. Therefore a word of caution on idoles des Jeunes, who may well be one worth noting should she indeed make it all the way to the festival.

IMO she may not be an early Antepost betting prospect, before a run.

Henn See

Henn see was purchased privately by Mullins’ trusted French talent scout Pierre Boulard.

he has ran twice, once on the flat, before finishing 2nd on his hurdles debut at Auteuil.

It may be worth noting that MIN came from the same vendor despite failing to win in two starts in France for Yannick Fouin, with the enthusiasm very much on retaining the novice status.

held right up throughout the early stages, whilst taking a very wide path after the 4th obstacle, Henn See started to creep towards the leaders making notable headway. The jockey onboard waited for the winner to make a seemingly unattainable move before asking for effort in a manner which suggests they were keen on retaining the novice status of henn see to subsequently command a higher fee.

The front pair pulled well clear with the gap between henn see and the winner closing all the way to the line.

what he found off the bridle was considerable, and the way in which he travelled, and opened up over 2500m would look to see him adaptable in terms of trip and His jumping saw no issues.

Henn see may well be a useful novice for the season ahead and one to note, where he should be starting out at 2Miles with the option of getting further.

Parmenion

3-year-old Parmenion (GB) (Soldier Hollow) was lot 490 at the arqana summer sale.

Pierre Boulard, Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins were in attendance, where €230,000 sealed the deal. Parmenion is a full-brother to the G3 Prix de Royaumont victress Pelligrina

“He’ll join Willie Mullins,” said Boulard. “We’re very happy. There’s nothing not to like about him, he’s a lovely horse that won his debut really well.”

“He’s very well-bred and he’s by Soldier Hollow. We had luck with him with Arctic Fire and Saldier. He’s a very good looking horse and he won in a good style, showing a lot of stamina. I couldn’t really find anything against him.”

Mullins is eying a future on the Flat as well as over obstacles for his new acquisition.

“When I saw him I never dreamed we would be able to buy him so I’m pleasantly surprised to get him,” he said. “He looks the type of horse I want to go jumping with but he’ll be dual purpose. We’ve been very lucky with the sire.”

Parmenion won his only start to date over a mile and three furlongs at Craon for Edouard de Montfort. 

https://www.france-galop.com/fr/course/detail/2021/P/Z2FNdkQ3TU80SGFqMjNmZFpoVVJGUT09

parmeniom tracked the leader in 2nd throughout the early stages, whilst allowing others arround him to make progress, with oarnenuin slotting back to a handy 5th with a Mile to go, asked to make his effort on the turn in, he went wide and but the race to bed very quickly with a nice change of gear.

The form since looks nothing much to shout home about, however the manner of victory was very impressive.

Purchased in June of this year, time will tell whether he will be a Triumph Hurdle horse. The Fred Winter may be unlikely due to timing, as Willie likes to give them a considerable ammount of time to settle in.

Parmenion may even be one to take a one time shot at the Grade 3 at fairyhouse in the race which burning victory won, with the tried and tested method of not losing your novice status Cheaply. Therfore again, he is not one to take an early position on.

Allégorie de Vassy (Mares Nov)

A Good third in the Prix des Charentes at Auteuil, on April 30, on her fourth outing, Allégorie de Vassy (No Risk at All) was declared exported on May 18 on the France Galop site.

She left the boxes of Marcel Rolland for those of Willie Mullins, after being purchased privately by the very shrewd  Pierre Boulard who has purchased 5 of the last 6 winners of the mares novice hurdle, which looks a fairly relevant stat here.

“Allegorie de Vassy is a super mare who has everything to succeed in Ireland, whether over hurdles or steeplechase. She has an extraordinary model and a lot of scope, but also an extraordinary pedigree. She is a niece of Laurens (Siyouni), which is an English print. Allegorie de Vassy only progresses over the course of her races, she represents the archetype of the show horse. “

Pierre Boullard.

Allégorie de Vassy was bought € 50,000 as a yearling by Bertrand Le Métayer at the Osarus obstacle sale at Maisons-Laffitte, she is the first prodgeny of Autignac (Solon), winner at 4 years of the Prix Ex Voto (Hedges) at Auteuil. Autignac is a sister of the French classic winner Laurens, winner of six Grs1 from 2 to 4 years old including the Prix de Diane, Saint-Alary and the Prix Rothschild.

Allégorie de Vassy was a pulled up on debut at Compiegne in a race won by Henri de farceur, it was a real mess of a race, with a ridiculous ammount of runners all in close quarters, she was very green, jumping out to her right, and diddnt know her job, she was tenderly handled in what was simply a learning exercise.

She then moved on to Auteuil where she finished 5th, beaten in excess of 20L by La Danza,  she jumped markedly right handed at the first few fixed brush hurdles and notably so throughout, apart from the last 2, which she jumped straight. she was held up on the outside at the back for this very reason, and whilst her jockey wasn’t overly hard on her, and she was very much still learning on the job,  she was readily outpaced by some useful rivals.

Back at compiegne for her 3rd start,  the hand brake had been taken off, and she was lined up prominently here, she jumped straight at the first, and once again markedly right handed at the 2nd obstacle, and then continued straight until the 6th where again right, 
she travelled well throughout the race, and was ridden with far more confidence here having gained valuable experience prior, despite the 2 jumps to the right, it was a very good jumping display, her technique was night and day to her previous runs where she was very much learning on the job, and left to her own devices.
Her jumping here, saw her take the lead coming out of the 10th flight whilst travelling well within herself, stalked by the well fancied Hacienda who was poised to challenge between the final 2 flights, Allégorie de Vassy kept on well in 2nd place, without ever looking in danger of being unplaced.
This was a marked improvement on what she had done prior, she has improved with each run considerably, and all in all, it was an impressive round.

In her final start before changing hands, she went to Auteuil, where she had been outpaced prior, partly due to her jumping out to the right. A change of tactics, reverting to being held right up, she was given a clean look at her hurdles, with a much better technique than last time at Auteuil,  the hurdles are demanding, she jumped slightly right handed at the 2nd, made notable headway between the 3th and 5th,  to then track the leaders travelling  well, and jumping well throughout,  she was never getting to the leader Belle promesse,  however she kept her valuable novice status, and finished the race nicely right upsides Hacienda who had just beaten her prior at compiegne by 5L,
Allégorie de Vassy once again showed marked improvement here, it was a very satisfactory round of jumping, she showed versatility being able to switch off, and make a move when required to tactically,  and she found off the bridle when asked to progress. 

The winner Belle promesse subsequently  has won a listed Hurdle off top weight,  with useful next time out  winner, Grand messe back in 7th here.

And backed that up further by winning a grade 3 easily off top weight on her next start.

IN SUMMARY
Allégorie de Vassy  has shown remarkable improvement with each and every run, her jumping to the right which looked a huge issue at first, now looks only noteworthy, she has gained valuable experience in her 4 starts to date, and will have a considerable head start on her uk counterparts,
It is noteworthy that last year’s winner held valuable experience over the field in the mares novice hurdle, As mentioned, Allégorie de Vassy ticks that box. Her form does have substance, and although improvement would be needed to be winning the likes of the mares Nov, it is clear to see that she is open to considerable further improvement.
she has ran between 2M 1f and 2 miles 3f which ticks the box of the trip, and you do have to stay that trip well.
I am happy with what she finds off the bridle, and have been increasingly happy with what she is showing on it.

Therefore Allégorie de Vassy is one to note for the Mares Novice Hurdle, and the closutton team of Willie mullins, who looks to have been sent a rapidly improving contender from the very shrewd judge, Pierre boullard. 


I would certainly not put anyone off her In a market of which she is currently not in the betting. Feel free to add her to the market before the general public or traders are Aware of her being at closutton.

upon seeing the odds, I may well be adding her myself, I will update in due course.

Porticello (Gary moore) 3yo

The Prix Grandak , a counterpart for the prix Geography  for fillys, saw the superiority of the residents of David Cottin who signed a useful winning pair. Magistrato (Kapgarde) was pursued like his shadow by Porticello (Sholokhov), the latter easily dominating his stable mate in the final phase. A waiter in the middle of the peloton, Impenable (Chœur du Nord) made a good final effort to secure third place. Bred, as a Magistrato, by Haras de la Croix Sonnet, Porticello comes from a sister of Worldbest (Muthathir) winner of the Prix Camille Duboscq (L) in Pau, and placed in the Grand Prix d’Automne (Gr.1) and Renaud du Vivier (Gr.1), de Mood (Laveron) Prix François de Poncins (L), and d’Orcantara (Villez) placed in the Prix Bournosienne (L) and prix Finot

The winner of the important Prix Grandak  Porticello (Sholokhov), was bought by Nicolas Bertran of Balanda to join the stable of Gary Moore. Porticello was trained by David Cottin and defended the colors of the Zingaro team.

The Prix Grandak consisted of a lot of colts esteemed by great trainers. Porticello had accelerated well. The third, Impregnable, has since followed up.

Porticello is a tall and athletic colt who has set an excellent time.
He is also well bred as he descends from a Goral line that I know well.

Previous horses to have ran in the Prix grandak, to have come over here consist of.

We have a dream.
Frodon
Kalkir
Far west
Quel destin

For porticello, the obvious call is the triumph Hurdle, with the fall back of the Fred winter (boodles).

Although I am in no rush to back him myself, Odds of 25/1 are fair when you take in to account the handicap fall back, and i would expect to see him come out at Fontwell In November, where he will likely start with a victory for his new yard and follow in the foot steps of Goshen and Nassalam.

Appreciate it (Nov chaser)

Appreciate It has Arkle written all over him, he destroyed the supreme field in the manner of a very smart novice.

he looks like he has the speed for the minimum trip, however he also would look to have absolutely no problem what so ever going out in trip Should it be asked of him, the scary thing is, it looks like it may even find improvement.

you would have to think that the Arkle would look to be the logical route, taking In the same route as the likes of Douvan before him, with his point to point experience and his physique, I would see no issue with him being able to jump a fence, and it may be odds on all the way to the Arkle.

we have the cover of the Marsh, and I’m happy with that, as it would look very suitable, for what ever reason should he end up there, even with a defeat beforehand.

appreciate it, is as exciting a novice chase prospect as anything that I can recall, he looks undoubtedly set for the top.

James du Berlais (Nov chaser)

JDB Ran a stormer at the puchestown festival over 3 miles when finishing behind klassical Dream, he has a huge amount of experience over the fixed brush hurdles in France, which is invaluable experience as a novice chase prospect, therefore he should make a cracking novice chaser in the coming season.
I would be making an educated guess that 2 and a half miles and the Marsh Novices Chase may well be his destination, however he can certainly go anywhere from 2 miles upwards, so the any race market is the call, leaving connections the room to decide which is the most suitable target nearer the time.

I have no doubt that he will be a graded performer over fences, and would expect that the Grade 1 at limerick over Christmas and the Flogas at the Dublin Racing Festival would be logical targets before Cheltenham and would ultimately decide his destination at the festival itself.

Bob Olinger (Nov Chaser)

Bob Olinger ran away with the Ballymore last season at the festival, he faced little beforehand, and imo this wasn’t a great renewal, However he did go and do it on the track and the result never looked in doubt.

I do see him as being a very smart novice chaser. For me what he did last season was a bonus, and with improvement expected, he looks a sure fire contender for the Marsh Novices Chase where early Members have backed him at odds of 25/1

As with James du Berlais, i would expect that the Grade 1 at limerick over Christmas and the Flogas at the Dublin Racing Festival would be logical targets before Cheltenham and the pair may well meet each other at either or both ofthe above races.

The trio of Bob olinger, James du berlias and Appreciate it, really would look to be the pick of the novice chasers, and I am very happy with the early work we have put in there.

Easysland (x country)

easysland seems to have been around a little while now, however he will still only be 8 by the time the Cheltenham Festival comes around again.

For a cross country specialist, he shouldn’t have reached his peak yet, where as a 12yo tiger roll should be on the decline with retirement beckoning.

It is not often that one comes out of the woodwork for this race.
It’s normally older horses on the decline sent here,  So this is where his value at 5/1 is clear. The Lack of opposition.

This year Easysland received a poor ride on ground that wasn’t to his liking, yet he still was the best of the rest behind tiger roll who was given a freebie. 

With More prominent riding tactics, with this year being a mistake they are unlikely to make again, for me this makes him the one to beat in the Glenfarclas Cross Country, it would be absolutely no suprise to see him at odds of 6/4 on the day with a run. 

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