By THIS TIME last year Members were just about to back our first selections, of which the first 2 were Sir Gerhard and Quilixios, We added to this selectively, and across the season we backed the likes of Apreciate it, Galvin, Black Tears and Mount Ida, with placed horses in Elimay, Haut En Couleurs and the bosses Oscar.
While the FREE horses to follow provided such winners, as Galopin Des Champs in the Martin Pipe, whilst noting Bob Ollinger, Gaillard Du Mesnil and Haut En Couleurs.
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 throughout.
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 to 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 maybe more likely, 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.
Shewearsitwell (Mares/Coral cup)
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.
At the moment, 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.
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 bought 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 immediate. Furthermore he showed himself to be an accurate jumper 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 potentially value for 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, Whiskey Wealth 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.
I am maximus (Supreme)
I am maximus to get straight to the point, looked an absolute cracking bet at 50/1 with cash out for the Supreme Novice.
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 cash out, surely likely to to have made an early move that could well give them a free run each time, with the likely hood of getting their money back should he disappoint up in grade, being very high.
Of course 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.
Lynwood Gold (Handicap Hurdle)
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.
Haxo (wild card)
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.
Holly/Harmonie star (MNH)
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 a 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.
Holly is with Jonjo O’Neil, 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 (Mares Nov)
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.https://www.arqana.com/equidiavideo/index.php?horse=IDOLES%20DES%20JEUNES
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.
It’s a great start to the meeting. I couldn’t believe that he won so easy. Things were looking a bit tough rounding the last bend in Leopardstown (last month) and we were wondering whether he’d left his best performance of the year there (at Christmas), so we just brought home and freshened him up and it seems to have worked. The way he finished the race today he looks as good as any of our previous winners of the race — it was a Vautour-like performance. W P Mullins
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.
It is also worth noting that the Marsh Novices chase would also 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.
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 with the result never looking in doubt.
“I’m delighted with him. Rachael was brilliant on him again and he couldn’t have done it any better. He’s a horse we’ve always liked. He’s done very little wrong and he’s very exciting. I started the season aiming at the Supreme, but everyone persuaded me, quite rightly, to step up in trip. We were very hopeful coming here, but it was obviously a very good race and you never know on the day.”
Henry De Bromhead
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 the likes of James du Berlais, and possibly Klassical dream, i would expect that the Grade 1 at limerick over Christmas and the Flogas at the Dublin Racing Festival would be logical targets for Bob Ollinger before Cheltenham, while the trio may well meet each other at either or both of the above races.
Members will know that i felt we lacked in early Novice Chase bets, which has been rectified this season, with 20/1 taken on Appreciate for the Arkle, and 25/1 Taken on Bob ollinger for the Marsh Novices chase, with both bets placed the day before the Supreme and Ballymore Respectively.
To date we have added to the above selectively, with bets on the Mares Nov, RSA, and Gold Cup. With plenty more bets to come, with the National Hunt season, only just about to start. Where I have given us our own head start with the extensive 60 Members National Hunt Horses to Follow.
I decided to limit Members to 25 as per last season, and Closed the option to be able to pay and join via site in April, while I have monitored how the market reacts to our selections, I have been happy with this, with current bets who are yet to run, either holding their price or being close to it.
Therefore I have now decided to open up just 5 more places for Chelt Membership, as planned, with absolutely no obligation to join. For more information please feel free to contact me via email: email@example.com.