Allégorie de Vassy
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.
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 reason i have mentioned her French runs, rather than what she has showed over here, is that Allégorie de Vassy has shown remarkable improvement with each and every run, and she has gained valuable experience over the fixed brush hurdles. The hurdles in France are far more demanding and are a very good pointer towards the probability of her jumping a fence well.
I know she’s sound, and she is going chasing, and she’d have probably gone atleast pretty close in the mares Nov last season where we were the ones that initially added her to that market.
She is very sizable, and she has always looked a chaser to my eye. She is bound to be very solid especially in Mares Races, and Imo this is the first time that Elimay has become very much there for the taking. I’d be confident enough that connections would be keen to run in the easiest possible race. Which this is, and that’s why I have put her up to members earlier on at around twice her current odds in the market. Despite now being fav, she has very valid claims.
There is optimism that he can get out and build upon some of his hurdles experience, as i felt he was still very raw and green last season and he has not yet physically grown in to his sizeable frame, to allow him to see out a test of stamina particualrly well. It looks very much as if the off season should do him the world of good, and he could be a decent force over fences this season, assuming that’s the way he goes.
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 really do what he did at the back of the last fence if you have a fair bit in hand on your oppostion, and He was well touted beforehand. However looking back, its a good job he was so impressive, as the form of this race was poor.
His run at punchestown at the tail end of season looked a step forward from him in calmer waters. He was late out last season, so he was pretty much thrown in to fairly deep company on route to Cheltenham , where at face value he wasn’t particularly dissapointing unless you was aware of his very lofty price tag.
Classic Getaway should progress further this season and he could well be a useful Novice chase prospect for the season ahead.
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 picked up an injury to miss all of last season, however he could make in to a smart individual over obstacles. His 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 in bumpers. Midnight moon, Neon Moon and Imperial storm have all made the form look ok, however 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.
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, and she was subsequently kept back to strengthen up for this season.
Foxy Girl went off favourite in her juvenile hurdle 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 plenty 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 enough, and she should make in to a useful Mares Novice hurdler for the season ahead.
Gaelic warrior ran 3 times in decent juvenile races in France prior to joining willie mullins where he has held right up, with the absolutely key point of being able to retain his novice status.
I had strongly fancied his chances in the boodles after finding out his uk mark, therefore i put him up at 25/1 Any race with the sole aim of the boodles which wasn’t priced up at that time.
We was arguable unfortunate not to get the victory, as he may well have won if Paul townend held his whip in his left hand, and kept to the rail. However the eventual winner managed to get himself in to a battle to the line and showed a willing attitude.
I was fairly suprised that Gaelic warrior was lined up so prominently as I had previously saw stamina rather than speed as his asset. So I wouldn’t be suprised at all to see him take a less prominent position this season while going up to the intermediate trip.
Gaelic warrior has the experience accrued to potentially make himself in to a viable contender for Grade Honours as a novice, where the ballymore Novices Hurdle may plausibly be where he ends up with a fighting chance to go one better than he did in handicap company last season.
Gaillard Du Mesnil
Gaillard Du Mesnil had been keen early in his career, though that has been far less noticeable with each and every run, and thats where his inprovement has been coming from, and he should continue to improve onwards from here.
At leopardstown In a 2m5 novice chase, he came home nicely to catch the eye behind the extremly smart galopin des champs, and the very useful Master Mcshee, so it wasn’t much of a suprise that he managed to get in to the frame in the RSA Chase, With him again stating on very well despite bing hampered, and running a race full of promise. I was happy with his runs for the season, So much so, that shortly after, i decided to put him up for this seasons National Hunt Chase at 16/1.
He stepped up in trip again to take in the Irish National, and he ran an absolute stormer in 3rd. He was short of room 2 out, he saw out the trip of 3m5F stoutly, snd came home the best horse at the weights, where he was gibmving over a stone away to frontal assualt who had always looked like he was going to go very close in a big pot.
Gaillard du mesnil imo has the absolutely perfect profile for the National Hunt Chase. I would be dissapointed if he dosent go there, and go very well. I think he would have and has a huge chance, so it is no suprise to see him now Favourite in the Ante-post Market.
Hollow Games has always looked a chaser, he ran a stormer in the Martin Pipe while wanting further, and he will almost certainly go chasing.
I feel strongly that he will improve for a fence and also pretty strongly that the National Hunt Chase would look to be his race, so where as Gaillard Du Mesnil would look a near sure fire contender that has been found in the market, Hollow games looks one that could tumble markedly down from 25/1 taking In to account his ptp background and his decent showing over hurdles within strong company.
Gordon Elliot holds almost all the cards on the Amateur riders, and hollow games would be certain to get a good Amateur rider on board, should he indeed end up where I think he may well.
Matterhorn joined the team of Paul Nicholls last season, and 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 a solid look to his form.
Matterhorn would look to be a real player in normal novice hurdles this season, and it wouldnt be outrageous to think that he could well turn in to a betfair hurdle type. His one run on the board already, will help in that regard.
Mister policemen was puchased privately for €120,000 to PB Bloodstock Services for willie mullins and the ricci’s. He had initially finished 4th in a race where the 2nd has been purchased to run over here, however he then went on to run out an easy winner on his second start at Fontainebleu.
He was prominent throughout while disputing 2nd, and was positioned well on the inside to take the lead on the left handed bend. He jumped well and safely throughout, and that was no different at the last, he gave it a bit of air, then responded nicely under hands and heels out the back of it, to draw away for a cosy victory over Mon Vieux and Speed lucky.
The 2nd had been 9th on his prior start, and the 3rd has subsequently finished 6th before winning a weak novice hurdle at LION D’ANGERS. So the form wouldn’t be of the greatest standard, however he won easily, and has showed a eilling attitude, so he would potentially look open to improvement when going out in distance possibly in handicap company down the line for something like the Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Hurdle.
Vauban was a Listed winner at Vichy in July, officially rated 104 on the Flat, its no suprise that he was very classy over hurdles, and there would be absolutely no doubt that he was the best juvenile hurdler in the land.
He won very nicely in the triumph hurdle which i put him up for at 25/1 last season, and beforehand I had already elected to make the fairly bold call to put him up for this years CH at 16/1. He has subsequently absolutely hosed up at punchestown, to cruise past Fil D’or pretty much hard held, so i will be bold and say that i genuinely think that he is the best Champion Hurdle prospect as a juvenile since our connor.
With that said, make no mistake, it is an almight leap up to to the heights of Honeysuckle, and It would be outrageous to think that he would take her scalp before Cheltenham, so I just hope that he is still live when he rocks up to the champion hurdle. I am genuinely very excited about him, and I can deffinately see where he improves, so hopefully he does just that, and he may not be far away.
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It won’t be long at all before we get in to full swing for the NH season, and for any members reading, there will be a further members update pending shortly to the Members NH HTF.