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  1. #1

    Pertemps Network Final 2019

    Quite a unique race to examine with the qualifying system as it is. As always, a number of qualifiers across Britain and Ireland with the top 6 in each race qualifying for the final. Thanks to Jono for providing a list of last year’s qualifiers which I’ve used as a starting point to hunt out the corresponding fixtures this season. I did find an ‘extra’ race at Market Rasen (22nd Nov) which looks to be a new qualifier in the calendar. Apologies if I’ve missed any others. By my reckoning we’ve had 10 of them so far, 9 in the UK and 1 in Ireland.

    First let’s take a look at the top 3 from the last 5 renewals…

    2018
    OR Range 135-155
    1st Delta Work (139) – Q 3rd Punc (Feb)
    2nd Glenloe (137) – Q 3rd Leop (Dec)
    3rd Connetable (136) – Q 2nd Sand (Dec) / 3rd Muss (Feb)

    2017
    OR Range 137-147
    1st Presenting Percy (146) – Q 5th Leop (Dec) / 4th Punc (Feb)
    2nd Barney Dwan (143) – Q 4th Exe (Feb)
    3rd Jury Duty (145) – Q 2nd Chep (Feb)

    2016
    OR Range 135-154
    1st Mall Dini (139) – Q 4th Leop (Dec) / 3rd Punc (Feb)
    2nd Arpege D’Alene (146) – 1st Chep (Feb)
    3rd If In Doubt (146) – 1st Winc (Dec)

    2015
    OR Range 135-152
    1st Call The Cops (138) – Q 4th Kemp (Nov)
    2nd Unique De Cotte (135) – Q 5th Newb (Nov)
    3rd The Tourard Man (135) – Q 3rd Exe (Feb)

    2014
    OR Range 135-148
    1st Fingal Bay (148) – Q 1st Exe (Feb)
    2nd Southfield Theatre (147) – Q 3rd Winc (Dec)
    3rd Pineau De Re (140) – 2nd Carl (Dec)

    So what can we take from the last 5 years…
    - The placed horses from Leopardstown and Punchestown need a great deal of attention.
    - A rating of 135 looks a good estimate of the cut-off point for getting into the race.
    - All of the last 5 winners had run in February (Call The Cops qualified in Nov but won a handicap at Donny in Feb as he needed a ratings boost to get in).
    - Those who win qualifiers have not fared particularly well. Those who won qualifiers and figured prominently in the Final were very unexposed types. Fingal Bay and Arpege D’Alene were both having their 1st and 2nd starts (qual>final) in handicap hurdles after reverting from novice chases. If In Doubt was making use of a lenient hurdle mark having got to 150+ over fences.

    With the Punchestown race still to come let’s take a look at the Irish challenge from Leopardstown:

    1st Cuneo (IR 133) – Having won a qualifier he isn’t obviously hitting the trend. That said, the qualifier he won was his first start in a handicap hurdle so there are plenty of arguments for him being unexposed. Inexperience could be a concern though, as the other winners of qualifiers discussed above had all had a full novice hurdle season and, although novices have done well in recent years, Delta Work, Presenting Percy and Mall Dini had all amassed more experience in graded and/or handicap hurdles. I’d personally be swerving him.

    2nd Walk To Freedom (IR 142) – Had 16 months off the track after looking a half decent novice chaser. Beat De Name Escapes Me nicely at Navan over 2m6f in Nov before a staying on 4th of 20 behind Salty Boy in another decent handicap when likely not suited by stepping down to 2m4f. Upped to 3m in this qualifier he was again finishing very well for a never nearer 2nd. That’s 3 solid runs back to back in competitive handicaps and a strong festival trainer in Jessie. 33/1 with WH, whilst not NRNB, is pretty appealing.

    3rd Thermistocles (IR 131) – Hard to weigh this one up. A 2nd season novice who was only 3L behind Dortmund Park in a maiden last season but was put away in Feb (after well beaten in another maiden). Came back out in Oct and was a pretty distant 3rd to a winner that hasn’t landed a blow in 4 runs since. However, he was stepped up in trip to 3m and into handicap company and won at Clonmel (albeit a fairly modest race) before what has to be a career best in this qualifier. A slow burner? More to come? Likely to be right on the cusp of getting in at this point so perhaps they’ll give him another run out. Too many question marks for my liking at this stage but you can get 50/1 so I can see why some are appealed.

    4th Satoshi (IR 125) – Needs a boost in the ratings which is what they would have hoped for at the weekend but he was a disappointing well-backed favourite. Likely to come out and try again but will need to win something fairly impressively to put himself within range of getting in. His profile has some appeal though after fighting out the finish of a maiden with Cuneo and Relegate in Nov before a close 3rd over what I would think is an inadequate 2m behind Inca Gold and Entoucas (who was then 2nd in Klassical Dream’s maiden). He was then tried at grade 2 level before finishing 4th in this qualifier under Conor Orr. I mentioned him on the MP thread as I thought Conor Orr’s experience on him could be interesting. As I said though, the crucial thing for him is getting his mark raised.

    5th Rock De Baune (IR 121) – Beat Klassical Dream in France once upon a time but has done very little so far in Ireland and his mark looks to be way too low.

    6th Sire Du Berlais (IR 142) – A glaringly obvious candidate for a trainer who had the winner last year and 3rd the year before. Has festival form with a staying on 4th behind Blow By Blow in last year’s MP and has qualified with a nice quiet never threatening 6th. He’ll no doubt go straight to the festival and it’s hard to see him not going off favourite. Well done to those on at big prices but if you’ve missed the boat (as I have) then 10s is hard to get excited about.

    Judging by the last 3 years there’s a damn good chance one of these 6 horses will at least hit the places come March and at this stage I’d be with Sire Du Berlais and Walk To Freedom.

    All eyes on Punchestown in Feb then to see what else can complete the Irish contingent. One I’d be keen to see in that race is A Great View who was a strong finishing 6th in the race last year before winning at the Punchestown festival. He could only manage 9th in the Leopardstown qualifier so needs to try again in February.

    Of course everyone is scrambling to find the next Irish plot but at some point the Brits will take the race again. So let’s see how that challenge looks so far:

    27th October – Cheltenham
    1st The Mighty Don – well beaten in the Final off 137 last year and now rated 150 after 3rd and 4th behind UNWIMH and Paisley Park. Will probably have a stab at Stayers now, I couldn’t have him in this off 150.
    2nd Sykes – thrashed in the race last year and no reason to expect significant improvement.
    3rd Dawn Raider – an Irish challenger for Patrick Kelly who has obviously won the Final twice in the last 3 years. Was a staying on 3rd in this qualifier off a mark of just 128, but you’d like to think this performance would be worthy of a rise in the handicap. Whether it’s worthy of the 7 or 8lb he’d likely need is doubtful and there has to be a good chance he won’t get in.
    4th Theclockisticking – gone chasing and yet to convince over 3m.
    5th Max Forte – too lowly rated.
    6th Aaron Lad – Rocketed from 124 to 142 which has to be a worry. The percentage call is that he’s now too exposed but the trainer has done well in this race before.

    8th November – Newbury
    1st Jersey Bean – took a real hike this season and PU last time out. You couldn’t have him off the back of that.
    2nd Bobo Mac – well beaten last twice and looks too low in the handicap anyway.
    3rd Moon Racer – 9th in last year’s County before winning a handicap upped to 2m5f at Ayr. Wouldn’t say he proved he stayed 3m in this qualifier and has since been well beaten over fences. Now a 10yo and he will have his supporters but I won’t be one of them.
    4th Dingo Dollar – this was surely just a spin over hurdles in prep for the Hennessy, if he’s at Cheltenham it will likely be in the Ultima. Hurdle mark is 6lb below chase mark though so if they win the Skybet with him next week they could possibly look at reverting to hurdles for Cheltenham to exploit that mark. Wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.
    5th Splash Of Ginge – hurdle mark is below that which he was 2nd off in the Plate last season but he’s 11 now and not won over hurdles for over 2 years.
    6th Label Des Obeaux – expect he’ll go back over fences. Has been disappointing now for some time.

    10th November – Aintree
    1st Abolitionist – Made light work of lowly hurdles mark. Up to 134 but that is still way short of his chase mark. Is not guaranteed to get in the race but must be a danger to all if he sneaks in.
    2nd The Organist – 5th in last year’s Coral Cup. Guaranteed to get in and this is surely the firm target this time.
    3rd Jacks Last Hope – exposed, not good enough
    4th William Of Orange – exposed, won’t get in
    5th Jeannot De Nonant – exposed, won’t get in
    6th Regal Encore – not known as a hurdler and more miss than hit

    12th November – Kempton
    1st Younevercall – up to a whopping 155. Takes a leap of faith to think he’d good enough to defy that kind of rating.
    2nd Canyon City – too lowly rated.
    3rd The Sweeney – too lowly rated.
    4th Potterman – too lowly rated.
    5th Boite – out the back in the Final last year, down the weights but out of form.
    6th Dans Le Vent – too lowly rated.

    22nd November – Market Rasen
    1st Aaron Lad – discussed earlier.
    2nd Jersey Bean – discussed earlier.
    3rd Clondaw Native – too lowly rated.
    4th Florrie Knox – too lowly rated.
    5th Perfect Man – too lowly rated.
    6th Townshend – too lowly rated.

    8th December – Sandown
    1st Eminent Poet – career high mark and needs heavy ground.
    2nd Another Emotion – too lowly rated.
    3rd Loose Chips – too lowly rated.
    4th Ice Cool Champs – too lowly rated.
    5th Volt Face – too lowly rate.
    6th Holly Bush Henry – too lowly rated.

    16th December – Carlisle
    1st Isaacstown Lad – too lowly rated.
    2nd Lord Du Mesnil – too lowly rated.
    3rd Flashjack – too lowly rated.
    4th Mac N Cheese – too lowly rated.
    5th Aspen Colorado – 2 handicap hurdle wins at Carlisle since switched to Jonjo and could sneak in right at the bottom of the weights. Hasn’t proved he stays 3m though and he’s the type to be way too short in the betting based on his colours.
    6th Big River – talented horse better known as a chaser. Has looked best dominating small fields and doesn’t strike me as the type for this sort of test.

    26th December – Wincanton
    1st Padleyourowncanoe – yet to race over 3m and this qualifier victory came under a 10lb claimer. Has festival form with a keeping on 4th in the Fred Winter last season. Only a 5yo so could progress but 2m 5f around Wincanton is a far cry from this race and he doesn’t look like he’s craving this kind of test.
    2nd Monbeg Theatre – a course and distance winner last April but that was off 125 and now on a career high 148. Looks like an exposed 10yo.
    3rd Wait For Me – well beaten in the final last year off 142 and now down 5lb. This 3rd place was off the back of a wind op and was slightly more promising but is highly tried in these kind of races and looks hard to win with.
    4th Black Mischief – handicapper looked to have caught up with him last time and yet to try 3m.
    5th Rhythm Is A Dancer – too lowly rated.
    6th Coole Cody – was a promising novice hurdler in 2017 but has shown little in 3 runs this season. Could be coming down to an attractive mark for something, but I doubt it’s for this.


    12th January – Warwick
    1st Keeper Hill – very talented novice hurdler in 2017 and had a decent start to life over fences last season before it all went a bit wrong. Back hurdling this season and has put 2 good runs together in 3m handicaps and 144 doesn’t look silly. Has been given an entry in the Stayers so they clearly think he retains a lot of talent and he remains a horse of interest.
    2nd Oh Land Abloom – too lowly rated.
    3rd First Assignment – has leapt 17lb this season and that seemed to anchor him in this qualifier. A talented horse with not many miles on the clock but could be a victim of his early season form and needs to progress again.
    4th Notwhatiam – travelling well in the Cheltenham qualifier when falling but made amends next time at Uttoxeter. Not disgraced in 3rd behind Midnight Shadow after that over a trip that is probably inadequate and then was running on well in this qualifier last time out when 4L 4th. Is right on the cusp on 135 and he is of interest for Dan Skelton.
    5th Lungarno Palace – still inexperienced and has run a few creditable races since switched to Fergal O’Brien. Too lowly rated though and he’s one for something else lower key.
    6th Perfect Man – 1 or 2 promising performances since moved to Olly Murphy but another too lowly rated and with an inclination to get outpaced.

    Summarising the UK challenge, the only ones I’m properly interested in so far are:

    Abolitionist 20/1 – Made a mockery of his hurdle rating when dotting up in the Aintree qualifier. Still on a pretty lowly 134 and would have to be of interest if sneaking in at the bottom for a trainer who prepped one for the National in this race previously when Pineau De Re was a nk 3rd to Fingal Bay in 2014. Abolitionist is following a similar path but he would HAVE to be nrnb (only 14/1) from a mark that wouldn’t have got in the race in recent years.

    The Organist 25/1 – 10L 2nd to Abolitionist in the Aintree qualifier and remains on the same mark off which she was a close up 5th in the Coral Cup. I know many fancied her for the Pertemps last year before being re-routed but it’s surely the Pertemps this year and her 2 most recent career victories have come over 3m. She has to be tempting at 25/1.

    I’d give honourable mentions to Keeper Hill (20/1), Dawn Raider (Irish I know, but discussed here as he ran in a British quali - 25/1) and Notwhatiam (33/1). Essentially nothing else interests me from the UK qualifiers.

    6 more to come…
    25th January – Huntingdon
    3rd February – Musselburgh
    10th February – Exeter
    16th February – Haydock
    20th February – Punchestown
    23rd February – Chepstow

    1 bet so far but small stakes at this stage without NRNB:
    Walk To Freedom @ 33/1
    Last edited by Viking Flagship; 01-18-2019 at 04:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Viking Flagship View Post
    Quite a unique race to examine with the qualifying system as it is. As always, a number of qualifiers across Britain and Ireland with the top 6 in each race qualifying for the final. Thanks to Jono for providing a list of last year’s qualifiers which I’ve used as a starting point to hunt out the corresponding fixtures this season. I did find an ‘extra’ race at Market Rasen (22nd Nov) which looks to be a new qualifier in the calendar. Apologies if I’ve missed any others. By my reckoning we’ve had 10 of them so far, 9 in the UK and 1 in Ireland.

    First let’s take a look at the top 3 from the last 5 renewals…

    2018
    OR Range 135-155
    1st Delta Work (139) – Q 3rd Punc (Feb)
    2nd Glenloe (137) – Q 3rd Leop (Dec)
    3rd Connetable (136) – Q 2nd Sand (Dec) / 3rd Muss (Feb)

    2017
    OR Range 137-147
    1st Presenting Percy (146) – Q 5th Leop (Dec) / 4th Punc (Feb)
    2nd Barney Dwan (143) – Q 4th Exe (Feb)
    3rd Jury Duty (145) – Q 2nd Chep (Feb)

    2016
    OR Range 135-154
    1st Mall Dini (139) – Q 4th Leop (Dec) / 3rd Punc (Feb)
    2nd Arpege D’Alene (146) – 1st Chep (Feb)
    3rd If In Doubt (146) – 1st Winc (Dec)

    2015
    OR Range 135-152
    1st Call The Cops (138) – Q 4th Kemp (Nov)
    2nd Unique De Cotte (135) – Q 5th Newb (Nov)
    3rd The Tourard Man (135) – Q 3rd Exe (Feb)

    2014
    OR Range 135-148
    1st Fingal Bay (148) – Q 1st Exe (Feb)
    2nd Southfield Theatre (147) – Q 3rd Winc (Dec)
    3rd Pineau De Re (140) – 2nd Carl (Dec)

    So what can we take from the last 5 years…
    - The placed horses from Leopardstown and Punchestown need a great deal of attention.
    - A rating of 135 looks a good estimate of the cut-off point for getting into the race.
    - All of the last 5 winners had run in February (Call The Cops qualified in Nov but won a handicap at Donny in Feb as he needed a ratings boost to get in).
    - Those who win qualifiers have not fared particularly well. Those who won qualifiers and figured prominently in the Final were very unexposed types. Fingal Bay and Arpege D’Alene were both having their 1st and 2nd starts (qual>final) in handicap hurdles after reverting from novice chases. If In Doubt was making use of a lenient hurdle mark having got to 150+ over fences.

    With the Punchestown race still to come let’s take a look at the Irish challenge from Leopardstown:

    1st Cuneo (IR 133) – Having won a qualifier he isn’t obviously hitting the trend. That said, the qualifier he won was his first start in a handicap hurdle so there are plenty of arguments for him being unexposed. Inexperience could be a concern though, as the other winners of qualifiers discussed above had all had a full novice hurdle season and, although novices have done well in recent years, Delta Work, Presenting Percy and Mall Dini had all amassed more experience in graded and/or handicap hurdles. I’d personally be swerving him.

    2nd Walk To Freedom (IR 142) – Had 16 months off the track after looking a half decent novice chaser. Beat De Name Escapes Me nicely at Navan over 2m6f in Nov before a staying on 4th of 20 behind Salty Boy in another decent handicap when likely not suited by stepping down to 2m4f. Upped to 3m in this qualifier he was again finishing very well for a never nearer 2nd. That’s 3 solid runs back to back in competitive handicaps and a strong festival trainer in Jessie. 33/1 with WH, whilst not NRNB, is pretty appealing.

    3rd Thermistocles (IR 131) – Hard to weigh this one up. A 2nd season novice who was only 3L behind Dortmund Park in a maiden last season but was put away in Feb (after well beaten in another maiden). Came back out in Oct and was a pretty distant 3rd to a winner that hasn’t landed a blow in 4 runs since. However, he was stepped up in trip to 3m and into handicap company and won at Clonmel (albeit a fairly modest race) before what has to be a career best in this qualifier. A slow burner? More to come? Likely to be right on the cusp of getting in at this point so perhaps they’ll give him another run out. Too many question marks for my liking at this stage but you can get 50/1 so I can see why some are appealed.

    4th Satoshi (IR 125) – Needs a boost in the ratings which is what they would have hoped for at the weekend but he was a disappointing well-backed favourite. Likely to come out and try again but will need to win something fairly impressively to put himself within range of getting in. His profile has some appeal though after fighting out the finish of a maiden with Cuneo and Relegate in Nov before a close 3rd over what I would think is an inadequate 2m behind Inca Gold and Entoucas (who was then 2nd in Klassical Dream’s maiden). He was then tried at grade 2 level before finishing 4th in this qualifier under Conor Orr. I mentioned him on the MP thread as I thought Conor Orr’s experience on him could be interesting. As I said though, the crucial thing for him is getting his mark raised.

    5th Rock De Baune (IR 121) – Beat Klassical Dream in France once upon a time but has done very little so far in Ireland and his mark looks to be way too low.

    6th Sire Du Berlais (IR 142) – A glaringly obvious candidate for a trainer who had the winner last year and 3rd the year before. Has festival form with a staying on 4th behind Blow By Blow in last year’s MP and has qualified with a nice quiet never threatening 6th. He’ll no doubt go straight to the festival and it’s hard to see him not going off favourite. Well done to those on at big prices but if you’ve missed the boat (as I have) then 10s is hard to get excited about.

    Judging by the last 3 years there’s a damn good chance one of these 6 horses will at least hit the places come March and at this stage I’d be with Sire Du Berlais and Walk To Freedom.

    All eyes on Punchestown in Feb then to see what else can complete the Irish contingent. One I’d be keen to see in that race is A Great View who was a strong finishing 6th in the race last year before winning at the Punchestown festival. He could only manage 9th in the Leopardstown qualifier so needs to try again in February.

    Of course everyone is scrambling to find the next Irish plot but at some point the Brits will take the race again. So let’s see how that challenge looks so far:

    27th October – Cheltenham
    1st The Mighty Don – well beaten in the Final off 137 last year and now rated 150 after 3rd and 4th behind UNWIMH and Paisley Park. Will probably have a stab at Stayers now, I couldn’t have him in this off 150.
    2nd Sykes – thrashed in the race last year and no reason to expect significant improvement.
    3rd Dawn Raider – an Irish challenger for Patrick Kelly who has obviously won the Final twice in the last 3 years. Was a staying on 3rd in this qualifier off a mark of just 128, but you’d like to think this performance would be worthy of a rise in the handicap. Whether it’s worthy of the 7 or 8lb he’d likely need is doubtful and there has to be a good chance he won’t get in.
    4th Theclockisticking – gone chasing and yet to convince over 3m.
    5th Max Forte – too lowly rated.
    6th Aaron Lad – Rocketed from 124 to 142 which has to be a worry. The percentage call is that he’s now too exposed but the trainer has done well in this race before.

    8th November – Newbury
    1st Jersey Bean – took a real hike this season and PU last time out. You couldn’t have him off the back of that.
    2nd Bobo Mac – well beaten last twice and looks too low in the handicap anyway.
    3rd Moon Racer – 9th in last year’s County before winning a handicap upped to 2m5f at Ayr. Wouldn’t say he proved he stayed 3m in this qualifier and has since been well beaten over fences. Now a 10yo and he will have his supporters but I won’t be one of them.
    4th Dingo Dollar – this was surely just a spin over hurdles in prep for the Hennessy, if he’s at Cheltenham it will likely be in the Ultima. Hurdle mark is 6lb below chase mark though so if they win the Skybet with him next week they could possibly look at reverting to hurdles for Cheltenham to exploit that mark. Wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.
    5th Splash Of Ginge – hurdle mark is below that which he was 2nd off in the Plate last season but he’s 11 now and not won over hurdles for over 2 years.
    6th Label Des Obeaux – expect he’ll go back over fences. Has been disappointing now for some time.

    10th November – Aintree
    1st Abolitionist – Made light work of lowly hurdles mark. Up to 134 but that is still way short of his chase mark. Is not guaranteed to get in the race but must be a danger to all if he sneaks in.
    2nd The Organist – 5th in last year’s Coral Cup. Guaranteed to get in and this is surely the firm target this time.
    3rd Jacks Last Hope – exposed, not good enough
    4th William Of Orange – exposed, won’t get in
    5th Jeannot De Nonant – exposed, won’t get in
    6th Regal Encore – not known as a hurdler and more miss than hit

    12th November – Kempton
    1st Younevercall – up to a whopping 155. Takes a leap of faith to think he’d good enough to defy that kind of rating.
    2nd Canyon City – too lowly rated.
    3rd The Sweeney – too lowly rated.
    4th Potterman – too lowly rated.
    5th Boite – out the back in the Final last year, down the weights but out of form.
    6th Dans Le Vent – too lowly rated.

    22nd November – Market Rasen
    1st Aaron Lad – discussed earlier.
    2nd Jersey Bean – discussed earlier.
    3rd Clondaw Native – too lowly rated.
    4th Florrie Knox – too lowly rated.
    5th Perfect Man – too lowly rated.
    6th Townshend – too lowly rated.

    8th December – Sandown
    1st Eminent Poet – career high mark and needs heavy ground.
    2nd Another Emotion – too lowly rated.
    3rd Loose Chips – too lowly rated.
    4th Ice Cool Champs – too lowly rated.
    5th Volt Face – too lowly rate.
    6th Holly Bush Henry – too lowly rated.

    16th December – Carlisle
    1st Isaacstown Lad – too lowly rated.
    2nd Lord Du Mesnil – too lowly rated.
    3rd Flashjack – too lowly rated.
    4th Mac N Cheese – too lowly rated.
    5th Aspen Colorado – 2 handicap hurdle wins at Carlisle since switched to Jonjo and could sneak in right at the bottom of the weights. Hasn’t proved he stays 3m though and he’s the type to be way too short in the betting based on his colours.
    6th Big River – talented horse better known as a chaser. Has looked best dominating small fields and doesn’t strike me as the type for this sort of test.

    26th December – Wincanton
    1st Padleyourowncanoe – yet to race over 3m and this qualifier victory came under a 10lb claimer. Has festival form with a keeping on 4th in the Fred Winter last season. Only a 5yo so could progress but 2m 5f around Wincanton is a far cry from this race and he doesn’t look like he’s craving this kind of test.
    2nd Monbeg Theatre – a course and distance winner last April but that was off 125 and now on a career high 148. Looks like an exposed 10yo.
    3rd Wait For Me – well beaten in the final last year off 142 and now down 5lb. This 3rd place was off the back of a wind op and was slightly more promising but is highly tried in these kind of races and looks hard to win with.
    4th Black Mischief – handicapper looked to have caught up with him last time and yet to try 3m.
    5th Rhythm Is A Dancer – too lowly rated.
    6th Coole Cody – was a promising novice hurdler in 2017 but has shown little in 3 runs this season. Could be coming down to an attractive mark for something, but I doubt it’s for this.


    12th January – Warwick
    1st Keeper Hill – very talented novice hurdler in 2017 and had a decent start to life over fences last season before it all went a bit wrong. Back hurdling this season and has put 2 good runs together in 3m handicaps and 144 doesn’t look silly. Has been given an entry in the Stayers so they clearly think he retains a lot of talent and he remains a horse of interest.
    2nd Oh Land Abloom – too lowly rated.
    3rd First Assignment – has leapt 17lb this season and that seemed to anchor him in this qualifier. A talented horse with not many miles on the clock but could be a victim of his early season form and needs to progress again.
    4th Notwhatiam – travelling well in the Cheltenham qualifier when falling but made amends next time at Uttoxeter. Not disgraced in 3rd behind Midnight Shadow after that over a trip that is probably inadequate and then was running on well in this qualifier last time out when 4L 4th. Is right on the cusp on 135 and he is of interest for Dan Skelton.
    5th Lungarno Palace – still inexperienced and has run a few creditable races since switched to Fergal O’Brien. Too lowly rated though and he’s one for something else lower key.
    6th Perfect Man – 1 or 2 promising performances since moved to Olly Murphy but another too lowly rated and with an inclination to get outpaced.

    Summarising the UK challenge, the only ones I’m properly interested in so far are:

    Abolitionist 20/1 – Made a mockery of his hurdle rating when dotting up in the Aintree qualifier. Still on a pretty lowly 134 and would have to be of interest if sneaking in at the bottom for a trainer who prepped one for the National in this race previously when Pineau De Re was a nk 3rd to Fingal Bay in 2014. Abolitionist is following a similar path but he would HAVE to be nrnb (only 14/1) from a mark that wouldn’t have got in the race in recent years.

    The Organist 25/1 – 10L 2nd to Abolitionist in the Aintree qualifier and remains on the same mark off which she was a close up 5th in the Coral Cup. I know many fancied her for the Pertemps last year before being re-routed but it’s surely the Pertemps this year and her 2 most recent career victories have come over 3m. She has to be tempting at 25/1.

    I’d give honourable mentions to Keeper Hill (20/1), Dawn Raider (Irish I know, but discussed here as he ran in a British quali - 25/1) and Notwhatiam (33/1). Essentially nothing else interests me from the UK qualifiers.

    6 more to come…
    25th January – Huntingdon
    3rd February – Musselburgh
    10th February – Exeter
    16th February – Haydock
    20th February – Punchestown
    23rd February – Chepstow

    1 bet so far but small stakes at this stage without NRNB:
    Walk To Freedom @ 33/1
    Lovely stuff again VK.
    Already backed WTF already and got 27s on Sire du berlais straight after race mentioned on here.
    I've since added Aaron Lad at 18-1, as it was the only real potentially unexposed one I could see, but I'll be looking at one or two you've mentioned.

  3. #3
    Cracking effort again VF much appreciated!

    That Hills pricd on WTF is pretty stand out and can be boosted to 37/1, he's a general 16 to 20/1 chance elsewhere. I wonder if it's still there as Hills prices for this race are not showing up on oddschecker
    Last edited by Rhinestone_Cowboy; 01-18-2019 at 05:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Top work VF.

    Lot of work and effort to get all of that down.

  5. #5
    Cheers fellas - it did get a little out of control!

    I like Aaron Lad Quevega but I feel going back-to-back-to-back in handicaps and ending that sequence in the Pertemps is a tough tough ask. I can see the appeal in him though.

  6. #6
    Excellent stuff VF

    'A rating of 135 looks a good estimate of the cut-off point for getting into the race.
    All of the last 5 winners had run in February (Call The Cops qualified in Nov but won a handicap at Donny in Feb as he needed a ratings boost to get in).'

    There was a stats a few years ago where, over a period of several years, half the handicaps at the festival were won by horses who won last time out which I always found odd, but as you have pointed out the compressed nature of the handicaps these days may mean horses need to win again in order to be guaranteed to get in so this is certainly something worth noting.
    As you rightly point out winners of the qualifiers rarely perform well.
    As you also rightly point out, the Irish qualifiers are the place to start...

  7. #7
    Top Amateur
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    Apr 2017
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    I can’t wait to lose money on Moon Racer again

  8. #8
    Cracking effort VF. Very informative, thanks

  9. #9
    Brilliant write up VF, absolutely brilliant. I agree with your selection of The Organist btw.

  10. #10
    Top Amateur
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    272
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinestone_Cowboy View Post
    Cracking effort again VF much appreciated!

    That Hills pricd on WTF is pretty stand out and can be boosted to 37/1, he's a general 16 to 20/1 chance elsewhere. I wonder if it's still there as Hills prices for this race are not showing up on oddschecker
    ....it’s still 33-1 with Hills, Matey.
    Last edited by Eggs; 01-18-2019 at 06:05 PM.

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