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  1. #31
    Professional Fat Jockey Lobos's Avatar
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    No need for me to try and pick the Triumph and Fred Winter winners in March......I'm just following Kot. Superb assessments and amazing results so far. Keep it up !

  2. #32
    Apprentice Fat Jockey (5lb claim) Kotkijet's Avatar
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    Ireland's second juvenile hurdle of the season takes place this coming Monday at Ballinrobe and the yards of Gordon Elliott and Noel Meade, who sent out the winner and runner up in last week's curtain raiser, are represented by another pair of newcomers. The fourth, sixth and ninth are also set to make a swift return to the fray. While the decent juvenile Clarcam started his hurdling career at this venue, Ballinrobe is not renowned for being the launchpad of future stars and Monday's race probably won't take too much winning. There is not a great deal of data from which to draw dosage information but the course's characteristics and average times, it would be one of the speedier racecourses and its sharp bends and downhill finish would not lend itself to big chasing types.

    A Mere Bagatelle bg John Joseph Hanlon f3-0-0 (56) 50 j1-0-0 (-) 89
    Born To Sea (Fasliyev){11}(4.00) 3/1 Kerawi 1st Christmas Hurdle (G1), Kempton 1997
    A Mere Bagatelle is one of four in this field with hurdles experience which he gained when beaten by forty lengths last week at Roscommon. He was 66/1 that day which on the basis of moderate flat form and a lengthy lay off seemed fair enough and the bare result also justifies the price. Nevertheless, he led for much of the way jumping well in the process and was entitled to fade given his absence. It would be peculiar to suggest that a horse whose is flattered by a flat rating of 56 comes here with a great chance but his case would not be a miserable one. Born To Sea is a good sire of juveniles, the cross with Fasliyev has created triple juvenile winner Malangen and trainer Shark Hanlon has won prize money with lower rated horses and enjoyed a double at Wexford earlier this week. There are still lingering stamina doubts but Ballinrobe is not a track which would exacerbate such fears. A Mere Bagatelle has already shown that he can jump and will strip fitter for last week's effort and while he would not have a favourite's chance, he should not be 66/1 again.

    Bass Reeves bg Noel Meade f6-0-0 (49) 59
    Es Que Love (Diesis){11-a}(1.00) 5/1 Old Vic leading National Hunt stallion
    One of two Noel Meade newcomers, Bass Reeves is the lower rated of the two with an official rating of 49. He started off with a mark of 58 which was earned when he finished last of eight in a Leopardstown maiden last July and he followed that by finishing well beaten in a pair of Curragh nurseries in the Autumn. His seasonal reappearance came in June when beating only two of seventeen home in a Leopardstown handicap and he has not been seen since. Es Que Love has only had the one juvenile this far (a maiden from four starts) and the Clodovil line has not really been tested although Diesis has a reasonable level success as a damsire. Noel Meade is always worthy of respect in the division and has won juveniles with lesser rated hometrained horses than Bass Reeves. However, the yard is not going through its brightest spell at the moment and the lack of jumping relatives on the damline offers no respite to this one's sallow profile.

    Belgoprince chg A J Martin f10-1-2 (70.4) 48 j1-0-0 (-) 79
    Prince Gibraltar (Bering){9-f}(0.82) 2/1 Golden Marvel jumps winner in US
    He is under the care of a tremendously experienced trainer in this sphere, brings the best flat form into the race, represents an interesting new stallion and has classy french juveniles on his Damline, yet Belgoprince's return to the track is not eagerly anticipated. Drifting from 12/1 in the morning to 25/1 at the off, Belgoprince missed the start, made little effort to join the pack and jumped as though he was having his first ever schooling session. He has the profile, attributes and build to be useful at this game but most people in the general public can only guess as to when that could be. The track may well be too sharp in any case and the yard is not currently among the winners so it might be inferred that he won't be winning on Monday. Nevertheless, if there is an avalanche of money for the horses then his prospects increase exponentially.

    Blue Sky Thinker bg Ross O'Sullivan f6-0-0 (40) 44
    French Navy (Giant's Causeway) {1-a}(1.60) no jumps relatives
    Finishing last or thereabouts in a trio of maidens last autumn, Blue Sky Thinker picked up where he left off, finishing close to the rear in three handicaps this summer. His rating of 40 is not an unfair one and his usual hold up tactics and lack of trackcraft will not suit him here. Ross O'Sullivan can train winning juveniles but is not especially prolific. French Navy is a first season juvenile sire but he is a half brother to decent hurdler Sea Lord and the Shamardal line is not bad for this division. Nevertheless he is still unproven and it would be quite the statement if his career as a jumps sire got off to a winning start.

    Calidus Mirabilis bg Joseph Patrick O'Brien f12-2-1 (68) 75 j1-0-0 (-) 108
    Hot Streak (Oasis Dream){4-j}(1.50) 4/5 La Limagne 1st Prix Tanerko Handicap Hurdle, Auteuil 2018
    Calidus Mirabilis brings the best jumps form into the race in the shape of his eighteen length fourth at Roscommon last week and his flat form is also near enough the best on offer in his field. He is respected almost by default for representing the Joseph O'Brien yard which while above average by class and success metrics, does not have an outstanding record given its ammunition. Calidus Mirabilis's jumping at Roscommon lacked fluency but not irredeemably so and can improve on the bare form at such a venue which does not demand a great deal of stamina. It is most unlikely that he will be a contender for any of the better races later on in the season but in a race which lacks strength in depth, he would be one of the likelier types.

    Cobb And Co grg M C Grassick f12-0-3 (64) 66
    Camacho (Verglas){8-h}(1.12) 2/1 Whiskey Sour 3rd/4th County Hurdle, Cheltenham 2018/19
    Initially a stablemate of Calidus Mirabilis, Cobb And Co left Owning Hill after four defeats in races no longer than six furlongs. His initial rating of 75 was stiff but after five more runs for his new yard had fallen by eleven pounds by the end of the year. Cobb And Co's return came in a seventeen runner Naas handicap over a mile where he made every yard up to final furlong before finishing a three and a half length second to a horse who was not disgraced in three subsequent handicaps off ten pounds higher. While Cobb And Co looked as though he would be swallowed by the field turning for home, he did not give up his lead without a fight and had enough to keep the rest of the field, including subsequent winners, at bay. Using the same forcing tactics next time at Fairyhouse over an extra two furlongs, he was once again headed within the final furlong by an easy winner who came out of nowhere but was again able to fend off the rest. The form of that race has not worked out particularly well and he was beaten into fifth at Galway last time out when stepping back down to a mile and half a furlong. The pace he set was a strong one, it was not until late on that he was headed and the impression was that he was outpaced at the finish rather than being particularly tired. Camacho has just fourteen juvenile hurdlers to his name but they include three useful winners in Mr Adjudicator, El Beau and Cafe Con Leche and the dam is a half sister to the very talented Whiskey Sour (Ambobo also appears at 5/4). If there is to be a concern, it is that the stable has not saddled a winner for over a year and is predominantly a flat yard although it does historically have a fair strike rate with its hurdlers. The pedigree makes plenty of appeal and while overall standard of form is sound in the context of this race, the attitude he demonstrated in those races was most striking and his ability to front run could serve him very well at this venue.

    Little Brother bg J A Nash f9-1-2 (57) 57 j1-0-0 (-) 87
    Gale Force Ten (Thunder Gulch){5-h}(3.00) 4/1 Salamah 3rd Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle, Ascot 1998
    Little Brother finished second best of those who ran at Roscommon last week although he was thirty-five lengths behind the winner and seventeen behind Calidus Mirabilis. He was backed into second favouritism from the 16/1 available in the morning but while he finished ahead of the eventual favourite and runner up in a handicap on the flat (and worse off at the weights), he did not give the impression that he had schooled particularly well or had a newly upgraded engine. It was not a bad debut outing but there was nothing to justify the gamble or, standard improvement notwithstanding, any particular excitement about his future prospects.

    Money Mike bg D Fitzgerald Unraced
    French Navy (Ivan Denisovich){1-a}(2.67) 3/2 Oscar Magic 1st Novice Handicap Hurdle (122), Haydock 2013
    Another son of French Navy, the unraced Money Mike is from a yard with no winning juveniles from five horses since 2011/12 and has an overall strike rate of 5% in hurdles. Ivan Denisovich's mares have not yet had competitors in juvenile hurdles but he did sire a couple of winners himself and Money Mike is distantly related to the likes of Black Jack Ketchum, Apache Jack and Fota Island (all 6/5). Overall, this is not a compelling profile for a racecourse debutant.

    Perry Owens bg Noel Meade f5-0-1 (70) 74
    Free Eagle (Time For A Change){9}(1.53) 2/1 Parker Ridge 1st Claiming Chase, Cagnes Sur Mer 2019
    The other Noel Meade runner, Perry Owens is rated a stone and a half superior to his stablemate although one would have to go back thirteen months to see any justification for such a rating. That career highlight came last July when he was third behind an 18/1 winning debutant in a seven furlong Roscommon maiden that has produced not one subsequent winner. In his next race, he was only three lengths behind a Cormorant that would eventually improve to win a Group 3 but taken as a whole, there is very little to get excited about during his two year old campaign. Following a gelding operation, Perry Owens returned in the middle of June in a fourteen runner ten furlong Leopardstown handicap but was always towards the rear when beating just the two home. Free Eagle is another sire having his first crop over hurdles but is an interesting prospect in the sphere being a son of High Chaparral from the family of Archive Footage, Unaccompanied and Plinth so his being unproven is not yet a negative. Furthermore, Perry Owens has good jumpers on his damline including Pythagore (3/3), Special Envoy (4/3), and Zapato (2/3) so on breeding, Perry Owens has a healthy pedigree. However, while it should be reiterated that Noel Meade commands respect in this division, both the form of his yard and of this charge are currently lacking.

    Thekeyisnottopanic bg C W J Farrell f3-0-0 (55) 49
    Rock Of Gibraltar (Areion){16-c}(2.43) 3/1 Salden Licht 3rd Aintree Hurdle (G1), Aintree 2011
    If carrying an amusing name was a key attribute in horse racing then this one would be among the favourites. However, the object is to get from one place to another quicker than the other horses which is something that Thekeyisnottopanic has struggled with thus far in his three attempts in maiden company this year. There have been good horses finishing a long way ahead of him such as Russian Emperor, Tiger Moth, Dawn Patrol and Amhran Na Bhfiann and Thekeyisnottopanic actually led the first named on his debut at Naas but his rating of 55 is harsh based on what he has produced up to this point. Rock Of Gibraltar is capable of siring juveniles and has a roughly average winners to runners rate but his overall strike rate of 6.77% and improvement rate of just 25% will not be of much use here. There are very good jumpers of German stock on the damline such as Saltas (3/1), Serienschock (3/2) and Sternrubin (4/3) but at this stage, his rivals won't have much reason to panic.

    Tommy The Hat chg D Broad f8-0-0 (57) 59
    Camacho (Pivotal){4-g}(2.38) .5 Blue Havana 9th Juvenile Hurdle, Market Rasen 2018
    Tommy The Hat is still a maiden after eight starts and has an official rating of just 57 but he has finished within five lengths of the winner on three occasions so is not always out with the washing. None of those races have been beyond a mile but on breeding there is reason to imagine him getting the trip here. Apart from disappointing last time, he is generally consistent but he would still be a fair way behind some of these on form and others have more compelling profiles.

    Voice Of Hope brg Andrew Slattery f7-0-0 (63) 72
    Poet's Voice (Montjeu){14-c}(0.82) 3/1 Pack The Punch 3rd Maiden Hurdle, Wexford 2015
    An unused reserve at Roscommon last week, Voice Of Hope was perhaps more entitled to run than a few of those who faced the starter that day. Voice Of Hope has Sholokhov (4/1) and Soldier Of Fortune (4/2) on his damline and sire Poet's Voice has produced handy juveniles such as Nietzsche and Cracker Factory. Unraced so far this season, he raced seven times last year although the best he managed was a fourth on his debut and his harsh looking initial mark of 74 dropped to 63 in the process. However, given the influence of damsire Montjeu, he can be expected to develop as a three year old and his trainer's few runners in this division have usually improved for the switch in code. Nevertheless, there is still an absence to overcome and his form has to be taken on trust.

    Sister Eliza bf Gordon Elliott f4-0-0 (67) 61
    Footstepsinthesand (Imperial Dancer){2-f}(0.82) 2/1 Holy Show 6th Maiden Hurdle, Listowel 2009
    Gordon Elliott won last week's opener at Roscommon with Longclaw and Sister Eliza is set to be his second entry of the season. However, Longclaw was officially rated over a stone superior to Sister Eliza who has yet to justify her rating on bare form alone. Making her debut in late June this year, her first two outings came in mile maidens at the Curragh where she finished midfield while looking like further would suit. After disappointing on her third run at Limerick, she was an eyecatching third on her handicap debut at Galway over seven furlongs where she made up a tremendous amount of ground in the closing stages to snatch a seven and a quarter length third on the line. Paradoxically, while the official mark of 67 which she competed from at Galway exceeds the sum of what she has actually achieved, there is reason to suspect that she is better than the mark implies. Even if we are to assume that 67 is the ceiling of her capacity, Gordon Elliott has still won with eight of the twenty-nine horses who carried lower flat rating into their juvenile career. Footstepsinthesand has an above average winner to runner rate of 28% and though he does not get especially high class juveniles, that will not be an issue at this level. There is less encouragement on the damline as one has to go back 5/4 to Carilo (3rd in the 2012 Prix Camberceres) to find any useful hurdlers and there is also a concern that she could leave herself with too much to do if retaining her waiting tactics here. Nevertheless, she still warrants plenty of respect in a field lacking strength in depth.

    Varna Gold chg Paul John Gilligan f11-0-3 (69) 72
    Shooting To Win (Efisio){5-e}(1.67) 3/2 Najaf 2nd Spa Novices' Hurdle (G1), Cheltenham 2010
    Varna Gold is down as a reserve but his case were he to line up would be more credible than several of these. Starting his career with Dermot McLoughlin, the first six races saw him compete exclusively at Dundalk where after qualifying for a mark of 73, he would finish within six lengths of the winner before a winter break. After interrupting his break with a midfield placing in a Naas handicap in March, he joined his new yard and ran in four handicaps over distances ranging from an extended mile to an extended mile and a half. His best showing was a rather one paced two and a half length third at Fairyhouse off 69. The form of that race has held up reasonably well but it would be the best of his efforts this year as he has become rather inconsistent. He has some useful horses on his damline such as Najaf (3/2) Decoy (3/2) and Bleu Azur (5/4) and from a sample of fourteen descendents, Efisio is an above average damsire of juvenile hurdlers by all metrics. Shooting To Win has yet to have any juvenile runners and evidence of the sireline's competence in the sphere is sparse before arriving at Fairy King. Varna Gold is not without merit in this type of field and would not be written off if lining up on Monday. He also holds a couple of these rivals on previous form but he is inconsistent and he may be too one paced at this type of track.

    Strong prospects
    1. Cobb And Co
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Sister Eliza
    3. Calidus Mirabilis
    Feasible prospects
    4. A Mere Bagatelle
    5. Voice Of Hope
    6. Perry Owens
    7. Varna Gold (R)
    Moderate prospects
    8. Little Brother
    9. Tommy The Hat
    Negligible prospects
    10. Bass Reeves
    11. Belgoprince*
    12. Thekeyisnottopanic
    13. Blue Sky Thinker
    14. Money Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobos View Post
    No need for me to try and pick the Triumph and Fred Winter winners in March......I'm just following Kot. Superb assessments and amazing results so far. Keep it up !
    Much appreciated Lobos. As always, it must be stressed that I am not a tipster

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