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  1. #21
    Apprentice Fat Jockey (3lb claim) Kotkijet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nortonscoin200 View Post
    Great stuff Kotkijet, very impressive .
    Cheers NC. I think reading the rollercoaster of your "did he back it?/didn't he back it?" saga was almost as compelling as the race itself! I am sorry you abandoned ship but such is the nature of these things and one of the reasons why I choose not to gamble - all too often has a perfectly enjoyable race been spoiled by an overcooked bet I am glad you got something out of the experience in any case... Out of curiosity, what was it that put you off about Orchestral Rain's flat run? I am always interested about learning things that others have spotted which I may have missed or been unable to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by ComplyOrDie View Post
    Great effort that Kotkijet. Your top 5 finishing in the top 5
    Nice one CoD! Not quite a Michael Dickinson level of accomplishment but still pretty pleasing

    Quote Originally Posted by Istabraq View Post
    Just seen this Kotkijet and very early proof your efforts are valuable.
    Look forward to the next installment...
    Thank you Istabraq.

    With regards to your earlier comment... It is true that these early season races tend to be a lower standard affair, even if the likes of Barizan, Countrywide Flame, Fair Along, Anzum, Native Friend and Wahiba competed before September. Nevertheless, I think that these types of races not only meet that "Can they do it on a Tuesday in Stoke" romanticism (or Ludlow for that matter), but the things we learn in these races along with the evolving research that comes as a consequence of same could further enhance our understanding of the bigger races. Furthermore I imagine that the Triumph Hurdle thread can offer more pertinent content for the higher level juveniles. Irrespective, I am very grateful for the forum and its audience and look forward to the season ahead with relish.

    My review of today's race will have to wait until tomorrow but I can post the preview for Wednesday's contest at Newton Abbot here;-

    Juvenile hurdling in the UK returns to the scene of the curtain raiser, Newton Abbot, for race five of the season. Hiconic began her winning streak that day and attempts to make it four from four on Wednesday. She has barely put a hoof wrong thus far and while she may have the measure of her reopposing rivals, a couple of the newcomers could present her with her toughest assignment to date. The race distance extends to seventeen furlongs but with an average winning DI exceeding 1.40 among its juveniles, Newton Abbot is one of the easiest courses insofar as stamina is concerned.

    Hiconic bf A Hales f7-0-2 (57) 57 j3-3-0 (119) 108
    Sixties Icon (Acclamation){1-n}(0.60) 1/0 Hi Note 2nd 4YO Hurdle, Cheltenham 2012
    Hiconic has done everything asked of her in three starts and has improved on each occasion. Despite picking up penalties and facing arguably sterner opposition on each occasion, her winning distances have done nothing but increase. She was asked to extend more than usual during her win at Stratford last time and while her official rating of 119 looks in keeping with her performances, she will be giving upwards of a stone to her rivals. It is possible she can improve further but unless one brings her rider's claim into account, her winning is contingent on either her finding further improvement or none of her rivals running to a mark of 105. She could be as vulnerable as she has been thus far over hurdles against some respectable opponents. Nevertheless, she is still proven in this discipline and under these conditions.

    Balko Saint bg Mrs Jane Williams Unraced
    Balko (Saint Des Saints){5-i}(0.71) 2/1 Workbench 3rd Badger Ales Trophy (131), Wincanton 2014
    During the 2018/19 season, Jane Williams sent out the unraced Montestrel to win the traditionally well contested juvenile hurdle at Chepstow's October meeting at 20/1, upsetting triple graded winner Quel Destin in the process. While it might be lazy to describe the George Nympton yard of Jane and Nick Williams as basically the same thing, it would also be accurate. Since 2011/12, twenty-five horses from the yard have made their racecourse debuts in juvenile hurdles with eight of them winning during their initial campaign. This gives the yard healthy 32% winner to runner ratio although only two of those horses were able to win first time of asking. Nevertheless, this type of horse would also earn a median peak RPR of 107 which would make them very competitive in this field. Having Balko as a stallion and Saint Des Saints a damsire is about as solid as it gets for good French jumping pedigrees and the two have combined to produce the useful Dinons. Although while both are well above average when it comes to their juvenile credentials, their progeny also improve with age and their stout influence may not lend itself to a debutant at Newton Abbot. The damline contains some good jumpers from the useful Workbench (2/1) to the 1976 Grand Steeplechase de Paris winner Piomares (5/1). For all that Balko Saint is an interesting newcomer to the sport, the yard's record, the horse's pedigree and the capable animals in opposition would suggest that there may be brighter opportunities in the future.

    Billy The Squid bg F O'Brien f3-0-0 (47) 34 j1-0-0 (-) 54
    Requinto (American Post){19}(0.43) 2/1 Edylan 1st 5YO Conditions Hurdle, Angers 2019
    Billy The Squid has good horses on the damline and his trainer is in flying form. However, both of these were true when he made a woeful hurdles debut last week at Market Rasen and while it would be difficult to not improve on his jumping, there is no reason to imagine that he can get involved in this field.

    Edebez bg S Mullins f3-0-0 (53) 47 j1-0-0 (-) 90
    Zebedee (Barathea){4-r}(1.67) No immediate jumps relatives, 7/5 Le Breuil
    Finishing twenty-one lengths behind Hiconic at this venue last month, Edebez reopposes on twenty-one pounds better terms. Apart from a big jump at the first, he was fairly fluent throughout and while he did finish tired, that may well have been due to a long lay-off. If he is to be competitive at any course over hurdles then based on his breeding, it would probably be Newton Abbot. However, Hiconic has almost certainly improved since that encounter and there are a few other opponents here who would likely be too strong for him on this occasion.

    Fiach Stoney bg M Loughnane f3-0-0 (52) 48 j1-0-0 (-) 53
    Urban Poet (Excellent Art){9-c}(2.08) 2/0 Randall's Diana 1st Handicap Hurdle (88), Listowel 2008
    That his granddam was a hurdles winner was the basis of his case before putting in a novicey round of jumping and finishing fifty-two lengths behind Hiconic at Stratford just over a fortnight ago.

    Highlander Madrik chg David Pipe f6-1-1 (72.6) 73
    Masterstroke (Redback){1-b}(0.33) 2/1 You're The Top 1st Novices' Chase, Kempton 2009
    Yesterday I wrote about how horses claimed out of French races since 2011/12 do not have a particularly strong record in juvenile hurdles with only three of those sixteen taken out of claimers winning in the sphere. There are exceptions to rules however and one exists in David Pipe who can take credit for two of those winners from three claims. The form of the Dieppe claimer where he may have won but for a slight stumble towards the line has a fair look to it with the winner finishing third in a similar event and the third placed horse - who was about ten pounds behind - winning an Argentan handicap off 28.5 (roughly 62.7 in the UK/Ireland). Furthermore, while the Mikal Seror export juveniles came through means other than claiming races, they have included Fanfan Du Seuil and Call Me Lord. Masterstroke, who this year joined Yorton Farm Stud after standing in France, is a Monsun stallion out of a half sister to Galileo. He has yet to have a UK/IRE jumps winner from his first three crops but does have a 33% winners to runners rate with his French jumpers including the useful three-year-old of 2018, Floridee. Furthermore, Redback mares have produced three winning juveniles from five and Highlander Madrik's dam, who is from the family of You're The Top and Old March, won four times over jumps including a chase at three years old. However, if there are holes in his profile, he could be another who might find Newton Abbot too sharp as his win at Compiegne came on heavy and the race he was claimed from was over fifteen furlongs on soft ground. Furthermore, while David Pipe has won with two claimed horses, both were more expensive than Highlander Madrik by over eight and twenty-two thousand euros and neither won until competing in late season handicaps.

    Pink Jazz bg S Curran f10-1-1 (59) 62 j1-0-1 (-) 93
    Red Jazz (Captain Marvelous){2-f}(1.67) 2/1 Band Of Blood 4th Drinmore Novices Chase, Fairyhouse 2014
    Sean Curran has not sent out a winning juvenile hurdler since Prince Pippin in November 2009 and has only sent out five since 2011/12 including this one at Stratford. He is set to saddle two on Wednesday and Gavin Sheehan retains the mount on Pink Jazz. A winner on the flat for Gordon Elliott, Pink Jazz made a fair account of himself on his debut at Stratford. After pulling hard early, he would settle after getting a lead and put in a reasonable round of jumping before finishing eight and three quarter lengths behind Hiconic. With standard improvement from the debut run, he would be entitled to be competitive in this kind of company, particularly at a track which places less emphasis on stamina. However, there would be concerns with his attitude as although he is fairly honest and consistent, his resolve could be his undoing. He appeared to have any fight knocked out of him when slightly hampered at Windsor and probably failed to give best in the battle for second place at Stratford.

    Talking About You bf Sean Curran 6-0-1 (60) 60
    Sixties Icon (Mastercraftsman){9-h}(0.50) 3/1 Princess Caerani 2nd Mares' Maiden Hurdle, Ludlow 2014
    The second half of the Sean Curran duo, Talking About You makes decent appeal on her pedigree. As well as being related to jumps winners, her sire Sixties Icon (also the sire of Hiconic) and damsire Mastercraftsman both have above average records in the discipline. Her flat form for Mick Channon has also seen some improvement to a fair level with her last being seen finishing runner up in a Windsor claimer. Although she wasn't claimed out of that race, the juveniles who have been for the 8000 advertised have only one win from twenty four starts between them. Furthermore, while Mick Channon graduates have a healthy 22% winner to runner rate, that drops to 13.6% when you remove those trained by Sheena West or sold at public aution. Talking About You may have the ability to be competitive in a weaker race over hurdles - possibly over further - but will do well to in this company. Especially as she also appears to lack a combative attitude.

    Strong prospects
    1. Hiconic
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Pink Jazz
    3. Highlander Madrik
    4. Balko Saint
    Feasible - moderate prospects
    5. Ebedez
    6. Talking About You
    Negligible prospects
    7. Billy The Squid
    8. Fiach Stoney

  2. #22
    Fat Jockey (ridden out claim) nortonscoin200's Avatar
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    I didn't like the way Orchestral Rain came under pressure fully 3 1/2 furlongs out - as they began the turn into the straight.

    The game was up very early.

    But having just viewed the race again I suppose I was being a bit harsh as he plugged on pretty well to take fifth.

    I also watched Jeff Kidder's two previous runs and thought it unlikely Orchestral Rain would get anywhere near him. Wasn't too worried about Longclaw, thought he and OR could go either way.

    Wrong again!

    Sorry to lose my nerve and desert you - first time I've cashed out like that - but it made watching the race extremely interesting.

    Thanks again.

    You come at racing from a completely different perspective to me and must admit I'm still struggling to understand dosage index and its importance. Any chance of a short numbskull's guide?

  3. #23
    Apprentice Fat Jockey (3lb claim) Kotkijet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nortonscoin200 View Post
    I didn't like the way Orchestral Rain came under pressure fully 3 1/2 furlongs out - as they began the turn into the straight.

    The game was up very early.

    But having just viewed the race again I suppose I was being a bit harsh as he plugged on pretty well to take fifth.
    Yeah, he did something rather similar again yesterday which I saw more a positive than a negative for future races. I will admit to largely guessing when it comes to reading races but the things that came to mind watching that were that the horse was inexperienced and was either getting the hang of going through the gears or was in need of a more searching test to be seen to better effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by nortonscoin200 View Post
    Sorry to lose my nerve and desert you - first time I've cashed out like that - but it made watching the race extremely interesting.
    Don't worry about it as it something I can detach from and not take personally. People can go with or against my observations and can profit or lose accordingly. But as all of that is out of my control then rationally speaking I have no reason to emotionally react either way. The only thing I can aim to achieve is the satisfaction that my effort and observations were a sincere reflection of my ability. Anything after that is completely out of my hands. Although if somebody was to offer a healthy retainer or a leg of a horse as a gift then it would be rude of me to turn it down...

    Quote Originally Posted by nortonscoin200 View Post
    You come at racing from a completely different perspective to me and must admit I'm still struggling to understand dosage index and its importance. Any chance of a short numbskull's guide?
    I try to approach horse racing from a holistic approach since as there is so little information to work from, any information has the potential to be useful. Insofar as dosage indexes are concerned, I have only recently familiarised myself with them and while they are borderline useless on their own - particularly as they carry an abundance of limitations - they can be helpful in highlighting an aspect of a pedigree or when used in conjunction with other variables.

    There are plenty of places where explanations of how dosage indexes are calculated and how they can be used but I will use my own words and try to link them with this division.

    In short;-

    • Dosage indexes are used to give an idea of a horse's likely optimum trip.
    • The lower the dosage index, the likelier it is that a horse will stay.
    • The dosage index is calculated by taking into account influential stallions known as Chefs-de-Race.
    • This is the latest list http://i.bloodhorse.com/pdfs/ChefdeR...%20Oct2019.pdf
    • These stallions are put in one or a pair of groups which correlate to the type of influence they have.
    • These can be Brilliant (fast) - Intermediate - Classic - Solid - Professional (stayer).
    • The stallions going back four generations will count in these calculations with more weight to the closer ancestors.
    • The sire gets 16 points. So if he's a brilliant chef-de-race, then 16 points goes in the brilliant column (16-0-0-0-0).
    • If the sire is a mix of brilliant and classic (like Northern Dancer), 8 goes in brilliant, 8 goes in classic (8-0-8-0-0).
    • The two stallions on the next line get 8 points each and so forth.
    • Once all of the figures are counted, the total of the first two columns and half of the third are divided by half of the third and the last two columns
    • (5-1-4-0-2) becomes (8/4) becomes 2.00
    • (2-0-2-4-4) becomes (3/9) becomes 0.33

    But it's all calculated on pedigreequery.com in any case. Some of them make sense. Rough Quest has a DI of 0.18 because the Chefs-de-Race on his pedigree are
    1st gen = 0
    2nd gen = Bustino (solid) 0-0-0-8-0
    3rd gen = Crepello (professional) 0-0-0-8-4
    3rd gen = Persian Gulf (classic) 0-0-4-8-4
    4th gen = Donatello (professional) 0-0-4-8-6
    4th gen = Bahram (classic) 0-0-6-8-6 = 3/17 = 0.18

    pedigreequery.com/rough+quest

    But it is also worth noting that if the stallion isn't on the chefs-de-race list then it is not included in the calculations which is how a horse like Equiano can have a DI of 0.33 and recent Market Rasen winner Soldier On Parade has one of 4.60 because neither Royal Applause or Acclamation's speed nor Dunaden's stamina were factors in deciding the dosage index.

    https://www.pedigreequery.com/equiano
    https://www.pedigreequery.com/soldier+on+parade

    This is an obvious shortfall of dosage indexes.

    Nevertheless, I have calculated the dosage indexes of every juvenile hurdler to have competed since the 2011/12 season and these were the results.



    While research on pedigrees can produce what is little more than white noise on account of the low sample sizes, these figures rather categorically demonstrate that despite the limitations of dosage indexes, they are still a factor in determining the chances of a horse making a successful juvenile. They also lend credence to the notion that the ability to stay is a prerequisite in the sphere. How and when these findings can be applied to the analysis of a juvenile hurdle is broadly dependent on the specific context of the race and its variables.

    I hope that helps you in getting started but failing that, these are a little more professionally written.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dosage_Index
    https://www.equibase.com/products/dosage.cfm

    If there are any further questions or even suggestions then I am glad to hear them.

  4. #24
    Apprentice Fat Jockey (3lb claim) Kotkijet's Avatar
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    Ireland's juvenile hurdling season opened with a maiden hurdle at Roscommon, as is tradition. It featured representatives from several successful yards in the division including Gordon Elliott who saddled the winner Longclaw. It was ran at a good gallop on ground that was yielding, good in places, the likely horses finished at the front and while Calidus Mirabilis ran into the rail turning for home, it did not cost him any places and there was nothing else resembling harsh luck.

    Longclaw took a rather alarming drift in the market from the 11/8 available in the morning to touching 8/1 on the track. While there were reservations to be had over his seemingly regressive form, the drift looked like an over-correction as there was nothing wrong with his performance. Apart from a mistake at the second, his jumping was decent and he was a decisive winner in the end even if the runner up received no harsher a ride than he did. In winning this, he became the first juvenile winner for his sire and the only entire to win such a race apart from Sir Erec. While his flat form this season was not as strong as last year, it was still as good as anything else seen from this field and while this performance can be seen as something as a revival, it would not represent a huge leap forward. He certainly won this race nicely enough and a mark of around 120 would be reasonable but the conditions were ideal for him here and it is not a given that he will be able to meet sterner tasks in terms of competition and conditions.

    Jeff Kidder was the horse who countered Longclaws drift in the market when being backed into favouritism and it was a fair reflection of his chances. He has been improving on the flat recently for the step up in distance and this represents further improvement. He made a mistake at the third and rather misjudged the last before landing in the winners path but his jumping was fine otherwise and the incident at the last did not impact the finishing order. He was not given a hard time after it became apparent that he would not be winning here and was the more tenderly ridden of the front two between the last pair of flights. If he is to meet the winner again then the penalty could see him reverse placings - particularly if a greater test of stamina is required.

    Orchestral Rain was making only his second racecourse appearance of any nature but his flat run was full of promise, he was representing a solid pedigree and a capable yard and was very much underestimated in the market. As with his Killarney run where he was a neck behind the winner, he was rather green and somewhat lacking pace at stages but other than being slightly wary approaching the third put in a decent round of jumping and has scope for further improvement. Whether he stays at the yard or moves on remains to be seen but there was plenty of encouragement for the future taken from this run and ought to be very competitive in this kind of company.

    Calidus Mirabilis came in with a couple of flat wins under his belt and was representing a Joseph O'Brien yard which has a healthy but not outstanding record in this sphere for its numbers and strength. He was solid in the market and ran a respectable race but he was not the most fluent of jumpers and finished quite tired in the end. He can come on for this effort from a jumping perspective but he may struggle for stamina in the short term on this evidence.

    Dazzling Darren was another who tasted success on the flat on multiple occasions and was representing a yard which does very well with its juveniles pound for pound. There were reservations about his pedigree and while his jumping was fine apart from pecking on landing at the sixth, he did weaken quite badly in the end. A recent flat spin discounts any fitness theories although this was his ninth start of the year and fifth post-lockdown and his yard has had a leaner spell than usual so it is possible he could fare better if freshened up.

    Little Brother was the money horse having been backed from 14/1 in the morning into 7/2 but he was beaten in the end by almost thirty-five lengths. There were errors at the first and seventh but they were not really enough to end his chances. He did finish ahead of the runner up on a recent flat run which may explain the market support but he did not leave the impression that he was either a complete natural or something with a serious engine.

    Differentiate was the second of the Gavin Cromwell runners and was the least fancied of the pair on account of being nearly a stone inferior on the flat. Nevertheless, his jumping was fine and did keep on towards the end in his own time. While there is not much to this run at face value, it was not a bad introduction and a stiffer test could see him improve ahead of some of his rivals.

    Strip Light's fate was effectively sealed at the start where he made a terrible mistake at the first and was not much better at the second. He was never able to improve from midfield and would need to show more fluency before he can be considered with much enthusiasm.

    A Mere Bagatelle had plenty of use made of him and jumped well enough for the most part before losing his position and making some tired mistakes. Not a run devoid of promise considering it was his first outing for nearly eleven months and may do better if held up in the future.

    Belgoprince jumped off very slowly and made errors more in keeping with a horse without experience rather than one without the physical attributes. He had very little use made of him and is probably capable of much better in time.

    Runcible's profile did not really entitle her to make much of an impression beforehand and she ran accordingly.

    Lady Kapalua was the only unraced horse in the field and ran like it. Does not have the worst pedigree but probably needs a few more runs before her ability can be properly gauged.

  5. #25
    Fat Jockey (ridden out claim) nortonscoin200's Avatar
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    Many thanks for the Dosage Index explanation Kotkijet - I'm beginning to see the light.

  6. #26
    Apprentice Fat Jockey (3lb claim) Kotkijet's Avatar
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    Cartmel, which is usually a village fair with a racecourse built around it, will this Friday simply be a racecourse as it hosts the sixth juvenile hurdle of the season. Although such races at the track have been by useful types such as Burnt Imp, Vosne Romanee and most notably Countrywide Flame, the quality of the fields is usually below average. However, this year could be an exception with three newcomers carrying flat ratings exceeding 75, making it perhaps the strongest race on paper. The race also draws together three horses with jumping experience who have all won prize money without looking especially threatening. Cartmel is one of the easier tracks in the country although this is rather contradicted by the average winning DI since 2011/12 being 1.21 mean and 1.14 median. However, taking the records back to 1990 brings the mean up to a ludicrous 2.48 although this is largely due to some wild outliers. The figures can be manipulated in any given way but in general terms, the stamina required to win a juvenile, particularly on the predicted soft ground, is still relevant albeit not as pronounced as at most other venues.

    Debt Of Honour bg N Mulholland f5-0-0 (52) 51 j2-0-0 (-) 84
    Kyllachy (Nayef){7}(1.91) 3/1 Architrave 1st Market Rasen Juvenile Hurdle 2010
    Debt Of Honour brings with him the most hurdling experience in the shape of two outings. His first outing at Newton Abbot saw him make several shapes over his hurdles, few of them conducive to negotiating them efficiently. The jumping did improve when he was next seen at Bangor which may have been due to the blinkers which he retains for this race. Neil Mulholland is a trainer worthy of respect in this discipline but his pedigree less so with Kyllachy still winless from his progeny's forty-six outings. There are also stamina concerns and even if they are mitigated by Cartmel's characteristics, there still remains the issue of his overall standard of form both on the flat and the jumps.

    Fraterculus chg Oliver Greenall f3-0-1 (79) 76
    Teofilo (Anabaa){5-f}(1.08) 6/7 Optimus Prime 2nd Novice Chase, Punchestown 2018
    Unraced as a two year old, Fraterculus had three starts on the flat in Ireland for Jim Bolger in June. The level of form across all three outings, which came over ten furlongs, was of a broadly similar standard and would justify a rating in the seventies without quite reaching his official mark of 79. His efforts include a Leopardstown maiden where he plugged on to finish just over five lengths behind subsequent listed race runner up Numen and was not enjoying the kickback when finishing last at the Curragh last time. He has worn cheekpieces on his last two outings which have now been left off following a gelding operation. Teofilo horses have a good record in juvenile hurdles and are above average by all metrics and similar sentiments apply to Anabaa as a damsire. Oliver Greenall also has a fine record in these events and has had a couple of winners recently. There can be reservations over his predominantly American oriented flat pedigree (his third dam won the 1993 Kentucky Oaks) and his greenness, previous use of headgear, freshly gelded state and unfamiliarity with soft ground are not easy to ignore but he otherwise has a respectable profile.

    Global Agreement chg Milton Harris f11-0-2 (56) 64
    Mayson (Royal Applause){10-a}(2.33) 2/1 Daring Bid 1st Novices' Hurdle, Bangor 1999
    With eleven starts to his name, Global Agreement is the most experienced of this and with his peak efforts being largely consistent throughout would, by that token, also be the most exposed. While he was initially rated 66, his most recent mark of 58 is more accurate and a little kinder. He is versatile in terms of ground conditions and has shaped as though he should get this trip. Mayson has only had the one juvenile this far and the Invincible Spirit can be hit and miss however Royal Applause does not have a positive bearing in this division. Milton Harris has one winner from three but that is a small sample size and he has not had a winner since coming out of lockdown.

    Lairig Ghru bg Micky Hammond 3-0-2 (69) 70 Pon 6gs Mdn 26/9/19
    Canford Cliffs (Diktat){21-a}(1.00) 3/1 Whitby Jet 1st Novices Hurdle, Southwell 1980
    Micky Hammond runs two here and although the more experienced Jonjo O'Neill Jr takes the mount on Lairig Ghru, this will be the first instance of a partnership between the jocket and trainer and the stablemate retains his rider from last time. Lairig Ghru has yet to race in 2020 but had three runs over six furlongs last autumn and was placed on his first two outings at Pontefract and Newcastle. He came up against some reasonable sorts but the overall quality of his form could not be rated far beyond the mid sixties. The record of his sire is respectable in this division but while the trip here could be within his compass, he has a sprinter heavy damline. Furthermore, he would still have some ground to find with a few of these on form, his yard is not in the best form and he also has an absence to overcome.

    Mick bg M Hammond f6-0-1 (59) 63 j1-0-0 (-) 85
    Makfi (Pivotal){6-d}(1.40) 2/1 Sayar 1st Joe Mac Novice Hurdle (G3), Tipperary 2017
    An inconsistent maiden on the flat, Mick made a respectable debut effort at Market Rasen where after finding himself outpaced, was able to plug on for a distant third. His jumping could have been better but he would be entitled to improve with experience in that regard. Nevertheless, like his stablemate, he is still some way behind these on form and it is not guaranteed that he will even match that effort, particularly at a track like Cartmel.

    Naizagai bg Fergal O'Brien f5-0-4 (76) 78
    Dark Angel (Galileo){9-b}(0.90) 3/1 Oxymeron 1st Handicap Hurdle, Lingfield 1990
    Since the 2011/12 season, Fergal O'Brien has had just one win with juvenile hurdlers from forty-two attempts. However, his spell of tremendous recent form continued today at Newton Abbot with two winners, a runner up, and most importantly, his juvenile hurdler completely exceeding expectations held for him. In Naizagai, he has a juvenile with much more compelling flat form than Billy The Squid. While still a maiden after five starts for Roger Varian, he was placed on all bar one of those runs with the disappointment coming on his return after a layoff and a gelding operation. His best run came in a Newmarket novice stakes last November where he finished second among three future winners in good company. His latest run was slightly less encouraging where he lost his lead in the straight and finished third behind two who were beaten on their next outings. Nevertheless, that form would still entitle him to a mark in the mid seventies and although his wearing cheekpieces and hanging slightly are not ideal, he does not appear to be ungenuine. He was sold out of Roger Varian's yard for 40,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July sale and graduates of the Varian yard have a healthy winner to runner strike rate with half of those winners selling for less than Naizagai's price. Dark Angel's record with juveniles is no better than average although he has produced Silver Streak and Guitar Pete and Galileo has a fine record as a damsire in this division.

    Peat Moss bg N Hawke f4-0-1 (50) 50
    Fracas (Dalakhani){14-c}(0.71) 4/1 Direct Lady 3rd Festival Hurdle Leopardstown 1992
    Peat Moss did not start any shorter than 200/1 on his first three flat starts but a better effort could be expected and was delivered on his hurdling debut at Newton Abbot. He suffered interference at a couple of jumps there and missed out a flight after which he became outpaced but his jumping was mostly acceptable. He gave the impression that a stiffer task would suit and this sentiment was reiterated on a recent flat run where he stayed on too late in a low grade Chepstow handicap over a mile and a half. Peat Moss does have a future over jumps at his own level but will come into his own under more suitable conditions.

    To Fly Free bf David Pipe f6-1-1 (72.6) 79
    Soldier Hollow (Canford Cliffs){19-b}{0.57) 3/1 Video Tape 2nd Grand Course de Haies d'Auteuil 1985
    To Fly Free had six runs on the flat in France including finishing last of six in a listed race at Bordeaux where the front two would contest Group One contests next time. Her next two runs were not as good, her latest coming when beaten over seven lengths in a Clairefontaine claimer. She was not claimed out of that race, rather she was sold at Arqana for just 6,000. Notwithstanding, David Pipe has bought two other juveniles from the Ludovic Gadbin yard in recent years and both of them - Paricolor and last season's Fred Winter runner up Night Edition - were winners. The pedigree is also encouraging with Soldier Hollow capable of producing juveniles and the damline being inundated with classy French jumpers including Video Tape (3/1), Villez (4/3) and We Have A Dream (4/5). To Fly Free could prove an astute purchase although like others at her yard with similar profiles, she may be better with a run or two under her belt.

    Strong prospects
    1. Naizagai
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Fraterculus
    3. To Fly Free
    Feasible/Moderate prospects
    4. Lairig Ghru
    5. Mick
    6. Peat Moss
    7. Debt Of Honour
    8. Global Agreement

  7. #27
    Apprentice Fat Jockey (3lb claim) Kotkijet's Avatar
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    Hiconic made it four on the bounce at Newton Abbot yesterday in a race where there were several reasons to question the form. While there were no bad luck stories, a couple of these got very worked up, some of the jumping was poor and the first five, which contained a couple of outsiders, were covered by less than nine lengths. The field also lost some of its strength in depth when Highlander Madrik was taken out in the morning. There were no real market moves of note and the winning time was almost identical to that posted by the winner on her debut a month earlier.

    Hiconic is nothing but admirable and apart from being a bit distracted at the fourth and at two out, her jumping here was as polished as ever. However, this was the hardest she had to work for a win and while the penalties obviously added to the difficulties, it was not her best performance when accounting for the fact that the third and fourth were able to finish as close as they did despite error strewn rounds. She also showed greenness and a hint of temperament when momentarily trying to run out at the paddock bend. Hiconic is still the leading juvenile seen out this season but this was around half a stone below her best. It is possible that she is not especially suited by Newton Abbot but the penalties are mounting up and she could be vulnerable when she is next seen.

    Balko Saint was making his debut for the Williams yard who have a good record with unraced horses, even if they tend to improve with experience. Being a Balko gelding out of a Saint Des Saints mare, he can be considered more a prospect for the future than for sharp juvenile hurdles and that is what played out here. His jumping was very good for the first part of the race although when the tempo increased, he began to make mistakes as he found himself outpaced. Nevertheless, he still acquitted himself well in the circumstances and should have a future in the game.

    Talking About You has a decent pedigree for juvenile hurdling and had been improving on the flat albeit at a modest level. However, she was giving all manner of grief at the start and look for a moment as though she would be withdrawn. She did consent to set off but took a keen hold, wandered into most of her jumps before negotiating them awkwardly. That she would still manage to plug on for third brings the form into disrepute but it also shows her potential if she can learn how to settle and jump.

    Billy The Squid was woeful on his debut and his jumping was not substantially better here. He looked as though he was treading water towards the end of the back straight and that another tailed off finish was on the cards. Nevertheless, he also kept on to finish just six and a half lengths behind the winner. This represents a career best effort by a considerable margin and while the blinkers may have worked the oracle, the form can only be treated with suspicion until he can confirm that this performance was not a fluke.

    Pink Jazz, the stablemate of Talking About You, was utterly drenched in sweat and was keen in the early stages. He made mistakes which were less prevalent on his debut and while he showed pace in the early stages would eventually fade into fifth. He is capable of better than this but there is no assurance that he might deliver next time out.

    Edebez did not jump badly but was beaten further by the winner on this occasion than when they met at the track a month earlier. He almost certainly does not have the stamina for hurdling if he can not see out the distance at Newton Abbot.

    Fiach Stoney was beaten fifty-two lengths at Stratford on his debut and put in another keen and error strewn round before pulling up here.

  8. #28
    Stable Fat Jockey (Moderator) ComplyOrDie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kotkijet View Post

    Strong prospects
    1. Naizagai
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Fraterculus
    3. To Fly Free
    Feasible/Moderate prospects
    4. Lairig Ghru
    5. Mick
    6. Peat Moss
    7. Debt Of Honour
    8. Global Agreement
    Another one in the bag Kotkijet

    Shame Global Agreement scuppered the 1-2-3 but still an absolutely fine effort

  9. #29
    Professional Fat Jockey (Moderator) Istabraq's Avatar
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    Yeah Kotkijet’s efforts are priceless, great work....

  10. #30
    Apprentice Fat Jockey (3lb claim) Kotkijet's Avatar
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    Cheers lads.

    It was the first race where I did not put any down as negligible prospects since as moderate as Global Agreement's prospects appeared on paper, he could not be ruled out entirely. Didn't help that the trainer made a resurgence in form soon after I posted the preview but such are the pitfalls of trying to get my preview out as soon as possible and my generally not watching flat racing unless absolutely necessary. Still, it is abundantly clear my writings are only to be used for context as a guide and should never be taken for tips because I am not a tipster

    Today's juvenile hurdle at Cartmel looked like a potentially useful contest beforehand with three newcomers bringing ratings exceeding 75. While the runner up was not one of them, he was a well backed outsider who was obviously well schooled and the pair pulled nicely clear of the rest. With the first flight coming soon after the start and a couple of staying types attempting to force a strong pace, there was no hanging around in the early stages. Apart from some minor distractions and obstructions, there were no hard luck stories and while a couple of horses were backed, neither looked like plot horses. The ground dried to Good to Soft and the winning time was nearly five seconds quicker than the 0-120 handicap later on the card.

    Naizagai was sent straight into the lead and while he faced a strong challenge early on from a pair of staying types, he was able to burn them off with his superior pace. He was certainly enthusiastic but not alarmingly keen since his jockey was able to get a breather into him before half way without any fuss. His jumping was good without being perfect as he made a few slight errors going round. Nevertheless, there was still encouragement to be found here as while he was not particularly polished going over the fourth, he still got over it very quickly without losing any momentum and was adept at correcting himself when he misjudged his approaches. He was still travelling easily of the field after the penultimate flight and was only starting to tire slightly towards the end. He probably won't want a much sterner stamina test than this on today's showing and the runner up may have finished closer had his rider not dropped the whip. Nevertheless, he appears to have a real zest for this discipline and even if one suspects that perhaps the race fell perfectly for him, it was still a highly pleasing debut. With some very attainable improvement in his jumping, he sets a very tough challenge for any juvenile this time of year.

    Global Agreement was seemingly exposed coming into this race even if his official mark of 56 is fairly generous. Nevertheless, he attracted plenty of each way support in the morning and his being backed from 28/1 to as low as 8/1 hinted at his being well schooled and that transpired to be the case. He found himself struggling to keep up with the field for much of the race but made steady headway along the woodside to the point that he looked rather threatening approaching the last. It was unfortunate that his rider dropped his whip turning in to the straight and while it probably did not cost him the race, it is likely that he could have finished closer. This marked an improvement on his flat form and can be competitive in ordinary contests, particularly on stiffer tracks. Incidentally, he would make some appeal if he is presented with soft ground should he return to the flat as he is better on that ground than his official rating suggests.

    To Fly Free won on the flat in France as a two year old and was allowed to compete in a listed race earlier this year but became rather disappointing and was allowed to leave the Arqana ring for just 6,000. She joined a yard which does very well with her type and looked like a sufficiently natural jumper of her hurdles. She was still travelling well with two left to jump but would begin to fade shortly afterwards. There is certainly enough there to suggest that she can be competitive in this discipline as she settles into her new surroundings.

    Fraterculus came into the race with a compelling profile as his sire, damsire and trainer are more than capable at producing competitive juveniles and his flat form was as good as anything seen from this field. However, there were some concerns about his maturity and resolve and these forebodings manifested themselves this afternoon. He made a most peculiar shape over the first and was slow getting away from the second and while he was better at a few of his other jumps, his mind was not completely dedicated to the task in hand and would finish quite well beaten in the end. He has a very nice size about him, was still looking competitive woodside and it was only his first run since a gelding operation so it would be very premature to write him off at this phase. Nevertheless, he still needs to develop a better aptitude before he can be competitive at any reasonable standard.

    Mick ran a fair race on his debut to finish third at Market Rasen but after attempting to race prominently here, he found himself quite easily outpaced and his jumping suffered as a result. He was inconsistent on the flat and this track will not have suited so he is capable of better than this. Notwithstanding, he has yet to look a natural and needs to improve his jumping and pacing before he can really be competitive at any track.

    Peat Moss was backed in from 13/2 to 7/2 second favourite but neither his hurdles debut at Newton Abbot or recent flat run in a poor Chepstow handicap entitled him to such support under these conditions. He jumped fine for the most part but was another who tried to take on the leader and failed miserably before soon finding himself completely ran off his feet. His jumping does not give any cause for concern but he would need a longer trip in a poor race before he can be considered a particular threat over hurdles.

    Lairig Ghru was having his first run since last autumn and while he showed enough pace to go second at around the half way mark, he would eventually weaken quite badly. He was slightly hesitant at the first but his jumping was otherwise fine. However, there were stamina concerns beforehand and even if this was his first run of the year, it is still going to be a concern in the near future.

    Debt Of Honour was having his third run over hurdles and although there were a couple of slow jumps, he has improved massively in that department since his hurdling debut in early July. Unfortunately, this leaves little explanation for his poor level of form beyond a general lack of class and stamina. Kyllachy is not a good stallion of juvenile hurdlers so he may be better served by a return to the level.

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