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Juvenile Hurdlers 2020/2021

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  • Juvenile Hurdlers 2020/2021

    This thread has already started in a couple of other places but while it would be nice to write a fresh introduction, I would essentially be writing the exact same thing while changing the order of the words which would be similarly disingenuous. Also, this thread will have missed the previews and reviews of the first three races so far this season which is a great shame really... Nevertheless, more traffic means more conversation which means a broader understanding of the sphere which is good for everybody so I look forward to any thought and input from the good readers. Plus, I ended up adding another season to my spreadsheet and making a neater table for the stats that matter so in a twist of fortune for the husky horsemen, this thread intro will be better than any of the others.

    A spell on the injury list along with a disinclination to work during lockdown meant that I had plenty of time to compile a fairly comprehensive spreadsheet of every juvenile hurdler to have ran since the 2011/12 season. Although I would like to believe that I didn't completely waste my time and am happy with my body fat percentage being in the low teens rather than single digits, there is a danger that the research is completely misleading and ultimately useless. For example, my research suggests that Kalanisi is a hopeless sire of juvenile hurdlers given that not one of his twelve representatives have either picked up a juvenile hurdle or achieved an RPR greater than 107 during this period. Facts on the other hand will show that Kalanisi is now a prominent national hunt sire on the basis of his success as a sire of juveniles - in particular Katchit, Barizan and Alaivan. Furthermore, when looking for unheralded sleeping NH stallions whose progeny improve for the switch to jumps, I discovered that the most promising prospects are predominantly dead, standing abroad or are prohibitively expensive due to their ability to sire two year-olds.

    Nevertheless, in the realm of juvenile hurdling where publicly available information is decidedly threadbare, imperfect evidence is better than none whatsoever. Particularly as the genetic attributes necessary for success in juvenile hurdling tend to be specific as there is a demand for both strength and precocity.

    While an exhaustive publication of all of the findings might well be in the spirit of a comprehensive research thread, the utility of same is difficult to justify given the bulk and diversity of the information. As such, it would be more appropriate to apply the findings on a race by race basis. Nevertheless, in the meantime here are a few top-tens for the purposes of fun. Not all of the horses or trainers listed will have juvenile runners this season.

    The RPR figure of 108 was chosen as it would put its achievers in the 75th percentile. The improvement rate figure looks at the percentage of a stallion's progeny that improves for switching code. The figure is reached by subtracting the lower of the horse's official flat rating or highest flat RPR from the highest achieved jumps RPR and subtracting a further thirty-five pounds. Those with positive figures are assumed to have improved and those with negative figures are not. For the sake of integrity, only horses who have raced more than twice over hurdles AND have achieved an official rating are considered so as to reduce the skewing of the figures by lightly raced sorts.

    I also have stats for the 1268 horses who were sold at public auction as horses-in-training prior to being sent over hurdles from 2012/13 (I have yet to update the sales spreadsheet to include 2011/12). The most interesting findings were that based on extrapolations using mean figures, £119,860 will get you a 108.56 rated juvenile, £49,459 will get you a 97.9 rated juvenile and £3,014 will get you a 54.2 rated plodder. Also, there's a 99.95% chance that you will not recover the sales price through prize money during the juvenile campaign.

  • #2
    And here's the preview for tomorrow's race.

    The fourth juvenile hurdle takes place at Market Rasen on Monday and it will be the first without Hiconic which will give some other horse a chance to win a race. Her absence further compounds the notion that at first glance, this is a tricky race to evaluate in advance. While all of the newcomers' profiles have features which could make them interesting and/or competitive, they also have aspects which demand discretion and reticence. As such, unless there is a revelatory performance of sorts, the form of this race might warrant caution insofar as the future is concerned. The average winning DI from the past fifty-three Market Rasen juvenile hurdles is 1.00 median and 1.40 mean - 1.27 when outliers are removed. On these figures alone, this would make it a sterner test than Newton Abbot and somewhere between Bangor and Stratford with the mean figure bringing it closer to the former and the median the latter. Some very good juveniles have competed at Market Rasen in recent years before going on to bigger and brighter things such as Tiger Roll, Fox Norton, Cliffs Of Dover and Nube Negra - not to mention Triumph winners Countrywide Flame and Katchit. However, while this race probably wont be adding to that list, we can still enjoy a nice headache while attempting to contextualise the event.

    Billy The Squid bg F O'Brien (47) 34
    Requinto (American Post){19}(0.43) 2/1 Edylan 1st 5YO Conditions Hurdle, Angers 2019
    On the plus side, Billy The Quid has a nice low dosage index, his damsire has two winners from three juveniles (both as a sire and a damsire) and along with being out of a half sister to winning hurdler, shares a maternal line with relatives such as El Dancer (5/2), Captain Cee Bee (5/3), Esmondo (5/4) and Triumph winner Pentland Hills (6/4). Less positive elements are that sire Requinto is zero from four juveniles and while his trainer is in grand form at the moment, his record with juveniles (one winner from twelve and a 29% improvement rate) is less inspiring. However, the most damaging facet of Billy The Squid's profile is his flat form which saw him beaten seventy-three lengths in three runs for George Scott.

    Dorchester Dom chg N Twiston-Davies 6-0-0 (55) 69
    Starspangledbanner (Alhaarth){9-e}(2.00) 3/2 Mutakarrim 1st Sharp Novices Hurdle, Cheltenham 2002
    Dorchester Dom began his flat career as early as anybody with a creditable fourth in the Brocklesby Stakes last March for David Evans. Despite this flash of precocity, the fact he has never ran beyond seven furlongs and his being out of the classy sprinter Starspangledbanner, stamina is not a major concern with horse. Although Starspangledbanner has yet to sire a jumps winner and his progeny are best at shorter trips, he is still from the Danehill Dancer line which thrives in this sphere and Dorchester Dom's dam is from the family of top stayers Big Orange and Red Cadeaux as well as good juvenile sire Haafhd. Furthermore, Nigel Twiston-Davies has a good record with juveniles although only two of his recent five winners came from the flat and those of a similar flat standard to Dorchester Dom have failed even to collect prize money. Gelded after running in the Brocklesby, Dorchester Dom has shown nothing that matches his debut outing and the official rating of 55 would be the ceiling of his subsequent performances.

    Dragon Man bg M Young 3-0-0 (47) 45
    Dragon Pulse (Editor's Note){23}(1.50) 2/1 Mad George 1st Bumper, Plumpton 2011 2-0-0 Hurdles
    Max Young's training career began on Monday with Dragon Man finishing 118 lengths behind Hiconic at Stratford. While his jumping was fine over the first two obstacles, a mistake at the third seemed to affect his confidence thereafter. Nevertheless, even with the anticipated improvement from his debut hurdling effort, he would still have a long way to go before he would be of interest in this kind of field.

    Dutch Admiral chg D Bridgwater 4-0-1 (83) 80
    Dutch Art (Affirmed){9-e}(1.91) American family, 6/7 Danny Whizzbang
    Dutch Admiral's fourth placed finish in a Dundalk listed race back in late February stands head and shoulders above any other piece of flat form in this field. With his starting price of 66/1 there is a compulsion to pick holes in the form and while King Of Athens, who was a short head behind, most likely underperformed, the subsequent efforts of third placed Orchid Gardens in decent handicaps can rate his form in the low eighties. The maiden where he was runner up last time out has not worked out quite as well but the way he ran to the line would indicate that he can meet the stamina demands of Monday's race. He has since left the yard of Cormac Farrell to join David Bridgwater whose record in juveniles with flat recruits is a fine three winners from seven runners. However, winning done by the yard in these events is typically done so with horses who already have good flat ratings and is not usually followed by improvement. Dutch Admiral will also be David Bridgwater's first runner from the yard since March and while he is more than capable of getting winners in the summer, yard form can only be taken on trust. An even greater concern is his sire's record in juvenile hurdles. Only one of his thirteen juveniles - in thirty-nine attempts - have tasted success in the sphere and that came in March 2013 when Nicky Henderson's Little Dutch Girl won an atrocious fillies' race at Taunton at odds of 1/7f. It is not as though Dutch Art's hurdlers wanted for flat form as twenty-five of those losing attempts were carried out by horses who had achieved flat RPRs or 70 or above. Jumping stock in Dutch Admirals immediate pedigree is non-existent and that Affirmed was also the damsire of the top-class Theatreworld (Sadler's Wells) offers a glimmer of light which is incapable of piercing through the gloom. It may well be that his flat form, sufficient stamina and good trainer can carry him over the line in this company but he would still be breaking the paternal mould in the process.

    Mick bg M Hammond 6-0-1 (59) 63
    Makfi (Pivotal){6-d}(1.40) 2/1 Sayar 1st Joe Mac Novice Hurdle (G3), Tipperary 2017
    Mick's form case essentially revolves around his third place finish at Doncaster in a 1m6½f handicap on his penultimate outing. Tracking the leaders throughout in a stop start affair, he found himself outpaced halfway up the straight but was able to rally again and plug on on for a 4¼ length third without ever looking like threatening the leader. His previous best was followed by a below par effort and this inconsistency repeated itself last time at Beverley over two miles where he finished tailed off after leading for the first three quarters of the race. He did have Soldier On Parade behind him at Doncaster but while he comes ahead at the weights by a slim fraction, that advantage will be eliminated by the aforementioned's hurdling experience. Notwithstanding, trainer Micky Hammond has a respectable record with his juvenile hurdlers boasting a 23% winners to runners strike rate with over a third of those trained on the flat at the yard winning in the sphere. However, the yard has uncharacteristically gone over three weeks without sending out a winner. There are plenty of good and successful hurdlers found on the damline (3/1 Senanjar, 3/2 Serabad, 2/1 Sendiym, 6/4 Sacundai, 6/2 Monksfield) and Pivotal mares are capable of producing winning juveniles. However, while not as daunting as Dutch Art's record, Makfi's winner to runner rate still stands at one from eleven despite being represented by decent flat sorts although his improvement rate of 38% between codes is still fair if below average. While Mick might be able to do alright in this discipline, he would have to be putting his best foot forward and there are too many holes in his profile to confidently expect a strong outing on his first attempt.

    Party Potential bg A King 7-0-0 (49) 56
    Congrats (Half Ours){8-f}(4.45) US Family - 8/8 Fredo 8/10 Indietir 8/5 Nijinsky
    As covered in an exercise of explaining the blooming obvious in the preview for Monday's race, Alan King is a force to be reckoned with in the division. However, not every Alan King horse is a surefire winner and as demonstrated at Stratford by his charge Kings Creek, while it is reasonably fair to expect that his horses can jump and go about their business, they still need to be fast enough to win. What is more, the yard's representative on Monday had a stronger profile than Party Potential by dint of stronger and more consistent form (official ratings of 62 and 49), a better attitude (Kings Creek was comparatively straightforward while Party Potential is averse to travelling or running in a straight line despite donning a range of headwear), and a more substantial pedigree. King Creeks pedigree was uninspiring but he still had a lower dosage index, his granddam's brother was a winning chaser, his damsire sired winning juveniles and his sire at least had runners over jumps. Lowly markers still unmet by Party Potential's pedigree. While any Alan King juvenile has to be afforded consideration, it is difficult to make a tangible case for this one outperforming the one comfortably beaten on Monday.

    Prince Percy bg G Moore 6-0-1 (61) 65
    Sir Percy (High Chaparral){1-u} 3/1 Walk In The Park 5th Listed Hurdle, Auteuil 2007 - NH Sire
    Prince Percy was initially set to compete in the first juvenile hurdle of the season, a race where he may well have gone off as favourite, but was declared a non runner after reportedly being found cast in his box which is never a fun experience for either horse or human. Hopefully he will have recovered from the experience as he is an interesting contender in Monday's race. Particularly as his yard is enjoying a much better spell of form than it was doing three weeks earlier. Prior to his missed engagement, Prince Percy had four runs this year - three during the winter and one more on the eleventh of June. He twice finished a length and three quarters behind the winner in ten furlong handicaps at Lingfield off marks in the low sixties and the race where he was beaten into fifth of seven has worked out very well for the grade. Trainer Gary Moore boasts a very healthy winner to runner rate of 38% from a good sized sample and is well adept at winning juvenile hurdles with horses rated lower than Prince Percy. Sir Percy, also the sire of Presenting Percy, is above average in terms of his winner/runner ratio for juveniles, horses out of High Chaparral mares are no strangers to success over hurdles and Prince Percy's granddam is a half sister to Walk In The Park (sire of Min and Douvan). If there are to be misgivings about Prince Percy's credentials, they may well be found in his willingness to give best. He has been backed on all six of his starts to date, including into favouritism last time out, yet he remains without a win and concerns are further enhanced by observations of his races where he has been seen to hang. Nevertheless, while these factors may impact the case for his winning the race, he still habitually runs close enough to his level and if the casting experience has not left any profound psychological scars then he has every right to involve himself in this company.

    Soldier On Parade bg A Murphy (66) 68
    Dunaden (Mujadil){1-u}(4.60) 2/1 Out Of Control 1st Claiming Hurdle, Auteuil 2009
    The best of those with hurdling experience, Soldier On Parade came out of his Bangor race with great credit after finding only Hiconic too good and finishing a long way clear of the remainder. He brought and consistent and fair form into that race and attracted market support before the off. Racing in the vanguard, his jumping was well above average for a juvenile while leaving enough room for achievable improvement for the experience. Any stamina concerns caused by his dosage index were allayed by his sire as well as his flat efforts and rendered negligible by his Bangor performance. While he wore headgear on the flat, it was taken off for his hurdling debut and after showing little to no ill effect for its removal, he once again runs without any aids. Trainer Amy Murphy is still to send out a winning juvenile but she is still in good form and must have a strong chance of breaking that duck should Soldier On Parade replicate his Bangor run. Particularly if he finds the improvement entitled to him after his first lesson.

    Current chf D Roberts 1-0-0 (-) 14
    Equiano (New Approach){8-c}(0.57) 2/1 First Buddy 122 5th Anniversary Hurdle, Aintree 2008
    A very distant relative of Brave Inca (12/10) but a closer one to Top Strategy (5/4), Current finished according to her 100/1 odds when finishing nearly forty lengths behind Soldier On Parade at Bangor. It would be generous to call that effort promising but in fairness to her, she did jump quite well and probably burned up a fair amount of energy arguing with her jockey on the way to the start and throughout the first portions of the race. There is no real case for considering her as a contender and she is still likelier to finish closer to last than first. Nevertheless, with question marks hanging over a few of these, there might be a faint whisper of each way value in a triple digit price.

    Strong prospects
    1. Soldier On Parade
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Prince Percy
    3. Dutch Admiral
    4. Mick
    Feasible prospects
    5. Current
    Moderate prospects
    6. Dorchester Dom
    7. Party Potential
    Negligible prospects
    8. Dragon Man
    9. Billy The Squid


    • #3
      Fascinating stuff Kotkijet, very enjoyable read...


      • #4
        I've been contemplating which adjective to use to best describe how I feel after reading this thread and after three and a bit cans of lager, I have landed on remarkable.

        Dictionary defined as: "worthy of attention."

        How many juvenile races are there a season?

        Can you keep this up?!


        • #5
          Originally posted by Istabraq View Post
          Fascinating stuff Kotkijet, very enjoyable read...
          Nice one Istabraq!

          Originally posted by Kevloaf View Post
          I've been contemplating which adjective to use to best describe how I feel after reading this thread and after three and a bit cans of lager, I have landed on remarkable.

          Dictionary defined as: "worthy of attention."

          How many juvenile races are there a season?

          Can you keep this up?!

          There were 87 races with the word Juvenile in the title during the last completed season which would not include Irish races or novices, handicaps or sellers etc in which juveniles participated. I have probably done the bulk of the foundational work in the spreadsheet and have just gone over a year without drinking which means I have become quite adept at keeping myself occupied without getting bored. A younger me might find current me rather boring but I am better than he is at writing about juvenile hurdlers so I am happy with the trade-off. I have enjoyed doing the research and learning the odd thing or two during this process so unless life gets in the way then I would hope that I can maintain this to the old Whitbread meeting.

          Originally posted by Kotkijet View Post
          As covered in an exercise of explaining the blooming obvious in the preview for Monday's race, Alan King is a force to be reckoned with in the division.
          A preview which was not shown on this forum...

          Alan King has had a rather barren spell with the Triumph Hurdle in recent years but he is still a force to be reckoned with in the division. From the seventy-one trainers with fifteen or more runners since the 2011/12 season, he is surpassed only by Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins for winners/runners and has the best record from those with fifty or more juveniles for improving their charges from flat to jumps.

          Since 2011/12 Alan King has won juvenile hurdles with horses bringing moderate flat ratings, Red Mercury (63), Gimme Five (58) and Forgiving Glance (58). Put into context, Party Potential brings an official rating of just 49 which is the lowest of all of the 69 with official ratings during the period.

          I also neglected to mention that those figures between the {} things are the horse's family numbers. There is a more detailed explanation available which I can get to later but the gist is that they represent common damlines. Those who paid more attention than I did to my writing will have spotted that Dorchester Dom and Dutch Admiral are both representatives of branch {9-e} which means they are cousins of sorts. Although they are probably not closely related enough to get invited to each others' weddings since Dorchester Dom's 17th dam Maid Of Masham (second in the 1851 Ebor Handicap) is the 15th dam of Dutch Admiral. Incidentally, Maid Of Masham is also the 13th dam of Burrough Hill Lad. Granted, this revelation would probably have zero influence on the market but it is still mildly amusing...


          • #6
            Bloody Hell, that's tremendous work

            How many man hours have gone in to this ?


            • #7
              Originally posted by Joleg View Post
              Bloody Hell, that's tremendous work

              How many man hours have gone in to this ?
              Cheers Joleg. The short answer to your question would be "many". But it is something I have found myself thoroughly enjoying so while the time spent doing data entry can seem interminable and leave me with something of a thousand yard stare, it is mostly enjoyable to the point where I just get lost in the work and the time flies by.

              Originally posted by Kotkijet View Post
              I also neglected to mention that those figures between the {} things are the horse's family numbers. There is a more detailed explanation available which I can get to later...
              This is where my afternoon went so I may as well do this now. Here is an explanation of family numbers that I prepared earlier;-

              Thoroughbred families are something which I only became familiar with fairly recently and have been out of fashion for a while. An authoritative explanation is found here but I will also offer a rudimentary explanation in my own words and contextualise it for this thread.

              Just as you have the foundation stallions (Darley Arabian, Godolphin Arabian, Byerley Turk), there are also foundation mares. These mares were assigned numbers and the letters after the numbers represent a branch. The majority (save for AQPS and very obscure ancestors) of horses racing today will belong to one of these groups and these codes will indicate a common broodmare on the damline. There was a time when these family numbers would appear in catalogues as seen here in the one for the 1961 Goff's Bloodstock Sales. However, this information no longer appears in catalogoues presumably because these family numbers have become so diluted. Nevertheless, I have collated the numbers for all of the juveniles from recent seasons and will publish them for those running this season just in case there is something useful to be gleamed. If the information offers no discernible evidence as to a horse's potential for the sphere then it is still rather fun and they can be used to trace relatives on a common damline.

              The family numbers in my previews will appear between this characters {} which are actually known as "curly brackets". Using an example from today's race, Prince Percy belongs to family {1-u} which also features Lostintranslation, Cahervillahow and Walk In The Park who was mentioned in the preview. The common taproot between Prince Percy and Walk In The Park is the latter's dam Classic Park who is the third dam of the former. An examination of their pedigrees will show that the two are fairly closely related. The common dam with Cahervillahow is Muscida who appears a little further back being the 7th dam of Prince Percy and 4th dam of Cahervillahow. Further back is the common dam of Lostintranslation whose 11th dam Veldt (born in 1905) is the 10th dam of Prince Percy. The shared genetics of these horses can get diluted to the extent that there may be people reading this who are closer related to myself than these horses are to one another. The example I used earlier with Dutch Admiral, Dorchester Dom and Burrough Hill Lad would be a good illustration of this.

              Finding these relatives is a convoluted process which for me requires the use of two websites and a spreadsheet. will tell you the family number of a horse if it has one, allows you to find the Stutenlinie of a horse once you find a pattern class dam and transposed pasting and some fannying around will allow you to find that common ancestor. Furthermore, Wikipedia articles on racehorses will (or should!) also categorise the horses into their thoroughbred families so if you wanted to see if your "never nearer than mid-division" sweetheart has notable relatives, you can use the thoroughbred family number category on wikipedia and have loads of fun.

              You can use this as a template and here I have put in 1-n for this season's leading juvenile Hiconic.


              This shows you that Hiconic is from the same family as High Chaparral, One For Arthur and Epatante although you would have to go through a faffy rigmarole to find how closely they are related.

              One limitation of this information that reveals itself when it comes to assessing hurdling potential is that the family 1-n, along with the aforementioned stamina horses, counts the crack sprinter Anabaa among its numbers. That being said, Anabaa's progeny were capable were far from one dimensional sprinters and as a damsire, can count Treve, Capri, Hartnell and Shantou Rock among his descendants. While this could lead credence to the relevancy of family numbers, this is merely one anecdotal piece of evidence.

              Now as far as the evidence I have collected is concerned, there have been 195 family branches represented by juveniles since 2012/13, not including the 81 horses who do not have one (such as Defi du Seuil, Bristol de Mai and Espoir d'Allen). 45 families have had 30 or more representatives and by winners to runners, the most successful are {1-u} with 37%, and {8-f} and {2-d} on 32%. The least successful are {8-c}, {14-f} and {1-m} with rates of 12% or less. However, using the improvement rates, {14-f} is at a respectable 46% whereas {2-d} is on 38% so we can already see how murky these waters can be. {8-f} is consistently above average across the boards with a sample size of 60 and amongst its ranks can count handy juveniles Cerberus, Allblak Des Places and Project Bluebook although Burnt Imp is the only representative to have won a decent juvenile hurdle since 1983/84. {1-p} has poor rankings in the 2012/13 group but by the same token can count Hurricane Fly among its numbers. While The Fly is a rare jumps horse in the group of Black Caviar, Continent and Sole Power, he is still a disorienting exception.

              Maybe information that can be extrapolated from family numbers may become more cogent with some fine tuning and contextualisation through the use of stallion comparisons or dosage factors. Perhaps an astute observer will discover the key and be willing to share with the rest of the class. It is possible that neither will occur from this endeavour and the modern intrinsic value in family numbers exists only as a trivial novelty. Nevertheless, the work done within this thread is for the sake of work and provided it is done with integrity and pleasure then it will be its own satisfying reward. If it happens to throw up loads of winners and unveil the holy grail of national hunt breeding then that will merely be a happy coincidence.

              With that out of the way, I have since done a bit more work on dosages and family numbers. Here is the condensed data for juvenile performances by dosage index in blocks according to the number of races contested with the deviations from the averages at the end. Apologies for the presentation;-

              I will not belabour the point made in the previous post on the matter (on the pedigree query thread) but these additional figures have broadly confirmed the rudimentary premise that low dosage index equals good. If anybody has any thoughts, observations or questions pertinent to the above figures then please feel compelled to share them.

              Going back to the family numbers, they did seem rather vague and indecisive on their own when the statistics were first assembled. Nevertheless, unperturbed and now armed with the dosage information that concerns itself with the upper part of the pedigree charts, I decided to see if applying DI to the family numbers would reveal anything of interest. Could it be possible that some families are crying out for some solid or even professional genes in order to reach their juvenile hurdling potential? As a DI of 1.00 or lower seems was a statistically positive figure, I took those with according DI figures who had three or more runs and isolated the family numbers before comparing the winners:runners and 108+ ratios to the general figure. After doing this, three family numbers saw performance increases of over a third;-

              {4-i} (Goshen, Footpad, Sir Psycho / Rock On Ruby, Kemboy, Maid Of Money / Azamour, Falbrav, Quest For Fame)
              {19} (Pentland Hills, Allmankind, Kentucky Hyden / Gay Trip, Pats Jester, Miss Nero / Oasis Dream, Kingman, Kooyonga)
              {21-a} (Adriana Des Mottes, Mister Chow, Kapga De Cerisy / Mill House, Cue Card, Anzum / Sakhee, Doyoun, Sweetmeat)

              These three families are shown in these tables with their progeny banded by dosage index.

              Small sample sizes notwithstanding, insofar as these three families are concerned, the possession of a low dosage index appears to make a very marked impact on the progeny's ability to perform over juvenile hurdles. Although it would probably do to consider that these may be exceptional cases and that a magic formula has not been happened upon.


              • #8
                Sensational stuff Kotkijet - what a start!!


                • #9
                  Yep, tremendous work once more, I look forward to your observations as the season develops.
                  Excellent stuff...


                  • #10
                    Cheers lads.

                    The fourth juvenile hurdle of the season took place yesterday at Market Rasen and the first sans Hiconic. In the end, it went to her Bangor victim who won the race very nicely. While by pure dint of flat form and connections the field seemed fairly strong beforehand, there were enough holes in the profiles to be sceptical about the overall quality of the field and this is emphasised by the sloppy jumping by many of the runners. Nevertheless it was still ran at a fair gallop and the two with the sturdiest biographies came to the fore which makes the form more reliable. Soldier On Parade was second favourite to Dutch Admiral in one tissue and the early exchanges saw the winner offered at 7/4 but his starting price was a much better reflection of his chances. Party Potential and Dutch Admiral's opening shows were understandable from their basic profiles and their drifts sensible. Quite why Billy The Squid started the day in single digits was peculiar and may have hinged on the stable's decent form but his price also went in the correct direction. Dorchester Dom drifted like a barge but his attitude cleared up that mystery. The going was good.

                    Soldier On Parade did not win head on chest but it was a very comfortable success and was never asked to do more than stretch out. Leading from the start, he took a fairly keen hold early on and went left at the first two flights but apart from being guessy at the last was neat and tidy at the rest of his jumps. Similarly to Bangor, his pace around half a mile out had the rest of the field in trouble and without asked any serious questions was able to win quite cosily in the end. While he looked like a very nice horse, given the improvement anticipated from his Bangor effort, he was entitled to win this race as he did. There probably should not be too much read into the distance he put between himself and those behind as they all gave incorrect answers to the questions posed of them going into the race. Nevertheless, it was still a good performance for what it was and a rating in the mid 110s would be fair. Whether that is good enough to defy a penalty will depend on the competition.

                    Prince Percy was representing a decent yard and pedigree for the discipline as well as a fair standard of form from the flat. He missed his intended jumps debut at Newton Abbot after reportedly being found cast in his box but showed no ill effects for that experience and made a pleasing introduction. Lit up a bit early on, he settled fairly quickly and apart from a couple of confused jumps at the end of the race, he went over his hurdles nicely. The standard of this performance would be broadly in keeping with the flat form shown by this consistent horse and he can certainly be competitive in this kind of race. If there is to be a note of caution, this was the seventh time in as many career starts that he was supported in the market without winning. Perhaps too much can be read into that but this capable and consistent animal still needs to prove that he can have his head in front at the finishing line.

                    Mick finished ahead of the winner on the flat at Doncaster but the gap in hurdling experience accounted for many of the twenty-two lengths between the pair on this occasion. Slightly hampered at the first before being big and slow at several of his jumps, Mick was off the bridle and finding himself outpaced at the end of the back straight, but he did manage to rally into third place at the finish. This was a fair debut and he has given himself enough to work on but he would want to be a bit more confident in the future and his being inconsistent on the flat will also have to be taken into account for the time being.

                    Party Potential was Alan King's second juvenile hurdler of the season after his first, Kings Creek, was beaten into fourth at Stratford last Tuesday. On paper, Party Potential did not look as strong as the aforementioned beforehand and while he jumped better than a few of these, the fluency, attitude and ultimately his form was a level below Kings Creek. He would either have to improve or find a very weak contest to be competitive in the near future.

                    Dutch Admiral ran a shocker on the basis of flat form and trainer but according to his sire, he did as well as can be expected. He has a nice enough size but showed no natural fluency over his obstacles here. Perhaps with sufficient time, schooling and experience he can improve on this but on this evidence, he needs to return to the flat if he is going to make use of his patent ability.

                    Current put up a career best here after travelling slightly better than at Bangor and was still just about in touch leaving the back. However, she finished tired and lacks the stamina to be competitive over hurdles at this stage of her career.

                    Billy The Squid was probably distracted when jumping wildly to the left at the first but there are no apparent excuses for his bunny hopping and other forms of non-hurdler hurdling. Was pushed along going past the stands and lost touch before leaving the back straight.

                    Dragon Man improved on his Stratford outing and although he needed encouraging into most of his jumps, managed to get over them alright. He does not look a natural for this discipline.

                    Dorchester Dom opened at a price of 8/1 in the morning, representing the strong Nigel Twiston-Davies yard. There were misgivings to be had over the quality of his form since his debut in last year's Brocklesby but his drifting out to 66/1 was conspicuous. In the event, he barely consented to jump off and the quality of his hurdling was poor before he was pulled up with two left to jump.


                    • #11
                      Ireland's first juvenile hurdle of the season takes place at Roscommon on Monday and is due to see several top yards in the division represented. Eleven races of its type have taken place at the course since 2011 with the average winning dosage index being 1.75 mean and 1.77 median. Roscommon being a sharp track with some of the lowest seconds-per-furlong average times would correspond with these relatively high DIs. The race, particularly with its large field size looks like a trappy affair and while a couple of nice horses might emerge, it should still be approached with caution as most of the contenders have quesions to answer.

                      A Mere Bagatelle bg John Joseph Hanlon (56) 50
                      Born To Sea (Fasliyev){11}(4.00) 3/1 Kerawi 1st Christmas Hurdle (G1), Kempton 1997
                      A Mere Bagatelle had three flat starts last season for Jonathan Fogarty and found himself well beaten on each occasion. There were some useful animals ahead of him in those races such as Innisfree, Shekhem and Mogul, but he was too far away from them to catch any kudos by proxy. On breeding, A Mere Bagatelle ticks several boxes as his sire has made a decent start in the discipline and his granddam was a sibling of good hurdler Kerawi. There would be nagging stamina doubts, particularly as the family sees a marked improvement with a lower dosage index, although Roscommon is one of the less demanding tracks in that regard.

                      Belgoprince chg A J Martin (70.4) 48
                      Prince Gibraltar (Bering){9-f}(0.82) 2/1 Golden Marvel Jumps winner in USA
                      Belgoprince had nine starts in his native France with the last three coming in claimers at Marseille's Pont-de-Vivaux. He won the first of those races before being beaten into third and second while coming ahead at the weights. He was claimed for €16,256 after the third of those outings where he showed a decent willingness to hit the front before possibly idling close to the line. The winner that day has since been finishing mid division in handicaps, the third places has been runner up in handicaps his last three starts and the fourth's valeur has risen to 34 so Belgoprince's official rating of 70 looks very fair on that basis. Following a three month absense, he made his Irish debut in a Ballinrobe apprentice handicap where he finished down the field after receiving little support in the market. Only Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins have sent out more juveniles than Tony Martin than 2011/12 although his winners to runners ratio is rather on the lower end of the scale and he has not recently been amongst the winners. Sire Prince Gibraltar has yet to have a hurdler in the UK or Ireland but has had four in France thus far including a winner and two placed horses - one of those being recent Arqana sales topper Prunay. His dam has a jumps winning sibling in America and is herself 3/2 with the decent French juveniles Houx Maqique and Hoc Volo. Belgoprince is certainly capable of making a useful juvenile hurdler although it remains to be seen if he is firing on all cylinders first time out.

                      Calidus Mirabilis bg Joseph Patrick O'Brien (68) 75
                      Hot Streak (Oasis Dream){4-j}(1.50) 4/5 La Limagne 1st Handicap Hurdle, Auteuil 2018
                      Joseph O'Brien's first juvenile runner of the season, Calidus Mirabilis was twice successful on the all weather at the beginning of the year when taking successive handicaps at Dundalk and then at Chelmsford. He showed a nice attitude in the process of winning at Chelmsford although he did drift to his right at Dundalk both when winning in January and when runner up in the middle of last month. The form is fair although his official flat rating of 70 may be the ceiling of his ability and a switch to hurdling at this stage may be done as an alternative to competing off his mark. Calidus Mirabilis will also be Hot Streak's first offspring to go over jumps and while Iffraaj (also on the Zafonic sireline) produced last season's good juvenile and stablemate Cerberus, the latter's damsire Montjeu is a far more secure stamina influence than Oasis Dream.

                      Dazzling Darren chg Gavin Cromwell (68) 70
                      Dragon Pulse (Dark Angel){16-f}(1.67) no jumps relatives
                      When looking at trainers whose charges improve for the switch between codes, of those with ten or more qualifiers, Gavin Cromwell sits atop the table with 80% of his juveniles improving on their equivalent flat ratings. He is due to saddle two in this field, the first being the mount of Conor McNamara. Dazzing Darren joined the Gavin Cromwell yard for £4,200 after a winless six race season as a two year old which saw him earn a rating of 49. Following a hat-trick of wins at Chelmsford, Lingfield and Wolverhampton that rating increased to 58 and a further increase to the current 68 followed three successive seconds at this track in handicaps ranging from ten furlongs on good-to-firm to twelve furlongs on heavy. This sequence of consistency came to an end last week at Galway where he was perhaps keener than usual in first time blinkers which are left off here. The form of these runs is reasonable without being remarkable but he does have the measure of several of these rivals. Dazzing Darren's case does rather deteriorate when considering his pedigree as Dragon Pulse has a mere 3% strike rate with his juveniles and there are no jumpers to be found within recent generations on the damline.

                      Differentiate bg Gavin Cromwell (55) 58
                      Maxios (Kris S){2-d}(1.21) 2/2 Maxios 3/1 Exit To Nowhere
                      The other Cromwell entry, Differentiate differentiates from stablemate Dazzling Darren in that while his flat form is weaker, his pedigree profile is stronger. Insofar as his flat form is concerned, he has improved recently and is showing consistency with two third place finishes over distances of thirteen and fourteen furlongs. However, his mark of 55 is the lowest of all those achieved by his rivals bar one and the subsequent form of his outings are in keeping with the low ratings involved. Nevertheless, Differentiate's stallion Maxios is a force in this division with his winners to runners, wins to runs, 108+ RPRs and improvement rates all near or at the top. And although there are no jumpers on the immediate damline, Differentiate's dam is a half sister to leading juvenile sire Maxios. Though one might ruminate on Maxios and the fondness he has for his auntie, a more interesting fact is that his uncle Exit To Nowhere was a very decent dual-purpose sire. Differentiate's career began at the yard of Andrew Oliver under whose care Dodging Bullets, Mega Fortune and Gavin Cromwell's winning juvenile Plain Talking also made their first steps onto the racecourse. It is difficult to get away from the low standard of Differentiate's flat form, particularly as he is badly weighted against several of these, since his profile would otherwise make plenty of appeal.

                      Jeff Kidder bg Noel Meade (64) 71
                      Hallowed Crown (Rail Link){1-l}(0.71) no jumps relatives (2/2 Lady Kapalua)
                      Well beaten on his three runs last year, Jeff Kidder slipped up in the early stages of a ten furlong handicap at this track in mid June. However, he showed no ill effects for that incident and has twice been a narrowly beaten runner up in a pair of 1m5f handicaps at Sligo and Ballinrobe. The front two pulled over six lengths clear in the latter race and while Jeff Kidder was a touch flattered to finish close to the well handicapped winner Shumaker, the form was boosted when that horse followed up again at Down Royal. Noel Meade has an excellent record with juvenile hurdlers and his winners to runners rate of 39% increases to 50% when accounting only for horses he trained on the flat himself. Winning juvenile hurdles with flat ratings lower than 65 is not a problem for the trainer either with both Bat Masterson and Dodgybingo successful in this sphere with a flat rating of 63. Sire Hallowed Crown has yet to sire any jumps runners but while his sire Street Sense managed to produce a winning juvenile, the Machiavellian line is not altogether encouraging in this sphere. Neither is there much encouragement to draw from Rail Link's influence or that of the damline. Although the negativity surrounding this pedigree is based more on an absence of solid information rather than confirmation of underperformance, it is still detrimental to the horse's overall profile.

                      Little Brother bg J A Nash (57) 57
                      Gale Force Ten (Thunder Gulch){5-h}(3.00) 4/1 Salamah 3rd Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle, Ascot 1998
                      Little Brother got off the mark on his eighth attempt when winning a Sligo handicap by a neck from Jeff Kidder and Differentiate and had twice placed in Roscommon handicaps leading up to that race.
                      The win came after a step up of three furlongs in trip after shaping as though further would suit when twice placed over ten furlongs. The form of that win has stood up with the next three home each finishing placed in similar handicaps and while he was a beaten favourite last time at Killarney, it did not represent a major regression. Notwithstanding, the gap of seven pounds in the official ratings between himself and Jeff Kidder seems fair. The records of sire and trainer in this sphere are respectable without being prolific.

                      Longclaw bc Gordon Elliott (84) 83
                      Kitten's Joy (Dixie Union){3-d}(2.38) american family
                      After beginning at the Curragh in July and finishing third behind Group One winners Alpine Star and Santiago, Longclaw's two year old career saw him contest a listed contest at Kentucky Downs where he was able to pick up nearly forty thousand pound's worth of third place prize money. After another run at Churchill Downs in November, Longclaw crossed the Atlantic once again to resume his career in Ireland. His return came in less esteemed company in a Roscommon maiden but would finish down the field after drifting to 11/4 from a morning price of 11/10. He was then tried in cheekpieces for his next start but was beaten even further, albeit in slightly stronger company. Gordon Elliott is the leading trainer of juveniles in Ireland with fifty-five individual winners since 2011/12 and the best of Longclaw's flat form is far superior to anything else produced by this field's runners. However, his profile is a regressive one and there is no salvation to be found in either his pedigree or the fact that he is still an entire.

                      Orchestral Rain bg W McCreery (-) 69
                      Born To Sea (Val Royal){23}(2.43) 2/1 Crafty Codger 1st 3YO Hurdle, Punchestown 2014
                      With just the one start, Orchestral Rain is the least exposed of those with experience and that run came in a Killarney maiden where he finished a neck behind Longclaw. It was not a run without promise as after a slow start, he was pushed into a promising position where perhaps too much use was made of him. He lost his place turning in but kept on without being given too hard a time and shaped as though he would very much improve for the experience. Willie McCreery has not saddled a jumps winner in over five years but he can get improvement between codes out of his juveniles and has enjoyed three winners on the flat in the past fortnight including one at Galway. Born To Sea counts the classy A Wave Of The Sea and Aspire Tower along with triple winner Malangan among his early crops of juveniles - the latter two carrying DIs above 2.50. Orchestral Rain's dam is a half sister to winning juvenile Crafty Codger from the family of Alflora, Ardross and Scorpion. His trainer's recent record in jumps races is a concern and Orchestral Rain is mostly an unproven entity but an expectable improvement on his debut run would put his flat form close to the best available from this field and his pedigree has a very favourable feel.

                      Strip Light chg M Halford (68) 67
                      Outstrip (Dark Angel){1-p}(2.00) 3/1 Fine Lace 2nd Juvenile Hurdle, Chepstow 2010
                      It has been a very long time since Michael Halford has sent out a juvenile hurdler but he was the handler of Triumph Hurdle third Golden Cross early on in his training career. However, while Golden Cross's sire Goldmark was a stamina influence who stood as a jumping sire, the same may not ring true for Outstrip. Strip Light has yet to finish within seven lengths of the winner in his three starts on the flat although it would be inaccurate to say he has found himself particularly disgraced. Nevertheless, the official mark of 68 looks steep and while there are capable juveniles on the damline, others here have more solid profiles.

                      Summit Rock bg T G McCourt (56) 69
                      Exceed And Excel (Iceman){16-a}(1.00) 2/2 Quick Jack 1st Galway Hurdle (136), Galway 2015
                      Summit Rock was initially handed a rating of 74 after three runs in Dundalk maidens for Dermot Weld last year. That rating was based on the sole occasion he was beaten less than four lengths and that came in a maiden that has produced only one subsequent winner. After selling at Goffs for €6000 in February, Summit Rock has been well beaten in four handicaps and his current rating of 56 is greater than the sum of those efforts. While he is related to winners on the dam's side, including Galway Hurdle winner Quick Jack, his sire has a poor record in this sphere.

                      Tipperary Moon bg Des Donovan (50) 40
                      Sea Moon (Vale Of York){3-d}(1.29) 3/0 Celestial Choir 1st Dipper Novices' Chase, Newcastle 1998
                      Tipperary Moon will be the first jumps runner for his sire but his damsire produced two winning juveniles of his own and his great granddam was a useful chaser in the nineties. However, the standard of his three flat runs is poor and his trainer has yet to saddle a jumps winner.

                      Lady Kapalua bf J P Dempsey Unraced
                      Maxios (Champs Elysees){1-l}(0.76) no jumps relatives (2/2 Jeff Kidder)
                      Lady Kapula is an unraced filly from a family with no close jumping relatives and from a yard for whom none of its six juveniles have won since 2011/12. The aforementioned Maxios is a stallion worthy of regard and while Champs Elysees mares have yet to produce any jumps runners in the UK or Ireland, he is an above average stallion in the division. It would be difficult to build a case on her sire and damsire alone but she would not be entirely dismissed.

                      Merry Poppins grf J Motherway Unraced
                      Authorized (Peintre Celebre){1-w}(0.68) 2/1 In On The Act 3rd Juvenile Maiden Hurdle, Plumpton 2006
                      Another unraced filly representing another top class sire of juvenile hurdlers. Only Mastercraftsman (21) has sired more winning juveniles than Authorized (20) since 2011/12 and the latter has done so with fewer runners. Peintre Celebre is also an above average damsire whose statistics are only marginally inferior to those of Champs Elysees. Merry Poppins will be only the second juvenile hurdler from the yard since 2011/12 and once again, a strong argument for her can not be made based on decent sirelines alone.

                      Runcible bf Miss Katy Brown (59) 61
                      Ivawood (Tiger Hill){9-c}(1.67) 2/1 Cyborg 122 1st Maiden Hurdle, Ballinrobe 2010
                      First Reserve. Was not disgraced in her defeats in maiden company over ten furlongs at Lingfield or Leopardstown but has since disappointed in two subsequent outings. Ivawood is zero from one with juvenile hurdlers and his sire Zebedee has a poor record in the division. Tiger Hill is respectable in the sphere but there is not much else on which to hinge her case.

                      Hay Kimbello blg Denis Gerard Hogan (-) 24
                      Alhebayeb (Key Of Luck){6-e}(2.00) 3/2 Midnight Legend 3rd Aintree Hurdle (G1), Aintree 1999
                      Second reserve. Was beaten a combined forty-nine lengths in two maidens last year and was beaten twenty-three lengths when 150/1 for his reappearance at Gowran Park in June. Related to Midnight Legend and Key Of Luck is an able damsire but neither the records of her sire nor trainer in this division inspire enthusiasm.

                      Voice Of Hope brg Andrew Slattery (63) 72
                      Poet's Voice (Montjeu){14-c}(0.82) 3/1 Pack The Punch 3rd Maiden Hurdle, Wexford 2015
                      Third reserve. Has not raced this season and his form rather tailed off towards the backend of the last campaign. Should stay on breeding and his sire, trainer and damsire are not without their merits in the sphere. Damline also features good jumps stallions Sholokhov and Soldier Of Fortune. Perhaps worthier of a place in this field than a few of the declared runners but still has an absence and loss of form to overcome.

                      Strong prospects
                      1. Orchestral Rain
                      2. Jeff Kidder
                      3. Belgoprince
                      Reasonable prospects
                      4. Dazzling Darren
                      5. Calidus Mirabilis
                      6. Longclaw
                      Feasible prospects
                      7. Differentiate
                      8. Little Brother
                      Moderate prospects
                      9. Lady Kapalua
                      10. Voice Of Hope (R)
                      11. Merry Poppins
                      12. Strip Light
                      13. A Mere Bagatelle
                      Negligible prospects
                      14. Summit Rock
                      15. Tipperary Moon
                      16. Runcible (R)
                      17. Hay Kimbello (R)


                      • #12
                        Cracking stuff again Kotkijet - much better breakfast read than the SundayTimes.


                        • #13
                          Not content with simply writing a 2844 word essay on a Monday afternoon Roscommon maiden hurdle, I dedicated a large portion of my bike ride this morning to thinking about the race. Perhaps the scenery of my Peak District route would have sufficed in keeping my attention were I not peddling into a driving headwind while getting pelted with thick rain but I did get to thinking about the success rates of juveniles purchased from French claimers.

                          So according to my records, thirty juvenile hurdlers since the 2011/12 season were sourced in French claimers. Sixteen from flat claimers and fourteen from the hurdle races. Overall, seven of those horses won as juveniles, three bought from flat claimers and four from the jumps and the wins to runs rates are four from forty-nine flat (8.2%) and four from fifty-eight jumps (6.9%)

                          The median jumps rating of those purchased from claiming hurdles was 111 while the median RPR achieved in the UK/IRE during the juvenile season was 108. This dip in standard was slight compared to the flat claimed counterparts who earned a median RPR of just 89.5 despite a median flat mark of 71.5. Only one horse of these thirty recouped their claiming price during their juvenile season and that was Chic Name who earned £20,668 in prize money during a ten race campaign after being claimed by Richard Hobson out of the Augustin Adeline De Boisbrunet yard for €13,000.

                          Insofar as tomorrow's race is concerned Tony Martin's Belgoprince was claimed from Cedric Rossi for €16,256. Belgoprince is set to be the sixth horse claimed from French claimers (all flat races incidentally) to run over hurdles as a juvenile for the yard during this time period. None of them have won in fourteen starts between them and only Fullmoon In Paris collected any prize money courtesy of her thirty-seven length fourth in a Gowran maiden in 2017. Tropic Thunder would win two on the bounce after leaving the Martin yard and Mydor landed the odds for Tony Martin in a Fairyhouse Handicap as a five-year-old. Another who would enjoy success under the care of the Summerhill trainer was Heartbreak City. After changing hands for €23,006, Heartbreak City would not win his first race for his new handler until the summer as a five year old when taking a class 2 York handicap. He would go on to win another handicap at the venue in the shape of the 2016 Ebor before finishing runner up in the Melbourne Cup.

                          Nevertheless, while Belgoprince might one day earn nearly three quarters of a million pounds, I am not quite as optimistic about his prospects in tomorrow's race and will change the prospects list accordingly. Once again, this is only to contextualise the race in advance and should not be taken as a tip. I am not a tipster. Mercifully, the parasites have not priced this one up yet so the original prospects list will not have affected anybody's financial wellbeing. I hope... If there ends up being an avalanche of money for Belgoprince then his prospects improve but otherwise, they lie somewhere between reasonable and feasible. I am not a tipster.

                          Strong prospects
                          1. Orchestral Rain
                          2. Jeff Kidder
                          Reasonable prospects
                          3. Dazzling Darren
                          4. Calidus Mirabilis
                          5. Longclaw
                          6. Belgoprince
                          Feasible prospects
                          7. Differentiate
                          8. Little Brother
                          Moderate prospects
                          9. Lady Kapalua
                          10. Voice Of Hope (R)
                          11. Merry Poppins
                          12. Strip Light
                          13. A Mere Bagatelle
                          Negligible prospects
                          14. Summit Rock
                          15. Tipperary Moon
                          16. Runcible (R)
                          17. Hay Kimbello (R)

                          Originally posted by nortonscoin200 View Post
                          Cracking stuff again Kotkijet - much better breakfast read than the SundayTimes.
                          Cheers NC.

                          Pleased as I am that somebody would read my essay, I did wonder if perhaps you had not been reading your Sunday paper thoroughly enough...

                          *language warning*
                          Last edited by Kotkijet; 2 August 2020, 02:10 PM. Reason: missed out the word Ebor


                          • #14
                            Look forward to your views when we start to see some serious juveniles out Kotkijet, as useful as it is to see your analysis for M Rasen and Roscommon I doubt we’ll see too many of these horses competing for top honours, but some of those decent Oct/Nov races will prove very informative and your efforts may well find us the odd nugget...


                            • #15
                              Guilty - catching the next flight to Tibet.