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Juvenile Hurdlers 2020/2021

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  • The reviews for the weekend's action should be up by day's end, but first, the preview for tomorrow's... race.

    Tomorrow marks the second year that Punchestown hosts a three-year-old maiden hurdle in late November. Last year's renewal introduced Aspire Tower, who would finish second in the Triumph Hurdle, and Wolf Prince, second in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle. This year's edition, for all that it contains beautiful horses who are all very lovely and are all deserving of love, does not look good. The seven newcomers have forty-five flat races between themselves without a win and represent trainers who have not scored first time out from one hundred attempts combined. One of the two with hurdling experience has shown something resembling form, but he would be happier with a sharper test which will not be provided on soft to heavy ground around Punchestown. The average winning DIs of 1.00 median, 1.22 mean are in the lower third of racecourses and its clear round rate of 95.51% is similarly challenging.

    Alexei Vronsky bg Padraig Roche f6-1-0 (68) 71 j2-0-0 (-) 103 102
    Power (Fasliyev){11-d}(3.00) Maria Padilla 0.5 7th 3YO Maiden Hurdle, Thurles 2013
    One of two with hurdling experience in the field, Alexei Vronsky has the best form and is the most fluent jumper of the pair. His debut came at Galway last month where he only made two real errors and moved well leaving the back straight. He was unable to sustain his effort and finished tired on his first run in two and a half months. Nevertheless, he was a respectable ten length fourth and the three ahead of him have each been placed in subsequent outings. Alexei Vronsky was next seen at the beginning of the month in a Fairyhouse maiden where once again, he jumped well and attempted to make ground before finishing tired in a race which has worked out similarly well. Were the ground to dry out dramatically between now and two o'clock tomorrow then he would take all the beating as his ability and aptitude set a solid target. However, his win on the flat came on good to firm, he was twice withdrawn on the flat due to soft ground and he has failed to fully see out both of his races in the sphere. Notwithstanding, given the quality of the opposition, he still comes into the race with a strong chance.

    Loved Out bg Thomas Mullins f5-0-1 (65) 68
    Requinto (Mister Baileys){10-b}(1.15) 3/1 Brightner 1st Novices' Hurdle, Taunton 1988
    Loved Out first saw the racecourse in the middle of June where he finished fourth of seven in a Gowran Park maiden over an extended nine furlongs. Since then, he has been to Leopardstown four times where a fifth and a second in maiden company were followed by a gelding operation and a pair of midfield finishes in soft ground handicaps off 66 last month. He weakened in the final furlong on his penultimate start over twelve furlongs, but Ran on after minor traffic problems over ten furlongs last time. The form of neither race has worked out great but his mark of 65 looks fair and it would still be the third highest in this field. Requinto has only one winner from six juvenile hurdlers but Billy The Squid and Breguet Boy have represented him creditably this season. Loved Out has seven flat winning siblings who generally performed at shorter trips and is from the family of top class sprinter Cadeaux Genereux. Nevertheless, winning hurdler Brightner (3/1) and good jumpers Teaatral (3/3) and Two Taffs (3/4) also appear on the damline. The record of Thomas Mullins with juvenile hurdlers is the best of the trainers represented in this field and his 37.5% winners to runners rate is the only one above the standard 20%. Four of his six winners, including Rock Chica who scored at Tipperary last month, were rated 60 or less on the flat, and his clear round rate of 98.41% is also the best in the field for trainers with more than one runner. Although he has yet to score with a hurdling debutant from seventeen attempts, it is not for want of trying as six of those were able to reach a place first time. Furthermore, the yard is currently in decent form with four wins from fourteen in the past fortnight at prices ranging from 9/2 to 33/1. There are slight concerns over Loved Out's ability to fully see out the trip but he should have no trouble with the ground and these concerns are further mitigated by the lack of habitual front runners in the line up.

    Movie King chg A J Martin f6-0-1 (46) 55
    Animal Kingdon (Songandaprayer){2-d}(9.00) 4/6 Red Tornado 2nd Summer Handicap Hurdle (130), Market Rasen 2017
    In a sign of the times and of the future, Movie King is set to be the first juvenile hurdler to have been sold at a Goffs online auction. He fetched €14,000 earlier in the month but remains under the care of Tony Martin for whom he twice placed in handicaps off marks in the mid-late forties. While he ran green on his latest start, there is little concern over his ability to handle the ground or the trip. The yard has had six winning juveniles since 2008/09, but none were rated any lower than 70 on the flat. No horse of Tony Martin's has won first time out either and from fifty-nine debutants, only Edeymi (his best juvenile hurdler he's handled during this period) would finish in the first three. The Candy Stripes, Leroidesanimaux line is not one that brings success in the sphere and the damline is bereft of jumpers until you get to Red Tornado (4/6) and Mega Fortune (5/6).

    Peckham Springs chg Paul Stafford f6-0-0 (79) 73
    Gale Force Ten (Daylami){21-a}(1.67) 3/2 Balanak 1st Dovecote Novices' Hurdle, Kempton 1995
    Peckham Springs brings the highest flat rating into the field, although it is not reflected in his performances and it has yet to be tested in handicap company. Initially rated 73 after three outings between late August and the beginning of October, he was raised six pounds for a three and a quarter length fourth in a Naas maiden at the start of this month. In isolation, it was a decent enough performance as he half a length behind an 85 rated subsequent winner, and five lengths ahead of a 147 rated chaser. He was unable to sustain this promise five days later at the Curragh where though he was fifth of fifteen, he was still beaten fourteen lengths and only had outsiders behind him. Gale Force Ten has two winners from six juveniles including Little Brother who won in the summer, and Daylami has a solid enough record as a damsire. While Peckham Springs' half-brother achieved little in six starts over hurdles, he is not too distantly related to Balanak who won the Dovecote as a four-year-old in 1995. Good jumps sires Mastercraftsman (4/3) and Oscar (5/3) also appear on the damline. Paul Stafford has yet to saddle a winning juvenile in eighteen starts, but his 4% strike rate over hurdles is still better than his 0% on the flat.

    Stage Power bg John F Gleeson f5-0-0 (50) 51
    Tamayuz (Lawman){5-h}(1.67) 4/1 Danever 1st George Watson Novice Hurdle (L), Flemington 2008
    Stage Power collected three duck eggs as a two-year-old, and another two during the summer in a pair of handicaps. He since left Sarah Lynam to join a yard sending out its first juvenile hurdler since Grey Fox was pulled up at Listowel in 2004. Tamayuz has a fair record in the division, but that is not enough to foster encouragement even in this contest.

    Wyett Earp bg Anthony Mullins f8-0-0 (48) 58
    Lawman (Nayef){4-l}(1.67) 4/1 Cerulean 5th Maiden Hurdle, Newton Abbot 2004
    Gilded was a speedy filly in the 2006 season who won the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot, and was third in the Cherry Hinton. From the family of Blue Point, she produced two winning sprinters as a broodmare and Wyett Earp will be her first descendent to try hurdling. His eight runs on the flat have mostly been over distances of ten furlongs or longer and have yet to yield success, with his best effort being a three-and-a-half length seventh in a fourteen furlong Killarney handicap off 55. A pair of subsequent runs saw that mark drop to 48 and he has not been seen since early August. He represents another trainer without a win from eighteen attempts in the sphere since 2008/09, although The Last Stand did take a Grade 3 Juvenile for the yard in December 2005. Lawman has an average record in the discipline although there is little further encouragement on the damline.

    Rizannon bf J G Cosgrave f5-0-0 (38) 50
    Lucky Speed (Lucky Guest){13-c}(0.43) 3/1 Erzadjan 5th Wensleydale Hurdle (G2), Wetherby 1993
    Making her racecourse debut in late June, Rizannon beat just four of her fifty-five opponents home in five runs for John C McConnell, and was last seen tailed off in a Cork maiden off a mark of 45. She is set to be the first juvenile hurdler for her sire who, despite the name, was a stoutly bred German Derby winner. The damline also contains numerous hurdlers including siblings Our Brian and Wall Street Wally, winners Lucky Spirit (2/1) and Do You Follow Me (2/1), and useful sorts Erzadjan (3/1), Erzen (3/2), and Ebaziyan (3/3). However she has not joined a prolific yard for her debut in the sphere and her flat form was very poor.

    Roma Delight bf T M Walsh f10-0-4 UsF 30
    Paynter (Devil His Due){8}(2.20) 2/1 Arch Rebel 1st Juvenile Hurdle (G2), Leopardstown 2004
    While Longclaw had a few races in the states, the only horse to have gone juvenile hurdling after exclusively racing across the pond since 2008/09 was Phil Middleton's Or So in 2015. Roma Delight would have been the latest such curiosity after a nine race career for Jeremiah O'Dwyer which resulted in three seconds. Her latest American outing came when sixth in a Turfway Park claimer back in February and while it is not clear whether or not she was claimed out of that race, she did run with a price tag of $30,000. Assessing the standard of form is a difficult task but the general idea is that an Equibase rating at claiming level is a few pounds lower than its Timeform and RPR equivalents. Roma Delight twice ran to 70 last December although her figures this year were 58 twice and 53 last time out. All this was rendered rather moot however as a run at Dundalk early this month elucidated both her ability and the expectations as she drifted from 33/1 to 100/1 before finishing last of fourteen in a seven furlong maiden. Sire Paynter has, unsurprisingly, never had a European runner over hurdles although his sire, Awesome Again, did produce Musselburgh handicap hurdle runner-up Uncut Stone. Nevertheless, Roma Delight's half-brother Downtown Rebel was third in a Ballinrobe 3-y-o hurdle in 2017 and her dam is a half-sister to the top class juvenile Arch Rebel. Ted Walsh has not been a prolific trainer in the division in recent years with just one winner from his last eleven - although he did send out Commanche Court to win the Triumph Hurdle in 1997, and Top Strategy to finish third in the 2004 renewal of that race. Had she shown better form on her debut, and joined her trainer fifteen years ago, she might have been a more compelling debutant.

    Saga Malta bf Barry J Fitzgerald j2-0-0 (-) 81 82
    War Command (Exceed And Excel){22-b}(2.11) 2/1 Juno The Muffinman 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Warwick 2012
    Saga Malta made her racecourse debut at Fairyhouse where she lacked fluency and finished twenty-eight lengths behind the winner - ten lengths behind an underperforming Alexei Vronsky. She was last seen on Friday when she fell at the third in Youmdor's race. Ordinarily, she would be a no hoper in most races but by virtue of her having some experience over hurdles, even if she lacked fluency, she would not be ruled out entirely which speaks volumes of this contest.

    Strong prospects
    1. Loved Out
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Alexei Vronsky
    3. Peckham Springs
    Feasible prospects
    4. Roma Delight
    5. Wyett Earp
    Moderate prospects
    6. Movie King
    7. Saga Malta
    Negligible prospects
    8. Rizannon
    9. Stage Power

    Comment


    • This weekend could potentially be an exciting weekend in the division as Paros carries an entry for the Introductory Juvenile Hurdle on Saturday's Fighting Fifth card, and there is also a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse on Sunday - the entries for which close at noon tomorrow. But in the meantime, here is a look at the action from the weekend just gone.

      GOWRAN PARK
      Preview review
      The withdrawals of Crassus, On Guard and Adamaris made Youmdor's task considerably easier and Youmdor won with considerable ease. With the exception of Complete Fantasy and Toughari, every finisher did so in order of the prospects list. I don't quite remember my rationale for having those two in the reverse order but in the grand scheme of things, it is neither here nor there. The horses with experience finished in the same order as dictated by their ratings which is encouraging. There were no real under or overestimations.

      Race review
      Youmdor's victory was made easier by the aforementioned withdrawals, but the field still contained a few useful yardsticks who had the race between themselves with five furlongs left to be run. While the principals all got a close to a couple in the back straight, the quality of jumping was decent for the division and the winning time was upwards of four seconds quicker than the other races held at the distance including a pair of good looking novices and a 0-123 handicap. There were no hard luck stories or alarming drifters, the leading contenders finished in a perfectly acceptable order and were a very long way clear of the remainders. The form looks very reliable.

      Youmdor was following in the hoofprints of Diakali and Footpad by being introduced in this contest and despite imperfect early jumping, make a very striking impression. He steadied on his approach to the first couple of flights, going big over the first and close into the second. However, while he got quite close to the fourth and the penultimate flights, and could not be described as particularly neat or swift, his jumping did improve once he learned his job and put in his best jump when getting ridden into the last. Tracking the leaders throughout, Youmdor eased into the lead after two out and after a clean jump at the last, extended his advantage to sixteen lengths at the line. The only encouragement from the jockey came in the request for a good jump at the last and it would be a stretch to suggest that Youmdor was even shaken up. Yet he treated his improving rivals with utter contempt to post what is, on bare form, the best performance seen to date this season. He is already a winner on good and heavy and the only quibble is that he will need to improve his jumping. Should he become more fluent, which is a reasonable expectation, then Youmdor could be a very serious horse for the upcoming months. 141

      Bigz Belief has now gone fourteen races without success, but he has improved with each outing over hurdles and posted another career best here. Setting off in the lead before disputing same for much of the contest, he clipped the top of the second and got in close to the fourth and fifth. He was also close to two out and slow to get away but it was a decent round of jumping overall. He was a class behind the winner but battled well up the run-in to hold onto second place. Bigz Belief has now been placed on his last four starts and is more than capable of winning an ordinary contest. 116

      Complete Fantasy's hurdling career began with two uninspiring efforts, but he took a sizable leap forward last time out at Fairyhouse and consolidated that performance here. His jumping has also improved with experience and he apart from getting close at the fifth and making slight errors at two others, he jumped well. Held up in the early stages, he moved up to track the leaders as the field began to dwindle. Though he was still travelling well entering the straight, he never looked like threatening for the lead and would only pass the tiring Toughari on the approach to the last. Nevertheless, he kept the pressure on the runner up and is another who can win an ordinary contest. 115

      Toughari had shown only moderate form on the flat and on his sole hurdle outing prior to winning a Fairyhouse handicap on his penultimate outing. A return to hurdles at Fairyhouse saw an improved effort, albeit one tempered with cautious jumping. Another who raced prominently, he was much more assured over the first three jumps but his tendency to steady approaching his hurdles returned at the next two flights. He was better when ridden into the sixth but his jumping fell apart in the straight where he was a tired horse. There was still a distance between himself and the remainder but this was not as good as his Fairyhouse effort. Toughari is not without ability and he can be competitive with more assured jumping, although he may be better served with a handicap mark. 104

      Londonofficecallin has shown traces of ability over hurdles but is usually let down by his jumping. He was the last of the outsiders to lose touch but he was still beaten a long way and there was little improvement in his hurdling either. 73

      Dazzling Darren put in the cleanest round of jumping in this field, but he never got closer than midfield, lost touch a long way from home and was beaten ninety-five lengths. 37

      Baltinglass Hill set off with the others but was detached before he reached the first. His jumps that were picked up by the cameras were either slow or clumsy, and he eventually finished seventy lengths behind Dazzling Darren. 0

      Saga Malta lacked fluency on her hurdling debut and after getting in close to the first here, landed steeply and knuckled on landing when falling at the third. Thankfully she got up OK and galloped on riderless around the circuit in her own time. 0

      Sydney Blues finished second off 70 in a Punchestown handicap as recently as September, but had no enthusiasm for hurdles on his debut in the sphere. Though he did not want for racing speed, he wandered and steadied into every hurdle, lost touch after the fourth and virtually refused at the sixth whereafter he was pulled up. Unless he shows tremendous aptitude in schooling, he should not be tried again over hurdles. 0

      New Zealander 21/11/2020 Huntingdon 2m Maiden Hurdle
      New Zealander ran once on the flat for Charlie Hills in January and was not seen again until his hurdling debut at Wetherby last month. His jumping was not good but it was better next time at Huntingdon where he finished well to finish fourth to Orchestral Rain. Available at 11/1 in the morning, he halved in price ahead of this open aged maiden hurdle. He was somewhat keen early but while he doesn't have the most efficient hurdling style, his only mistake came when slow at the fourth. Though he was never too far from the lead, he never looked like mounting a challenge and while the winner looked a class apart, he still dropped away tamely and was passed at the line by a 300/1 shot. Going by speed and form, this effort was a drop from last time and he is looking like handicaps will be a likelier route to success. 87

      Kentucky Hardboot 21/11/2020 Huntingdon 2m Maiden Hurdle
      Despite having a patchy profile and moderate flat form, Kentucky Hardboot was supported ahead of his debut at Kempton where he finished second to Overpriced Mixer. Disputing the lead for much of the contest, he made mistakes at half of his hurdles and was readily outpaced turning for home before a tired leap at the last. He was eventually beaten by nearly twenty-three lengths but the front two looked like decent sorts and while there was not much in behind, he was still seven lengths ahead of the remainder. His jumping will need to improve but he was not disgraced and can fare well when returned to his own age group. 104

      Orchestral Rain 21/11/2020 Huntingdon 2m Handicap Hurdle
      While Orchestral Rain disappointed on his UK debut, he made amends in a Ludlow maiden and followed up in fine style at Huntingdon at the beginning of the month where a change to front running tactics paid dividends. His mark of 121 looked fairly stiff, but he was still sent off as favourite for his handicap debut over the same course and distance of his latest win. While he got slightly close to the first and fourth, his jumping still much better than on his latest win. However, he lost the lead at three out and could only finish a seventeen length fifth. While the handicap mark will not have been favourable, a better effort was expected. This underperformance can not be attributed to his jumping so the only other explanations are either that he was too keen in the early stages, or he is given to inconsistency as this is not the first time he has disappointed. 106

      EXETER
      Preview review
      Despite drifting from 8/15 to 11/8 at the off, Monmiral won in a manner which more befitted his opening price along with the strength of his profile. Honneur d'Ajonc ran a sound race on his racecourse bow which, while justified by his reasonable profile, perhaps undermines the quality of the remaining runners given the record of debutants. Similar comments apply to The Worthy Brat who was underestimated due to the poor record of junior bumper graduates. Duke Of Condicote matched expectations but Ronde de Nuit and particularly Bourbali were disappointing. Though the former can be excused for being rather fresh on what was just her second outing, the latter certainly ran flat despite jumping well for much of the contest. Though this was the softest ground he had encountered, it is unlikely on breeding that this would cause his underperformance.

      Race review
      Most of the race's attention was drawn towards Monmiral who was making his UK debut after beating stablemate Hell Red at Auteuil back in March. Beyond Monmiral, the field comprised of a pair of horses with decent placed form a recruit from the French flat, a bumper winner and a reasonably bred newcomer so there was some strength in depth. Though the runners were slow to start the race, the pace was a solid one and the winning time compared reasonably with the handicap later on the card. The strength of the second and third is tricky to ascertain but as the runner-up had been supported throughout the day, a good run was likely expected. Overall, the form looks reasonable but there are enough intangibles to prevent it from being described as solid for the time being.

      Monmiral was a decisive winner of the Prix Rush back in March and while he is thought of more as a chaser, he is still expected to do well as a juvenile hurdler. Having his first run in eight months, he was understandable fresh in the early stages, but he relished the underfoot conditions and moved well into the lead on entering the straight. Shaken up between the final two flights, he was asked to go about his business after the last and although he wandered under pressure, he was truer once Harry Cobden brought him to the running rail. He clipped the top of the fourth and seventh, and was got in fairly close to the fifth, but his jumping was otherwise fine and only really affected by his greenness. Though the quality of form is not especially substantial, this was a pleasing debut which promises improvement with experience. Monmiral is patently a horse of considerable potential and there is no reason why he can not do well this season. However, his prospects in a race like the Triumph are undermined by his trainer's assertion that he is a chasing type with a preference for cut in the ground and it is difficult to disagree with that view based on this performance. 124

      Honneur d'Ajonc became the sole Geroge Nympton representative following the withdrawal of Yggdrasil, but he attracted support in the market beforehand and made a pleasing racecourse debut. Apart from being big at the first and getting close to the third and fifth, he put in a decent round of jumping first time and he travelled nicely throughout. While he never looked like threatening the winner, he maintained a prominent position and was always doing enough to repel the challenges for second place. This was a pleasing debut and he has the scope to improve into a fairly useful type on this kind of ground. 113

      The Worthy Brat ran very green when winning a bumper at this venue, but he benefitted from that experience and put up an improved performance to run into third here. Held up in the rear, his jumping was slow at times and he found himself outpaced after the sixth. Nevertheless, he passed four of his rivals in the home straight and got to within a couple of lengths of the runner up by the finish. While his win first time out came on good to firm, he went through the ground well enough and he was entitled to do so on breeding as his sire and siblings had form on soft. The Worthy Brat made a satisfactory hurdling debut and with more assured jumping, can be competitive at this kind of level. 111

      Duke Of Condicote's jumping was not particularly taking on his debut at Warwick, but being ridden in to the first elicited the desired response and apart from landing steeply at three out, put in a decent round. However, despite winning on good to soft and finishing second on soft, he did not appear to enjoy it as much as the firmer ground he had at Warwick and consequently, was unable to build on that performance. It was still a fair effort but he will need to find further improvement before he matches the best of his flat form. 109

      Ronde De Nuit was having her first run since she was fourth at Angers on her sole flat outing in June. She has joined a good yard for the division and her pedigree suggests she can do well in the sphere. While she was fresh in the early stages, her jumping was reasonable and after running off the pace, was still in contention turning for home. Her freshness and lack of fitness saw her empty out quite quickly and being hampered at three out, albeit only slightly, effectively ended her race and her jumps at the last two were tired ones in any case. Averse to the whip on her flat outing, she was not given a hard time on the run in and allowed to come home without urgency. Although this form does not amount to much, there was enough to suggest that she can find plenty of improvement for stripping fitter. 96

      Bourbali shaped well on his first two outings and he jumped and travelled nicely from the front for much of the race. However, after turning in to the straight, he quickly lost his position and would continue to lose ground before sharing last place. There is no reason why the ground would cause him to underperform to such an extent and there were no signs of distress before turning for home. Unless something is revealed to have gone amiss, this may be a first instance of inconsistency for the inexperienced Bourbali. It remains to be seen if this underperformance was an anomaly as he had shown plenty of potential during his prior runs. 95

      Shutupshirley managed to get detached early on his racecourse debut before passing beaten horses at Wincanton. Held up again, he was able to stay in touch with the field for much of the way but did not have the speed necessary to maintain his position in the straight. He jumped well first time out and put in another good round here save for getting close at the sixth. Shutupshirley is not without ability but he is without pace and is unlikely to get competitive at the minimum trip. 95

      Zellerate finished tailed off behind The Worthy Brat in a bumper at this course and made numerous mistakes in rear before pulling up at two out. 0

      Devongate was not disgraced when a sixteen length fifth to The Worthy Brat in the same race, but he still had plenty to find. His cause was not helped by slow jumping and was the first to get detached before pulling up at the top of the straight. 0

      Comment


      • The entries for Sunday's race at Fairyhouse have been released and it looks like it could be a very informative race. Gordon Elliott has three entered in Glorious Zoff, Quilixios and Zanahiyr while Saint Sam of the Willie Mullins yard could be making his Irish debut. Druid's Altar was an interesting winner at Punchestown recently while Jeff Kidder is Noel Meade's chosen representative. Rock Chica and Wyett Earp make up the numbers. Unless the race features just one from the top and two from the bottom, the Triumph markets will almost certainly see some shifting in its aftermath.

        Tomorrow will see Wetherby play host to its third juvenile hurdle of the season in the shape of a maiden contest. Despite its class, the race usually produces above average sorts for the course with winners including Local Hero, Rutherglen and Coeur De Lion. The strength of this years renewal largely revolves around Wensleydale Hurdle fifth First Impression, along with a couple of fairly useful flat horses who disappointed on their hurdling debuts. The course's winning DIs of 1.00 median, 1.20 mean, put it in the bottom quarter of tracks in the UK and Ireland and the figures are 0.32 lower than the average runner. The going is currently good to soft but with no rain forecast in the meantime, conditions are unlikely to deteriorate. Wetherby's clear round rate of 94.75% is the third lowest in the UK behind Fontwell and Towcester which would demand a decent level of jumping. Odds-on favourites in juvenile hurdles at Wetherby have won thirteen times from twenty and the rate of 65% is better than average.

        Triumph Odds
        First Impression 50/1

        En Couleur bg Michael Easterby f3-0-1 (60) 68
        Archipenko (With Approval){16}(0.90) 2/1 Circus Maximus 1st Juvenile Maiden Hurdle, Naas 2001
        One of six newcomers in the field, En Couleur's best effort came on his debut in a seven furlong maiden at Southwell back in March. Based on the subsequent form of those that finished around him, a mark around the mid-late sixties for that performance would be appropriate. However, after a break of six months, he was twice beaten seventeen lengths in a pair of maidens at Newcastle and Redcar. Archipenko is without a winner in the sphere from ten runners and only one in five improved for the switch between codes. With Approval is three winners from five as a damsire and the dam is a half-sister to three winning hurdlers. Michael Easterby's strike rate of 6% in the division matches his current overall form, and his clear round rate of 94.81% is the lowest in the field. Just one of his thirty-five hurdling debutants won first time out, but that did come in the form of Albert's Back who won this very contest in 2017 at 18/1. While En Couleur's overall profile is a patchy one, it is not without glimmers of hope.

        Fact Or Fable grg J S Moore f25-0-2 (48) 64 j1-0-0 (-) 89 82
        Alhebayeb (Dansili){9}(3.00) 0.5 Uther Pendragon 3rd Novices' Hurdle, Kempton 2019
        A 48 rated maiden after twenty-five starts on the flat, Fact Or Fable made several mistakes on his hurdling debut at Warwick and never progressed from the rear. He was beaten thirty four lengths and while he was less than ten lengths behind Grouseman, who was runner-up at Catterick last week, that is not enough to foster much encouragement here.

        First Impression bg John Quinn f8-3-2 (89) 94 j2-0-1 115 124
        Make Believe (Nureyev){16-a}(1.67) 3/3 Kazlian 4th Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle (130), Cheltenham 2012
        Rated 89 on the flat after scoring in a Class 2 handicap at Ayr in September, First Impression has made a good first impression over hurdles. He only failed narrowly to make a winning debut over course and distance last month, and he built on that effort a fortnight later when a thirteen length fifth in the Wensleydale Hurdle. The form of his first outing has not worked out well, but the quality of the Wensleydale has been confirmed by Duffle Coat and Cabot Cliffs posting comparable efforts in the Prestbury Hurdle at Cheltenham. In terms of class, First Impression comfortably sets the standard as he has upwards of a stone in hand over all of his rivals on both flat and jumps form. However, while his trainer's strike rate of 23.89% is much the best of those represented here, he has gone over a year without a jumps winner and his recent form is also a concern. Furthermore, while First Impression has jumped well enough to achieve decent form, his rounds have not been free of errors. Were these factors not an issue, he would stand head and shoulders above these rivals.

        Mr Shady grg J S Moore f18-1-5 (63) 72 j1-0-0 (-) 96 98
        Elzaam (Definite Article){4-i}(2.00) 3/1 Fontaine Fables 1st Novice Hurdle, Fairyhouse 1996
        Hailing from the same Stan Moore yard as Fact Or Fable, Mr Shady has much the better flat form as he was able to collect a Lingfield handicap and his rating of 63 is justified. He also made the more encouraging hurdles debut when fourth of eleven at Ludlow a fortnight ago. While he started at 80/1 and was still beaten by nearly twenty lengths, his breeding for the discipline is not atrocious and the performance broadly matched his flat form. He made errors at half of his jumps but while his trainer has gone a very long time without a jumps winner, none of his juveniles have fallen or unseated since 2008/09 so it is reasonable to anticipate a better round of jumping here. While he is a tough and fairly consistent horse, Mr Shady is also exposed and while improvement is possible, it is unlikely to be enough to make him especially dangerous here.

        Numberoneson bg Harry Whittington f5-1-1 (81) 78 j1-0-0 (-) 78 73
        Camelot (Gone West){4-j}(1.38) 3/4 La Limagne 1st Prix Tanerko (Handicap Hurdle), Auteuil 2018
        Numberonesoon ended his flat career with success in a ten furlong Leopardstown handicap for Joseph O'Brien at the end of July. He fetched 22,000 guineas at Tattersalls the following month and joined a Harry Whittington yard whose 37.5% winners to runners rate is tied with John Quinn, and 69.23% improvement rate stands alone in this field. Though easy in the market ahead of his hurdles bow at Ludlow, he did not go off completely unfancied. However, although he set off prominently, he was already losing positions as the field turned away from the stands and while he was able to stay in touch entering the straight, he eventually finished both tired and tailed off. It was also difficult to be complimentary about his jumping as despite schooling with an eventer, he only tackled two hurdles with any fluency. The tongue tie he wore when winning at Leopardstown is reapplied and while he might be second string on jockey bookings, Daryl Jacob still wins plenty of races for the trainer and, incidentally, has a better record in the sphere than Gavin Sheehan. Had Numberoneson not been so disappointing at Ludlow, he would be a live contender here and there is a chance that he can improve for the experience, the reapplication of the tongue tie and the fact this will be his second run following his gelding operation.

        Ranco bc David Pipe f9-2-3 FrF (78.1) 69 j1-0-0 (-) 69 57
        Makfi (Diesis){6-e}(1.13) 5/4 Native Gallery 3rd Handicap Hurdle (Grade B,139), Punchestown 2013
        Twice a winner on the flat, he was claimed out of the J?r?me Reynier yard for €20,001 after winning at Vichy in June. The runner-up and the fifth that day, receiving seven and ten pounds respectively, are both subsequent winners with equivalent ratings of 83. Prior to Vichy, Ranco won a 2100m handicap at Marseille Borely off 33 (76 BHA) so his flat form would make him competitive. Ranco's UK debut came in a juvenile at Southwell but while the ground was officially good, it was still an attritional affair and his jumping deteriorated as he began to tire before finishing a tailed off last of six finishers. Makfi's record in the sphere is not good as he has only one win from forty-one starts. While Diesis has a solid record as a damsire, there is little jumping talent on the damline. David Pipe has a very good overall record in the discipline but his charges, particularly those claimed from the flat, fare better with a few runs under their girth.

        The Imposter bg Nigel Hawke f1-0-0 (-) 51 j2-0-0 (-) 86 96
        Authorized (Bertolini){20-a}(0.88) 2/1 Currahee 1st Handicap Hurdle (104), Cartmel 2009
        The Imposter achieved little in two starts at Chepstow under as many codes, but he put in a fair round on his hurdling debut and was able to build on that promise last time at Bangor. Jumping well in the main, he never got particularly competitive but stayed on well for an eleven length fourth which was an improvement on his previous outings. By Authorized and out of a half-sister to a fair handicap hurdler, The Imposter is bred to have a future in the sphere, although it is likelier to materialise with further experience. Nevertheless, Nigel Hawke has has a decent season and two of his three juveniles to have ran at Wetherby were winners, including First Impression's victor Historic Heart.

        Two Sox bg Tim Easterby f5-0-0 (52) 57
        Nathaniel (Oasis Dream){19-b}(0.69) 3/1 Birth Rite 1st Novice Hurdle, Navan 2002
        Nathaniel (Burning Victory, Navajo Pass) has made a bright start to his career as a sire of juveniles and is already on the board this season courtesy of Zanahiyr. His latest charge, Two Sox, is a five race flat maiden whose best effort came when overcoming a slow start to finish just over a six length fourth at Ripon in a good ground twelve furlong handicap off 56. However, he was completely tailed off next time at Catterick in early August and has not been since. Stallion aside, there is not much else to get excited about in the pedigree since Oasis Dream's record as a damsire is poor, and Birth Rate (3/1) is the close relative with hurdling form. Tim Easterby's record in the sphere is just below average and while he gets winners in the sphere, only one of his fifty-two at Wetherby has won since 2008/09.

        Warranty bg Harry Whittington f6-1-1 (68) 67
        Authorized (Giant's Causeway{16-c}(0.84) 1/1 Fally Jem 1st 3yo Conditions Hurdle, Fontainebleau 2018
        Warranty did not achieve a great deal on his first five outings on the flat for Mark Johnson, but he absolutely bolted up on his latest outing at Beverley back in August. The race was a six runner maiden handicap over two miles and Warranty was the only runner who elected to run stands side in the straight. Taking up the running rounding the bend, he soon found himself in a clear lead and was eased in the final half-furlong to win by six lengths on the line. Winning off 57 in a 0-65 maiden is not high quality form, but the race has worked out well, producing three who scored in either of their next two starts including Frankenstella who has since been raised nineteen pounds. Huntingdon runner-up Opine was also amongst those who trailed in behind. He has since left Mark Johnston to join Harry Whittington and at ?36,000, will be the most expensive juvenile hurdler bought at auction by his new trainer. Although the race won by Warranty was ran on good, good to firm, being a son of Authorized, he should have little difficulty going through the ground. His sister won on soft at Fontainebleu as a three-year-old and his nephew/half-brother, The Revenant, won a pair of listed chases on heavy ground at the same age. The first choice on stable bookings, his trainer has a very good clear round rate of 98.28% and a first time out strike rate of 12.5%. While he has plenty to find on flat ratings with First Impression, the remainder of his profile is very attractive.

        Yulong Magicreef bg Jonjo O'Neill f5-0-1 (78) 73
        Fastnet Rock (Zamindar){13-c}(2.64) 3/1 Cape Express 1st Handicap Hurdle (125), Aintree 2012
        The Curragh maiden held on the twelfth of June turned out to be white hot as it was won by St Leger winner Galileo Chrome, fourth was Bahrain Trophy second Dawn Rising, fifth was Epsom Derby winner Serpentine and promising juvenile hurdler Zanahiyr was back in ninth. Just a length and a quarter behind Serpentine was Yulong Magicreef who was making his debut for Jessica Harrington. This would be the highlight of his career thus far however, as while he was third next time at Fairyhouse, his next three efforts became progressively worse and he was last seen beaten forty-eight lengths in a nine furlong Leopardstown maiden back in August. Jessica Harrington has a healthy 25.81% winners to runners rate in the division as a trainer, although that rate drops to 15.38% as a source with none of the seven qualifiers improving for hurdles. In Jonjo O'Neill, Yulong Magicreef joins a trainer who gets winners, although that accounts for 18.87% runners and his overall strike rate of 8.33% is only marginally better than his first time out rate of 7.55%. Furthermore, his clear round rate is below average at 94.9% and he is without a winning juvenile at Wetherby since 2008/09. Fastnet Rock has sired two winners from twelve runners in the sphere, Zamindar's record as a damsire is average, and the only notable jumper on the damline is Cape Express at 3/1. The yard has been in the best recent form of those represented here and despite a patchy profile, Yulong Magicreef can be a threat if he can reproduce his debut form.

        Flat White chf Lucy Wadham f5-0-2 FrF 60.5 j1-0-1 (-) 92 105
        Olympic Glory (Monsun){4-i}(0.56) 3/2 Hipsters 1st Prix Go Ahead (L), Auteuil 2019
        Flat White had twice placed third in a five race flat career in France for Eoghan O'Neill, but the form was not of a high standard and effort in the sphere saw her finishing twelfth in a Deauville handicap off a mark of 60.5 back in August. Nevertheless, she has joined a yard with a respectable record in the division with five of the her fifteen juvenile hurdlers since 2008/09 being winners. She was not unfancied ahead of her UK/hurdling debut where she finished a four-and-a-half length second in an open aged Mares' Hurdle at Uttoxeter. Pulling in the early stages and awkward at the first two flights, she was better over the third, fourth and sixth. Slightly hampered at the penultimate flight, she landed awkwardly at the last which cost her some momentum. Nevertheless, she was unlikely to catch the useful looking winner in the best of circumstances but ran well to finish clear of the remainder. The winner was unable to build on her performance however, as she was since well beaten in a Cheltenham handicap off 119. There was plenty of deadwood in behind at Uttoxeter but those who have been out since all finished tailed off next time nonetheless. Lucy Wadham managed to saddle a winning juvenile at Wetherby back in February 2018 and she took a Veterans' Chase last week with Potters Legend. While her Uttoxeter run has yet to work out well. Flat White's flat form, profile and hurdling experience still warrants respect given she is in receipt of a sex allowance.

        Miracle Eagle bf Jedd O'Keeffe f7-0-2 (57) 61
        Free Eagle (Lawman){13-b}(0.52) 2/1 Heat Storm 5th Maiden Hurdle, Fakenham 2017
        Though still a maiden after seven starts on the flat, Miracle Eagle has generally been progressive in that sphere and twice finished placed in a pair of handicaps at Haydock and Newcastle in September. She was not disgraced on her latest effort back at Newcastle last month either, but this was still off a mark of just 57 and her tendency to take a keen hold is not going to help her here. Free Eagle has already had two individual winners from his first crop of juvenile hurdlers, although the dam's full-brother Heat Storm achieved nothing in three starts over hurdles and that's the extent of closely related jumpers. Jedd O'Keeffe has saddled just eleven juvenile hurdlers but three have been winners including American Craftsman and Tavus who each scored at Wetherby. Miracle Eagle does not have the worst profile overall, but she still has enough to find on form and her headstrong style will be a concern for the time being.

        Walkonby chf Micky Hammond f13-4-2 (72) 78
        Sixties Icon (Fastnet Rock){4-m}(1.00) 2/1 Baan 2nd Maiden Hurdle, Ludlow 2011
        Walkonby is a four time winner on the flat for Mick Channon with her latest success coming on her seasonal reappearance at Haydock in a ten furlong handicap off 71. Although she did not run to that level in three subsequent outings, she returned to something like her best last time when fourth of thirteen in a soft ground Doncaster handicap last month. Former inmates of Mick Channon have a winners to runners rate of 40% in juvenile hurdles when sent to Sheena West, but that rate drops to 17.14% when they join any other trainer. This is what Walkonby did at a cost of 16,000 guineas at the Tattersalls Autumn sale ahead of joining Micky Hammond. The only other horse to have made this journey was Rockcliffe who finished fourth of six in both of his outings four seasons ago. Micky Hammond's record in sphere is generally decent as his winners to runners rate of 23.4% and overall strike rate of 12.32% are solid. However, his strike rate drops to 5.71% at Wetherby, 8.89% with newcomers, and he has gone without a winner in the past three weeks. Hiconic and Talking About You have extended Sixties Icon's sound record in the sphere although the damline is fairly shallow. Walkonby has a decent enough profile although her prospects might be more substantial were the trainer in better form.

        Strong prospects
        1. Warranty
        Reasonable prospects
        2. First Impression
        3. Numberoneson
        Feasible prospects
        4. Flat White
        5. Yulong Magicreef
        6. The Imposter
        Moderate prospects
        7. Mr Shady
        8. Walkonby
        9. Ranco
        10. En Couleur
        11. Miracle Eagle
        Negligible prospects
        12. Fact Or Fable
        13. Two Sox

        Comment


        • The reviews for yesterday's race at Punchestown and today's race at Wetherby were in the process of being constructed. However, given that both of the 'strong prospects' were each newcomers beaten by those with hurdles experience, I went down an excel rabbit hole. Several hours of fannying around with formulas and formatting resulted in some excessively fascinating tables. While many an observation might be made, I will leave that task to the reader as I should probably eat something before I return to the reviews.

          The first table shows the performances of every juvenile hurdle participant since the 2008/09 season according to the number of races they had in the division. These are then broken down by their source. Note that "French Hurdlers" does not include those who also ran in chases as they have a separate key in the master book.



          I was also interested in how the juvenile hurdler's ability to run without falling, unseating or refusing was affected by its experience. At the end of the table, I also broke down the UK and Irish flat horses by their official ratings. These were split at 62 as that was the median point.



          Finally, for the sake of clarity, I isolated the statistics for those having their first runs in the sphere.



          As always, any critiques of the work or suggestions for further research will be gratefully received and earnestly considered.

          Comment


          • PUNCHESTOWN
            Preview review
            Switch the positions of the first two and the last two and the field finished according to the prospects list. However, despite strong prospect being backed from 4/1 to 5/4, and the winner having strong credentials in its profile, there were two factors which perhaps should have made Alexei Vronsky the strong prospect. The strength of hurdling experience, particularly if that experience includes decent jumping, is sizeable and it is this that won the day. His chances were also negated by the going but it was mentioned within the preview that there were no habitual front runners. Furthermore, the form Alexei Vronsky had already shown over hurdles on soft, even if it saw him fade on each occasion, was still strong enough to give him a leading chance. I will qualify the following with the standard disclaimer of my not being a tipster and that this is simply my thinking aloud. If the element of value is introduced then based on the profiles of the front two, 7/4 AV 4/1 LO made the latter the value. 10/3 AV 5/4 LO made the former the value. Not particularly relevant at this juncture as I do not want to complicate my process while I am still attempting to learn about the division in its broadest scope. Nevertheless, it may be something I might explore in another lifetime. Every other profile was fine.

            Race review
            The race looked poor beforehand and it still looks poor in hindsight. The pace was steady and the overall standard of jumping was moderate but there were no real hard look stories. There were a few questionable rides although it could not be said with any degree of certainty that they drastically effected the finishing order. The moderate horses were able to pull clear of the mediocre horses which gives the form some sense of reliability. However, unless a race is especially moderate, this contest is unlikely to produce an abundance of future winners.

            Alexei Vronsky's flat form automatically put him in the picture and he was the only runner with hurdling experience. He had jumped well on previous outings and that experience paid dividends as he put in a decent round which only began to loosen in the latter stages. Racing prominently throughout, he took the lead after the penultimate flight. Steadying into the last with a clear advantage, he had enough in reserve to hold off the challenge of the runner up. He did not have to improve on his previous hurdling form to win this. Any improvement he did find was marginal and came through racing prominently and with confidence. This performance would not necessarily indicate a preference for soft ground and he will likely struggle under a penalty in an ordinary contest. He would, however, be of more interest on a sounder surface. 105

            Loved Out was available at 4/1 the previous evening, but was backed throughout the day to start a clear 5/4 favourite. No better than a fair maiden on the flat, his chances largely hinged on the strength of his stable despite it not sending out a first time out winner in the previous eleven seasons. His jumping was not good however as he steadied into his early flights and made several errors ranging from getting to close or going too big. Though he started off prominently, these mistakes cost him ground and while he still tracked the leaders, he also gave them too much rope in a critical stage of the race. It is possible that he could have won with a more assertive ride, but this should not detract from the fact that his jumping was an even greater factor in his underperformance. Loved Out is not devoid of ability, limited though it may be, and he should be able to build on this effort with experience. 103

            Peckham Springs was the highest rated flat horse in the field and had a reasonable pedigree for the discipline. He was not the most consistent sort and he represented a trainer whose record with juvenile hurdlers is negligible. Taking a keen hold, he was soon taken back in the rear and was still over a dozen lengths off the lead and detached jumping two out. Nevertheless, he made rapid headway to pass all but two of his rivals along the straight and finished just over four lengths behind the runner-up. His caused was not helped by a poor exhibition of jumping as he lacked fluency, wandered into his flights and made errors including hopping, skewing and getting too close. While there were promising elements to this introduction, his jumping needs more work than the average newcomer and his general inconsistency further clouds his prospects. 99

            Roma Delight did most of her flat racing in America and made an inauspicious start to her Irish career at Dundalk earlier in the month. Her jumping was not good as she steadied, got in close and hopped over the second and third and was close over the fourth. She improved when moving to a more prominent position although she was still big over the seventh. Roma Delight was the first ride in the sphere for Shane O'Callaghan and his tactics can only really be described as bizarre. Setting off half a dozen lengths behind the other runners, she was virtually being pulled up on the run to the first. While she took a fairly keen hold when retrained at Dundalk, the excessive restraint her largely had the effect of lighting her up. After the fourth, she made up a dozen lengths in less than ten seconds to move from last to tuck in behind the leaders where she settled quite quickly. From there, she maintained her position before losing touch in a more naturalistic fashion. Whether it was inexperience on the part of the jockey, who was having just his twenty-fifth ride under rules, or instructions from the trainer is unknown. However, while there was likely a perfectly innocent explanation, the stewards should have sought to elucidate this matter. Insofar as Roma Delight is concerned, she does run freely and she does not look like a natural. Nevertheless, her ability would be better assessed under a more conventional ride. 77

            Wyett Earp has achieved little in eight starts on the flat and is more speedily bred than would be ideal for jumps racing. While his jumping lacked fluency, he took up the running entering the back straight and conceded the lead down the side approach to the home turn where he missed the third and second last flights. He faded from thereon and put in a tired jump at the last. This was not far off his flat form but it is unlikely he has the stamina to be competitive in this discipline. 81

            Movie King twice finished placed in handicaps off marks in the mid-late forties and there were little concerns over his ability to stay or handle the trip. He never really got involved in the race and lacked fluency at most of his hurdles. Subject to a stewards inquiry afterwards, he reportedly jumped moderately early on and was tired at the last. The former is not debatable and the latter is plausible but he was still ridden more with the elbows than the hands. Movie King is likely too moderate to be a plot horse in any case and he makes little appeal for the immediate future. 80

            Stage Power collected nothing but duck eggs on the flat and jumped poorly here before finishing tailed off. 63

            Rizannon had very poor flat form and while she is related to some decent jumpers, was steady and hesitant at most of the hurdles before also finishing well beaten. 50

            WETHERBY
            Preview review
            The Harry Whittington pair both disappointed but their removal led the next two prospects finishing first and third. First Impression set a clear standard but he made a meal of winning the race which is in keeping with his lukewarm assessment. There were strengths in the quality of his form and his hurdling experience and that is what won the day. Mr Shady was underestimated which is peculiar given that his rating was the third highest of the experienced runners and improved jumping was anticipated. The main takeaway would probably be to give greater credence to established hurdling experience.

            Race review
            Much of the race's class hinged on First Impression and his ability to perform to his best. While he made numerous errors and did not quite match his Wensleydale form, he did run to his course and distance second which was enough to secure him the contest. His winning time was not as quick as his previous runs at the track but the times were slow throughout the meeting suggesting the 'soft in places' was quite widespread. The pace was sound and the winning time was quicker than that clocked in the novice hurdle won by a 122 rated horse so there is little to fault in that regard. The front three all had hurdling experience and these pulled clear of the remainder. First and second did not jump well and while the runner-up put in a good round up until the straight, his hurdling did rather deteriorate. The next two were newcomers rated 60 and 57 on the flat, but they both jumped well and likely posted career best efforts. Overall, the form looks solid and can be taken as reliable on face value.

            First Impression was much the highest rated of these on the flat and after two decent efforts over course and distance, also set a clear standard on hurdles form. Prior to this race, his yard had gone over a year without a jumps winner and there were concerns over his jumping. These concerns were not allayed as he made errors at the majority of his hurdles here and did not put in any clean jumps in the straight. Nevertheless, he always travelled well from a prominent position and with the final hurdle out of the way, he was able to put his flat speed to good use and knuckle down to win by a fairly decisive two and a quarter lengths. There is no complaints when it comes to his attitude and while the poor jumping prevented him from matching his Wensleydale fifth, it was still a fair and deserved win. First Impression has the ability and the attitude to defy a penalty and if his jumping improves, he may be able to hold his own in better races without threatening the top tier. 119

            Mr Shady won one of his eighteen starts on the flat and his rating of 63 is quite fair. Though beaten nearly twenty lengths on his hurdling debut at Ludlow, he did not disgrace himself in overcoming a mixed round of jumping to finish a long way clear of the remainder. Keen in the early stages, he was in the front line throughout the race and after going through the top of the first, he hurdled very well before flattening the first in the straight. He made a blunder at the penultimate flight and was not especially tidy at the last either, but he only lost the lead at the half-furlong marker and still kept on to the line. It is noted in the in-running notes that he hung against the rail in the closing stages, but the impact this had on the result would have been negligible. Despite his vast racing experience, this performance marks a new career best for Mr Shady due to his good hurdling during the bulk of the race. A tough and consistent sort, he has shown enough ability to be competitive in an ordinary contest. 117

            Flat White placed a couple of times on the flat in France for Eoghan O'Neill at a low level, but she appeared to take a step forward when second on her hurdling debut at Uttoxeter. An untidy landing at the last cost her some ground on that occasion but did not make any difference to the result. She was also clumsy to varying degrees at the majority of her hurdles here, but as her lack of aptitude was mirrored by her rivals, it did not alter the shape of her race. Always tracking the leaders, she became outpaced leaving the back but was soon leading the chase on the front two approaching three out. Though she made inroads on the runner-up, she did not have the speed to catch up to the leader but she still had seven lengths in hand of the remainder at the line. This was a slight step up on her UK debut and there is scope for further improvement with experience. 108

            En Couleur made a promising racecourse debut at Southwell back in March, but was unable to replicate that performance in two outings last month and started this race at 125/1. There were glimmers of hope in the profile as his dam is a half-sister to three winning hurdlers, and his trainer won this contest in 2017. Faring best of those held up, he was still in the rear leaving the back. However, he plugged on up the straight and narrowly got the best of a closely fought battle for fourth. Apart from getting close to the sixth, his jumping was sound throughout and this marks a new career best. Given that this was only the fourth time he had seen a racecourse, there is still potential for further development and his jumping should see him in good stead. 108

            Miracle Eagle had the tendency to be headstrong on the flat and it was this trait which caused her to wander on the approach to the second. However, she got over that hurdle well enough and was able to settle better entering the back. Though she was twice placed on the level, her rating of 57 seemed appropriate. Nevertheless, representing a sire and trainer with good records from limited numbers in the division, there was scope for improvement and her decent jumping enabled her to achieve a new high point. The way she faded suggests that she did not quite see out the race but while she lost fourth on the line, she was still clear of the remainder. She may be better suited by a less taxing racecourse, but this was still a promising introduction. 101

            Warranty was last seen winning a moderate handicap at Beverley back in July for Mark Johnston, but lowly though that race was, the form has worked out well. That he possibly raced on better ground on that occasion may have enhanced his superiority, but he still did it very easily and it was enough to warrant an auction price of ?36,000. Available at 9/1 in the morning, he was backed down to 5/1 at the off. However, it was clear from the outset that he was likely to struggle as a string of sloppy and hesitant jumps saw him shuffle back to the rear of the field. While he attempted to make headway on the leaders, he never looked like moving into a challenging position and his sole reasonable jump at the penultimate flight was followed by a steady bunny-hop at the last. It would be difficult to assess his ability in isolation from his jumping as it was the latter which suffocated the former. He is very well bred for the discipline and he will not want for stamina so it would be too soon to write him off. Perhaps he might be suited by a small field affair on a stiff track in testing ground. However, there is little encouragement to be drawn from this performance alone. 100

            Ranco's last two outings in France saw him win a handicap off 76 and a claimer from which is was bought for €20,001 ahead of a nondescript hurdling debut at Southwell in early September. His jumping on that occasion went from sketchy to fair to sketchy and it was essentially the same here with four sound jumps sandwiched between clumsy hurdling in the opening stages, and another error at the last. This was a marked step up on his debut effort, but it still leaves him some way short of his flat form. Being an import of his mould in a yard of its habits, Ranco will likely improve again within a few more outings. 99

            The Imposter finished last on his hurdling debut at Chepstow but he did not jump too badly and largely jumped well to finish fourth of six at Bangor next time. Apart from getting close to the first and third, he posted a solid round on his English bow but was not quite able to match the form on this sounder surface. While he is unlikely to be much better than fair, this son of Authorized only made his racecourse debut in September and has shown some ability in his short career. He may find himself more competitive on softer ground depending on the handicap mark he is allotted. 91

            Walkonby earned four wins on the flat and was rated 77 following her latest win at Haydock in June. She disappointed on her next three outings but was better when fourth last time out at Doncaster. She took a keen hold from the outset and did not settle ahead of the race's development unfolding. She did make headway along the back and was still in touch at the top of the straight. However, her exertions had taken a toll and she weakened ahead of finishing a forty-five length ninth. This was a disappointing performance on the face of it, but it was not without promise as her jumping had been very neat and she only made her first error at three out where she was squeezed out on the approach. The cheekpieces she wore at Doncaster were left off here and though she was still keen early on last time, it was not to the same extent so it is possible their reapplication can see her leave this performance well behind. 67

            Yulong Magicreef rubbed shoulders with classic winners on his racecourse debut for Jessica Harrington and was far from disgraced in that exalted company. However, his subsequent outings got progressively worse and he was last seen tailed off back in August. Though he was a best priced 8/1 in the morning, he drifted out throughout the day and was sent off at 20/1. While he was big over the first and steadied going into the fourth, there was not much to criticise about his jumping. Nevertheless, the distress signals were out before they got to the last in the back straight and he was eventually beaten by fifty lengths. There is little in his pedigree to suggest he will excel in the division, but he is still with a solid yard so better could have been expected. He has plenty to prove at this juncture. 69

            Fact Or Fable has now gone twenty-seven races without a win. He raced more prominently here than he had on his hurdling debut at Warwick. However, his jumping was clumsy and he was eventually tailed off. 51

            Numberoneson has the profile of a horse who can achieve success in the sphere, but he jumped poorly on his debut at Ludlow and he once again completely lacked fluency here. Though he raced prominently throughout, he was never able to get into a rhythm and began to fade before the turn for home. The reapplied tongue tie did nothing to improve his performance and he is becoming very disappointing. 49

            Two Sox was only a moderate maiden on the flat but his sire has made a solid start in the sphere. However, there is little else in the pedigree of Two Sox and after lacking fluency in the early stages, he soon became detached and was pulled up before the straight. While he reportedly lost a shoe, there was still little encouragement at any stage. 0

            Comment


            • Turns out that I did the review for last week's race at Catterick but I didn't actually post it... If anybody else spots missing stuff (apart from previews for all-aged handicaps and the likes) then please let me know. The preview for Newcastle's race will be up shortly and the ones for Sunday's races at Leicester and Fairyhouse should be done by midday tomorrow.

              CATTERICK 20th November
              Preview review
              Gold Desert needed every yard of this trip but was still able to win. Grouseman was available at 22/1 and had only one behind him in the opening shows, but reasons were given for a good performance. The reasonable prospects filled the next two places and Magna Moralia's disappointment was also foreseeable. 50/1 shot Monash finished well beaten but showed up for a long way and went as low as 2.7 in-running. Fahad, beaten twenty-three lengths, was the only one to really exceed expectations and Camahawk did not cash in his last chance. A satisfactory preview which left little reason for new lessons.

              Race review
              The race looked reasonable beforehand without holding pretentions to being anything out of the ordinary and that is the impression given in hindsight. Several of the leading contenders made numerous errors but there have been worse races in that regard and apart from Monash getting squeezed out when fading, there were no bad luck stories. A few did pull in the early stages but the pace was good and the winning time matched the concluding bumper. The favourite disappointed but his behaviour is open to scepticism and the finishing order is otherwise easy to justify so there is no reason to doubt the form.

              Gold Desert won a poor race on his hurdling debut but it was not a performance without promise and he has gone from strength to strength in his two subsequent outings. His jumping was reasonable without being great when third to Le Magnifique last time, but it was much more polished here. Getting close to the first was his only real error and though he did not meet the fourth or fifth perfectly, he still got over and away from them without losing momentum. Tracking the leaders throughout, he began to get shaken up before leaving the back straight but he never lost his position and there were just the two left in contention after the penultimate flight. He twice had to navigate around the leader both prior and after the final flight and would not actually hit the front until roughly fifty yards from the line. Every yard of this trip was essential to his success and he won as though he still had more in reserve. This marks another career best performance for Gold Desert and now that he is a more assured jumper, there is room for further improvement given a stiffer test. 120

              Grouseman rather exceeded expectations when fourth on his hurdling debut at Warwick, but given his trainer's record in Catterick juveniles, this performance was not out of order. Held up just as he had been last time, he made his headway on the turn out of the back straight and picked up the lead two from home. While he idled on the approach to the last, he still jumped it with a two length advantage and was not idling on the run to the line. Rather, he was simply outstayed in the closing battle which is understandable given he is a son of Kyllachy. Although his jumping was imperfect, it was no worse than on his debut and the sharp nature of this race enabled him to run a new career best. Grouseman is unlikely to want a sterner examination and it remains to be seen whether he can replicate this effort but Pam Sly's other juveniles to have ran well at Catterick did not show a discernible dip in form so he would be entitled to respect in the future. 112

              Genever Dragon failed to build on his winning debut on his return to Sedgefield, but he was back to something like his best on a sounder surface here. Though he led for much of the contest, he was not above making mistakes which included a bad blunder at the fifth, and a clumsy error two out which cost him the lead. He was readily dropped by the front pair from then on, but was still able to fend off Magna Moralia just as he had done at Sedgefield. Better jumping may have seen him finish closer, but he was always going to be vulnerable under a penalty and while there are races poor enough for him to win with a penalty, connections will be hoping that the handicapper takes some pity as his rating of 115 exceeds anything he has achieved on both codes. 106

              Magna Moralia came into the race on the back of a career best flat effort when finishing within a length of Cornerstone Lad while conceding two pounds. However, his disconcerting head carriage was apparent there and there was little likeable about either his jumping or his travelling. Pulling in the early stages, he never moved with ease and he made mistakes at all but one of his jumps. A post-race examination revealed no abnormalities and it would appear that Magna Moralia's idiosyncrasies lie in his mind. It is possible that he may be seen to better effect over further, but a return to the flat offers a greater likelihood of success as hurdles appear to exacerbate his complications. 100

              Fahad came into the race with a flat mark of 72 and though it had dropped five pounds since June, it was still one of the highest in the field. Held up in the rear, he was never able to get on terms and merely passed beaten horses on the straight to finish a twenty-three length fifth. His round was not particularly fluent and he jumped right on a few occasions. While experience and a chance in direction may entice some improvement, he would not be immediately compelling. 90

              Temper Trap won a couple of moderate races on the flat and was not disgraced when last seen a month ago. He took a keen hold early on but was quick enough over several of his early jumps. He barely lifted his hooves at three out and after reaching for the penultimate flight, flattened the last when tired and beaten. Not the worst introduction and there may be a level for him eventually over hurdles, but he would not provoke much interest in open company. 82

              Monash ended his stint with Ed Walker with a rating of just 59, but he is related to some decent jumpers and his hurdling was very good for a debutant. Held up in midfield, he made headway on the turn for home and was travelling well enough to get matched at 2.7 in running. He was squeezed out approaching two out and the resultant mistake effectively ended his race as he faded back through the field. Open company will likely prove too much for the time being, but this was not a run devoid of promise and he may turn out to be an astute purchase for 6,000gns. 80

              Camahawk has a pedigree tailor made for juvenile hurdles and was not a total slouch on the flat. However, he had disappointed on his first two runs and he once again lacked fluency prior to finishing tailed off. There is a chance he could be allotted a very generous mark which enables him to fulfil his genetic destiny. 59

              Castle View's hurdling debut at Musselburgh was completely devoid of promise. His jumping was much better here but he still finished completely tailed off. 11

              Ring Of Gold showed promise on his first three outings during a flat career which began in July. However, he completely lacked fluency over the first three jumps and weakened rapidly towards the end of the back straight before pulling up. 0

              Clay Regazzoni ran nineteen times on the flat but looked anything but a natural on his first two outings over jumps. Racing in the rear, he was hesitant at the second, slow to get away from the third and very hesitant at the next where he put on the brakes, skewed over the hurdle and sent his ten pound conditional to the floor. 0

              Comment


              • The introductory hurdle on Newcastle's 'Fighting Fifth' card was introduced in 2016. Being a Class 2 contest, it attracts a useful standard of juvenile with the most notable being last year's Triumph fourth Navajo Pass, and 2017 Fred Winter third Nietzsche. Incidentally, these two were each making their second starts over hurdles and had finished runner-up here behind a debutant. Paros was initially entered for this contest and his being left out of the declarations detracts from the quality. Nevertheless, it does feature two with useful placed form and four newcomers rated around the seventy mark so while it may not match the race's better renewals, it is still better than an ordinary contest. Newcastle is a galloping track which rises steadily to the finish line. The winning DIs vary wildly by the standard used as they stand at 0.88 median, 1.41 mean, although both are lower than that of the average participant to one of the largest extents in the UK. Timeform's course guide suggests that steadier paces explain a lower-than-expected casualty rate over fences, and this appears to read true of juvenile hurdles as the clear round rate of 96.76% is higher than average. The going is currently forecast to be good.

                Castel Gandolfo grg Fergal O'Brien f3-0-2 (76) 76 j1-0-1 (-) 104 112
                Dark Angel (Camacho){21-a}(3.00) 1/1 Teqany 2nd Elite Hurdle (G2), Wincanton 2020
                Castel Gandolfo saw the racecourse three times during the summer for Jessica Harrington before joining his full-brother, Elite Hurdle runner-up Teqany, at the Fergal O'Brien yard. Though still a maiden, he achieved a fair level of form on all surfaces and appears to have developed further at Musselburgh following a three month break. His jumping was not flawless as he was slow at the second, dived at the fifth, got in close to the sixth and skewed over the penultimate flight. He was also slightly hampered by the winner after the last but this did not affect the result. He was involved in a protracted race to the line but did not have enough to pass his more battle-hardened rival. He will benefit from the experience, particularly as that was his first run since being gelded, and should also strip fitter. The hurdling form is the strongest in the field, and with the yard back in form, he comes into the race a lively contender.

                I'm Easy bg Michael Easterby f3-0-0 (50) 45 j1-0-0 (-) 56 56
                Archipenko (Sadler's Wells){20-c}(0.85) 0.5 Strategic Bid 2nd Maiden Hurdle, Cork 2012
                None of Archipenko's eleven juvenile hurdlers have been winners, but I'm Easy does have winning jumpers on the damline in Sword Of Honour (2/1), King Of Castile (3/1) and useful types Fingal Bay and Oodachee (both 4/3). So while he achieved little in three flat outings, there was a modicum of hope that he could do better over hurdles. None of that hope turned up on his jumps debut at Southwell however, as he lacked fluency and was beaten by nearly fifty lengths.

                My Macho Man chg Maurice Barnes f4-1-1 (70) 74
                Camacho (Peintre Celebre){1-l}(1.08) 2/1 Polemique 3rd 4yo Hurdle, Dax 2012
                Maurice Barnes rarely goes too long without a winner over jumps, but he is zero from twenty-seven with juvenile hurdlers since 2008/09. Nonetheless, none were rated as high as My Macho Man who joined his new yard with a rating of 70. He made a winning debut in a Newcastle novice stakes at the end of February although it is not a race that has worked out well as none of his rivals have come out to win and the highest rating carried to a place in a handicap was 62. Twice beaten by over eight lengths at Beverley and Hamilton in the summer, he was better in first time cheekpieces when second in a soft ground seller at Musselburgh last month (winner since tailed off in a handicap). His transfer came at the Tattersalls Autumn sale where he left John Quinn for 7,000 guineas. John Quinn is one of the better trainers in the division, although his former inmates do not fare quite as well with the only winner from six being 50,000gns purchase Lisheen Castle. Camacho's record as a sire is fair, Peintre Celebre is the strongest damsire in this field and a pair of jumpers placed appear on the damline. My Macho Man's profile is not barren, but it is patchy and his flat rating is difficult to justify.

                Sir Charles Punch bg Tim Easterby f12-0-2 (68) 79
                Sir Percy (Archipenko){1-k}(0.33) 3/1 Cava Bien 2nd Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (104), Newbury 2006
                Starting his career with James Given, Sir Charles Punch joined Tim Easterby for 17,000 guineas last Autumn. Returning for his stable debut in early June, he contested five handicaps at Haydock and another two at Doncaster and Newcastle, thrice finishing within a few lengths of the winner. His mark dropped seven pounds in the process which is perhaps less a reflection on his capacity, and more his ability to fulfil same as he had a tendency of sweating up and pulling hard. Sir Percy rarely gets top class juvenile hurdlers, but he does win more than his fare share and only three other sires have more winners since 2013/14. Archipenko's record as a sire and damsire in the division is poor, although the granddam is a half-sister to useful hurdler Cava Bien. Tim Easterby is the only trainer in the field to have won at Newcastle with a juvenile since 2008/09, but is not in the best of form at the moment and there are concerns over the horse's habit of pulling hard.

                Son Of Red bg Alan King f7-1-2 (66) 70
                French Navy (Kalanisi){5-b}(1.67) 3/1 Always Bold 3rd Juvenile Hurdle, Doncaster 2009
                Alan King is the winningmost trainer of juvenile hurdlers in the Great Britain and Ireland since 2008/09, but twenty-three races have passed since he last scored in the division. His first time out strike rate of 28.76% is the eighth best in the country for trainers with ten or more runners, and his latest newcomer is Son Of Red. Racing four times as a two-year-old without much success, he was third off 61 in a ten furlong Chelmsford handicap on his return in September. Following a gelding operation, he finished second at Yarmouth on soft ground over the same trip, and he finally broke his duck when stepped up to a mile and a half at Southwell just over four weeks ago. While he perhaps won with something in hand, he did make a meal of winning the race as he edged around on the run to the line. Furthermore, it was not a high quality contest, but the front two did pull clear and the runner-up has since placed twice off a four pound higher mark so the form looks solid enough. French Navy is having his first crop in the division but can not be judged on his first two runners as neither had worthwhile flat form. Sons of Shamardal have just a fair record in this discipline but at 16.1hh, French Navy at least has a decent size about him. Kalanisi has not done a great great deal as a damsire and the first two generations on the damline offer little reassurance. Nevertheless, it begins to improve with Always Bold at 3/1 while Tatenen can be found further back at 5/4.

                State Crown chg Evan Williams f3-0-2 (78) 79 j1-0-1 (-) 99 104
                New Approach (Dubawi){10-a}(0.75) No jumps relatives
                Costing ?24,000 at the Goffs UK September sale, State Crown is the most expensive runner in the field to have been sold publicly while in-training. He had three runs on the flat for Charlie Appleby without winning, achieving a similar level of form on each occasion and finishing with a rating of 78 which is the highest in the field. He made a perfectly satisfactory hurdling debut at Ludlow sixteen days ago, racing prominently throughout before fading somewhat to finish a thirteen length third. It was not a bad little contest and the form has since been boosted by fourth placed Mr Shady, (who was six lengths behind State Crown), finishing second at Wetherby earlier this week. There was little to complain about insofar as his jumping is concerned and he travelled easily throughout. His performance was rather undermined by a tendency to hang left and it will be interesting to see if he can improve for going the right direction around Newcastle. Evan Williams traditionally has a good record in the sphere with a healthy winners to runners rate of 27.71%. His campaigns had generally been seasonal in their approach but the shift towards the winter game has seen his success with juveniles decrease as he has had just one winner in the division since the 2016/2017 season. Nevertheless, State Crown comes into this race on his own merit and while the trainer has gone nearly a month without a winner, his charges are still managing to run into places.

                Station To Station bg Brian Ellison f3-0-0 (70) 66
                Cacique (Kyllachy){1-l}(2.43) 2/1 Magellan 2nd Maiden Hurdle, Ayr 2019
                Clive Cox saddled Station To Station three times last year after which he had an official rating of 70. Quite what he has done to achieve that mark is not immediately apparent. While his debut seventh of twelve at Newbury was completed in the company of those who later raced in the seventies, the same can not be said of the contests at York or Chelmsford. Since then, he has joined Brian Ellison who has a very good winners to runners rate of 36%, and sent Nietzsche to finish second in the 2016 edition of this race. The late Cacique has produced just ten juvenile hurdlers since 2008/09, but while none achieved an RPR exceeding 120, four were able to win in the division. Kyllachy's record as a sire of juveniles is very moderate and a runner-up in an Ayr maiden hurdle is the national hunt highlight of the damline. While Station To Station may well have developed after a year's absence, he was still very fresh when last seen and he may be seen to better effect after a run under his girth.

                Temper Trap brg Tim Easterby f11-2-1 (56) 65 j1-0-0 (-) 79 82
                Slade Power (Teofilo){14-c}(0.45) 3/1 Dynamagic 5th 4yo Maiden Hurdle, Tramore 2018
                Despite being a dual winner on the flat, the quality of Temper Trap's form was moderate and he was not especially impressive on his hurdling debut at Catterick last week. Though he was keen early on, his jumping was still decent until his early exertions saw his fluency disappear in the closing stages. While beaten thirty-one lengths, it was not a debut without promise and he should be able to improve for the experience. However, he appears to be the second string and will probably find more success with a handicap mark.

                Strong prospects
                1. State Crown
                Reasonable prospects
                2. Castel Gandolfo
                3. Son Of Red
                Feasible prospects
                4. Sir Charles Punch
                Moderate prospects
                5. Temper Trap
                6. Station To Station
                7. My Macho Man
                Negligible prospects
                8. I'm Easy

                Comment


                • Couldn't wait to get this one done so here it is earlier than anticipated. A note for this and future previews involving French imports. Instead of hyperlinking the individual races, which can have issues on some servers or something, I will put up the horse's equidia profile on the top of the screen where the links are much more reliable. There are, of course, options to use attheraces and france-galop and these are both excellent resources. Nevertheless, equidia will have substantially more races than the former, and requires no logging in like the latter.

                  Sunday's Grade 3 at Fairyhouse has a strong history and graduates from this race regularly have an impact on the season's bigger contests. It's most notable winner was Our Conor who took this race in 2012 ahead of victories in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle and the Triumph Hurdle. In 2016, Landofhopeandglory, Bapaume and Mega Fortune would between them would fill the first three places in Leopardstown Boxing Day contest, the first two places in the Spring Juvenile and the Punchestown Champion, and three of the first five slots in the Triumph. Other notable graduates include Triumph runner-up Coeur Sublime, Spring Juvenile winner A Wave Of The Sea and future Champion Hurdler Espoir d'Allen. While this year's renewal will do well to match the race's legacy, it appears to be giving itself every chance with a very appetising line-up. Willie Mullins sends his first hurdles import of the season, Gordon Elliott fields a pair who won very well on their debuts, and Druid's Altar bids to maintain his perfect record for Joseph O'Brien. Fairyhouse is one of the less demanding tracks in the country and the average winning DIs for juveniles of 1.20 median, 1.28 mean would attest to this premise. The clear round rate of 97.78% is the third highest in Ireland, making it more forgiving than most other courses. The going is currently soft but there is next to no rain forecast for the weekend.

                  Triumph Odds
                  Druid's Altar 33/1
                  Saint Sam 33/1
                  Zanahiyr 33/1
                  Rock Chica 50/1
                  Glorious Zoff 66/1

                  Saint Sam bg Willie Mullins j3-2-0 (-) 121
                  Saint des Saints (Linda's Lad){19-b}(0.67) 1/0 Ladeka 2nd Prix Bournosienne (G3), Auteuil 2013
                  https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/saint...union=Obstacle
                  Following a fairly lukewarm debut in the Prix du Buissonnet at Dieppe on the first of June, Saint Sam returned to the Normandy venue later that month where he put up a battling performance to win the Prix Soldat. While the field was strung out and he showed a nice attitude in winning that race, the subsequent form has not been anything special. The runner-up Shentri will be familar to those following the division as one of the trees that Nassalam at Fontwell. Shentri was one of two subsequent winners behind Saint Sam at Dieppe, both of whom scoring in claimers at Auteuil. His latest two length victory in the Prix de l'Oudon does carries significantly more substance as he gave five kilos to runner-up Piriac, currently rated 130, who previously finished within a length of the aforementioned Nassalam while in receipt of a kilo. Saint Sam gave a two kilo and a four-and-a-half length beating to third placed Horse Maha who has since won at Dieppe and Toulouse and is currently rated 136 while the fifth (134) and seventh (128) are also subsequent winners. Saint des Saints is an exceptional jumps stallion who also does well with his three and four year olds, and while Linda's Lad has yet to have many opportunities as a damsire, he has produced three black type juveniles as a sire. Saint Sam's family is a strong one for the division. While his dam won only one of her fourteen stars over hurdles, she finished placed five times in pattern company. She is also a half-sister to winning hurdler Miss Lino and to the dam of dual Grade One winning juvenile We Have A Dream. Other high class jumpers to appear on the damline include Champion Four Year Old Hurdle runner up Blood Cotil (4/3), Grand Course de Haies d'Auteuil runner-up Video Tape (5/2), 1995/96 French Champion Juvenile Villez (5/3), and Grade One winning Four-Year-Old and French Champion Hurdler Vaporetto (5/3). Derby third and top NH sire Presenting also appears at 5/4. Jean-Philippe Dubois has been the source of three UK/IRE juveniles thus far with two of them (Monte Cristo and Zanzi Win) winning during their first seasons. Trainer Willie Mullins is one of the leading trainers in the division and he has won this contest twice with Analifet in 2013, and Kalkir in 2014. His first time out strike rate of 34.48% is fantastic, and when imports from French hurdles are isolated, that figure increases to a very impressive 41.94%. Along with Kalkir, Bapaume is another who had his first Irish run in this contest. But although he would finish third in the Triumph and win the Punchestown Champion, he was unable to win his renewal of the race. Finding holes in Saint Sam's profile is an arduous endeavour but it can be noted that he is without a run since July, he never ran at Auteuil, he was never in the first three in the market, he had to work hard to win his races, and he has to concede four pounds to rivals who could potentially be very useful. Nevertheless, Saint Sam is an interesting recruit to the division and a big run would come to the surprise of nobody.

                  Druid's Altar bg Joseph Patrick O'Brien f5-1-2 (86) 79 j1-1-0 (-) 125 124
                  Mastercraftsman (Sadler's Wells){13-c}(1.20) 0.5 Waterlord 4th Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle (G2), Haydock 2018
                  Druid's Altar won at the fifth time of asking in a twelve furlong, heavy ground, Listowel maiden when last seen on the flat in late September. However, it is his second in a similar contest at Bellewstown a month earlier that makes for more interesting reading as a literal line through the winner puts Druid's Altar just three pounds behind Breeders' Cup Mile hero Order Of Australia. While that form does not make Druid's Altar a temporarily shy Group One horse, it does justify his official flat mark of 86 and the fact he achieved same on heavy ground was significant in his making a winning hurdling debut at Punchestown a fortnight ago. Either holding or disputing the lead, he helped to set a searching pace which left his rivals with no hiding place. His jumping was not particularly fluent however, which often handed the initiative to his more experienced rival. He was big at the first, got in close to the third, and he steadied into four of the flights including at the second where he caused some impromptu bunching in behind. Notwithstanding, he burned off previous winner Perry Owens leaving the back and he was able to distance himself from Ilmig's challenge before entering the straight. Though he was slow over the last, so too were the rest of his opponents and he maintained his lead to the line. Given the nature of the race, he largely won by sheer virtue of being the best in the ground and his achievement can not be exaggerated as he also finished quite tired. Nevertheless, the son of Mastercraftsman emerged with credit and has been chosen to represent a Joseph O'Brien yard which had the first two last year, and won with its other runner in 2016. Further encouragement is drawn from the fact that he won first time out as the strike rate of the yard's juveniles from the flat rises from 10.87% to 23.53% between the first two runs over hurdles. If there are reservations around his profile, they revolve around a possible preference for softer conditions, his finishing quite tired last time out, and that he was twice beaten at this course on the flat, including by Zanahiyr on his second outing. Notwithstanding, he is another with plenty of potential and his prospects in this company are a long way from negligible.

                  Glorious Zoff bg Gordon Elliott f6-0-1 (72) 74 j2-1-0 (-) 126 134
                  Zoffany (Overbury){4-r}(1.40) 3/1 Spate River 1st Handicap Hurdle (94), Southwell 2012
                  Rated 72 following six runs over a mile or less for Charlie Hills, Glorious Zoff fetched 26,000 guineas at the Tattersalls August sale. Former inmates at Faringdon Place have a good record in juvenile hurdles and he made a very impressive hurdling debut in a maiden at Sligo, winning by twelve very easy lengths from Crassus. His jumping was not perfectly fluent, but while the errors he made were minor, he impressed in the way he readjusted himself to mitigate against any loss of momentum. On the strength of this performance, his trip to Sedgefield looked like a formality and he went as low as 1.01 in-running. However, his jumping was shadow of its Sligo glory and the mistakes he made were exacerbated either by an unfortunate occurrence of slipping or stumbling on landing, or by having his path blocked by other rivals. It would not be accurate to describe him as wholly unlucky however, as he also showed signs of greenness, particularly on the run between the final two flights. Furthermore, he also failed to completely see out the trip which will remain a problem on soft ground if he does not travel as well as he had first time out. The form of his Sedgefield win has been boosted by third placed Gold Desert winning at Catterick, and Glorious Zoff remains a horse of potential. However, he is the stable's second string here and there will be more suitable opportunities in the future.

                  Wyett Earp bg Anthony Mullins f8-0-0 (48) 58 j1-0-0 (-) 83 81
                  Lawman (Nayef){4-l}(1.67) 4/1 Cerulean 5th Maiden Hurdle, Newton Abbot 2004
                  Anthony Mullins won this race with The Last Stand in 2005, and was third with Summer Break in 2000. However, Wyett Earp is more speedily bred than is ideal for the discipline, and he lacked fluency before finishing tired on his hurdling debut at Punchestown on Tuesday. He will be running to collect sixth place prize money of €275 and hopefully, he can do so safely without making a nuisance of himself.

                  Zanahiyr chg Gordon Elliott f4-1-1 (-) 80 j1-1-0 (-) 125 130
                  Nathaniel (Marju){9-c}(0.53) 2/1 Zarinava 1st Doncaster Mares' Hurdle (G2), Doncaster 2012
                  Zanahiyr's first two efforts on the flat came in a pair of maidens at the Curragh either side of spring where he finished midfield behind classic horses. Stepped up to thirteen furlongs on soft ground at Navan, he failed by a length and a quarter to justify favouritism but was able to get off the mark at Fairyhouse in early July. Racing over a mile and a half on good to yielding ground, Zanahiyr took up the running at the distance and lengthened well inside the final furlong to win by just over a length. He had several horses behind subsequently rated around the 80 mark, including Druid's Altar who was a four length fifth. By Nathaniel and related to numerous useful hurdlers including Zarinava, Zarif and Zarkandar, he is bred to be a juvenile and he made a good hurdling debut at Ballinrobe in mid October. Settling just behind the pacesetters, he jumped very well at most of his obstacles and the only mistakes he made were reaching slightly at the fourth, getting close to the sixth and being rather big at the last. Though he was briefly outpaced by his main rival approaching the last, he had the class to power clear of Dark Voyager on the run-in and ran strongly to the line. He was still showing signs of greenness as he went slightly wide at the last, but he responded well to the instructions to get back to the rail and he was very resolute in the concluding battle. Dark Voyager rather let the form down when disappointing behind Druid's Altar at Punchestown, but that alone would not negate the performance given the flat form at this venue. He is the first string for a yard which has not only done very well in the division this season, but also has three wins and four seconds in this race. A course winner with form on soft ground, has already shown good qualities over hurdles and with improvement in his jumping and mentality anticipated from his Ballinrobe effort, he comes into this contest with a very good profile.

                  Rock Chica bf Thomas Mullins f6-0-0 (38) 40 j3-1-0 (-) 104 105
                  Rock Of Gibraltar (Bahri){1-l}(1.86) 2/1 Chica Buena 1st Fillies' Juvenile Hurdle (Listed), Aintree 2018
                  Rock Chica was rated just 38 on the flat, but there were hints of promise on her debut which she was able to fulfil when demolishing a weak field at Tipperary last month. However, she was let down by her jumping last time out behind Druid's Altar at Punchestown. While she did underperform, she was outclassed in any case and it will likely be the same story here.

                  Strong prospects
                  1. Zanahiyr
                  Reasonable prospects
                  2. Saint Sam
                  3. Druid's Altar
                  Feasible prospects
                  4. Glorious Zoff
                  Moderate prospects
                  5. Rock Chica
                  Negligible prospects
                  6. Wyett Earp

                  Comment


                  • A juvenile hurdle used to be a regular fixture at this meeting, and the first two editions in the new millennium were contested by decent sorts. Festival handicap third Montreal finished second in the 2000 renewal while the highly talented but ill-fated Vol Solitaire won in 2001. However, the advent of the fillies' race meant that the last intergender juvenile hurdle at Leicester was held in November 2009. Such type of race makes its return tomorrow, but welcome though it is, it is not the most compelling affair. Only two of those with hurdles experience have worthwhile form and the highest rated newcomer is a German import with an equivalent mark of 56. Nevertheless, a race is still a race and the horses are all very lovely in their own rights. The hurdles course, having been watered for the flat during the summer, is said to get very testing, and the long and gradual uphill finish places further emphasis on stamina. These sentiments play out in the winning DIs of 0.89 median, 1.00 mean which are both low in their own right as well as lower than those of the average runner. The going is currently forecast as soft, good-to-soft in places with no rain expected before the race starts.

                    African Sun bg Joanne Thomason-Murphy f6-0-0 (44) 45
                    Teofilo (Cape Cross){5-b}(0.60) 2/1 Motorway 1st Handicap Hurdle (122), Newbury 2008
                    African Sun was well beaten on all six flat starts for Ed Dunlop, and was tailed off on his final two outings in a 0-50 classified stakes at Catterick, and a Lingfield handicap off 46. He fetched 1,000 guineas at the Tattersalls August sale and has joined a yard whose sole juvenile hurdler was unplaced on all six outings. The pedigree is not lamentable however as Teofilo wins more than his fair share of races in the sphere, and the dam is a half-sister to useful handicapper Motorway. Furthermore, the yard's sole juvenile had a 100% completion rate. Nevertheless, neither of these factors are enough to offer much hope.

                    Bentley Wood bg Dai Burchell f6-0-1 (65) 76 j1-0-0 (-) 0 0
                    Sixties Icon (Mastercraftsman){10}(0.71) 3/2 Argentino 1st Handicap Hurdle (126), Killarney 2015
                    By Sixties Icon and out of a Mastercraftsman mare, Bentley Wood has the sirelines to make a juvenile hurdler. His flat form as a two-year-old was also sufficient to earn an initial rating of 75. However, he beat only one home in June on his sole flat start since February and was very poor on his hurdling debut at Uttoxeter last month. While his jumping was fine in the early stages, he began to make errors in the back straight and ultimately finished completely tailed off. He has since had wind surgery which might help him rekindle some of his ability.

                    Blue Slate grg Barry Brennan f8-0-1 (47) 58 j1-0-0 (-) 66 76
                    Alhebayeb (Halling){7-f}(1.15) 3/2 Eddiemaurice 1st Handicap Hurdle (122), Ascot 2016
                    Starting his career with Stan Moore, Blue Slate's best effort was probably his third in a Lingfield handicap off 53 back in February. His last run for the yard was in March and after tailing off on his stable debut at Kempton in September, he finished down the field in a pair of sellers at Leicester. The first coming on the flat, and the second on his hurdles debut a fortnight ago. His jumping was reasonable for the most part and he was still in contention at the top of the straight. However, he would ultimately finish tailed off and while it was not the worst debut, there was nothing to suggest he make an impact in ordinary company.

                    Galidermes bg Charlie Mann f13-3-3 FrF (66) 38 j1-0-0 (-) 76 72
                    Hunter's Light (Galileo){6-a}(0.58) 2/1 Theos Quercus 1st 4yo Hurdle, Dieppe 2001
                    Three times a winner on the flat, Galidermes' latest victory came in the most provincial of claimers at Montignac after which he joined Charlie Mann for €6,001. He made mistakes at most hurdles on his UK debut at Warwick, was never able to get on terms and finished tailed off. His flat form, moderate though it may be, is still the strongest in this field, there are reasons on his pedigree for him to perform in the sphere and his trainer has been amongst the winners recently. It would be rash to dismiss him after just one outing, but he still comes into this race with something to prove.

                    Goodbye Grass bg Luke McJannet f1-0-0 (-) 41
                    Helmet (Daylami){14-b}(1.00) 3/2 Tsar Noir 2nd Handicap Chase (Listed), Clairefontaine 2019
                    Newmarket trainer Luke McJannet sends out his first juvenile hurdler tomorrow in Goodbye Grass. Goodbye Grass finished last of twelve in a Lingfield novice stakes on his sole outing back in early September at odds of 150/1. Sire Helmet does get winners in the sphere and his record is just below average. Daylami has a similar record as a damsire and the nearest jumps relative is fairly useful French handicapper Tsar Noir. However, with no proven ability to date and a patchy profile, he is not a particularly compelling newcomer.

                    Opine bg Jonjo O'Neill f8-0-0 (52) 57 j2-0-1 (-) 105 109
                    Authorized (Numerous){4-n}(0.94) .5 Tamarix Jode 6th 3yo Claiming Hurdle, Auteuil 2016
                    Opine is out of a half-sister to Treve, but it became apparent during eight runs on the flat for Michael Bell that her talent was not inherited. While not entirely disgraced by finishing midfield in most of his races this year, he was only contesting Class 6 handicaps. While 15/2 was available in the morning, he started at 4/1 for his hurdling debut at Huntingdon in late September. His jumping was not proficient as he was either too big or too close at most of his hurdles. Nevertheless, he still finished just over two lengths behind the surprise winner, and was upwards of nineteen lengths clear of the remainder. He failed to capitalise on that promise next time at Lingfield and while his jumping settled down after the first two flights, it deteriorated in the straight and he took a tired tumble at the last when beaten. His flat form suggested stamina would not have been a concern and being by Authorized, he should also have gone in the ground. Despite that being a disappointing effort, it would still be good enough to make him competitive here. Furthermore, the trainer's strike rate is highest on the third run with all four winners coming in non-handicap company. Though given to inconsistency, Opine's profile entitles him to plenty of respect in this company if putting his best hoof forward.

                    Sergeant bg Milton Harris f5-2-1 DeF (56) 0
                    Nutan (Dylan Thomas){1-s}(1.29) 3/2 Russian Shift 3rd Conditions Hurdle, Auteuil 2002
                    https://www.racebets.com/en/horse-ra...external/18722
                    German trainer Christian Von Der Recke won the 2003 Finesse Juvenile Hurdle with Moneytrain and supplied trainer Milton Harris with Mondul who won the same race in 2004. Sergeant is the latest horse to make the journey between trainers although while Mondul had a GAG of 83.5 (BHA 87), Sergeant's is just 68 (BHA 56). Furthermore, while Von Der Recke has been the source of ten runners in the division since 2008/09, only one has been a winner. Sergeant's GAG of 68 was earned after five runs in Germany over distances ranging from nine to twelve furlongs and he was last seen making all to win a maiden at Baden-Baden. Although the value of that form is difficult to assess, the runner-up twice finished midfield in French races while the third placed (beaten four lengths and receiving five pounds) won a pair of handicaps at Cologne off equivalent marks of 45 and 50. Despite the win coming in a maiden, this was the second time he tasted success as he made a winning debut on the all-weather at Dortmund last year. Sire Nutan, the 2015 German Derby winner, is having his first crop in the division and while his sole charge Nuriel has achieved little, Nutan is closely related to top hurdler Melon. Sergeant's dam is out of a half-sister to Mill Reef Stakes winner Cool Creek while Russian Shift, who finished third in an ordinary Auteuil hurdle, is the closest hurdling relative at 3/2. Milton Harris has just a fair record in the division overall and his first time out rate is just 6.67%. Nevertheless, his clear round rate is the best in this field for trainers with more than six runs, and he sent Pyramid Place out to only narrowly fail to win at Lingfield ahead of a win at Bangor. Sergeant's flat form does not leave him stranded and he showed a stout attitude to win last time so a bold showing would not be a surprise.

                    Sure I'm Your Man bg Jennie Candlish f6-0-0 (55) 64 j1-0-1 (-) 89 102
                    Sea The Moon (Dalakhani){9-c}(0.33) 2/1 Tugboat 1st Novice Hurdle, Galway 2012
                    Sure I'm Your Man was no better than a fair maiden on the flat for Roger Charlton, and his first run after a break and a wind operation for his new yard saw him well beaten at Newcastle. Nevertheless, being by Sea The Moon and related to Tugboat (2/1) and Rigidity (3/3) gives him a respectable pedigree for the discipline and he attracted a fair amount of support in the betting prior to his hurdling debut at Bangor. Though he was slightly awkward over the first and rather low at the last, the only real quibble with his jumping was at the third where he steadied on the approach before hopping over the flight. The best of those racing from the rear, he got to within a couple of lengths of winner Pyramid Place three furlongs out but was unable to keep tabs on him from thereon. It was a satisfactory debut and given that he is unexposed and bred to develop with age, he can improve for the experience.

                    You Owe Me chg Sarah-Jayne Davies f6-0-1 (60) 64 j2-0-0 (-) 68 68
                    Champs Elysees (Giant's Causeway){10-a}(1.50) no jumps relatives
                    Starting the season with a rating of 69, his mark deteriorated nine pounds before ne left Mark Johnston for ?19,000 at the Goffs Summer Sale. He jumped poorly on his hurdling debut at Huntingdon before tailing off, and though his jumping improved next time at Uttoxeter, he was beaten even further. He has subsequently had a wind operation but he is still left with plenty to prove.

                    Glass Of Bubbles bf Charlie Longsdon f6-1-0 (65) 66 j1-0-0 0 0
                    War Command (Sadler's Wells){1-c}(1.00) 0.5 Our Power 4th Finesse Juvenile Hurdle (G2), Cheltenham 2019
                    Glass Of Bubbles failed to place in five starts for Henry de Bromhead, but she ran away with a heavy ground seller at this venue for Adrian Nicholls early last month. She did not receive any bids after the race, but she would join Charlie Longsdon and her hurdling debut came just over three weeks later at Fakenham. Slow and untidy at several of the hurdles, she quickly lost ground in the back straight and would finish completely tailed off. This performance was too bad to be true but it is still not a good foundation for her hurdling career. Nevertheless, she may improve for the softer surface and has winning form on the course. Although that seller has not worked out, she did have Blue Slate in behind if nothing else.

                    Strong prospects
                    1. Sergeant
                    Reasonable prospects
                    2. Sure I'm Your Man
                    3. Opine
                    Feasible prospects
                    4. Glass Of Bubbles
                    5. Galidermes
                    Moderate prospects
                    6. Bentley Wood
                    Negligible prospects
                    7. Blue Slate
                    8. You Owe Me
                    9. African Sun
                    10. Goodbye Grass

                    Comment


                    • A seriously impressive performance from Zanahiyr and he is very much worthy of his place at the head of the market. Have some IRL stuff to attend so reviews won't be coming immediately but in the meantime, here is the preview for tomorrow's race at Fakenham

                      Tomorrow's juvenile hurdle at Fakenham has been contested four times, in 2008, 2009, 2017 and 2018. While the average winner's seasonal RPR of 115 is above the course standard, the course is ranked ahead of only Cartmel and the 115 would still be in the bottom third. No winner of this contest was rated higher than 68 on the flat although 2018 runner-up Song For Someone has since developed into a high class hurdler. This year's renewal could be fairly useful as it features two with winning form over hurdles, three who have been placed in the division, and a 75 rated Alan King newcomer. The sharpest track in the UK, it is said to be more challenging than its appearance although the average winners' DIs of 1.22 median, 1.57 mean suggest that it is still an unexacting test. The clear round rate of 97.87% also suggests that it is a fairly generous jumping test. The going is currently good but some light rain is forecast from late tomorrow morning.

                      Triumph Odds
                      Hacker des Places 66/1

                      Hacker Des Places bg Paul Nicholls j3-1-2 (132) 117 108
                      Great Pretender (Le Havre){7}(0.45) 2/0 Wild Queen 1st Prix Triquerville (L 4yo Chs), Auteuil 2006
                      https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/hacker-des-places
                      Hacker des Places carries a winners' penalty into this race, which he earned when landing an ordinary event at Dax back in June. The runner-up there has since won a couple of minor events of his own but the overall form is only average. His debut effort at Dieppe was more compelling however as he ran close to Nicky Henderson's Paros, who headed the Triumph markets over the summer, and the irrefutably listed class Jeu de Paume. He had shown some greenness on his two starts in France and had jumped overly big on occasion. However, while those traits were prevalent on his UK debut at Wincanton last month, his demonstrable ability to jump swiftly was not. He was fresh early without ever really settling and though he traded lower than his SP in running, he never looked like putting his stamp on the race. He was readily outpaced by the winner in the straight and his concluding jumps were rather tired ones. This was not a faithful reflection of his ability and he can be expected to improve for fitness and experience. Hacker des Places comes into this race with very good prospects on form, although his breeding form and suggest that he would prefer more give in the ground.

                      Jersey Grey grg Alexandra Dunn f5-0-0 (48) 52 j3-1-0 (106) 97 107
                      Rajsaman (Peintre Celebre){16-h}(0.74) 0.5 Grand Banks 1st 4yo Conditions Hurdle, Compiegne 2018
                      A 48 rated maiden on the flat for Jamie Osborne, decent hurdling enabled Jersey Grey to outrun his 125/1 odds at Chepstow on his jumps debut, and he built on that promise when winning at Lingfield next time out. The runner-up at Lingfield subsequently scored at Bangor while Opine, who was held when falling at the last, was second at Leicester - albeit behind a horse who was previously well beaten in selling company. Jersey Grey was understandably outclassed at Cheltenham last time, but while he returns to calmer waters, he still has to shoulder a penalty against potentially useful rivals.

                      Can't Stop Now chg Chris Gordon f6-0-2 (73) 74 j2-0-1 (-) 94 96
                      Starspangledbanner (Ivan Denisovich){1-n}(7.00) 2/1 Aviatorilor 3rd 3YO Hurdle, Argentan 2015
                      Twice placed from six flat outings for Clive Cox, Can't Stop Now sold for 7,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale to join a yard with a solid record in the lower grades. His hurdling debut came at Kempton behind Overpriced Mixer and while he began with a succession of novicey errors, his jumping improved as the race progressed. He was still in touch with the winner turning for home but he did finish tired and while this could be mitigated by settling better, his stamina is not assured either on breeding or on his flat form. He retains the hood that was reapplied at Ludlow, although that was not enough to prevent him from effectively refusing to race. While Can't Stop Now should be suited by the forecast conditions, he would still have something to find on form even without his questionable attitude.

                      Grouseman bg Pam Sly f7-0-0 (50) 56 j2-0-1 (118) 104 112
                      Kyllachy (Danehill Dancer){8-d}(1.91) 2/1 Pivot Bridge Handicap Hurdle (B,110), Killarney 2014
                      Grouseman achieved a rating of just 50 after seven runs on the flat and being by Kyllachy offers little encouragement for his new vocation. Nevertheless, he was not disgraced on his jumping debut at Warwick early in the month and he progressed even further at Catterick ten days ago. Held up just as he had been at Warwick, he made headway on the turn out of the back straight and picked up the lead two from home. While he idled on the approach to the last, he still jumped it with a two length advantage and was not idling on the run to the line. Rather, he was simply outstayed in the closing battle with Gold Desert which is understandable given his parentage. Although his jumping was imperfect, it was no worse than on his debut and the sharp nature of the race enabled him to run a new career best. Grouseman is unlikely to want a sterner examination and it remains to be seen whether he can replicate this effort. Nevertheless, Pam Sly's other juveniles to have ran well at Catterick did not show a discernible dip in form next time and the yard has won one from four with juveniles at the venue since 2008/09. Strictly on UK form and at the weights, Grouseman sets the standard and if his latest performance can be accepted at face value, he comes into the race with a strong chance.

                      Jack Ryan bg John Ryan f12-1-1 (62) 64 j1-0-1 (-) 92 101
                      Harbour Watch (Rock Of Gibraltar){19-c}(3.00) 3/1 Cuban Piece 1st Juvenile Maiden Hurdle, Bangor 2011
                      A winner over seven furlongs on heavy ground back in October, Jack Ryan made a respectable hurdling debut at Musselburgh early in the month. Apart from clipping the top of the sixth, he put in a clean round and was the best of those who were held up. He made some headway turning in but was never able to reach the leaders and was beaten nearly twelve lengths in the end. The runner-up has given the form credence with a third at Newcastle and his performance was about as good as anything he achieved on the flat. However, he has since been well beaten in two outings on the all weather and would probably prefer softer conditions.

                      Nachtstern chg Neil King f4-0-0 DeF (45) 35
                      Lord Of England (Monsun){4-r}(0.50) 0.5 Nordano 3rd Finale Juvenile Hurdle (G1), Chepstow 2019
                      https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/nachtstern
                      https://www.racebets.com/en/horse-ra...external/17139
                      Unplaced in four starts on the continent for Jean-Pierre Carvalho, whose sole import in the division was winless in two starts, Nachtstern has not seen a racecourse since October last year. The form he produced was moderate and his GAG of 62.5 is the equivalent of a BHA mark of 45. However, his breeding is certainly more compelling as Lord Of England has won with three of his five juvenile hurdlers, and the dam produced last season's useful juvenile Nordano and is a full-sister to King George winner Novellist. Nachtstern joins his half-brother at a Neil King yard with a very healthy winners to runners rate of 41.94% and improvement rate of 61.54%. However,
                      his strike rate first time out is only 6.9% and while Nachtstern has an interesting pedigree, he still has to overcome moderate form and a long absence.

                      Tamaris brc Gary Moore f4-1-0 (73) 79 j1-0-1 (-) 90 100
                      Dansili (Montjeu){5-h}(0.79) 3/1 Praxiteles 2nd Handicap Hurdle (125), Cheltenham 2010
                      Prior to his hurdles bow at Huntingdon on the first of the month, Tamaris had been off the track since winning a Wolverhampton handicap on his final start for Roger Charlton in late July. Nevertheless, he was subject to steady market support throughout the day and opened as favourite in the ring. His jumping left something to be desired however, as he was awkward at the first and third, trailed his legs at the second, took off too early two out and was slow getting away from the last. Nevertheless, his eleven length third was still a perfectly credible debut effort and but for blowing up late on, looked likely to take second. The front two from that contest have each subsequently been beaten in handicaps which does knock the form somewhat. Furthermore, while Tamaris can improve for fitness and experience, Gary Moore does have a decent first time out strike rate so there may not have been a great deal left to work on.

                      The Cincinnati Kid bc Alan King f7-1-3 (75) 82
                      Charm Spirit (Medaaly){8-b}(0.54) 2/1 Tryphaena 1st Handicap Hurdle (C,112), Fairyhouse 2000
                      Alan King had his first win in the division since January when Son Of Red made a winning debut at Newcastle on Saturday. He runs another newcomer here in The Cincinnati Kid who left Richard Hannon for 55,000 guineas at the Tattersalls Autumn sale. Who Dares Win made the switch between these yards ahead of winning twice during the 2015/16 season, be the seven others who made the same journey since 2008 all failed to score as juveniles. The Cincinnati Kid made his racecourse debut at Salisbury in August, and was initially rated 71 after three outings. His form improved for a switch to the all-weather in October as he twice finished placed at Wolverhampton in a pair of twelve furlong handicaps, and he comfortably avenged his victor over two furlongs longer at Chelmsford later that month. His flat rating of 75 is the highest in this field and he should have no trouble at the trip. Charm Spirit has yet to be tested in the sphere, but Invincible Spirit has shown himself a reasonable sire of sires. The dam is a half-sister to a fairly useful handicap hurdler and Champion Hurdle runner-up Westender appears on the damline at 3/3. Alan King's strike rate with newcomers is 29.22%, which increases to 32.99% with flat recruits rated 62 or above. The fact that The Cincinnati Kid is still an entire does raise concerns, but otherwise, his form is respectable and his profile is a solid one.

                      Eventful bf Suzi Best f11-0-6 (67) 76
                      Oasis Dream (Dalakhani){14-c}(0.78) 2/1 Extreme Impact 1st Handicap Hurdle (115), Haydock 2014
                      Juvenile hurdlers sourced from GB or Irish claimers have a winners to runners rate of just 12.5%, and only Maoi Chinn Tire achieved an RPR of 120 or above. Eventful left Mick Quinn for ?11,000 after finishing second to Treaty Of Dingle, subsequently twice placed in this sphere, in a Lingfield claimer in late August. Though a maiden after eleven starts, the former Juddmonte filly has rarely been disgraced in handicap company at marks around the low-mid seventies. Furthermore, the yards of Jim, and then Suzi Best has a winners to runners rate of 55.55% in the sphere since 2008/09. Eventful's dam is a half-sister to Workforce, and more pertinently, a winning handicap hurdler. Other relatives on the damline include Brian Boru (3/1), Cinders And Ashes (3/2), and Minella Rocco (4/2). Oasis Dream's record in the division makes for much less impressive reading as only two of his twenty-five juvenile hurdlers have been winners, and the overall strike rate is just 2.94%. There are positives in the profile, but the negatives are heavy burdens at this juncture.

                      Strong prospects
                      1. The Cincinnati Kid
                      Reasonable prospects
                      2. Grouseman
                      3. Hacker des Places
                      Feasible prospects
                      4. Tamaris
                      5. Jersey Grey
                      Moderate prospects
                      6. Nachtstern
                      7. Eventful
                      8. Jack Ryan
                      Negligible prospects
                      9. Can't Stop Now

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Kotkijet View Post


                        Strong prospects
                        1. Zanahiyr
                        Reasonable prospects
                        2. Saint Sam
                        3. Druid's Altar
                        Feasible prospects
                        4. Glorious Zoff
                        Moderate prospects
                        5. Rock Chica
                        Negligible prospects
                        6. Wyett Earp
                        Once again, superb.
                        I didn't actually back Zanahiyir today as I got a bit scared, but an excellent preview as usual.

                        Comment

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