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Juvenile Hurdlers 2020/2021

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  • Scholastic bf Joseph Patrick O'Brien f12-3-1 (72) 75 j5-1-3 (-) 113 109
    Zoffany (Sadler's Wells){5-b}(0.63) 1/1 Severus Alexander 4th Handicap Hurdle (102), Leopardstown 2020
    An old friend of this thread, three time flat winner Scholastic's first steps in the division were vengeful and erratic as she wiped out half of her rivals while running loose at Down Royal. Nevertheless, in her four subsequent outings, only Duffle Coat, Crassus, Longclaw and Quilixios finished ahead of her. Her penultimate outing in a Punchestown maiden saw her collect a deserved six-and-a-half length win from subsequent winners Jeff Kidder, Rock Chica and Varna Gold, and thrice placed Bigz Belief. Her jumping had progressed from her debut and was immaculate at Punchestown, but while it was still decent on her latest start, some mistakes crept into her round. She has not been seen over hurdles since being outclassed by Quilixios on the 13th of October and was last seen five days later when a close third in a Naas handicap, posting a career best in that sphere. Joseph O'Brien has a very respectable record in the discipline although while he has enjoyed success this side of the Irish Sea, including winning the Fred Winter with Band Of Outlaws, his tally with raiding juveniles is two from nineteen. Scholastic is still Ireland's leading juvenile filly but she would still be someway behind the best of these and although she has performed on soft, her better hurdles form has come on a sounder surface.

    See The Eagle Fly chf Harry Whittington f8-0-2 (57) 62 j2-1-0 (-) 105 99
    Free Eagle (Verglas){5-h}(0.71) 3/1 Cork Harbour 1st Selling Handicap Hurdle (88), Market Rasen 2003
    Twice placed in eight starts on the flat for Thomas Cooper, See The Eagle Fly made a winning hurdles debut at Fontwell in early October, where she was able to take advantage of Balko Saint's inexperience despite a lack of willingness on her own part. The form received a boost as the runner-up finished third in the Grade Two at Cheltenham, and the underperforming Talking About You won at Ludlow. The third placed also managed to subsequently finish second at Fakenham. Due to her beaten rivals all having excuses, the form can not be taken too literally. Nevertheless, any win where the form has worked out well is worthy of respect which made See The Eagle Fly's performance at Leicester next time a disappointment. Pulling in the early stages, her jumping was not quite as clean as it had been on her debut. She appeared to be travelling strongly when taking the lead in the straight, but she then started to idle and weakened tamely from thereon. Given this is twice in as many races that she has been uncomfortable with the lead, the inclination is to attribute that performance to attitude rather than a lack of stamina or ability. See The Eagle Fly is capable of defying a penalty in ordinary company, although she may require deft handling in order to do so. However, while she comes into this race unpenalised, the quality of her opposition is such that there will be no room for hesitation. Furthermore, the good form enjoyed by his trainer in October has abandoned him for the time being which further tempers enthusiasm.

    Talking About You bf Sean Curran f6-0-1 (60) 60 j7-2-3 (118) 111 116
    Sixties Icon (Mastercraftsman){9-h}(0.50) 3/1 Princess Caerani 2nd Mares' Maiden Hurdle, Ludlow 2014
    With seven hurdles races already under her belt, Talking About You is the veteran of the division. Her early endeavours were marked by recalcitrance, particularly at the start of her races. Fortunately for connections, a ritual of mounting her at the last possible moment mitigated against her behaviour and a debut third at Newton Abbot led to a second at Sedgefield and culminated with a decisive win at Fontwell. However, a regression in form and behaviour on returns to Market Rasen and Fontwell prompted a break and a wind operation. There were signs of improvement on her return at Fakenham and the benefit of same was seen to its fullest effect at Ludlow last month. While she shied away from the tapes at the off , she asserted herself from the outset and led at a good gallop. Though she went left at the first, her jumping was always quick and even though she got in close at the fourth, third and second last flights, she did not lose any momentum in the process. Her task was made simpler when the favourite unseated after the second last, but he was not closing on the run to that flight. Furthermore, given how strongly she ran to the line, it would have taken a good horse to catch her. This marked a new career best for Talking About You and while her rise of eighteen pounds in the ratings might look harsh, it is broadly in keeping with what she achieved and the form has since been substantiated by the third and fourth each finishing second next time. The stable is in good form and Talking About You could pose a threat if in the right kind of mood, although there are definitive ground concerns to overcome and there is little reason for her to reverse places with Hiconic on previous outings.

    Ten Thousand Stars chf Brian Ellison f7-1-1 (62) 69 j2-0-1 (-) 89 100
    Toronado (Green Tune){1-n}(0.88) 2/1 Le Vagabond 3rd Juvenile Hurdle (G3), Fairyhouse 2015
    A winner at Newmarket for Adrian Nicholls as a two-year-old, Ten Thousand Stars jumped appallingly on her hurdling debut at Sedgefield back in August. Her repertoire of jumping moves included the bunny hop, the twist and jazz hooves before attempting to walk through, rather than jump, the last. Nevertheless, she was arguably (but not definitively) unlucky not to win the race as she was carried across the track by the winner. While only a small contest, first placed Historic Heart subsequently scored at Wetherby and the runner-up was Talking About You. Ten Thousand Stars jumped and travelled better next time at Perth, but was unable to match the form and though she looked a likely winner at two out, her effort was short lived and she would fade to finish an eight length fourth. An inconsistent type on the flat, she is probably better than that performance. Nevertheless, even a career best leaves her with plenty to find and she would be better suited by firmer ground.

    Strong prospects
    1. Hiconic
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Megan
    3. Army Of One
    Feasible prospects
    4. Bellatrixsa
    5. Scholastic
    6. Talking About You
    7. Her Indoors
    Moderate prospects
    8. High Moor Flyer
    9. See The Eagle Fly
    10. Ten Thousand Stars
    11. Sarceaux
    Negligible prospects
    12. Lightning Blue

    Originally posted by Old Vic View Post
    Strong prospects
    1. Park Lane Dancer

    A decent price if even placed.
    I remember when I was younger and less discerning when it came to partners. Sometimes, I would look at all my options, see that nothing looked like a particularly good thing for one reason or another, and simply settled for the safest conveyance regardless of intrinsic quality. Never did I not think in hindsight that I should have simply gone home and just had a wank instead.

    Old habits die hard...


    • Outstanding stuff once again K, and a bonus insight into your youth too !
      Broken record I know but thanks so much for these, they really are gems (not your historic conquests/wanking habits)...