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Juvenile Hurdlers 2020/2021

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  • #91
    Fontwell hosts its second juvenile of the season on Friday with the first and second from the racecourse's previous contest set to renew their rivalry. Three other runners with promising hurdling form are also set to face the starter along with Harry Whittington's first juvenile of the season so this looks like it could be a competitive, if trappy, little race. The home of the Southern National, Fontwell's seconds per furlong figures are one of the slowest in the country and its median winning DI of 1.00 for juveniles indicates that stamina is a desirable attribute. With at least two likely frontrunners in the field, the pace looks likely to be a searching one. The going is currently described as good but with heavy rain forecast between now and Friday, conditions may deteriorate.

    Balko Saint bg Mrs Jane Williams j1-0-0 (-) 97 96
    Balko (Saint Des Saints){5-i}(0.71) 2/1 Workbench 3rd Badger Ales Trophy (131), Wincanton 2014
    A Balko x Saint des Saints cross out of a half-sister to three winning jumpers who won a chase as a four-year-old, Balko Saint is very much bred to be a National Hunt horse. He made his racecourse debut in early August where was a promising second to the penalised Hiconic. He jumped well for the first part of the race and while he began to make mistakes as the tempo increased, he was good over the final two and acquitted himself well on the run to the line. While he could not match the winner for pace, he was able to keep Talking About You at bay. Some of his rivals here have shown better form but given that he was still fairly green, he gave the impression that he could improve nicely for the experience. The anticipated pace, extra distance and forecast rain at Fontwell could help him further and he is worthy of respect in this field.

    Big Jimbo chg G Moore f4-0-1 (49) 46 j2-0-2 (96) 90 102
    Helmet (Pastoral Pursuits){9-c}(0.45) 3/1 Tiger Trek 1st Maiden Hurdle, Thurles 2014
    Big Jimbo has shown only moderate form on the flat and was beaten twenty-seven lengths on his hurdling debut at Bangor back in July. However, he posted a career best effort last time at this venue when a seven length second to Talking About You. He was held up for much of the race and though he stayed on past beaten horses, never looked like threatening the winner. His jumping was fine save for a couple of slight errors and despite his pedigree, appears to enjoy a trip. The yard broke a losing run this afternoon and does well both at this venue and in this particular contest having won with Halling's Wish, Sussex Ranger and Botox Has from his last six participant. Big Jimbo also enjoys a pull at the weights with Talking About You so he comes here with creditable prospects.

    Full Secret bf Neil King f6-0-0 (51) 56 j1-0-0 (-) 0 0
    Footstepsinthesand (Green Desert){3-g}(1.60) 3/1 Davoski 2nd Castleford Chase (G2, 144), Wetherby 2000
    After five runs on the all-weather for Richard Fahey, Full Secret joined her new stable for 6,300 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale. Since then, she ran poorly on his turf debut and while her new yard does well with this type, she was detached from an early stage on her hurdling bow at Plumpton twelve days ago. She is feasibly bred for the discipline and her jumping was not bad for a first try but she needs to show much more to be competitive here.

    Sans Logique bg David Pipe f5-1-2 (80.3) j2-0-0 (-) 96 104
    Toronado (Whipper){22}(0.75) 0.5 No Thanks 6th Novices Hurdle, Uttoxeter 2020
    A beaten favourite on his UK/hurdling debut at Sedgefield in late August, Sans Logique returned to County Durham on Tuesday where his effort was most regressive. He was beaten less than four lengths on his first outing there and is weighted to reverse placings with Talking About You who was ahead of him in second. However, his jumping on Tuesday was poor as he dived left at most of his hurdles and eventually finished tailed off. The headgear is left off for his quick return but the suspicion is that he will be seen to better effect once he qualifies for a handicap mark.

    See The Eagle Fly chf Harry Whittington f8-0-2 (57) 62
    Free Eagle (Verglas){5-h}(0.71) 3/1 Cork Harbour 1st Selling Handicap Hurdle (88), Market Rasen 2003
    The only newcomer in the race, See The Eagle Fly comes into the race on the back of an eight race flat career in Ireland for Thomas Cooper. Competing this summer in handicaps from ten to fourteen furlongs, she has some fair form to her name. This includes a neck second at Killarney where she looked most likely to win before being caught at the post by Dawn Over Owning. Curiously, these efforts tie in some Irish juvenile hurdlers as she mixed it up with Little Brother, Jeff Kidder and Differentiate - all of whom have ran with credit in the sphere. Those efforts entitle her to respect in this field but there are concerns over her attitude as she does not appear to be particularly willing to put her best foot forward when hitting the front. Only two ex-Thomas Cooper horses have been imported to compete in UK juveniles and one of them was the capable Zeb Spirit. Harry Whittington has a good record in the sphere with five of his twelve juveniles winning and two-thirds of them improving on their flat form. He also has three runners-up from the four juveniles he has sent to Fontwell. Free Eagle is having his first crop in the division but his sole runner to date was Ballinrobe third Perry Owens, and he is a son of High Chapparal who was a very successful sire of juveniles in his own right. There is not much on See The Eagle Fly's immediate damline but useful French juvenile Tin Soldier appears further back at 4/4 and damsire Verglas has had one winner from six to date. There are concerns about See The Eagle Fly's attitude and she does lack hurdling experience but her profile is still a respectable one nevertheless.

    Talking About You bf Sean Curran f6-0-1 (60) 60 j4-1-3 (103) 95 105
    Sixties Icon (Mastercraftsman){9-h}(0.50) 3/1 Princess Caerani 2nd Mares' Maiden Hurdle, Ludlow 2014
    Talking About You has a history of giving trouble at the start of her races but that improved to the point where she was able to emphatically shed her maiden tag here early in September. However, her petulant antics resurfaced last Saturday at Market Rasen which preceded her finishing a tired and distant third behind Soldier On Parade. The form of her victory at Fontwell gives her every right to be competitive once again although it is worth stressing that her supremacy was not much greater than the winning margin as she stopped very quickly when allowed to ease. Furthermore, with Sans Logique, a verified front runner, and See The Eagle Fly, a potential front runner, set to line up, Talking About You is unlikely to enjoy an uncontested lead. Her chances may further diminish if the forecast rain gets into the ground.

    Treaty Of Dingle bf Sean Curran f14-2-5 (67) 70 j1-0-1 (-) 82 92
    Roderic O'Connor (Sakhee's Secret){6-b}(0.60) 4/1 Surrey Dancer 2nd Fighting Fifth Hurdle (G2), Newcastle 1994
    The stablemate of Talking About You, Treaty Of Dingle was a consistent sort on the flat for Hughie Morrison and after winning a Lingfield claimer, changed hands for £12,000. Her hurdling debut at Plumpton was a respectable one and apart from one awkward jump, she put in a decent round and kept on well to the line. She can improve for the experience and the level of form she showed puts her within shouting distance in this company. However, she did show some keenness and her stamina is not assured for what could potentially be a thorough test.

    Strong prospects
    1. Balko Saint
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Big Jimbo
    3. See The Eagle Fly
    Feasible prospects
    4. Talking About You
    5. Treaty Of Dingle
    6. Sans Logique
    Moderate prospects
    7. Full Secret


    • #92
      In the immortal words of legendary WWF commentator Jim Ross, "business is about to pick up" this Saturday as Quilixios is set to make his Irish debut in Gowran Park's 3-y-o hurdle. Stablemate Duffle Coat won't make things easy for him however and there will also be five other horses in the field. While the race's winners are not always of the highest echelons, they are invariably useful sorts including Imazulutoo, The Last Stand and Chief Justice who all followed up in Fairyhouse's graded contest in December. Burrenbridge Lodge, Lindenhurst, Sam Bass and Guitar Pete also competed in this race prior to moving on to better things. Gowran Park's average winning DIs for juveniles of 1.29 median and 1.55 mean are both higher than that of the average runner indicating that it is one of the easiest circuits in the country. With 30 of the 731 juveniles to have ran at the track since 2008/09 falling or unseating, it offers a fairly standard test of hurdling ability. The ground is set to be riding good and with only a few showers forecast between now and two o'clock Saturday, that does not look likely to change a great deal.

      Eschewing the usual practice of previewing the runners in racecard order, it seems more appropriate to begin with the star attraction who has been perched near the top of the Triumph Hurdle markets since their inception. I have already written plenty on the horse so rather than laboriously paraphrase myself, I will repost my observations with an update at the end.

      25/1 Quilixios bg Gordon Elliott j1-1-0 (-) 131
      Maxios (Lomitas){16-c}(0.63) 3/1 Quicuyo 1st Handicap Chase (137), Doncaster 2012
      The least fancied of Francois Nicolle's four runners, Quilixious ground down the long time leader to win from a well strung out field in the second division of the traditional curtain raiser, the Prix d'Essai des Poulains. The time was two seconds quicker than the first division and while it has yet to produce any winners, the second and fourth filled the same positions (in reverse order) in the Prix Go Ahead. Gordon Elliot has had two juveniles from Francois Nicolle in recent years and while neither won for him during their first seasons, both acquitted themselves well in the Fred Winter with Campeador falling when holding a strong chance at the last in 2016 and Coko Beach finishing runner up three years later. Maxios, another addition to the UK/IRE NH stallion ranks for 2020, as well as being another son of Monsun, has so far shown himself a fine sire of juvenile hurdlers. More than half of his offspring have won over obstacles with almost two thirds achieving RPRs exceeding 107 as well as having 71% improve for switching from the flat. Lomitas is also a very capable damsire of juveniles and both he and Maxios have enjoyed success with family 16-c. Incidentally, he and Paros are fairly closely related on the dam's side with Quilixios's fifth dam being the fourth dam of Paros.

      The way he won his sole outing in the Prix d'Essai des Poulains was very taking and his jumping was good throughout. Insofar as the form of that race since I made that post is concerned, the fourth placed I'm Walking came out best at the weights in a Prix Royal Junior which featured five previous winners, and fifth placed Losange Vert won a steeplechase for three-year-olds at Auteuil so will presumably be going to the Prix Congress as one of the favourites. The tailed off Chudamani has also won a little race of his own at Jarnac. The winning time of Quilixios' division was two seconds quicker than the one earlier on the card and the runner-up in that race, Raffles Face, was a respectable third in the Prix Robert Lejeune.

      As pertains to Saturday's race
      Gordon Elliott has won this contest twice since 2009 but that is from nine runners (two unseated early on) and his overall strike rate at the track with juveniles is little over ten percent. He does have the division's two top horses however, and his two entries here appear to have the race between them. Quilixios comes with a big reputation and it is most probably deserved although there has yet to be a single ex-French hurdler compete in the UK or Ireland so the quality of that division remains unknown. Furthermore, Quilixios's win came in heavy ground and while Maxios's offspring can go on good, there is a definite preference for ground with more give. The manner of Quilixios's Compiegne win was more a relentless drive than an explosive acceleration and although good ground around Gowran Park looks ideal for his stablemate, is presents demanding questions to Quilixios. If he is versatile enough to give convincing answers then he could be a classy horse. However, it would not harm his overall profile if he failed to win first time out for his new connections.

      Duffle Coat grg Gordon Elliott j1-1-0 (-) 124 127
      Alhebayeb (Sadler's Wells){4-k}(1.40) 0.5 Starchitect 2nd Summit Juvenile Hurdle (G2), Doncaster 2014
      Duffle Coat was making his racecourse debut when winning at Punchestown and while he was naturally green, he still travelled and jumped like a seasoned professional. After settling in the rear for much of the race, he effortlessly progressed to the front rank on the approach to the straight. Taking the widest route on the final turn, he needed only hands and heels encouragement to lead before the last and he won going away from the field. Duffle Coat is a half-brother to the highly talented but ill-fated Starchitect along with winning hurdler Redemption Song. His granddam was a half-sister to the useful Rio De Janeiro as well as the dam of Royal Bond runner up Triplicate. Duffle Coat was a big drifter in the market beforehand but he could hardly have made a more favourable impression first time out. The bare form was some way off pattern class but it would still be as good as almost anything seen so far this year and received a boost early this week when the third and seventh upheld the form on their return to Punchestown. While it is dangerous to read too much into a solitary performance, it is difficult to find reasonable holes in his profile and the conditions are likely to be ideal here. Whether he can emerge as a better horse than Quilixios this season is a matter that can only be resolved by time. Nevertheless, strictly in the context of Saturday's race, he appears to have a strong chance of doubling his tally.

      Little Brother bg J A Nash f10-1-2 (55) 57 j3-1-0 (-) 107 111
      Gale Force Ten (Thunder Gulch){5-h}(3.00) 4/1 Salamah 3rd Kennel Gate Novices Hurdle, Ascot 1998
      The third winning hurdler in the field, Little Brother earned his victory in an average maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe in the middle of August. He was tailed off on his return to the flat next time but was not far off his Ballinrobe form when a fourteen length fifth in a decent contest at Listowel two weeks ago. A horse who likes to race prominently, he looks like he might have his own way up although he can get headstrong and his jumping is not always fluent. He has reasonable prospects of running best of the rest but after thirteen starts, is thoroughly exposed and does not look good enough to beat either of the Elliott horses.

      Londonofficecallin grg Miss Evanna McCutcheon f4-0-0 (50) 51
      Alhebayeb (Lord Shanakill){13-e}(11.00) 5/1 Cezanne 1st Novices' Hurdle, Huntingdon 1999
      Londonofficecallin finished no closer than eleven lengths to the winner in three maiden outings and was well beaten off a mark of 63 when last seen in a Killarney nursery over thirteen months ago. He was pulled out of two intended engagements last month, getting upset in the stalls at Galway and being found with a stone bruise ahead of a race at Tipperary. Apart from being related to some fair jumpers through his fifth dam, there are no notable hurdlers closer by and his trainer's sole juvenile failed to win in four attempts.

      Made In Pimlico chg Brendan W Duke f7-0-0 (40) 47 j2-0-0 (-) 98 104
      Dragon Pulse (Giant's Causeway){8-k}(1.25) no jumps relatives
      Made In Pimlico came up against classic contenders in his first three maiden races but was beaten a long way on those occasions and failed to finish better than midfield in four nurseries off low marks. His trainer gets winners in this sphere and after pulling up quickly on his hurdling debut at Tipperary, outran odds of 125/1 on his latest outing at Listowel. Trying a cheekpiece and tongue-tie combination for the first time, he got in close to a few of his hurdles but stayed on to finish fourth, a length and a half ahead of Little Brother. He may be to confirm superiority over the aforementioned although it remains to be seen whether that anomalous performance was a fluke.

      Meknas bg Denis Gerard Hogan Unraced
      Gleneagles (Zamindar){14-f}(0.83) no jumps relatives
      While initially trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Meknas failed to make the racecourse and was sold for 7,000 guineas at Tattersalls in July. His new trainer has a winners to runners rate of just 8.33% with juvenile hurdlers but has sent two to finish runner-up in this particular contest. Gleneagles has yet to be tested as a jumps stallion as his sole runner failed to produce as expected. Nevertheless, sons of Galileo can make sires of juveniles as demonstrated by the likes of Nathaniel, Soldier Of Fortune and Australia to name but a few. Zamindar has a fair 21.43% winner to runner rate in the sphere as a damsire but while there is some international black type along the damline, there are no hurdlers to be found.

      Waterville Lady bf Mrs John Harrington f12-0-2 (65) 67 j1-0-0 (-) 0 0
      Starspangledbanner (Marju){1-k}(0.71) 2/1 Gladiator King 1st Maiden Hurdle, Leopardstown 2015
      Jessica Harrington won this race in 2015 with Lake Champlain and her overall record in the sphere is a respectable one. Sixteen of her sixty-one juveniles since 2008/09 have been winners and two-thirds of her charges improve for the switch between codes. She is represented here by Waterville Lady whose hurdles debut saw her unseat at the second. A maiden after twelve starts on the flat, she has twice reached the frame, most recently when second off 65 in a nine furlong Tipperary handicap back in June. Since then however, she has finished nearer last than first in a pair of good ground handicaps while being beaten by over forty lengths combined. Starspangledbanner has yet to produce a jumps winner and Marju's record as both a sire and damside is a below average one in the sphere. Nevertheless, there are some capable jumpers on the damline including Gladiator King (2/1), Rock Relief (2/1) and Cardinal Walter (3/2). While her peak flat form is the best brought into this race, she did not endear herself while running loose at Listowel and with her profile being of a patchy nature, has plenty to prove for the time being.

      Strong prospects
      1. Duffle Coat
      2. Quilixios (switch with Duffle Coat is ground softens)
      Moderate prospects
      3. Little Brother
      4. Made In Pimlico
      5. Waterville Lady
      Negligible prospects
      6. Meknas
      7. Londonofficecallin


      • #93
        Originally posted by Kotkijet View Post
        In the immortal words of legendary WWF commentator Jim Ross, "business is about to pick up" this Saturday
        I just picture quilixios bowling around the parade ring with hell fire and brimstone


        • #94
          Originally posted by Ray View Post
          I just picture quilixios bowling around the parade ring with hell fire and brimstone
          Indeed. It is a shame he won't be wearing a hood or blinkers first time because now we won't be able to lament at how much cooler he used to be when he wore the mask.


          • #95
            There are a couple of interesting little races tomorrow. However, I am currently on a weekend away where my laptop's presence would have been considered rude. As such, the reviews for Friday's and Saturday's races will arrive in a few day's time and there will be no proper reviews for tomorrow's races. I have done a couple of prospects lists based largely on what I remember writing about these horses in the past.

            Stratford 12:15
            Strong prospects
            1. Orchestral Rain
            Reasonable prospects
            2. Bam Bam
            Feasible prospects
            3. Nuriel
            Moderate prospects
            4. Jan Wellens
            5. New Zealander
            Negligible prospects
            6. Cold War Steve
            7. Jersey Grey

            Killarney 14:05
            Strong prospects
            1. Crassus
            Reasonable prospects
            2. At War
            3. On Guard
            Feasible prospects
            4. Varna Gold
            5. Craic Eile
            Moderate prospects
            6. Boom Boom Boom
            Negligible prospects
            7. Belgoprince
            8. Toughari
            9. Thekeyisnottopanic
            10. Londonofficecallin
            11. Butterfly Lounge


            • #96
              Looking forward to the preview of Saturdays juvenile race at Chepstow which looks to have one or two decent animals...


              • #97

                Preview review
                The ground was accounted for in the introduction and the race would transpire to involve the only horses who would be suited by same. While Big Jimbo reportedly had more stamina than he actually possessed, Balko Saint had every right to go through the ground on breeding. See The Eagle Fly could have been given better prospects but was still given reasonable ones and her preview was more optimistic than her position in the early betting implied. It was also noted that she was not straightforward when in the lead which turned out to be much the case. Every other horse disappointed and reasons were given for such an eventuality beforehand so a satisfactory preview overall.

                Race review
                Despite the steady early gallop, the race was an attractional one and the field was essentially reduced to those who could handle the conditions. The winner effectively tried to pull herself up on the running but the runner-up was unable to take advantage of the situation due largely to his inexperience. The first two were obviously the best on the day and probably the two to take out of the race but beyond the context of such testing conditions, the reliability of the form can not be assured. Particularly as these efforts may leave a mark on these young participants going forward.

                See The Eagle Fly achieved fair form at a modest level during eight runs on the flat in Ireland and essentially matched her best efforts on her hurdling debut. Initially held up in the rear, the slow tempo saw her drift towards a prominent position at separate stages during the race and was tracking the remaining leaders turning for home. While asked to lead after travelling nicely approaching the last, it was only a clean jump that saw her reach that position. She was reluctant to extend her advantage and only really galloped to the line as she could still her rival on turning her head. Apart from getting close to the fifth and missing the sixth, her jumping was clean and it was such a jump at the last that afforded her the race. This was not a bad debut effort as the runner-up had shown promise and she undoubtedly jumps and stays well enough for her to have a future in the game. She also boosted the credentials of her sire in the division who now has a winner and a placed hurdler from two runners. However, there can only be major concerns regarding her lack of willingness to run on with a lead which will leave her vulnerable to more enthusiastic rivals. 99

                Balko Saint made a promising debut on his first racecourse appearance at Newton Abbot in early August in conditions which were unlikely to suit. Following a two month break, he returned to the track to post an improved effort on a very different surface. Apart from getting close to the fourth, he posted a good round of jumping until he skewed and landed wrong over the last which cost him the lead and valuable momentum. While he was not travelling better than the winner at the time, she was reticent about overtaking him in and it was largely greenness that prevented him from capitalising on the situation. Balko Saint is more a long term prospect than most in this division and although he does not appear to have the scope of a proper class horse, he has shown enough to suggest that he can win races as he matures. 103

                Treaty Of Dingle is a dual winner on the flat and a consistent type at her level. She made a reasonable debut when third on good to firm at Plumpton but while she filled the same slot here, she was tailed off in the end. Her jumping was not as fluent as on her debut either and was never in a challenging position, only finishing third for passing a spent rival on the run-in. She has enough ability to be competitive at a low level but not when demands are placed on her stamina. 59

                Talking About You won at this venue at the beginning of September but did not have as much in reserve as the manner of her victory suggested and finished tired when running at Market Rasen six days prior to this contest. Racing freely in the early stages, as per usual, her jumping was not her best and she went left at most of her hurdles. She was headed turning for home and was well beaten in the end. Talking About You has been consistent at her level during four hurdle races since the beginning of August but this was a major regression and she may benefit from a break before returning on more favourable ground. 37

                Big Jimbo posted a career best effort when second behind Talking About You over this course and distance at the beginning of September. However, while the trip suited him on good ground, it was a different matter altogether in these conditions and was a tired horse by the end of the back stretch. He hit the sixth quite hard and there were several others where he was not entirely fluent so he may be seen to better effect on firmer ground. He does not look an obvious type in open company but was dropped a further two pounds off the back of this run which leaves him on a very workable mark if he is to be sent handicapping. 0

                Sans Logique ran a fair race on his hurdling debut at Sedgefield even if it did not match his French flat form but his latest two starts have been disappointing. His jumping was erratic back at Sedgefield earlier in the week and while it was better here under a more patient ride, he was a tired horse from some way out. He has since been given a mark of 106 which is a little harsh based on the best of his hurdles efforts, but lenient on the best of his flat form. 0

                Full Secret had only hinted at ability on the flat for Richard Fahey and while her jumping was not bad for a debutant at Plumpton, she was detached from an early stage. Racing more prominently here, she quickly lost her position with a circuit left to race and was pulled up after a tired jump three out. Her trainer has a good record in the sphere and Full Secret is not a bad jumper so she is not the write-off that her 125/1 starting price suggested. Nevertheless, her time and place is unlikely to be in open standard juvenile hurdles during this autumn or winter. 0

                LUDLOW plays host to a juvenile hurdle tomorrow which has been held as a maiden contest each year since 2002. Despite its status, it is generally one of the best juvenile hurdles held at the Shropshire venue each season. Since 2008/09, it has been taken by some fairly useful types such as Ballyglasheen, Duke Street, The Statesman and most recently, Langer Dan. Sternrubin, Saint Jerome and Raven's Tower are other unsuccessful participants from previous renewals as was Fred Winter sixth Alikat who would later be the dam of The Liquidator. This year's edition contains several who were initially due to run at Stratford yesterday before that meeting was washed away including likely favourite Orchestral Rain, and a pair of interesting racecourse debutants. Ludlow's average winning DIs of 1.41 mean, 1.31 median, suggest that it is not an especially demanding circuit and the completion rate of 96.9% is one of the fairer in the country. The winning DIs decrease to 1.32 mean, 1.29 median for this particular contest which would reflect the increased class requirements.

                Bam Bam chg Warren Greatrex Unraced
                Trajano (Alamo Bay){2-d}(2.08) 2/0 The Dream I Dream four time Auteuil winner 1992/1993
                Warren Greatrex has a respectable record in this sphere and his winners to runners rate of 30.43% is the second strongest in this field. He has saddled only the one unraced juvenile in Professeur Emery who after a slow start, would show respectable form without winning during the 2010/11 season. Bam Bam is another set to make his hurdling debut without prior racecourse experience but his profile rather lacks substance. His sire Trajano, by an Elusive Quality whose influence on juvenile hurdlers is rather poor, was no better than a good handicapper at distances of up to a mile and is yet to produce a winner over jumps from his small crops. Breeder Denis Grandin has produced a couple of minor jumps winners but is not especially prolific. Alamo Bay's broodmares have produced some good jumpers however, most notably Thyestes winner Invitation Only. Bam Bam's damline is not inundated with classy jumpers although his granddam was second in the 1993 Prix Ferdinand Dufaure - France's top race for four-year-old chasers - before producing triple hurdle winner Takis.

                Cold War Steve chg Sarah-Jayne Davies f6-0-1 (55) 58
                Lope De Vega (Sinndar){7-f}(0.90) 3/1 Balakan 1st Conditions Hurdle, Listowel 2008
                Cold War Steve had six races on the flat for Roger Fell, the best of those efforts coming in a seven furlong novice stakes at Southwell last November which earned him a mark of 63. That rating was not a kind one and it has since dropped to 55 after thrice finishing well beaten in low grade handicaps during the summer. Lope De Vega's record as a sire in the division is average but Sinndar's is one of the best and while his exploits as a damsire does not match those as a sire, he is still reasonable in that regard. There are jumps winners on Cold War Steve's damline and his more distant relatives include top class types in Bannkipour (4/1) and Sanctuaire (5/3). Sarah-Jayne Davies has only the one winning juvenile from six runners although that did come at this venue when Big John Cannon won a four runner claimer in December 2013. There is enough to hint at an improvement for the switch to hurdling although probably not enough to be a threat in this race.

                Current chf Dave Roberts f1-0-0 (-) 14 j2-0-0 (-) 60 64
                Equiano (New Approach){8-c}(0.57) 2/1 First Buddy 5th Anniversary Hurdle, Aintree 2008
                A cheap purchase out of Richard Hannon's yard, Current was well held in a pair of juvenile hurdles at Bangor and Market Rasen in July. Her jumping in those races was reasonable and has something resembling pace. However, she does not have the stamina or class for this type of race.

                Derek Le Grand bg Grace Harris f8-0-1 (56) 64
                Mukhadram (Manduro){9-c}(1.29) 2/1 Rock The Race 1st Prix Hardatit (L,Hcp), Auteuil 2016
                Mukhadram's first crop of hurdlers includes two winners from four runners and Maduro's record as a damsire is an identical one which counts the decent Rocky Blue amongst its ranks. Derek Le Grand's dam is a half-sister to Rock The Race, a listed handicap winner at Auteuil, as well as a niece of Quinmaster who won the For Auction novice hurdle in 2007. The best of Derek Le Grand's flat form, specifically a second in a ten furlong Windsor handicap on good to firm in July, is respectable in the context of this field. However, he is held by Thunder King on his return to that track a fortnight later and his temperament (twice withdrawn after giving trouble at the start) does raise concerns.

                Fraterculus chg Oliver Greenall f3-0-0 (79) 76 j3-0-2 (104) 91 95
                Teofilo (Anabaa){5-f}(1.08) 6/7 Optimus Prime 2nd Novice Chase, Punchestown 2018
                Following three reasonable outings on the flat for Jim Bolger, Fraterculus has shown hints of promise during the same amount of races over hurdles. While he has the size and scope to be competitive in this sphere, he has been rather let down by his greenness and a lack of fluency entailed by same. Fraterculus was pulled out of a handicap hurdle last week due to the ground and if underfoot conditions deteriorate at Ludlow, he could struggle once again. A tongue strap is set to be used tomorrow although this has no discernible benefit for the yard's runners first time out. Brendan Powell has only been used once in the past by Oliver Greenall but the jockey did put up a textbook ride on a juvenile last week at Huntingdon.

                Nuriel bg Oliver Greenall Unraced
                Nutan (Lavirco){8-f}(0.67) 2/1 Noble Hawk 1st 4yo Hurdle, Strasbourg 2006
                A stablemate of Fraterculus, Nuriel is another runner set to make his racecourse debut tomorrow. While stallion Nutan's progeny have yet to be tried over hurdles, the 2015 German Derby winner's dam is a half-sister to top hurdler Melon. Lavirco is the damsire of Triumph Hurdle winner Defi du Seuil and Grade 2 winning juvenile French Made and was responsible for numerous Grade One jumpers as a stallion. A half-brother to five winners on the flat, Nuriel's dam is a full-sister to four-year-old hurdle winner Noble Hawk and half-sister to a winning juvenile hurdler in Germany. Oliver Greenall has yet to have a winning juvenile at Ludlow from twelve runners and his runners tend to improve with experience but he does school his youngsters well. Nevertheless, while Nuriel is still entitled to some respect on his breeding, the fact that he has already had a wind operation is not encouraging.

                Orchestral Rain bg Dr Richard Newland f1-0-0 (-) 69 j2-0-1 (115) 111 111
                Born To Sea (Val Royal){23}(2.43) 2/1 Crafty Codger 1st 3YO Hurdle, Punchestown 2014
                Based on his hurdles run at Roscommon, Orchestral Rain was entitled to go off favourite for his UK/stable debut at Fontwell at the beginning of last month. However, given the relative quality of his previous form, his failing to land the odds can only be regarded as disappointing. The winner and runner-up at Roscommon have both since been winners and his effort suggested he had plenty of improvement in him. In fairness, his jumping during the race was fine and he only tired late on so he can still be forgiven that outing. Furthermore, Dr Richard Newland has a fine record in this sphere and his general 38.9% winners to runners rate improves to 60% at Ludlow with his five runners producing three wins and a second since 2012/13.

                Theocrat bc Nigel Hawke f4-0-0 (65) 64
                Teofilo (New Approach){8-f}(0.52) 1/1 Novus Aditus 5th Juvenile Hurdle, Taunton 2019
                Nigel Hawke had a 40% winners to runners rate with ex-Jim Bolger juveniles going into this season and the two who fit that description for this campaign have both been winners. Theocrat is the latest such recruit to the sphere although he never made the track for the Coolcullen trainer and his four runs to date have been fair at best. A twelve length fifth to Coltrane on his debut in a Chepstow maiden was perhaps his best effort and while his finishing midfield in a Kempton novice stakes was respectable, his other runs have seen him finish tailed off including his latest start over two miles at Goodwood at the end of August. Teofilo (Tocororo, Theophilus, Broughton) has a good record in the sphere and Theocrat's damline is full of winning jumpers incliding Alterno (2/1), Authinger (3/1) and Idol's Lad (4/2) as well as useful jumps sire Aizavoski (3/2). Theocrat's flat form leaves something to be desired and entires do not have a good record in the sphere but his trainer and pedigree ensure that he can not be dismissed in this field.

                Thunder King bg Amy Murphy f8-1-1 (64) 66 j1-0-1 (-) 83 86
                Hunter's Light (Raven's Pass){1-x}(1.00) no jumps relatives
                Amy Murphy has had a good season thus far with her juvenile hurdlers and Thunder King's debut at Southwell was not without promise. He was a twenty length second (booked for third but for a leader unseating at the last), and did finish tired but he reportedly lost a shoe and was still clear of the remainder including Fraterculus. Thunder King is not especially bred to be a jumper and while he is a winner on the flat, his resolve is not guaranteed. Furthermore, his trainer's rich vein of form has rather tapered off recently and she is without a winner since Solder On Parade scored at Market Rasen. Nevertheless, his overall profile is respectable at this level and he has the experience under his belt.

                Strong prospects
                1. Orchestral Rain
                Reasonable prospects
                2. Theocrat
                3. Thunder King
                Feasible prospects
                4. Fraterculus
                5. Bam Bam
                6. Nuriel
                Moderate prospects
                7. Derek Le Grand
                8. Cold War Steve
                Negligible prospects
                9. Current

                Originally posted by Istabraq View Post
                Looking forward to the preview of Saturdays juvenile race at Chepstow which looks to have one or two decent animals...
                Indeed. Hell Red and Overpriced Mixer are already in the Triumph lists for Messrs Nicholls and Henderson, Bourbali made a promising debut at Plumpton and there's an unraced son of My Petra also among the entries. A couple of interesting clashes have failed to materialise in Ireland recently but the Chepstow race has a good history and there are enough nice types to make it worth watching even if they don't all turn up.
                Last edited by Kotkijet; 6 October 2020, 06:00 PM. Reason: Edited to add prospects list


                • #98
                  17:05 Ludlow 1m7f169y Class 4 Handicap Hurdle
                  Peat Moss bg Nigel Hawke f5-0-1 (47) 50 j3-1-1 (105) 91 105
                  Fracas (Dalakhani){14-c}(0.71) 4/1 Direct Lady 3rd Festival Hurdle, Leopardstown 1992
                  Nigel Hawke's strike rate with three-year-olds in handicap hurdles is a very healthy 25% since 2012. Last season, that rate was 50% and his sole juvenile handicapper this year was a respectable fourth of fifteen at Fontwell last month. This afternoon he saddles Peat Moss for the penultimate race on Ludlow's card, who comes here on the back of a win at Plumpton seventeen days ago. During his first two races over hurdles, Peat Moss had given the impression that he would be best served coming off a strong pace which is what he was provided at Plumpton. After a clean round of jumping, he made steady and consistent progress to snatch victory at the line from a promising newcomer of Colin Tizzard's. Ludlow is a fairly easy track and the distance will be roughly two furlongs shorter than at Plumpton. While there are a couple of potential frontrunners among Peat Moss's ten rivals, the pace angle might not be entirely optimal. Nevertheless, he shown a good attitude at Plumpton and his mark is a fair reflection of what he achieved that day.


                  • #99
                    Along with the weekend's Irish races and yesterday's race at Ludlow, there was also a slight backlog of handicap performances and a race from Compiegne to review. This will be sorted right now which leaves the path clear for a preview of Saturday's exciting little race at Chepstow which will hopefully be posted by tomorrow morning.

                    Bannister 29/9/2020 Compiegne 3400m Heavy
                    Since winning a moderate race at Southwell, Bannister's handicap rating has risen to an eye-watering 135. This was due to his finishing second at Compiegne at the end of September. The race, which was a fairly standard conditions event, was worth €18,240 to the winner (£16,653 on the day). This is over four times the amount Bannister earned for winning at Southwell, over 50% more than what Soldier On Parade collected in the season's most valuable juvenile to date and still exceeds the prize for the listed Wensleydale Hurdle set for the end of this month. Quite why the UK and Irish bookmakers are allowed to absolutely fleece the sport with impunity is a very unfortunate mystery.

                    Despite the relatively high level of prizemoney, Compiegne's contest was only of a fair standard without any pretentions of attracting the cream of France's crop. Favourite Harrisburg was the only other winner in the field after comprehensively taking a small race at Vichy. Piriac has form with recent imports Nassalam and Saint Sam but lost his chance here when all but falling two out. The winner Martadore was a near eleven length fifth to Raffles Face on his latest start at Auteuil in June. A race which also contained subsequent winning Auteuil chasers Hades and Losange Vert.

                    In the race itself, Bannister was fairly keen early and took up the running approaching the first. By the second, he was already a dozen lengths clear and more than doubled that advantage by the third. He was slightly slow over the fourth but was decent enough over the next two. Bannister began to tire in the back and this was reflected in his jumping as he went through the fourth last hurdle. Nevertheless, he still had a clear lead entering the straight and was still just in front when making a tired jump at the last. Headed within the final two hundred metres, he still battled on bravely and would only be beaten by half a length. Precisely what this form is worth is difficult to gauge. Racing Post gave him an RPR of 100 while the BHA put him up to 135 so the most accurate figure likely lies somewhere in between. Martador's Auteuil race is working out fairly well although he was coming back off his summer break and nothing out of that contest has an official French rating. This was clearly a career best effort from Bannister but it is difficult to imagine that he has improved by over two stone from Southwell so a mark in the mid 120s might have to suffice before he is again tested against UK horses. 123

                    Dragon Man 30/9/2020 Huntingdon
                    Dragon Man's starting price of 150/1 was a fair reflection of his chances beforehand as he was very unfavourably treated at the weights. After starting in midfield, he was soon racing up with the leaders on the outside but he was very quickly dropped at the seventh and was soon pulled up. To be fair to him, while he slightly dived at the third, clipped the fourth and jumped his last very sloppily, showed some fair hurdling. He might do better over shorter but there was still very little encouragement from a form perspective. 0

                    GOWRAN PARK 3/10/2020
                    Preview review
                    With the withdrawal of Quilixios, the race was a fairly straightforward one to assess. Duffle Coat was clearly superior to his rivals, Little Brother ran respectably with an uncontested lead, Made In Pimlico confirmed his Listowel performance, Waterville Lady did not jump well and Meknas matched his low expectations. There is not a great deal to reflect upon.

                    Race review
                    Quilixios's withdrawal deprived this contest of most of its interest but it was still good to see Duffle Coat supplement the impression he made on his debut. The runner-up and the third essentially reproduced their Listowel efforts so the form should be reliable. There were a couple of minor mid-air collisions in the early stages but nothing so drastic as to affect the outcome.

                    Duffle Coat made a good impression when winning on his racecourse debut at Punchestown and confirmed that he is an above average sort here. Prior to reaching the straight, his jumping was good and at times, beautiful. He made a couple of errors at the final two flights but those can be attributed to the shifting through the gears that would be less prevalent in a more truly run race. He was a little green when shaken up on the approach to the last but was otherwise a good traveller and his superiority was far greater than the winning margin. Strictly on form, this was a slight regression but he would almost certainly have ran to a better mark in a better race. There is a lot to like about Duffle Coat and though the season is still in its embryonic phase, he has the most potential of those seen thus far. After the race, Gordon Elliott suggested either a winners of two at Punchestown or Down Royal, or even the Wensleydale as his next target. 120

                    Made In Pimlico had shown only modest form on the flat as a two-year-old and was pulled up quickly halfway through his hurdling debut at Tipperary. However, at Listowel he surpassed anything he had previously achieved to finish a respectable fourth behind Longclaw. While there was the danger of that effort being a fluke, he was inexplicably sent off at odds of 50/1 here. Despite getting slightly close to a few, his jumping was the second best in the field and he travelled well throughout. He had to be switched out wide in the straight before getting a clear run after the last but while he was never catching the winner, he ran on strongly to be a decisive runner-up. He has shown enough to win a moderate contest over hurdles and with his rekindled enthusiasm and an appreciation of a trip, his flat rating of 40 could be very lenient in something like a ten furlong handicap. 110

                    Little Brother has now had four starts over hurdles and his jumping has not really improved since his debut. He is best setting his own gallop on an easy circuit and given that is what he had here, this is probably the ceiling of his ability. He will likely continue to struggle under the penalty he acquired when winning at Ballinrobe and appears to require fairly specific conditions. Any further progression will have to come from more fluent hurdling. 115

                    Meknas left the Sir Michael Stoute yard for 7,000 guineas before seeing a racecourse and his profile is not particularly appealing in this discipline. He was always in rear and was close at all but one of his hurdles before finishing tired and completely tailed off. He can build on this performance but the foundations are very low. 18

                    Waterville Lady came into the race with the best flat form, albeit at a moderate level, but did not impress either before or following her unseating early on at Listowel. Once again, her jumping was very poor here as she was either hesitant, low, big or close over her hurdles and dived both left and right at a couple of them. When she clipped the top of the last before stumbling on landing, she was already held in fourth. There is little encouragement for the discipline on her sirelines so a successful future over hurdles looks unlikely. Nevertheless, it is possible to be optimistic if one considers that the yard is not in the best form and Waterville Lady may do better on softer ground. 90

                    KILLARNEY 5/10/2020
                    Preview review
                    Due to my spending the weekend with my fun friend, it was deemed best to not have the laptop eat into the quality time. As such, the preview took the form of a prospects list effectively drawn from memory based on what I had previously written about the participants. In the absence of Crassus, the top three prospects filled first, second and fourth positions in a slightly different order. On Guard had been previewed in a sales post where reticence about his pedigree and attitude was abound along with the difficulties of improving ex-John Gosden horses. Varna Gold has been deemed to be a capable animal in the sphere but still had inconsistencies to overcome. At War jumps well from the front but the more patient tactics employed were probably detrimental to his fluency. Belgoprince had yet to be seen to best effect, Londonofficecallin did not have an encouraging profile and Thekeyisnottopanic has an amusing name. It is impossible to assuage quite how I might have previewed the race with more time and information at hand but the key elements pertinent to the race had already been raised which is quite pleasing.

                    Race review
                    Prior to Monday's race, Killarney had hosted eight three-year-old hurdles since 2008. All of them took place in late August so direct trends were not available for this particular contest. Nevertheless, races at Killarney had high average winning DIs and moderate seasonal RPRs making them fairly undemanding in terms of both class and stamina. Monday's race being a maiden was indicative of the race's overall quality and the absence of Crassus and the underperformance of the 86 rated On Guard emphasised the lack of strength in depth. The pace was fairly steady and the winning time was slower than both the mares maiden and the low grade handicap later on the card. Nevertheless, the winner had shown enough to take a race of this nature and the front three all had fair form over hurdles so the form does look reasonably sound.

                    Varna Gold had ran three times over hurdles going into this race and he put that experience to good use. While his debut effort was fairly tepid, he was better on his next start when left in a distant second at Down Royal and may have finished third on his latest outing at Punchestown but for falling at the last. His jumping had improved with each outing and apart from getting slightly close to the fifth and sixth, put in much the cleanest round here. Always racing handily, he joined the leader approaching three out and with a succession of smooth leaps, he eased into an unassailable lead and was under no firmer instruction than a shake of the reins. His first win in fifteen starts, this was also his best performance from a form perspective. While Varna Gold was prone to inconsistency on the flat, he appears to be enjoying himself in his new vocation and this victory is very much a well earned one. Through collateral form, he would likely have found Crassus a bridge too far and good though this performance was, it was not the strongest contest and he could find things more difficult under a penalty. 115

                    At War is a half-brother to the useful Baltimore Rock and was rated as high as 76 while racing on the flat at up to a mile. Although he was well beaten on his hurdles debut at Punchestown, he jumped well for a newcomer and rather confirmed his potential when third to Longclaw at Listowel two weeks ago. However, running in a first time hood, his fluency was undermined by a more restrained ride which saw him pull hard early and miss a few of his hurdles. He did not appear to finish too tired and may benefit from a return to more positive tactics in the future. This was another fair effort and he can be competitive at this level in the right conditions. 104

                    Belgoprince had winning flat form in the French provinces and a profile which suggests he can do well as a hurdler. However, his hurdling debut at Roscommon, laden with poor jumping and a lethargic ride, roused an unhealthy scepticism and similar sentiments were engendered next time at Ballinrobe. Following a lacklustre run at the Curragh, Belgoprince returned to hurdling with another questionable effort. While he made a very clumsy error at the first, his jumping did improve and was travelling strongly turning for home. However, after an untidy leap three out, he was pulled from a clear position to jump among a tight bunch at the penultimate flight. From there, he was pulled out of a gap in order to get a more direct view of the runner-up's hind quarters before jumping out of his jockey's hands at the last. This performance is worth a mark in the low 100s on form, but deserves an official rating of at least 150. 103+?

                    On Guard cost connections 52,000 guineas at the Tattersalls August Sale and his win at Yarmouth in June was the standout piece of flat form in this field. However, his temperament saw him finish tailed off in the Queen's Vase and he was very fresh in the first half of this contest. He wandered into most of his early hurdles and almost refused at the second. While he was able to settle eventually, he was a tired horse by the end of the race. Although Invincible Spirit is not a particularly successful sire in the division, there are some decent jumpers on the damline. However, for all the class that ex-John Gosden horses can bring to the sphere, it is rare that much of it is carried over hurdles and it is notoriously difficult for improvement to be extracted from these types. On Guard showed enough promise to suggest he can be competitive at this level if he becomes more fluent but he would be breaking a mould if he is to be much better than average in this discipline. 96

                    Londonofficecallin had been off the track since last August prior to making his hurdling debut here. His pedigree is not an obvious one for the discipline nor is his trainer especially prolific in the sphere. Nevertheless, while he was close to the first couple of hurdles and untidy at the last, his jumping was reasonable and he kept on well enough to finish a twenty length fifth. This effort was not devoid of promise but he still needs to improve before he is competitive at this level. 93

                    Boom Boom Boom had only moderate form to show for four runs on the flat with Stuart Williams and was sold for 6,000 guineas at the Tattersalls August Sale. His new trainer's record in the sphere is below average but he does get winners and Boom Boom Boom's dam is a half-sister to Cubomania. His jumping was big and he was also close and steady at several of these but he was not beaten out of sight. He has fair way to progress if he is to be a threat in ordinary company but there is some scope for improvement with experience. 89

                    Toughari brought a rating of just 53 after six runs on the flat but his trainer has a decent record with juvenile hurdlers. He did not jump with any real fluency on his hurdling debut however, and is another with plenty to find for the time being. 87

                    Thekeyisnottopanic had shown little in three flat outings and though his jumping was fine on his hurdles debut at Tipperary in August, it was less fluent here. He did finish closer to the winner on this occasion but offered little immediate promise. 62

                    Butterfly Lounge showed only moderate promise at Redcar over six furlongs for Richard Fahey back in June and was well beaten over the same trip at Ayr in August. She jumped slowly on her first run in Ireland and was detached with a circuit to go before finishing tailed off. 0


                    • LUDLOW 7/10/2020
                      Preview review
                      Orchestral Rain's win marked the first winning top prospect in the UK since the seventh of August which is pretty neat. The race was a trappy affair with several horses looking like potential winners and Orchestral Rain looking unconvincing until asserting after the last. Nevertheless, an ugly win is still a win. Fraterculus had the potential to run as he did and has matured somewhat since last seen. Current was noted as a fair jumper with a hint of speed but her performance was still completely unexpected. Theocrat ran with credit and the newcomers had patchy profiles, although while Nuriel's jumping was certainly safe, it was not necessarily good.

                      Race review
                      Traditionally a relatively useful contest, this year's renewal was built more on promise than on substance. While several of these have the potential to win races, they were very much unfurnished in their nature and would need to develop both their aptitude and attributes. All of the runners made errors and with the winning time over five seconds slower than the Class 4 handicap, the pace was not a thorough one. Orchestral Rain's jumping was his poorest seen to date and the fact that Current led briefly after the last casts further doubt on the reliability of the form.

                      Orchestral Rain was keen early, steadied into the first, got in close to the next three and was awkward at all of the hurdles in the straight. He never really travelled and drifted to 23/1 in running yet was able to prevail on the run-in and was ultimately a decisive winner. He had shaped like more of a stayer on his first two starts but finishing tired at Fontwell while taking this off a modest gallop suggests this perspective should be reassessed. This was only his fourth racecourse appearance having making his debut in mid-July so he would still be short of the finished article. The performance does not match his Roscommon debut and while he can progress from here, his capacity is beginning to look more limited. 104

                      Fraterculus had shown hints of promise on his first three starts over hurdles although his efforts were hindered by his greenness. However, he put up a much more assured performance from the front here and he travelled and jumped as well as ever. While he was slightly awkward at the first, he settled into a good rhythm until pecking on landing three out. Fraterculus composed himself at the penultimate flight but was untidy over the last and slipped slightly on landing. This error probably did not cost him the race as he had ample opportunity to seize the initiative approaching the last and the winner was pulling away even after he regained his stride on the run to the line. Notwithstanding, this was his best effort over hurdles to date and he is capable of winning a moderate race if he maintains this improvement. 103

                      Current had been beaten over forty lengths at both Bangor and Market Rasen and while she had shown some aptitude and pace, looked nothing like a horse who could be competitive in any open company. However, while she was slow at a few of these and looked like getting dropped early on, she was also good over the third and sixth and made sufficient headway to lead briefly over the last. It was only there that her lack of stamina told but she was still able to hold on to third place. The minimum trip on good to firm is probably as sharp as it will get for juvenile hurdlers before the spring and Current would be unlikely to find conditions as favourable as these any time soon. Nevertheless, this shows that she does have some amount of ability. 94

                      Theocrat is bred to potentially be better over hurdles than on the flat and is in the right hands to accomplish that goal. He was keen early on and was big at the third while being slow at the sixth. Nevertheless, he showed enough to build on and as he was rather one paced on the run in, should be able to leave this behind as he develops into his frame. 100

                      Thunder King was the only previous winner in this field courtesy of a win in a Windsor handicap at the end of July. Although he was beaten twenty lengths on his jumps debut at Southwell, it was still an effort of some potential and he was able to build on that yesterday by virtue of his being more competitive. He was rather messy at a few of his jumps however and his resolve is still up for debate so while he has some ability, he is not an obvious winner in waiting. 97

                      Derek Le Grand's best flat form entitled him to respect in this company and his pedigree makes some appeal. Starting at 11/2 having been 33/1 the previous evening made him the best backed horse in the field but he was diving awkwardly to his right from the outset and finished tailed off. 74

                      Nuriel was making his racecourse debut and there were some positives in his pedigree. However, his wind had already been done and while he was 9/1 in the morning, had drifted to 40/1 at the off. Held up in the rear, he was very cautious over his hurdles and was never able to get into the contest. While he looks assured of a clear round wherever he goes next, he needs more experience before his abilities can be properly assessed. 73

                      Cold War Steve had shown little this season in three flat handicaps and while there is potential in his pedigree, he was completely unfancied in the market. Prominent early, he wandered into the third flight and was slow over the last couple in the back before finishing tired. 62

                      Bam Bam was another making his racecourse debut and was the more prominent debutant in the market. However, after steadying and stumbling at the first, was never out of the rear and was the first to get detached before pulling up entering the straight. 0

                      Peat Moss 10/7/2020 Ludlow
                      His yard does well with juveniles in handicaps and Peat Moss was vying for favouritism in the market before the off. However, the slow early pace did little to help him settle as he was making mistakes early on and getting reminders with a lap to go. Even though the pace picked up shortly after the first, Peat Moss was never travelling and although he moved with some purpose turning for home, was soon a beaten horse. He is capable of better and while this was disappointing, the muddling early gallop is a reasonable excuse for the time being. If his mark drops as a result then he will be interesting in a more suitable race. 94


                      • Fraterculus entered in the Goffs UK sale later this month.


                        • Ah neat. Thanks for that.

                          It appears recent Perth winner Jorgie also has an entry.

                          Just downloaded the Tatts spreadsheet which has 766 three year olds entered including 34 Ballydoyle horses. At a glance, Thunder King and Dawn Over Owning are the only ones with hurdling form.


                          • If you've got time, I'd be interested in your view of Luck Of Clover's prospects in this field based on her profile.


                            • Luck Of Clover is a four year old and my records only account for horses in their juvenile campaigns. I am happy to look at her through such a lens although I am unsure as to how well these musings will translate to her campaign as an older novice.

                              Her sire Phoenix Reach is a fantastic source of winners in the sphere - particularly if one is looking for value. He won't get champions but of his twelve juvenile hurdlers since 2011/12 (his first crop), six of these have been winners and all but one (unseated on only start) picked up prize money during their first campaigns over hurdles. This is despite carrying an average official flat rating of just 55. Of the 225 sires who have had ten or more juvenile hurdlers since 2008/09, only Califet, Soldier Of Fortune, Poliglote and Linamix have a better winner to runner ratio.

                              Diktat is not an obvious damsire for the division but his broodmares have produced three winning juveniles from fourteen which is above average for those with ten or more representatives. Luck Of Clover's dam won twice as a juvenile and her half-brother has also won over hurdles. The granddam is a full-sister to the dam of Tony Martin's useful chaser Osirixamix and further back on the damline is the brilliant Triumph Hurdle winner Our Conor at 4/2. Mirsaale (4/2) and Kempes (4/3) are other good jumpers who would make some catalogue pages and though we are entering the territory of novelty, the fifth dam is a full-sister to top stayers Levmoss and Le Moss.

                              Only Mark Johnson has sold more future juveniles at auction than Andrew Balding so while many of his ex-inmates will be much of a muchness, the 22.67% winners to runners rate is still solid. Donald McCain's improvement rate is below par but his overall record in the division is still very healthy by all other metrics. Three horses have made the journey between the two yards ahead of a juvenile campaign and though two of them did not do much, the third was the useful Hollow Tree.

                              Quite what all of this means for Luck Of Clover at her age is not something I can speculate upon. Nevertheless, if she was running as a juvenile hurdler, I would be paying close attention to her in any ordinary race. Given that she has shown that she can stay and appears to be genuine then 13,000 guineas could potentially be a decent price.


                              • Many thanks for that. I'm really not sure why I thought that she was a 3yo but I appreciate your efforts anyway. I do know that she was specifically recommended to Donald by Andrew.