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Juvenile Hurdlers 2021/22


Bachelors Hall
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Thank you CD :)

Much as I have shied away from fb soon after it became a thing, I have found twitter to be a fairly useful tool. Granted, a lot of it - actually, most of its mainstream content is just dreadful. Nevertheless, I have found some areas of it to be very informative when it comes to doing horsey research. Was put off the platform for years, but as long as one stays away from the politics and general willy waving, it is a positive instrument on balance. 

Still, I am a forum person at heart which is why I am more than happy to post content and discuss same through this medium. Indeed, it will be a terrible thing if the forums ever completely make way for more conventional "social media".

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Bachelors Hall, what a brilliant dissection and analysis of Sedgefield race. Knight Salute was beautifully ridden, and it could be seen at the start of the back straight that he was going to play a major part in the finish and then on the downward run in the home straight he looked all over the winner barring a last flight mishap.

Lovely drift out to 18/1. Very many thanks once again😀😀😀 .

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22 hours ago, Bachelors Hall said:

Thank you CD :)

Much as I have shied away from fb soon after it became a thing, I have found twitter to be a fairly useful tool. Granted, a lot of it - actually, most of its mainstream content is just dreadful. Nevertheless, I have found some areas of it to be very informative when it comes to doing horsey research. Was put off the platform for years, but as long as one stays away from the politics and general willy waving, it is a positive instrument on balance. 

Still, I am a forum person at heart which is why I am more than happy to post content and discuss same through this medium. Indeed, it will be a terrible thing if the forums ever completely make way for more conventional "social media".

I'm a little ol' fashioned & I see / hear nothing but bad things about FB & Twitter .

I have enough info at my disposal to make my choices / picks re horses & sometimes too much info can cloud the mind .

Absolute class write up & cracking call at Sedgefield today , didn't back but fancied the experience of Ramure & I thought the G.Elliott charge would go well also .

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On 9/28/2021 at 2:30 PM, Labrador said:

Bachelors Hall, what a brilliant dissection and analysis of Sedgefield race. Knight Salute was beautifully ridden, and it could be seen at the start of the back straight that he was going to play a major part in the finish and then on the downward run in the home straight he looked all over the winner barring a last flight mishap.

Lovely drift out to 18/1. Very many thanks once again😀😀😀 .


Thank you :)

It really was a fantastic ride. Plus, not only was he able to keep a good grip on the obviously excited Knight Salute, but he completed a double with a very different kind of ride in a driving finish. Won't be claiming for much longer in my opinion.
 

On 9/28/2021 at 6:11 PM, calva decoy said:

I'm a little ol' fashioned & I see / hear nothing but bad things about FB & Twitter .

I have enough info at my disposal to make my choices / picks re horses & sometimes too much info can cloud the mind .

Absolute class write up & cracking call at Sedgefield today , didn't back but fancied the experience of Ramure & I thought the G.Elliott charge would go well also .


Cheers CD and I very much know what you mean as I am perpetually in a state of information overload! Can be a blessing and a curse but I do think one can usually become more discerning with experience.

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Apologies for not getting the Sedgefield review out yet. Has been a very busy couple of days with the volunteering as well as some very promising movements that might lead to my being less homeless. Review will have to be done when it done, but since tomorrow's tidy looking contest at Fontwell has a deadline, here is the preview. Enjoy :)

Fontwell is set to host its second juvenile hurdle of the season and while only five have have taken up their entry, it is not without its quality. Historically, this contest was a maiden hurdle until it was opened up to winners in 2017. Though not without its useful sorts dropping their maiden tags, including Personal Column, Tyrrells Wood and Oceane, the overall quality of the race has increased in recent years with Sussex Ranger, Botox Has and Balko Saint among the contest's capable graduates. This season's renewal looks up to standard as winning hurdling form is brought by two participants, while a pair of newcomers bring intriguing profiles. Three of the four latest runnings of this race were taken by newcomers and their strike rate in corresponding contests of 13.79% since 2004/05 surpasses the 8.33% of experienced runners. Fillies also have a stronger record than usual at this time of year with their strike rate during late September and early October being 13.64% compared to the overall rate at the course being 7.69%. A flat, left handed circuit with sharp turns, Fontwell's winning DIs of 1.14 median, 1.40 mean, are just on the lower side of average. However, the course's completion rate of 83.75%, and clear round rate of 94.92%, are in the lower quarter. As the ground is currently described as good to soft, plenty of rain is forecast overnight, the race is the third hurdle race on the card and a few of these are known to make the running, the trip could take more getting than usual. 

Keepyourdreamsbig bg Olly Murphy j2-1-1 (106) 90 103
Vision d'Etat (Enrique){4-r}(0.78) 1/0 Take This Waltz 1st Prix d'Essai des Pouliches, Enghien 2011
Though the French three-year-old hurdling scene is replete with newcomer contests akin to two-year-old maidens on the flat, such as the Prix d'Essai des Pouliches/Poulains for example, Britain and Ireland have no such contests and young jumps breds are a rare sight before their fourth birthdays. However, Keepyourdreamsbig, whose dam won the 2011 running of the Prix d'Essai des Pouliches, was one such oddity when he made his debut at Uttoxeter in late July. A representative of Vision d'Etat's final crop, a sire with a very good record in the sphere, Keepyourdreamsbig is also a nephew of Prix Aguado fifth Great Shudder along with three other winners. Passing the Tattersalls Ireland ring for €25,000 as a yearling, Keepyourdreamsbig was the first unraced newcomer to represent Olly Murphy - a trainer with a solid 20.83% winner to runner rate in the sphere. Despite taking on two previous winners, he was not without support at Uttoxeter, starting at 6/1 having opened at 10/1. Held up in touch, he made his move on the turn for home and appeared to be travelling the strongest at the distance - trading at 1.2 in-running. However, while he loomed alongside Burristo, it took him most of the run-in to finally get his measure by which time subsequent Cartmel winner Sacre Pierre had already flown. Though his jumping was safe, it did lack the winner's neatness as he was prone to giving his flights more air than necessary. Nevertheless, this was an issue that ought to resolve itself with experience and having shown enough tenacity to win the battle for second, a race of such nature looked well within his scope. Such a race occurred thirty days ago at Worcester where he was backed into favouritism prior to the off. Taking the lead early, albeit at a sedate tempo, he jumped more neatly than on his debut with the only criticisms being that he was somewhat big and skewed over the third and slightly tight at the fourth, two out and the last where he was bumped on the approach. Injecting more pace turning for home, he was challenged up the straight by Corporal Jones (who would return slightly lame) and after leaving him behind on the run-in, had built up enough of a lead to fend off the fast finishing Boulette by half a length. With more assured hurdling than first time, this marked an improvement of roughly half a dozen pounds and there should be further to come with experience. Keepyourdreamsbig's attitude, ability and aptitude are enough to suggest that he is is capable of defying a penalty. However, this contest does not look a straightforward assignment and while he is bred to go on the ground, he has yet to prove it himself. Furthermore, trainer form is once again a concern with the yard without a winner for over three weeks and most of its recent participants running below form. 

George Bancroft chg Charlie Longsdon f6-2-0 (68) 70
Australia (Cacique){8-h}(0.87) 2/2 Paseo 3rd Summit Juvenile Hurdle (G2), Doncaster 2019
Rated 61 when joining Charlie Longsdon for 28,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July sale, George Bancroft would have been a reasonably interesting recruit to the game without drawing a huge amount of attention. By Australia, whose juveniles have a 21.43% winner to runner rate with two thirds of his progeny improving for the switch in codes, George Bancroft is also a cousin of Paseo who finished third in the 2019 Summit Juvenile Hurdle. Former inmates of Roger Varian’s have a healthy 31.03% winner to runner rate and George Bancroft’s last effort as a resident at Carlburg Stables was a gallant all-the-way success in a twelve furlong Chepstow handicap. Charlie Longsdon, himself boasting a sound 27.03% winner to runner rate that includes the likes of Songe, Forth Bridge and Harristown, took the unusual step of giving his new recruit another spin on the flat. In another twelve furlong handicap, this time at Ripon, George Bancroft made light of his four pound rise in the weights, making all once again to win by three lengths in first-time cheekpieces. Though still off a mark of 61, this effort was sufficient in compelling JP McManus to add him to his team of juvenile hurdlers. George Bancroft has a nice profile in all regards and as his flat rating is already the highest in this contest, it will be interesting to see how far he can carry his improvement over hurdles. However, while the yard is currently in decent form which includes a double at Warwick on Thursday, his juveniles tend to improve with experience as the first time out strike rate stands at 5.88% with no such wins coming from flat recruits. Moreover, George Bancroft is unlikely to enjoy the easy lead which has served him in recent starts and while the ground should not be a concern on breeding, his two flat wins came on firm and good to firm. 

The Yellow Mini bf Michael Wigham f14-0-1 (45) 53 j2-1-1 (113) 100 104
Cannock Chase (Primo Valentino){22-d}(1.00) 2/2 Arakhan 1st 2m4f Novices' Hurdle, Aintree 2019
Without a win to her name in fourteen starts on the flat, The Yellow Mini raced under the care of Polly Gundry until late July. Her best outing in that sphere came at the end of June when finishing three quarters of a length second in a Bath handicap off 45, though no effort either side matched that performance. Making her hurdling debut at Fontwell early in September, she was the first runner over hurdles for sire Cannock Chase, a stallion with feasible credentials given his sireline, DI and height. She is also a cousin of a winning novice hurdler and while trainer Michael Wigham had not had a runner in the sphere since November 2016, he had previously sent out two to win first time. Not completely unfancied at 16/1, she was ridden with confidence, disputing the lead from the outset. With the front two racing alongside each other for most of the contest, it was only when her rival, Sir Taweel, began to fade leaving the back that she moved into a clear advantage. French import Ramure managed to get within a length after jumping quicker at two out, but The Yellow Mini kept on doggedly to keep her rival at bay. She also ran with more purpose on the run-in to cross the line with just over three lengths in hand. While she clearly relished this new discipline, her hurdling was not without its blemishes. Distracted by her rival when making minor errors over the first two, she was slightly big over the third and sixth, steady when clipping the next, outjumped at two out and went right at the last. Notwithstanding, these errors were not especially to her detriment and it is an area where she can improve with experience. She came out again a fortnight later at Plumpton where she was steady in the market at 9/2. The front running tactics from Fontwell were employed again here and setting a sensible gallop, The Yellow Mini put in a good round of jumping with only minor errors and her wandering occasionally counting against her. She had all but one of her rivals in trouble on leaving the back and while Impulsive One was in a different league, the remainder of the field were held by the best part of four lengths and upwards in the end. She Yellow Mini posted a new career best effort and is clearly enjoying her new vocation. Being an honest sort, she may lack the scope for much more improvement. Nevertheless, her winning form over this course and distance sets the standard here and the retained services of Gavin Sheehan give her a respectable chance despite a likely challenge for the lead.

Vunipola bg Emma Lavelle f2-0-0 (-) 68 j1-0-0 (-) 33 40
Vadamos (Marju){1-n}(0.50) 2/1 Vorashann 1st 2m1½f Handicap Hurdle (116), Fontwell 2020
Though more noted for her exploits outside of the division, Emma Lavelle has gotten her fair share of winners and she enjoyed particular success in the 2000s with Bouggler and Crack Away Jack. However, juvenile hurdling has taken a backseat at Bonita Racing Stables and the last time one of hers found the winner's enclosure was in April 2017. Her first runner this term was Vunipola who ran twice for Brian Meehan at the backend of last year. Having already had a wind operation prior to his debut, Vunipola ran with credit in finishing just over three lengths fifth at Kempton over a mile, but would not build on that effort at Lingfield on New Year's Eve and was absent until his hurdling debut at Worcester a month ago. His pedigree is not unfeasible, being a Vadamos gelding from the family of Vazirabad (2/1), Vorashann (2/1) and Visibility (3/1), and while he went out to 12/1 from an opening morning show of 6/1, he was steady in the ring and sent off at 17/2. However, he was very fresh on his first outing in eight months and along with making errors at the third, fifth and sixth, would never leave the rear of the field. Vunipola has the potential to do much better on paper, but there is little encouragement to be drawn his finishing tailed off behind Keepyourdreamsbig and while the Emma Lavelle yard is in decent form, Vunipola would have plenty to prove at this juncture. 

Cirrus chf Milton Harris f14-0-3 (65) 77
Starspangledbanner (Halling){5-e}(3.00) 2/1 Spiritual Art 1st 2m1f Mares' Maiden Hurdle, Newton Abbot 2011
A fourteen race maiden on the flat, Cirrus has failed to reach the frame in six outings since finishing third at Nottingham in early May, and has beaten just one of her twelve rivals home in her two starts for Milton Harris. Leaving Richard Hannon for 15,000guineas at the Tattersalls July sale, Cirrus had shown her best form when under a length third on the aforementioned Nottingham off 73, and on her final outing for her former handler when just over two lengths fifth of seven at Bath off the same mark; with both of these performances coming on good to soft ground. While this alone would be a tenuous cause for optimism, there are further positives in the profile. Her sire, Starspangledbanner, was a four time Group One winner in Britain and Australia, and while his most notable successes came over sprint distances, he also won the Caulfield Guineas at three. While a sprint bred sprinter should not make into a sire of juvenile hurdlers, his own sire Choisir has a 30% winner to runner rate, a 72.73% improvement rate, and another son of his in Olympic Glory has also made a promising start with comparable figures of 37.5% and 50% respectively. Starspangledbanner himself has two winners from six in the sphere with Can't Stop Now winning on soft, Tinnahalla beating Homme Public on heavy, and Kentucky Hardboot finishing second on soft at Newbury. Cirrus is out of a half-sister to a winning hurdler with other winners Strawman (3/1) and Royal Master (3/2) on the damline. Milton Harris, who boasts a 43% strike rate in the past fortnight, has already had two winning juveniles this term including Knight Salute who won at the first time of asking at Sedgefield on Tuesday. That performance also maintained the yard's 100% clear round rate for juvenile debutants with the figure of 45 putting atop all British trainers. Furthermore, the only other juvenile acquired by Milton Harris from the Hannon team was when Gulf Punch was bought out of a claimer in 2009 (as a two-year-old, it should be noted) from Hannon Sr before winning three times during her first campaign. While a first-time tongue tie might be a concern, it has a 17.6% success rate when employed by the stable. Cirrus has hung left on occasion, although that might be mitigated by her going in that direction at Fontwell. With the relatively good fortunes of both fillies and newcomers in this kind of contest, as mentioned in the introduction, the fact that her she is well treated at the weights on her flat rating, and the likelihood that the race can be run to suit, Cirrus has enough in her profile to suggest a good performance is plausible in this field.. 

tl;dr
Keepyourdreamsbig - Bred to be a French juvenile hurdler and improved on promising debut with a win next time at Worcester. Though bred to handle conditions, is unproven on ground and trainer form is a concern.

George Bancroft - Dual winner on flat, including for current jumps yard last time out. Bred to do well in the sphere and attracted the attentions of JP McManus. Best form on fast ground however, and is unlikely to get an easy lead.

The Yellow Mini - Very modest maiden on flat but clearly relished the switch to hurdling when making a winning bow over course and distance last month. Proved that was no fluke at Plumpton last time and retains the services of jockey who knows the course well. 

Vunipola - Lightly raced and not without promise on flat debut last year. Joined capable yard and pedigree not without positives, but little promise when tailed off behind Keepyourdreamsbig on hurdling debut.

Cirrus - Fourteen race maiden and not at best on latest flat outings. However, yard is in tremendous form and knows what it's doing with its juveniles and sire's progeny has made bright start in sphere, including on softer ground. Well treated, receives weight all round and has favourable course trends pertinent to sex and experience. 

Strong prospects
1. Cirrus
Reasonable prospects
2. The Yellow Mini
3. George Bancroft
4. Keepyourdreamsbig
Feasible prospects
.
Moderate prospects
5. Vunipola
Negligible prospects
.

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Despite the 7Lb penalty I fancy THE YELLOW MINI to get herself back gracing the winners enclosure again.

Won well on debut over CD & wasn't disgraced lto , is giving your tip lots of weight with the claimer taking the extra 3Lb off as well .

Currently good to soft , I think it'll be more on the soft side come the off .

Cracking write up as usual BH , keep up the good work 👍

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Trappy little juvenile race at 3.22 at Stratford with just the 4 runners going to post with the two big stables of A.King & D.Skelton seeing their charges both evens favourites & the two yards whose horses have both had a run each are 16 & 50/1 in the market .

I do follow S.West & M.Goldstien at Fontwell & Plumpton but not in a 4 runner race in the heart of the Midlands , if there was one more runner I'd have been tempted to a small each way on SLY MADAM at 50/1 but with the dead 4 now just a watching brief .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alrighty... So no longer homeless and living in a spacious (for me) canal-side property in a very nice area. Still getting used to the whole not being homeless thing though and will probably want carpets, curtains and stuff before I feel properly settled. Also very ring rusty so don't expect magic or anything. Past reviews are long gone so will just go along with previews and reviews from now onwards rather than torment myself by trying to get out of a hole. Here is the preview for tomorrow's contest at Kempton. Will see if Sedgefield gets done. Cheers. 

Kempton is set to host the first of its four juvenile contests of the season. Though generally weaker than the Adonis and the one held after Boxing Day, historically, it is still strong for the time of year. Quel Destin got off the mark in this contest in 2018 ahead of a fruitful campaign while the contest also launched the British hurdling careers of Cerium, Saticon, Aldopicgros and Stars Over The Sea. Just the four runners have been declared for this year's renewal, but it should be up to scratch with two undefeated hurdlers taking on a pair of flat recruits with respectable form and very capable trainers. Kempton is a flat, right handed circuit with a reputation of being a speedy circuit. However, it's winning DIs of 1.04 median, 1.26 mean are low compared to other courses as well as the beaten runners at the venue. Though stamina would theoretically become more of an issue on a testing surface, the figures for this contest (invariably ran on good ground) are consistent with the standard for the course. Clear round and completion rates are a touch on the fairer side of average and newcomers are at no discernible advantage or disadvantage. Those with winning form have a solid record in this contest with penalised runners winning three and placing in ten from fifteen outings. The going at Kempton is currently described as good, good to firm in places, and there is no rain forecast before post time.

Triumph Odds
Impulsive One 40/1

Impulsive One bg Nicky Henderson f8-1-5 (80) 83 j2-2-0 (127) 113 120
Union Rags (Lonhro){4-m}(1.77) 2/2 El Picador 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Musselburgh 2019
Winning one of his eight starts for William Haggas, Impulsive One had shown useful form on the flat at up to twelve furlongs. Making the switch to Nicky Henderson, he has built on that foundation over hurdles with wins of twelve and ten lengths. His hurdling debut came at Plumpton in the middle of September where he held an outstanding chance on paper. Despite opening at 11/8 in the morning, he went out to 7/2 at one point on course before being trimmed back into 11/4 at the off. However, there was no rationale for his drift offered during the race itself. Tracking the leaders from the outset, he was lit up by the stumble of Fred Bear at the first, but either through the first time application of the hood, James Bowen's handling or Impulsive One's own nature, he had settled nicely after a furlong or so. He made a good impression with his jumping overall, as while he was skewed over the second and reached slightly at the next and though he went through the fifth, his round was characterised by speed, neatness and enthusiasm. Travelling strongly throughout, Impulsive One took the lead turning for home full of running and quickly established a wide advantage after the last before being eased close to the line to win by twelve lengths. His second jumps outing came at Huntingdon eleven days ago where there was no such uncertainly in the market as he started at 1/4 favourite. The hood was retained although he pulled considerably harder than at Plumpton with the most obvious explanation being that he had to make his own running. His hurdling was not as fluent either as he crashed through the first, stumbled after skewing at two out and was low at the last where he was also slow in getting away. Nevertheless, while he also clipped several of the flights in between, it was still a neat enough round for a juvenile and he never looked in danger of losing the contest. There may be concerns over his free running nature although despite the small field size, he may be able to get a lead from Rhebus Road. Beyond this, he just about sets the standard at the weights on the form of his Plumpton win and should enjoy the surface before presumably being put away when the winter ground becomes more prevalent. Furthermore, Nicky Henderson has won this contest twice with Overpriced Mixer (2020) and Tinagoodnight (2007) with his only loser being a class below Impulsive One.

Knight Salute bg Milton Harris f7-1-1 (75) 85 j1-1-0 (-) 107 112
Sir Percy (Unfuwain){11-c}(0.50) 2/1 Kalko 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Kelso 1993
Costing 14,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale, Knight Salute would not have caught many an eye with his purchase fee. Starting his career with Andrew Balding, he followed up a debut second at Wolverhampton with a win at Sandown before being allowed to take his chance in the listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury. Not disgraced in finishing fifth of seven, he shaped as though he would be suited by further; as per his pedigree. He subsequently finished last on his final outing at two and on all three starts at three, although these runs all came over an inadequate trip. Still within the 82nd percentile of rated flat recruits it was surprising to see him drift out to 18/1 on his hurdling debut at Sedgefield nearly three weeks ago. Racing in a first time hood, he was keen while held up in the rear. Nevertheless, he jumped neatly up to the closing stages where he missed the sixth, reached at the penultimate flight and got in close to the last. Notwithstanding, these latter errors were not to the detriment of his performance given his superiority on the day. Making very smooth headway towards the end of the back, he moved strongly into second place over two out and cruised into the lead approaching the last whereafter he was ridden clear to pass the line nine and six lengths clear of the remainder. Though it was standard fare as far as Sedgefield is concerned, and the winning time was modest, the twenty length fourth finished a quarter of that distance behind the winner when third at Wetherby earlier in the week. Trainer Milton Harris continues to be in strong form and while there is an alternative juvenile contest available at Sedgefield, it could be interesting that he has opted to send Knight Salute here, and his stablemate to County Durham. Though there are a couple of pounds to find with Impulsive One on the latter's debut outing, the second showing puts Knight Salute in a strong position at the weights and he would be dangerous to underestimate even in this company; particularly as he will likely come on for fitness and experience.

Painless Potter bg Alan King f9-0-3 (77) 93
Camacho (Dubai Destination){16-c}(1.00) 2/0 Silk Affair 1st Fred Winter Juvenile HcH (G3,125), Cheltenham 2009
Since 2006, Alan King has had ten runners in this conest, half of who would win including newcomers McVicar and Saticon. His representative this year will be the the 77 rated Painless Potter who ran nine times without winning on the flat for his trainer. Despite his maiden tag, Painless Potter is not without respectable pieces of form; most notably his finishing just over four lengths fifth in last season's Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. The subsequent rating of 95 has seen him struggle, although leniency from the handicapper saw him twice place third off 79 in ten furlong handicaps during the summer. The strongest of which came on his penultimate outing in a Racing League contest at Lingfield where he briefly led at the furlong pole before being passed by two fast finishers. The form of that race has not quite worked out, but he can be forgiven his latest showing where he found himself outpaced in a slowly ran affair. Sire Camacho has had winners in the sphere, although his winner to runner rate of 13.04% is the lowest of those represented here. The damline is intriguing however as granddam Silk Affair won the Fred Winter and is herself a sibling of five other winning jumpers including the useful Arthur's Gift and Direct Bearing. Though Painless Potter has not been set an easy introduction to his new career, he is in very good hands for his new vocation and his flat form does not leave him with much to find against his penalised opponents.

Rhebus Road chg Oliver Sherwood f10-2-3 (74) 78
Champs Elysees (Verglas){14-f}(2.20) 2/1 Thahab Ifraj 1st 2m Handicap Hurdle (106), Kempton 2020
Starting his career with Ralph Beckett, it took Rhebus Road seven attempts to get off the mark on the flat. Sporting a first time visor in a twelve furlong handicap at Beverley off 63 in early July, he looked a tricky ride, hanging markedly to his left under pressure. Nevertheless, he still made all to run out a comfortable four-and-a-half length winner and was able to command a price tag of 70,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale. Rhebus Road stayed at Kimpton Down for his next three outings and was able to double his tally when last seen at Newmarket in a ten furlong handicap off 70. Headgear removed and ridden with more restraint, he took up the running at the distance against the rail and though he carried his head awkwardly at times, was always doing enough to fend off his rivals by upwards of half-a-length. Switching to Oliver Sherwood for his hurdling career, he joins a trainer with a healthy 39.39% winner to runner rate in the sphere and while his overall first time strike rate of 9.38% is average, his sole runner in this contest finished second in 2019. Sire Champs Elysees has a winner to runner rate of 25.93%, and his improvement rate of 51.43% is the strongest in the contest. While there are no superstars on the damline, Rhebus Road is a nephew of Thahab Ifraj who won a handicap hurdle at this venue last year. Overall, Rhebus Road looks another interesting recruit to the game and should be up to winning ordinary contests. However, this is not a soft introduction to the sphere and his tendency to hang left will be much to his detriment if repeated here.

Strong prospects
1. Knight Salute
Reasonable prospects
2. Impulsive One
3. Painless Potter
Feasible prospects
4. Rhebus Road
Moderate prospects
.
Negligible prospects
.

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Juvenile hurdling returns to Sedgefield in what is a standard looking affair for a course with typically modest contests. Average winners of this event achieve a seasonal best RPR of 111 although l'Aigle Royal and Gold Desert (winners in 2014 and 2020 respectively) would reach the frame in Doncaster's Summit Hurdle while 2018 winner Chica Buena would follow up in the Listed Fillies' race at Aintree. The latest edition looks moderate as apart from the sole participant with hurdling experience, the field is comprised of flat maidens without any carrying an official rating exceeding 60. Although left handed and undulating with an uphill finish, Sedgefield's winning DIs of 1.40 median, 1.52 mean, are higher than average and these figures are not significantly lower than those of the average participant. However, the clear round rate of 95.32% still makes it a tricky circuit and its completion rate of 79.10% is one of the lowest in the country. Though newcomers are not aversely affected by the jumping test, their strike rate at the venue of 8.7% is lower than the 11.54% of experienced runners. The going is currently described as good with light showers expected through the evening and morning.

Ben Asker bg Paul Robson f5-0-2 (59) 65
Rock Of Gibraltar (Grand Lodge){2-f}(2.38) 2/2 Pour Vous Et Nous 1st 3400m 3yo Conditions Hurdle, Dieppe 2019
Former jockey and current funeral director, Paul Robson, has recently joined the training ranks and enjoyed his first winner last month when Flamboyant Joyaux took a Kelso handicap chase last month. While the fighting career of word class wrestler come unabashed meme Ben Askren is very dead, the birth of Paul Robson's career as a trainer of juvenile hurdlers is born with the similarly named Ben Asker, who reached the frame on his two most recent flat outings for Willie McCreery. These outings each came over seven furlongs at Dundalk with a placing off 60 was followed by a seven-and-a-quarter length third in a claimer back in March in which he was advertised for €10,000. His best flat form is within a few pounds of anything else brought to this race by the other newcomers and while his propensity to hang his head under pressure may be a concern, there is every chance that his seven month break will have given him time to mature. By the same token, the seven month absence means he has fitness to prove and those formerly trained by Willie McCreery count just one winner from fourteen in the sphere. Sire Rock Of Gibraltar has a solid 24.66% winner to runner rate and cousin Pour Vous Et Nous was a winning juvenile in France. Yet to be tested beyond a mile on the flat, Ben Asker shapes as though he can get the trip although there is a chance he might be a bit too fresh first time after his break. 

Drumfire chg Susan Corbett Unraced
Night Of Thunder (Pivotal){13-c}(1.24) 3/1 La Mandragola 1st 2m Maiden Hurdle, Clonmel 2004
Tiger Roll and Cubomania are a notable pair of Darley dispersal horses who made their debuts in juvenile hurdles with the latter costing just £4,500 in 2016. Drumfire cost 4,000 guineas at the Tattersalls Guineas Sale and joins a Susan Corbett yard with one winning juvenile from eight, but with three from five improving for a switch in codes. He is set to be the first British runner over jumps for 2000 Guineas and Lockinge winner Night Of Thunder. Though failing on his sole outing beyond a mile, Night Of Thunder has produced winners at a trip. Furthermore, Night Of Thunder stands at an acceptable 1.64m and sons of Dubawi are capable of producing winning juveniles. The damline is fairly threadbare although the granddam is a sibling of a winning hurdler and Rite Of Passage also appears at 4/3. Notwithstanding, racecourse debutants have a first time strike rate of just 2.33% and Drumfire would appear to be the stable's second string on jockey bookings. 

Genuflex bg Milton Harris f11-1-5 (74) 79 J1-0-1 (-) 97 98 
Holy Roman Emperor (Galileo){1-i}(1.13) 0.5 Gendarme 1st 2m Handicap Hurdle (88), Limerick 2021
The only participant with hurdling experience, Genuflex is also the only flat winner set to face the starter. This victory came at the third time of asking in a Windsor nursery while under the care of Richard Hannon. Though he failed to supplement this success in eight further attempts, Genuflex did run to form over ten furlongs during the spring and summer including on his latest outing in that sphere when showing good tenacity but failing to make all in a Nottingham classified stakes. He subsequently joined the capable Milton Harris for 20,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale and by a Holy Roman Emperor who wins his fair share, and being a half-brother to a winning handicap hurdler, there was every chance he could build his profile over hurdles. He was well backed to do so on his stable/hurdling debut at Ludlow eleven days ago and only one horse prevented his landing the 20/1 into 5/1 plunge. Though occasionally tight at his hurdles, Genuflex posted an efficient round of jumping overall and travelled well in midfield for much of the contest. In contention turning for home, he found himself outpaced between the last two and was slow getting away from the final flight. Nevertheless, he plugged on along the run-in to snatch second in the final strides. That contest was taken by a surprise winner and the third and fourth ran below expectations, but the form is still respectable. The best of these on the flat to the tune of a good ten pounds, Genuflex showed more than enough on his hurdling debut to suggest he sets a very tough target for his opposition. 

Great Commission bg Ben Haslam f2-0-1 (-) 61
Nathaniel (Halling){A16}(0.74) 0.5 Duke Of Condicote 2nd Juvenile Hurdle, Warwick 2020
Following a lacklustre debut outing at Hamilton in mid-August, Great Commission left his debut performance well behind a month later when finishing a neck third in a Beverley novice stakes at 100/1. Leading from the outset, he would only forfeit his lead at the half-furlong marker and would run on gamely in defeat. The runner-up, who was beaten at 1/7, won by over eight lengths at Kempton next time and the trio finished over four lengths clear of the remainder. Though possibly flattered by the beaten favourite's underperformance, this was still a most encouraging effort in the context of this race. Furthermore, there is plenty to like about the pedigree as Nathaniel's strong winner to runner rate of 38.46% is bolstered by the likes of Zanahiyr, Burning Victory and Navajo Pass, while Great Commission's half-brother Duke Of Condicote finished second to Adagio on his hurdling debut at Warwick last season. Ben Haslam's winner to runner rate of 23.08% is a respectable one and his record with first time juveniles is solid enough. While his lack of experience will count against him on his hurdles debut, there is more than enough potential in his profile to suggest he could give Genuflex something to ponder. 

Lucy Rules bf Mike Sowersby f9-0-1 (47) 55
Vadamos (Kodiac){1-k}(0.68) 2/1 Zaftil 8th 2m1f Novices' Hurdle, Exeter 2011
Formerly with Ollie Pears, whose former inmates have yet to win from sixteen outings in the sphere, Lucy Rules ran her best race on her penultimate outing when second off 50 in a Thirsk selling handicap over a mile back in July. She has since been withdrawn for refusing to enter the stalls at the same venue before missing the break and finishing down the field at Carlisle last time. New trainer Mike Sowersby has had just one winning juvenile from thirty-five since 2004/05 and although sire Vadamos has already had a winner over hurdles from his first crop, there is no jumping form on the damline. 

Shamrock Wine bf Brian Ellison f9-0-0 (44) 47
Epaulette (Tobougg){4-h}(0.60) 0.5 Star Ascending 6th 2m Handicap Hurdle (99), Uttoxeter 2016
Brian Ellison is the winningmost trainer of juvenile hurdlers represented in this contest and 31.82% winner to runner rate is supplemented by a strike rate at Sedgefield of 19.23%. His first-time rate with flat recruits is also a healthy 16%, although this drops to just 4.35% when accounting for those rated 61 and below. Shamrock Wine, following a nine race flat career, brings an official mark of 44 and the two instances where she finished closer to first than last came in moderate mile handicaps during the summer. Epaulette has had a winning juvenile from five, but there is little promise on the damline or from the damsire.  

Sisu bf Susan Corbett f6-0-0 (56) 60
Lawman (Manduro){16-c}(0.82) 3/1 Salontyre 1st 2m1f 4YO Handicap Hurdle (126), Exeter 2010
Susan Corbett has had one winning juvenile from eight, although three from five qualifiers have improved for the switch in codes and though rated just 56, Sisu is set to be her highest rated recruit from the flat. Initially trained by Sir Mark Prescott, Sisu finished fourth of twelve on her debut at Kempton last November before finishing nearer last than first on five subsequent outings including two during the summer. Sisu has been fairly consistent in her modesty and she moved to Northumberland after a 7,000 guineas sale at Tattersall's August sale. Lawman wins his fair share with juvenile hurdlers, Manduro has a winner to runner rate of 37.5% as a damsire, and along with being a cousin of winning pointer Sleepysaurus, the fairly useful Salontyre (3/1), winning German hurdler Saitensohn (4/2) and the classy Salden Licht (4/3) also appear on the damline. Sisu's apparent troubles with handling Epsom could be a concern on this undulating circuit, and her bare form is modest in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, the yard was a short head from leaving the cold list earlier this week and in the context of this line up, a respectable effort would not be out of the question.

Strong prospects
1. Genuflex
Reasonable prospects
2. Great Commission
Feasible prospects
3. Sisu
Moderate prospects
4. Ben Asker
Negligible prospects
5. Shamrock Wine
6. Drumfire
7. Lucy Rules

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Here is the review of yesterday's race at Kempton. The Sedgefield review might be up by this evening.

Preview review
The field finished as per the prospects list with Impulsive One's having to set his own pace possibly being the deciding factor. Very little to revisit insofar as the processes going into the preview are concerned.

Race review
This is traditionally one of the stronger early season contests and this year's renewal was no exception. Two undefeated hurdlers took on a pair of useful flat recruits and it was the former pair that had the race between them. The early pace was fairly sedate, causing a couple to take a keener hold than ideal. Nevertheless, the winning time was respectable compared to the two listed contests at the distance on the card with the run-in completed in a faster time than either contest. The front two, who made their experience tell, were the best on the day and would probably be the ones to take out of the contest in the long term. The winner was probably better suited by the manner in which the race unfolded, although he perhaps has the greater scope. Overall, the form looks strong and solid. 

Knight Salute took his chance in listed company at two, but subsequently finished last on his four remaining starts for Andrew Balding. Consequently, he was a relatively inexpensive lot at the Tattersalls July Sale although having been campaigned on an inadequate trip and boasting a pedigree for the discipline, better could have been anticipated over hurdles. Despite drifting to 18/1 on his jumps bow at Sedgefield, he hurdled well and moved strongly before winning by a comfortable nine lengths. Having his second outing at a more fashionable venue against representatives of more fashionable yards, he was uneasy in the exchanges during the day. Nevertheless, he held a strong chance on paper and was backed in the ring from 13/2 to 9/2 at the off. Tracking the leaders off a fairly modest tempo, Mitch Bastyan had to display good strength to keep a good hold of his mount. Nevertheless, the jockey conserved enough energy to have Knight Salute in a useful position turning into the straight. Though momentarily outpaced between the final two flights, Knight Salute gained enough momentum to jump the last with a share of the lead and was able to see off his rival to the tune of a couple of lengths at the line. While he made mistakes under pressure first time at Sedgefield, there were no errors worth reporting in this contest and with his strong travelling and fluent jumping, Knight Salute posted the strongest winning performance seen on a British course to date this season. Quite how far Knight Salute can progress would be anybody's guess and the 33/1 quoted afterwards for the Triumph might be a little cautious at this juncture. Nevertheless, he is clearly a talented juvenile hurdler and it will be exciting to see how he handles the inevitable step up in class; particularly as he should be at least as capable with give in the ground. 127

Impulsive One had shown useful form on the flat in winning one of his eight starts for William Haggas, and while not ideally bred for a winter campaign, made a good impression in comprehensively winning his first two races over hurdles for Nicky Henderson. He was especially taking on his debut at Plumpton and though vulnerabilities emerged over his headstrong nature next time at Huntingdon, he still had little problem defying the penalty. Though slightly uneasy in the ring, drifting from 4/7 to 5/6, he was still sent off the clear favourite. Without getting a lead in this small field, Impulsive One was forced to make his own running which would not have been ideal as he proved difficult to settle. Notwithstanding, his hurdling much more polished than last time and he was still on the bridle approaching the penultimate flight. There he made his only real error as he went through the top of the flight, but it did not cost him any real momentum and while he did not have enough to fend off the winner's challenge on the run-in, he was still able to put nearly seven lengths between himself and the Alan King recruit in third. Given that he was conceding four pounds to the winner, seven if one accounts for the claim of the former's talented rider, Impulsive One emerges as best at the weights which in turn, makes this the strongest British performance in the sphere to date. Though he is unlikely to appreciate the winter ground and will need a stronger pace to be seen to best effect, little should be taken away from him on the basis of this respectable effort. 129

Painless Potter was representing an Alan King with five winners from ten in this contest, and while he failed to match his Coventry Stakes fifth in subsequent outings, his recent flat form still gave him a credible chance. Fairly steady in the market throughout the day, this grandson of Fred Winter winner, Silk Affair, was sent off at 10/3 second favourite. Painless Potter got a little warm beforehand and was rather fresh held up last of four, but there was little wrong with his jumping until three out where he was steady and got in close. This error cost him a couple of lengths but he was right in the mix entering the straight and he traded as low as 1.73 in-running before he was untidy again at the penultimate hurdle. While he got away from the flight well enough, he was unable to keep up with the front pair and a slow jump at the last sealed his fate. While he would beat only one rival home, this was a respectable debut effort and as he is sure to come on for this outing, he should be well up to getting off the mark in ordinary company. 113

Rhebus Road won twice on the flat for Ralph Beckett, including when last seen in a ten furlong Newmarket Handicap off 70. Bought by current connections for 70,000 guineas in July with a hurdling career in mind, he made the switch to an Oliver Sherwood yard with a healthy record in the sphere. Though sent off the outsider, he was not without supporters and his price contracted from 10/1 to 15/2 at the off. However, while he probably settled as well as anything in the contest, his hurdling left something to be desired as he hopped over the second, was steady before skewing at the fifth, steady again at the next where he got in close and was already weakening when putting in a tired jump at two out. While Rhebus Road is not without potential as a hurdling recruit, he was overfaced in this company first time and it remains to be seen if he would be more enthusiastic in lesser company. 79
 

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The review of Sedgefield's race

Preview review
The strong prospect won very easily, as per his starting price, and with the exception of Drumfire jumping two places, the field finished in accordance with the prospects list. There was perhaps too much made of the jockey bookings for Susan Corbett's pair - especially as neither had jumped a hurdle in public, only one had seen a racecourse and the market spoke much more favourably for the newcomer. Great Commission perhaps ran below expectations but his case was based on a sole outing in which he may have been flattered. Beyond the aforementioned, there is little else that needs revisiting.

Race review
With the exception of the winner, this looked a weak event beforehand and these sentiments manifested in the contest itself. The pace and winning time were modest and the winner was a league above his rivals. There have been more wayward and novicey collections of juveniles seen this term, but apart from the winner and possibly the runner-up, there is not a great deal to say about the class of this contest. 

Genuflex was the only winner from the flat in the line-up, courtesy of a nursery win under the care of Richard Hannon, and was also the sole participant with hurdling experience. He was well backed on his hurdles bow at Ludlow eleven days earlier where he found only one too good. That was enough to make him a worthy 4/11 favourite here and he made his own running from the outset. Racing keenly while setting a modest tempo and although he hit the top of the third, rather missed the sixth and ran down the penultimate flight, his jumping was neat enough overall. Genuflex entered the straight half a dozen lengths clear of his rivals and after being shaken up away from two out, was in cruise control for the rest of the race; crossing the line seventeen lengths clear of the remainder. Though he has yet to reach the best of his flat form, this was a step up on his debut effort and there is scope for further improvement. Life will get more difficult under a penalty, but he should remain competitive provided sights are not set too high. 103

Drumfire began life as a Darley horse and from the Dahlia line, his granddam was a half-sister to St Leger winner Nedawi. However, he would reach the sales ring before the racecourse, joining Susan Corbett for 7,000 guineas in August. Racecourse debutants have a weak record in this discipline, but there was some confidence for Drumfire in the market - particularly relative to his stablemate - as he went from a morning show of 20/1 to 12/1 at the off. Held up in mid-division, he struggled to keep tabs on his rivals leaving the back, but soon found his gear and was leading the pursuit of the winner approaching the last. Though his quest for first was a lost cause, he had enough to hold on to second place by just over two lengths. Apart from trailing his hind legs at the fifth, and rather reaching at the last, there is little complaint in his round of jumping. Strictly on form, there was not a great deal achieved here. Nevertheless, there is encouragement to be drawn from this debut outing and it is not unreasonable to imagine a small race eventually being within his compass. 82

Great Commission was lacklustre on his racecourse debut in August, but stepped up on that showing second time in a Beverley novice stakes the following month with an apparently useful performance. Though he may have been flattered by the latter outing, he is also bred to make a juvenile hurdler and he was sent off the 5/1 second favourite here. He kept Genuflex company throughout much of the contest, but the distress signals were out on the turn for home and he conceded second place shortly after the penultimate flight before finishing nearly twenty lengths behind the winner. Great Commission was given to making minor errors, but few were massively detrimental to his momentum until the final two hurdles where he was steep and slow to get away. This performance falls below what he may have achieved at Beverley and although he should be able to leave this showing behind, it is difficult to get a good grasp on his ability or potential at this juncture. 80

Sisu had shown a modicum of ability on the flat for Sir Mark Prescott and started the day more prominently in the market than her unraced stablemate. However, she drifted from 8/1 to 25/1 during the course of the exchanges and it became apparent that she had not taken to hurdling as well as the runner-up. Hopping over the first, where she was slow getting away, she clipped the second, was steady and close at the fifth, clipped two out and was slow and untidy at the last. Keen in the early stages, Sisu travelled well enough up to the end of the back, but was laboured from the top of the straight onwards. 66

Shamrock Wine represented a Brian Ellison with a healthy record in the discipline, but her flat form was modest at best. This did not prevent her from halving in price in the ring, starting the race at 10/1, but there was never any justification for this confidence in the race itself. Pulling hard and jumping moderately, Shamrock Wine was already getting detached before halfway and would merely plug on to keep her beaten distance down to thirty lengths. 62

Lucy Rules managed a second in a selling handicap off 50 on her penultimate start for Ollie Pears, but this still left her with plenty to find even in this company and she was sent off the 33/1 outsider of the field. She was slow to start and went right at the first, although apart from getting close to the fourth and clipping the sixth, she did not hurdle too badly. However, despite racing in the rear, she emptied out quickly on the turn for home and was pulled up before two out. 0
 

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On 10/19/2021 at 12:15 PM, calva decoy said:

Not a juvenile hurdle but a 3 year old junior national hunt flat race 3.50 at Exeter over 13f where the smartly named Eel Pie Island available at 5/2 looks worthy of the favourites tag .

1st 👍

Good shout CD! Sorry I missed this as the bumpers are not on my radar unfortunately. That said, being a full-sister to Talking About You, it would be interesting to see Eel Pie Island jump a hurdle this term!

 

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Wincanton is set to host what has, since 2015, been its only juvenile specific contest of the season. While the venue is often visited by talented novice chasers and hurdlers, its winning juveniles are generally a few pounds below average. Indeed, this particular contest is some twelve pounds below average and when Paul Nicholls runners are excluded (taking with them Romain de Senam, Cliffs Of Dover and Sir Psycho) the winning standard drops a further five pounds with Scottish Triumph winner Impulsive American being the most accomplished previous participant. This year's renewal, however, looks to be above average with two previous winners taking on an exciting flat recruit in Sonning as well as a nephew of Sprinter Sacre seeking to atone for a lacklustre effort in the season's curtain raiser at Hexham back in June. A sharp, flat and right-handed circuit, Wincanton's winning DIs are broadly average as are the clear round and completion rates. The record of odds-on favourites stands at a healthy 75% with the winning SPs being lower than at any other venue with twenty or more races. Experience can be a telling factor in this particular race as the impact value for debutants is at 0.66 compared to the 1.29 for those with hurdles form. Previous winners also have a fair record of two wins and a place from five. The going is currently described as good with only light rain forecast later on Sunday morning.

Burristo chg Fergal O'Brien f7-0-2 (66) 68 j4-1-2 (106) 93 103 
Buratino (Invincible Spirit){23}(1.15) 2/1 Twisted 2nd 2m1f Sedgefield Novices' Hurdle, Sedgefield 2011
A fair maiden on the flat for Richard Hannon, Burristo is the most experienced jumper in the field having had four spins over hurdles. Following a second at Newton Abbot with a win at Stratford in mid-July, Burristo ran his best race to date on his penultimate outing at Uttoxeter when third behind two subsequent winners. He was then off the track for a couple of months before returning in a Worcester handicap thirty days ago. Though racing off 107, which was harsh given his accomplishments to date, he was backed from 13/2 to 9/2 second favourtism at the off. However, his largely fluent round of jumping from Uttoxeter was not repeated as he was untidy at several flights, and had a propensity to give too much air to his hurdles. He was close up for much of the contest, but faded once entering the straight and ultimately finished a twenty-five length ninth of eleven finishers. Notwithstanding, white Burristo needs to leave that performance behind, he should appreciate the return to juvenile company and with the yard in fair form, he can give a reasonable account of himself.  

Mister Allegro bg Anthony Honeyball f12-1-1 (50) 62 j1-1-0 (-) 100 98
Bernardini (Shamardal){1-e}(2.16) 3/2 Meganisi 2nd 2m½f Condiitonals' Handicap Hurdle (133), Aintree 2013
Racing nine times as a two-year-old for Mark Johnston and collecting a Kempton nursery off 48 along the way, Mister Allegro was sold 13,000 guineas at last year's Tattersalls Autumn sale. His first appearance for Anthony Honeyball was reasonable for his level, finishing fourth of nine in a ten furlong Chepstow handicap off 55. However, he would beat only one of twelve rivals home in two subsequent outings which saw him start at 40/1 for his hurdles debut at Ludlow eighteen days ago. His profile for hurdling was not without merit as Bernardini (Forth Bridge, Bordoni) had two winners from five in the sphere, and his new trainer had a solid 22.22% winner to runner rate going into the contest. The apparent quality of his opposition still made his task look a difficult one, but his endeavour was made simpler by a the neatest round of jumping in the contest; besmirched only by his clipping the top of the final two flights. Travelling well in a prominent position, he was momentarily caught for toe on the home turn, but was soon pestering the leader and after jumping to the front at the last, was ridden out to score by nearly two lengths. The winning time was not great and a couple of his rivals likely underperformed, but the runner-up did subsequently land short odds at Sedgefield with consummate ease. Mister Allegro would have to give a couple of these the best part of two stone on the flat, and this is without taking his penalty into account. Nevertheless, he does have the best recent jumps form in the book and given his fluency first time, very much looked a natural to make a better hurdler. 

Epic Pass bc Brian Barr f10-1-4 (72) 81 j1-0-0 (-) 0 0
Awtaad (Clodovil){5-g}(1.00) 3/1 Higgy's Boy 1st Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (129), Ascot 2009
Mark Johnston has supplied more juvenile hurdlers than any other, with the count at 202 individuals since 2004/05. The winner to runner rate of his former inmates is a respectable 23.27%, although this drops three points for those sold in public. Furthermore, just a third of the 120 such horses to have raced more than once as juveniles improved for the switch in codes. Nevertheless, ten of the forty-two who cost less than £9,000 at auction were able to win during their initial campaigns over jumps and the latest such candidate is Epic Pass who fetched 8,500 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale. Gaining his sole flat success at the second time of asking in a Wolverhampton novice stakes last December, Epic Pass failed to add to his tally in eight subsequent starts. Though he failed to reach the frame on each-way terms, he generally ran consistently, including since his switch to Brian Barr, and his mark of 72 possibly underestimates his overall ability. Epic Pass has maintained his form over twelve furlongs, although it may well be worth noting that these contests were slowly run affairs; including his latest second in a Goodwood seller at the end of August. Sire Awtaad is having his first crop of juveniles and while he won the Irish Guineas and sons of Cape Cross do produce winning juveniles, he is not the tallest at 16.0hh and there is not much stamina on his pedigree. Dam Kanes Pass was a useful performer on the flat at up to a mile, and winning juvenile Higgy's Boy appears at 3/1 on the damline. While there are echoes of jumps ability on the distaff side (4/2 Loving You, 4/5 Getaway Trump, 5/4 Bacchanal), the immediate pedigree does not guarantee stamina. Brian Barr is without a winning juvenile from five and his strike rate is stronger with chasers than hurdlers. Epic Pass does not have the worst form or profile, but there are enough doubts to limit enthusiasm in this company, even if his hurdling debut in Mister Allegro's race can be ignored (pulled up before second flight after rider lost irons).

Gavin bg Joe Ponting f7-0-1 (50) 56 j2-0-0 (-) 71 83 
Bated Breath (Montjeu){16-c}(0.71) 2/1 Keys 2nd 2m1f Maiden Hurdle, Aintree 2011
Though only moderate on the flat for Rod Millman prior to selling for 3,500 guineas, Gavin is related to numerous winning jumpers such as Keys (2/1), Stanley Stanley (2/2) and Forto (3/1). He rather blew his chances first time over hurdles at Stratford when getting lit up early on, and though James Davies was able to keep him restrained in midfield next time at Worcester, his jumping was also an issue and he faded to finish sixth. Gavin's return to the flat three weeks ago saw him tailed off at Lingfield off 50 and unless the first time tongue tie has an astonishing effect, he is unlikely to make any impact in this company. 

Inferno Sacree bg Nigel Hawke j1-0-0 (-) 0 0 
Saint Des Saints (Daramsar){u}(0.67) 2/1 Sprinter Sacre 1st Champion Chase (G1), Cheltenham 2013
Costing €37,000 at Arqana as a yearling, Inferno Sacree is a son of Saint des Saints, an outstanding source of juveniles both domestically (Whetstone, Buddy Banks, Goliath du Berlais) and exported (Monmiral, Fusil Raffles, Sametegal) with laudable figures across the board. The damline is also compelling as it includes capable half-brother Emir Sacree, useful sorts Flinteur Sacre (2/1), Gazump (3/1), Tiot Cas (3/2), Echo Sacre (3/2) and most notably, the outstanding champion Sprinter Sacre (2/1). Trainer Nigel Hawke has a solid record in the division and is already on the scoresheet this term with New Reality. However, for all Inferno Sacree is regally bred, and was backed into second favouritism ahead of his racecourse debut at Hexham back in June, he looked far from emulating his exalted relatives. Steady and tight over the first two and tripping over the third, he never left the rear of the field and was pulled up before the last by Brian Hughes who reported that his mount hung right throughout. Going around Wincanton may suit him better and his peidgree is difficult to ignore despite his lacklustre showing first time. Notwithstanding, the yard's juveniles usually need more experience before hitting their stride and Inferno Sacree has something to prove against some accomplished rivals.  

Sonning grg Alan King f7-1-2 (76) 81
The Gurkha (Rainbow Quest){8-d}(0.56) 3/2 Diakali 1st Prix Alain du Breil (G1), Auteuil 2013
Patrick and Scott Bryceland are involved with this season's exciting novice chasing prospect Champagnesuperover, but while their previous foray into the juvenile hurdle scene with Frankly Mr Shankley did not set the world alight, they will be anticipating greater success as they team up with the McNeills, Alan King and the 76 rated Sonning. Costing 80,000 guineas at last year's Craven Breeze-up Sale, Sonning was not disgraced when lacking experience in three outings as a two-year-old, and made a winning return from his winter break at Beverley in mid-April. Running in a ten furlong, good to firm handicap off a mark of 71, Sonning raced off the pace and although it took a while for the penny to drop, he weaved his way through traffic before running on gamely to win by a neck from Mark Johnston's Happy. Sonning did not appear to appreciate the configuration of Chester next time but though he drifted somewhat under pressure at Leicester on his penultimate outing, he still got his head down to run to his best when denied second by a head. Sonning was last seen at Newbury at the start of July where, running over twelve furlongs, he raced keenly but finished flat from the distance. He has since been given a break but is due to embark on a hurdling career which has been in the pipeline since spring, during which time he was schooled by Adrian Heskin. As such, he ought to be fresh and know his job when he returns to the fold. His sire, The Gurkha, is having his first crop of juvenile hurdlers and though he was one of Galileo's speedier sons, the sireline has a good record in the division and hurdlers Prospect Wells and Brooklyn's Gold appear on his damline at 3/1 Furthermore, he has already had a winner in the division with Addosh landing a valuable contest at Market Rasen. Sonning's own distaff side counts little in the way of immediate hurdlers, although the first one that shows is the top class Diakali at 3/2, who was also a very accomplished juvenile hurdler. Winning jumpers Diamond Frontier, Diamond d'Amour and Diamond Kut also appear at 3/2 while Divapour can be found at 3/3. Alan King's record with juvenile hurdlers has already been covered extensively, although in the case of Sonning, it is worth noting that his already impressive winner to runner rate of 48.61% increases to 70% when isolating those who achieved flat ratings of 75 and above while residing at Barbury Castle. Furthermore, his record in this particular contest reads as three wins, a second and a third from five runners. Sonning has a nice profile overall and though he takes on a couple of previous winners, his flat ability and proven form on good ground make him a compelling participant in this field. 

Undercover Agent bg Mark Gillard f3-0-0 (39) 39
Kodiac (Rainbow Quest){1-o}(0.78) 0.5 Hoist The Colours 4th Juvenile Hurdle, Stratford 2015
Since fetching 3,000 guineas at a Tattersalls Breeze Up this year, Undercover Agent, a half-brother to the 2009 Poule d'Essai des Pouliche winner Elusive Wave, finished tailed off on two outings during August and was an eleven length last of six in a weak Lingfield claimer earlier this month. Trainer Mark Gillard has saddled three winning juveniles, but none would do so before their fifth attempt over hurdles and his overall strike rate stands at just 3.85%. Kodiac has a good record in the sphere with a winner to runner rate of 37.93%, but this would not be enough to offset the huge task set on Undercover Agent's hurdling debut. 

tl;dr
Burristo - Fair maiden on flat and has just about the best hurdling form on offer. Disappointing in handicap company after a break but should appreciate return to his age group and yard has been amongst the winners recently.

Mister Allegro - Regressive on the flat and appeared to face stiff task ahead of making a winning hurdling debut at Ludlow. Nevertheless, has the profile to do better in the sphere and looked a natural on sole jumps start. Ground to make on flat form but sets standard on recent hurdles form.

Epic Pass - Fairly useful at up to twelve furlongs on flat, but stamina not entirely assured on breeding and flat form came in slowly run affairs. Hurdling debut can be ignored as he was pulled up after his rider lost his irons at the first.

Gavin - Modest on flat and though he did not jump terribly first time over hurdles, he has shown himself as difficult to settle on each outing in the sphere.

Inferno Sacree - Saint des Saints nephew of Sprinter Sacre but was most disappointing on sole racecourse appearance at Hexham back in June. Not without potential but plenty to prove at this juncture.

Sonning - Alan King has a strong record with those who achieved ratings of 75 and above on the flat while under his care. Sonning's 76 is fully warranted and has shown gameness in that sphere. By The Gurkha and related to Diakali, there is also hurdling promise in the pedigree. Will appreciate the good ground and has been schooled for his new venture since the spring.

Undercover Agent - Half brother to a classic winner but cheap purchase at a breeze up and has ran accordingly on the flat. Kodiac is a competent sire in the sphere but that would be the extent of his case. 

Strong prospects
1. Sonning
Reasonable prospects
2. Mister Allegro
3. Burristo
Feasible prospects
4. Inferno Sacree
Moderate prospects
5. Epic Pass
6. Gavin
Negligible prospects
7. Undercover Agent

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I will take on for some value odds on favourite Sonning with previous winner MISTER ALLEGRO 10/3 . 1st 4/1

Was shock 40/1 winner that day beating Geneflux by 1.75L .

Geneflux has subsequently gone on to win at Sedgefield franking the form & despite giving the favourite 6Lbs could prove the 40/1 win was no fluke .

Trainer A.Honeyball also runs two in Aintree's bumper at 5.20.

GOOD LUCK CHARM 6/1 eway ( 4 places )  has had two tries under rules a debut 4th & a win over today's trip 306 days ago , carries the penalty but should be in the mix. 3rd 

EMZARA 16/1 eway ( 4 places )

Making rules debut but A.Honeyball always has them readied , is wearing a tongue tie & has the added bonus of Ben Godfrey's 5Lb claim . 👎

Edited by calva decoy
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You've done it again CD. Excellent stuff! I didn't know quite what to make of that Ludlow performance at the time, but it certainly warrants greater respect in light of the past couple of Sundays!

 

Preview review
There were under and overestimations insofar as the front pair were concerned. The winner put his good jumping to use and built on his debut performance by far exceeding his flat exploits. The runner-up was too fresh for his own good as his exuberance also impacted his hurdling. The respective records of newcomers and winners were noted in the introduction and while they were probably not the deciding factors, they definitely had an impact on the contest. Otherwise, taking out the one that departed at the first flight, the remainder of the field finished as per the prospects list. 

Race review
Though juvenile hurdlers are typically lesser contests in the context of the venue, this year's renewal looked above average and the first two appear to be nice types. The winner looks an absolute natural over hurdles and while the runner up rather let himself down, there was still tangible evidence of talent. Furthermore, the pace was solid compared to the other races at the distance on the card and when applying a weight for age allowance, the winning time was very taking. Although it should be noted that some juice will have gotten into the ground by the time the latter contests were held. Notwithstanding, there were two nice performances from a promising pair of youngsters and with the finishing margins and positions being perfectly acceptable, there is little reason to doubt the substance of this form.

Mister Allegro won a nursery off 48 for Mark Johnston last season and while his first appearance for Anthony Honeyball was reasonable, his next two outings along with his modest overall level of form saw him start at 40/1 on his hurdling debut at Ludlow. Nevertheless, there was potential for his new career in his profile and he adapted very well to his new vocation with a fluent round of jumping. While he drifted from a morning show of 9/4 to 4/1 at flagfall, he was still sent off the second favourite. Slightly keen in the early stages, Mister Allegro immediately put his stamp on the race and with quick jumping, passed the stands with a lead of over half-a-dozen lengths. Reigned in slightly on entering the back, his advantage was whittled down to within a length when getting a breather on the turn for home. Nevertheless, a quick leap at the penultimate flight saw him re-establish his advantage and his acceleration from the hurdle put the race to bed as he went on to pass the line a comprehensive seven length winner. The degree to which the switch to hurdles has animated Mister Allegro can not be understated. Since 2004/05, just 38 of the 2,122 juvenile hurdlers rated 50 or below on the flat would win more than once; with only a handful exceeding what Mister Allegro has already achieved. Though he already looks close to the finished article, there may yet be further to come. Interestingly, he is entered in the upcoming Tattersalls Horses-in-Training sale. Should he take up his entry at Newmarket, he is sure to fetch a fair deal more than the 13,000 guineas paid for him last year. 123

Sonning came into this contest with a flat rating of 76 and those trained for both codes by Alan King, particularly with such a mark, generally do well in the division. Furthermore, there were enough markers in the pedigree to suggest he should thrive in the sphere and this was bolstered by strong market confidence that saw him go from a morning show of 11/8 to 1/2 at the off. Sonning had been off the track for the best part of four months, and this resulted in his being decidedly fresh for his hurdling debut. Attempting to separate Adrian Heskin's arms from his torso, Sonning was held up in touch for much of the contest. He was still travelling well enough turning into the straight, but an untidy leap two out cost him valuable momentum and with the race out of his reach after the last, he was allowed to coast home upwards of five lengths clear of the remainder. It was evident that Sonning has a jump in him, although his exuberant nature compromised his overall round as he reached and pecked at the first, steadied before clipping the second and along with the aforementioned untidy jump at the penultimate flight, he was also fairly steep at the last. Given his starting price, a sense of disappointment, particularly on suitable ground, can not be avoided entirely. Nevertheless, it is possible he ran into a good one here and if the freshness has been ran out of him, there was enough shown to suggest he can leave this performance well behind. Furthermore, several of the yard's better juveniles failed to fire first time before going on to better things including Franchoek, Sceau Royal, Master Blueyes and Pain Au Chocolat. 109

Burristo was the other penalised runner in the field on account of his win at Stratford in mid-July. He bettered that effort next time at Uttoxeter before a disappointing return from a break in a Worcester handicap thirty days ago. He had not jumped as confidently as he had previously, but the return to novice company was a bonus and he was started the race a steady 5/1 third favourite. Leading the pursuit of the winner for most of the race, he found himself outpaced rounding the home turn before staying on into third on the run-in. His hurdling was better this time, albeit not without its flaws as he was big at the first, got close to the fourth, was steady and low at the fifth before jumping left through the top of the sixth and trailing his hind legs through two out. Notwithstanding, while he was slightly flattered by his proximity to the front pair, this marks a new career best effort. His rating of 106 might still be harsh on balance, and he will continue to be vulnerable under a penalty in ordinary company. Notwithstanding, if given a little leniency from the handicapper, he could be competitive in that sphere on this showing. 108

Epic Pass has a higher than average flat rating for a juvenile recruit, and he does have form over twelve furlongs in that sphere. However, his stamina for hurdling was not assured given how said races were run, and his hurdling career got off to an inauspicious start after a first flight blunder at Ludlow saw him pull up before the second. A drifter in the morning but steady on course, starting at 14/1, Epic Pass did not start this race encouragingly either. Taking a keen hold in mid-division, he wandered before skewing and trailing his hind legs through the first two flights, and his jumping barely improved from there as he was steady at the third, close and skewed at the fourth, went left at the fifth, and was close again at the final two flights. Epic Pass had briefly challenged for the lead at the top of the straight, but either his exploits during the race, or an innate lack of stamina, saw him fade before the line. This was not necessarily a disgraceful performance as he was only beaten fifteen lengths in the end. However, there is plenty of improvement required in his hurdling and as most other contests in the sphere will demand more in terms of stamina, Epic Pass will have enough to prove going forward. 99

Gavin was only modest on the flat for Rod Millman and had shown himself difficult to settle on each of his hurdles runs to date. He was already a handful on the approach to the first and was lit up after getting baulked by the unseated horse. From there, he was steep at the second, pecked at the third, and though he was better over the next two, was skewed over the final two flights. Though beaten twenty-three lengths, he just about matched the best of his flat form. However, while it is feasible that there are races for him from a low enough mark, his fizzy nature will continue to cause problems for as long as it persists. 91

Undercover Agent had shown next to no form on the flat and his on course drift from 100/1 to 250/1 was not alarming. Held up in the rear, he never threatened to get competitive and he eventually finished a distance behind the winner. His jumping was not atrocious with his only errors coming when steady and close at the third, pecking at the next and going left at the sixth. While he accomplished little here, this still marks a new career best and though sights will have to be kept very low, Undercover Agent can make a better hurdler. 81

Inferno Sacree is a Saints des Saints nephew of Sprinter Sacre and was well backed ahead of his racecourse debut in Hexham's curtain raiser back in June. However, he ran no kind of race on that occasion and while potential remained by dint of his pedigree, there was no market confidence here as he went from 9/1 in the morning to 33/1 at post time. Taking a keen hold in the rear, he was seemingly affronted by being asked to jump the first at which he steadied sharply, and bucked David Noonan off with elan. The riderless Inferno Sacree then attempted to simply barge his way through the second before ending up on his arse. Inferno Sacre would still be some one hundred and ninety odd pounds from emulating his illustrious uncle, but while he has plenty to learn about the game, he does have age on his side. 0
 

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11 hours ago, calva decoy said:

Geneflux has subsequently gone on to win at Sedgefield franking the form & despite giving the favourite 6Lbs could prove the 40/1 win was no fluke .

Interesting angle, I'm not sure if anybody's analysed the record of beaten horses on their next run after the horse that beat them has won again.

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On 10/24/2021 at 11:20 PM, MCLARKE said:

Interesting angle, I'm not sure if anybody's analysed the record of beaten horses on their next run after the horse that beat them has won again.

Might take a bit of fannying around with excel (along with a fresh mind!), but probably not impossible...

 

The first fillies' juvenile hurdle of the season is set to take place at Fakenham. Held each year since its inception in 2012, it is generally a weak contest with the average winner's seasonal RPR being just 100. However, the last two renewals were contested by the winners of Aintree's listed event (Talking About You 4th last year and Midnights' Gift scoring in 2019) and this year's edition looks well up to scratch. The experienced runners are headed by Aliomaana and The Yellow Mini, each of whom have been successful this term, while newcomers Kalma and Malakahna bring a good standard of flat form to the fray. The most easterly jumps track in Britain, Fakenham is also the tightest and the emphasis on speed is illustrated by the course's high average winning DIs of 1.46 median, 1.89 mean. Indeed, it is one of only a handful of racecourses where the winning DI is higher than those of the average runner. For its speed, Fakenham is not an especially tricky circuit for jumping as the clear round rate of 98.35% is one of the highest in the country. Notwithstanding, experienced hurdlers are at an advantage as the newcomers' strike rate of 8.64% is surpassed by the 14.18% for those with three or more runs under their names. Furthermore, previous winners also enjoy a 20% strike rate. The going is currently described as 'good', with any rainfall before post time forecast as unlikely.

Aliomaana chf Milton Harris f5-0-2 (74) 75 j3-1-1 (-) 105 118
Raven's Pass (Sea The Stars){8-f}(1.29) 2/1 Celestial Force 1st 2m1f Handicap Hurdle (120), Newton Abbot 2021
Though she failed to win for John Gosden, Aliomaana grabbed a couple of seconds on the all weather prior to fetching 17,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale. Juveniles formerly trained by John Gosden often leave little wriggle room for their new handlers, although Milton Harris got three wins out of Pyramid Place last term and Aliomaana made it two from two at Perth five weeks ago. Quietly fancied ahead of her hurdling debut at Stratford in August, she was not the tidiest jumper but raced with plenty of enthusiasm before tiring late on to finish third. The first part of that story was similar two weeks later at Perth as, pulling herself into the lead shortly after the start, she was slightly distracted when steady at the first, but got over the second alright despite wandering on the approach. Though still fairly fresh, she had settled into a sensible rhythm up front and while she was rather skewed at the third and briefly lost her footing on some loose turf passing the stands, was still decent enough over the next. Hopping through the next in a fashion quite accurately described by Mike Cattermole as unconventional, Mitch Bastyan cajoled her at the right moment over the next two and got very neat leaps out of her in the process. While Aliomaana briefly looked in danger from the looming presence of New Reality, she bounded on nicely on the run to the last and appeared the likeliest winner at the time. Unfortunately, having a lapse in concentration, she did not lift her feet high enough and ended up rolling onto the ground. Mercifully, she got up ok and showed no ill effects from the experience when putting thing right on her return to the Scottish venue. She started the day as even money favourite and though she drifted during the morning and reached 7/4 on course, she was trimmed into 11/8 at the off. She was a little buzzy down at the start, but this is more due to her lively character than any temperament issues. Aliomaana was sent straight into the lead and showing good speed both over the hurdles and in between, her advantage was a wide one by the time she passed the stands. It would be folly to suggest her rivals gave her too generous a lead however as they were constrained by their own slow jumping as much as they were outpaced by the leader. Furthermore, while Aliomaana had been untidy at times during her first two spins over hurdles, save for an unorthodox quasi-hop at the first and getting tight at the second; neither imperfection costing her any momentum; she was very neat and nimble. Putting in another acceleration three from home, she travelled strongly to the penultimate flight where she wandered on the approach and got in rather close. She was ridden away from that hurdle before being allowed to jump the last as steadily as she liked. Popping over the final hurdle, she was pushed out to see the race through, crossing the line twenty-nine lengths clear of a spread-eagled field. While the margin may appear to be too good to be true, and her rivals did jump slowly, her completing the course in a time at least two seconds quicker than any of the older horses in the other three races held at the trip on the card affords her performance a great deal of substance. Surpassing what she achieved on the flat for John Gosden, Aliomaana also achieved the highest rating by a juvenile filly either in Britain or in Ireland. On the basis of this outing, along with the yard's seemingly perpetual fine form, Aliomaana has a clear chance of defying a penalty ahead of a planned trip to Aintree. While she will probably be challenged for the lead, she should have enough to get the better of The Yellow Mini and if this endeavour does not cause an overexertion, her frontrunning nature will serve her well at this venue.

The Yellow Mini bf Michael Wigham f14-0-1 (45) 53 j3-1-2 (110) 95 106
Cannock Chase (Primo Valentino){22-d}(1.00) 2/2 Arakhan 1st 2m4f Novices' Hurdle, Aintree 2019
Without a win to her name in fourteen starts on the flat, The Yellow Mini raced under the care of Polly Gundry until late July. Her best outing in that sphere came at the end of June when finishing three quarters of a length second in a Bath handicap off 45, though no effort either side matched that performance. Making her hurdling debut at Fontwell early in September, she was the first runner over hurdles for sire Cannock Chase, a stallion with feasible credentials given his sireline, DI and height. She is also a cousin of a winning novice hurdler and while trainer Michael Wigham had not had a runner in the sphere since November 2016, he had previously sent out two to win first time. Not completely unfancied at 16/1, she was ridden with confidence, disputing the lead from the outset. With the front two racing alongside each other for most of the contest, it was only when her rival, Sir Taweel, began to fade leaving the back that she moved into a clear advantage. The reopposing Ramure managed to get within a length after jumping quicker at two out, but The Yellow Mini kept on doggedly to keep her rival at bay. She also ran with more purpose on the run-in to cross the line with just over three lengths in hand. While she clearly relished this new discipline, her hurdling was not without its blemishes. Distracted by her rival when making minor errors over the first two, she was slightly big over the third and sixth, steady when clipping the next, outjumped at two out and went right at the last. Notwithstanding, these errors were not especially to her detriment and it is an area where she can improve with experience. She came out again a fortnight later at Plumpton where she was steady in the market at 9/2. The front running tactics from Fontwell were employed again and setting a sensible gallop, The Yellow Mini put in a good round of jumping with only minor errors and her wandering occasionally counting against her. She had all but one of her rivals in trouble on leaving the back and while Impulsive One was in a different league, the remainder of the field were held by the best part of four lengths and upwards in the end. The Yellow Mini continued in going from strength to strength with another career best at Fontwell when last seen at the start of the month. Though initially the least fancied of three principals in a tight contest, she was supported into 6/4 joint favouritism at the off. Attempting to make all once again, she had the lead to herself up until the final flight where she was still holding a winning chance. However, while she mostly hurdled well, save for a tendency to jump right, she did get close to three out and made a real mess of the last where she barely got off the ground and stumbled badly on landing. This blunder cost her valuable momentum and quite likely the race itself as she had little left to offer on the run-in. Notwithstanding, the performance still demonstrated that The Yellow Mini is an honest sort who enjoys her new vocation. Another good showing can be anticipated although she has something to find with Aliomaana and may also be vulnerable to a newcomer under her penalty; particularly if she jumps to her right again here.

Baby Sham bf Seamus Mullins f11-1-5 (62) 66 j4-0-1 (89) 79 82 
Sir Percy (Shamardal){4-o}(1.00) 3/2 Shubaat 1st 3m Handicap Hurdle (130), Southwell 2014
A winner of a Chelmsford handicap off 56 on her penultimate outing for Stuart Williams, along with being a daughter of Sir Percy, Baby Sham was not an unfeasible prospect for the game. Her debut outing at Newton Abbot was not without promise although she failed to complete next time at Stratford. Sent off at 50/1 at Plumpton, her longest price over hurdles to date, Baby Sham was held up towards the rear but made enough progress to be within touching distance of the leaders turning into the straight. However, this would be the extent of her effort as she finished a twenty-six length fifth; fourteen lengths behind The Yellow Mini. Her next outing came early this month at Stratford where she tracked the leader before losing her position at the hill and finishing a twenty-five length third of four. Her hurdling was similar to previous outings with reasonable jumps outweighed by untidy ones. Her low handicap mark could be workable in time over longer trips with give in the ground - the opposite of the conditions she is set to face. 

Infinite Beauty rgf Clare Hobson f8-0-1 (55) 59 
Dark Angel (Oasis Dream){7-a}(1.22) 2/2 Golden Silence 3rd 2m4f Handicap Hurdle (94), Down Royal 2016
A Dark Angel niece of Laaheb and Fox Tal, Infinite Beauty cost 70,000 guineas as a yearling. However, her best effort in seven runs for James Tate was a third in a Chelmsford nursery off 57 and she was sold to current connections for just 6,500 guineas in March. Her sole outing for Clare Hobson saw her tailed off over two miles back at Chelmsford in April and she has not been seen since. None of her new trainer's three juveniles achieved a great deal and while Dark Angel does get winners in the sphere, his winner to runner rate is a below average 15.22%. Nichols Canyon does appear on the damline at 3/3 but closer relatives are fairly modest and Oasis Dream as a poor record as a damsire. There have been recruits with less potential, but this is a big ask first time out after a long break. 

Kalma bf Alan King f9-2-1 (72) 77 
Mukhadram (Invincible Spirit){12-c}(1.12) 2/1 Busted Tycoon 1st 2m Mares Handicap Hurdle (122), Galway 2013
Six of Alan King's eight runners in Aintree's listed fillies' race finished in the first three with two of those making winning hurdling debuts in this contest (Mystery Code was third at Aintree in 2015 while Midnights' Gift landed the double in 2019). His representative here, Kalma, also had the Aintree race earmarked in a recent stable tour. A resident at Barbury Castle throughout her career, she has nine spins  on the flat to her name including a couple of wins in April and June. After finding trouble in running on her reappearance at Wolverhampton in March, she broke her duck at the fifth time of asking in a ten furlong Nottingham handicap off 63. Held up in midfield, she made headway to move into a prominent position at the distance and responded well to pressure to lead passing the furlong marker before battling well to fend off a fast finisher by a head. Third in her attempt to follow up next time over course and distance, she returned to winning ways at Wolverhampton when stepped up to twelve furlongs. Racing off 69, she tracked the leaders for most of the contest and though she did not hit top gear immediately, she got the better of a battle up the straight and pulled away for a two-and-a-half length victory. Her latest two outings, both over an additional two furlongs, were both disappointing and while she was beaten a long way out at Sandown, a lack of stamina did appear to be an factor on good to soft back at Nottingham in August. By Mukhadram, whose sole winning juvenile from four won a Musselburgh handicap, Kalma is a niece of three winning jumpers in Busted Tycoon, Khayar and Kilda, and is also related to pattern class sorts including Kick On (2/2) Kick Up (2/2), Kharasar (3/1) Becqualink (3/3) and Karly Flight (5/3). Kalma is clearly an intriguing prospect for the filly races in the division and the yard does well with its home sourced juveniles. However, the turnover of Sonning on Sunday is fresh in the memory and while Kalma may well take her place in Aintree's showpiece, she does have a couple of below par runs to account for and holds no form advantage over the proven hurdler Aliomaana.

Malakahna bf Ian Williams f2-1-1 (-) -
Manduro (Dalakhani){1-h}(0.33) 2/1 Dariya 1st 2m1f Mares' Handicap Hurdle (102), Newton Abbot 2020
https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/malakahna
Ian Williams has bought four lots at this week's horses-in-training sale at Newmarket, which is the same amount of acquisitions he made at Deauville at the start of July. Saint Riquier, who was behind a pair of subsequent winners at Ludlow, has already been sighted and the next of the quartet set to see the track is Malakahna. Ian Williams has only had one winner from his seven juveniles imported from the French flat seen to date, although this was also his other sourced from Christophe Ferland who, incidentally, won first time out. Malakahna, who cost €40,000 in the aforementioned sale, made her debut in a 2300m newcomers contest at Tarbes in May where she ran on to finish just under eight lengths third behind animals rated 92 and 80. She got off the mark on her second outing the following month in a 2400m Toulouse maiden on soft ground. Shaping like an absolute plodder, she needed the entirety of the straight to bridge the length gap between herself and the leaders before crossing the line a quarter length to the good. Nevertheless, the form looks reasonable with the next two being subsequent winners rated 75 and 72 with the trio over five lengths clear of the remainder. Befitting the racecourse evidence, she has a stout pedigree which is also suitable for her new discipline. Manduro has a strong 32% winners to runners rate while damsire Dalakhani is solid at 22.58%. The damline is teutonic in nature with the granddam being a half-sister to Davidoff and Denaro, while Don Cossack appears further back at 4/3. Malakahna is patently an interesting recruit to the sphere, although this is not an easy introduction at a venue unlikely to play to her strengths. 

Pump It Up chf Richard Spencer f12-1-3 (49) 59
Charming Thought (Pivotal){1-l}(2.08) 3/1 General Eliott 1st 2m½f Handicap Hurdle (100), Market Rasen 2011
Mister Allegro and The Yellow Mini have already scored for the sub-50 flat recruits this term and Pump It Up is another who will attempt to ascend a steep mountain. A veteran of twelve races to date, Pump It Up got off the mark last time out when showing great tenacity to land a heavy ground twelve furlong Windsor handicap eleven weeks ago (incidentally, Mister Allegro was a long way behind her that day). She represents the first crop of Charming Thought (whose own sire, Oasis Dream, has a poor record in the sphere) while damsire Pivotal has a below average winner to runner rate of 13.64%. The closest winning jumper on the damline is the fair handicapper General Eliott, while 1989 Kennel Gate winner Arden shows on the next rung at 4/1. Richard Spencer has one win from eighteen runs in the sphere with that victory coming at the second time of asking. Being brave and consistent with proven stamina, Pump It Up could feasibly be of interest on testing ground at a very low level, but has probably been thrown into the deep end here.

Ramure bf Stuart Edmunds j5-0-2 (106) 94 100
Maresca Sorrento (Blue Bresil){9-c}(0.33) 2/1 Ocean's Wind 1st 3900m 4yH Saint Malo 2016
https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/ramure
The first of this season's juvenile hurdlers imported from France to see a hurdle in Britain or Ireland was the hitherto thrice raced maiden Ramure. Formerly with Patrice Lenogue, she made her racecourse bow on the first of June in Compiegne’s Prix du Grand Maitre – a debutant contest won in the past by the likes of Analifet, Triana du Berlais and Cicalina. Sent off the outsider of the field, Ramure jumped reasonably well, but was firmly beaten when getting brought down at the penultimate flight. She was tailed off at Dieppe nine days later, but taking a step up in class on her return to Compiegne, put up another mostly sound round of hurdling and was still in a fighting position entering the straight before losing touch on the approach to the last, finishing just over eighteen lengths behind the winner. Sire Maresca Sorrento has yet to have a winner from six juveniles outside of France, but has gotten his fair share in his native country. The dam failed to win over jumps, but is a sibling of a Saint Malo winner, and top class sorts in Tamarindo (3/1), Sun Storm (3/1) and Djakadam (3/2) descend from the third dam. The most intriguing part of Ramure’s profile was her joining Stuart Edmunds, whose winner to runner rate in the division now stands at 52.94% after Addosh won the valuable Market Rasen contest. Ahead of her stable/British introduction at Fontwell in early September, Ramure was a drifter during the day, but steady enough in the market and sent off the 2/1 second favourite. She was ridden with more patience than she had been in France, but made smooth headway along the back and travelled well into a challenging position entering the straight where she traded at 1.54 in-running. Managing to get within a length of the lead jumping the penultimate flight, she was keeping tabs on The Yellow Mini all the way to the last before said horse jumped in front of her on landing. This forced Ramure to reorganise herself and her inexperience showed when coming under pressure as she wandered, giving the impetus to the winner. Sensibly, she was not given a hard time from there by Ciaran Gethings. Mostly fluent over hurdles in France, she was not quite so smooth over Fontwell's hurdles as she made a mistake at the second, wandered approaching the third and seventh and got very close to the sixth due largely to a lapse in concentration. Ramure's second British outing came at Sedgefield where she was sent off 6/5 favourite. Initially racing keenly while tracking the leaders, she moved into the lead going out onto the second circuit and was still moving well enough when going over the penultimate flight with a two length advantage. However, Aliomaana's stablemate Knight Salute cruised past her on the run to the last where her skewing and stumbling on landing ended any hopes of her staging a comeback. This was not her only error as she was also steady when clipping the fourth and untidy when getting in close to the next, but it was an improvement on her Fontwell round and the form received a boost when Knight Salute beat Impulsive One at Kempton. Though it is uncertain that she will be suited by the conditions, and she still has ground to make on Aliomaana, she would still appear to be on a learning curve and her reversing placings with The Yellow Mini is not a forlorn hope. 

Tiki Fire bf Neil King f7-0-3 (64) 70 
Awtaad (Big Shuffle){1-h}(1.46) 3/2 Dictum 1st 2m3f Novices' Chase, Haydock 2007
Neil King saddled Ironically to finish third in this contest on her hurdling debut in 2012 and his latest charge, Tiki Fire, had a similar level of flat form. Initially with Karl Burke, Tiki Fire placed twice as a two-year-old at Haydock and Newcastle and would largely hold her form on four outings this term without troubling the judge. Selling for 10,000 guineas at the Tattersalls August Sale, she joins a Neil King yard with healthy winner to runner and improvement rates of 31.91% and 55.56% respectively, although the 6.98% first time strike rate could be stronger. Sire Awtaad is another first crop sire, but while the Cape Cross line does get juveniles, Awtaad himself is not the tallest, was untried beyond a mile and his three runners to date have achieved little. The eagle eyed may have spotted that Tiki Fire is from the same family as Malakahna; her fourth dam (Diu) is the fifth dam of Malakahna which also makes her related to Don Cossack (4/3). The decent chaser Dictum is a slightly closer relative at 3/2. Similar to a few others, Tiki Fire is another interesting recruit, although while conditions will be less of an issue, she does have a slight class deficit and may well improve for the experience.

tl;dr
Aliomaana - Fairly useful maiden for John Gosden and looked set to make good on Stratford debut promise when falling at the last at Perth. Compensated connections back at the track in no uncertain terms with emphatic victory with leading performance from a filly seen to date this term. Track should suit her free running style and she sets the standard for in form yard.

The Yellow Mini - Modest on flat but has taken to hurdling with relish. Won on her debut at Fontwell before finishing second at Plumpton behind good sort. Last flight error possibly cost her the race when last seen back at Fontwell. Improving type with respectable form, but unlikely to get the lead and cause won't be helped if she jumps to her right again.

Baby Sham - Flat winner who, while not entirely disgraced, has not carried her form over hurdles. Plenty to find and unlikely to appreciate conditions.

Infinite Beauty - Placed in nursery for James Tate before cheap sale in March. Ran no race on sole start for new connections and while glimmers of potential in profile, faces a very stern task here.

Kalma - Dual winner on flat for Alan King yard that has a strong record in this contest. Plenty of capable jumpers on damline and, despite a couple of poor recent runs, is afforded a great deal of respect.

Malakahna - Lightly raced winner on flat in France whose form in that sphere probably matches anything offered here. Shapes like a thorough stayer and bred accordingly so unlikely this test will show her at best.

Pump It Up - Brave and consistent at a low level on the flat. Big ask and others have more compelling profiles. 

Ramure - Has French jumps experience, joined underrated yard and seconds at Fontwell (behind The Yellow Mini) and Sedgefield not without promise. Learning about the British game as she goes and not a forlorn hope.

Tiki Fire - Reasonable placed form on the flat for Karl Burke and should find conditions suitable. Joins a good yard although stable's runners tend to improve with experience.
 

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12 hours ago, Bachelors Hall said:

Strong prospects
1. Aliomaana
Reasonable prospects
2. Kalma
3. Ramure
Feasible prospects
4. Malakahna
5. The Yellow Mini
Moderate prospects
6. Tiki Fire
7. Pump It Up
Negligible prospects
8. Baby Sham
9. Infinite Beauty

Won't be having a bet in the race but the A.King yard have sent 5 winners from 12 over hurdles at the course over the last 3 years so I would have gone with Kalma if I did .

Very unique course where horses are always on the turn , I was hoping one of the newcomers would have had some previous Chester form whilst running on the flat but nothing stood out .

Cracking write up & analysis BH , good luck 👍

 

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Hi CD. Was a pretty surprising race all told. Haven't had a chance to properly dissect the race but I imagine the front runners set it up for the winner as she looked very slow in France...

Juvenile hurdles are a rare occurrence at Ffos Las, with the latest one held four years ago. Only two such contests have been held at the venue during October, although these were taken by the Triumph winning Defi du Seuil in 2016, and Eragon de Chanay the following year who would finish seventh in that season's Fred Winter. While this year's participants will have some big horseshoes to fill, the field is headed by an interesting McManus winner, an expensive recruit for the capable Greenall yard, a French import with reasonable form as well as some potentially useful racecourse debutants. A galloping, left handed and fair track with a long straight, Ffos Las has surprisingly high winning DIs of 1.40 median, 1.41 mean. However, these figures may be compromised by the relative sparsity of races at the venue and the completion and clear round rates are on the lower side of average. Those with jumps experience have a greater clear round rate to the tune of three and a half percentage points, although the difference in success rates is narrow. The going is currently described as 'soft' and heavy rain is forecast in the interim so stamina is likely to play a large part. 

George Bancroft chg Charlie Longsdon f6-2-0 (68) 70 j1-1-0 (-) 97 110 
Australia (Cacique){8-h}(0.87) 2/2 Paseo 3rd Summit Juvenile Hurdle (G2), Doncaster 2019
Rated 61 when joining Charlie Longsdon for 28,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July sale, George Bancroft would have been a reasonably interesting recruit to the game without drawing a huge amount of attention. By Australia, whose juveniles have a 21.43% winner to runner rate with two thirds of his progeny improving for the switch in codes, George Bancroft is also a cousin of Paseo who finished third in the 2019 Summit Juvenile Hurdle. Former inmates of Roger Varian’s have a healthy 31.03% winner to runner rate and George Bancroft’s last effort as a resident at Carlburg Stables was a gallant all-the-way success in a twelve furlong Chepstow handicap. Charlie Longsdon, himself boasting a sound 27.03% winner to runner rate that includes the likes of Songe, Forth Bridge and Harristown, took the unusual step of giving his new recruit another spin on the flat. In another twelve furlong handicap, this time at Ripon, George Bancroft made light of his four pound rise in the weights, making all once again to win by three lengths in first-time cheekpieces. Though still off a mark of 61, this effort was sufficient in compelling JP McManus to add him to his team of juvenile hurdlers. George Bancroft made his hurdling debut at Fontwell at the start of the month and while he started the day as favourite, he drifted out to 10/3 by post time. Nevertheless, he jumped and travelled well while tracking the leader throughout what was an attritional contest. Though he was within a length of the leader jumping the last, he was not a certainty to take her measure. However, a costly blunder by his rival gave him the initiative and he ran on to pass the line with a three and a half length advantage. The runner-up would finish a well beaten third next time out, but the form is still of a decent standard and further improvement can be expected given the yard's poor first time strike rate. While George Bancroft's flat wins came on good and good to firm, he is bred to appreciate cut in the ground and showed himself up to a test when winning last time. There are a few newcomers which could pose some serious questions, but he does set the standard with with proven jumping, ability and stamina.

Allset bg Evan Williams f7-1-3 (32.5 - 71.5) j1-0-0 (-) 50 27
Anodin (More Than Ready){1-n}(2.64) 3/2 Zip Top 1st 1m7½f Novices' Hurdle, Southwell 2015
https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/allset
Starting his career in France for Christophe Ferland, whose exports now count two winning juvenile from eight (both wins for Ian Williams), Allset placed on three occasions before finally getting off the mark in a 2200m claimer at La Teste de Buch. Sent straight into the lead, he had company on the turn for home but would extend his advantage with each stride up the straight before tying up close to the line with four lengths in hand over his rivals. Claimed afterwards for €15,506, he would next be seen in public at the Goffs Spring sale where he joined Evan Williams for £40,000. Sire Anodin won with his sole juvenile in Britain and his record in France is solid if average. The damline is sparse with the exception of useful novice hurdler Zip Top at 3/2, but his new trainer does have a sound winner to runner rate of 28.45% in the sphere. Allset's British/hurdling debut came at Ludlow three weeks ago where he was uneasy in the market, starting at 6/1 from an opening show of 9/2. Held up in the rear, he made some headway along the back, but was struggling before the field reached the straight and would fold tamely from there before finishing a tailed off last of six. His cause was not helped by poor hurdling either as he wandered at the first, lacked fluency at the third, got in close to the fifth and sixth, was awkward three out and made a tired, untidy leap at the last. It is possible that Allset will be better suited by the softer ground here as well as stripping fitter. Nevertheless, there are questions to be answered from Ludlow and he will still need to find improvement to challenge a few of these.

Cornicello bg Jamie Snowden f6-2-2 (39.0-85.8) 77 
Penny's Picnic (Hawk Wing){4-i}(1.55) 0.5 Breezy Bell 1st 2m½f Handicap Hurdle (90), Ballinrobe 2020
https://www.racebets.com/en/horse-racing/race/details/id/4146008/external/20062
https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/cornicello
French flat claiming races produce their fair share of winners in the sphere, and while few end up being much better than average over hurdles, those rated 82 count amongst them seven winners from twelve. The latest such horse is Cornicello who was claimed for €27,001 after finishing second at Compiegne over twelve furlongs in June. Racing under the care of Henk Grewe (neither of whom's exports have scored to date), Cornicello won a pair of ten furlong contests last October at Stasbourg and Angers. His reappearance came in a listed contest at Longchamp, but he failed to match the standard and finished a detached last of six. Keeping to listed company, albeit at a lower level, he was next seen at Düsseldorf for their Derby trial where he once again finished sixth, but was at least able to gain places in the closing stages. Moving to calmer waters, his latest appearance came in the aforementioned Compiegne claimer where he hit the front with a furlong to go, but did not look the most resolute under pressure, ultimately going down by a length in the end. While Cornicello's valeur translates to roughly 86 in BHA terms, it is very difficult to apply that kind of rating to his performances and even the RPR of 77 at Longchamp overestimates him by a few pounds. He is set to be the first juvenile hurdler outside of France for his sire Penny's Picnic, whose credentials for the division are not strong. Primarily a sprinter by a Kheleyf whose own record was below average, Penny's Picnic is not the tallest at 1.62m and his strike rate in France is less than 4%. Half-brother Breezy Bell, a moderate handicapper, is the extent of winning jumpers on the nearby damline although the useful Hipsters and Please God appear at 3/2. Trainer Jamie Snowden has had three winners in the sphere, although none would score first time and the overall winner runner rate is below average at 15%. Cornicello wouldn't be the worst recruit to the sphere, but there are enough holes in his profile to temper enthusiasm in this company. 

Forever Blessed bg Harry Fry Unraced
Zoffany (Oasis Dream){4-r}(1.40) 3/1 Total Command 1st 2m4f Maiden Hurdle, Great Meadow 2012
The first of three racecourse debutants in this contest, Forever Blessed represents a Harry Fry yard which is not as strong in the juvenile division as in others. The yard has just the two winners thus far from fourteen juveniles with neither scoring first time out. Costing €22,000 as a yearling Forever Blessed is from the quality Juddmonte distaff line of Wince and Quiff. Total Command, who won a hurdle in America, is the closest jumper on the damline although the useful Ulundi and Master Dino appear further back. Zoffany does have a solid record in the division with a winner to runner rate of 24.44% and improvement rate of 48.15%. The same can not be said of damsire Oasis Dream however and given that unraced debutants have a strike rate of 2.32% in the sphere, it is difficult to be to optimistic about Forever Blessed first time.

Moka De Vassy bg Mrs Jane Williams Unraced
Karaktar (Sleeping Car){9-f}(0.60) 2/1 James de Vassy 1st Lanzarote Hurdle (144), Kempton 2011
Winning unraced debutants are a rarity in the sphere, although it does help to be jumps bred in this regard as was the case when James de Vassy won for Nick Williams at Wincantion in 2009. Hoping to repeat the feat for Jane Williams is James de Vassy's nephew, Moka de Vassy. Changing hands for €13,000 in a private sale at Arqana last autumn, Moka de Vassy is a representative of Karaktar's first crop. A Group 3 winner over ten furlongs on heavy ground, the son of High Chaparral (whose Free Eagle has done quite well thus far) stands at a respectable 1.65m and is a half-brother to useful juvenile Karezak. That said, he has not gotten off to the quickest start with three-year-old jumpers in France as only one of his ten have won thus far. Sleeping Car was a prominent jumps stallion in France, although his record as a damsire in British and Irish races is not a strong one. Nevertheless, Moka de Vassy is still a sibling of three winning jumpers and along with the aforementioned James de Vassy, useful sorts Lebodew (3/1), Nagpur (3/2) and Lift (4/0) also appear on the damline. The Williams yard has had three winning racecourse debutants in the sphere since 2004/05 with the rate of 6.38% being a solid one in relative terms. This will not be an easy task for any newcomer, but Jane Williams has been in good form recently so a respectable debut outing would not come as a surprise. 

Prince Of Bad Lins chg Richard Hawker Unraced
Nutan (Captain Rio){11-a}(1.67) 3/1 Old California 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Fontwell 2002
The third racecourse debutant in the line-up, Prince Of Bad Lins, was also the cheapest when fetching €1,500 in Germany as a yearling. Sire Nutan has yet to have a winning juvenile in either Britain or France, although the four-year-old Sergeant has won three times this term. Captain Rio is one from three as a damsire in the sphere, the ill-fated Old California appears at 3/1 on the damline while outstanding jumps sire Old Vic is on the next rung at 4/1. Richard Hawker is without a winner of any description for over a year however and many of Prince Of Bad Lins' rivals have more substantial profiles. 

The Guvnor bg Harry Whittington f8-0-2 (63) 72
Frankel (Soviet Star){9-e}(0.71) 2/2 Mengli Khan 3rd Supreme Novices' Hurdle (G1), Cheltenham 2018
Beginning his career on the all-weather at the turn of the year for Tom Clover, The Guvnor ran to a fair level when placing fifth on his first three outings before being well backed on his turf/handicap debut at Wetherby over fourteen furlongs in April. Though he failed to justify the support, he did finish just over a length behind the winner in third and ran to the same level when second in a maiden handicap at Redcar over the same trip in June. While beaten five lengths by the winner, he still finished six and five lengths clear of the remainder from a mark of 66. Following a disappointing run at Newbury, The Guvnor was gelded ahead of recording a pair of fourth place finishes at Chelmsford and Kempton where his stamina appeared to be stretched. Kept in the same ownership, he has switched to a Harry Whittington yard with a strong record in the division; boasting a winner to runner rate of 38.89%, and an improvement rate of 60%. His first time strike rate of 16.67% is also laudable, although the yard is currently going through a lean spell at the moment. Frankel is coming off a fantastic year on the flat, but his recent record in the juvenile hurdling division is not good as while he had three wins from six with his first crop, his progeny have since gone sixteen runs without success. The damline is more encouraging however as half-sister Imperial Choice is a dual winner, uncle Ferrycarrig Hotel won three times, and a band of useful cousins includes the likes of Mengli Khan, Elusive Belle, Soviet Pimpernel and Akula. Overall, there is a fair amount to like about The Guvnor's profile, although the stable being quiet and the sire's unproven prowess in the sphere do limit expectations.

Zinc White grg Oliver Greenall f5-2-0 (87) 92 
Vadamos (Dalakhani){7-a}(0.37) 3/1 Master Wells 1st 2m1f Novices' Selling Hurdle, Exeter 2009
The highest sum of money paid at public auction for a juvenile hurdler was 440,000 guineas for Purple Moon at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-In-Training Sale in 2006. Ten have commanded figures exceeding £300,000, six of whom won during thier first campaigns over hurdles with €380,000 Arqana purchase Zubayr being the most successful when winning the Adonis in 2016. Lethal Steps, whose first win came at his eighth attempt – just shy of the end of season cut-off – was the latest when fetching 300,000 guineas at the 2018 July Sale. This was until the recent Goffs London Sale at Royal Ascot when Ralph Beckett’s Zinc White was knocked down for £310,000. Starting his racing career last September, Zinc White failed to reach the frame on his first three outings at Salisbury, Newmarket and Wolverhampton, showing only fair form in the process. Nevertheless, a gelding operation, winter break and considerable step up in trip brought about immediate improvement. Making his first venture into handicap company, his reappearance came at Wetherby off 69 in a five runner contest on the Eleventh of May. Ground conditions were such that the meeting was abandoned afterwards, but Zinc White took to them like a duck to standing water as he belied his keen running nature to keep on strongly having taken the lead just before the distance to win by the best part of four lengths. Nine days later, he defied a six pound penalty to complete his brace at Sandown by seven and a half lengths where he was ridden into the lead within the distance and eased in the final half-furlong. Though the form of neither race has worked out at this juncture, the winning time at Sandown was respectable on a seconds per furlong basis and his topspeed was the highest registered on that card. Furthermore, while he has pulled hard and been incline to edge during his races, these factors are more in keeping with inexperience than any alarming temperament issues. Though there are no immediate pointers to a hurdling career in his pedigree, there are clues which suggest solid potential. Out of the Pretty Polly winner Chinese White, nothing on the damline attempted this discipline until the third dam Eljazzi who along with producing black type fillies Rafha and Chiang Mai, is also the matriarch of a line which includes capable hurdlers Master Wells (3/1), Fnan (3/2), Everything Zain (3/2) and Elysian Flame (3/3). Vadamos has his first crop of jumpers this season and he is already off the mark with Black Sirius and Vadaly in France, and Calvados in Ireland. Standing at an acceptable 1.65 meters, Vadamos won the Prix du Moulin over a mile but was also able to score over twelve furlongs and is the nephew of handicap hurdler Vadnagar. More pertinently, he is also a son of Monsun which puts him in the company of Maxios, Manduro, Gentlewave and the likes. Fifty horses formerly trained by Ralph Beckett have gone juvenile hurdling, fourteen of which have been winners giving a respectable rate of 26.92%. Though the improvement rate 26.83% is less encouraging, four of his six former inmates rated 80 and above on the flat were able to win during their initial campaigns. In Oliver Greenall, he joins a trainer going from strength to strength whose latest campaign was his most successful in the division to date with six wins split between three laudable types including Herbiers who capped his season with Class 2 handicap wins at Ascot and Sandown. This season's juveniles have not been firing as of yet however, and the yard's first time strike rate of 3.23%, and 5% overall rate for the past fortnight, would be concerns. Notwithstanding, his 100% clear round rate with from 120 juvenile runs is the strongest in Britain so schooling is practically assured. Zinc White will have to do something quite exceptional to justify the fee paid for him, particularly as he has yet to demonstrate he can perform on anything firmer than a ploughed field. Nevertheless, a solid overall profile and discernible scope and class would still make him a very interesting recruit to the division and conditions here are likely to be suitable.

Fiamette chf Jo Davis f3-0-0 (56) 48 j1-0-0 (-) 43 42 
Free Eagle (Dr Fong){13-e}(0.57) 2/1 High Stratos 3rd 2m4f Conditions Hurdle, Punchestown 2015
Finishing eighth on all three starts on the all weather during the winter, Fiamette's flat mark of 56 exceeds her accomplishments. Leaving Anthony Carson for Jo Davis, she joins a trainer who has had a couple of winning juveniles, although none of her twelve with official marks improved on their flat form. Free Eagle is a positive as he enjoyed three winners from his first crop, and the damline has several winning jumpers nearby in High Stratos (2/1), Poet (2/1), Vanishing Point (2/2) and Alum Bay (3/1). However, while Fiamette would have the potential to better her flat showings, there were few signs of her doing so at Stratford back in August. Racing in a first time visor, she gave chase to the two leaders and was not beaten off until dropping away towards the end of the back. Her hurdling was slow and steady to begin with, but she jumped better when ridden into her flights. Fiamette is a long way from being competitive in any contest, and though it is not unfeasible that she might eventually play a role if she can race off a low enough mark, there is way too much on her plate in this company.

Strong prospects
1. George Bancroft
Reasonable prospects
2. Zinc White
3. Moka de Vassy
Feasible prospects
4. The Guvnor
Moderate prospects
5. Cornicello
6. Forever Blessed
7. Allset
Negligible prospects
8. Prince Of Bad Lins
9. Fiamette
 

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8 minutes ago, yossa6133 said:

Zinc White's win at Sandown looks solid (third won off 3lb higher mark since).

Thats the one I've put a ring around as well Yossa , just a watching brief though .

I think there's a Listed juvenile hurdle coming up either Friday or Saturday which will be a tough one to call !

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One of the weirdest betting heats I have seen for a while. Nothing untowards... Zinc White overestimated in the market, forced out by huge plunge on MdV in a probable case of gallop form not translating to racecourse, George Bancroft ends up being a fantastic price only to be outdone by a debutant who was nibbled at late on... That's horse racing...

Anyways, Wensleydale Hurdle!!!

The Wensleydale Juvenile Hurdle is a integral feature of the early season juvenile calender and it has a rather varied history. While winners of Aviation, Calomeria and Nicky Nutjob's ilk hardly covered the race in glory, it has also featured some very useful jumpers. Its earlier renewals produced the likes of Silver Wedge, Bellator, Kerawi and Quazar while more recently, Grandouet, Sametegal and Sceau Royal trod the Wetherby turf. The most notable participants this century each finished runner-up in the contest. In 2006, Katchit was beaten by Degas Art before landing the Prestbury, Finesse, Triumph and Anniversary ahead of becoming Champion Hurdler. 2011 runner-up Countrywide Flame filled the same position in the Finale and Anniversary Hurdles as well as winning that season's Triumph. The extent to which this season's participants might follow the aforementioned remains to be seen, but it would be difficult to assemble a much stronger line-up in terms of depth at this juncture. Spearheaded by a decidedly exciting French recruit, the field also consists of six other winners, three of whom are unbeaten, along with an Alan King horse who ran one of the undefeated horses to a length on his only start. While the likes of Impulsive One, Knight Salute and Magistrato are missing (the latter's Auteuil victor does face the starter), this year's Wensleydale is very much worthy of its listed status. A left handed, galloping circuit, Wetherby's winning DIs of 1.21 median, 1.33 mean essentially match standard although these are some twenty points lower than those of the average participant. Furthermore, the clear round rate of 94.56% is one of the lowest in the country and the completion rate of 82.10% also suggests Wetherby offers a good test of a young hurdler. The going is currently described as good although light and steady rain is forecast overnight and through the morning.

Triumph Odds
Porticello 25/1
Too Friendly 50/1
Sacre Pierre 66/1

Porticello bg Gary Moore j1-1-0 (-) 122 132
Sholokhov (Chichicastenango){31}(0.87) 2/1 Worldbest 3rd Grand Prix d'Automne (G1), Auteuil 2009
https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/porticello
Francois-Marie Cottin has sent the likes of Sanctuaire, Napolitain and Star de Mohaison across the channel over the years. Cousin David has yet to match those levels as an exporter although Busselton was a creditable sort last term and this season has seen Mr Cottin take the French three-year-old division by storm with a team including leading colts Paradiso and San Bruit, and leading fillies Matilda du Berlais and La Boetie. He also saddled the first two home in the Prix Grandak prior to the pair crossing the channel for pastures new. The Prix Grandak is a debutant contest with a rich history, being the launchpad of domestic stars Saint des Saints, Bonito Du Berlais, Beaumec De Houelle, On The Go and Beaumec De Houelle, as well as talented exports in Frodon, Far West, We Have A Dream and Quel Destin. This year’s edition was taken by Porticello who having tracked the leaders throughout, made his challenge in a steady rather than explosive fashion and after taking the lead at the last, managed to pull a couple of lengths clear on the run-in. Apart from blundering at the fifth, he jumped well enough for a debutant and his style of racing was in keeping with his pedigree; being a Sholokhov nephew of the Grand Prix d’Automne third Worldbest. Notwithstanding, there is some precocity in his pedigree as his dam is a half-sister to graded placed juvenile Orcantara and the aunt of Prix Cambaceres runner-up Invicter. Furthermore, while Sholokhov is a Gold Cup winning sire, he is also responsible for Shishkin as well as classy youngsters Msassa, Esmondo and the aforementioned Invicter. Almost seven months have passed since the Prix Grandak and the form is taking a very respectable shape. Runner-up Magistrato looked very impressive when winning at Chepstow on his first run for Paul Nicholls. Third placed Imprenable won his next two starts before finishing second in the Group II Prix Georges de Talhouet-Roy. File au Poteau in fourth won a useful conditions hurdle at Auteuil earlier this month, fifth placed Coup de Coeur is one of the better chasers of his generation, the sixth placed Mourinho Has won a valuable handicap at the venue and the only other finisher is a dual winner in the provinces. Gary Moore's French hurdling recruits, which have a 33.33% strike-rate first time, are generally started in less demanding settings so it could be a real statement of intent that the yard has opted to send him to Wetherby where he will concede weight all round. While there is plenty of promise among the opposition, the Grandak performance stands unopposed as the best form on offer and the stable does come here in good health. Porticello sets a clear standard and his being a winning debutant suggests he can be ready to do himself justice first time. If there is a concern however, it could be that of the seven ex-French hurdlers to have been introduced in this contest, only the 1/2 favourite Sametegal was successful with the likes of Grandouet and Twist Magic among the beaten newcomers.

Genuflex bg Milton Harris f11-1-5 (74) 79 j2-1-1 (-) 100 103 
Holy Roman Emperor (Galileo){1-i}(1.13) 0.5 Gendarme 1st 2m Handicap Hurdle (88), Limerick 2021
A winner on the flat for Richard Hannon, Genuflex earned his initial victory at the third time of asking in a Windsor nursery off 74 last August. Though he failed to supplement this success in eight further attempts, Genuflex did run to form over ten furlongs during the spring and summer including on his latest outing in that sphere when showing good tenacity but failing to make all in a Nottingham classified stakes. He subsequently joined the capable Milton Harris for 20,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale. By a Holy Roman Emperor who wins his fair share, and being a half-brother to a winning handicap hurdler, there was every chance he could build his profile over hurdles. He was well backed to do so on his stable/hurdling debut at Ludlow early this month and only the impressive Kempton winner, Mister Allegro, prevented his landing the 20/1 come 5/1 plunge. Though occasionally tight at his hurdles, Genuflex posted an efficient round of jumping overall and travelled well in midfield for much of the contest. In contention turning for home, he found himself outpaced between the last two and was slow getting away from the final flight. Nevertheless, he plugged on along the run-in to snatch second in the final strides. Entering calmer waters at Sedgefield twelve days ago, Genuflex's profile saw him sent off a worthy 4/11 favourite. Making his own running from the outset, he raced keenly while setting a modest tempo. Though he hit the top of the third, rather missed the sixth and ran down the penultimate flight, his jumping was neat enough overall. Genuflex entered the straight half a dozen lengths clear of his rivals and after being shaken up away from two out, was in cruise control for the rest of the race; crossing the line seventeen lengths clear of the remainder. Though he has yet to reach the best of his flat form, this was a step up on his debut effort and there is scope for further improvement. However, while there is scope for further improvement and the yard remains in excellent form, this type of contest is probably outside of his capacity.

Keepyourdreamsbig bg Olly Murphy j3-1-1 (106) 90 103
Vision d'Etat (Enrique){4-r}(0.78) 1/0 Take This Waltz 1st Prix D'Essai Des Pouliches, Enghien 2011
Though the French three-year-old hurdling scene is replete with newcomer contests akin to two-year-old maidens on the flat, such as the Prix d'Essai des Pouliches/Poulains for example, Britain and Ireland have no such contests and young jumps breds are a rare sight before their fourth birthdays. However, Keepyourdreamsbig, whose dam won the 2011 running of the Prix d'Essai des Pouliches, was one such oddity when he made his debut at Uttoxeter in late July. A representative of Vision d'Etat's final crop, a sire with a very good record in the sphere, Keepyourdreamsbig is also a nephew of Prix Aguado fifth Great Shudder along with three other winners. Passing the Tattersalls Ireland ring for €25,000 as a yearling, Keepyourdreamsbig was the first unraced newcomer to represent Olly Murphy - a trainer with a solid 20.83% winner to runner rate in the sphere. Despite taking on two previous winners, he was not without support at Uttoxeter, starting at 6/1 having opened at 10/1. Held up in touch, he made his move on the turn for home and appeared to be travelling the strongest at the distance - trading at 1.2 in-running. However, while he loomed alongside Burristo, it took him most of the run-in to finally get his measure by which time subsequent Cartmel winner Sacre Pierre had already flown. Though his jumping was safe, it did lack the winner's neatness as he was prone to giving his flights more air than necessary. Nevertheless, this was an issue that ought to resolve itself with experience and having shown enough tenacity to win the battle for second, a race of such nature looked well within his scope. Such a race occurred at the beginning of September at Worcester where he was backed into favouritism prior to the off. Taking the lead early, albeit at a sedate tempo, he jumped more neatly than on his debut with the only criticisms being that he was somewhat big and skewed over the third and slightly tight at the fourth, two out and the last where he was bumped on the approach. Injecting more pace turning for home, he was challenged up the straight by Corporal Jones (who would return slightly lame) and after leaving him behind on the run-in, had built up enough of a lead to fend off the fast finishing Boulette by half a length. With more assured hurdling than first time, this marked an improvement of roughly half a dozen pounds with promise of further to come with experience. Keepyourdreamsbig was last seen at the start of the month in a tight looking contest at Fontwell. He had been supported from a morning show of 9/4 to 6/4 joint favouritism at the off, but ran a race which was too bad to be true. Apart from hitting the fifth, his jumping was sound enough and he appeared to be travelling well until midway along the back where he dropped away quickly before pulling up on the home turn. No explanation was given for the performance, nor were any abnormalities found post-race. Notwithstanding, even if this last outing is ignored, Keepyourdreamsbig still has something to find with a few of these, including Sacre Pierre, and while the yard has been in good form recently, there are questions to answer in this company. 

Oceanline bg Alan King f10-2-4 (85) 91 j1-0-1 (-) 108 113
Adaay (Dalakhani){14-f}(0.33) 2/2 Karezak 2nd Finale Juvenile Hurdle (G1), Chepstow 2014
Dual Triumph winning trainer Alan King has one of the strongest records in the juvenile hurdling division and is the winningmost trainer in the sphere since 2004/05. His record in this particular contest is also respectable with two wins and three seconds from eleven runners; although several of his good ones have been beaten in this race including Katchit, Sceau Royal and Master Blueyes. Representing Barbury Castle this year is the sole maiden hurdler in the lineup; Oceanline. Having made his racecourse debut last October, Oceanline went into his three-year-old campaign with a rating of 78. He got off the mark on his fourth start of 2021 when stepping up to a mile and six furlongs, landing the odds in a five runner Nottingham handicap off 75 in early June. Though he failed to double up at Haydock a week later and finished down the field in a valuable handicap at the same track, he returned to winning ways in a Sunday Series contest at Sandown in mid August. Racing off 82, he was outpaced for a while but after taking up the running a furlong and a half from home, kept on doggedly and pulled clear to win by just over a length. Sire Adaay is having his first crop of hurdlers this term and being small of stature and having only winning form below a mile, he does not fit the profile of a strong stallion in the sphere. Nevertheless Oceanline has proved himself that stamina is no concern and damsire Dalakhani is a positive influence in the sphere with Zubayr, Zanavi and Zarib amongst his broodmares’ progeny. Furthermore, the damline of Oceanline is not without merit as uncle Karashar was a winner over hurdles, the third dam produced the useful Kasthari and the dam of Kalann while, most notably, cousin Karezak was a useful juvenile for the yard in 2014/15. Oceanline hurdling debut came in a four runner affair at Stratford twenty-five days ago where he and Too Friendly had the market and the race between themselves. After winning the well fought contest for favourtism in the ring, Oceanline would be the one to set a steady tempo. He moved smoothly and jumped well until getting close to the fifth, although he was good again when ridden into the next. However, he was tight at the seventh just before the hill, and was getting niggled along from thereon. Firmly pushed along entering the straight, he still held an advantage at the last and though he was joined on landing, he showed good resolve to maintain his battle until his rival found the decisive gear in the dying strides. Other than the final result, there is little complaint to be had about this performance and there was plenty to like about his jumping and attitude. Furthermore, as there may be a stronger pace here from which he can get a lead, there is a good chance he can reverse placings with Too Friendly which would also give him solid prospects overall. 

Sacre Pierre bg Donald McCain j2-2-0 (113) 98 109
On Est Bien (Goldneyev){8-a}(1.22) 1/1 Gold Tweet 1st Prix Hopper (G3 4yo Chase), Compiegne 2021
An unraced horse with a good French pedigree prior to making a winning debut at Uttoxeter, Sacre Pierre is a full-brother to the good young jumper Gold Tweet along with two others who have shown respectable form in Apollo Creed and Chuck Bass. Granddam Jance was a good three-year-old hurdler in 1996 while the 1999 Prix Alain du Breil third Kidder appears at 3/1 on the damline. Fetching €8,000 at the Osarus two-year-old breeze up, his trainer Donald McCain has a strong record in the sphere with a 29.09% winners to runners rate, although his best result from three runners in this contest came when Breakfast finished third in the 2018 running. There was not a great deal of confidence in the market ahead of his Uttoxeter bow in late July as he drifted from a morning show of 11/2 before starting the race at twice that price. Nevertheless, he settled nicely in the rear and was not asked to make his move until three furlongs from home. Though his response to being shaken up was not immediate, he got to within a length of the leaders at the last and showed very good acceleration once given the office by Brian Hughes to win by six lengths. The form has since been boosted with Keepyourdreamsbig winning at Worcester next time out. Irishracing reported that Sacre Pierre was "not that fluent", but this does him a disservice. While he was sticky at the second, a bit late at the fifth and got close to the last, his better jumps outweighed his flawed ones and he was actually quite neat by and large. He made his second appearance five weeks later at Cartmel and he set the standard over his three rivals. A solid, long odds-on favourite, Sacre Pierre initially tucked in behind the leaders before going to the front entering the wood side second time round. His early jumping lacked fluency as he was steady and close at the first two before clipping the fourth. However, he soon remembered his job at the halfway stage and was neat over the next three. Though he was briefly and narrowly headed leaving the back, Sacre Pierre soon found another gear to see off his challenger. He did wander quite erratically on the approach to the last, but this was much more likely due to a lapse in concentration than any temperament concerns as he was smooth around all of the other turns, and ran true along the run-in. Beyond his being in good shape and confirming the promise of his debut, not much more was learned from that outing. The form was nothing special, but he is capable of jumping well and is not short of an engine. Sacre Pierre had an intended engagement at Market Rasen a month ago, but was withdrawn after coming down with a case of self certificate (found stiff). Still very much unexposed with his yard in decent nick, it will be interesting to see how he handles this step up in class; even if his bare form leaves him with a bit to find.

Too Friendly bg Dan Skelton f6-1-2 (85) 91 j1-1-0 (-) 110 114
Camelot (One Cool Cat){14-c}(0.86) 2/2 Arch Stanton 2nd 3m½f Handicap Hurdle (97), Roscommon 2018
In 2019, the Gredleys sent Allmankind to Dan Skelton for whom he won graded contests at Cheltenham and Chepstow prior to placing third in the Triumph. Last season, Stepney Causeway followed suit and landed a four timer during his first campaign in the sphere. This time around, the first such horse was Too Friendly who left George Scott with a rating of 85. Placed on his first two racecourse appearances at Lingfield over the winter, Too Friendly returned after a break to win the ten furlong maiden at Doncaster’s Lincoln meeting, winning under a confident ride with something to spare from dual subsequent winner Dhushan. He then took a step up in class when contesting the Listed Blue Riband Trial at Epsom and while he finished sixth of eight, it still marked a career best. Too Friendly had taken a keen hold at Epsom and though cheekpieces were applied for his two subsequent outings, they failed to negate the issue as he finished closer to last than first in handicaps at Royal Ascot and at Newmarket. In Dan Skelton, Too Friendly joins one of the strongest yards in the division who along with a healthy winners to runners rate of 38.27%, also boasts some talented sorts in Bedrock, Azzuri, Nube Negra and Cabot Cliffs along with the aforementioned Gredley representatives. While Too Friendly’s granddam was the highly talented filly Marling, jumpers are a sparse breed on the damline with moderate Arch Stanton (2/2) being the only nearby relative to show form in the sphere. Camelot made a strong start to his career as a stallion in the division with his first crop spearheaded by Sir Erec and Gardens Of Babylon. His rate rather flattened out after the first crop, but this term has gotten off to a good start with wins from Realist in Ireland, and from Too Friendly himself on his hurdling debut at Stratford early this month. Though coming off second best in a flip flop battle for favourtism with Oceanline, he got his revenge in the race itself. His jumping did not get off to the cleanest start as he hopped and stumbled slightly at the first, and he was slightly reticent when big over the third. Nevertheless, despite racing keenly in the early stages, Too Friendly was travelling much the better going over the hill second time. He had to be asked to reach top gear but his response was fairly swift and though outjumped at the last by his resolute rival, Too Friendly had enough to cross the line a length to the good. He could have settled a bit better and there his hurdling could have been more consistent, but the positives outweighed the negatives and atop a solid foundation is ample scope for further improvement. Too Friendly just about leads the field on domestic form and although he was probably better suited than Oceanline by how the Stratford race developed, he still commands a great deal of respect.

Addosh bf Stuart Edmunds f11-1-4 (71) 78 j2-1-1 (108) 96 108
The Gurkha (Dubawi){10-a}(0.63) 3/2 State Crown 1st 2m1f Handicap Hurdle (110), Newton Abbot 2021
Of all the active trainers in Britain and Ireland who have had fifteen of more juvenile hurdlers since 2004/05, only Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have a strike rate higher than the 25.64% of Stuart Edmunds. Before Addosh made her hurdling debut at Stratford, the yard's first-time strike rate of 42.86% was bettered only by Nicky Henderson and Desmond McDonogh. Prior to selling for 15,000 guineas at Tattersalls in July, she had amassed a win and three places on the flat for Hugo Palmer and her BHA mark of 71 made her strong at the weights both at Stratford and again here. Her pedigree is not without its potential either as while The Gurkha is one of Galileo's speedier sons, he is related to good jumpers and the sireline does well in the sphere. Damsire Dubawi has a 26.67% winner to runner rate in that role which includes Leoncavallo and State Crown - the latter being a 3/2 relative of Addosh who won a handicap hurdle as a juvenile last season. Steady in the market throughout the day, she did drift out to 15/2 in the Stratford ring, but this was on account of the confidence behind Caramelised and she still started second favourite. Held up in the early stages, she pulled hard in patches but was able to settle reasonably well before too long. Towards the rear at the fifth, she made robust headway in a short amount of time along the back and was travelling strongly just behind the leaders two flights later. Addosh was the last pursuer on the bridle approaching the home turn, but had been completely outpaced by the winner who was long gone before they could see the stands. Nevertheless, while no match for the winner, the remainder of the field were left in her wake and there were sixteen and thirteen lengths between herself, the third and the fourth. Addosh jumped some of her hurdles quite well, although she was steep at the first, very untidy at the third and low at the last while also showing a slight tendency to go right. Overall, it was a satisfactory introduction there was enough to suggest she has a future in this sphere. This suggestion manifested in the traditionally useful Class 2 contest at Market Rasen five weeks ago where her chances were much stronger than the 14/1 offered overnight. She was even available at 9/1 in the ring and while her being backed into 5/1 by flagfall may have been stable confidence, it would very feasibly have been an appropriate self-adjustment of the market. Just as she had been on her debut at Stratford, she was held up in the rear once again; albeit off a much slower pace. Though rather hopping over the first, she jumped well in this contest and travelled powerfully to get within striking distance as the pace increased around the home turn. She was slightly tight at the penultimate flight but this did not cost her any momentum and needed only to be nudged on the approach to the last to get to the front. Popping over the flight neatly, she was pushed out to score by a comfortable five and a half lengths. Reversing Stratford placings in no uncertain terms with Caramelised, this was a big step up on her debut performance. Addosh was still a little off her flat best but the way she travelled and jumped here is indicative of her fulfilling the promise shown first time round. The performance still leaves her with a few pounds to find with the best of these however, and given that the Market Rasen contest was a most suitable speed test, she may not enjoy the same luxury here. 

Battle Angel grf Mark Walford f12-1-2 (69) 77 j1-1-0 (-) 92 100 
Iffraaj (Monsun){9-c}(0.68) 3/2 Mr Smith 1st 2m7½f Handicap Hurdle (100), Roscommon 2019
While her official mark of 69 would still put her within the 70th percentile of flat recruits, her rating is still the lowest available in this contest. A maiden after nine outings with Emmet Mullins, Battle Angel joined Mark Walford after fetching 15,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July Sale. She got off the mark on her British debut, a thirteen furlong Hamilton handicap in mid-July. Racing off 62, she was held up in the rear and after making headway entering the straight, she had to force her way out of a pocket at the distance. Nevertheless, she ran on well after getting a clear route and was a game length winner at the line. The form did not work out too well and her next two outings saw her finish last prior to a switch to hurdling. There were elements of promise in her profile ahead of her jumps debut at Wetherby as while Iffraaj has a below average winner to runner rate, his charges tend to hold their flat form and his trainer had two winning juveniles from nine going into the race. Though a drifter during the day, she regained her market position after being trimmed from 11/1 to 15/2 in the ring. Held up in the rear, Battle Angel became lit up after being hampered and stumbling at the first. Steady and tight at the second and third, she stumbled again at the fourth and seventh. She made steady progress down the back, at which point the leader overexerted himself in an attempt to seize the initiative. Entering the straight one of just two left chasing down the quarry, she was still tight at the penultimate flight and was steady when reaching at the last. Nevertheless, she found herself in the right place at the right time and with her rivals capitulating, found herself running out a seemingly cosy two and three quarter length winner. The race has yet to be tested collaterally, but although the runner-up was the cause of his own demise, the form is still of a reasonable standard. Notwithstanding, while there was potential in her debut, course and distance form is generally a plus, and she does receive weight all round, her form - and that of her trainer - are the weakest in what is a strong field in both regards. 

tl;dr
Porticello - Winner of a strong looking renewal of an historically informative Prix Grandak. Well bred, joins strong yard and choice of first target is a strong statement. Record of ex-French newcomers fairly dodgy in this contest, but is still a most exciting recruit.

Genuflex - Confirmed promise on hurdling debut behind Mister Allegro with facile success at Sedgefield twelve days ago. Yard still in tremendous form but may find a few too good here.

Keepyourdreamsbig - Well bred and followed promising racecourse debut behind Sacre Pierre at Uttoxeter with a win at Worcester. Ran as though something amiss latest and something to prove even if returning to best.

Oceanline - Joint best of these on flat and top yard has sent several good horses to this race (not all of them won). Second to Too Friendly on jumps debut at Stratford. Race possibly not run to suit but jumped well and can do better here.

Sacre Pierre - Well bred and made a winning debut at Uttoxeter before following up at Cartmel with minimum fuss. Top yard is in good health and while bare form leaves him with something to find, will be interesting to see how he handles the step up in class.

Too Friendly - Joint best of these on flat and conqueror of Oceanline at Stratford. Did not jump or settle quite as well but had better turn of foot. Remains to be seen if he is suited by conditions here but is a horse of strong potential.

Addosh - Fairly useful on flat for Hugo Palmer and has joined a good and underrated yard for the sphere. Promising Stratford debut followed by win in a good Market Rasen race. Latter contest ran to suit however, and conditions unlikely to be replicated here.

Battle Angel - Reasonable on flat but still lowest rated in this field. Race rather fell apart when making a winning hurdles debut over course and distance. Not without potential but others have stronger overall profiles. 

Strong prospects
1. Porticello
Reasonable prospects
2. Oceanline
3. Too Friendly
4. Sacre Pierre
Feasible prospects
5. Genuflex
6. Addosh
7. Battle Angel
Moderate prospects
8. Keepyourdreamsbig
Negligible prospects
.
 

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Class write up as per usual 👍

No rest for the wicked as I'm sure Huntingdon host a race on Sunday , was going to go but with clocks going back , kids off school , Halloween & all the ground floor bars & eateries closed won't be for me .

Haven't had a bet but I've ringed SACRE PIERRE , has won over 17f so if any rains arrive has proven form to stay further than today's 16f .

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I get racecourses have to make money by hook or by crook... But I do with they would make provisions for anoraks by holding meetings at a hermitage and keeping anybody there to have "fun" in a walled off enclosure miles away from the course... Hope you managed to get three places if you went that way!

So I had a bit of a mishap yesterday where I came off my bike and cushioned the fall with my face. Had some memory... things... but while I was concussed, I probably won't die as a direct result which is pretty cool. Reviews will have to hang back as I am still a bit woozy, but I did manage to get the preview for Huntingdon done. Looks alright to me but bear in mind that I have a tenuous grip on my own so if it looks like complete gibberish then I do apologise :D

Though briefly a fillies' contest during the mid 2000s, this weekend's juvenile hurdle at Huntingdon continually since 2007. The standard of these contests have mostly been on the lower side of average, although winning introductions to hurdling were made in this contest by Starluck in 2008, and Nyanza in 2014. This season's edition is effectively a maiden hurdle with a couple of experienced runners bringing respectable placed form while the newcomers are headed by a pair of 70 rated flat recruits. After extreme outliers are removed, average winning DIs at the venue stand at 1.13 median, 1.36 mean which would place Huntingdon just within the more testing third of racecourses. However, the DIs for this particular contest, which is generally held on a sound surface, stand at 1.55 median, 1.60 mean, which is in keeping with Huntingdon's general characteristics of being flat, fast and easy track. Figures pertinent to clear rounds, completions, odds-on favourites and starting prices are closely tied to standard. Furthermore, the success rates and clear round records of newcomers in this contest suggest no pronounced advantage or disadvantage. The going is currently described as good although a spell of heavy showers is forecast for the morning.

Come On Jack bg Michael Easterby f3-0-0 (57) 53 
War Command (Azamour){2-o}(2.11) 2/1 Idder 1st 2m1f Handicap Hurdle (112), Carlisle 2017
Costing 3,000 guineas as a foal, the standout performance in the three race career of Come On Jack came on his sole start beyond a mile when finishing fourth of seven in a Beverley novice stakes on his penultimate outing last month. The front three pulled over four lengths clear, with the trio consisting of an underperforming hot favourite along with Great Commission who was third at Sedgefield recently. The form in behind is quite insipid and Come On Jack was moderate when last seen at Chester over an extended seven furlongs. The Easterby yard has had eight winners in the sphere since 2004/05, although their winner to runner and improvement rates of 10.81% and 22.58% are quite weak. Sire War Command has had a couple of winners thus far, although both would score on their fourth attempts. In a statistical curiosity, his progeny's clear round rate of 86.84% is the lowest of any sire with ten plus runners since the long departed Hunting Lion, although none of these falls or unseats would occur first time out. Come On Jack is a nephew of average winning handicapper Idder, but that is the extent of closely related jumps winners. After being allotted a mark of 57, connections have opted to send Come On Jack hurdling and while his profile is not abysmal, it is not particularly exciting either.

Jack Kennedy bc Kevin Frost f4-0-1 (70) 76
Galileo (Champs Elysees){1-p}(0.64) 3/1 Line Drawing 1st 2m Maiden Hurdle, Tramore 2007
Former inmates of John Gosden's can be expected to bring some class to the division. However, those not subsequently trained by Milton Harris have an underwhelming winner to runner rate of 13.33% which reflects the improvement rate of just 21.31%. The latest animal to attempt to buck these figures is Jack Kennedy who left Clarehaven Stables after fetching 12,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July sale. The classically bred son of Galileo and 2015 Irish Oaks runner-up Jack Naylor, Jack Kennedy's racecourse debut came in a ten furlong novice stakes at Redcar in mid-April. While patently inexperienced, he did enough to finish a three length third of nine, splitting a pair who were subsequently rated in the late eighties. However, he failed to match this performance on his next two outings at Salisbury and Doncaster and though his being unfurnished was a feasible excuse, his allotted rating of 75 was not enough to prevent him from going to the sales. Picked up by Kevin Frost, whose sole juvenile to date ran five times without placing, he was tried in a Beverley handicap off 75, but after rearing at the start, never passed a rival and finished last of six. Jack Kennedy did not live up to his breeding on the flat, but while Galileo's improvement rate is unsurprisingly moderate at 31.34%, he does have a respectable 26.17% winners to runners rate. The first jumpers to appear on the damline are winning hurdlers Line Drawing and Fine Lace at 3/1, while Stance (4/1), Modicum (4/2), Mister McGoldrick (5/3) and Gardens Of Babylon (5/5) appear further back. Kevin Frost has little experience with juvenile hurdlers, although his record with hurdling debutants is a fair two wins from eleven runs. Jack Kennedy is entitled to some respect in this company, although his flat rating is perhaps the ceiling of his ability and he may need to find improvement to in order to master some of these on his first start since August.

Sabre Jet bg Amy Murphy f6-0-2 (61) 65 j1-0-0 (-) 62 55
Zoffany (Teofilo){19-c}(1.46) 3/1 Corton 4th 2m4f Maiden Hurdle, Worcester 2005
Amy Murphy went without a winner in her first three seasons in the sphere, but she made a discernible impact last term with three individual winners giving her a 20.83% strike rate. Furthermore, she has sent out juvenile hurdlers on forty-four occasions and counting without a single fall or unseat to date. Her first runner in the sphere this season was Sabre Jet, who went into his Stratford debut on the back of his best flat effort to date. His first two starts on turf did not match his all-weather outings over the winter. However, the application of tongue tie and cheekpieces, and a return to ten furlongs, saw him keep on well to finish second off 62 at Yarmouth. The records of Zoffany and Teofilo as sire and damsire in the sphere are solid and though the damline and level of flat form were less encouraging, his overall attitude and profile gave him fair prospects and he was clipped a couple of points in the ring to start at 12/1. Held up in touch, he was still just about amongst the leading group crossing the hill. However, was soon losing ground and though he entered the straight in third place, he was a spent force and weakened from thereon. His early jumping was not bad, but it rather deteriorated as the race progressed. Sabre Jet showed glimmers of promise and probably found the trip just beyond him. Following a wind operation, he returned to the flat at Leicester nineteen days ago over ten furlongs on heavy ground. Though the ground was unlikely to suit and he was beaten just under ten lengths, he was not entirely disgraced in his plugging on to finish seventh of fourteen. Sabre Jet is likely to appreciate this sharper test in his quest to match his flat ability and with the yard in better form than it was in August, a better performance here would not come as a surprise. 

Saint Riquier grc Ian Williams f3-1-0 (-) - j1-0-0 (-) 97 104 
Le Havre (Montjeu){5-g}(0.60) 3/2 Fashion Mix 1st 3300m 3yo Conditions Hurdle, Cagnes-sur-Mer 2004
https://www.equidia.fr/chevaux/saint-riquier
Several former inmates of Mikel Delzangles have done well in juvenile hurdles with the likes of Ranjaan and Dispour contributing to a solid 27.78% winner to runner rate. While his higher rated exports often command six figures in public auction, Saint Riquier joined Ian Williams after getting knocked down for €33,000 at the Arqana Summer Sale. Well beaten at Fontainbleau on his sole outing at two when slow out of the stalls, he ran a nothing race on his February reappearance at Machecoul over 2350m in testing conditions. He returned after a four month break in a 2200m French bred's maiden contest at Erbray. Initially held up in touch, he moved into a more prominent position during the second circuit and while he did not completely understand the game, Saint Riquier did enough work in the straight to eventually win by a short neck. The runner-up, in receipt of three and a half kilos, is rated in the early sixties and the remaining form would give Saint Riquier a mark on the cusp of 70. Le Havre has had one winner from six in Britain and Ireland, while his winner to runner rate in France, where his progeny are headed by the useful Chaptal, is a solid 18.92%. There are few jumpers on the damline, although Fragrant Mix at 3/1 is a reasonably capable sire of jumpers. Saint Riquier's British/Hurdling debut came at Ludlow early this month and there was little confidence in the market. Starting the day at 10/3, he opened on course at 13/2 before drifting out to 10/1 at the off. Setting off keenly but settling better before long, his hurdling left a fair bit to be desired. Stumbling slightly on landing at the first, he was tight at the third, steady and close over the fourth, slow over the next before rather missing the sixth. Notwithstanding, after initially racing in the rear, he made good headway along the back and despite getting baulked at the penultimate hurdle, was still in a challenging position on the run to the last. However, he skewed badly over the final flight and could only plug on at one pace to finish fourth by just under six lengths. At the time, the form looked fairly sketchy with the winning time a modest one and a winner a big priced, lowly rated flat recruit. However, the past week has seen the form receive a couple of significant boosts with Mister Allegro securing a brace with a strong showing at Wincanton, while runner-up Genuflex followed a facile Sedgefield success with a fine second in the Wensleydale Hurdle. Furthermore, the Ian Williams yard, who unleashed another useful looking ex-French recruit to the sphere in Malakahna earlier this week, has a winner (Speedo Boy) and a second (Oi The Clubb Oi's) from three runners in this contest. Saint Riquier will want to jump better than he did at Ludlow, although this is not improbable as his round was not terminally reckless and the bare form would still set a strong target for his rivals here. There is a concern that this trip may still be on the sharp side, but a couple of these have been difficult to settle and his stripping fitter could also give him an extra gear. 

Stigwood bg Alex Hales f8-0-1 (52) 66 j1-0-0 (-) 73 83 
Kodiac (Sadler's Wells){22-a}(1.20) 0.5 Allow Me 1st 2m3½f Handicap Hurdle (120), Catterick 2012
During an eight race spell on the flat for Eve Johnson Houghton, the sum of Stigwood's accomplishments were a solitary placing and a rating of 52. He would then join Alex Hales, whose winner to runner rate in the sphere stands at 12.12%, for 8,000 guineas at the Tattersalls July sale. While sire Kodiac has a strong winner to runner rate of 36.67%, and half-brother Allow Me was a fairly useful handicap hurdler, Stigwood faced a massive task on his hurdling debut in a Class 2 at Market Rasen last month. Always towards the rear, Stigwood was big and untidy over several of his obstacles and was never in a position to get involved in the race before finishing a distance behind the winner. A better evaluation of his ability might be made in calmer waters, but he offered no strong promise in the context of his upcoming assignment.

Tarseem chg Dan Skelton j1-0-1 (-) 82 90
Dawn Approach (Dansili){2-f}(1.00) 3/1 Seventh Sign 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Newbury 2013
Prior to Tarseem's racecourse debut over this course and distance nearly four weeks ago, the three unraced Shadwell dispersals who went juvenile hurdling accumulated seventeen races without success between them. Tarseem, from the Height Of Fashion and sharing a third dam (Rahayeb) with Baaeed, left Shadwell for 7,000 guineas at Tattersalls in March. Rahayeb also produced winning jumpers Seventh Sign and Wujood, although that is the extent of intrigue for the sphere on the damline and sire Dawn Approach has yet to have a winning juvenile from twelve - although Paso Doble did finish third in the Adonis before scoring over hurdles in May. Dan Skelton boasts one of the stronger records in the sphere, and has sent out debutants to win first time in the past with Langer Dan in 2019, and Knotty Ash this season. A steady 5/1 second favourite ahead of his jumps bow, Tarseem showed clear signs of inexperience. Taking a keen hold, he was steep when clipping the first, slightly steady at the third, hopped through the sixth and rather left his feet in the penultimate flight. Nevertheless, his jumping could have been much worse for a newcomer and though he had no chance with the winner and lost second after hanging on the run-in, he was not entirely disgraced overall. Tarseem can be expected to improve on his debut and should have a respectable chance here, although such was his inexperience, it may take a couple more runs before he reaches his potential.

Turaco bg Gary Brown f2-0-0 (-) 66 j1-0-0 (-) 0 0 
Kodi Bear (Robellino){3-n}(1.50) 0.5 Lily Trotter 1st 2m Handicap Hurdle (90), Cork 2019
During two starts as a two-year-old for Harry Dunlop, whose former inmates have a 29.03% winner to runner rate, Turaco finished fourth and sixth over a mile at Salisbury and Lingfield respectively. He did not appear to stay well enough on either occasion. Kodi Bear has had a winning juvenile and half-sister Lily Trotter (New Approach) won a moderate handicap over two, but he never looked like seeing out the trip on his hurdling debut at Wetherby. Sent off at 14/1 having opened in the ring at 9/1, he was keen before jumping the first where he went left and bumped into a rival. Settling him from there was a lost cause and he jumped badly in a prominent position before running out of steam and pulling up before the turn for home. A breathing problem was reported, although only a hood, rather than a tongue tie or a wind operation, has been employed. 

Twilight Twist bg Alan King f6-1-1 (70) 74
Twilight Son (Pour Moi){14-c}(0.57) 3/1 Krosno 1st 4YO Maiden Hurdle, Naas 1998
Alan King is one of the most dominant trainers of juvenile hurdles in the game and his record with such horses at Huntingdon is a strong twelve winners from forty runners. Since 2004/05, he has had three winning debutants from seven including Walkon in 2008, and Nyanza who in 2014, became the yard's sole winner from six in this particular contest. Twilight Twist is set to represent Barbury Castle in this year's renewal. Costing 5,000 guineas at last year's Tattersalls Guineas Breeze-up, Twilight Twist earned his only victory to date when staying on well under pressure to land an ordinary Wolverhampton novice auction stakes by a narrow margin last November. He would fail to double his tally in four outings at three and reached the frame just the once when third off 70 in a twelve furlong handicap off back at Wolverhampton in mid-July. Last seen in a racing league contest at Lingfield a month later, it took him a while to settle in the rear, but while he never threatened to get involved, he did make up a few places on the straight in what was a slowly run affair. Juveniles trained for both codes by Alan King have a strong 48.81% winner to runner rate, with their first time strike rate a very solid 25.61%. However, Twilight Twist's pedigree is not so compelling. Twilight Son was a dual Group One winner over six furlongs, but was never tried over further. His sire, Kyllachy, has a very modest record in the sphere and while Dragon Pulse (another Kyllachy) has had winners, his strike rate is just 3.17%. Twilight Son's progeny consists predominantly of speedy types and his own damline is decidedly pacey. His being a reasonable 16.1hh is the only real positive in his profile at this juncture. Twilight Twist's uncle was a seven race maiden over jumps, although a winner does appear at 3/1 (alongside Iffraaj). The useful Mijhaar can be found at 3/2 while Davorin stands at 4/2 alongside another fast one in Diktat. Some of this speed is mitigated by Pour Moi, whose own progeny have a strong winner to runner rate of 44.44%, although it remains to be seen if his influence offsets the overall negatives. Ultimately, Twilight Twist still has to be respected given his connections and flat ability, although there are enough precarious elements in his profile to temper enthusiasm. 

tl;dr
Come On Jack - One of his three flat outings had some potential, but even a generous interpretation would leave him with plenty to find. Trainer and pedigree have some substance without being strong enough to warrant much attention.

Jack Kennedy - Bred to be a classic contender but while debut outing for John Gosden was reasonable, he did not make the grade on the flat. New trainer is without experience in the sphere and there is nothing in the pedigree to suggest he can find the necessary improvement. 

Sabre Jet - Fair maiden on flat where twice placed, and with yard capable of winning with its juveniles. Folded tamely on sole hurdles outing but wind operation and recent flat outing could see him do better here. 

Saint Riquier - Did not show on first two outings but broke his duck on his third and final start for Mikel Delzangles. Novicey on stable/hurdles bow at Ludlow but not irredeemably so and form of that race has worked out very well. Stable had another juvenile win well earlier this week. 

Stigwood - Lowest rated of these on flat and made little impression when thrown in deep end for hurdling debut. Plenty to prove.

Tarseem - Shadwell dispersal whose pedigree is not entirely conducive to successful hurdling career. Joined a strong yard however, and though keen and green on racecourse debut at this track four weeks ago, was not disgraced. Should improve but may need more experience.

Turaco - Hints of promise in two races for Harry Dunlop. Not seen for year prior to hurdling debut at Wetherby where he gave himself no chance of staying and jumped abysmally in the process. 

Twilight Twist - Winner on flat for Alan King yard that has strong records at this venue and with this type. Form comparable to best brought into the contest, although the pedigree provokes trepidation. 

Strong prospects
1. Saint Riquier
Reasonable prospects
2. Twilight Twist
3. Tarseem
4. Sabre Jet
Feasible prospects
5. Jack Kennedy
Moderate prospects
.
Negligible prospects
6. Stigwood
7. Come On Jack
8. Turaco
 

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Only a bit woozy from your fall ?

I hit black ice a few years back , turned right but went left & subsequently gained a grade 2 tear in my media collateral ligament & damage to my meniscus so I feel your cycling pain.

Huntingdon is my local track & 2 things I look for in any card are Mrs C.Bailey chasers from 20-24f & Alan King hurdlers have generally been friendly to the wallet .

I was umming & aaaring about TWILIGHT TWIST but having Kylacchy genes is a bonus for any rains that arrive & is more value than the odds on favourite .

Cracking write up with humour & talk of injuries thrown in to boot 👏

Edited by calva decoy
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Thanks for the kind words CD :)

Got away with it to be honest. Even with the best will in the world, it is a matter of when rather than if you have your next crash. Fortunately for me, it came when I was tootling along a canal towpath and slipped into a muddy patch. To think that a few days prior, I was doing a Froome descent down a steep gradient on a busy road without a helmet... While I don't fear death and have embraced my own mortality (in some pseudo buddhist/nihilistic fashion rather than out of depression or edginess), it did serve as a reminder that my Mum would still be very sad and disappointed if I went out in such a cheap and careless fashion! But yeah, more damage done to my ego than anything else...

What's the weather like in the area? Really can't have Twilight Son as a sire at this juncture, but statistics aren't laws and sometimes, Kyllachy and his line still gets winners. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Bachelors Hall said:

Thanks for the kind words CD :)

Got away with it to be honest. Even with the best will in the world, it is a matter of when rather than if you have your next crash. Fortunately for me, it came when I was tootling along a canal towpath and slipped into a muddy patch. To think that a few days prior, I was doing a Froome descent down a steep gradient on a busy road without a helmet... While I don't fear death and have embraced my own mortality (in some pseudo buddhist/nihilistic fashion rather than out of depression or edginess), it did serve as a reminder that my Mum would still be very sad and disappointed if I went out in such a cheap and careless fashion! But yeah, more damage done to my ego than anything else...

What's the weather like in the area? Really can't have Twilight Son as a sire at this juncture, but statistics aren't laws and sometimes, Kyllachy and his line still gets winners. 

 

I'm around 20 miles from Brampton where the course is & it's been raining since around 7.30 heavy to start but now drizzly .

The course was described at good at 6am this morning but at best it'll be good to soft & maybe even soft , it's also very blustery .

My accident made me catch a taxi to work everytime there was a heavy frost , had physio for around 6 weeks ( made things worse rather than better ) strange how the mental thing stays with you .

TWILIGHT TWIST was 10/3 last night ,not looked at prices today .

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