Aidenldrebins National Hunt Horses To Follow 2013/14
Here is Aidenldrebin’s National Hunt Horses To Follow for the 2013/14 season, keep an eye on his twitter account for news on when the runners have entries.
1. ANGE BLANC (5 gr g Keltos – Trasimene)
Form: 1/ Trainer: Noel Meade Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Out of a half sister the yard’s talented but quirky hurdler Harchibald, and this son of Keltos made the perfect start to his career when landing a bumper at Punchestown on debut back in February 2012, travelling nicely in behind the leaders and sweeping into the lead over a furlong out, staying on well to see off Kauto Grand Mogol by 2¾ lengths. He missed the whole of last season due to injury, but he is bred to be very useful and still remains a good prospect for novice hurdles this term; likely to prove best at around 2m.
2. AT FISHERS CROSS (6 b g Oscar – Fermoy Supreme)
Form: 111111- Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Owner: John P McManus
Improved at a rapid rate last season, announcing himself a gelding of some potential when brushing aside Salubrious by 6 lengths in a handicap hurdle at Newbury in the autumn and following up in cosy fashion at Cheltenham despite an 8lbs rise. He showed an excellent attitude to edge out The New One in a trial for the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham before going on to win the race itself at the Festival, travelling powerfully throughout and forging clear up the hill to see off African Gold by 4½ lengths. He rounded off the 2012/13 campaign with a smooth success in the 3m Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, only pushed out to score by 8 lengths from Just A Par; shouldn’t take long in confirming himself the top staying hurdler around this term, which in turn should make for a fascinating clash between himself and the returning Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
3. CHATTERBOX (5 b g Poliglote – Ney Will)
Form: 1/114- Trainer: Nicky Henderson Owner: The Not Afraid Partnership 2
Quickly made up into a smart performer over timber last term, toppling high-class stablemate My Tent Or Yours on his return to action at Newbury in November of last year, and he followed up under a penalty over the same course and distance in February, staying on strongly to see off Lac Fontana by 2 lengths. He was far from disgraced when losing his unbeaten record in the Neptune at Cheltenham the following month, travelling okay for a long way but not always fluent and held before the final flight, finishing fourth behind The New One. He ought to make up into a high-class novice chaser this term, hailing from the family of My Will and Unioniste, and he acts particularly well on testing ground; likely to prove best over trips in excess of 2m.
4. DIAMOND KING (5 b g King’s Theatre – Georgia On My Mind)
Form: 11- Trainer: Donald McCain Owner: Diana Whateley
Well-bred gelding who made a hugely impressive winning debut in a newcomers’ bumper at Wetherby back in February, coasting clear from over two furlongs out and barely coming off the bridle to register an emphatic 16-length success over Willpower. He made light work of a penalty when following up in a bumper at Bangor in April, drawing clear with another rival before taking over with three furlongs left to run, showing signs of greenness but coming clear from the two furlong marker to score by 19 lengths. The visual impression this gelding has created both times he has been seen in action has been excellent, quickly opening up wide margins on his rivals despite inexperience; looks a fine prospect for novice hurdles this term, and ought to stay further than 2m, with something such as the Neptune a plausible long-term target.
5. FAUGHEEN (5 b g Germany – Miss Pickering)
Form: 1 Trainer: Willie Mullins Owner: Susannah Ricci
Point-to-point winner who was well-touted prior to his sole Rules outing to date in a bumper at Punchestown in May, and he certainly delivered on what was expected of him – and more – when running out a facile 22-length winner over Josses Hill, bursting clear with over a furlong left to run (good time). He is one of several exciting novice hurdle prospects from his stable, but the visual impression he created on debut suggests he will take high rank amongst them this term; likely to stay further than 2m in time, and could well develop into a contender for something such as the Neptune at Cheltenham come March, though much will depend on plans for stablemates Briar Hill, Clondaw Court, Turnandgo etc.
6. FIELDS OF GLORY (3 b g King’s Best – Lavandou)
Form: Trainer: Tim Vaughan Owner: Royston Smith
Half brother to high-class 2m-2m 4f hurdle/chase winner Captain Conan, Group 3/Listed-placed French 10f 3yo Flat winner Cavaliere and two other winners, family of Lord Jim, Reduit, Waiter’s Dream etc. This well-bred gelding fetched £85,000 at auction back in May and, for all he is a half brother to last season’s smart novice chaser Captain Conan, is essentially bred to make an impact on the Flat; very interesting bumper prospect for the season ahead.
7. FOURTH ACT (4 b g King’s Theatre – Erintante)
Form: 5- Trainer: Colin Tizzard Owner: Jean Bishop
Full brother to connections’ useful jumper Theatre Guide, and he shaped with definite promise on his sole outing to date when sent off the 7/2 market leader for a bumper at Wincanton in March, in rear and trying to make headway when short of room with half a mile left to run, staying on from over two furlongs out but never threatening the principals as he came home in fifth (beaten 4½ lengths). He was given plenty to do that day and is unlikely to waste much time in proving himself better than the bare form; ought to prove capable of winning bumper before switching to timber, and is likely to stay in excess of 2m when the time comes.
8. GET BACK IN LINE (5 b g Milan – Daraheen Diamond)
Form: 21- Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Owner: John P McManus
This gelding was a major eyecatcher behind useful stablemate Mr Watson when an unfancied 33/1 chance on his debut outing in a 2m novices’ hurdle at Plumpton, within himself for much of the way but barely asked for an effort as he came home an 8-length second. He duly built on that debut promise to land a 2m 3f novices’ hurdle at Catterick a month later, making good progress between the third and second last flights and leading soon after the last, asserting on the flat despite greenness to score by 2½ lengths from King Of The Wolds. The manner in which he dispatched some solid performers on that occasion was impressive, all the more so considering his inexperience; ought to stay further than 2m 4f, and an interesting prospect for the season ahead, be it in handicap company over hurdles or as a novice over fences.
9. GET THE PAPERS (6 b g Kayf Tara – Smart Topsy)
Form: 398- Trainer: Pauline Robson Owner: Sean Graham
Wide-margin winner of his sole outing in the point-to-point sphere (solid form), and he was well backed ahead of his rules debut in a 2m 4f novices’ hurdle at Hexham last November, travelling comfortably for a long way until tiring markedly after the final flight, eventually finishing a tailed-off third behind Fourjacks. He was never involved in a pair of maiden hurdle events at Sedgefield and Kelso subsequently, effectively allowed to complete in his own time; been handed a lowly mark of 86 as a result, and could well make his presence felt in handicaps this term; should stay 3m in time.
10. GO WEST YOUNG MAN (5 b g Westerner – Last Of Her Line)
Form: 233- Trainer: Henry Daly Owner: Tim Nixon
This nicely bred gelding shaped well in a pair of bumpers at Ludlow (1m 6f) and Market Rasen (2m 1f) prior to making a hugely eyecatching debut over timber when a staying on-third in a 2m novices’ hurdle at Kempton in April, well off the pace but making sustained headway down the home straight to eventually finish some eight lengths off the winner. He goes into his second season boasting a similar profile to connections’ Lord Grantham and, like his stablemate, it is likely this son of Westerner will be brought along with handicaps in mind; will want further than 2m.
11. GOLD INGOT (6 ch g Best Of The Bests – Realms Of Gold)
Form: 45/76-1 Trainer: Alan King Owner: Sue Welch & Caroline Rowland
Lightly-raced gelding who shaped well in a strong bumper at Ascot on debut in February 2012, but he took a while to confirm that promise, far from disgraced on his second start over hurdles (2m 5f, Kempton) before coming good at the fifth time of asking over the same course and distance in May, travelling well throughout and readily sealing matters from the last to run out a 2¼-length winner from Kalkadin. It probably wasn’t the strongest of races for the track, but he did it well and ought to have further improvement to come in handicaps from an opening mark of 118; should continue to prove best at around 2m 4f.
12. HELL’S SPIRIT (5 b g Oscar – Last Century)
Form: 444- Trainer: Anthony Honeyball Owner: Favourites Racing
Unraced dam a half sister to useful jumper Glacial Sunset, and this gelding hinted at promise in a trio of outings in a bumper at Ascot and two 2m novice hurdles at Newbury last term, shaping as though he found the trip an inadequate test on each occasion, particularly given the steadily run nature of a couple of the races he contested. He needs just one more run to qualify for a handicap mark, and strongly appeals as the type to excel in that sphere once his stamina needs are better catered for (will need 2m 4f+).
13. JUNCTION FOURTEEN (4 b g King’s Theatre – Chevet Girl)
Form: 5- Trainer: Emma Lavelle Owner: Martin St Quinton & Tim Syder
Second foal of a multiple 2m-2m 1f hurdle winner who fetched £60,000 at auction, and his sole outing last term came in a bumper at Wincanton in April (6/1 chance), racing a little worse than midfield and outpaced as the tempo increased from the top of the straight, switched right sharply approaching the final furlong and staying on well to take fifth behind Time For Tea (beaten 4¼ lengths). He is sure to have derived plenty from that debut experience, never stronger than at the finish; looks the type to improving significantly once making the switch to hurdling and getting a stronger pace to aim at.
14. KENAI PENINSULA (5 gr g Tikkanen – Realms Of Gold)
Form: /41741- Trainer: Alan King Owner: Ian Payne & Kim Franklin
Far from disgraced in a pair of well contested bumpers either side of summer last year, this gelding made a winning start to his career over timber when accounting for Suerte Al Salto in a 2m 4f novices’ hurdle at Taunton last November. He was unable to follow up under a penalty in similar contests the next twice, but returned to winning ways in good style when landing a 2m 5f handicap hurdle at Kempton off a mark of 123 in April, travelling well and finding plenty for pressure after an untidy jump at the last to see off Irish Buccaneer by a length. He looks the type to make up into a useful chaser this term, from a good family his handler knows very well; may not want much further than 2m 4f.
15. LE REVE (5 br g Milan – Open Cry)
Form: 3451P1- Trainer: Lucy Wadham Owner: Pat Betts
€140,000 half brother to Join Together who progressed well with racing throughout his first season, outclassed when fifth in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown but getting off the mark next time out when finding plenty to outpoint Up To Something to land a 2m 3f novices’ hurdle at Market Rasen. He was never involved when pulled up in the EBF Final at Sandown on desperate ground, but rounded off his campaign with victory over Salmanazar in a 2m 5f novices’ hurdle at Kempton, prominent from the outset and disputing from the second last until asserting close home to score by ¾-length (pair clear). He was merely laying the foundations for a novice chasing campaign last season, showing useful form along the way, and strongly appeals as the type to make up into a useful sort over fences; will stay well.
16. LEGAL EXIT (6 b g Exit To Nowhere – New Legislation)
Form: 7/F171- Trainer: Jim Culloty Owner: Mary Samworth
Irish point-to-point winner who fell on his hurdling debut/seasonal reappearance last term, but he put that unfortunate experience behind him to land a 2m maiden hurdle at Leopardstown in January, taking over at the final flight and drawing clear in readily fashion to score by 4 lengths from Urano. He shaped as though something was amiss when tailed off behind Champagne Fever in the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle over the same course and distance, but bounced back to land a 2m 4f novices’ hurdle at Limerick a couple of months later, readily accounting for the useful Bonisland by 2 lengths. He looks a fine prospect for novice chasing this season, travelling powerfully throughout when accounting for a good yardstick in Bonisland last time; could well progress into a contender for something such as the Jewson Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in March.
17. MANY CLOUDS (6 br g Cloudings – Bobbing Back)
Form: 21212P- Trainer: Oliver Sherwood Owner: Trevor Hemmings
Tough sort who landed a couple of novice hurdle events last term, scoring at Ascot (2m 4f) in November and, following a second place finish to Up And Go at Wetherby, regained the winning thread with a gutsy success over subsequent Grade 1 runner-up Just A Par on heavy ground at Exeter (2m 3f) in February. He followed that with a second place finish behind very easy winner Close Touch in the EBF Final at Sandown, but still appeared to be feeling the effects of that gruelling effort when pulled up at Aintree four weeks later. The fact he has achieved so much in bumpers/novice hurdles is to his credit, for he is bred to be a staying chaser; sure to make an impact over fences this term, particularly when the going is on the slow side, and appeals as an ideal candidate for the 4m National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in March.
18. MILORD (4 br c Monsun – Montserrat)
Form: 6634- Trainer: Kim Bailey Owner: Kim Bailey Racing Partnership VII
Recruit from the Flat in Germany last summer, and he shaped a lot better than the bare result implied on his first two outings in this sphere, including when a well-beaten sixth behind Rolling Star in a Grade 2 event at Cheltenham in January. He showed a lot more when third behind Chatterbox in a novices’ hurdle at Newbury the following month before catching the eye with his finishing effort in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham in March, coming home in fourth behind Flaxen Flare. He remains on the same mark going into his second season, and looks the type who could land a decent prize in handicap company this term, still wholly unexposed in that sphere.
19. MORE OF THAT (5 b g Beneficial – Guigone)
Form: 1- Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Owner: John P McManus
Full brother to the yard’s useful 2m jumper Eastlake whose sole outing to date came in a 2m 1½f maiden hurdle at Folkestone last November, sent off an unconsidered 20/1 chance but making a hugely impressive winning debut, tanking along throughout and taking over on the bit after the final flight, coming 2¾ lengths clear of odds-on favourite Utopian. It was a visually taking display from this son of Beneficial, never off the bridle to account for a pair of useful sorts; not seen since, but remains an exciting prospect for the season ahead.
20. MULLAGHANOE RIVER (5 b g Beneficial – Wahiba Hall)
Form: 2151- Trainer: Noel Meade Owner: Patricia Hunt
Irish point-to-point winner who quickly showed himself to be a useful prospect when landing a 2m 4f bumper at Leopardstown, having found Thunder And Roses too good the time before on his Rules debut. His jumping let him down when fifth behind Mala Beach on his hurdling debut, but he turned in a much slicker jumping display when landing 2m 4f maiden hurdle at Navan a month later, travelling strongly throughout and easing clear after the last to run out an easy 3¼-length winner from Gold Bullet. The runner-up has done the form no harm since (subsequent victories include a comfortable handicap success off 123), whilst one or two others in behind have also scored since; has the potential to make up into a high-class novice chaser this term, and should stay 3m.
21. O’FAOLAINS BOY (6 b g Oscar – Lisa’s Storm)
Form: 31114- Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Owner: C Trembath & R Hyde
Point-to-point winner in Ireland who quickly made up into a useful performer under Rules last season, finishing third behind Oscar Rock in a bumper at Newbury before rattling off a hat-trick of victories in novice hurdles within the space of two months, culminating in a 13-length success over Ballytober at Bangor (3m) in February. He was far from disgraced when fourth behind stablemate At Fishers Cross in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham the following month, attempting to make all and travelling better than most, headed on the approach to the last and one paced thereafter. He looks the type to do a whole lot better over fences this term, and it wouldn’t at all surprise to see him develop into a serious contender for the RSA Chase or, failing that, the National Hunt Chase (4m).
22. ON THE RECORD (5 br g Presenting – Diva Antonia)
Form: 789- Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Owner: John P McManus
Fetched €52,000 at auction, but he was well held on all three outings within the space of two months last winter, spared a hard race on all three occasions, including a pair of contests at Newbury won by Chatterbox and Chiberta King. He has been handed a lowly mark of 99 with which to go handicapping as a result, looking the sort that will come good in a big way in that sphere; better ground and a stiffer test of stamina should also help his cause.
23. OSCAR ROCK (5 b g Oscar – Cash And New)
Form: 211- Trainer: Malcolm Jefferson Owner: Mr & Mrs Graham Calder
Found only the potentially smart Urubu D’Irlande too good on his debut in a bumper at Taunton last October, and put that experience to good use to land a bumper at Newbury the following month, travelling well and finding plenty to fend off Gone Too Far (O’Faolains Boy well held back in third). His only other outing to date came in a Listed bumper back at Newbury in February, disputing for much of the way until taking over three furlongs out, shaken up passing the two furlong marker and forging clear inside the final furlong run out an 8-length winner over Vago Collognes. The form of all three of his runs last term could hardly have worked out better, and the way he put a seal on matters last time was extremely impressive; looks an excellent prospect for 2m 4f+ novice hurdles this term for his new handler (left Harry Fry during the summer).
24. PADGE (4 b g Flemensfirth – Mona Vic)
Form: Trainer: Evan Williams Owner: Mr & Mrs William Rucker
Fetched £160,000 at auction earlier this year and is from the family of 1968 Gold Cup winner Fort Leney and good jumpers Hard Case and Sound Judgement. He won his sole outing in the point-to-point sphere at Punchestown in February, finding plenty after the last to fend off subsequent bumper winner Very Wood by a head. His pedigree is geared towards him wanting a trip over fences one day, but he ought to prove capable of making an impact over hurdles in the meantime; almost certain to need further than 2m right away.
25. RED DEVIL BOYS (6 b g Oscar – Lohort Castle)
Form: 2/11- Trainer: John Ferguson Owner: Bloomfields
Irish point-to-point winner who shaped well on his Rules debut when chasing home the useful Kaysersberg in a bumper at Doncaster in November 2011, and he went one better over the same course and distance some eleven months later, overcoming trouble in running to coast to an 11-length success. He followed that with victory in a 2m 4f novices’ hurdle at the same venue a month later, close up and going easily throughout, taking over at the last and coasting to a 2½-length win over Wychwoods Brook. He wasn’t seen again for whatever reason, but he created a huge impression on that occasion and rates a smart prospect for the season ahead, be it over hurdles or, more likely, fences.
26. REGAL ENCORE (5 b g King’s Theatre – Go On Eileen)
Form: 1/12- Trainer: Anthony Honeyball Owner: John P McManus
Never came off the bridle to win a bumper at Southwell in February 2012, and followed up under a penalty in a Chepstow bumper in October of the same year, making smooth progress into contention over three furlongs out and drawing clear approaching the final furlong to run out a ready 8-length winner from Be Bop Boru. His only other outing of the season came in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in March, going off the 7/1 joint-market leader and finding only Briar Hill too good, leading briefly over a furlong out but soon swept aside by the winner. It was a fine effort in defeat off the back of a break, having the rest in behind more or less covered; looks a good prospect for 2m novice hurdles this season.
27. RULE THE WORLD (6 b g Sulamani – Elaine Tully)
Form: 12112P- Trainer: Mouse Morris Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Irish point-to-point winner who quickly showed himself to be a smart sort under Rules, winning a Punchestown maiden hurdle before running Our Vinnie to a head in a 3m Grade 3 novices’ event at Cork next time. He readily accounted for Joncol and Minsk at Navan and Naas (Grade 2) respectively before finding only The New One too good in the Neptune at Cheltenham, staying on well without being able to match the winner on the run-in. His campaign ended with him being pulled up just three flights into the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, sustaining a pelvic injury; said to be well on the road to recovery not long after and, if fully over that setback, rates as a very exciting 2m 4f+ novice chase prospect.
28. SNAKE EYES (5 b g Oscar – Be My Belle)
Form: 3/24- Trainer: Nicky Henderson Owner: John P McManus
The regard in which this gelding was evident in the betting prior to his first two career outings, sent off the 3/1 market leader for a valuable bumper at Punchestown in April 2012 (sent for home too soon) and made a 1/5 chance when second to Minella Definitely in a 2m novices’ hurdle at Kempton some seven months later (too keen). His only other outing to date saw him finish fourth in a well-contested 2m novices’ hurdle at Doncaster in February, keen once more (led for the most part) and far from knocked about once headed after the third last, eventually coming home in fourth behind stablemate Minella Forfitness (beaten 11 lengths). He is a lot better than he has shown so far, spared a hard race once held last time behind three useful sorts; needs one more run to qualify for a handicap mark and no surprise to see him make a big impact in that sphere, and may prove himself even better than that in time.
29. SWALLOWSHIDE (4 b g Hernando – Kentford Grebe)
Form: 3 Trainer: Emma Lavelle Owner: Ian Bare
Half brother to connections’ smart staying hurdler Kentford Grey Lady, and this gelding created a favourable on his debut outing in a bumper at Kempton back in May, racing in midfield until outpaced when the tempo lifted on the approach to the straight, staying on in taking fashion from over a furlong out to eventually finish third behind Gone Too Far (beaten 5 lengths). He is bred to come into his own with time and distance, and it wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see his handler go straight down the novice hurdling route with this son of Hernando; will stay 2m 4f at least in that sphere.
30. THE NEW ONE (5 b g King’s Theatre – Thuringe)
Form: 111212- Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies Owner: Sarah Such
Smart bumper performer (beat My Tent Or Yours at Aintree in a Grade 2 in April 2012) who transferred that ability over to hurdles, making a good early impression with victories at Newton Abbot and Cheltenham. He completed a hat-trick of wins over timber when landing 2m 5f Grade 2 novices’ hurdle at Warwick in January, but lost his unbeaten record when narrowly denied by At Fishers Cross in a similar contest at Cheltenham a month later. However, he returned to winning ways in style when landing the Neptune at the Festival in March, travelling well and staying on powerfully up the run-in to see off Rule The World by 4 lengths. His final run of a busy campaign saw him finish an excellent second to Zarkandar in the 2m 4f Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle at Aintree, going down by half a length at the line; has all the attributes to progress into a serious Champion Hurdle contender this season.
31. TURTLE WATCH (5 b g Where Or When – Cita Verda)
Form: 9-455 Trainer: Jim Goldie Owner: Mr & Mrs Raymond Anderson Green
Nicely bred gelding who was pitched in at the deep on his debut outing, finishing last of nine behind Regal Diamond in a bumper at Ayr’s Scottish National meeting in April, and was merely educated in a trio of novice hurdle events at Kelso and Perth (twice) thereafter, waited with and spared a hard race on each occasion. He has been allocated what looks to be a workable mark of 95 for handicaps, and could take off in a major way in that sphere this season; may benefit from a return to 2m (tried over 2m 5f last twice); has left Pauline Robson since latest run.
32. UGLY BUG (7 b g Runyon – Mutual Decision)
Form: 721P14- Trainer: Seamus Mullins Owner: Toni James
Big, scopey sort who probably did well to achieve as much as he did over timber last term, chasing home Midnight Prayer on his hurdling debut before going one better at the expense of Cheat The Cheater in a 3m novices’ hurdle at Ffos Las, travelling well throughout and finding plenty once pressed to run out a 2¾-length winner. He stopped quickly when pulled up at Warwick next time, but returned to winning ways when edging out One Conemara in a 2m 6f novices’ hurdle at Wincanton a fortnight later, and signed off his first season with a fourth place finish in a 2m 4f handicap hurdle at Chepstow. He is a physically imposing sort who should excel over fences, likely prove capable of reaching a fairly decent level in handicap company; should prove best at around 3m.
33. ULZANA’S RAID (4 ch g Bach – Peace Time Beauty)
Form: 1 Trainer: Alan King Owner: Thomas Barr
First foal of an unraced half sister to the yard’s smart staying jumper Bensalem and very useful jumper Court In Motion, and he proved successful on his sole outing to date when landing a bumper at Towcester back in May, showing clear signs of greenness when coming to challenge over two furlongs out but forging clear inside the final furlong to run out an ultimately impressive 3¼-length winner from Knight Of Noir. It is likely the race itself was an ordinary one, but this gelding is bred to excel with time/distance and did well to overcome greenness to make a winning debut; should win a race or two over timber this term, and will be well suited by 2m 4f+.
34. UN ATOUT (5 br g Robin Des Champs – Badrapette)
Form: 1/1141- Trainer: Willie Mullins Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
Closely related to connections’ very smart chaser Sir Des Champs and has already achieved more than his illustrious relation going into his novice chasing campaign, landing a pair of hurdle contests at Navan and Naas with the minimum of fuss last winter. He lost his unbeaten record when fourth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, travelling well to a point but let down by his jumping, and was then forced to fight very hard by Ubak when landing the 2m 4f Grade 1 Irish Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown the following month. He has all the attributes to go far over fences, from physique to pedigree, whilst the attitude displayed in gaining victory last time will stand him in good stead for the future; no surprise to see him prove best at 3m, thus bringing into play something such as the RSA Chase as a long-term target.
35. UN DE SCEAUX (5 b g Denham Red – Hotesse De Sceaux)
Form: 1/111- Trainer: Willie Mullins Owner: Edward O’Connell
Coasted to victory in a pair of French bumpers, and didn’t exactly have to work too hard to get off the mark on his Irish/timber debut in a 2m maiden hurdle at Punchestown in January, keen but travelling easily throughout and only having to be pushed clear to score by 6 lengths. He maintained his unbeaten record in style when landing a novice hurdle at Punchestown in April, keen out in front but travelling powerfully throughout, coming clear at leisure to run out a very easy 13-length winner from Moscow Mannon. The manner in which he disposed of some useful sorts last time marked this gelding down as a very smart prospect, clocking a time just 2.6 seconds slower than stablemate Hurricane Fly in the Irish Champion Hurdle on the same card, and it isn’t too hard to envisage him making the necessary improvement this term to become a live contender for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
36. UPSWING (5 b g Beneficial – Native Country)
Form: 4341- Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Owner: John P McManus
Fourth in a bumper on debut prior to being given the kid glove treatment in a pair of novice hurdles at Towcester and Taunton, and he duly took full advantage of a lenient opening mark of 108 to land a 2m 1f handicap hurdle at Carlisle in February with the minimum of fuss, nudged along towards the finish to maintain the ¾-length advantage over Rupert Bear. He was raised just 6lbs for that narrow but very easy success, leaving him still attractively weighted for his return to action this term; should stay further than 2m 1f eventually.
37. URUBU D’IRLANDE (5 b g Sleeping Car – Noceane)
Form: 1- Trainer: Paul Nicholls Owner: Andrea and Graham Wylie
Out of a half sister to Laveroque, Pancake and Pique Sous, and this nicely bred gelding made a hugely promising start to his career when justifying 7/4 favouritism in a bumper at Taunton last October, travelling best on the front end and quickening clear from well over a furlong out, coming home 3 lengths clear of Oscar Rock. The subsequent achievements of the runner-up (Listed winner), third, fourth and fifth make this gelding’s debut win all the more noteworthy; sidelined by colic soon afterwards, this gelding looks a very exciting prospect for novice hurdles this term.
38. UT MAJEUR AULMES (5 ch g Northern Park – My Wish Aulmes)
Form: /13295- Trainer: Victor Dartnall Owner: Suzanne De Wilde
French bumper winner who caught the eye on a couple occasions last term (trained by Tim Vaughan), finishing second in a novice hurdle at Uttoxeter prior to a ninth place finish in a jumpers’ bumper at Kempton, very much looked after despite appearing to have more to give. His final outing of the season saw him come home a soundly beaten fifth behind Minella Forfitness in a 2m 4f novices’ hurdle at Doncaster, held up well off the pace and losing touch before making late progress, once again finishing with something left to give. He has been handed a mark of 114 to go handicapping with for new connections, and it would be something of a surprise were he unable to prove competitive in that sphere, particularly in a truly run affair; enthusiastic nature will likely restrict him to 2m in terms of distance.
39. VAGO COLLONGES (4 b g Voix Nord – Kapucine Collonges)
Form: 1122- Trainer: Paul Nicholls Owner: Andrea & Graham Wylie
Won a pair of French bumpers for Guy Cherel, beating leading French juvenile hurdler Vladimir Ex Vladimir Hall into third on debut, and he ran well on both starts for current connections earlier this year, chasing home Oscar Rock in a Listed contest at Newbury before getting to within half a length of Killyglass in a Grade 2 at Aintree in April. He shaped on both occasions as though in need of a stiffer test of stamina, in keeping with his pedigree, so that he achieved such a high level of form is praiseworthy indeed; rates as a good prospect for novice hurdles, likely to stay further than 2m in that sphere.
40. WEST WIZARD (4 b/br g King’s Theatre – Queen’s Diamond)
Form: 1- Trainer: Nicky Henderson Owner: Walters Plant Hire Ltd
Nicely bred gelding who made a very impressive winning debut in a bumper at Kempton in March (4/5 market leader), travelling strongly in behind the leaders and taking over going easily with well over a furlong left to run, nudged clear inside the final furlong to record a bloodless 6-length win over The Pirate’s Queen. It was a visually taking debut display from this son of King’s Theatre, and subsequent victories for the runner-up and third give the form substance; rates as one of the most exciting novice hurdling prospects around heading into the 2013/14 jumps season, and should prove best at 2m; emphatically one to follow.