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Horse Racing: Daniel Briden’s Jumps Horses To Follow 2017/18

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1. ACTING LASS (6 b g King’s Theatre – Darrens Lass)
Form: 124-  Trainer: Harry Fry  Owner: Nigel & Barbara Collison

Boasts a none-too-flashy pedigree and wasn’t particularly strong in the market (8/1) prior to his debut success in a 2m 3f novices’ hurdle at Hereford last November, waited with in rear until moving closer from halfway, shaken up to close on the leaders and more or less jumping into the lead two out, soon in control and staying on strongly to score by 11 lengths from Bradford Bridge. He had the misfortune of bumping into Finian’s Oscar under a penalty when 10/11 market leader for a 2m 5f contest back there the following month, and a steady pace did him no favours when signing off with a solid enough fourth place finish behind Beyond Conceit back over 2m 3f at Ascot in February. This gelding was wisely given time after that latest effort, appealing as the type to do much better over fences; no surprise to see him develop into an above-average novice chaser, likely to find 3m within range.

2. BRIO CONTI (6 gr g Dom Alco – Cadoulie Wood)
Form: F28115-  Trainer: Paul Nicholls  Owner: The Gi Gi Syndicate

Bumper winner who put an early departure on his hurdling debut at Kelso behind him, shaping better than the result in a competitive event at Cheltenham last December prior to landing a 2m 1f novices’ hurdle at Doncaster the following month by 9 lengths from Wenyerreadyfreddie. He confirmed the good impression he created that day with an authoritative win in a valuable 2m 5f handicap hurdle at Kempton in March, tanking along close up and readily settling the issue as he came home 3½ lengths clear of Divine Spear. He rounded off his campaign with a respectable fifth place finish behind Finian’s Oscar in the 3m Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree the following month, travelling well to a point but unable to see things out this time (beaten 8¾ lengths). That he achieved as much as he did over timber bodes well for the future, very much bred to be a chaser; rates an exciting prospect for that sphere, and, given how he shaped over hurdles last term, he could prove best at/around 2m 4f on flat tracks.

3. CADEYRN (5 b g Flemensfirth – Kapricia Speed)
Form: 315-  Trainer: Michael Scudamore  Owner: John J Murray & Lynne MacLennan

Half brother to very useful hurdler Barney Dwan who was successful on his sole outing in the point-to-point sphere, and he wasted little time in getting off the mark under Rules, following a debut third in a bumper at Haydock last November with a dour success at Chepstow the following month. He is best forgiven his subsequent defeat under a penalty at Towcester a couple of months later, racing on the worst of the ground around the inside and labouring a fair way out. The best is very much yet to come from this son of Flemensfirth, bred to shine once tackling obstacles and presented with a stiffer test of stamina, shaping like a thorough stayer in bumpers; will stay 3m.

4. CAPTAIN MCGARRY (5 b g Oscar – Garryduff Princess)
Form: 1-  Trainer: Graeme McPherson  Owner: Fowke, Hirst, Meek & Sinclair

Half brother to useful chaser Court By Surprise who made a winning start to his career in a bumper at Kempton in March (16/1 chance), tracking the leaders until moving closer with half a mile left to run, taking up the running travelling best over two furlongs out, running green and hanging across to the stands’ side rail but driven clear to score by 4 lengths from Colonial Dreams. Whilst it wouldn’t have been the strongest of bumpers staged at the track, that this gelding won at all is to his credit, bred to stay well over obstacles and from a stable that rarely strikes in that sphere. His inexperience was also evident once asked to put a seal on matters, drifting right across to the stands’ side rail but soon clear once straightened out; a good sort physically, he’s open to significant improvement in 2m 4f+ novice hurdles for a stable that enjoyed so much success with Ami Desbois in that sphere last term.

5. CHATEAU CHINON (5 b g Dream Well – Liesse De Marbeuf)
Form: 6778-  Trainer: Rebecca Menzies  Owner: Mike And Eileen Newbould

Half brother to smart jumper Virgilio who hinted at ability in four outings for Dan Skelton, unable to sustain a forward move on his sole outing in a bumper at Uttoxeter last November and then racing keenly when seventh on hurdling debut in a 2m novice event at Huntingdon. He was dropped right out when registering midfield finishes at Wetherby and back at Huntingdon (both 2m) three months apart, coming under nothing more than a hand ride on either occasion. This son of Dream Well gives the distinct impression there is a bigger performance in him at some point, and he has since joined a burgeoning operation that has enjoyed plenty of success with cast-offs from other stables. An opening mark of 109 allows him to start out at a realistic level in handicap company, and he looks sure to make a significant impact in that sphere this season; ought to stay further than 2m judged on pedigree.

6. CHEF DES OBEAUX (5 b g Saddler Maker – O Dame De Gene)
Form: 57/2-  Trainer: Nicky Henderson  Owner: Sullivan Bloodstock Limited

This gelding clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train, offering just a modicum of promise in a couple of outings five months apart in France for Nicolas Devilder, and his sole start for current connections came some 16 months after his previous appearance. That run came in a heavy-ground bumper at Newbury in March, tracking the leaders and driven along to challenge from the three furlong marker, responding well for pressure and proving the only one to lay down a serious challenge to eventual winner Sam Brown, coming home ¾-length adrift at the line (pair nicely clear). It was a commendable effort from this gelding given that he was returning from a lengthy absence and raced close to the action throughout in a soundly-run contest, shaping like one that will relish a good test of stamina in novice hurdles; no surprise to see him make giant strides in that sphere this term if staying in one piece.

7. COOLE CODY (6 b g Dubai Destination – Run For Cover)
Form: 022F12-  Trainer: Michael Blake  Owner: Wayne Clifford

Stepped up markedly on his debut effort to chase home Neon Wolf in a well-contested 2m 2f novices’ hurdle at Exeter in January, and he found only another Harry Fry inmate too good at the same venue 16 days later when following Over To Sam home in a 2m 5f contest. He took a heavy fall (in second place at the time) at Market Rasen the following month but showed no ill-effects when taking advantage of a good opportunity in a 2m 4f maiden hurdle at Wincanton some four weeks later, making most and readily coming clear to score by 12 lengths from Rainy Day Dylan. His final outing saw him collared late by the in-form Seymour Star in a 2m 5f novices’ hurdle at Hereford, making just about all and looking in control until the final flight; a point-winning half brother to useful chaser Fine Parchment and out of a half sister to Fundamentalist, he promises to do better still over fences.

8. COUNTER SHY (4 b g Galileo – Cross The Flags)
Form: 3-  Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill  Owner: J P McManus

First foal of a useful 2m 5f-2m 6f hurdle winning half sister to top-class staying chaser Synchronised. His only outing to date saw him finish third to Who’s My Jockey in a bumper at Market Rasen in April (7/2 chance), waited with in midfield and travelling strongly, driven over two furlongs out and making good progress to challenge inside the final furlong, running green and his effort rather flattening out close home (beaten a neck). This gelding looked set to make a winning start, coming with what looked a race-winning challenge inside the final furlong but just unable to put a seal on matters, the first three home finishing a long way clear of the remainder. That he offered as much as he did first time out in a bumper is to his credit, bred to come into his own with time and distance; ought to prove capable of winning a race in that sphere, but 2m 4f+ novice hurdles will provide him the platform on which to shine.

9. DEBECE (6 b g Kayf Tara – Dalamine)
Form: 123313-  Trainer: Tim Vaughan  Owner: Robert Kirkland

Half brother to very smart jumper Don Poli who improved throughout last season, winning a 2m novices’ hurdle at Kempton last May and running well in defeat on the next three occasions including when upped to 2m 4f at Aintree that December. He took his form to a whole new level when landing a 2m 5f handicap hurdle at Newbury after a three-month break, close up and travelling powerfully throughout, sent on at the top of the straight and brushing aside a mistake at the penultimate flight to run out a 19-length winner over Leaderofthedance. He confirmed the impression he had created that day when finishing an excellent third to The Worlds End in the 3m Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree a month later, prominent from the outset and sticking to the task willingly (beaten half a length). This gelding is every inch a chaser, putting down some solid foundations last season for a novice campaign over fences this time around, certainly having the physique to match his smart pedigree.

10. DEBUCHET (4 gr g Smadoun – Luzerne Du Poitou)
Form: 2121-  Trainer: Margaret Mullins  Owner: Force Eight Syndicate

Very much caught the eye on debut in a traditionally-strong bumper at Naas in January won by Red Jack, duly going one better in a similar event at Leopardstown three weeks later, tanking along at the head of affairs and readily asserting having been briefly pressed two furlongs out to score by 6½ lengths from Le Richebourg. He took the step up in class in his stride when contesting the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in March, again impressing with the manner in which he travelled and briefly looking to have matters in hand two furlongs out, only a late surge from the very smart mare Fayonagh denying him victory. He signed off with an easy success in a Listed event at Limerick three weeks later, tracking the leader and travelling powerfully, making smooth headway to challenge two furlongs out and clearing away inside the final furlong to score by 5 lengths from Cornelius Sulla. The level of form he achieved as a four-year-old in the bumper division marks this son of Smadoun down as a fine prospect for novice hurdles, and it’d be disappointing if he couldn’t make up into a leading contender for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

11. ENNISCOFFEY OSCAR (5 b g Oscar – Enniscoffey)
Form: 12-  Trainer: Emma Lavelle  Owner: Pick ‘N’ Mix Partnership

Sizeable point-to-point recruit (held in second when falling at the last in a decent event in that sphere) who did well to make a winning start to his Rules career in a bumper on the polytrack around Lingfield in February (9/2 chance), travelling strongly and fending off all comers to score by a short-head from Take To Heart. He took the steep rise in class in his stride when contesting the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree a couple of months later (18/1 chance), held up and making progress from the top of the straight, caught in behind runners and forced to switch approaching the final furlong, finishing strongly to take second close home behind Lalor. It was a meritorious effort from this son of Oscar, fast-tracked into Graded company having won only a modest all-weather bumper and not ideally placed in a steadily-run affair; it’d be somewhat surprising if he couldn’t reach a smart level in novice hurdles this term.

12. FOR A FACT (4 b g Pour Moi – Refinement)
Form:  Trainer: Joseph O’Brien  Owner: Michael Tabor

Half brother to useful bumper winner West Coast Time out of a very smart multiple bumper (including at Grade 1 level)/very smart 2m-3m hurdle (including at Grade 1 level) winner who was a half sister to smart dual bumper (including at Listed level)/dual 2m hurdle/2m chase winner Manners out of a dual bumper/useful 2m-2m 4f hurdle/fairly useful 2m-3m chase winner. This gelding’s pedigree suggests he will prove more than capable of making an immediate and significant impact in the bumper division this term, his dam a Grade 1 winner in the sphere and his year older half brother successful first time out last season for these connections.

13. FORZA MILAN (5 b g Milan – Nonnetia)
Form: 6221-  Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill  Owner: Deep Sea Partnership

Full brother to Grand National hero One For Arthur who improved with each outing last season, unable to sustain his effort from off the pace when sixth in a decent bumper at Worcester on debut last October and then splitting subsequent Listed scorer Gayebury and future Grade 1 winner The Worlds End on his hurdling bow at Ffos Las a month later. Following a second place finish to Rather Be at Huntingdon on Boxing Day, he signed off with a victory in a 2m 3f maiden hurdle at Chepstow two months later, waited with in midfield and produced to lead approaching the final flight, coming clear on the run-in to score by 3¼ lengths from Rock My Style. This gelding looked far from the finished article even in victory last time, and he still appeals as nicely treated from a revised mark of 128; open to significant improvement in handicap hurdles in his second season, he ought to find 3m within range.

14. GENTLEMAN’S DREAM (5 b g Flemensfirth – Fair And Aisey)
Form: PP84-  Trainer: Gary Moore  Owner: Dedman Properties

€82,000 point-to-point recruit who failed to complete on his first two outings under Rules, putting in a novicey round of jumping at Newbury on debut last November but offering a lot more at Fontwell a month later, travelling up to the leaders going strongly on the approach to the third last flight, pitching on landing and soon dropping away. He again showed promise in a pair of 2m hurdle events at Plumpton earlier this year, travelling well to a point both times though very much ridden with an eye to the future, keeping on in the straight to take a soundly-held fourth behind Little Chunk on the latter occasion (beaten 16½ lengths). This gelding looks sure to do better at some stage, bred to be decent (out of a half sister to useful jumpers Meister Eckhart (by Flemensfirth) and Sonnyanjoe) and an opening mark of 102 allowing him to start off at a realistic level in handicaps; should stay 3m eventually.

15. GIVE ME A COPPER (7 ch g Presenting – Copper Supreme)
Form: 1/161-  Trainer: Paul Nicholls  Owner: Done, Ferguson, Kyle, Mason & Wood

Point winner who impressed when making a winning start under Rules for Donal Coffey in a 2m 3f bumper at Cork last March, snapped up for £270,000 soon after and returning with a win on his hurdling debut at Exeter (2m 7f) in December, leading three out and soon in full control as he came home 14 lengths clear of Bindon Mill. He proved disappointing when upped to Grade 2 company at Doncaster next time (caught wide) but signed off with a win in a 2m 4f novices’ hurdle at Ayr in April, leading three out but rather tapped-for-toe and looking vulnerable when headed at the penultimate flight, rallying well to regain the lead at the last and forging clear on the run-in to score by 3¼ lengths from Burbank. This gelding did really well to win last time over a trip that looked a bare minimum, looking a stayer in the making; strongly appeals as the type to excel over fences and, for all it may well be the NH Chase rather than the RSA Chase, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see him lining up at Cheltenham in March.

16. GLENLOE (6 br g Kayf Tara – Mandys Native)
Form: 7/6515-  Trainer: Gordon Elliott  Owner: J P McManus

Full brother to very useful jumpers Alfie Sherrin and Hawkes Point who came good at the fourth time of asking in a 2m 7f maiden hurdle at Navan last December, travelling well but making jumping errors along the way and forced to fight hard having been headed after the second last flight, eventually scoring by a neck from Call The Taxie. His only subsequent outing came in a Pertemps Qualifier at Punchestown in February, waited with in midfield and still having plenty on turning into the straight, running on strongly after the last to take fifth behind Isleofhopendreams (beaten 5¼ lengths). This gelding wasn’t seen again thereafter for whatever reason but possesses significant scope for improvement, particularly once his attentions are switched to chasing; shapes like an out-and-out stayer.

17. IF THE CAP FITS (5 b g Milan – Derravaragh Sayra)
Form: 114-  Trainer: Harry Fry  Owner: Paul & Clare Rooney

Bred along the same lines as useful jumper Duke Of Lucca and made a winning start to his career in a bumper at Plumpton last November, following up under a penalty in a similar event at Taunton some three months later, still green but strong at the finish. He acquitted himself with real credit in defeat in the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree six weeks later, tracking the leaders and holding every chance over a furlong out, one paced inside the final furlong as he came home in fourth behind Lalor (beaten 2¾ lengths). For all he was well placed in a steadily-run affair, the relative test of speed it became in the straight would’ve counted against him given how he shaped on his first two starts, also bred to stay well in time; ought to be plenty more to come over timber in his second season.

18. IRISH PROPHECY (4 b g Azamour – Prophets Honor)
Form: 11-  Trainer: Emma Lavelle  Owner: Nicholas Mustoe

Out of a half sister to high-class jumper Wahiba Sands and created a good first impression when landing a 13f junior bumper at Doncaster last November, waited with and travelling strongly, making steady progress from the three furlong marker and hitting the front inside the final 100 yards, keeping on well to see off Eskandash by half a length. He made light work of a penalty when upped to 2m for a bumper at Kempton some three months later, tanking along in midfield and making smooth progress to join issue inside the three furlong marker, sent on approaching the final furlong and running out a comfortable 2¼-length winner from Champ. A strapping sort physically, that this son of Azamour was able to remain unbeaten in bumper company says much about the ability he possesses; everything looks in place for him to reach a good level in 2m novice hurdles this term.

19. IT’S O KAY (4 b f Shirocco – Presenting Copper)
Form:  Trainer: Olly Murphy  Owner: Aiden Murphy & Alan Peterson

Half sister to smart triple bumper (including at Listed level)/Grade 2-placed 2m-2m 3f hurdle winner Copper Kay and Listed-placed bumper winner Which One Is Which, out of a bumper/Grade 2-placed 2m-2m 1f hurdle/useful 2m-2m 3f chase winner who was a half sister to bumper/Grade 2-placed dual 2m hurdle/smart 2m 1f-2m 5f chase (including at Listed level) winner Copper Bleu, 2m 5f-3m hurdle/3m chase winner Cloudy Copper and bumper/2m 4f-2m 7f hurdle winner Give Me A Copper. This filly hails from a splendid family, one that tends to excel over obstacles but which also boasts a fine record in bumpers, so it’d be somewhat surprising if she couldn’t make the breakthrough in that sphere for a rookie handler who has made a fast start to his training career.

20. JUST MINDED (6 b g Kayf Tara – Georgia On My Mind)
Form: /13312-  Trainer: Sue Smith  Owner: Trevor Hemmings

Three-parts brother to smart jumper Diamond King (by King’s Theatre) who made a successful return in a bumper at Carlisle last November, and he shaped with promise on his hurdling debut in a 2m novice event at Wetherby a month later, not always fluent and tapped-for-toe initially before keeping on well to take third behind Craggaknock. He could only manage third (of five) in a heavy-ground 2m 4f maiden hurdle at Ayr three weeks later (reportedly lost a shoe) but bounced back to land a 2m novices’ hurdle at Market Rasen in March, tracking the leader and taking over at the final flight, staying on strongly to score by 3 lengths from Top Ville Ben. He signed off with a second place finish to Ami Desbois in a 2m 4f novices’ hurdle at Newcastle the following month, unable to take advantage of a 12lbs weight concession from the winner; however, it’s over fences that this son of Kayf Tara will really come into his own, from a stable that does particularly well with its chasers and having the build for that discipline.

21. KALASHNIKOV (4 br g Kalanisi – Fairy Lane)
Form: 1-  Trainer: Amy Murphy  Owner: Paul Murphy

Full brother to connections’ very useful jumper Kalane who made a winning start to his career in a bumper at Wetherby back in March (12/1 chance), racing in midfield until making headway on the approach to the home straight, driven along over two furlongs out and leading with over a furlong left to run, staying on determinedly to get the better of Minella Warrior by 2 lengths. This gelding’s pedigree is very much geared towards him staying further over obstacles, so that he was able to get the job done first time in a bumper says much about the ability he possesses; no surprise to see him develop into an above-average novice hurdler for his excellent young handler.

22. LESLEY DAWN (4 b f Flemensfirth – Glen Empress)
Form: 7-1  Trainer: Jessica Harrington  Owner: Ann & Alan Potts Partnership

Half sister to smart trio Shirley Casper, Thunder And Roses and Wrath Of Titans who failed to measure up to expectations on debut in a bumper at Fairyhouse in April, failing to settle fully and paying for it at the business end of matters as she faded into a distant seventh behind Red Jack. She turned in a much more polished display on hurdling debut in a 2m 1f mares’ maiden event at Punchestown a month later, leading/disputing until taking a definite advantage going easily between the third and second last flights, coming clear in the straight to record a 16-length margin of victory over Dawn In The Park. This filly is bred to be smart and looked distinctly above average when turning away an admittedly run-of-the-mill bunch on her hurdling bow; really ought to prove capable of defying a penalty when next seen and can take high rank in the mares’ novice hurdling division this term.

23. MARIA’S BENEFIT (5 b m Beneficial – Youngborogal)
Form: 210-  Trainer: Stuart Edmunds  Owner: P D Wells

Point-to-point winner who shaped very well on her Rules debut in a mares’ bumper at Doncaster in January, travelling nicely close up and holding every chance approaching the final furlong, finding only subsequent Listed scorer Dame Rose (to whom she was conceding 11lbs) too good. She didn’t need to improve to go one better against male opposition at Huntingdon seven weeks later and rounded off her campaign in the Listed mares’ bumper at Aintree in April, racing keenly and paying the price at the business end of matters as she came home 10th of 18 behind old rival Dame Rose (beaten 21¾ lengths). This mare is bred to make her mark over obstacles and ought to reach a decent level in mares’ novice events in her second season, likely to stay further than 2m in time.

24. MINELLA WARRIOR (5 b g King’s Theatre – Bobbi’s Venture)
Form: 82-  Trainer: Kim Bailey  Owner: Mrs Julie Martin & David Martin

£180,000 purchase from the point sphere who shaped a bit better than the end result implied on his Rules debut in a bumper at Ascot last December, racing keenly and also exhibiting signs of greenness off the bridle, merely plugging on in the straight as he came home in eighth behind Western Ryder. He fared much better on his return from a three-month break in a bumper at Doncaster in March, tracking the leaders and travelling powerfully for much of the way, ridden to lead over two furlongs out but headed with over a furlong left to run and having to settle for second behind Kalashnikov. This gelding’s pedigree alone suggests he’ll do better still once tackling obstacles (dam a half sister to classy jumper Menorah, by King’s Theatre), likely to prove best at trips in excess of 2m.

25. MONALEE (6 b g Milan – Tempest Belle)
Form: 212124-  Trainer: Henry de Bromhead  Owner: Barry Maloney

Showed promise in bumpers and quickly made up into a smart performer over hurdles last term, winning on debut and then landing a 3m Grade 3 contest at Clonmel prior to finishing second to Penhill in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham, travelling strongly but perhaps doing a bit too much too soon and headed at the final flight. He was likely feeling the effects of that race when fourth in the Irish equivalent at Punchestown the following month, but this gelding is very much the type to do even better over fences this time around, hailing from a stable noted for its prowess with chasers; almost certain that his campaign will be geared towards a crack at the RSA Chase.

26. MONT DES AVALOIRS (4 b g Blue Bresil – Abu Dhabi)
Form: 2-  Trainer: Paul Nicholls  Owner: Mrs Johnny de la Hey

Full brother to the yard’s smart jumper Le Prezien who made a most encouraging debut in a bumper at Chepstow in April (2/1 market leader), waited with in rear until making smooth progress at the top of the straight, moving through to challenge on the bit three furlongs out, driven and holding every chance from the two furlong marker but edging left and unable to go with Truckers Lodge inside the final furlong. It was a highly respectable first effort from this sizeable individual, coming up against a promising sort who’d won his point-to-point well; very much the type that will be seen to better effect once tackling hurdles this season, likely to prove best at/around 2m.

27. MR BIG SHOT (6 br g Flemensfirth – Une Etoile)
Form: 1/11-  Trainer: David Pipe  Owner: Professor Caroline Tisdall

Stoutly-bred gelding who overcame greenness to win a bumper at Uttoxeter in March of 2016, and he again created a good impression when bagging a pair of novice hurdles earlier this year, merely driven out to score on his return to action at Wetherby (2m) in January and then following up under a penalty at Carlisle (2m 1f) some ten weeks later, coasting clear from an inferior bunch. He was fully entitled to win on both occasions, but this son of Flemensfirth gives the firm impression he’ll prove equal to the task at a higher level, be it in a handicap hurdle (from a mark of 138) or over fences; will stay 2m 4f at the very least and rates an exciting prospect for the season ahead.

28. NO COMMENT (6 br g Kayf Tara – Dizzy Frizzy)
Form: 111722-  Trainer: Philip Hobbs  Owner: J P McManus

Unseated at the second flight on his return to action in the 2m 3f Grade 2 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow last October, but, having found Robin Roe much too good at Aintree next time, racked up a hat-trick of wins in the space of six weeks at Market Rasen (2m 2f) and twice at Plumpton (both 2m 4f) culminating in victory over Minella Awards under a double penalty. He ultimately paid the price for a sweeping move into contention when seventh in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham in March, and he signed off with a couple of second place finishes in 3m handicap hurdles at Aintree (given too much to do) and Punchestown, when finding old rival Minella Awards a length too good. This gelding appeals as the sort to do well over fences, perhaps not a top notch prospect for that discipline but likely to reach a smart level all the same; travels well enough to think he could prove best at/around 2m 4f.

29. PLANET NINE (5 b g Flemensfirth – Old Moon)
Form: 11-  Trainer: Rose Dobbin  Owner: Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson

Full brother to very useful jumpers Minella Daddy and Noble Endeavor who made a winning start to his career for Timmy Hyde in a bumper at Thurles in February, close up and travelling sweetly, taking over at the top of the straight but immediately pressed, responding well for pressure throughout the final furlong to edge away and score by 2¼ lengths from Back Bar. He was bought for £135,000 the following week and defied a penalty when making a winning start for new connections in a bumper at Perth eleven weeks later, wandering as he delivered his challenge but fairly forging clear once finding the stands’ side rail to eventually put 3½ lengths between himself and Whatswrongwithyou. This son of Flemensfirth looked to be learning on the job in bumpers, and that he was successful on both starts underscores just how much ability he possesses; therefore, it’d be very surprising if he couldn’t make a significant impact in novice hurdles on the northern circuit this winter; ought to stay 3m.

30. PORTRUSH TED (5 b g Shantou – Village Queen)
Form: 1-  Trainer: Warren Greatrex  Owner: McNeill Family

Full brother to very useful jumpers Bun Doran and Shantou Village who made a winning debut in a bumper at Uttoxeter in March (11/4 chance), towards the rear and showing signs of inexperience, pushed along soon after halfway but responding well and everything clicking with three furlongs left to run, taking the lead over a furlong out and staying on strongly to score by 2¾ lengths from Victarion. This gelding’s two siblings have both achieved a good level of form, and he looked as though he may be able to follow suit given the manner in which he overcame greenness to make a winning start; open to a vast amount of improvement in 2m 4f+ novice hurdles this term.

31. ROCKY’S TREASURE (6 b g Westerner – Fiddlers Bar)
Form: 3411-  Trainer: Kim Bailey  Owner: John Perriss

Half brother to very useful chaser Double Shuffle who was bought by current connections for £60,000 last May following a point-to-point win, shaping well on his first two starts under Rules and confirming that promise on his handicap debut at Doncaster (3m) in February, taking over before the second last flight and fending off Some Kinda Lama to score by ¾-length (pair clear). He followed up from an 8lb higher mark in a competitive 3m handicap hurdle at Ffos Las seven weeks later, waited with until making steady progress from the fourth last and leading two out, quickly asserting and staying on well to score by 3 lengths from Driftwood Haze. He still appeals as nicely treated from a revised mark of 134, the form of both victories having been franked several times since; however, it’s over fences that this son of Westerner will really shine, having all the attributes to make up into a useful chaser.

32. SATURDAYNIGHTFEVER (5 b g King’s Theatre – Get Me Home)
Form:  Trainer: Fergal O’Brien  Owner: Malcolm Denmark

First foal of an unraced half sister to bumper/Grade 1-placed multiple 2m-2m 4f hurdle (including at Grade 2/3 level) winner Get Me Out Of Here and bumper/Grade 1-placed 2m 2f-2m 4f hurdle winner Rock On The Moor out of an unraced half sister to dual bumper/Grade 3-placed 2m 3f-2m 4f hurdle/very smart 2m 4f-2m 6f chase (including at Grade 1 level)/dual Cheltenham Gold Cup third Harbour Pilot, family of Eduard and Monty’s Pass. This gelding’s pedigree strongly suggests he will prove capable of making an immediate impact in bumpers, but, as an unraced five-year-old, it’s likely his attentions will be switched to novice hurdling sooner rather than later.

33. SERGEANT BRODY (6 ch g Black Sam Bellamy – Ardent Bride)
Form: 4-  Trainer: Sam Drinkwater  Owner: Mrs Karen Drinkwater

Three-parts brother to smart chaser The Package (by Kayf Tara) who hasn’t stood much racing to date, his three starts in point-to-points well spaced out and his run in a 2m 4f novices’ hurdle at Leicester last December his only appearance under Rules thus far. However, he won the last of those points and shaped encouragingly at Leicester, waited with in midfield and travelling well, bumped along after the fourth last flight and never really going the pace thereafter, staying on steadily from the penultimate hurdle to take fourth close home behind Head To The Stars (beaten 12¾ lengths). This gelding boasts a good pedigree and is in capable hands, while the ability is quite evidently there; could well make up into a useful performer granted a clear run this time around, sure to stay 3m.

34. SOLOMN GRUNDY (7 b g Westerner – Marika’s King)
Form: /21285-  Trainer: Neil Mulholland  Owner: Roger Brookhouse

This gelding began his 2016/17 campaign by chasing home Behind Time in a 2m 5f conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham last November (not settle fully), and he reversed form with that rival when going one better in a 3m handicap hurdle at Newbury 12 days later, settling better and travelling powerfully throughout. He was unfortunate to not follow up in a 2m 5f handicap hurdle at Wetherby on Boxing Day, right on terms when blundering at the last and then forced to switch around the errant Agincourt Reef on the run-in, just failing to get up. His next two runs are best forgiven, not helped by a lack of genuine pace/hampered by a faller when eighth to Brio Conti at Kempton and then too keen and paying the price when signing off with a fifth place finish back up to 3m at Cheltenham. He is a chaser on looks and ought to prove every bit as good, if not better over the larger obstacles provided he gets a good pace to aim at/settles better than he has done on one or two occasions.

35. SUMKINDOFKING (6 br g King’s Theatre – Shannon Rose)
Form: 117550-  Trainer: Tom George  Owner: PP Control & Automation Limited

Point-to-point recruit who looked an exciting prospect when making a winning Rules debut in a bumper at Chepstow last November, coming clear with minimal assistance from the saddle, and he made an impressive start over timber when readily landing the odds in a 2m novices’ hurdle at Southwell four weeks later. He didn’t quite progress as expected thereafter when his sights were raised, flattering to deceive in a couple of events over 2m/2m 4f at Cheltenham but acquitting himself well in defeat when fifth to Brio Conti in a 2m 5f handicap hurdle at Kempton. He signed off with a twelfth place finish behind Rather Be in a 2m 4f handicap hurdle at Aintree, his finishing effort again rather lacking conviction; however, this sweet-travelling sort appeals as the type to come into his own over fences, and he ought to win a race or two in handicap company over the larger obstacles this term.

36. TANKERTON BOY (4 br g Marienbard – Smashing Leader)
Form: 3  Trainer: Neil King  Owner: Peter Beadles

Half brother to good staying jumper Blakemount who debuted in a bumper at Market Rasen in May (8/1 chance), keen under restraint in rear early on, making rapid progress down the outer with over three furlongs left to run but hanging as he delivered a challenge, his effort flattening out inside the final furlong as he came home in third behind Second Time Around (beaten 6¼ lengths). It was a highly promising first effort from this gelding, refusing to settle early and then making a swift move into contention, those two factors impacting on his finishing effort as well as his all-too-evident inexperience off the bridle. He’s a stoutly-bred individual (also out of a half sister to Lamb Or Cod) and as such, ought to make significant progress once tackling trips in excess of 2m over timber this season.

37. TRUCKERS LODGE (5 b g Westerner – Galeacord)
Form: 1-  Trainer: Tom George  Owner: Gordon & Su Hall

Point-to-point winner who made a winning start under Rules in a bumper at Chepstow in April (3/1 chance), leading/close up until regaining the advantage with around half a mile left to run, drawing clear with the strong-travelling eventual runner-up from the three furlong marker, beginning to assert approaching the final furlong and running out an ultimately impressive 9-length winner over Mont Des Avaloirs. It was a visually taking display from this son of Westerner, well found in the market beforehand and fully justifying that confidence, winning the same race his stable had landed 12 months earlier with subsequent Grade 1 winner The Worlds End. For all it is perhaps asking a bit much for him to replicate that one’s achievements over timber, he rates a very useful novice hurdling prospect in his own right for the season ahead; will almost certainly want further than 2m.

38. VISION DES FLOS (4 b g Balko – Marie Royale)
Form: 1-  Trainer: Colin Tizzard  Owner: Ann & Alan Potts

First foal of a maiden half sister to useful 2m 1f-2m 3f hurdle/very useful 2m 3f-2m 5f chase (including at Grade 3 level) winner Salut Flo and dual bumper/2m 4f hurdle/Grade 3-placed 2m 5f-2m 6f chase winner Balko Des Flos (by Balko). He made a winning start to his career for Robert Tyner in the valuable Goffs Land Rover Bumper at Punchestown in April (12/1 chance), waited with in midfield until taking closer order with half a mile left to run, making smooth progress to lead over a furlong out but strongly pressed inside the final furlong, finding plenty to fend off Hollowgraphic by a neck. The manner in which this gelding travelled throughout marked him down as a bright prospect, bred to shine once tackling obstacles (will make a cracking chaser one day); subsequently bought for €270,000 at auction, he ought to make up into an above-average novice hurdler for new connections this term.

39. WILLIE BOY (6 b g Tikkanen – Pandora’s Moon)
Form: 335F1-  Trainer: Venetia Williams  Owner: Andrew Brooks

£42,000 recruit from points who offered varying degrees of promise in a trio of 2m/2m 4f novice hurdles towards the end of last year, and he was well backed to make a winning start in handicap company/over fences at Sandown in March but got no further than the first fence. He made amends in emphatic fashion in a 2m 4f handicap chase at Uttoxeter seven days later, making all and travelling powerfully throughout, drawing clear after the third last and overcoming a blunder at the next fence (accurate round of jumping otherwise) to run out a 14-length winner from Wade Harper. He was rather predictably hit with a 15lbs rise for that clear-cut success, but he looks well worth a chance to prove himself from his new mark of 132, wholly unexposed and impressing with his jumping last time.

40. ZERO GRAND (6 b g Thousand Words – Ellistown Lady)
Form: /44411-  Trainer: Johnny Farrelly  Owner: Wayne Clifford

Often shaped well in defeat in novice/maiden hurdles prior to coming good at the eighth time of asking on his handicap debut at Exeter (2m 7f) in February, waited with and tanking along, making smooth headway from the fourth last and leading at the second from home, coasting clear on the flat to run out an 8-length winner from Shoofly Milly. He followed up when returned to novice company at Hereford (3m 1f) 15 days later, kept wide and again travelling strongly, ridden on the approach to the straight and responding generously for pressure on the flat to edge out Rolling Dylan by a head. It is doubtful this gelding has finished improving just yet, likely to still prove competitive from his revised mark of 134 back in handicaps but also having the option of going novice chasing.

HORSES

124- ACTING LASS (Harry Fry)
F28115- BRIO CONTI (Paul Nicholls)
315- CADEYRN (Michael Scudamore)
1- CAPTAIN MCGARRY (Graeme McPherson)
6778- CHATEAU CHINON (Rebecca Menzies)
57/2- CHEF DES OBEAUX (Nicky Henderson)
22F122- COOLE CODY (Michael Blake)
3- COUNTER SHY (Jonjo O’Neill)
123313- DEBECE (Tim Vaughan)
2121- DEBUCHET (Margaret Mullins)
12- ENNISCOFFEY OSCAR (Emma Lavelle)
FOR A FACT (Joseph O’Brien)
6221- FORZA MILAN (Jonjo O’Neill)
PP84- GENTLEMAN’S DREAM (Gary Moore)
1/161- GIVE ME A COPPER (Paul Nicholls)
7/6515- GLENLOE (Gordon Elliott)
114- IF THE CAP FITS (Harry Fry)
11- IRISH PROPHECY (Emma Lavelle)
IT’S O KAY (Olly Murphy)
/13312- JUST MINDED (Sue Smith)
1- KALASHNIKOV (Amy Murphy)
7-1 LESLEY DAWN (Jessica Harrington)
210- MARIA’S BENEFIT (Stuart Edmunds)
82- MINELLA WARRIOR (Kim Bailey)
212124- MONALEE (Henry de Bromhead)
2- MONT DES AVALOIRS (Paul Nicholls)
1/11- MR BIG SHOT (David Pipe)
111722- NO COMMENT (Philip Hobbs)
11- PLANET NINE (Rose Dobbin)
1- PORTRUSH TED (Warren Greatrex)
3411- ROCKY’S TREASURE (Kim Bailey)
SATURDAYNIGHTFEVER (Fergal O’Brien)
4- SERGEANT BRODY (Sam Drinkwater)
/21258- SOLOMN GRUNDY (Neil Mulholland)
117550- SUMKINDOFKING (Tom George)
3 TANKERTON BOY (Neil King)
1- TRUCKERS LODGE (Tom George)
1- VISION DES FLOS (Colin Tizzard)
335F1- WILLIE BOY (Venetia Williams)
/44411- ZERO GRAND (Johnny Farrelly)

TRAINERS

Paul Nicholls 3 (Brio Conti, Give Me A Copper, Mont Des Avaloirs)
Kim Bailey 2 (Minella Warrior, Rocky’s Treasure)
Harry Fry 2 (Acting Lass, If The Cap Fits)
Tom George 2 (Sumkindofking, Truckers Lodge)
Emma Lavelle 2 (Enniscoffey Oscar, Irish Prophecy)
Jonjo O’Neill 2 (Counter Shy, Forza Milan)
Michael Blake 1 (Coole Cody)
Henry de Bromhead 1 (Monalee)
Rose Dobbin 1 (Planet Nine)
Sam Drinkwater 1 (Sergeant Brody)
Stuart Edmunds 1 (Maria’s Benefit)
Gordon Elliott 1 (Glenloe)
Johnny Farrelly 1 (Zero Grand)
Warren Greatrex 1 (Portrush Ted)
Jessica Harrington 1 (Lesley Dawn)
Nicky Henderson 1 (Chef Des Obeaux)
Philip Hobbs 1 (No Comment)
Neil King 1 (Tankerton Boy)
Graeme McPherson 1 (Captain McGarry)
Rebecca Menzies 1 (Chateau Chinon)
Gary Moore 1 (Gentleman’s Dream)
Neil Mulholland 1 (Solomn Grundy)
Margaret Mullins 1 (Debuchet)
Amy Murphy 1 (Kalashnikov)
Olly Murphy 1 (It’s O Kay)
Fergal O’Brien 1 (Saturdaynightfever)
Joseph O’Brien 1 (For A Fact)
David Pipe 1 (Mr Big Shot)
Michael Scudamore 1 (Cadeyrn)
Sue Smith 1 (Just Minded)
Colin Tizzard 1 (Vision Des Flos)
Tim Vaughan 1 (Debece)
Venetia Williams 1 (Willie Boy)

1-1 COOLE CODY – Newton Abbot 1st 10/11fav
1-2 MARIA’S BENEFIT – Worcester 2nd 2/1fav
1-3 FORZA MILAN – Worcester 6th 4/1fav
2-4 COUNTER SHY – Worcester 1st 14/1
3-5 COOLE CODY – Newton Abbot 1st Evensjtfav
4-6 IF THE CAP FITS – Exeter 1st 1/2fav

4-7 ENNISCOFFEY OSCAR – Exeter 4th 7/2
5-8 MARIA’S BENEFIT – Newton Abbot 1st 5/4fav

LSP: +£14.66

© Dan Briden

About Author

Have been interested in horse racing since 2000, particularly the breeding side of things. Naturally, I enjoy picking apart maiden races given my love of pedigrees, but I am also at home with handicaps and Group races. Spotting potential early is very rewarding, as is picking up on a handicap project from an early stage, with my most satisfying success stories in recent years being Pere Blanc, More Of That, Turtle Watch and Arab Dawn.

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