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Dan Briden’s Jumps Horses To Follow 2019/20

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1. AMBION HILL (4 b/br g Getaway – Vertality)
Form: 74-  Trainer: Colin Tizzard  Owner: O C R Wynne & Mrs S J Wynne

Second foal of an unraced half sister to useful jumpers Macs Flamingo and Parish Business who lacked the necessary pace at the business end in a pair of bumpers at Exeter, stepping up on his debut effort in February when fourth of six to Pileon the following month, unable to sustain his challenge inside the final two furlongs (beaten 9¼ lengths). The two bumpers he contested contained plenty of future winners, and that he wasn’t able to make more of an impact in that sphere shouldn’t be held against him given he is bred to come into his own over obstacles.

2. BADDESLEY PRINCE (5 b g Doyen – Norabella)
Form: 5882F-  Trainer: Chris Gordon  Owner: Richard & Carol Cheshire

Stepped up on his debut in a bumper at Southwell and a couple of eighth place finishes in novice hurdles at Newbury and Bangor when chasing home Brandon Castle at Plumpton in January (all at/around 2m), less than fluent on occasions but keeping on well in the straight to come home six lengths adrift of the winner. However, he got no further than the fourth flight when a well-fancied 9/2 chance on his handicap debut at Newbury a couple of months later (2m 4½f). So long as he brushes up on his jumping, he appeals as well treated from his current mark of 115; has the size and scope for chasing but there’s unfinished business over smaller obstacles to attend to first.

3. BREAKING WAVES (5 b g Yeats – Acoola)
Form: /33614-  Trainer: Noel Williams  Owner: Colin Peake & Julie Slater

Huntingdon bumper winner who shaped with promise on his return at Cheltenham in that sphere and again on his hurdling debut at Plumpton, albeit not finding as much as had looked likely (had a breathing operation not long after). He again travelled well to a point when sixth in a well-contested novice event at Chepstow in January before opening his account over timber in a 2m 4½f novice hurdle at Huntingdon a month later, getting on top close home to see off Hold The Note by 1¼ lengths. He signed off with a fourth place finish in a similar event at Newbury the following month, travelling well for a long way but his finishing effort again rather lacking conviction. This gelding appeared to have reached his ceiling under a penalty that day, but he has both the physique and pedigree (related to good chasers Tidal Bay and Beshabar) to think he’ll kick on again over fences this campaign; should stay 3m.

4. CAPTAIN MOIRETTE (7 gr g Kap Rock – Rahana Moirette)
Form: 4/4118-  Trainer: Sue Smith  Owner: Mrs Aafke Clarke

Shaped with promise in a trio of bumpers during the first part of 2016, and he built on a promising return to action/hurdling debut at Wetherby last December with a couple of wins in small-field 2m novice events at Catterick and Haydock within a month of each other, stepping forward each time and doing it easily under a penalty on the latter occasion. He signed off with a creditable eighth place finish to Verdana Blue in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr in April, not always the most fluent and tapped-for-toe before closing up late on (beaten 15 lengths). For all he wasn’t quite ready for Grade 2 company last time after just three outings over hurdles, he remains with significant potential for a novice chasing campaign this term, certainly having the make and shape for the job.

5. CHAMPAGNE COURT (6 b g Court Cave – Lady Taipan)
Form: 155343-  Trainer: Jeremy Scott  Owner: I F Gosden & DJ Coles

Recruit from the point-to-point sphere who built on the promise shown in a bumper at Cheltenham on his Rules debut when winning a 2m novices’ hurdle at Lingfield last November, prominent from the outset and taking over at the second last flight, in control thereafter as he came home 1½ lengths clear of Nordic Combined. He was highly tried in Grade 2 events at Ascot and Warwick the next twice and rounded off his campaign with a couple of excellent efforts in defeat in handicap company, finishing fourth in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham before strong at the finish (outpaced initially) when third in a competitive 2m 4f event at Sandown. He is very much the type to do better still over fences this season, his stamina yet to be fully examined and promising to be suited by trips in excess of 2m 4f.

6. CLOTH CAP (7 b g Beneficial – Cloth Fair)
Form: F/3113-  Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill  Owner: Trevor Hemmings

Stoutly-bred individual who duly took his form up another notch for the switch to fences last season, building on a pleasing third on his chasing debut at Huntingdon with a smooth success 2m 7f handicap chase at Stratford last November, impressing with how he jumped and travelled throughout. He followed up from a 7lb higher mark in a 3m 1f handicap chase at Catterick three weeks later, again travelling and jumping well, taking over before the final fence and running out a ready 2¼-length winner from Red Giant. He signed off with an excellent third place finish in the Scottish National at Ayr some five months later, belying his relative inexperience and yet again impressing with his fluent jumping and the manner in which he travelled, seeing out the marathon trip really well. He appeals strongly as the type to make his mark in some of the major staying events this time around, with an infection he picked up around the turn of the year leaving him wholly unexposed heading into his second season over fences.

7. CLOUDY GLEN (6 b g Cloudings – Ribble)
Form: 5/1171-  Trainer: Venetia Williams  Owner: Trevor Hemmings

Offered encouragement over hurdles during the 2017/18 campaign and duly confirmed it last season, making a successful belated return to action in a 2m 3f conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Haydock last December, making short work of an opening mark of 115. He made no mistake when following up (escaped a penalty) from the same mark at Chepstow a week later but wasn’t able to complete the hat-trick in a stronger contest at Ascot the following month from his revised mark of 127, without the services of conditional Hugh Nugent and managing only seventh. He closed out his campaign with an easy win back in novice company at Carlisle a month later, fully justifying odds of 1/8 as he came home 5 lengths clear of Mill Race King without being extended. That he achieved so much over timber bodes extremely well for his future prospects, a chaser all along and likely to prove the point this campaign, bred for that discipline and representing connections that play the long game; should get 3m.

8. DARGIANNINI (4 b g Fame And Glory – You Take Care)
Form:  Trainer: Harry Whittington  Owner: Kate & Andrew Brooks

€22,000 half brother to bumper/Grade 3-placed 2m 3f-3m 1f hurdle (including at Listed level)/smart 2m 6f-3m chase (including at Grade 2 level) winner Keepers Hill out of a maiden half sister to Grade 2-placed bumper/smart 2m-2m 2f hurdle (including at Grade 3/Listed level)/high-class 2m 2f-3m chase (including twice at Grade 1 level) winner Shattered Love, bumper/triple 2m hurdle/smart 2m 4f-3m chase (including at Grade 2/Listed level) winner Irish Cavalier and dual bumper/2m-2m 4f hurdle/very useful 2m 3f-2m 6f chase winner Make A Track. This gelding boasts a very good pedigree, one that suggests he will eventually prove best over obstacles/further than 2m. However, all of his notable relations were able to make an impact in bumpers initially, including first time out, and he comes from a decent stable that enjoys plenty of success in that sphere while his sire’s progeny also excel in them.

9. DOCTOR DEX (6 b g Oscar – Larnalee)
Form: 221176-  Trainer: Tom George  Owner: Crossed Fingers Partnership

Finished runner-up in three of his four outings in bumpers and continued that trend on his hurdling debut at Musselburgh last December, but he finally made the breakthrough in a 2m maiden hurdle at Wetherby a month later and followed up under a penalty in a 2m 3½f novices’ hurdle at Doncaster the following month. He acquitted himself with credit in defeat in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham (seventh of 24 behind Early Doors) and in a 2m 4f Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting three weeks later (finishing sixth of 21 to Three Musketeers), not seen to best effect on either occasion. For all he has hinted at temperament, he remains with potential for the season ahead from a mark of 126, with a switch to fences likely to see him in an even better light.

10. DONLADD (5 b g Cloudings – Kentford Serotina)
Form: 587-  Trainer: Oliver Sherwood  Owner: Trevor Hemmings

£56,000 third foal of a maiden half sister to useful jumpers Kentford Grebe (later dam of smart hurdler Kentford Grey Lady) and The Land Agent who offered plenty to work on first time out in a bumper at Bangor last December, waited with and keeping on well to take fifth behind a quartet that had raced more prominently. However, he failed to kick on in two subsequent starts in bumpers at Chepstow and Newbury, still looking rough around the edges. For all it’s disappointing this gelding failed to really progress from a promising debut effort, he’s very much bred for obstacles and a stiffer test of stamina, looking a ‘work in progress’ last term; likely capable of better at some stage.

11. DON’T TELL GEORGE (6 b g Enrique – Anowa)
Form: 44/834-  Trainer: Chris Gordon  Owner: Mrs Kate Digweed

Hinted at ability in a handful of outings during the 2017/18 season, particularly when a 20-length fourth to Traffic Fluide in a 2m 4½f novices’ hurdle at Plumpton in April 2018, but he was thumped on his return to action in a 2m 3½f handicap hurdle at Lingfield last November and had a breathing operation soon after. He duly shaped with more promise in a pair of handicap hurdles at Fontwell in February (2m 5½f) and March (2m 3½f), travelling well for a long way on each occasion but unable to see things out fully. He comes with risks attached, already the recipient of a wind operation and a keen goer yet to see out a race; however, he has travelled like one fully capable from his current mark of 100 when it all clicks, with a switch to fences likely to bring about a jolt of improvement.

12. FAUSTINOVICK (5 b g Black Sam Bellamy – Cormorant Cove)
Form: 2-  Trainer: Colin Tizzard  Owner: Taylor & O’Dwyer

Fetched £170,000 at auction having chased home the highly-promising Andy Dufresne in an Irish point-to-point and shaped very well on his Rules debut in a bumper at Newbury back in March (4/1 chance), waited with until making progress over two furlongs out, staying on well throughout the final furlong take a 6-length second to McFabulous. This gelding still looked as though he had something to learn that day, never stronger than at the finish having taken a little time to wind up from off the pace, chasing home one that went on to land the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree’s Grand National meeting. He appeals as the type to make above-average improvement once tackling obstacles and further than 2m, looking another useful recruit for his owners who already have Lostintranslation.

13. GRANITIC (6 b g Court Cave – Like A Miller)
Form: 10034-9  Trainer: Seamus Mullins  Owner: Dr & Mrs John Millar

Made a winning start to his career when edging out Jen’s Boy by a nose in a bumper at Towcester last May and having finished down the field in a pair of novice hurdles at Exeter, battled on well to finish third behind Precious Cargo in a 2m novices’ hurdle at Sandown in March. He matched that form when fourth at Exeter next time but failed to justify pre-race market support when a well-beaten ninth on handicap debut (over 2m 4f) at Worcester in May, soon done with. However, it’s chasing that will prove his real metier, hailing from a good jumping family (dam a half sister to very useful chasers Kymandjen and Maljimar); his stamina has also yet to be tested fully, likely to stay well in time, and it’d come as no surprise to see it all click for this son of Court Cave at some point this term.

14. HAWK’S WELL (5 b g Yeats – Our Song)
Form: 43-  Trainer: Emma Lavelle  Owner: Mrs N Turner & Mrs E Fenton

€45,000 three-parts brother to 2m-3m hurdle/2m 1f chase winner Rooster Byron (by Oscar) out of an unraced half sister to dual bumper/smart 2m 3f-2m 4f hurdle (including at Grade 2 level)/chase winner Value At Risk out of a Midlands National winner who was closely related to good jumper Battlecry and out of a half sister to smart chaser Hey Big Spender. He debuted in a bumper at Warwick last December (16/1 chance), waited with in rear and outpaced when the tempo lifted over half a mile from home, picking up well from over a furlong out and staying on well to take fourth behind Keep Rolling (beaten 8 lengths). He failed to improve as expected when a 12-length third to Green Dolphin in a similar event at Wincanton three months later, but his pedigree is all about jumping, coming from a highly successful family and likely to come into his own once faced with 2m 4f+ and a set of obstacles.

15. HAZZAAR (5 b g Flemensfirth – Una Sorpresa)
Form: 17-  Trainer: Tom Lacey  Owner: C Boultbee-Brooks

Second foal of a half sister to smart hurdler United who made a winning start to his career in a bumper at Ascot last November (9/4 market leader), not settling fully on the outer under a waiting ride, making good progress on the approach to the home straight and ridden to lead approaching the final furlong, running out a ready 2-length winner from Prince Llywelyn. He failed to justify favouritism over the same course and distance in a Listed event some four weeks later, again taking a keen hold and that likely impacting on his finishing effort at a higher level/on softer ground, dropping away inside the final furlong to finish seventh behind Eden Du Houx (beaten 8¾ lengths). He hasn’t been again since, presumably suffering some sort of setback; remains with significant potential for novice hurdling though, likely to stay further than 2m providing he learns to settle better than was the case in bumpers.

16. HIGHLAND HUNTER (6 gr g Subtle Power – Loughine Sparkle)
Form: 0/1135-  Trainer: Paul Nicholls  Owner: Thomas Barr

Point-to-point and bumper winner who made a successful start over hurdles at Ayr last November, and he followed up under a penalty at Hexham a month later (both 2m 4f), with the latter event proving a particularly solid piece of form. He shaped well when third on his handicap debut at Haydock (3m) in mid-January but wasn’t seen to best effect when fifth in a Grade 2 novice event over the same course and distance a month later, waited with and keeping on in the straight without ever troubling the principals. He rates a good chasing prospect this season for his new stable (previously with Lucinda Russell), bred for both that job and to stay well, hailing from the family of good staying jumpers Earthstopper and Ebony Jane (herself later dam of very useful jumpers Gansey and The Minack).

17. HOLD THE NOTE (5 b g Jeremy – Keys Hope)
Form: 14312-  Trainer: Mick Channon  Owner: T P Radford

This gelding made a successful start to his career in a bumper at Newton Abbot last October, and he was far from disgraced when fourth in a Listed contest at Cheltenham the following month. He shaped well when third on his hurdling debut at Sandown and didn’t need to improve when landing a 2m 3½f novice event at Doncaster at the end of December, taking over two out and always in control as he saw off Ivilnoble by ¾ length. He signed off with a decent second place finish to Breaking Waves in a 2m 4½f novices’ hurdle at Huntingdon a couple of months later, untidy jumps at the final two flights not helping his cause as he was run down close home by the unpenalised winner. He quickly reached a useful level over hurdles and promises to do better still over fences this time around, having the size and scope for that game, while a step up to 3m also promises to elicit further improvement.

18. KING OF THE SHARKS (6 b g Flemensfirth – Kings Rose)
Form: 863-  Trainer: Zoe Davison  Owner: Go Faster Syndicate

Dual point-to-point winner who improved steadily in a trio of outings in 2m 7f novice hurdle events last season, beginning to struggle when hampered by a faller on his Rules debut at Lingfield but offering a good bit more when signing off with a 20-length third to Geordie B at Exeter in March, making steady but sustained progress from off the pace. He has shaped like one that will come into his own once tackling marathon distances, yet to have a crack at handicap company and sure to make a more significant impact in that sphere from a mark of 114 (rather ruined a potentially lenient mark when chasing home a useful pair last time). Given his pointing background and sizeable build, it is likely he will be switched to fences sooner rather than later, just the type to take off in that discipline.

19. LIOSDUIN BHEARNA (6 b g Beneficial – Cloth Fair)
Form: 232211-  Trainer: Fergal O’Brien  Owner: The FOB Racing Partnership 4

Brother to Scottish National third Cloth Cap and from the family of smart staying chaser Niche Market, so the fact he managed to place in a pair of bumpers was to his credit, and he continued the good work over hurdles. Following a couple of second place finishes in novice events he got off the mark in a 2m 4½f handicap hurdle at Ayr in February (5/4 market leader), tracking the leader until taking over at the third last, finding plenty on the run-in to fend off the challenge of Three Kings by a short-head. He followed up from a 5lb higher mark in a 2m 3½f handicap hurdle at Chepstow the following month (7/2 favourite), never too far away and leading before three out, left clear after the second last and coming home 9 lengths to the good over Tegerek. It was highly encouraging that this gelding achieved as much as he did over hurdles last term, particularly the last twice over distances sure to prove shorter than his optimum, bred to stay well. The surface has barely been scratched with this son of Beneficial and, remembering how much his brother improved for fences last term, he’s very much one to follow in 2019/20.

20. LOST OSCAR (4 b f Oscar – Lost Link)
Form: 1  Trainer: Peter Fahey  Owner: Mrs Carmel Ennis & Ms Bernadette Leigh

Half sister to Grade 2-placed 2m 3f hurdle/very smart dual 2m 4f chase (including at Grade 1 level) winner For Non Stop, bumper/dual 2m hurdle winner The Linksman and 2m 6f hurdle winner Ryansbrook, family of good staying jumpers Fiddling The Facts and Last Suspect. This nicely-bred filly made a successful start to her career in a mares’ maiden bumper at Cork back in May (6/4 market leader), waited with in midfield and moving closer into the straight, ridden two furlongs out and staying on strongly to lead inside the final 100 yards and run out a 1¾-length winner from Sunndans. This filly was only just winding up as the line approached, the form fair at best but likely to leave it a long way behind in due course (strength in the market beforehand notable); a lengthy sort with plenty of size, it is hard to believe her progress over timber won’t be both swift and pronounced, sure to stay further than 2m in time.

21. MCNAMARAS BAND (6 b g Getaway – Katies Pet)
Form: 1/S31-  Trainer: Philip Hobbs  Owner: Tim Syder & Dominic Burke

Justified favouritism when making a winning start in a bumper at Worcester back in June 2017 but wasn’t seen again for almost 18 months until returning in a 2m 3½f maiden hurdle at Chepstow last November, losing his footing and coming down before the final flight when delivering a strong challenge. He kept on well from off the pace to take third behind Dickie Diver in a well-contested event over the same course and distance some three months later, and he rounded off his campaign with an easy 10-length victory over Mercy Mercy Me back there the following month. Time is still very much on this gelding’s side, brought along steadily so far and having scope for significant improvement, especially in handicaps from a mark of 128. However, he promises to do better still over fences.

22. MERCIAN KNIGHT (5 b g Saint Des Saints – Carole’s Legacy)
Form: 9-  Trainer: Amy Murphy  Owner: Paul Murphy

Third foal of a dual bumper (including at Listed level)/Grade 2-placed 2m 4f-3m hurdle (including at Listed level)/Grade 1-placed 2m 3f-3m chase winner who was a half sister to dual bumper (including at Grade 2 level)/dual 2m 3f hurdle/Grade 1-placed 2m-2m 4f chase (including at Grade 2 level) Mad Max and Listed-placed bumper/Grade 2-placed 2m 3f-3m hurdle (including twice at Listed level) Carole’s Spirit. This well-bred gelding’s sole outing to date came in a bumper at Newbury in March (25/1 chance), racing in midfield until losing his position down the back straight, running green and outpaced but gradually getting the idea in the home straight, making some late inroads to come home in ninth behind McFabulous (beaten 15½ lengths). His pedigree and physique alone point to above-average improvement in his second season, too green to make an impact on debut but getting the hang of things come the finish; hard to believe he won’t do much better once upped in distance/sent hurdling.

23. MILVALE (5 b g Ask – House-Of-Hearts)
Form: 226-  Trainer: Sandy Thomson  Owner: Trading Products Limited

Half brother to very useful staying chaser Emperor’s Choice who finished second on his sole outing in the point-to-point sphere, and he also filled that position on his first two outings under Rules in a pair of bumpers at Ayr earlier this year, strong at the finish on both occasions. He was a good way below that level on his third and final outing of the season at Perth in late April, with the quicker conditions on a flatter track perhaps not playing to his strengths as he came home a well-held sixth behind Equus Dancer. Bumpers were never going to provide this gelding the platform on which to shine, bred to appreciate both obstacles and a stiffer test of stamina (also out of a half sister to the very smart chaser Old Vic); no surprise to see him quickly back on the up in 2m 4f+ novice hurdles this term.

24. MINELLA BOBO (6 gr g Oscar – Line Kendie)
Form: 6241-  Trainer: Rebecca Curtis  Owner: Moran, Outhart, McDermott, Hyde & Hall

Fetched £100,000 after beating Liosduin Bhearna in a point-to-point and shaped with plenty of promise on his Rules debut in a bumper at Newbury last November, travelling smoothly into contention but unable to sustain his challenge as he faded into sixth behind Drunken Pirate. He chased home Nadaitak on his hurdling debut at Doncaster (2m 5f) three weeks later before finishing fourth behind wide-margin winner Samburu Shujaa in a 2m 7½f novice hurdle at Chepstow in mid-January, coming off worst in a three-way battle for second that included old rival Liosduin Bhearna. He took advantage of a good opportunity when landing a 2m 6f novices’ hurdle at Stratford three months later, close up and taking over going well after the second last flight, coming readily clear to score by 18 lengths from Mac Amara. His task was made considerably easier by the early departure of main market rival Ferrobin, but he reached a useful level over timber from limited opportunities and promises to do better still over fences in his second season, hailing from the good jumping family of Granit Jack, Grey Jack and Mondial Jack.

25. MISS MILANO (4 b f Milan – Dewasentah)
Form:  Trainer: Nicky Richards  Owner: Tor Side Racing

€40,000 three-parts sister to bumper winner McGregor’s Cottage (by Brian Boru) and a half sister to dual bumper winner Oleohneh, out of a bumper/2m-2m 1f hurdle winner who was a full sister to dual bumper/Grade 3/Listed-placed 2m-2m 2f hurdle winner Issaquah and a half sister to useful 2m 3f-2m 4f hurdle winner Pokanoket and 3m hurdle winner I’m The Article. This daughter of Milan is very much bred to make an immediate impact in bumpers, with a couple of her siblings wide-margin winners on debut in that sphere and the dam’s full sister also successful first time out, while she comes from a decent northern stable that enjoys plenty of success with such types.

26. MYSTIC DREAMER (5 b m Sans Frontieres – Free Dreamer)
Form: 281-  Trainer: Nick Gifford  Owner: Nick Gifford Racing Club

Fifth foal of an unraced half sister to smart hurdlers Deputy Dan and Minella Class who made a promising start to her career in a mares’ bumper at Ascot in February, making good progress from off the pace to dispute the lead from over a furlong out with Silver Dreamer but edged out by ¾ length at the line. She found the soft ground too much to handle when eighth in a Listed contest at Sandown the following month but bounced back on better ground at Cheltenham six weeks later, overcoming traffic issues to get up close home and score by half a length from Floressa. Her potential for novice hurdling is undeniable, out of a half sister to an aforementioned pair of smart hurdlers and from the family of good jumpers Cool Running and Marlborough; fact she reached a useful level in bumpers bodes incredibly well for her future prospects, and she ought to stay further than 2m if required.

27. NEARLY PERFECT (5 b g Malinas – The Lyme Volunteer)
Form: 027832-  Trainer: Neil King  Owner: Peter Beadles

Half brother to useful 2m 3f-3m hurdle/2m 4f-2m 7f chase winner Crucial Role who chased home the smart Envoi Allen in a point-to-point, snapped up for £100,000 by current connections not long after but finishing down the field in a pair of bumpers either side of last summer. However, he found only one too good on his hurdling debut at Southwell (3m) and having finished down the field the next twice, bounced back in a pair of 2m 7f handicap hurdles at Exeter and Uttoxeter, strong at the finish and failing by just a head on the latter occasion. He has shaped like one that’ll stay well, relishing the emphasis placed on stamina by the heavy ground last time. It is surely only a matter of time before he makes the breakthrough, up to a mark of 120 now but having untapped potential for both longer distances and tackling fences, though he is still only rising six so may well stick to timber for the time being.

28. NEWTIDE (6 br g Getaway – C’Est Fantastique)
Form: 41341-  Trainer: Kim Bailey  Owner: Lady Dulverton

€100,000 recruit from the point-to-point sphere who built on a promising fourth at Chepstow on Rules debut with victory in a 2m 7f maiden hurdle at Haydock a couple of weeks later, overcoming a clumsy round of jumping and responding generously for pressure to score by 4 lengths from Modern Warfair. He finished strongly to take third in a 2m 7½f novices’ handicap hurdle at Ascot next time and, having looked rather rusty after two and a half months away when fourth in a 3m 2f handicap hurdle at Warwick, rounded off his campaign with victory in a 3m handicap hurdle at Ffos Las, taking over before two out and clearing right away to score by an eased-down 9 lengths from Iwilldoit. That he achieved as much as he did over hurdles last season bodes extremely well, looking every inch a chaser, if not on pedigree then very much so on looks; shapes like one that will stay marathon distances.

29. OVERTHETOP (5 br g Flemensfirth – Dawn Bid)
Form: 1-  Trainer: Olly Murphy  Owner: What The Elle

Full brother to bumper/Grade 2-placed 3m hurdle winner On Raglan Road and a half brother to bumper winners Megabill and No No Manolito, out of an unraced half sister to smart 2m 5f-3m 2f hurdle (including at Listed level)/Grade 2-placed 2m 5f-3m 1f chase (including at Grade 3 level) winner Therealbandit and multiple bumper (including twice at Grade 2 level)/very useful 2m-2m 7f hurdle/smart 2m 4f-3m chase winner The Bajan Bandit. He was picked up for £150,000 following victory in a point-to-point at Ballindenisk last December and made a winning start under Rules in a bumper at Warwick in April (3/1 joint-favourite), waited with until making progress with half a mile left to run, moving through to lead over a furlong out and staying on strongly to score by 2½ lengths from Induno. This gelding has all the attributes to make up into a smart novice hurdler this term, boasting a good jumps pedigree and impressing with how he went about things on his Rules debut; should find 3m within range in time.

30. PRUDHOMME (4 ch g Martaline – Panzella)
Form: U21-  Trainer: Nick Williams  Owner: Gascoigne, Brookes & Barker

Half brother to smart hurdler Pont Alexandre who swerved and unshipped his rider at the start on debut at Wincanton last December, and he looked set to atone for that mishap when coasting through to the lead in a bumper at Newbury the following month, looking in full control passing the two furlong marker but run down close home by The Macon Lugnatic. He duly went one better in a bumper at Ffos Las some three months later (7/4 market leader), tanking along in midfield and making smooth progress over three furlongs out, moving through to lead approaching the final furlong and quickly clearing away to score by 5 lengths from Exelerator Express. So long as whatever quirks he possesses can be kept in check (yet to have his mettle tested fully), this son of Martaline looks a useful prospect for novice hurdles this term, boasting a good pedigree and sure to stay further than 2m.

31. SEATON CAREW (5 b m Getaway – Millys Gesture)
Form: 51-  Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill  Owner: Jon And Julia Aisbitt

Half sister to Grade 1-placed 2m-3m hurdle/very smart 2m 4f-2m 5f chase (including at Grade 1 level) winner Coney Island out of an unraced close relation to dual bumper/high-class 2m 4f-3m hurdle (including at Grade 1 level)/smart 2m 7f-3m chase (including at Grade 3 level) winner Wichita Lineman and half sister to Grade 1-placed dual bumper (including at Listed level)/very smart 2m-3m hurdle (including at Grade 1 level) winner Rhinestone Cowboy. This well-bred mare shaped with considerable promise when fifth in a mares’ bumper on debut at Warwick last November, duly confirming that good first impression when landing a similar event at Wetherby three months later, travelling smoothly to the head of affairs over two furlongs out and staying on well to score by 3¼ lengths from Miah Grace. She hails from an excellent jumps family and laid down good foundations last term, impressing with the manner in which she travelled and sealed matters last time; good prospect for mares’ novice hurdles.

32. SILVER HALLMARK (5 br/gr g Shirocco – Gaye Sophie)
Form: 3-  Trainer: Fergal O’Brien  Owner: Mr & Mrs William Rucker

Half brother to bumper/Grade 2-placed 2m 4f-3m hurdle (including at Listed level) winner Gayebury, 2m hurdle/2m-2m 4f chase winner Monbeg Chit Chat and 2m 3f-2m 4f hurdle winner Super Sam, out of a once-raced maiden half sister to 2m hurdle/smart 2m 5f-3m chase (including at Grade 3/Listed level) winner Simon. This gelding was purchased for £115,000 after winning a point-to-point last December and shaped with promise on his Rules debut in a well-contested bumper at Newbury in March (11/2 chance), waited with and making headway over three furlongs out, keeping on steadily from over a furlong out to take third behind McFabulous (beaten 7 lengths). It was encouraging that he achieved so much straight away, bred for stiffer tests over obstacles and outlining his prospective stamina by the end; open to above-average improvement in 2m 4f+ novice hurdle events this term.

33. SOUND WALL (4 b g Milan – Wall Of Silence)
Form:  Trainer: Harry Fry  Owner: Charles C Walker

£64,000 fourth foal of a maiden half sister to bumper/smart 2m-2m 4f hurdle (including at Grade 1 level)/very useful 2m 4f-3m chase winner Muirhead, bumper/Grade 1-placed dual 2m hurdle winner Thomas Darby and bumper/2m-2m 4f hurdle winner Letherbelucky out of a maiden half sister to smart dual purpose performer Nononito. This gelding is bred to make an immediate impact, his dam limited but herself a half sister to a pair of smart jumpers who were successful first time out in bumpers while another sibling also won on debut in that sphere. His stable also enjoys plenty of success in them and this son of Milan is one to look forward to in 2019/20.

34. SPEAK EASY (6 b g Beneficial – For Bill)
Form: 1532/  Trainer: Joseph O’Brien  Owner: John P McManus

£220,000 recruit from the point sphere who made a winning start under Rules in a well-contested 2m maiden hurdle at Navan in December 2017, and he was far from disgraced when thrown in at the deep end in Grade 1/2 company the next twice, finding the step back to 2m/a slowly-run race counting against him on the second occasion. He ended his first campaign in a competitive 3m novices’ handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse last April, waited with until improving smoothly from the fourth last, shaken up to challenge two out (jumped big) but left behind by eventual winner Agent Boru (to whom he was conceding a stone) on the run-in and coming home 3 lengths adrift at the line. He missed last season in its entirety, not taking up an engagement at Gowran Park last November and evidently having a setback soon after; type to quickly make up for lost time in 2m 4f+ novice chase events this term.

35. TEDHAM (5 b g Shirocco – Alegralil)
Form: /43217-  Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill  Owner: M Tedham

Well-bred sort who caught the eye without being given a hard time in a trio of 2m/2m 1f novice hurdles, and he duly confirmed the promise he had shown when landing a 2m 5½f handicap hurdle at Wincanton in January, moving into things smoothly and finding plenty to score by 1¾ lengths from Tight Call. His only other outing of the season saw him contest a 2m 4f Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Aintree in April (popular 11/2 market leader), his lack of experience rather laid bare, a couple of jumping mistakes at crucial points not aiding his cause, travelling well for a long way but coming home an ultimately well-held seventh behind Three Musketeers (beaten 13½ lengths). He remains capable of much better, the form of his Wincanton win proving strong and moving through the race at Aintree like one ahead of his mark. For all chasing is an option, he is only five and his dam was a smart hurdler; has scope for significant improvement over timber from his mark of 131 and appeals as the type to land a good prize this term.

36. THE OLYMPIAN (3 ch g Olympic Glory – Basira)
Form:  Trainer: Alan King  Owner: John P McManus

From a good Aga Khan family (dam a half sister to 12f Group 1 winner Behkabad) and made a significant impact on the Flat at two, finding only one too good on his first two starts at Windsor (1m) and Goodwood (10f) last September, not seen to best effect on either occasion. He gained compensation in a 10f maiden at Newmarket the following month, tracking the leaders and ridden to challenge two furlongs out, responding well for pressure throughout the final furlong to edge ahead close home and deny Travel On by a neck. He was handed a mark of 86 but hasn’t yet made it out again on the level, that unlikely to have been by design but a notable change of ownership earlier in the year suggesting that juvenile hurdles have long been on the agenda. He has all the attributes to take high rank in that sphere and, assuming he is over whatever has troubled him, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see him appear in one of the better early-season juvenile contests at Market Rasen or Kempton.

37. TOI STOREY (6 b g Winged Love – Where’s Herself)
Form: 44331-  Trainer: Rebecca Menzies  Owner: Liz Dixon & Shelagh Fagen 1

Stoutly-bred individual who improved steadily with each outing during his first season, never out of the frame and catching the eye with his finishing efforts under patient rides in a pair of 2m 4f novice hurdles at Hexham towards the end of last year. He came good on what proved to be his final outing of the season under similar circumstances back in March (3/1 chance), waited with in midfield and making smooth progress soon after halfway, taking over going best before the final flight and working his way clear on the flat to run out a commanding 3½-length winner from Pieceoftheaction. He didn’t need to improve greatly on his previous efforts to score, but this son of Winged Love appeals as the sort to improve again in handicap company from an initial mark of 116; will stay 3m at least.

38. TOUR DE PUB (5 ch g Aizavoski – Gallant Express)
Form: 863-  Trainer: Mark Walford  Owner: J Scarrow, J Cowan & S Evans

First foal of a maiden half sister to handful of winning jumpers, notably useful pair Galant Ferns and On Tour, and he was snapped up for £18,000 by current connections following victory in a point-to-point at Sherriff Hutton in January. He no more than hinted at ability in a trio of 2m 1f (twice)/2m 4f novice hurdles at Sedgefield, not always the most fluent but at least rallying well to take a 12-length third to Honourary Gift when last seen. An opening mark of 105 seems enough on what he has achieved so far, but his pedigree, profile and the stable’s modus operandi offer hope that he’ll prove a bigger force in handicap company this term; should stay further than 2m 4f.

39. WEE GOLDIE (5 b g Gold Well – Presenteea)
Form: 2  Trainer: Harriet Graham  Owner: G Adam

First foal of an unraced half sister to bumper/very smart 2m-3m hurdle (including twice at Grade 1 level)/smart dual 2m chase (including at Grade 2 level) winner Identity Thief and bumper/Listed-placed 2m-2m 7f hurdle winner Oscarteea. His sole outing to date came in a bumper at Kelso in May (12/1 chance), racing in midfield and making good progress with around half a mile left to run, holding every chance from two furlongs out but unable to match Holly James close home and going down by a length at the line. It was a highly promising start from this gelding, travelling into things nicely but unable to master the well-backed winner, with the pair of them coming home 13 lengths clear of the remainder. These connections enjoyed plenty of success with Aye Right last term and it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this well-related son of Gold Well follow suit and make up into a useful novice hurdler.

40. ZULU DAWN (5 b g Fame And Glory – Maslam)
Form: 455-  Trainer: Graeme McPherson  Owner: The Grand Cru Partnership

Half brother to useful jumpers Corkage, Handy Andy and Holly Bush Henry who offered promise in a trio of outings in bumpers last term, notably strong in the market when fourth on debut at Warwick last December and again running well in defeat when fifth of 13 to McFabulous at Newbury in early March. His third and final outing of the season came in a traditionally-strong event at Ayr’s Scottish Grand National meeting the following month, holding every chance two furlongs out and having few excuses as he came home in fifth behind December Second. This gelding’s pedigree is geared towards jumping, laying some solid foundations for that discipline in bumpers last term; appeals as the type to kick on in novice/handicap hurdles this season, likely to stay further than 2m.

HORSES

74- AMBION HILL (Colin Tizzard)
5882F- BADDESLEY PRINCE (Chris Gordon)
/33614- BREAKING WAVES (Noel Williams)
4/4118- CAPTAIN MOIRETTE (Sue Smith)
155343- CHAMPAGNE COURT (Jeremy Scott)
F/3113- CLOTH CAP (Jonjo O’Neill)
5/1171- CLOUDY GLEN (Venetia Williams)
DARGIANNINI (Harry Whittington)
221176- DOCTOR DEX (Tom George)
587- DONLADD (Oliver Sherwood)
44/834- DON’T TELL GEORGE (Chris Gordon)
2- FAUSTINOVICK (Colin Tizzard)
10034-9 GRANITIC (Seamus Mullins)
43- HAWK’S WELL (Emma Lavelle)
17- HAZZAAR (Tom Lacey)
0/1135- HIGHLAND HUNTER (Paul Nicholls)
14312- HOLD THE NOTE (Mick Channon)
863- KING OF THE SHARKS (Zoe Davison)
232211- LIOSDUIN BHEARNA (Fergal O’Brien)
1 LOST OSCAR (Peter Fahey)
1/S31- MCNAMARAS BAND (Philip Hobbs)
9- MERCIAN KNIGHT (Amy Murphy)
226- MILVALE (Sandy Thomson)
6241- MINELLA BOBO (Rebecca Curtis)
MISS MILANO (Nicky Richards)
281- MYSTIC DREAMER (Nick Gifford)
027832- NEARLY PERFECT (Neil King)
41341- NEWTIDE (Kim Bailey)
1- OVERTHETOP (Olly Murphy)
U21- PRUDHOMME (Nick Williams)
51- SEATON CAREW (Jonjo O’Neill)
3- SILVER HALLMARK (Fergal O’Brien)
SOUND WALL (Harry Fry)
1532/ SPEAK EASY (Joseph O’Brien)
/43217- TEDHAM (Jonjo O’Neill)
THE OLYMPIAN (Alan King)
44331- TOI STOREY (Rebecca Menzies)
863- TOUR DE PUB (Mark Walford)
2 WEE GOLDIE (Harriet Graham)
455- ZULU DAWN (Graeme McPherson)

© Daniel 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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