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HORSES TO FOLLOW FOR THE 2018/19 JUMPS SEASON
With the new 2018/19 season starting to hit top gear then Oliver picks out some of his string to follow over the jumping campaign
Euxton Lane – Owned by Trevor Hemmings and did well over hurdles for us last season. Rated as high as 139 over hurdles and winning twice. Ended last season by running 7th in the Grade One Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree – a cracking effort. Has been doing plenty of schooling over fences over the summer and looks an exciting Novice Chase prospect for the season ahead. Only 6 years-old so will have more to come and has taken to the bigger obstacles well. Softer ground would be his preference and we are looking forward to an exciting season ahead.
Hitherjacqueslady – Nice mare that was rated 132 over hurdles last season. Won on debut on good ground but has also shown a liking for soft and heavy conditions. Will excel over fences this season after really taking to them during her schooling.
Manning Estate – At the time of writing has only had one career run – that came in a bumper at Fontwell when a very close second. The winner that day has since franked the form by winning over hurdles so that’s a good sign too. We’ve taken our time with him but schools well at home and shows plenty of promise. Is ready to run and should be a horse to note as the season progresses.
Piton Pete – Progressive hurdler last season that ended up rated 132. Won on soft and heavy ground so once the rain comes that is fine but has also gone well on a better surface. Ended last season with a fair 11th (of 20) in a decent novice handicap hurdle at Sandown but has since been well-schooled over fences so that’s obviously the plan this season, with trips from 2m to 2m4f looking the likely distances for this 7 year-old to tackle.
Seaston Spirit – Another progressive hurdler last term that ended on a mark of 115. He ended the campaign on a bit of a low after being brought down and then running down the field but has benefitted from a break. Will be heading over fences this season and has schooling well. Still only 5 years-old but we expect him to make into a better chaser than hurdler.
Sevarano – Impressive in his bumpers last season – winning once and then ended off with a fine 5th at Aintree in their Grade Two National Hunt Flat race at the National Meeting. Will be sent over hurdles this season and schools well at home. Both runs last term came on soft ground so that’s the preference for him. Certainly a horse to follow.
Shaughnessy – Ended last season with a fine win at Towcester in what was his third NH Flat race. At the time of writing is yet to finish out of the first two from his three bumpers but will be heading over hurdles this season. Has strengthened-up over the summer and showing a great attitude – at the moment he’s ticking every box
Westbury – Very pleasing bumper win at Huntingdon last May and rates a nice hurdle prospect for the season ahead. Has got stronger over the summer too and no issues with jumping a hurdle. One to note.
BENATAR: A very good horse for the yard. Ran the other day (Oct 18) but was far too keen and fresh that day. Was returning from a 7-month break so once he got to the races was just a bit too keen to get going again. Actually, did well to finish as close as he did in the end as he was pulling Jamie’s arms out for much of the race. Still only 6 years-old (will be 7 from Jan 1st) so bundles of time on his side still. Seems to act well on most ground but will do better in a better race, when the pace is stronger. Beat Finian’s Oscar in a decent Grade Two Novice Chase at Ascot last December so has already set a decent level of form. Gutsy performer too and certainly one to look for as the season progresses.
BARON ALCO: Very promising first run after a long break when a close second at Chepstow in October. Was an excellent second in the Brown Advisory and Merribelle Stable Plate at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival but since that race missed the following season with injury. Returned after that 577 day break to show he retains all his ability and at 7 years-old is another that has time on his side. Acts on all ground types and has shown a liking for Cheltenham with his last three runs there (up till March 17) reading 3-2-2. Has come out of that return run well and deserves a good run without any mishaps on the track now. Tough performer that we’ll hopefully see in the top handicap chases at the main tracks as the season moves on.
DELL ORO: Did well last season over hurdles (rated 127) with a win and four top three finishes from his five starts. Still lightly-raced but has been schooling well over fences for a campaign over the bigger obstacles this season. A nice horse for novice chasing this season and we’d be disappointed if doesn’t continue his rise up the ranks. Best runs to date have been on a better surface but also stayed 2m5f well on the flat so this should hopefully give us plenty of options now going chasing.
IL RE DI NESSUNO: Only have two career, but they came in decent flat races in Italy. Was actually 8th in the Italian Derby in 2018 so is a classy sort that is a very nice recruit to the yard. Has taken to hurdles well with plenty of schooling and will be a good option for us for the better class juvenile hurdles this season.
AR MEST: A horse we like a fair bit and at 5 years-old will have more to come. Won well at Lingfield back in Feb 18 but fell when still going well at Sandown in his next race. Had a bit of time to get over that and is better than his last run when well down the field at Sandown in the Novices’ Championship Final Hurdle. Has done well over the summer and we think he’ll be well-handicapped this term – especially during the first half of the season. Seems to like plenty of cut too – won on heavy – so we can expect to see him out when conditions start to get softer but has certainly progressed and with the right conditions is a horse to follow this season.
Recent winning NH quotes below:
“Chozen – Another that returns from a break but is fit and well. Top-weight of 12-0 makes life hard and may have likes softer ground but should be okay on that score. Chasing debut here too but schooling well. Probably not the best of races though gives us a chance despite his absence – a horse to note as the season moves on, especially with a bit more give underfoot, but of my two in the race think this one has the better chance and would not be shocked if he can go well here.” 1st 11/2 Tim Vaughan
“Cap St Vincent – One of two in the race for us – both looks to have similar chances. This 5 year-old was last seen back in May so no matter what will improve for the run here (155 day break). Is fit and ready to run though on chase debut and returns off a 3lb lower mark than over hurdles. Done plenty of schooling over the summer too and should be more to come from him with just 6 career runs, but will probably be better for the outing.” 3rd 33/1 Tim Vaughan
“Lord Fendale – Consistent sort and it should be more of the same here. Returned earlier this month to run a decent third at Newton Abbot but that was only a Selling Handicap Hurdle. Conor Brace also rode him that day and continues in the saddle to claim a handy 7lbs. Hoping the visor for the first time suits and in what looks an open race feel we’ve got decent place claims again here – ground, track and trip are all fine. “ 2nd 9/2 Tim Vaughan
“Voila Eric – Had a few issues but delighted to get him back on track. Goes without saying he’ll improve for the run and may have wanted softer ground but hopefully the horse can kick on from here.” 3rd 33/1 Michael Scudamore
“Take Em Out – Tough ask to beat the hot favourite but a small chance of filling a place if the Pipe and O’Brien horses run below-par. Fast ground is fine for him and back into a handicap here should see him more competitive. A bit to prove but if a few of the others behind the market leader run below-par then a small chance of sneaking second or third. However, really, we’d just be delighted with a step forward.” 2nd 16/1 Tim Vaughan
“Jersey Bean – Bean hasn’t run since winning a novice hurdle over this trip at Fontwell in February, he unfortunately picked up an infection in his leg which took ages to clear up so we then turned him away for a good holiday. Bean comes from a family that I have had a lot of success with and they have all wanted soft/heavy ground but he seems to prefer better ground, something we didn’t have a lot of last winter. Open-looking race at the head of the betting but we are one of those so should be in the shake-up. 1st 10/3 Oliver Sherwood
“Len Brennan – First time over hurdles here today – lightly-raced so will be more to come and the longer trip will suit. Be delighted with a clear round and an improved run to give us something to work with but the Skelton horse might be hard for us all to topple. 3rd 28/1 Tim Vaughan
“Storm Patrol – Has plenty of ability – disappointing the last twice over hurdles. Possibly a non-stayer so dropping back in trip, despite pedigree suggesting otherwise. Hopeful of an improved showing and working well at home.” 3rd 16/1 Suzy Smith
“Thistle Do Nicely – Won a bumper last Autumn on decent ground but got lost on a deep surface in a Listed contest last time. He jumps well and is working nicely – should have a very good chance.” 1st 4/1 Jamie Snowden
“Looksnowtlikebrian – Had a cracking time of it last season – winning twice – and improve a fair bit. Made a few mistakes last time out at Kelso back in April so we put him away for the summer. Has done well for the break and in great form at home – at just 7 years-old will have more to come. Stiff track and ground is fine, plus in this higher grade we get in with 11-2 and get weight from most the others. Dickie rides too and has gone well fresh before too – only niggle is he’d have liked softer ground but should go well and certainly one to note as the season moves on. Each-way.” 1st 12/1 Tim Vaughan
“Monbeg Theatre – Won his last two races in style and is unexposed as a staying hurdler. He’s fit and well, and although he has more weight here in a competitive race I look forward to seeing him back on the track after a summer holiday. Should go well and hopeful of a good season ahead.” 1st 11/4 Jamie Snowden
"What's Occurring - He showed promise in all of his runs last season, a bumper followed by three hurdle races. His last race at Market Rasen might look a bit disappointing on paper but it was a good race, very competitive. Last season was very much a learning curve for him and thanks to his patient owners he’s been given plenty of time to mature. He has grown up a lot, he used to boil over very easily but he is really chilled at home now, he works nicely and has always schooled well. This looks a good opportunity for him and based on what we’ve seen on the track so far sets a decent standard for the others to aim at. Should be going close. 1st 4/6 Oliver Sherwood
“Versifier is a lovely honest mare that has had a few problems and absolutely no luck. Last time out at Stratford she had terrible traffic issues, the track was plenty sharp enough for her, so she didn’t have the speed to get out of trouble and endured a rough time. Versifier came back with a few cuts and scratches from there, so she has been given plenty of time to recover, I think that she needs a good gap between her races to be at her best. On what she shows me at home I do believe that once Versifier gets her head in front she will be away, she needs a rub of the green to give her the confidence to progress. Looks to be a fair e/w option here today though.” 1st 4/1 Oliver Sherwood
“Double Treasure – Has won 6 of his last 8 races and is a course winner here too. He’s the highest-rated of these so looks to have a good chance, albeit in a seriously competitive race. Wouldn’t want it too soft though.” 2nd 8/1 Jamie Snowden
“Debece fell last time out at Haydock back in May but ran a blinder before that at Aintree when 4th in a decent race. We are over fences for the first time but has schooled well ahead of this and we are really excited about this season. The Harry Fry horse is the danger but with ground ok and with the horse having gone well fresh in the past then if his jumping holds up should go well.” 2nd 13/2 Tim Vaughan
“Point Of Principle – Second runner in the race for us and looks to have a similar chance. Did well last season and is returning here after a 6 month break. Has been doing plenty at home though so heads here fit and well. Conditions are fine and has gone well off a break in the past. Can go well but no matter what happens a horse to note as the season goes on.” 2nd 25/1 Tim Vaughan
“Clondaw Bisto – Been working nicely and schooling well over fences at home. Rain that’s coming is a plus – will hopefully find things easier over fences and enjoy it a bit more. Hopeful of a positive performance.” 2nd 9/2 Suzy Smith
“Clondaw Cian – Goes best fresh and mark not totally beyond him but will still have to run to his very best to take this. Rain a plus and has run well at the track before too – hopefully will enjoy going back over the smaller obstacles as well. Possibility of running into a place providing he’s in the mood.” 3rd 12/1 Suzy Smith
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