Tuesday, 30 September 2014

40 jumpers to follow 2014-15

This season's picks for the 40 to follow project:

1. AS I AM – Don Cantillon
Bred and owned by the trainer, showed great attitude to win a decent Cheltenham mares hurdle in the Spring and now goes chasing. Good ground is important.

2. BLUE HERON – Dan Skelton
Maiden win over hurdles was stylish and is still learning  - only 5 runs – so more to come from a horse at an up and coming yard.

3. CAPOTE – Jonjo O’Neill
Point winner and picked up two good novice hurdles en-route to a 4th at Aintree behind the very good Beat That. Staying novice chases likely to be the aim.

4. CAROLE’S DESTRIER – Neil Mulholland
Overall form is a little patchy but the best is good and under right conditions (needs give, and about 2½  miles) should be an interesting novice over fences.

5. CHAMPAGNE WEST – Philip Hobbs
Upwardly progressive profile last year culminating with a good 4th to Very Wood in the Albert Bartlett. Graduate from the 13-14 list and good things expected.

6. CHEZZY – Fergal O’Brien
Taking a flyer on a bumper winner from a yard I like. She did the job very well at Carlisle, but little strength in depth, so this is all about perceived potential.

7. DEEP TROUBLE – Ben Case
Tricky customer, but good 7th in County Hurdle and left that behind with a win in a valuable Punchestown handicap. Chasing (and tail flashing) on the agenda.

8. DIAMOND KING – Donald McCain
Blundered away an otherwise perfect record at Bangor in Dec. Not yet been set any challenging targets and hopefully he’s matured for a stronger campaign.

9. DEPUTY DAN – Oliver Sherwood
Perhaps an obvious pick. Lovely, easy travelling sort with a touch of class. Idled away his chance in the Albert Bartlett, but big targets should be within scope.

10. EDUARD – Nicky Richards
Tenderly handled novice chaser confined to small fields, but began to deliver the promise at Ayr in April. Should kick on this term. May start in the Old Roan Chase.

11. FLETCHER’S FLYER – Harry Fry
Tough, game sort of the type that perennially appear on this list. Willing effort to land decent bumper at Punchestown in April and rates a decent prospect.

12. GAELIC MYTH – Kim Bailey
Ludlow bumper winner in the Spring. Responded well when asked for an effort and likely to make a mark novice hurdling.

13. GARDE LA VICTOIRE – Philip Hobbs
Left for dead by Vautour et al in the Supreme, but found a better level of form for a step up in trip and decent novice chases should prove within scope this term.

Bit of a talking horse last season and didn’t entirely deliver. Arguably now represents decent handicap value to go with his touch of class.

15. GREAT TRY – Paul Nicholls
Not easy finding anything from the Nicholls’ yard that is below the radar, but this easy bumper winner is the best shot I’ve come up with.

16. GREEN FLAG - Lucinda Russell
Committed staying handicap sort who didn’t quite capitalise on his potential last term. On the list here in the hope there is more value to be squeezed out.

17. HIDDEN CYCLONE – Shark Hanlon
Had a much better season in 13-14, making up for a poor one before it. Can land a couple of decent graded events at up to 2½m. Relatively low mileage.

18. HUFF AND PUFF – Venetia Williams
Tough sort out of multiple Grade 1 flat winner Azamour, but may make his mark over fences this season at 2 to 2½ miles. Decent ground looks important.

19. LADY BUTTONS – Philip Kirby
Big prospect from Kirby’s low key yard. This one was 2nd in the listed mares’ bumper at Aintree and should do well up in trip over hurdles.

20. LEGACY GOLD – David Pipe
3 from 4 in novice hurdles last season before underperforming in the Silver Plate at Kempton when fav. Assuming he learns to settle, remains a good prospect.

21. LIVELY BARON – Donald McCain
Slow burn handicap chaser, best with a test of stamina, likely to be placed by his trainer to profitable effect.

22. MARCILHAC – Venetia Williams 
A Venetia mudlark who ran well in handicap hurdles last season, but, with a French chase victory under his belt, likely to take on fences this season.

23. MEADOWCROFT BOY – Alistair Whillans
Though well beaten by Zamdy Man and Un Temps Pour Tout in Haydock’s Supreme trial, his previous 3 wins indicate this is one still worth following.

Not far off top class under his ideal conditions, which is over 3 miles with plenty of give in the ground and probably at Punchestown.  Will be seen in decent chases.

25. MOSSPARK – Emma Lavelle 
Found out on good ground at HQ, but had shown plenty of promise beforehand on softer. Has a point win and likely to be seen novice chasing to good effect.

26. NED STARK – Alan King
Only seen twice last season, but encouraging progress. May tackle fences over extended trips this term.

27. O’FAOLAINS BOY – Rebecca Curtis
Owes this list nowt. Two money spinning wins last season, including the RSA Chase. Over the top at Aintree. Should compete in all the top staying chases.

28. PRESENT VIEW – Jamie Snowdon
Massive strides last season, culminating with the novice handicap chase win at the Festival. Makes the list on the basis that the progress has not yet halted.

29. RHYTHM STAR – Jamie Snowden
A couple of low key bumper wins to his name and his shrewd trainer will find him some handy novice hurdle openings.

30. ROYAL BOY – Nicky Henderson
Stuttering career, having run in the Tolworth twice and in a novice chase in between, this horse obviously has class and, if injury free, should make his mark.

31. SAUSALITO SUNRISE – Philip Hobbs
Graduate from last season’s list. Did very well over hurdles and set to be better over fences. Best when some cut in the ground at around 3 miles.

32. SILVER GENT – Donald McCain
No world beater, but a dour, battling handicap hurdler who has found is mojo grinding out races at the sharp end. Likely to pick up a couple more.

33. SIR VINSKI – Nicky Richards
Stylish bumper winner by 4-time Irish St Leger winner Vinnie Roe, likely to pick up a few nice races on the northern circuit.

34. THE SKYFARMER – Philip Hobbs
Eyecatching progress in first ½ of last term, but struggled in deep ground and then the wheels fell off at the Festival. Retained here on basis of that earlier form.

35. THE GOVANESS – Fergal O’Brien
Decent effort in the Aintree mares’ bumper, giving weight on the basis of an earlier win at HQ. Stamina in the pedigree and should hold her own.

36. UPSWING – Jonjo O’Neill 
Marginal decision to retain on the list from last year. Dodgy jumper, but seems to like deep ground and the step up to 3 miles worked well. Bit more to come.

37. UXIZANDRE – Alan King
Likeable attitude and touch of class. Responded well to front-running tactics at Cheltenham and Aintree. Needs to go left handed.

38. VOLCANIC – Donald McCain
Joined McCain’s stable in March and quickly racked up 3 novice hurdle wins from 4 outings. Scope to build on that this season.

39. WADSWICK COURT – Charlie Longsdon
Idled badly to throw away a Class 2 novice hurdle at Ascot following two decent efforts. With the right trainer to find the key to him and surely more to come.

Great engine and generally progressive, but slack jumping cost him two wins and a frame finish in a G1 novice hurdle. Risky proposition, but potentially exciting.

Friday, 12 September 2014

September roster

Quick update, mainly because the last few weeks have been reasonably profitable. August update here for reference. G Force was mightily impressive in the Sprint Cup, the extra furlong was the making of him. A big run was on the cards after his hampered effort trying to follow Soul Power’s weave through in the Nunthorpe made his apparently poor finishing position look deceptive. Euro Charline also did the business in France, though I was far too spawny with my staking. And Nafaqa won well today in a curious betting heat that saw my fiver at 4-1 this morning turn into 8-1 this afternoon. The money came in shovel loads for White Lake. This was the first bet on Nafaqa, who has been on the list since Royal Ascot, but only ran once since at an unbackable price in July. Tiggy Wiggy also continued his wonderful Summer.

At the other end of the success continuum, Madeed has been dumped after a couple lacklustre runs. Telescope was outclassed in the International, but is retained here for a tilt at some Stateside targets; and American Hope put in a lacklustre effort last time, but stays on the list for now. Cock Of The North and Graphic also lost. Mind of Madness, scratched last time, has been out and won at 4-1 after having his sights lowered. Swings and roundabouts.

A few of these are out tomorrow: Room Key is an outsider in the Champagne Stakes; Aljamaaheer (back up to 7f and on ground he should love) and Es Que Love (chances) both go in the Park Stakes in what could be an exacta race; and Windshear puts his stamina credentials to the test in the St Leger. I like his chances based mostly on his Gordon Stakes performance behind Snow Sky.

Here are the results since the last update:

Balance b/f
16th Aug
Euro Charline
2 win @ 10-1
20th Aug
5 win @ 5-1
21st Aug
Tiggy Wiggy
10 win @ 15-8
22nd Aug
G Force
2.5 e-w @ 25-1
23rd Aug
5 win @ 7-2
23rd Aug
American Hope
3 win @ 13-2
24th Aug
5 win @ 5-2
30th Aug
Cock Of The North
3 win @ 6-1
5th Sept
10 win @ 5-4
6th Sept
G Force
4 win @ 11-1
6th Sept
Es Que Love
2.5 e-w @ 20-1
12th Sept
5 win @ 8-1
Balance at 12th Sept

This is all good fun, of course, and clearly the flat game is easy. Ahem. The serious business of the jumps game is just around the corner. Time for me to get cramming on the forthcoming season’s 40 to follow stable.