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Juvenile Hurdlers 2021/22

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    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1488

    The time for answers has arrived.

    In order, the five more successful/prudent* purchases were 5,4,10,3,9, making 1,2,8,6 then 7 the remainder.

    *these definitions are admittedly clinically vague and lack nuance

    5. Houx Gris – €200,000 – won at Auteuil – third in Finale and fourth in Fred Winter before being fatally injured at Aintree.

    4. Feldspar – 6,000gns – winless for Amanda Perrett – managed a win on the AW before posting improved efforts over hurdles at Musselburgh including a third in the Scottish Triumph.

    10. Pyramid Place – 27,000gns – 69 rated four race maiden for John Gosden – scored in a maiden and two handicaps over hurdles while being outclassed in graded company.

    3. Caldwell – 28,000gns – 75 rated three race maiden for Dermot Weld – two seconds and a fourth before getting off the mark in a fairly valuable juvenile handicap at Musselburgh.

    9. Progressive – 55,000gns – 77 rated winner for Roger Varian – made winning debut ahead of finishing second to Caldwell in aforementioned handicap. On reflection, this was not a broad spectrum of prospects…

    1. African Sun – 1,000gns – modest for Ed Dunlop and fared no better over hurdles

    2. Asharann – €9,000 – winner on flat but went off boil and did not regain thread during six hurdles runs

    8. Presgrave – 11,000gns – placed at Dundalk for Joseph O’Brien – beaten 65 and 37 lengths on two hurdles starts while pulled up on other two.

    6. Kimberley – 10,500gns – placed at Windsor for James Fanshawe – placed twice over hurdles, albeit in handicaps off 75 and 80.

    7. Numberoneson – 22,000gns – best looker of the bunch – son of Camelot – won Leopardstown handicap off 79 on final start for Joseph O’Brien – did not take at all to hurdling beaten 44 and 70 lengths before pulling up.

    gamble – 3/5
    seaing stars – 3/5
    greenasgrass – 2/5
    AP – 1/5

    To be honest, I really don’t think I would have fared any better. Indeed, having brought together portraits from a bunch of Triumph winners of bygone eras, I am not really seeing anything which jumps out and screams “juvenile hurdler” as this lot are a mixed bag. 

    Detroit City was big, long and strong

    Scolardy was the sparely made and close coupled archetype (slightly exaggerated by curvature of page but not by a great deal)

    Solar Cloud was another

    Spectroscope was a more leggy looking type

    Saxon Farm was “good quartered” (build like a sodding tank)

    For good measure, here are a couple who went on to become two very different sorts
    See You Then 4yo

    See You Then 7yo

    Commanche Court 4yo

    Commanche Court 9yo

    In conclusion, I don’t have one and will have to concede that using my eye to gauge a horse’s propensity for hurdling is a skill I do not possess. Perhaps it is one which comes with time and experience although if anybody has any shortcuts, I am happy to be enlightened :D

    • Total Posts 347

    Okay – here’s what I think:- based solely on conformation and no movement.

    1. Straight in the shoulder, downhill in front, overall – slightly weak.

    2. Much larger more athletic looking horse, short in the back, weak behind.

    3.Long front, short in the quarters. Question as a buyer, would he be quick
    through his shoulders as a hurdler.

    4.Well balanced, slightly back at the knee -lovely quality.

    5.Tough strong, great limbs – stands over the ground (good length of back). Looks athletic

    6.Looks what I would call ‘base narrow’ would he or she have the scope for hurdles?? But has a good
    back end – which looks powerful.

    7. Nice uphill horse, well balanced – slightly straight in front. Overall has a good outlook and would
    be of interest.

    8. Nice tough strong horse. Would like to think that he would do well.

    9. Generally a weak looking horse.

    10. Quite difficult to access – slightly weak behind. Lovely limbs.

    On balance.

    I’d probably on conformation only look at number 5.

    Looking forward to your big reveal!!

    • Total Posts 347

    Sorry – I have just put my answer’s in and not noticed your reveal.

    • Total Posts 347

    Looking at your last horses, they all have the same thing in common, they stand over the ground,have good limbs and are very well balanced. Number 5 now I know is Houx Gris, has great limbs and stands over the ground – a similar horse to Detroit City. Thank you for your posts – it is exceptionally interesting to see conformation to performance photographs. “In conclusion, I don’t have one and will have to concede that using my eye to gauge a horse’s propensity for hurdling is a skill I do not possess. Perhaps it is one which comes with time and experience although if anybody has any shortcuts, I am happy to be enlightened :D” I think if you look back at the first lot of horses you have posted and look carefully at the 2nd lot – you will see that it is the overall balance of the horses – the length they stand over the ground and the limbs which they have in common. Number 5 – sits well with the 2nd batch you have posted with the exception of Scolardy who is exceptionally short through his back. But we cannot see them walk and move – and that really adds 100% insight into the conformation and gives the buyer another large clue as to how that horse will gallop.

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1488

    Personally, I think shouting the word “hype” over and over again in front of strobe lights to the sounds hardstyle techno and obnoxious siren effects would be an apt means of expressing the amount of excitement one ought to have for Saturday’s three fifteen at Hexham. Nevertheless, some people prefer words so here are are some words. Two thousand, two hundred and seventy three of them in fact. Enjoy!

    At the beginning of this century, the season’s opening juvenile hurdle took place at Market Rasen during mid-late July. In 2004, Stratford supplanted Market Rasen by a week before the latter reclaimed its position in 2006 by hosting the first juvenile hurdle to be held in June since summer jumping became a whole thing. Not to be outdone, Stratford raised the curtain on the Tenth of June in 2007 before Hexham stepped in to give those competing in the 2008 Epsom Derby an insight into what awaited them if they did not fancy retiring to the breeding sheds.  The following year, Stratford hosted the first three-year-old hurdle to be held in May. Everybody agreed that this was silly and apart from Ffos Las going four days ahead of Hexham in 2012, and Newton Abbot getting things underway during “the uncertain times”, British juvenile hurdlers have been making their first forays at the country’s most beautiful racecourse. 

    With an average winning DI of 0.99, 0.51 points below that of the average runner, Hexham is the most demanding racecourse of any British or Irish track with ten or more participants since 2004/05. The completion rate of 77.44% attests to this notion, although it is not so demanding insofar as jumping is concerned as its clear round rate of 97.64% is well above average. The going is currently good, good-to-soft in places, and will be watered to maintained as no significant rain is forecast in the interim. From a punting perspective, Hexham does get more than its fair share of beaten odds-on favourites (six from ten since 2004/05), although its winners’ mean SP of 5.08, median 3.25, is much kinder by comparison. It will come as a surprise to nobody that the average winner of this contest has a very low seasonal best RPR with the mark of 108.47 bettered by all courses apart from Cartmel and Fakenham. This particular contest is no exception with its winners posting average seasonal bests of 103.59, although it is not without its occasional useful participants. City Dreamer, Come On Sunshine and Maria Magdalena went on to reach the frame in the Wensleydale Hurdle while 2008 winner Simarian won and placed in graded company at Cheltenham prior to finishing seventh in that season’s Triumph. Saturday’s edition looks an above average renewal with several respectable trainers and sires represented, three runners whose flat form exceeds the standard sufficient to win this race along with a Saint des Saints nephew of Sprinter Sacre. While somewhat trappy and not likely to provide any superstars, it would not be unreasonable to imagine it producing future winners during the early season. 

    Family Time bg Alex Hales f1-0-0 (-) 0
    Excelebration (Azamour){7}(2.00) 3/1 Architrave 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Market Rasen 2010
    Alex Hales has a fairly ordinary record with juvenile hurdlers, although he enjoyed fruitful spells in the division during the past two summers courtesy of Hiconic and Maria Magdalena. His first representative this term is set to be Family Time who was tailed off on his sole start in a Newbury novice stakes last October. Family Time can be forgiven that outing as he did not emerge from the stalls until the rest of the field had completed a furlong. However, he was still an unfancied 200/1 chance that day and his subsequent absence will be a concern. Furthermore, while his granddam is a half-sister to 2010s prolific early season juvenile Architrave, the rest of the pedigree does not bode well as Excelebration has just one winner from sixteen in the division, damsire Azamour has just one from twelve, and though Windshear (2/1) was a good stayer on the flat, he failed to win from seven starts over hurdles. 

    Inferno Sacree bg Nigel Hawke Unraced
    Saint des Saints (Daramsar){u}(0.67) 2/1 Sprinter Sacre 1st Champion Chase (G1), Cheltenham 2013
    Few early season juveniles will have as compelling a pedigree as the unraced Inferno Sacree. Costing €37,000 at Arqana as a yearling, Inferno Sacree is a son of Saint des Saints, an outsdtanding source of juveniles both domestically (Whetstone, Buddy Banks, Goliath du Berlais) and as exports (Monmiral, Fusil Raffles, Sametegal) with laudable figures across the board. The damline is also compelling as it includes half-brother Emir Sacree, useful sorts Flinteur Sacre (2/1), Gazump (3/1), Tiot Cas (3/2), Echo Sacre (3/2) and most notably, the outstanding champion Sprinter Sacre. Sending Inferno Sacree to an unusual location for his debut is Nigel Hawke who maintained his solid record in the division last season with three winners including Historic Heart. However, while three of his fourteen runners at Hexham have been winners, he is not generally given to sending juveniles to the venue and the eyecatching booking of Brian Hughes is not compelling from a statistical perspective as the pair have yet to have a winner from three. Furthermore, Hawke’s first time out record in the sphere of two wins from fifty-four is a poor one which does not bode well considering that the overall strike rate for unraced newcomers is a miserly 2.04%. Notwithstanding, the trainer did infamously saddle the unraced Tiger Roll ahead of his racecourse debut at Market Rasen in 2013.

    Koi Dodville bc David Pipe f7-1-3 (33.5/73.7) 74
    French Fifteen (Aussie Rules){5-h}(3.00) 3/2 Uriah Heep 2m Novices’ Handicap Chase (126), Ludlow 2014
    Since 2004/05, fifty horses have been claimed out of flat races on the continent prior to juvenile hurdling campaigns in Britain and Ireland. With eleven winners sharing nineteen successes, their record is a respectable one. David Pipe accounted for nine of these animals amongst whom four were winners – most notably Adagio who won three last term, including the Grade One at Chepstow, prior to twice placing at the festivals. However, Adagio was very much the exception in this regard as only he and Bocamix (123) achieved RPRs exceeding 120.despite sixteen such horses being rated 80 and above on the flat. The latest import is Koi Dodville who was claimed by David Pipe for €14,506 after finishing second in a good ground ten furlong contest at Saint Cloud last month. The third and fourth each finished runner-up next time, and Koi Dodville had been running respectably since his return in March, placing twice in handicap company at Pornichet before getting off the mark at Nancy over 1950 meters on his penultimate outing. Tracking the clear leader for much of the race, he went into the lead a with a furlong and a half left to run before holding on to an ever decreasing lead at the line. Last time at Saint-Cloud, Koi Dodville again went clear at the distance, but did not look entirely resolute in his failed attempt to fend off his challenger. The headgear worn in France has been left off for his hurdling debut. Insofar as his pedigree is concerned French Fifteen has made an encouraging start from limited opportunities with three winners from ten in France, and the promising French Aseel being one of the two to have raced in Britain or Ireland. However, the same can not yet be said for Aussie Rules as a damsire and the are few jumpers on the damline prior to Uriah Heep (3/2) and City Hall (5/2). David Pipe has saddled one winner from three in this contest, and his first time strike rate of 18.18% is very respectable. However, of the yard’s claimer sourced flat imports, only Adagio won first time, while Nike Walker, Closer To Home and Paricolor (also bought out of the Ludovic Gadbin yard) would not score until entering handicap company. 

    McGregors Charge bg Nigel Hawke Unraced
    Recharge (Le Triton){36}(1.13) 2/2 Pafadas 1st Prix de Chambly (L,3yoH), Auteuil 2013
    Nigel Hawke’s second runner, and presumably his second string, is another unraced newcomer in McGregors Charge. Though not as immediately prestigious as his stablemate’s, the homebred McGregors Charge’s damline is not without its merits. The dam is a winning two mile chaser while the granddam presides over a family containing several useful French youngsters including listed placed Dans l’Espas (2/2) and listed winner Pafadas (2/2), herself a dam of black type earners Mauricius and Altus. Recharge is without any juveniles in France, Britain or Ireland, although three of his seven hurdlers have been winners and Cape Cross has produced a couple of winning sires in the sphere in Golden Horn and Sea The Stars. Le Triton has not been tested as a damire of juveniles on these shores, but he was responsible for the talented Grand Charly as a sire. McGregors Charge is entitled to respect on his pedigree, although his limitations being a debutant are addressed in Inferno Sacree’s piece.

    Percy Willis bg Jedd O’Keeffe f6-0-2 (71) 72 
    Sir Percy (Dansili){16-a}(0.33) 3/1 Fire Top 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Kempton 1989
    Sir Percy is one of several sires in this contest with above average credentials, and though he rather lacks in terms of star quality, his strike rate between the months of June and October stands at 40.63%. His first declared representative of the new season, Percy Willis. just about sets the standard on flat form according to Timeform. Though winless in four starts for Eve Johnson Houghton (whose graduates have a three wins from nineteen runners in juvenile hurdles), he managed to place twice at Lingfield prior to joining Jedd O’Keeffe for 28,000 guineas at the Tattersalls March sale. The Middleham trainer has been having something of a lean spell, although he did hit the crossbar at Ayr this afternoon, signalling a potential return to form. His overall record in the sphere is a respectable one with a 27.27% winner to runner rate, a 47.37% improvement rate, and a first time out record of 14.29% which increases to 28.57% with flat runners rated 62 and above. Percy Willis did not impress on his stable debut at Beverley, but he was better last time at Redcar where while he pulled in the early stages, was able to settle better ahead of getting outpaced to finish a three and a half length fourth. That these performances came on good to firm suggests he can improve with a bit more give in the ground. The damline is not massively encouraging as the first winner along the line, Reg Akehurst’s Fire Top, comes at the third dam and Dansili has just five winners from thirty-nine as a damsire. Nevertheless, with stamina essentially assured, demonstrable flat form, and a trainer with solid credentials for this contest, the credentials of Percy Willis are worthy of respect.

    Smart Boyo bg Philip Kirby f3-0-0 (54) 45
    War Command (Kheleyf){13-a}(2.11) 3/1 Minnesota 1st 2m Novices’ Selling Hurdle, Uttoxeter 2000
    Trainer Philip Kirby’s improvement rate of 65% is the strongest in this field and War Command was able to get off the mark in the sphere last season with Crassus and Battle of Benburb scoring in Ireland. However, Smart Boyo’s switch to hurdles will need to bring about a significant amount of improvement as his three flat runs this spring, beaten almost eighty lengths combined, have offered very little promise. There is little encouragement to be drawn from the damline either as the nearest winning jumps relative was a modest one, and War Command’s two winners each had lower dosage indexes.

    Space Kid chg Adrian Paul Keatley f12-1-6 (64) 70
    Tamayuz (Danehill Dancer){13-c}(2.11) 3/1 Cape Express 1st 2m1f Handicap Hurdle (125), Aintree 2012
    Though better known for his sprinters and milers, Tamayuz is not above producing stayers like Desert Skyline. Furthermore, his daughter, Skylark Lady, won this race in 2016 and with four winning juveniles from thirteen, his overall record in the sphere is a solid one. Space Kid’s damline is also respectable as Danehill Dancer’s record is the best of a modest set represented in this field, and winning hurdlers Leo McGarry and Cape Express each appear at 3/1. A winner of a Wolverhampton nursery last November, Space Kid performed consistently on the all-weather during the winter before maintaining his form on the turf on his latest outings at Thirsk and Beverley. Like many tough, game, consistent and versatile sorts of his ilk, Space Kid appears to be a victim of his own success as his flat rating, which leaves him a good half stone off the top two here, is not relenting. Furthermore, his yard, which has had one winning juvenile from eight, has recently had few horses run to form. 

    Saramenha chf Jamie Snowden f3-0-1 (59) 59
    Mastercraftsman (Zamindar){1-e}(2.43) 3/3 Voix du Soir 1st 3800m Handicap Hurdle (58.0), Dieppe 2020
    The prolific Mastercraftsman has twenty-three individual winning juvenile hurdlers to his name including several useful sorts such as Master Blueyes, Wolf Of Windlesham and Intense Tango. Though the damline is quiet on the first few rungs, Voix du Nord, a talented sire of juveniles, appears at 3/2 while Detroit City, Royal Shakespeare and Tower Bridge can all be found in the distance at 5/3. However, these factors will need to have a significant impact on the credentials of Saramenha. Her two runs last term for Ralph Beckett, whose graduates have a good winner to runner rate, but poor improvement rate, were fair at best and following a 15,000 guineas sale at Tattersalls last Autumn, she failed to show in a Nottingham maiden over an extended mile four weeks ago. Jamie Snowden has been among the winners recently, and he has saddled three to score in juvenile hurdles from eighteen, although his improvement rate of just 10% between codes is well below par. 

    Strong prospects
    1. Percy Willis
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Inferno Sacree
    3. Koi Dodville
    4. Space Kid
    Feasible prospects
    5. McGregors Charge
    Moderate prospects
    6. Saramenha
    Negligible prospects
    7. Smart Boyo
    8. Family Time

    obiwankenobi – those might be the most informative posts I have seen anywhere for a very long time. Thank you very much! Sorry the timing was a bit off but it was pretty much the last chance I had before a bunch of obligations got in the way. Though I am glad that you were able to get your comments in!

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1488

    Would like to have posted the review sooner but a combination of muggy weather, a roadside hotel in Newcastle overlooking a restaurant, and a train journey seated backwards without a table has meant that this is the earliest it could have been done without it degenerating into an incoherent diatribe against the sun…

    Preview review
    Forty-eight hour declarations are a wonderful initiative and long may they last. However, one drawback is that what may have been true forty-eight hours before the race may not be so twenty-four hours later. In this instance, there were two factors between the preview and the race which would probably have given the former a different shape. Firstly, the potential revival in form of Jedd O’Keeffe was anticipated prematurely as since hitting the crossbar, the yard had two flops including one which was well backed prior to an Epsom handicap. Secondly, on walking the course prior to the meeting, an element which will not be available for most races, I noticed two things. One – walking Hexham prior to a meeting is an exercise of sheer pleasure that reminds one of how truly beautiful it is to be alive. Two – while the official description was “good, good-to-soft in places”, there was a total absence of “soft” save for a few strides where the ground was “a bit sticky”. Neither of these factors will have helped Percy Willis and since the ground did Inferno Sacree no favours either, Koi Dodville would likely have been allotted the ‘strong prospects’ by default. In the event, the prospects list was not a faithful premonition of reality, although it was described as a trappy looking contest beforehand and Family Time’s surpassing of expectations can in some small way be attributed to the trainer’s record during the summer along with the fairly predictable underperformance of his rivals. Another reflection can be made on the weight given to Timeform’s assessment of the winner’s flat form compared to that of Percy Willis’. Even if the reduced price for the service is a very pleasant thing, one must always hold one’s own assessment – and the processes used within same – above the observations of others.

    Race review
    Contrary to the RP report, two hurdles were omitted rather than just the one. Being an early season contest at Hexham, this contest had only low expectations and these were largely met. The overall quality of jumping was poor but there was an honest tempo set and most of the participants were able to settle early enough into the race. The winning time was not a favourable one compared to the earlier low-grade handicaps on the card, and the closing sectional indicated that most were spent by the race’s end. Though the field finished well strung, most probably underperformed so little regard can be given to the overall quality solidity or depth of the contest. Notwithstanding, the front two both look likely to improve from here.

    Koi Dodville extended the record of David Pipe purchases out of the Ludovic Gadbin yard to four winning juveniles from four with a clear success on his hurdling debut. Winning on his penultimate outing and getting to within a length of the winner on his other three starts since returning in March, Koi Dodville brought consistent form on good ground to his new yard. That David Pipe’s ex-French claimers usually take a few runs to reach their potential was a matter of some concern, and though he looked fit and ready in the paddock, there is still work to be done in the jumping department. Giving the first plenty of air, he skewed over the second, steadied at the fourth, got in close to the fifth and was steady and tight at the last whereafter he slowed to a trot for a few strides. Nevertheless, there were few complaints about how he travelled as after initially tracking the leader, he went into the lead with a circuit to run, setting a pace which had all of his rivals off the bridle before the field left the back. Given a bit of a breather on the run to the straight, he was sent ahead turning for home and after the aforementioned error at the last, was ridden out to finish on top by five-and-a-half lengths. While he was green and perhaps idled in front, he still went about his business professionally enough. Koi Dodville is unlikely to emerge as a festival horse, but he should have learned plenty for the experience and though the bare form amounts to little, he has the class and fitness to collect more prizes over the coming months – potentially as soon as Friday where he is entered at Aintree. 97

    Family Time‘s previous racecourse experience came last October where he got stuck in the stalls at the start of a Newbury Novice Stakes. His pedigree sent mixed signals as while his granddam was a half-sister to prolific early season juvenile, Architrave, sire Excelebration has a below par record in the sphere. Nevertheless, that trainer Alex Hales has enjoyed recent success in summer juveniles offers a plausible explanation for Family Time outrunning his odds. He was also the best overall jumper in this contest with only slight faults counting against him prior to a blunder at the last. Tucked in behind the leaders for much of the contest, he moved into second on the run to the straight. His mistake at the last was no worse than that of the winner, but while it can not be said that he may have finished closer, he was still upwards of fourteen lengths clear of the remainder. This is only an ordinary performance on form, with this being just his second outing, and his first in 225 days, Family Time can be competitive in moderate company. 91

    McGregors Charge was the lesser fancied of Nigel Hawke’s two runners, but able to perform the better of the pair. Held up in the rear, he was slightly steady at his early flights, and was rather slow two out, but he hurdled satisfactorily in the main. Some headway was made along the back, but he never threatened to get involved in the contest and was ultimately beaten by just under twenty lengths. Related to several useful sorts in France, McGregors Charge shaped with some promise on his debut and can improve sufficiently to have a career in this game. 77

    Space Kid, with twelve runs on the flat to his name, was the most experienced horse coming into the contest. He had shown himself a tough, versatile and consistent sort at his own level. However, after travelling keen early, he got in very close to the third and fourth, and was untidy again at the next. While he was still in the leader’s shadow at the end of the back straight, he soon lost his position before finishing tamely some twenty-four lengths behind the winner. There is time for him to match his flat ability, although he first needs to brush up his jumping. 72

    Saramenha is by Mastercraftsman and Jamie Snowden can get winners in this division, but that was the extent of her prospects beforehand as her flat form was modest. Easy to back in the market, she lacked fluency and lost her position shortly after the long run to the first before finishing tailed off. 45

    Percy Willis had the strongest overall profile coming into this contest, but like the author, he did not enjoy the muggy weather. A drifter before the off, Percy Willis was keen early and jumped the first three flights poorly. He was better at the fourth but was badly hampered on landing. After getting close to the next, Percy Willis weakened rapidly and was pulled up before the last. There was little encouragement on this hurdling debut, but he may remain of interest in more suitable conditions. 0

    Inferno Sacree is regally bred, if not quite precociously so, and was backed into second favouritism before the off. However, he was steady and tight over the first two and tripped over the third. Never leaving the rear of the field, he was pulled up before the last by Brian Hughes who reported that his mount hung right throughout. 0

    Smart Boyo had finished tailed off on all three flat outings and after being sent into the early lead, jumped without fluency apart from a passable leap at the third. He was struggling before the dip before pulling up before the last. 0

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1488

    Six days after the first juvenile hurdle of the season, the second is set to take place at Aintree this evening. Introduced in 2018, this race will be making its third appearance and while naturally a far cry from it’s mid and late season, the first and second in 2018 – Cracker Factory and Chief Justice – would each win in pattern company during that season. This year’s renewal looks unlikely to be so strong given that the flat and jumps standard is set by last weekend’s Hexham winner. Aintree’s average winning DI of 1.13 and completion rate of 81.48% each surprisingly indicate that Aintree is a demanding racecourse, although this can partially be explained by the competitive nature of its spring contest and the demanding conditions for its December race. Notwithstanding, two other factors indicating the tricky nature of the venue is its low clear round rate of 95.31%, and the below average record of odds-on favourites who have won on seven from fifteen attempts in juvenile hurdles since 2004/05. The going is currently good and has been watered to maintain.

    Koi Dodville bc David Pipe f7-1-3 (33.5 – 73.7) 74 j1-1-0 (-) 93 97
    French Fifteen (Aussie Rules){5-h}(3.00) 3/2 Uriah Heep 1st 2m Novices’ Handicap Chase (126), Ludlow 2014
    Already a winner on the flat at a fair level, Koi Dodville was a decisive winner on his hurdling debut at Hexham last Saturday. Though David Pipe juveniles claimed from the flat in France generally take a few races to reach their stride, Koi Dodville was fit enough to do the job while still leaving room for improvement in the jumping department. He will have learned plenty from the experience, his flat form is already the strongest available as was his overall profile prior to his debut. He sets a clear standard here.

    Boundsy Boy bg Oliver Greenall f3-0-0 (60) 62
    Awtaad (Diktat){21-a}(1.25) 2/1 Majestic Sun 6th 2m Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (97), Plumpton 2015
    Four of these were sold at last year’s Tattersalls Autumn sale and three of this field are representing debutant sires. At just 1,500 guineas, Boundsy Boy was the cheapest to pass through the ring having shown form on just one of his three outings for Richard Fahey when just over three lengths fifth in a class 5 Newcastle Maiden Auction Stakes – former Fahey inmates having a record very close to standard in the sphere. Sire Awtaad perhaps has the most compelling profile of the debutant sires as he won an Irish 2,000 Guineas and Golden Horn and Sea The Stars are other sons of Cape Cross to have produced winners. However, he is not the biggest at 16.0 hands, was never tried beyond a mile and his own pedigree is not laden with stamina. Boundsy Boy’s damline offers little respite and while Oliver Greenall is still to saddle a faller/unseat from 112 runners, his first time out strike rate is less compelling at 3.45%

    Eagle’s Realm bg Graeme McPherson f6-0-2 (65) 68
    Free Eagle (Medicean){20-a}(0.85) 4/1 Charger 1st 2m2f Handicap Hurdle (101), Downpatrick 2011
    From the cheapest to the most expensive in the field, Eagle’s Realm left Sir Mark Prescott for 20,000 guineas last Autumn. Though former residents of Heath House are not given to improvement (38.78%), their winner to runner rate of 32.31% is a healthy one. Winless in six outings, Eagle’s Realm placed on his latest outing last October in a ten furlong Chelmsford nursery off a mark of 66. Stamina ought not to be an issue and Free Eagle’s first crop of juveniles produced three winners last term including the useful Coltor. However, having been gelded after two starts, tried in headgear and generally looking a difficult ride, his temperament can not be assured on his first run in nearly nine months. Furthermore, Eagle’s Realm was some ten pounds below his best on turf and the pedigree suggests he might be better on softer ground. The yard does not offer much encouragement either as it has produced just one winning juvenile from thirteen with Harry Hunt needing eight runs to get off the mark in 2011.

    Spanish Hustle bg Chris Gordon f6-0-3 (67) 71
    Pearl Secret (Galileo){3-d}(1.00) 0.5 First Man 1st 3m1½f Handicap Hurdle (99), Catterick 2021
    Half the price of Eagle’s Realm, Spanish Hustle is the highest rated newcomer to the tune of a couple of pounds. While his first three outings were not without promise, he had developed a poor reputation with his attitude although he was better on his final outing for Karl Burke which saw him finish third of nine in a Southwell nursery off 67. He is a first-crop representative of Pearl Secret who as well as essentially keeping the Byerley Turk line alive, was a fast type who is a 3/3 relative of Dutch Art. None of these factors are conducive to a career siring juvenile hurdlers and the son of Compton Place has yet to have a winner beyond seven furlongs. The damline offers a slither of encouragement as half-brother First Man won over three and a quarter miles. Chris Gordon gets his fair amount of winning juveniles (25.93% winner to runner) although just one did so first time. Furthermore, his improvement rate of 33.33%, similar to the 35.29% of Karl Burke’s former inmates, is below par.

    Pool Bar Lady chf Gary Moore f5-0-0 (42) 42
    Proconsul (Polish Precedent){19-b}(0.73) 0.5 Red Hero 1st 3yo Hurdle, Hyeres 2016
    While she is the only newcomer to have raced this year, Pool Bar Lady’s flat form leaves her with plenty to find. Racing three times as a two-year-old, and twice this term under the care of Tom Dascombe, her best efforts came when beaten eight lengths then eleven lengths in a Kempton classified stakes and Windsor 0-55 handicap respectively. Sire Proconsul, a maiden brother to Frankel, has yet to produce a winner on the flat, although Pool Bar Lady is a half-sister to a winning juvenile at Hyeres out of a half-sister to winning hurdlers Alburquerque and Altitude Dancer. Gary Moore has a fine record in this division with a strong winner to runner rate of 33.83% and an 18.09 first time strike rate. Furthermore, of the yard’s twelve juveniles rated 47 or below, four of these managed to win over hurdles – although each had achieved RPRs of at least 52 at some point.

    Saramenha chf Jamie Snowden f3-0-1 (59) 59 j1-0-0 (-) 0 45
    Mastercraftsman (Zamindar){1-e}(2.43) 3/3 Voix du Soir 1st 3800m Handicap Hurdle (58.0), Dieppe 2020
    The second of two runners to come out Hexham’s contest last Saturday, Saramenha was unable to find the considerable improvement on her flat form required to be competitive in the sphere. Though being a daughter of Mastercraftsman would generally be a positive, the yard is below par when it comes to winners to runners and the improvement rate of just 10% is poor. Saramenha is entitled to have gained something for her experience, although given that she lacked fluency and was losing her position early on, her foundation is very low.

    Outstanding prospects
    1. Koi Dodville
    Feasible/Moderate prospects
    2. Eagle’s Realm
    3. Spanish Hustle
    4. Pool Bar Lady
    Negligible prospects
    5. Boundsy Boy
    6. Saramenha

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