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North's Horses To Follow – National Hunt Season 2017/18

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  • #1322902
    robnorthrobnorth
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    I didn’t have a particular number in mind, but I’ve come up with a round 20 horses trained in the North and which may be seen in Scotland and the North in the coming months. There’s a spread of known names, up and coming and few left field ones. The list is the long list from which I found my 10 To Follow on TRF’s competition. Knowing my luck it will be ‘the other ten’ that are the moneyspinners!

    BAL DE RIO (Brian Ellison)
    Twice a winner on the flat this one has run into some decent sorts in three hurdles runs, particularly when running into two potential Graded level novices at Kelso. He did nothing wrong in keeping on for third on that occasion and then ran into Slanelough, who had run into a number of decent animals last season. Bal De Rio has earned a workable mark of 115 for handicaps, but is well capable of winning a non-handicap novice hurdle or two. He coped well in heavy ground in France so won’t have any problems in winter conditions.
    BEYOND THE CLOUDS (Kevin Ryan)
    Impressed in bumpers and then looked distinctly decent when beating a promising opponent at Kelso (Some Reign) with two others fair animals over 20 lengths back. He looked a bit green when hitting the front up the Kelso hill but galloped on very well in the style of a potential Graded class novice. I suspect he will be kept to better ground so may have a light winter campaign but is an exciting novice for a predominantly flat based stable.
    BIGIRONONHISHIP (Rose Dobbin)
    Prospects look bright for the Dobbin stable and I expect this nice chasing type to make up for lost time after failing to score in his first season over fences. He had the look of a chaser when first appearing over hurdles, and ran three decent second places plus losing the plot at Newcastle when refusing to race. We can forgive him that aberration I believe.
    He held on well in a fair looking Class 4 event and should show himself better than that level in the coming months.
    BIG RIVER (Lucinda Russell)
    I’ve had this one marked down for chasing for a while. He performed well in staying handicap hurdles last term, completing his campaign with an impressive 10 length win from a decent field at Kelso over the extended 3m 2f trip.
    I understand he will go chasing this season and this likely raced progressive type should make his mark in decent staying novice events.
    CELTIC FLAMES (Lucinda Russell)
    A lightly raced animal that returned this autumn after an extended period off the track. Beaten but not totally disgraced in novice and handicap hurdle company, I believe he will go chasing before long which should prove his forte. Expect a mark to be made in novice handicap chases assuming he takes forward his hurdles mark of 108.
    CLOUDY DREAM (Malcolm Jefferson)
    One that flew the flag for my Ten To Follow last season was just a smidgen off the top level in two mile novice events, managing to get Altior off the bridle at Cheltenham in a feat achieved by few animals to date. Recording a well deserved win over 2m 4f at Ayr shows he can handle the longer trip and he can make a mark at the very top level at middle distances.
    COCKLE BAY (Lucinda Russell)
    Had a record of three pulled up and a brought down before winning his Irish maiden point, but that doesn’t tell the whole story and the third from his win dotted up at Fakenham recently. He got competitive in the two races before his win and has now moved to Arlary.
    He will be aimed at staying novice hurdles this season, with a staying chasing career likely sooner rather than later.
    FAGAN (Gordon Elliott)
    A very useful staying novice hurdler in 2o16, this one had a spell off the track before being left clear by the fall of his one serious rival at Perth on his second chasing outing. He then ran a decent second to top class Ballyandy over 2m 4f on heavy ground, neither trip nor ground particularly favouring him. He will be better when stepped back up in trip and from previous evidence needs ground no worse than good to soft (or Musselburgh soft!) to show his best.
    FLY RORY FLY (Nick Alexander)
    His new trainer didn’t expect to secure this promising animal and reading between the lines I believes Kinneston have high hopes going forward. After winning his maiden hurdle last spring for Noel Meade, he showed promise in a couple of chases without winning. It is possible he will prove best on decent ground and I would expect Nick Alexander to get a chase win or two out of this one in the coming months.
    JONNIESOFA (Rose Dobbin)
    A decent novice hurdler two seasons ago, good enough to run at Cheltenham, this one got a niggle and was off the track last season. He was right come the spring but didn’t get the soft ground he needs so his trainer didn’t hurry him. Rose Dobbin is currently waiting for the rain and expect this one to prove a useful novice chase with cut in the ground.
    JUST MINDED (Sue Smith)
    A fair novice hurdler last season in a fairly light campaign and now expected to go chasing. He should be capable of picking up novice chase wins in the North and will be interesting in handicaps off a hurdles earned mark of 122.
    LADY SAMBACK (Maurice Barnes)
    A mare from left field that might take advantage of the weakly contested mares’ novice division in the North. She showed pace in a couple of bumpers, particularly when leading for a fair way in a contest won by the decent Scottsdale at Perth. Built to jump a fence I suspect she will come more into her own once obstacles are placed in front of her. A speculative inclusion in this list that might just pay dividends.
    PLANET NINE (Rose Dobbin)
    Winner of a bumper at the Perth Festival in pleasing style, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one turns out to be an above average novice hurdler. The dam’s four other runners have all won and generally been suited by a distance of ground, with two reaching ratings over 140.
    SIMONE (Luicinda Russell)
    This one didn’t pull up any trees on debut for Arlary, but her bumper profile is sound enough and she should win in mares’ company this winter and hopefully prove able enough to make a mark in mixed company. If you want a strong pointer she’s a half-sister to Simonsig!
    SOME REIGN (Rose Dobbin)
    Unfortunately ran into one in Beyond The Clouds at Kelso on hurdles debut, but wasn’t disgraced in finishing a couple of lengths down and his trainer has left something to work on. Considered worthy of contesting a Grade 1 bumper at Aintree, there will be plenty of opportunities in the coming months for what could prove to be a very useful novice hurdler.
    TESTIFY (Donald McCain)
    A decent novice hurdler for the McCain stable last season, there is an expectation from connections that this one will turn out to be an above average staying novice chasing in the coming campaign. He’s run well on soft and heavy ground to date, but found himself well outpaced at the Cheltenham Festival on quicker ground.
    THOMOND (Nick Alexander)
    A newcomer to the Alexander stable with a few miles on the clock. He was a fair handicap chaser for Noel Meade, if not the most consistent, but ran a stormer when sixth in the Topham Chase from 14lbs wrong in the handicap. He was raced mostly on good ground, so presumably doesn’t handle cut, and may be one for the decent ground at Musselburgh if raced in the winter. Might pop up at a decent price.
    TOTAL ASSETS (Simon Waugh)
    Effectively over fences and hurdles, this one kept improving last season and a cracking first run of the autumn at Hexham suggests she may continue on an upward curve. Stays 3m 2f well and is a four time winner at my regular haunt of Kelso.
    WAITING PATIENTLY (Malcolm Jefferson)
    The whisper I got regarding this previously unexposed animal last autumn proved to be right on the mark. He turned into one of the best middle distance novice chasers seen in 2016/17 and his win over Politologue at Haydock was a cracking performance. Denied a chance to take a tilt at Cheltenham following an injury he should be right up there in middle distance chases along with his stablemate Cloudy Dream. All of a sudden the North has some decent animals to take into battle.
    WEMYSS POINT (Philip Kirby)
    I spotted this one rattling home for second in a mid-season Musselburgh bumper behind Senatus. He bagged a couple more seconds before an unsuccessful tilt at flat maidens. I presume the stable will now return their sights to hurdles, probably over the minimum distance and kept to good ground. Musselburgh meetings are likely to be highlighted in the Kirby stable diary.

    #1323070
    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
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    Good stuff Rob, and as you know, I’m particularly interested in Beyond The Clouds, and Fagan. I bet Thomond a few times in the past, and will be hoping you’re right about him popping up at a price as I’ll be watching him too.

    I hope that Simone progresses nicely, as another one I’m hoping has a good season, Minutestomidnight, finished ahead of her a couple of times last year.

    Good luck :good:

    #1323264
    robnorthrobnorth
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    Thanks VtC

    Looks like the list will hit the ground running with Some Reign, Bigirononhiship, Jonniesofa and Just Minded all entered in the next few days and with strong chances.

    Rob

    #1323536
    robnorthrobnorth
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    JONNIESOFA goes for the Beginners’ Chase (3.20) at Carlisle this afternoon. The trip would be a concerns as he’s essentially a stayer and has never raced below two and a half miles, but going should be ideal.

    BIGIRONONHISHIP contests the 3m 2f handicap chase at 4.25. I reckon he’s potentially a 140 horse operating at a much lower level and conditions here should suit, though current odds reflect my impression. Danger might be another relatively unexposed sort in Kap Jazz travelling up from Venetia Williams’s Herefordshire yard.

    #1323557
    robnorthrobnorth
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    JONNIESOFA – Excellent performance to start off his chasing career and he will improve when stepped up in trip.

    BIGIRONONHISHIP– Went well enough until the tank registered empty at the last. Maybe need slightly less of a test, but this was still a decent enough effort.

    The Racing Post highlighted Big River as Lucinda Russell’s best prospect for the season. TRF readers got this one for free courtesy of yours truly! Been waiting for this one to come out over fences and chasing debut could well be this coming Saturday at Kelso.

    #1323603
    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
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    Haven’t seen the race yet Rob, as just in from work, but heard good things about Sofa :good:

    #1323965
    robnorthrobnorth
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    The list has certainly hit the ground running this season and had a successful first Saturday with 2 from 2 at Kelso.

    Some Reign put in a workmanlike performance to win his maiden, winning at 1/2 and not doing an awful lot in front.

    Big River 11/5 was gifted his race when his principal opponent jinked and unshipped his rider. Lucinda Russell’s chase debutant looked as if this race would bring him on, but jumped very professionally and looks potentially very useful at this discipline.

    Tomorrow sees Cloudy Dream tilt at the Old Roan Chase on seasonal debut. In general Malcolm Jefferson’s charges have come on for the run after a break so far this autumn.

    #1324626
    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
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    It’s been a Fab start Rob, very well done :good:

    #1324711
    robnorthrobnorth
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    Indeed! All the publicity after Sunday was for Smad Place, but Cloudy Dream ran an absolute stormer in second place. Malcolm Jefferson’s runners have come on for the outing this autumn and if Cloudy Dream does the same then an exciting season is in prospect.

    The list is doubly represented in the 3.45 at Wetherby by PLANET NINE and WEMYSS POINT. I’d favour the former in terms of raw ability but I suspect both will be money spinners in the coming months.

    Nothing Saturday as I as far as I can see from quick perusal of the cards, but both JUST MINDED and CELTIC FLAMES make their chasing bow at Carlisle on Sunday. Then WAITING PATIENTLY reappears as one of the small but select field contesting the Colin Parker Chase.

    #1324752
    robnorthrobnorth
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    Fair efforts from Planet Nine and Wemyss Point today. PLANET NINE will likely come on for the outing, Rose Dobbin has been leaving a bit to work on first time out, and WEMYSS POINT was by no means disgraced in fifth in a decent looking contest.

    #1325374
    robnorthrobnorth
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    WAITING PATIENTLY jumped as if he has springs in his rear quarters in beating three decent opponents at Carlisle. In that form if he runs in BetVictor Gold Cup (if that’s what they call the Mackeson these days!) off 150 then he looks a shoo-in. Not that simple admittedly, but this was mighty impressive.

    JUST MINDED fell when coming under the pump on chasing debut and has something to prove next time.

    CELTIC FLAMES was in a hurdle not a chase! He ran a respectable race in fourth, his best effort this season, and can build on this run in whatever campaign Lucinda Russell chooses for him.

    Not part of this list, but Cyrus Darius ran a cracker on return at Ayr yesterday. His jumping can improve and he had a bit more in the tank than the 3/4 length margin suggests.

    #1325799
    robnorthrobnorth
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    BEYOND THE CLOUDS confirmed the favourable impression of his Kelso win, coming clear on the bridle at Musselburgh from an animal rated 132. A tweet by Kevin Ryan suggests that sights will be set higher going forward.

    #1325876
    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
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    Very very happy with that today Rob, onwards and upwards for him.

    #1326611
    LostSoldier3
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    Hi Rob, great thread so far. Sorry to derail it with a question but I thought you’d know the score here.

    Jimmy Ewart is doing very well so far this season. Is it true that he has brought in a new assistant/co-trainer?

    #1326717
    robnorthrobnorth
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    Lost Soldier

    I have heard stories from reliable sources regarding a significant change of personnel at the Ewart stable. The exact arrangements are not completely clear at this point (he said, steering clear of anything controversial).

    Rob

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