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RACING DEBRIEF – FESTIVE PERIOD 22/12/12 – 30/12/12 (Part II)
What next for My Tent Or Yours? John Ferguson reaps the rewards for his patience! With contenders thin on the ground, is Module an Arkle hope? Jockeys were made for some horses, and vice versa. Closing debrief of the Festive Period 2012.
By Dan Kelly – 28yo student of the Sport of Kings, Form-bookworm. Result is not only about who and the what, it’s just as much about the how and why – Editor of http://racingtictacs.wordpress.com
Kempton 27-Dec-12 Heavy C: 4.6 H: 4.2 on Wednesday at 11:00
3:15 Handicap Chase 3m
Couple of interesting sorts filled out the first two places here, and both have interesting profiles.
Mister Hyde has been raised to 139, no doubt will find things tougher now, but he does seem to appreciate the more forceful ride. I’d say Maguire and McCoy are very similar in riding style, and after reviewing form book Mister Hyde does seem to appreciate stronger handling:
A P McCoy: 5 from 9
R McLernon: 0 from 8
Others: 0 from 2
This was Maguire’s first ride for Jonjo, and it proved a very shrewd jockey booking.
Iona Days looks a good buy for the Julian Smith yard, and form has had a progressive look to it since the summer. Probably in the need of the run at Newbury, he wasn’t disgraced there, and improved on it here. Connections have been thinking about big fences for some time now, and even though the Wincanton fences are fairly easy to navigate, he’s one that surely is made for regional nationals, £20k Somerset National (0-130) would be ideal.
Doncaster 29-Dec-12 Soft (Heavy in places) C: 6.0 H: 6.2
12:05 Novices’ Hurdle 2m 3f 110y
You can’t help but be impressed by the performance of Red Devil Boys. Bought at Brightwells, Cheltenham, for £72k following his win at Largy as a 4yo, he was green as grass on rules debut, hanging left to right throughout the whole straight of Doncaster, with Kayersberg pulling away late on. Kayersberg is entered for the Grade 2 at Warwick, was a dual bumper winner for Neil King, so hardly a back number. Being part of John Ferguson’s/Bloomfields expansive operation, means they can afford to gave him 12 months off the track, and he certainly came back filled out on debut this year. What was noticeable from seasonal debut bumper run is this time around they ran him with a noseband, and you can see why as he does carry his head slightly high. John is most certainly excited by this “National Hunt horse”
I am thrilled with that. He was second in a bumper then we put him away because he was weak and we brought him back for a bumper here last month. He obviously did that well and he had schooled well at home. If you look at him he is a horse with a future,he is a real National Hunt horse – it´s fun for us because most of ours are ex-Flat horse so it is lovely to have a fellow like him. We will take it along slowly. – John Ferguson, trainer.
Form is solid, Kings Grey is 135 rated chaser, and will no doubt be placed well to take advantage of hurdle mark 118. Wychwoods Brook has some fair bumper form to his name, and finished 2nd to a typical embryo chaser of McCain’s in Dungeel.
2:25 Handicap Hurdle 3m 110y
Another Jonjo winner, another horse that seems to excel for partnership, Storm Survivor & Maurice Linehan:
I know him inside out, that is my second win on him, and you can´t be hard on him. If you are hard on him he pulls up – the easier you are the better. – Maurice Linehan, jockey.
Any other jockey form reads: 477871005685P
Maurice Linehan: 211
No surprise to see Maurice strike up partnership with horses as he looks a very accomplished rider, here he did mistake the winning post late on, but he didn’t mistake tactics. He allowed his mount to creep into the race, and after seemingly Barafundle had seen off all comers, he came with a late run under pressure.
Barafundle did well to finish 4th after losing his position at Haydock, and was only collared after the last. Cheltenham isn’t his track, so no doubt be aiming at flat 3m races in future. Has won previously at Newbury, and there’s a 0-145 3m Handicap on Betfair Hurdle weekend.
Handicapper has been very kind to drop Sarando 8lbs. He was still running a big race into the straight, but again showing that he doesn’t get the trip on this soft ground. Dropped back to 2m4f or waiting for the spring ground, then off 120 he should be able to find a race.
One that never got into the race was Sixty Something. Given too much to do by Dominic Elsworth, which is becoming a regular phrase when reviewing his rides, he had no chance from his position at the top of the straight. He has improved considerably for the step up in trip and the application of hood. He’s still favourably treated off 129.
Newbury 29-Dec-12 C: Heavy (Soft in places) H: Heavy
1:35 Novices’ Chase (For The Hallowe’en Trophy) 2m 2f 110y
AP McCoy’s riding of the runner-up with slipped saddle, Colour Squadron, has detracted some of the praise that Module deserves for a fairly comfortable success.
Module accounted for a fair field here, Colour Squadron 2nd to Captain Conan and Degiout in Grade 1’s last season over timber, Avoca Promise who got his head in front at third time of asking over timber at Wincanton, Tenor Nivernais carrying a penalty here for winning at Bangor, and Bury Parade a £100k purchase following chase debut win at Carlisle.
Two to focus on going forward, notably Module, and I would not be afraid to aim him at the Arkle. The Arkle is likely to be another half dozen runner affair due to the Grey Aeroplane that is Simonsig, however beyond him the challengers are very thin on the ground. Overturn has been ducking easy ground, Arvika jumps out to his right, Captain Conan is likely to run in the Jewson and then we get to the likes of Hinterland etc. He still held every chance when falling at Exeter, and even though that race doesn’t look the deepest, he was still travelling well. The big worry is the mark, he’s been given a handicap rating of 139, after his handicap win last year off 130 connections said wait until you see a fence and he’s a 2m5f. This would make him prime target for the Centenary Novices’ won last year by Hunt Ball, but I can’t get away from thinking that he’d hold a great chance of placing in the Arkle, and next entry will say it all given we have two trials on the horizon in Lightning Novices’ Chase at Doncaster and the Kingmaker at Warwick.
Avoca Promise did take a while to get his head in front over timber, but fair bumper form and his run here suggests he’ll find winnable races off 125 over fences, and over further. He travelled in rear, walked through one down the back, and was running on at the finish.
2:45 Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 5f
Watched this race a fair few times now, and with every watch, positivity re Taquin Du Seuil and performance diminishes.
Biggest danger in the book was Clondaw Kaempfer, Maguire gave him abit of encouragement leaving the back straight, and after slightly sprawling on landing after the third last, and fear of misstep etc, Maguire did the right thing in easing him up. Ballybough Pat was keen in his early days, but is more settled now, however he’d have put up a better performance if given a lead. We’ve seen in all his runs he likes to take it up 2 or 3 out, and here at the finish he was staying on again after the last. Easter Day ran to a similar level of form of his win at Ascot, and is just short of Grade 1 standard currently.
Taquin Du Seuil was given 2011/12 off after his flat campaign in France, and McCoy was fairly impressed with him at Uttoxeter on debut and only time he suffered defeat was at the hands of My Tent Or Yours over 2 miles at Ascot. Since that run he has been stepped up to 2m4f races and he’s not looked back. Will be given a break, and Neptune is the likely target for this son of Voix Du Nord. In short he quickened away from two confirmed stayers, with his most prominent market rival pulled up. I’m not sold on him just yet.
3:15 Handicap Hurdle 2m 5f
I continue to be impressed by African Gold, and is now 3 from 3 since application of a tongue tie following defeat at hands of Ballybough Pat back in October. Below are comments following his win here in November:
Form which on first glance may not be worth getting excited about, but African Gold put in a fair display of hurdling and stayed on gamely to win going away. He finished second to Ballybough Pat on hurdling debut early October, but following that run he has been wearing a tongue tie, and connections seem to be looking forward to see him run on better ground with the Albert Bartlett being a possible target. The International Meet may come a bit too soon for him, but if not there is the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle on the Saturday of the meet which would be a good test for him.
He has been raised to 135, and sure connections should be able to find a Pertemps Qualifier for him as I think there may just be one or two ahead of him in Novice division, but in Handicaps he’s still one to have on side.
Salubrious was in trouble coming into the straight, and without doubt will be suited by better ground; however I think he would also be suited by a drop in trip. When with Pam Sly, she described horse as having a lot of gears following win on Good to Firm at Stratford, and he did travel with some purpose at Chepstow on seasonal debut. Wonder if he will be one of many horses that Paul Nicholls will enter for the Betfair Hurdle this week.
3:50 Introductory Hurdle 2m 110y
Speaking of Betfair Hurdle, then the fact that My Tent Or Yours is entered to run this week, you look at this run in a whole new light.
Connections were umming and ahhing about letting him run on this ground, and was on the supposed verge of being withdrawn, post-race Nicky Henderson put it simply:
“The answer to the race is one does and the other does not – that is act on the ground. Chatterbox did but is still young and weak so he will probably not be going anywhere near Cheltenham, while My Tent Or Yours looks a spring horse and probably will be.”
Chatterbox and Barry Geraghty got first run on My Tent Or Yours approaching the last, MTOY didn’t hurdle the last very well neither, and he seemed to be hanging in the straight also. Giving away 5lbs to the winner wasn’t that bad a performance on ground he’d have hated. As for the winner, wouldn’t surprise me if see similar path as to that of Captain Conan and skip Cheltenham, see him in the Novice hurdle at Aintree before chasing next season.
One of the beaten horses to take note of is Minella For Party. Keen early, Johnson made move way too early and rushed him from last to first into the straight. Could possibly see some headgear on him once given a mark, but anything around 100 would be very fair.
So what’s so important about another run re My Tent Or Yousrs? Well all entries for the Betfair Hurdle that are Novices’ need to have ran 3 times over hurdles before the 13th January 2013, otherwise they will be ineligible. Same connections last year had Darlan in the Betfair, who was in process of running a huge race before falling, and JP McManus has had Get Me Out Of Here win this race before a tilt at the Supreme, so be no surprise to see My Tent Or Yours turn up back here on 9th Feb if taking up any of his 3 engagements this week.