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APRIL 2019 HORSES TO FOLLOW
GRACELAND     (Donald McCain)

7 year old grey mare     (Mastercraftsman - Jeunesse Lulu)     33

With 37 flat races under her belt, the conclusion drawn is that Graceland has finally completed her education for the proper job, and with a rating of 87 achieved, she had actually got quite capable at the rehearsal activity. As any fule kno from above there have been two hurdle runs so far and she has been placed in both. At Catterick on good to soft she was beaten by seventeen lengths by a mare, Another Theatre, that UK-Jumping complimented on her efforts last summer but somehow overlooked for list inclusion before she won two races, including a handicap from a rating of 114. It is seen how the addition of Graceland might look like a doomed attempt to salvage the best of a bad job, but instead of dying on the toilet, she went on to lose her second try (hooded for the first time) by seven lengths, one behind the 114-rated runner-up and eight lengths in front of a 125-rated rival. The concern is that on the flat she won three but was second eleven times. The predicted solution is that she should have the raw ability to not be dependent on a late battle to win modest races. As Graceland was a flat stayer, longer races should help.

Mares’ hurdles over 2m 3f or more

HURRICANE DYLAN     (Kevin Frost)

8 year old bay gelding     (Brian Boru – Definetly Sarah)     3/5321/102313P

This has the potential to be a very short paragraph because Hurricane Dylan is all about the going but we could have a digression onto Hurricane (Dylan) and when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way, up to some paradise where the trout streams flow and the air is nice and ride a horse along a trail. But even by the high standards of tenuous comment that UK-Jumping often slumps into, that still does not come across as any more relevant than a random sentence that happens to include the word horse. So where do we ride with Hurricane Dylan (bearing in mind that if you copy and paste this into Word, your state of the art spelling and grammar checkers will flag very little as wrong in this woefully constructed paragraph. Hurricane Dylan on good ground 110213. The 0 was a twenty- three horse race at Cheltenham last autumn and it would take a very harsh taskmaster to quibble the other two losses. On other going he is 35323P, which is not all bad but the success drought he is significant. There have been Hurricane Dylan runs on good to firm, so proceed with care if he tries. His last run, a pulled up, was the first on good to soft, which went too badly to be true – monitor any new tries for better adaptation.

Races over 2m 4f or more on good ground
This is what Storm Dylan does. Expect more from Hurricane Dylan.

LADY MARWAH     (Michael Scudamore) 

6 year old bay mare     (Iffraaj – Eyrecourt)     749-344 

Not much yet, apart from £1,734 (approx.) in prize money. The thing with Lady Marwah is that having run in four bumpers there are ones where the form worked out really well. In her first she only lost by nine lengths to Grageelagh Girl (now rated 120) and Posh Trish (now rated 142), with Jet Set (similar mark to Grageelagh Girl) in third. Most of the margin of loss went in the first half of the race where her inexperience was strongly in view. From Lady Marwah’s second race the first pair are now rated 131 and Grageelagh Girl was behind her. Race three was not quite so good but she again lost by fewer than ten lengths and she cracked the first three when favourite for a Southwell race, although not winning it. The Nicky Henderson trained winner has run in two Newbury novice hurdles since, achieving close places in both and the Alan King trained runner-up has won a bumper and a hurdle. So that was bumpers done with and she had managed a pretty sound body of work for a winless graduate. Lady Marwah’s hurdle debut was a little underwhelming but the winner was a 136-rated Paul Nicholls horse and a speedy two miles at Wincanton is not her cup of tea. She does not need to wait for handicaps, there will be winnable mares only novice races. *** STOP PRESS – a fourth in Wetherby novices’ hurdle very late in March opens the door to an early switch to handicaps *** 

Mares’ hurdles over 2m 3f or more 

MALAPIE     (Caroline Bailey) 

11 year old bay gelding     (Westerner - Victorian Lady)     1F/B/21P/4418183931-5P95 

It is a question asked a thousand times per day in pubs across the land. What is the greatest type of pie? Steak and ale? Chicken and mushroom? Blackberry and apple? Cherry? Never mentioned is a the Mala, possibly because the French think that he is an inherently bad pie. Well, wrong 'uns of a Gallic flavour, Malapie is a very productive punting snack, as long as small fields are stuck to. He began life as a racehorse with second in an Irish point and then won a too busy novice hurdle - pulled hard and needed the crowd at this point. Things came to a crashing halt when he followed it with a fall and a brought down (possibly what lay behind him developing a need for open spaces). Since then the Malapie record when in a field of seven or less is 111315. Unusually for a Caroline Bailey horse, he did not go chasing until last April. The first race was a win against three rivals but the only other try was a pull up at Exeter over 3m 6.5f in December. At this late stage of his career, he may not try again. Other possible filters such as good to soft or quicker going, type of course, races beyond three miles etc have some negative evidence but not enough to commit to. 

Chases or hurdles with up to seven runners 

SALLY CAN’T WAIT     (Henry Oliver) 

6 year old bay mare     (Sulamani - Kate Hill Dancer)     47976 

The first job for Sally Can’t Wait is to slip inside the eye of her mind, looking for a better place to play. We call that realm “handicaps” although at this point her likely destination is the province of hurdling, connections might feel that she is old enough to go direct to chases, exploiting her appealing mark of 95 and making sure that all the things that you’ve seen will slowly fade away – replaced by wins. If we are going to forget her history (and various racing results databases should prevent it), a quick summary is. Runner-up up in a point-to-point bumper on her debut, then fourth of six in one under Rules. A couple of midfield(ish) finishes in hurdles at the end of 2018 followed – the first at Ludlow is worth a three figure rating and she did not even work flat out to achieve that. So far in 2019 she has another midfield spin at Ludlow and one at Taunton, again not subject to an especially hard race at the business end. What Sally Can’t Wait offers is the chance to put our life in the hands of a rock’n’roll band who will throw it all away, but a potentially very well handicapped mare instead and as she has stuck to good or good to soft ground so far, she may keep chipping away when summertime’s in bloom. What could possibly go wrong? UK-Jumping being sued by Noel Gallagher is one thing that springs to mind. 

Handicap hurdles or handicap chases rated up to 115
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Sally Can't Wait, nearest the camera, being non-urgent at Taunton

SCHNABEL     (David Dennis)

7 year old bay gelding     (Ask – Velsatis)     306456/48213-100P

Undeniably it has gone a bit pear shaped for Schnabel his season. It began with his second ever win but two of the flops are excused because they took place on the accursed (in his world view) anti-clockwise track. When going left-handed his record is 30645830P. The first try was before Schnabel had read up and discovered that such courses were the personification of the devil and the Doncaster third later on was when he had forgotten it because horses do not have a memory constructed to retain important slices of theological data. Meanwhile, at the end of January he had a bad day at Huntingdon, after starting at 50/1. The yard was not going especially well at the time but somehow a shambles was expected. Having been not invincible but definitely superior going right-handed, the hope is that chasing will really bring out his best. The Newbury chase intro did not go brilliantly for the reasons stated earlier. The idea is that Schnabel improves schnell when in a right-handed chase. He has only run on good or good to soft ground.

Chases on a right-handed track over 2m 4f or more
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