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MARCH 2018 HORSES TO FOLLOW
ALLTIMEGOLD     (Tim Vaughan)

5 year old bay gelding     (Gold Well – Carryonharriet)     094

It is still early days in the career of Alltimegold, and the performances so far are nowhere near gold standard. We had soggy cardboard to start, crumpled tin foil for the second, and some experimental alloy for the third, for which engineers may or may not find some future usage. The debut flop was a Fontwell bumper on good ground in the autumn, from which the winner, Court Liability, has been a non-liability and landed both hurdles afterwards. The runner-up has won a couple since as well. There were some promising sorts in his hurdling debut as well, and it initially appeared that a quiet educational was on the cards because jumping was not something that Alltimegold had developed any skills for. However, it was at Lingfield, where there is a lot of open space from the third last and he was able to make up some ground from that stage – enough to get us noting him. He returned to the same venue to see if the encouraging aspects could be built upon. The answer was yes, but not without one or two jumping irritations along the way. It was only on the descent to the second last that the three placed horses shook him off. When connections are happy that Alltimegold has a current skill level to go for gold, handicaps will be on the agenda.

Handicap hurdles rated up to 110

CARALINE     (Micky Hammond)

7 year old bay mare     (Martaline – Vie Ta Vie)     7C43/P0P148/83991111P/4432PF-4132

This is a selection that has the risk of going all a bit wrong, needing only the pattern to become acknowledged by the world at large to knock down the available price. Where Caraline is helping is that she wins away from the pattern every so often, and loses more often than she wins within it. But the point is that she pops up at very helpful prices, so a less than perfect strike rate can still be turned into a profit. We just need to keep the prophets away. The chosen circumstances are on left-handed, galloping and level courses. On these venues – excluding the French form which takes her up to her initial win – are 411P42PF132. The fourth place that started it off was a novices’ hurdle which was rather beyond her capabilities. So that has left her with three wins from ten tries in viable races, but with the odds on those days pitching in at 8/1, 4/1 and 6/1, the defeats can be sustained. So, the entry is made and all we need is for the losing interludes to keep being as forlornly discouraging as most people have been interpreting them.

Handicap chases on a left-handed, galloping, level track

HOPE’S WISHES     (Barry Brennan)

8 year old bay mare     (Kayf Tara – Otarie)     972/391174211/3433230-5246

The plan was to insert Hope’s Wishes on the back of splendid stab at Plumpton glory a couple of days earlier. There oppo included two unexposed horses that could make life difficult, so a battling third would do. Finishing sixth, beaten 41 lengths adrift was not the plan, but she made the mistake of getting in a scrap to lead with Boru’s Brook and the pair torpedoed each other’s chances. As the numbers show, she has won four times so it is possible for Hope’s Wishes to overcome this failure to understand that you only get the prize for being in front at one part of the race. She has won on heavy, soft, good to soft and good, plus on a diverse range of tracks – Wincanton, Southwell, Plumpton and Huntingdon. Her lack of patience makes her favour shorter races but not necessarily small fields. Her method, which used to flourish on a multi-month gap between races, no longer needs that break to be effective. But there is a pattern to mine, and it is an unexpected one. Usually the lesser bulk of the average mare counts against lugging big weights around, but for Hope’s Wishes she does best when higher in the weights (although we have to consider that Hope’s Wish is that the jockey was lighter). If she has 11 stone 4 pounds or more to carry she has form of 91113433232, which is extremely consistent stuff. Interestingly all but two of those involved the rider claiming back some weight – the allocated weight was always 11-7 or more. Let Hope’s Wishes carry on in this manner.

Handicap hurdles carrying 11 stone 4 pounds or more, up to 2m 3f
Hope’s Wishes saunters to the line at Plumpton, disgusted at the inadequate weight carried.

KING OF FASHION     (Kerry Lee)

8 year old chesnut gelding     (Desert King – French Fashion)     534/2131223-4P

This horse recently celebrated his first run for a new stable by pulling up, the first time in his career that he has failed to finish. Instead of taking a view that fails to extend beyond the next thirty seconds, UK-Jumping opts for the “normal service being resumed” possibility. One reason is that his dud of a run at Sandown was merely reinforcing a couple of dismal spins at Perth when he was trained in Scotland. The challenge is to decide how far to go with the bias shown. All of his good runs have been at Ayr, which was bang on his old doorstep. Does it mean that King Of Fashion loves a galloping, left handed course, or does he simply travel very badly (very, very badly) on race day, perhaps due to non-stylish protective equipment whilst on the move. At Ayr his results read 21324, and the fact that he did manage a win at Hexham – admittedly in a very weak novices’ hurdle, tends to point against the anti-horsebox journey agenda. If the preference is for left-handed galloping tracks, then he has Worcester not too far away from the new base. If the time spent travelling does turn out to be a problem after all, he has Hereford and Worcester not too far away. The schedule for the coming months writes itself. Maybe Ayr for the Scottish National meeting/old times sake.

Handicap hurdles or handicap chases on a left-handed, galloping track

MY CHARITY     (Graeme McPherson)

7 year old bay gelding     (King’s Theatre – Benefit Ball)     5-52388

As the form figures imply, My Charity has been most notable so far for his ability to make charitable non-winning contributions to races that have been appreciated by a range of different trainers and owners. After a so-so bumper debut for Oliver Sherwood he had a change of stable and performed much better at the second try despite not managing to end up with a better finishing position. The hurdle debut went well too, losing by only three lengths at Worcester, to the now 139-rated Springtown Lake. The next two runs were rather disappointing in comparison, although on New Year’s Day he was at least being elevated to listed company. The latest stop was a first handicap, where the rating had been based on Springtown Lake as he was when beating My Charity, not as he had become since, and although he finished only eighth, it was a decent effort in a strong 0-135 race. The winner was also by King’s Theatre so it is impossible not to wonder if My Charity felt in the mood to do a relation a favour. The remaining issue, totally unanthropomorphic, is what to do next. His best three runs have been the trio on good ground and the ones on softer have all been less impressive. So there is a good case for My Charity using the summer to put himself first – he has the look of a handicap chaser.

Handicap hurdles or handicap chases on good or quicker ground, over 2m 4f or more

REGULATION     (Neil King)

9 year old brown gelding     (Danehill Dancer – Source Of Life)     345/1216312196/02F47743-5464

Everyone likes Venn diagrams right? Even before publishing this, it has been brought to UK-Jumping’s attention that we may not get consensus agreement on this bold statement. But when selecting Regulation, the rules demand that Venn diagrams are applied. Think back to maths classes in the early teenage years, and when you thought “nobody uses this **** in real life.” Up to now it had seemed that the exception to the dismissal was airheaded marketing drones. Now real people are doing it as well. The first part of Regulation’s Venn is a universe of 56 races. Of those we are only considering the 25 hurdling ones. Then we draw a big circle labelled “races with eight or more runners.” That filters in results that read (for site qualifying races – up to class 3 on small tracks, class 4 on major ones) 341211124. That alone is profitable stuff, but when we also draw a circle for races on good to firm, the results included are 411 and the loss was in a small field. Anyone who wants to filter in on an unbeaten combination, albeit from a tiny sample, is welcome, but the site is happy to stick with the broader brush of big fields. He does not do soft or heavy ground but is rarely asked to do so, and if he was ever going to make a chaser, some sort of attempt would have been witnessed by now.

Handicap hurdles with eight or more runners
You wanted this, you only have yourselves to blame
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