Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
Description
MAY 2017 HORSES TO FOLLOW
ANDY KELLY     (Emma Lavelle)

8 year old bay chesnut gelding     (Flemensfirth – Fae Taylor)     4142F1/976/1/U5-

As is almost mandatory for an Emma Lavelle trained horse, Andy Kelly began life in Irish point-to-points, and he finished second. The now 150+ rated Vaniteux was in fourth, although that horse’s stamina in a race for four year olds was probably badly overstretched. Andy Kelly did not get a second chance to notch a win, but was next seen lining up in novice hurdles. That was a job that he took to quite well, successful at Stratford and Kempton. The form was generally on the strong side and in his next season it forced him to contest some quality handicaps and fail in them, partly because his yard had an indifferent season. It needs to be added that only one of them was on a suitable track, and it at least confirmed the building trend by being his least poor showing. Next up was chasing and Andy Kelly impressed a great deal in victory on the first try, in a strong race at Plumpton. Alas, his ability to find any problem going appeared and it was thirteen months before he ran again. He unseated early on the comeback, lost the next by nine lengths and all has gone quiet again. When Andy Kelly appears again, concentrate on sharp tracks, as his record on them is 41161U, the fourth place being defeat by only four lengths.

Handicap hurdles or handicap chases on a sharp track
Description
Andy Kelly freewheeling to the two and a half mile start at Plumpton. he may have seen a train pulling into the station that he felt a need to catch.

JACK BEAR     (Harry Whittington)

6 year old bay gelding     (Joe Bear – Colins Lady)     U35-

A flat winner at 1m 5f plus in both 2015 and 2016, Jack Bear was likely to turn his attention to hurdles at some stage. Unfortunately he debuted at the job before the attention was really in focus, and unseated after a horrible mess attempting the second hurdle – not having been overly skilled at the first. The problem was that he pulled hard and went all early Genesis on us. For those confused, and there will be many, look up track one on “Foxtrot.” In his next race Jack Bear fluffed the first again but was mostly better, although he did get stressed when socked on the jaw a couple of times by opponents that wandered around into the hurdles. Crucially, when he was certain to only be third, he was allowed to coast home – with a mistake at the last for good measure. The last race was a wide margin loss, but he had plenty of horses behind, and there is something to work on when he is jumping better. That will come when Jack Bear settles in his races, via the radical approach of being a bit sensible. Which possibly leaves a problem in that he would seem to need longer races than the two milers he has been contesting, but which are run at a two mile pace.

Handicap hurdles over 2m 3f or more

LAUGHARNE     (Luke Dace)

6 year old bay gelding     (Authorized – Corsican Sunset)     52/721P77-

Indulged in a bit of flat racing to start his career, but was never overly busy, contesting three, four and four races in the three calendar years which he got involved. Laugharne did manage to win one in his two year old year, but generally it was not a successful exercise. Last spring he took a look at jump racing, a bit tentatively to begin with, but subsequently in encouraging style. The second race was a loss of only a couple of lengths at Fontwell, and whilst only seventh next time, the margin of loss was barely three lengths. After that seemed to set him up as a potential summer jumper, Laugharne took to his bed for six months. On return he lost by a length at Lingfield and won a fast ground three miler at Taunton. He had an off day next time, with another dozen weeks absence hinting at injury. The comeback resulted in last place, but beaten only thirteen lengths, although he ran too badly to be true at Huntingdon right at the end of Aprril. All hurdle races have been on sharp tracks, but there is not yet an obvious reason why he cannot be more flexible when getting decent ground and long distances.

Handicap hurdles over 3m or more on good or good to firm ground
Description
Lots of horses prefer to leave the Fontwell paddock sideways, and if nothing else, Laugharne wants to appear normal

MAGNOLIA RIDGE     (Mark Walford)

7 year old bay gelding     (Galileo – Treasure The Lady)     80/75/1816260P94-

The first thing that catches the eye about Magnolia Ridge as a hurdler is that he is not doing enough to dissuade connections from keep going back to flat racing. Perhaps Harvey Keitel keeps popping up and accusing him of being a prize plum. Or is the rabbit in ‘Father Ted’ that looks just like Harvey Keitel. Smart money is on the latter. Smart money is also on Magnolia Ridge when he tackles an undulating course, because his record on them reads 181269. It can be read that a disappointing result at Market Rasen last month indicates a loss of enthusiasm for such places, but he unwisely got involved in a duel for the lead over two and a half miles (a distance that continues to give him problems), and it was an unholy mess. The previous sixth place only involved a loss of seven lengths, so it is too soon to give up on that ghost.

Races on an undulating track up to 2m 3f

MIDTECH VALENTINE     (Ian Williams)

6 year old bay mare     (Act One – Eveon)     3P/0287541313/21104523-

Despite tender years in jump horse terms, Midtech Valentine has already shown us lots to work with. She can no longer do bumpers, as she has filled the permitted quota, but she was not especially good at it, so no tears are shed over that problem. She has also had a stab at chasing, but did not get on terribly well with that, so all we, and more importantly Midtech Valentine, are left to worry about is hurdling. At that job she has four wins, a couple of seconds and three third places from only fourteen tries, so this is definitely the aspect of the job that she loves. And even greater is her infatuation with small fields, as she has a record with five or fewer runners that reads a very healthy 1112. The dilemma is how far to take it. Midtech Valentine has never raced in a six horse hurdle, and when there are seven taking part, she scores 413. The fourth place was a loss of only six lengths, but the inclination is to think being well ahead of the handicapper played a big part in her coping. The mystery of the sixth runner continues.

Hurdles with up to five runners

WORLD PREMIER     (Ben Pauling)

4 year old grey gelding     (Montmartre – Kelbelange)     1-

Played one, won one. So there is not a massive amount to say about World Premier. He was well supported into being favourite for that race, which proved to be a brave plunge when it became clear that he did not have half a clue about what racing involves. Possibly a third or a quarter of a clue, as the result tells. The first hint for racegoers was an apparent desire to go to the start as fast as possible. The second was that despite Nico de Boinville being happy to let World Premier see the front very early, running in a straight line was not something that the horse understood to be useful. A couple of opponents got a bit of a broadside as he slalomed towards the first turn, but it convinced them to give him the daylight he wanted. Even at the end, when the field was greatly scattered, World Premier was inclined to shift away from a true line. The upshot of this is that he has a huge amount of improvement possible from an already pleasingly successful start.

Hurdle races up to 2m 4f
$SIGNUP$
$VALIDATION$
Working... Please wait