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OCTOBER 2019 HORSES TO FOLLOW
BACT TO BLACK      (Robert Walford)

7 year old bay gelding     (Black Sam Bellamy – Linagram)     6/U97526/6316-

Whilst Bact To Black only has the one win to his name, there is still some interesting stuff to infer from what he has done. A bit like they always promised in chemistry lessons at school, except that this time it is true. For starters, when coming home first at Lingfield he needed every yard of 2m 7f to scrape in by a short head. His next best result was 2m 7.5f at Exeter on heavy, where Shoofly Milly edged him out by a neck. That was in Spring 2018 and looked like a one-off moment of inspiration until he hit form for a couple of races at the start of this year. By now Bact To Black has the profile of a horse that just needs to mature mentally and physically to get delivering the goods on a more profitable basis. Meanwhile, if we just concentrate on longer races and undulating tracks he could come out at better than break even with just one win. For a horse of his age staying chases are obviously in mind as a route by which consistency may be achieved. Teaching him maths and chemistry would work too, although the idea does carry the risk of boring him into an unraceable stupor.

Races on an undulating track over 2m 7f or more

CHINGACHGOOK     (Tristan Davidson)

4 year old bay gelding     (Al Kazeem – Natty Bumppo)     341-

Never mind just Chingachgook, the entire stable has been one to track over jumps lately. This season two of the three horses fielded have won a race and last term it was six out of eight. Chingachgook was one of those, progressing after two solid but unspectacular juvenile hurdle runs at Wetherby to win one such event around Musselburgh. Since then he has been doing fine on occasional flat appearances between a mile and a quarter up to a mile and a half. As far as what that matters to the price of eggs, it would not normally bother UK-Jumping what he does on the flat, but given that he has generally concentrated on shorter races in the past, it is giving us a clue that Chingachgook can be a bit more ambitious regarding stamina, at least on a course with a less taxing layout. In terms of cultural references, he did beat a horse named Native Fighter at Musselburgh but for a pun overload somebody needs to dig out a handicap hurdler named Magua, and do it soon. Shall we start a whip round?

Handicap hurdles up to 2m 3f

GUERRILLA TACTICS     (Jeremy Scott)

9 year old bay gelding     (Presenting – Karens Flight)     7//334311F4/232174-52

As well as the Rules form shown above, Guerrilla Tactics has sneaked in nine pointing races, where he only managed one win but found second place on five occasions, none of which were deceptive flattering results in especially small fields. The other side of the coin is that it does mean that he was unable to fight his way out of Restricted level, which usually attracts one of three adjectives – “non-stayer,” “mediocre” or “disinterested.” Pitched in with the big boys (if class 4 handicaps do merit that description), the strike rate in the professional game is three out of nineteen, which is only a nudge ahead of the pointing percentage, but Guerrilla Tactics has given a strong hint of when he plans to ambush the enemy. Where we have got to now is a state where the enemy know that it is coming but cannot do anything to prevent it, sort of a horse racing interpretation of ebola. Firstly it needs to be a race of 2m 2f or further – a sound plan of when to attack the foe is when they are tired – and secondly there needs to be no more than seven runners. Tired and numerically few opponents are the best to have in any form of contest. When Guerrilla Tactics gets these his results are 11F212. The victories have been at a nicely varied range of courses (Warwick, Wincanton and Stratford), the fall was two out in a race on heavy ground when he looked set to be there or thereabouts and both second places were at Newton Abbot by less than two lengths. Thus he does some things with adaptability.

Races over 3m 2f or more with seven or fewer runners

MAID O'MALLEY     (Stuart Coltherd)

6 year old bay mare     (Black Sam Bellamy - Jolie)     2

This site has delighted over the years in tracking the trials, tribulations and triumphs of owners who dived in to secure the services of horses who won their only pointing run. And not just Irish ones either, as some decent money has been paid for British pointers in the same state. One of the common issues is that they come up for sale quite soon, and only after purchase does it become apparent that the beaten horses would even look like the dunces in the room if sat in the House of Commons. None of this is true for Maid O'Malley, who won a maiden at scenic Cothelstone over 2m 4f on her racing debut in March. The first two were well clear and runner-up Hott Lips rather helpfully managed to win three races before the end of the season. It was late September and Perth where Maid O'Malley made her Rules debut, finishing second to Queen's Magic, who is rated 116. That mare has been a bit higher in the handicap in the past and was getting her second hurdle win, having extricated herself, perhaps by magic, from a stint of irritating placed performances. But for a mistake at the second last the first two could have finished the other way round and despite UK-Jumping's history of cynicism of such converts and additionally inspired by her grit after the mistake, Maid O'Malley looks like the type to have a good time of things soon.

Mares only hurdles over 2m 4f or more

PASSING DREAM     (Seamus Mullins)

6 year old brown mare     (Passing Glance - Violet's Walk)     7/1UF42001-14

Her flat career was a bit of a ropey one, finishing seventh of ten on debut, and then eighth in four consecutive races, but with only six horses in total behind her. So if she did have a passing dream it probably involved finishing somewhere in or around the places, crazy notion or not. After Passing Dream ended up seventh on her hurdling bow, a nasty sense of been here, done that must have gone through her mind. However she lost that by only thirteen lengths and won her next run in a small field at Towcester. An unseat and a fall brought her progress grinding to a halt and then not being sent to ideal tracks was undermining Passing Dream's cause. However she found her feet at Plumpton and Warwick with victories, before returning to the latter for a three lengths defeat. This has left her record in a state which reads 14114 on undulating courses (the other fourth place was also by roughly three lengths, this time at Chepstow) and on level tracks it is 7UF200. Other questions that may be asked do not have an answer - all runs have been on good or quicker quicker ground, despite being a winter mare, so we do not know if Passing Dream is mud averse, and whilst the last two wins were in a hood, it does not seem to be essential. Maybe she just imagines herself wearing one when it is not declared.

Races on an undulating track

WENCESLAUS     (David Bridgwater)

7 year old bay gelding     (Tiger Hill – Warrior Czarina)     584U306600/7311573-

Late in 2018 Wenceslaus picked up both of his career wins. The first was a Plumpton two miler, eleven days after his previous effort – a decent third at Bangor. The second was a Uttoxeter two miler, eleven days after Plumpton. The Bangor build up to all this was Wenceslaus’ first go in cheekpieces but after he failed in his hat trick bid he ran pretty well in defeat without them at Warwick and Huntingdon. The going for the victories was good once and good to firm once but having him run at that time a year shows no fear of it laying round about, deep and crisp and even – whether “it” be snow or mud. So what are the patterns in success? The short gap is a plus, Wenceslaus never otherwise having raced on a break shorter than eighteen days, and that was the promising Bangor effort. The other possible factor of note is that his only disappointing spin was at Leicester, the only galloping track visited last season. But it is actually Wenceslaus’ sole run on a galloping course in his life and forty days off before it seems likelier to have produced a problem. What also looks encouraging is that he is just the type of raw material, a low level handicapper with a competitive attitude demonstrated, that David Bridgwater makes into a functional chaser. The cut-off time for when to follow Wenceslaus is currently arbitrary. For now two weeks seems like a happy medium but a vast team of analysts will be employed to track his every move.

Races with a run in the previous two weeks
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The human beings are delighted with a Uttoxeter win. Wenceslaus just looks bewildered.
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