2019/20 5 To Follow
ELDORADO ALLEN – 5YO – COLIN TIZZARD/JP ROMANS & TERRY WARNER – HURDLER - 2 miles +
A lovely, good looking, grey gelding that couldn’t have been more impressive when victorious on British debut at Sandown last November, he travelled and jumped impeccably that day and won by a very cosy 4 lengths. The form in behind is backed up by those horses totting up 12 wins between them following their defeat to Eldorado Allen but it was more the visual impression he gave on the day that made him stand out. However, his second race on these shores went down a completely different route to his first, he was hampered and unseated his rider when sent off odds on at Aintree, where he also picked up an injury to keep him out for the rest of the season. Now given connections, the horse’s age and lack of experience over obstacles, I’d expect them to stick to hurdles this season, competing in some conditions events/Grade 2s with a view of going over fences next season as a 6 year old.
KING ROLAND – 5YO – HARRY FRY/MASTERSON HOLDINGS LTD – NOVICE HURDLER - 2m4f +
A 10 length point winner followed by a 22 length winner on rules debut at Uttoxeter in heavy ground is the reason why so many, especially I, cannot wait to see this strapping 5 year old go novice hurdling this coming season. The son of Robin des Champs followed up under a penalty at Ffos Las in the spring, having to work far harder than his contest previous, staying on strongly to win by a length. After showing his liking for easy ground and how well he stayed in his second bumper, there is no doubt he’ll need 2m4f over hurdles and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him over 3 miles when sent over fences next season, given his sire. I fully hope and expect King Roland to be of graded class and it could be that connections take the same route as they did a couple of years ago with the ill-fated Neon Wolf by taking in a straight forward novice hurdle and then stepping up in grade for the G2 Rossington Main Novice Hurdle at Haydock in January before the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
DYNAMITE DOLLARS – 6YO – PAUL NICHOLLS/MICHAEL GEOGHEGAN – CHASER - 2 miles
An average novice hurdler in 2017/18, Dynamite Dollars returned to the track last October with a novice chase campaign in front of him, but surely no one could have predicted what he was about to achieve. After sluicing up on chase debut at Market Rasen he was sent to Cheltenhams November meeting to contest a Grade 2 only to find Lalor too good on the day. He was then sent to Sandown for the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novice Chase in torrential conditions, to come out victorious beating Aintree Festival Grade 1 winner Ornua just under 2 lengths with Cheltenham conqueror; Lalor tailed off in behind. Two more Grade 2 wins proceeded at Kempton and Doncaster respectively but a minor injury ended his chances of glory at any of the spring festivals where he would have been a real live contender for the Racing Post Arkle at Cheltenham. A campaign this year, surely will be based around getting to the Champion Chase next March with Paul Nicholls already earmarking the Grade 1 Tingle Creek at Sandown on the same card he won last year in the Henry VIII Novice Chase.
CONCERTISTA – 5YO – WILLIE MULLINS/SIMON MUNIR & ISAAC SOUEDE – NOVICE HURDLER - 2 miles +
A horse that I was itching to see for the majority of last season but then caused me immense heartbreak when she finally did run, after backing her at almost 200/1, only to be beaten a short head by her stable mate in the Dawn Run Mares Novice Hurdle last March. Her runner up effort at Cheltenham, was too, the mares hurdle debut after racing exclusively on the flat in France. Based on that run at the Festival, we have another Grade 1 mare from Closutton to look forward to this coming season and given she’s still a novice, opens up plenty of options. A daughter of Nathaniel, she looked a speedy type and give in the ground looked no problem too, so I’d expect her to be seen around November time once the ground becomes easier. The Grade 1 Hattons Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse may become her first target unless they want to take a quieter approach to get some more hurdling experience. The Dawn Run at Cheltenham and the Mares Final at Fairyhouse should also be considered as spring targets. Whichever way connections go, this mare should give them lots to look forward to.
FELIX DESJY – 6YO – GORDON ELLIOTT – GIGGINSTOWN – NOVICE CHASER - 2m
A high class novice hurdler last season, cumulating in a Grade 2 win, followed by a gritty Grade 1 victory in the Top Novices Hurdle at the Aintree Festival in April. A former point winner, chasing was always going to be his long term game and he seem to excel on softer ground last season especially at Aintree and he looked to be throwing down a strong challenge in the Supreme Novices to Klassical Dream before being outpaced into the home straight. Having always been a buzzy, free going type even back to his bumper days, I’d fully expect him to be kept at the minimum trip now over fences. He should easily be picking up a straight forward beginners chase before having his aspirations heightened with the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase over Christmas being an early target with another Grade 1 target being the Irish Arkle at Leopardstowns Dublin Racing Festival in February ending with a shot at the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival.