It’s no surprise that the likes of Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins have poached the big Saturday races but there’s plenty of value during the week at the bread ‘n’ butter tracks to get the ammo for March 11-14.
We’re eight weeks out from the Cheltenham Festival 2014 and it’s time to recap how some of my trainer & horses to follow from earlier in the season are doing.
I’ve gone through the winner machines and come up with 40 horses that can take Paddy to the cleaners as we look forward to Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown. You hear me Paddy? Yeehaa!
Here’s how they’re getting on.
- Holywell: Frustrating so far. Needs more than 2m4f trip.
- Taquin du Seuil: Chinned by Oscar Whisky. Stick with him.
- More of That: Unbeaten and cound run in the Cleeve Hurdle next week.
- Get Back In Line: Unseated on debut. Keep an eye out.
- Bobs Worth: Won Lexus. Heads straight to Gold Cup as the one to beat.
- My Tent of Yours: Won Fighting Fifth & Christmas Hurdle. Could go to the top.
- Seaham Hall: Still under wraps after bumper winner at Ffos Las last May.
- West Wizard: Disappointed at Kempton. Plans now fluid.
- Up and Go: Two defeats. Questions to answer now.
- Diamond King: Bounced back at Donny after first defeat. Could step up in Grade next.
- Sea The Fire: Won bumper at Uttoxeter but not seen this season yet.
- Tonvadosa: Good winner at Kelso but flopped at Haydock. Watching brief next.
- Urubu D’Irlande: Won a bumper at Taunton and the runner-up landed a hat-trick afterwards. Promising.
- Minellahalfcentury: Sixth in handicap hurdle on seasonal bow. Watch for next time out.
- Silviniaco Conti: King George winner. Gold Cup next. Serious player.
- Ptit Zig: Second in Ladbroke after Grade One win at Auteuil. Watch for in big handicap.
- The Liquidator: Ran flat at Kempton last weekend after two wins. Don’t discard.
- Dynaste: Disappointed in King George. Festival target yet to be decided.
- Red Sherlock: Unbeaten in five races – keep on right side.
- Doctor Harper: Flopped at Cheltenham but did too much in front early on. Watch next time.
- The New One: Last hurdle dive cost him at Kempton. Major player for Champion Hurdle.
- African Gold: Ground too heavy at Wetherby but hasn’t progressed. Wait for better ground.
- Master of the Sea: Pulled up at Haydock. Could be a force over fences if sent chasing.
- Imperial Leader: No show on debut – watch to see what plan is.
- Godsmejudge: Fifth to Alvarado but stable under a clod when pulled up at Sandown.
- Two Rockers: Ninth over hurdles at Haydock. Due to go chasing now.
- Medinas: A classy staying novice prospect with two seconds so far. May need to lower sights.
- Carraig Mor: Bolted up over hurdles at Uttoxeter but beaten at 1/8f at Ascot! Still on a break.
- Flemenstar: Out for the season through injury.
- Blackmail: Still under wraps but a a very decent hurdling prospect who wasn’t far off the top in bumpers.
- Umpact: Ran terribly on last two effort – but interesting if switched to fences.
- Bog Warrior: Fifth in World Hurdle. Capable of picking up decent hurdle prizes in Ireland.
- Western Jo: Bounced back to best when second at Doncaster over Xmas.
- Garde la Victoire: Well beaten fourth in Tolworth. Pushed out for Supreme Novices.
- Royal Regatta: Fifth in Cheltenham trial. Keep an eye for next time.
- Berkeley Barron: Fourth in Chepstow Grade 2. Chaser in the making.
- Don Cossack: Beat Carlingford Lough – winner since – in Grade One. Apple of trainer’s eye.
- Time for a Pint: Two from two in bumpers. On the upgrade.
- Bonisland: Made winning chase debut at Punchestown and can only improve.
- Mala Beach: Third in Grade One at Leopardstown. Chaser in the making.
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