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Previous Notebook winners include. Blakeney Point WON 9/2, Medahim WON 7/1, Cleonte WON 9/2, No Needs Never WON 8/1, Raising Sand WON 5/1, Rock Eagle WON 3/1.
NH winning notebook horses, Paddleyourowncanoe WON 6/1 < 12/1, Adrien Du Pont WON 9/2 < 13/2, Hawk High WON 5/2, Wishfull Dreaming WON 5/1
Flat Notebook Horses:
Ascot, Raising Sand
For a horse that tends to improve for his return to action he ran an extremely encouraging race from a career high mark following his victory at Ascot last October; as it happens when a notebook horse of ours from earlier that season. He absolutely revels in soft ground, the deeper the better and when encountering those conditions, he proved here can without doubt win off his current rating. Towards the rear early on he flew home on the nearside finishing by far the strongest of the entire field. He has the pace to win over 7f, but also the stamina for a mile and maybe even further. He seems very suited by the stiff finish at Ascot and whilst the summer fast ground handicaps may not ideally suit, he’s one to keep in mind for later in the season when the softer ground returns.
Having found the 5 furlongs at Newcastle on the sharp side last time, this looked a more suitable trip, although he’s sure to be very effective over 7 furlongs as well. He travelled like the best horse in this race by some way, but his jockey just got caught out by the winner making a move on the other side of the field. As a result Aplomb had quite a lot of ground to make up on the winner and had to settle ford 2nd place, pulling clear of the rest of the field. He looks a sure fire winner over 6f or 7f and we’d expect him to progress a fair way past his current handicap mark.
An unfancied 33/1 outside here and his chances were not helped from the start as he was bumped around on several occasions and found himself near the back of the field. Force out wide to make a challenge he stayed on in a very promising manner to be closest at the finish in 5th place. There was plenty of encouragement to take from this and having won over 7 furlongs as a 2yo, a step up in trip could see a return to the winners enclosure.
Chester, Fox Chairman
A big step up in class after his impressive maiden victory at Newbury and he was very unlucky not to finish a lot closer. Trapped behind horses when they started to race for home, he only really saw daylight late on barely getting into full stride, yet he still stayed on in eye-taking fashion, albeit it too late on this occasion. He’s a good deal better than the bare result and can be competitive at Group level.
Newmarket, Al Muffrih
A very promising return to action having raced just 3 times previously. He’s shown a decent level of form having finished 4th in a decent 3yo novice event on his final run as a 3yo. He was keen early on here and led the field pulling quite hard. He could easily have been forgiven if he’d folded tamely in the closing stages, but stuck to his task pretty well to be beaten less than 2 lengths. He’ll benefit from stepping up in trip and ridden with a little more patience, to help him settle better and could prove to be a decent handicapper this season.
Newmarket, Ten Sovereigns
Sent off a strong favourite for the 2000 Guineas and in finishing 5th, he may be considered as disappointing, but there was always the chance he wouldn’t get home over the mile, and so that proved. Added to that he was sent for home earlier than ideal due to the stand side trio having a clear lead. Ten Sovereigns quickened in really taking style when he was asked, taking a couple of lengths out of the field pretty quickly, before the eventual 3rd and 4th stayed on past him. He looks sure to benefit from a drop in trip and the Commonwealth Cup has been suggested, meaning a potential clash with Caylx. He’d get 7 furlongs no problem, and if tried over a mile again on a turning, less demanding track he might still prove capable over a mile. He’s without doubt a high class colt.
Newmarket, Spirit Ridge
Quite lightly raced for a staying handicapper, and he very much looked like a stayer here, nut quite being able to match the pace of the leaders over this trip.
Twice a winner over the trip last season, he was really well backed and was clearly fancied. A little lit up early on, he was out-paced when the race got serious, but stayed on nicely. He looks sure to benefit from a step up in trip and looks sure to progress throughout the season.
Ran a really nice race on ground that would have been quicker than ideal. Held up early on he looked set to make his move when finding a little trouble in running just as he looked like he’d pick up and get competitive. With a clear run he’d have finished a fair bit closer. Dropped to a mark of 87 now, he’s clearly in decent form as shown here and on the All Weather recently and when racing on ground with a little more juice and over slightly further or on a stiffer track he’s handicapped to go close. He ran a fine 3rd in a mile handicap at the Craven Meeting at Newmarket last season and if they get some rain, that may well be on the agenda again.
Update: Ran well in 5th at Ascot on ground quicker than ideal. Is one to keep an eye on when getting his preferred conditions.
Doncaster, Shareef Star
Has the look of a typical Sir Michael Stoute patient improver as was without doubt unlucky not to finish a good deal closer here with Ryan Moore looking after him once his chance had gone. Plenty of promise in 3 runs last year behind some nice types, this was his handicap debut and sent off a 2/1 Fav he was clearly fancied to run well. He did race a little lazily early on, but got into his running and having looked for an opening when the race for serious he got stuck in a pocket with nowhere to go. He never really had the chance to get into full stride and looked to finish with plenty in the tank. He’s sure to improve anyway, and is likely to prove himself a fair deal better than his run and his current handicap mark.
Update: Won his handicap at Newcastle at short odds and can continue his upward curve.
Newbury, Blue De Vega,
Was reported to have looked “big” in the paddock and he’s a horse that tends to improve for his seasonal debut anyway. He travelled like the best horse in the race here and but for the lack of a recent run would have given the winner more of a race. As he lack of race fitness showed but this was a very promising return. He’s also on a winning handicap mark and can make his presence felt in the big 5 furlong handicap sprints this season.
Update: Unplaced at Kempton, but having got stuck on the rail, he never really got a run and can be given another chance.
Update: Stayed on well at Goodwood and will benefit from a stiff 5 furlong track.
Has been tried over a mile on both his starts this season now and doesn’t look like the gets the trip. Drawn high here which proved to be a big disadvantage, he travelled really well compared to those drawn near him and can be marked up on this effort. He seems at home with cut in the ground and when stepped back in trip could well pop up at a decent price. He’s now been dropped a fair bit in the weights since the start of last season and is on an appealing handicap mark.
Had shown a fair level of form from 4 races as a 2yo, but has clearly had a few issues having already been gelded, as well as having a wind operation. In a race that promised plenty of early pace he was given plenty of time to find his feet, being held up out the back. He travelled really and despite having a rough passage when they all made their moves mid race, his finished off much the strongest. A really nice race and if kept sound he’s sure to win races, with what seems to be a liking for a decent surface.
Newmarket, Desert Icon,
Clearly the 2nd strong from the Haggas yard here on his racecourse debut and with his stablemate finishing 2nd, that was clearly the case. But a very encouraging 4th place having been given a pretty easy race, this was very promising. Held up out the back, he made nice headway once the race got serious and stayed on in a taking manner in the closing stages. A step up in trip is sure to suit and this experience will have done him the world of good.
Update: Won his novice race very easily.
Newmarket, Joyful Mission,
Sent off a relatively unfancied 25/1 shot over a trip that was always going to be on the short side, he perhaps made one of the most promising debuts of the entire meeting. Slowly away he was given time to find his stride. Having been slowly away he never really got into contention where the leaders were concerned and looked likely to finish midfield, but once he did find his stride he stayed up the hill really powerfully to finish a very creditable 4th, beaten only 4 ¼ lengths. He’s sure to improve a lot for the run and could easily develop into a pattern race performer.
Newmarket, Well of Wisdom,
Not really a notebook horse as he won the 2yo race, but he made a deep impression, so we’ll be sure to keep an eye on his progress. Bred to want further in time, the stable had a shorter priced runner, but after a slow start this chap absolutely flew home when hitting the rising ground to win going away. The turn of foot he showed was very impressive and with the likelihood he’ll improve for further at this stage he’s very much on out shortlist for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot already.
It’ll be very interesting to see him run again, as if he’s aimed at Ascot, connections are sure to want to get another run into him.
Having looked to have improved on her final start last season when stepped up to 10 furlongs, this mile trip was always going to be on the short side, and so it proved. Held up off the pace, she travelled strongly round the outside of the field, only to be out-paced by speedier rivals, to then stay on strongly into 3rd late on. She’ll be sure to benefit from the run and once stepped up in trip can win at this level or perhaps higher.
Update: Ran a cracking race when 2nd behind Lah Ti Dah at York and can win group races when avoiding a horse of her class.
Ran a really good race here off topweight where the lack of pace really counted against him. His best performance on the flat was over 2 miles, so a similar trip over hurdles as always likely to be on the short side. Despite winning and running well over the minimum trip this season, he very much looked more of a staying type here. Outpaced as the quickened for home off the slow pace, he stayed on best of all in the closing stages, making ground on the front 3 all the way to the line. A step up in trip can see him winning if given the chance before the end of the season.
Cheltenham Festival 2019:
Bright Forecast, 3rd Ballymore Novices Hurdle:
Stepping up on trip here he was held up out the back early on, but crept his way into the race nicely and stayed on really well into 3rd place. He’s a half-brother to a number of nice chasers, the step up to 3 miles could suit and he’s a nice prospect for fences next season. In the short term he can be competitive at this level over this trip or further.
Brio Conti, 4th Coral Cup:
A winner last time at Ascot, he’s always been held in high regard and looks to be delivering to those expectations now. He travelled as well as everything bar the runner up Wicklow Brave here and finished his race off well in 4th place, just done for toe by pacier horses. An aborted chase campaign after winning his novice chase in Nov-17, he’s got plenty more to come over hurdles or fences.
King D’argent, 4th Fred Winter:
Following just 3 runs over hurdles, this was a big step up in grade, but he looks to be on a workable mark based on this effort. He travelled sweetly behind the leaders and whilst not having the change of gear of the front 3, still stayed on really well to take 4th place. He can win a handicap if not raised too much on the back of this run.
Padleyourowncanoe, 8th Pertemps Final:
For a 5yo he ran a really good race here and travelled through the race very nicely. Right up there as they turned for home and going as well any bar the eventual 3rd he just faded in the home straight. He may well get 3 miles in time, but 2 ½ miles looks his trip at present and a drop back to that distance would see him in better light.
Not Many Left, 3rd Pertemps Final:
Is still relatively inexperienced compared to usual horse you’d expect to be contesting a competitive 3 Mile handicap, having only raced over hurdles 6 times previously. He jumped and travelled through the race like a dream and looked to have it won jumping the last. Just run out of it in the closing stages, this battle would have done him no harm and we’d expect see him competitive in these types events before perhaps being sent over fences in time.
Touch Kick, 9th Kim Muir Chase:
Beaten a far way in the end but he could been seen to still be travelling well and in contention turning for home despite making a bad blunder 5 fences from home, that looked to have knocked the stuffing out of him. To his credit he got back into the race and still looked to hold every chance as the approached the 2nd last, until the effect of that earlier blunder took it’s tool and he faded in the run for home. With a clear run he’d have finished a lot closer and can make amends another time.
Allaho 3rd, Albert Bartlett:
Only a 5yo and going into this race on the back of just one run over hurdles, this was a really big ask for one so inexperienced and a horse that looks like he needs to strengthen into his huge frame. Under the circumstances he ran a cracking race and cruised through the race like a horse with a huge engine. He couldn’t quite match the front two, but considering he only made his NH Flat debut in December, he’s come a long way in a short time and has plenty more to give.
Not Another Muddle 5th, Grand Annual:
A little keen early on his made an error at the 2nd fence and also pecked on landing over the water jump losing a little ground. He was then asked to make up ground quite quickly from the 5th for home getting onto the leaders heels, but jumped slow again 4 out and having to be asked to close again. To his credit he did and was right in contention turning for home and jumping 2 out. He couldn’t quite sustain his effort, but this experience would have done him the world of good and he can continue his progression over fences.
Style De Garde, 10th Martin Pipe Hurdle:
Having been runner up in the Fred Winter last season, he was looking like a major player again here, travelling really well when asked to race up with the leaders and the race got serious. Just about in front as the turned for home, his stamina started to give as they approached the final flight and he faded into 10th place. He’s clearly suited by a big field handicap, to help his jockey get him settled, as he can be a little head strong. A return to 2 miles would make him of interest.
Coolanly 5th Martin Pipe Hurdle:
Having contested some nice Novice Hurdle races he’d started to look a little disappointing, but stepped up on recent efforts here in his first run in a handicap. Asked for his effort early on he was in contention turning for home, but then got a little swamped as the speedier horses quickened. To his credit he battled on well and stayed on up the hill really nicely, looking at though a further step up in trip would really suit.
Dallas Des Pictons 2nd Martin Pipe Hurdle:
Perhaps a bit of an obvious one, but he looked and travelled like he was a class apart from this entire field all the way through the race. Still seen to be cantering half way up the home straight, he was only asked for his effort as they approached the final flight, and just couldn’t match the turn of foot of the winner. This was just his 5th run over hurdles for Gordon Elliot, he looks sure to stay further and in the long term he looks all over a future top class chaser.
A Plus Tard, Close Brothers Handicap Chase.
Making only his 4th chase start for Henry de Bromhead he put in an polish display of jumping to turn what is a notoriously competitive handicap into an absolute procession. Tracking the leaders he jumped for fun, taking it up 2 out and clearing away as though the rest of the field stood still and watch, winning by an ever increasing 16 lengths. Having timed him from the 2nd last fence to the winning post he finished in a quicker time than the Arkle winner earlier in the day, having raced over half a mile further. If you also take into account the last really impressive winner of this race being Road To Respect a couple of years ago, winning by 6 lengths off a mark of 145. A Plus Tard won his race off a mark of 144 by 10 lengths further. Whilst you can’t take that literally as the quality of the opposition might not be the same, it gives you an idea of the performance A Plus Tard put in. By the same sire as Clan Des Obeaux, he looks to have the world at his feet and we can’t wait to see what he can do in the seasons to come.
Ante Post: Cheltenham Festival 2010: – A Plus Tard – Ryanair Chase, generally 20/1
Update: Being only a six year old next year, we feel it’s very unlikely he’ll be aimed at a Gold Cup, so the Ryanair is most likely and we’d advise some 20/1 for that race is taken.