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15:35 Cheltenham

Soft

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Classic Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2) (GBB Race)

  • Prize money: £28475
  • 2m 4f 56y
  • Class 1
  • 12 runners
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Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Classic Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2) (GBB Race)

Runners: 12 runners

Type: Hurdle Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Cloudy

11/2 (Won)

  • Win: £7.50
  • Place: £1.90

Form: 2

Last run: 27 days

W: 11st 5lb

5 yo Gelding

OR:

Form & Verdict

Made £90,000 at the sales after winning an Irish point in October; went off 66-1 on rules debut over C&D (good to soft) on New Year's Day and came close to springing a surprise, challenging on run-in and pulling well clear with the warm favourite; open to improvement and has to be respected.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

4

10th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 7f 86y

Class 3

15:50 Newbury

Rock My Way

11st 0lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Syd Hosie

Won a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Cheltenham (2m4f, soft) last winter and has taken pretty well to fences this term, just making the odd mistake when third of seven at Hereford (2m5f, good to soft) 12 days ago; should stay this far and impossible to discount but he'll probably need a career best.

8/1

3rd

1

29th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 194y

Class 3

15:30 Hereford

Rock My Way

11st 10lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Syd Hosie

Irish point winner who won a Grade 2 hurdle at Cheltenham (2m4f, soft) last January; that career stalled a bit but he has scope for fences and there was nothing to knock when runner-up on chase debut at Plumpton (2m3f, soft; first-time tongue-tie, retained); has potential.

7/2

OUR TIP

2/1

  • Place: £1.40

Form: 1-711

Last run: 39 days

W: 11st 5lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 136

Form & Verdict

Bumper winner who has improved with each of his three hurdle runs, looking an exciting prospect when slamming 14 rivals at Ludlow (2m, good to soft) in December; that's probably the best form on offer here, and if he's just as effective over today's longer distance he'll be a tough nut to crack.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

2

24th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 4f 110y

Class 1

14:27 Kempton

Pembroke

11st 5lb

J: Harry Skelton

T: Dan Skelton

Effectively gifted both chase wins, at Warwick (walkover) and Aintree (2m4f; sole finisher); however, ran well at the weights in Grade 2 at Lingfield (2m, soft; finished third) most recently and may rate higher still over fences; not dismissed.

5/1

3rd

3

21st Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 0f 0y

Class 1

13:15 Lingfield

Pembroke

11st 5lb

J: Harry Skelton

T: Dan Skelton

prominent, slightly hampered 1st, no extra after 3 out

7/1

18/1

  • Place: £2.80

Form: 4-114 C BF

Last run: 63 days

W: 11st 8lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 133

Form & Verdict

Ran unaccountably poorly when odds-on at Newcastle but he'd previously looked a useful novice when scoring at Uttoxeter and here (2m4f, good) in October; it's entirely possible he'll resume his progress after two months off.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

1

22nd Mar 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 86y

Class 3

14:30 Newbury

Mofasa

11st 10lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

Came good for Paul Nicholls at second attempt, at Huntingdon (2m7f, good to soft) in November; reportedly made a respiratory noise when below form behind Are U Wise To That at Cheltenham in December but was given a wind op soon afterwards and probably still has potential.

6/1

5th

1

16th Dec 2023

Soft

3m 1f 56y

Class 3

12:40 Cheltenham

Mofasa

11st 10lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

pressed leader, hit 8th, not fluent 4 out, soon lost second, weakened approaching last

3/1

1st

4

5th Nov 2023

Good To Soft

2m 7f 129y

Class 3

13:40 Huntingdon

Mofasa

11st 6lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

prominent, disputed lead 8th, lost position 5 out, led before 2 out, ridden run-in, stayed on

13/8

Form: 11P-21 D

Last run: 57 days

W: 11st 10lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 133

Form & Verdict

Listed bumper winner who built on the promise of his hurdling debut when winning Grade 2 novice at Sandown (2m4f, soft) in December; will need further improvement to defy a penalty but he's certainly going the right way; tongue-strap added today.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

3

12th Nov 2023

Good To Soft

2m 4f 10y

Class 3

13:05 Sandown

Henri The Second

11st 6lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Paul Nicholls

Sole hurdles win (five attempts) came in a Grade 2 novice event over 2m4f on soft ground here last December; ran creditably next two starts, including when fourth to Rock My Way at Cheltenham, but pulled up in the EBF Final here (heavy) in March when last seen; had wind surgery in July and this half-brother to the stable's smart Enrilo should still be one to note.

2/1

Form: 6325-P

Last run: 28 days

W: 11st 5lb

5 yo Gelding

OR: 122

Form & Verdict

Five-race maiden; ran his best race when beaten 9l in the Grade 2 juvenile on this card (2m1f, good; 50-1) 12 months ago; again in deep waters when pulled up in the Grade 1 Challow at Newbury (100-1) on New Year's Eve; this looks no easier.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

9th

3

14th Apr 2024

Good

3m 0f 217y

Class 3

15:15 Plumpton

Moka De Vassy

11st 12lb

J: David Noonan

T: Jane Williams

prominent

12/1

5

21st Feb 2024

Soft

3m 0f 84y

Class 3

14:35 Doncaster

Moka De Vassy

11st 11lb

J: Ciaran Gethings

T: Jane Williams

in touch with leaders, jumped left 1st

7/1

9th

6

21st Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 0y

Class 2

14:25 Lingfield

Moka De Vassy

10st 9lb

J: David Noonan

T: Jane Williams

Not one to set your clock by but he has flashes of good form and had one of his better days when beating three rivals at Taunton (3m, good to soft) three weeks ago; 2lb rise is nothing to get down about but this is appreciably tougher than that.

6/1

Form: 3440-5

Last run: 33 days

W: 11st 5lb

5 yo Gelding

OR:

Form & Verdict

0-9 under rules but has been highly tried, contesting a Grade 3 novice at Fairyhouse and the Fred Winter (22-1; finished in mid-division) on this course last season; wasn't at his best on his reappearance last month and he again faces a stern assignment against some promising rivals.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

4

6th Jan 2024

Heavy

2m 0f 0y

12:47 Cork

Doctor Brown Bear

11st 7lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Eamon Courtney

Odds-on winner of a 2m Tramore maiden last August on his ninth start over hurdles; subsequently left Martin Brassil; failed to stay when tried over an extended 3m in a handicap at Punchestown on his first start for this stable; this should suit much better.

10/1

12th

9

26th Nov 2023

Soft

3m 0f 100y

15:00 Punchestown

Doctor Brown Bear

10st 4lb

J: P J O’Hanlon

T: Eamon Courtney

Odds-on winner of a 2m Tramore maiden in August on his ninth start over hurdles; unknown quantity at this trip; has changed stable.

12/1

1st

2

18th Aug 2023

Good

2m 0f 0y

17:33 Tramore

Doctor Brown Bear

11st 12lb

J: J J Slevin

T: Martin Brassil

Juvenile form was decent; obtained ample experience, if somewhat frustrating; in theory his Cheltenham sixth when last seen should be enough here but far from convinced he'll show his best.

Evs

Form: 217-1

Last run: 33 days

W: 11st 5lb

6 yo Gelding

OR:

Form & Verdict

Made smooth transition to hurdling with clearcut success at Newcastle (2m1f, soft; evens) on Boxing Day; he's in much deeper here but his bumper form last season suggests he's useful and he should not be underestimated.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1st

11

13th Apr 2024

Soft

3m 0f 210y

Class 1

14:30 Aintree

Cruz Control

10st 10lb

J: Stan Sheppard

T: Tom Lacey

Progressive over 2m3f/2m4f on good to soft earlier in this novice campaign and, after failing to stay 4m1f in the Eider, he won in good style back at Newcastle (2m7f, heavy) last month; today's trip looks to be an ideal fit and this 7yo is open to further improvement; one to consider.

9/1

1st

1

16th Mar 2024

Heavy

2m 7f 91y

Class 3

15:12 Newcastle

Cruz Control

12st 0lb

J: Stan Sheppard

T: Tom Lacey

led narrowly, headed and pressed leader 2nd, briefly led after 9th, led narrowly or disputed lead from 13th, clear with one other 3 out, led clearly before last, ridden out

5/4

5th

4

24th Feb 2024

Heavy

4m 1f 56y

Class 2

14:08 Newcastle

Cruz Control

11st 4lb

J: Brian Hughes

T: Tom Lacey

Sent chasing in October and has been first or second in all but one of his five runs over fences, sticking to his task well (tongue tied first time on latest outing); those best efforts were on good to soft but he did win twice over hurdles on soft and in a bumper on heavy; it's today's trip which gives him the most to prove, as not having gone beyond an extended 2m4f makes this 4m1f race a huge step in the dark.

10/1

66/1

Form: 2302

Last run: 19 days

W: 11st 5lb

6 yo Gelding

OR:

Form & Verdict

Irish point winner in the mud; 0-4 under rules, making fair start over hurdles when second of 12 at Taunton (2m3f; wore hood) three weeks ago; in deeper waters here and stablemate Rock My Way looks a likelier contender.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

7th

9

2nd Dec 2023

Good To Soft

2m 6f 93y

Class 2

12:30 Newbury

Way Out

11st 2lb

J: Micheal Nolan

T: Syd Hosie

took keen hold, disputed lead, led clearly 5th, headed 4 out

15/2

3rd

6

9th Nov 2023

Good To Soft

2m 7f 86y

Class 3

13:15 Newbury

Way Out

11st 3lb

J: Sean Bowen

T: Syd Hosie

Won his last three races as a hurdler (2m2f-2m5f) and under a positive ride he was a credible third on his switch to fences in a recent handicap at Cheltenham (2m4f, good); unwise to underestimate.

8/1

3rd

5

27th Oct 2023

Good To Soft

2m 3f 166y

Class 3

15:20 Cheltenham

Way Out

11st 4lb

J: Micheal Nolan

T: Syd Hosie

Had very mixed record over hurdles last season but is 3-3 this term, the latest win gained by 10l in Newton Abbot novice (2m2f, good to soft) last month; incurred very stern 13lb rise for that, though, and makes chasing debut in a strong race.

12/1

Form: F31-21 D

Last run: 28 days

W: 11st 5lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 131

Form & Verdict

Steadily progressive 8yo; won over fences last term and he's continued on an upward curve back over hurdles, easily landing handicap at Uttoxeter (2m4f, heavy) last month; this is tougher but he's still high on the list.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

1

9th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 4f 10y

Class 3

16:40 Sandown

Can You Call

11st 9lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Evan Williams

in touch with leaders, awkward jump 1st

9/1

3rd

3

7th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 4f 11y

Class 3

14:50 Ludlow

Can You Call

11st 11lb

J: Harry Cobden

T: Evan Williams

Made a good return to chasing when neck second at Chepstow (2m3f, good to soft) and ran respectably at Taunton next time; in the mix.

4/1

7

27th Dec 2023

Good To Soft

2m 3f 98y

Class 2

13:05 Chepstow

Can You Call

9st 13lb

T: Evan Williams

Form: 17-411

Last run: 29 days

W: 11st 5lb

6 yo Gelding

OR: 124

Form & Verdict

Gradually getting better in northern novice hurdles, scoring narrowly over 2m at Newcastle (good to soft) and Haydock (soft); today's opposition will test him considerably more but he's bred to be well suited by this longer trip and he's not dismissed lightly.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

9th

4

29th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 3f 154y

Class 3

16:35 Wetherby

War Soldier

11st 6lb

J: Ryan Mania

T: Sandy Thomson

Won two novice hurdles last season (2m/1m7f) and was suited by the step back up in trip when winning over C&D (soft) four weeks ago, doing well to rally after his rider lost an iron after two out; unexposed at this distance and a 6lb rise may not stop him.

4/1

1st

10

3rd Feb 2024

Soft

2m 3f 154y

Class 3

14:42 Wetherby

War Soldier

11st 1lb

J: Ryan Mania

T: Sandy Thomson

Down the field on reappearance at Newcastle in December but may have needed the run, and this bumper and two-time novice hurdle winner is on a competitive mark on last season's best efforts; this step back up in trip is worth a go and he's not ruled out.

7/1

Form: 111-22 C BF

Last run: 54 days

W: 10st 12lb

6 yo Filly

OR:

Form & Verdict

Useful form in bumpers, winning Listed event here; just edged out in a big field on hurdling debut at Lingfield (2m, good to soft; 10-11) in December but she might have won with a cleaner jump at the last; improvement needed in this higher grade but her bumper form suggests she might just find it.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

2

7th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 5f 55y

Class 3

15:20 Ludlow

Bonttay

11st 12lb

J: Paddy Brennan

T: Fergal O’Brien

Listed bumper winner in 2021 and won two of four hurdle races last season, including on her only start in cheekpieces, which return today; reappeared with another 2m handicap win (Hereford) and, bred to be suited by at least 2m4f, she was a hot favourite when upped to that trip at Cheltenham in December, only to unseat two out when challenging; can make amends, with plenty more to offer over this sort of trip.

6/4

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Non-runners

Blenkinsop, Bonttay

+o+e Accumulators

Payout
Exacta £169.00
Straight Forecast £154.60
Tricast £1126.60
Trifecta £1644.00

Selections

RP Ratings:

Pembroke

TOPSPEED:

Rock My Way

WEST COUNTRY:

Henri The Second

The Times:

Mofasa

SPOTLIGHT:

Can You Call

The Sun:

Rock My Way

The Star:

Henri The Second

POSTDATA:

Pembroke

Telegraph:

Pembroke

The Guardian:

Pembroke

Daily Mail:

Pembroke

D Express:

Pembroke

Daily Mirror:

Pembroke

Daily Record:

Pembroke