Nigel Twiston-Davies has unleashed some highly promising novice hurdlers at Carlisle this Autumn. Last month, smart bumper performers Good Boy Bobby and Al Dancer made a smooth transition to hurdles with convincing wins at the Cumbrian venue and the unbeaten One For Rosie overcame an absence of 368 days to win by five lengths on Sunday. A gelded son of Getaway, he won a bumper at Bangor twelve months ago and travelled like a quality horse on his jumping bow. Time will tell but there appeared to be some strength in depth in the race. The third home Hill Sixteen is well regarded and he shaped with plenty of promise for the future. A big strapping son of Court Cave, he jumped well, albeit to his left, and may benefit from racing the other way around. The pair look horses to follow this winter.
The Colin Parker Memorial Chase has been won by some high quality chasers over the years, including the ill-fated Many Clouds and Waiting Patiently in recent seasons. Cheltenham Festival winner Mister Whitaker captured the 2018 version with a two and a quarter lengths success for Mick Channon. The six year old won the novices' handicap chase on the same card twelve months ago off a mark of 118 before developing into a high-class novice. Rated 145 here, he stayed on strongly after the last to set up a likely tilt at the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in less than a fortnight. He is likely to play a leading role in the two and a half miles event.
While Definitly Red captured the headlines on Saturday after taking the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, it was Phil Kirby who dominated the card with a treble. Stable star Lady Buttons, who is featured in the Appendix in One Jump Ahead, went one better than last year when landing the Listed mares' hurdle. Nautical Nitwit recorded an unlikely victory in the Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle, while Wemyss Point capped a memorable day for the stable in the finale. I was talking to Phil after Lady Buttons' success and he passed on news of a couple of horses he bought at the Newmarket Horses in Training Sale last week - I will include these in the forthcoming Update.
The Top 40 Prospects got off the mark with the victory of Malone Road in the concluding bumper at Down Royal on Saturday. The Kalanisi gelding, who is a half-brother to Brian Ellison's pair Ravenhill Road and Windsor Avenue, was acquired for £325,000 in April and he looks another smashing prospect for Gordon Elliott. Ridden prominently by Jamie Codd in a very steadily run event, he showed a smart turn of foot to quicken away from his rivals to win hard held by seven and a half lengths. Only four, it will be interesting to see if he is kept to bumpers or is sent hurdling in the near future. Either way, it was great to see the famous red, white and blue silks of Cheveley Park Stud in evidence on a National Hunt card. Expect more of the same this winter, especially in Ireland.
Finally, in her interview in today's Racing Post, crack lady rider Lisa O'Neill was asked to nominate a horse to follow this winter and she selected the one featured on page 20 of One Jump Ahead.
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