Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Potentially top-class juvenile hurdlers

17-December-2017 20:09
in General
by Admin

Just a reminder to clients that the One Jump Ahead Christmas Special will be emailed on Thursday evening/Friday morning. I am delighted to say Irish expert Declan Phelan is going to pen a piece for the Update. If anyone wishes to order a copy, please head to the Publications section of the site.

There were a couple of very good performances on Saturday by arguably two of the best juvenile hurdlers seen so far this season. Apple's Shakira, who is featured in the Top 40 Prospects of OJA, made it two out of two since joining Nicky Henderson in the opener at Cheltenham. A seventeen lengths winner on his British debut over the same course and distance last month, she had reportedly sharpened up in her work at home and it showed during yesterday's race. The Saddler Maker filly had to be nudged along turning for home but was soon back on the bridle before producing another bold jump at the last. She readily defied her penalty and is worthy of her place at the head of the Triumph Hurdle ante-post market. The full-sister to Apple's Jade is expected to return to Prestbury Park for a third time at their 'Trials' meeting in late January.

The Jared Sullivan owned Stormy Ireland had finished runner-up in both her races over hurdles in France, prior to joining Willie Mullins. The daughter of Motivator couldn't have made a better start to her career in Ireland when destroying ten rivals by upwards of 58 lengths. Making all, she soon built up a healthy advantage and pulled further and further career. It takes a smart horse to win by such a margin. Featured in the French Revolution section of OJA, Jared pinpointed her as a juvenile to keep tabs on in his interview in the November Update. Interestingly, the same connection have recently acquired another three year old filly who won her only start at Auteuil last month. She will be highlighted in the Christmas Special.

While Guitar Pete's win in the Caspian Caviar Chase at Cheltenham was a boost for northern jump racing, commiserations go out to the connection's of Starchitect, who suffered a fatal injury shortly before the second last when seemingly in command. David Pipe would have welcome a big race win following a lean twelve months and this was the cruellest of blows. The Pond House team had produced him brilliantly for the day and were robbed of a significant prize. It was a real sickener.


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