As discussed, Paul Nicholls kindly ran through over a hundred horses in his string when we chatted this summer for One Jump Ahead. These included seven unraced bumper horses he was particularly keen on for the season ahead. The first two of the septet made their racecourse debuts at Worcester on Wednesday and both Onethreefivenotout (6/4) and Hugos New Horse (3/1) were successful in the two divisions of the bumper at the Midlands track. The pair are owned by the Stewart Family and it was great to see the familiar red, black and white silks being carried to victory so soon after Andy's sad passing. The former looks a strong staying type who will come into his own over middle distances plus over obstacles, while the latter is considered a more racy type who will appreciate better ground in the future. They are horses for the future and that is what One Jump Ahead is all about - unearthing promising youngsters which readers have never heard of. I can't think of any other publication which will feature the pair.
Fair Frontieres (5/4) was another winner for the Talking Trainers section in the finale. The six year old was having his first run for Kim Bailey having finished runner-up in a maiden hurdle at Navan in late January when handled by Declan Queally. Stepping up to nearly three miles on his British debut, he galloped his opponents into submission winning eased down by 41 lengths under David Bass. His tendency to jump to his right is a concern going forward but the Sans Frontieres gelding was in a different class to his rivals and looks a good addition to his burgeoning yard.
It was indeed another very successful day for OJA with a brace of winners at Fontwell, too. Haddex Des Obeaux (9/4) provided the French Revolution section with its first winner of the season. Gary Moore's charge had shaped with plenty of encouragement on his UK debut less than three weeks earlier at the same venue and built on it here (appreciated the longer trip and slower ground). Tackling handicap company for the first time, the Saddex gelding didn't look overburdened off a mark of 120 and so it proved as the former Auteuil winner made all the running under Jamie Moore. Racing and jumping with enthusiasm, he ploughed through the rain softened ground and, while the four year old got tired late on, he was always in control crossing the line three lengths in front of Champagne Court with fourteen lengths back to the third. More wins over timber appear likely but the youngster is one to really look forward to over fences next term. He is a smashing prospect and, provided he learns to relax, he will stay further.
Alan King has his team in excellent form at present with 7 winners during the last fortnight. His interview in OJA has already produced half a dozen victories, including Universal Dave (6/1) on his first run for the Barbury Castle outfit at the Sussex track. A winning Irish pointer for Warren Ewing, the five year old was bought for £52,000 by Noel Fehily in May and he spent the summer with his new owner. Contesting the opening two miles three maiden hurdle, Tom Cannon's mount travelled strongly before taking over at the second last. Pushed clear, it was a fine start to his hurdling career and it will be interesting to see where he heads next.
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