Doom Bar Sefton Novices Hurdle Guide 2021

Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
1
Derek Fox

Ahoy Senor

J:
 
Derek Fox
T:
 
Lucinda Russell
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: N/A
Days: 39

A wide margin 2m4f point to point winner that was picked up by Lucinda Russell, Ahoy Senor made his rules debut in a bumper up at Ayr in mid January.

The six year old ran a creditable second and stayed on well in the closing stages of the race. Without wasting time, connections moved him to hurdles and shifted him up in trip to 2m4f.

Gold Cup Bailly went off the 8/11 favourite but only got within four lengths of Ahoy Senor as the two had pulled 15 lengths clear of third. 

A strong performance saw the gelding make every yard and enjoy the further distance to use his strong stamina. 
It doesn’t give us a lot to assess.

He’s only been seen twice under rules. The recent hurdle win looked smart but the third place has since been beaten in a low grade handicap off a mark of 110. 

Hasn’t shown enough to think he’ll be competitive and he’s best avoided at a big price. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/11/21NBY23.5GS11-31
31/10/21CRL20Sft10-10UR
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-41
01/03/21AYR20.5Sft11-41
18/01/21AYR16Hy11-42
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
2
NON-RUNNER

Alaphilippe

J:
 
NON-RUNNER
T:
 
Fergal O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 143
Days: 21

Recruited from the Irish point to point scene and sent for training with Fergal O’Brien.

Beating Pats Fancy in a bumper, he was swiftly moved up to hurdles and further in trip. Easily winning his maiden he also had no problems in defying a penalty to notch a brace of 2m4f wins. 

Just failing to shoulder a double penalty, he ran on well and suggested that a longer trip wouldn’t be too taxing. 

Moved up to three miles for the Grade Two Albert Bartlett trial at Haydock, the seven year old absolutely bolted up by 14 lengths. However the form has failed to work out very well. 

Looking an assured stayer with a group win to his name he lined up in the Albert Bartlett last month. Seemingly left wanting for some tactical speed, he couldn’t get to the front four but ran on well to be fifth.

He has stamina but his best runs have come with plenty of cut in the turf. On better ground he seems to be outpaced and is likely to find Aintree a little too sharp for his liking. Not without place hopes however. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/03/21CHL24GS11-55
20/02/21HAY24.5Sft10-121
23/01/21TAU19Sft11-122
22/12/20SED20Sft11-51
11/11/20AYR20.5Sft11-01
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
3
James Bowen

Bothwell Bridge

J:
 
James Bowen
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 131
Days: 40

Trained by Nicky Henderson, Bothwell Bridge made two bumper appearances last season but was unfortunate to bump into a couple of smart sorts. 

Coming second to Third Time Lucki he then was second to the impressive Boothill on his next start. 

Put away until this season he came back as a hurdler. Moved up in trip he immediately shed his maiden tag and scored a win at Warwick at prohibitive odds.

Looking to follow up with his penalty he ran at Newbury in a hot contest featuring Es Perfecto and eventual Challow Hurdle winner Bravemansgame, only managing third. 

Given another small break he returned in late February. Moved up to 3 miles and 1.5 furlongs suited him more and he cantered home a runaway winner. 

Some smart form in the books, we’ve only seen him a handful of times. Impressive on debut, beaten by better 2m4f on his second start, he looked an assured stayer on his last run. 

Certainly interesting and one that could be underestimated. 

Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
4
Harry Cobden

Bravemansgame

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 150
Days: 23

Spearheading the market for this off the back of a really consistent novice hurdling campaign, Bravemansgame is looking to follow in the Footsteps of Champ to win the Challow and Sefton double. 

The point to point winner failed to win in bumpers and was unlucky to bump into Soaring Glory on hurdle debut.

The subsequent Betfair hurdle winner had more experience and put it to good effect to see off Bravemansgame in a tight finish. 

He made amends quickly and dropped his maiden in a novice race at Exeter. Moving up in trip is where we started to see the best of him as 2m4f looked his ideal. An easy victory under a penalty saw him go off joint favourite for the Challow Hurdle at Newbury in late December. 

Bounding out in front, he made all the running and was an impressive 10 length winner. 

Given a short break, he was last seen running in the Ballymore hurdle at Cheltenham last month. Third favourite behind Bob Olinger and Gaillard Du Mesnil he led turning in but was seriously outpaced by Bob Olinger.

He weakened further up the hill and was caught for second by Gaillard Du Mesnil. 

Shaping like he was lacking speed, moving up to three miles looks a good bet and he’s a big strong galloping sort who will appreciate this kind of test.

Looking to emulate Champ from two years ago, he’s certainly going to be hard to beat. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/11/21HAY21.5GS11-51
10/10/21NAB21GS10-81
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-42
17/03/21CHL21GS11-73
29/12/20NBY20.5Sft11-71
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
5
Rachael Blackmore

Cape Gentleman

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Emmet Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-4
OR: 140
Days: 41

Sitting second in the betting currently is Cape Gentleman for Irish trainer Emmet Mullins. 

A 1m6f winner on the flat in France, Cape Gentleman came over to Ireland. Two spins on the flat yielded some great returns with him finishing second on debut before winning the Irish Cesarewitch. 

Moved to hurdles late last year, he made the perfect start to life in the other code and was an easy winner over 2m4f. 
Well fancied for the Nathaniel Lacy Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival, however his jumping wasn’t great and he hung right handed.

Tailing off, he pulled up before the last flight when well beaten. 

Brought over to England for the Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton in February, he showed some great tactical speed and a willing attitude to hold off a late challenge from Calico. 

Versatile in terms of trip and clearly classy from his big win on the flat, he’s hard to assess.

An easy maiden win and a graded two mile win read as good form but he was beaten a long way out at Leopardstown.

His flat exploits suggest he’ll get 3 miles but it shouldn’t be taken on merit. Best avoided. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/11/21PUN17Y11-92
31/10/21COR20Hy11-21
12/10/21PUN17Gd12-01
29/07/21GAL16Gd10-43
15/06/21ASC20GF9-105
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
6
A P Heskin

Champagnesuperover

J:
 
A P Heskin
T:
 
Olly Murphy
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 137
Days: 21

Brilliantly named after England’s cricket world cup exploits, Champagnesuperover was a wide margin winner on his rules debut in a bumper at Ayr last season. 

Moved up to listed company he only managed third behind the impressive Ocean Wind. 

witched to hurdles this season, he disappointed when favourite for his debut when only second. Moved up in trip to 2m4f for his next run he failed to justify short odds again and only came fourth in an average looking field. 

Given a breathing operation and some time off, he came back to hurdle at Ayr and shed his maiden tag easily.

Churned out again to try and defy a penalty he was beaten when odds on for the third time. However he did shape like 2m4f wasn’t far enough and he would appreciate a longer trip. 

Last seen coming seventh in the Albert Bartlett, he ran very well considering it was his first attempt at the longer trip and his first run in graded company. He certainly outran odds of 100/1.

Aintree will probably suit him more but he’s got a bit to find with rivals that finished ahead of him at Cheltenham. Not totally without hope to hit the frame however. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/12/21EXE19GS11-23
08/11/21CRL16GS10-126
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-4P
19/03/21CHL24GS11-57
04/02/21FFO20Hy11-82
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
7
Ryan Mania

Doyen Breed

J:
 
Ryan Mania
T:
 
Sandy Thomson
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 126
Days: 13

Trained up North by Sandy Thomson, Doyen Breed is yet another second season hurdler in this field. 

A bumper winner for Paul Flynn, he moved yards to Lucy Normile who struggled to get a good tune out of him in novice races over two miles and 2m4f. 

Moving to Sandy Thomson’s yard for this season saw him move into novice handicap company for the first time and narrowly be denied off a mark of 108.

He left novice company for his next run and was again unlucky going down by a short margin despite a 4lbs rise in the weights for his previous second place. 

A three month break saw him move up in trip and finally shed his maiden tag in handicap company. Going further tapped into his potential and he hit the line strongly. 

Moved up in grade for his last run he was again unfortunate to be out-battled into second place by old boy Agrapart. The two had pulled well clear of the rest of the field. 

A solid stayer, he’s been performing well in handicaps but this represents a big step up that might catch him out for quality. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/11/21HEX24GS11-01
06/11/21KEL26Sft11-122
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-45
27/03/21KEL26GS10-52
01/03/21AYR24.5Sft11-121
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
8
Nico de Boinville

Gallyhill

J:
 
Nico de Boinville
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 136
Days: 48

The first string for Nicky Henderson would seemingly be Irish point to point winner Gallyhill. 

Making his hurdling debut for Henderson in January of this year, the six year old gelding made the perfect start to life under rules winning at the first time of asking. 

A sticky jump at the last looked to have put him in danger but he rallied well and was guided home against the rail to a near 2 length victory. 
Only seen once more under rules when coming second in a Class 2 event to Midnight River at Ascot in February. 

No match for the Skelton trained favourite despite getting weight, the 2 had pulled clear and both looked smart slugging out the finish. 

Shaping like going further would suit, Gallyhill’s certainly worth a shot at this staying trip. He’s yet to try graded company but could make the step up easily.

One to be considered. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-4P
20/02/21ASC19.5Sft11-52
20/01/21NBY16.5Hy11-01
23/11/19KRK24Sft/Hy11-111
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
9
Harry Skelton

Midnight River

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 141
Days: 48

Close form Interlinking with Gallyhill, Midnight River lines up here for team Skelton. 

A couple of bumper runs last season failed to yield any results for the gelding but he made the perfect start to life over hurdles at Uttoxeter when being able to go up in trip this season. 

Tested at 2m4f he kept on smartly to score over the longer trip. Subsequently tested at Cheltenham he was favourite but failed to live with Does He Know. 

Stepping back down in grade he picked up an easy novice win defying a penalty at Leicester before going for the Leamington Spa Hurdle at Warwick in mid January. 

In with a chance before a mistake at the last put him on the back foot, he stayed on again after the last flight but had to settle for fourth. 

Last seen dropping back in grade to give Gallyhill weight and a beating at Ascot, he’s certainly shaping like three miles will be to his liking.

A strong finisher of his races and some decent form in the books he could be one to keep on the each way shortlists. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/11/21CRL20GS11-8F
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-4F
20/02/21ASC19.5Sft11-81
16/01/21WAR21Hy11-04
29/11/20LEI20.5Sft11-41
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
10
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Oscar Elite

J:
 
Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T:
 
Colin Tizzard
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 142
Days: 21

From the Tizzard yard, this six year old is a point to point winning recruit who made the perfect start to life under rules. 

Sent for hurdle debut at Chepstow on deep ground over 2m4f, he absolutely bolted up under Robbie Power and ran away an easy 20 length winner. 

Following up well in a novice race under the penalty, moving up to three miles held no fears and he dispatched a small field with relative ease. 

Connections then sent him for the Leamington Spa hurdle at Warwick where he struggled stepping back in trip and only managed ninth. A bad mistake at the third saw him struggle to recover. 

Next dropping markedly in trip and grade, he contested a 17 furlong listed race for novices. The drop in trip certainly was not ideal, he left him only managing a remote third place. 

This served as only a warm up run before contesting the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham last month where he ran a blinder at 40/1 to be second behind the very impressive Vanillier. He had no chance with the winner but was clear of Streets Of Doyen. 

He really took a big step forward at Cheltenham and was travelling strongly. Maybe booked for another placed finish here. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
14/11/21CHL24.5Gd11-0F
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-43
19/03/21CHL24GS11-52
14/02/21EXE17Hy11-33
16/01/21WAR21Hy11-09
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
11
Sean Bowen

Pats Fancy

J:
 
Sean Bowen
T:
 
Rebecca Curtis
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 132
Days: 21

Hailing from Rebecca Curtis’ yard is six year old Pats Fancy. Second in a bumper to Alaphilippe on his rules debut, he was then beaten in another bumper before being switched to hurdles. 

Being able to move up in trip to 2m4f suited him more and he got off the mark at the first time of asking as a hurdler. 
Moved up in trip again to three miles for a Grade Two at Cheltenham, he outran his massive odds of 33/1 to be a creditable second to Make Good.

The extended trip seemingly drew out further improvement, he just couldn’t go with the eventual winner. 

Kept at grade Two level for the River Don at Doncaster in late January, he struggled in the deep ground and failed to complete as The Cob romped to victory. 

Last seen in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham last month, he was well beaten and finished a tailed off 13th of 16. 
Likely to be uncompetitive again in Grade One company. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/10/21CHP23.5Gd11-24
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-46
19/03/21CHL24GS11-50
30/01/21DON24.5Sft10-12P
12/12/20CHL24Sft10-122
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
12
Matt Griffiths

Sizable Sam

J:
 
Matt Griffiths
T:
 
Jeremy Scott
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 131
Days: 47

Aptly named, Sizeable Sam is a big strapping gelding trained by Jeremy Scott. 

Second on his debut under rules in a bumper at Wincanton, he ran extremely well to only go down by a short head. Given a few months off he lined up in a bumper again and improved for his experience to win at Warwick. 

Given the Summer off, he made his comeback run over hurdles at Wincanton over 2m5f. Well fancied in the betting he let favourite backers down when finishing second to Jeremy Pass. 

Coming on for the run and the experience, he got his head in front in novice company despite a few sticky jumps. 
Shifting into handicap company he defied a gift of a mark of 124 to notch his second win under rules against more experienced rivals. 

Kept in handicap company but moved up in grade and trip, he looked ready to tackle three miles. However, either the handicapper or the trip got the better of him as he was left behind from the back of the last and came home in fifth. 

He’s a big strong sort who travels well and will make a smashing chaser in time. Moving back into novice company looks a good move but he might not be good enough to mix it in a Grade One. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/12/21CHP23.5GS11-8P
30/10/21ASC19Sft10-135
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-4P
21/02/21NBY24GS11-55
09/01/21WCN21.5GS11-121
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
13
Simon Torrens

Streets Of Doyen

J:
 
Simon Torrens
T:
 
John C McConnell
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 141
Days: 21

An Irish raider for John McConnell, Streets of Doyen is another second season novice hurdler. 

A winner In the UK on bumper debut, he was then moved over to Ireland for training. Unable to follow up his debut win, he was then sent off long odds for two maiden hurdles where he never got involved.

It wasn’t until being moved up in trip in handicap company that he shed his maiden tag at the end of September. Being shifted up in the weights didn’t stop his progress and he actually scored a win over recent Stayers Hurdle winner Flooring Porter. 

Moving back into novice company saw him notch up another two wins over three miles despite carrying penalties for his victories. 

Given a winter break after a busy summer and autumn, he returned in a Grade Two over two miles as Naas. The trip being far too sharp, he was outpaced by speedier horses but it proved to be the perfect prep run for him running a valiant third in the Albert Bartlett last month. 

He’s better on a sounder surface and stayed on well at the end of his last run on his first attempt at a grade 1. Not without place hopes again. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/08/21WOR23Gd11-83
29/07/21GAL22.5Gd11-111
28/04/21PUN24Y11-127
09/04/21AIN24.5GS11-44
19/03/21CHL24GS11-53
Aintree - April 08 2021
Aintree 15:40
15
Sam Twiston-Davies

Topofthecotswolds

J:
 
Sam Twiston-Davies
T:
 
Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 130
Days: 22

Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by son Sam, Topofthecotswolds has been around a while for a horse retaining his novice hurdling status. 

Unable to pick up a win in four bumper runs, he made his hurdle debut back in October of 2018 coming second. Given some time off he returned with a string of runs through the Spring and Summer of the following year. 

Unable to win over hurdles, he switched to novice chasing and finally got his first win under rules. Looking more natural over the bigger obstacles he ran up a sequence of three wins over intermediate trips. 

He struggled to get land a blow over fences after that and was dropped back to hurdles early this season. 
With more experience under his belt he took to hurdles better and easily won a 2m4f contest at Uttoxeter.

Third in a strong novice race at Cheltenham was swiftly followed up with a solid handicap effort over the same track and trip. 

A jumper’s bumper recently got him tuned back up off a short break and he returned to hurdles for another novice win over 2m4f despite carrying a penalty. 

He’s failed to win over three miles as a chaser but might find the trip easier with less obstacles to negotiate.

He has plenty of experience under him but hasn’t struck over this trip and is trying graded company for the first time.

Unlikely to be competitive. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/11/21NBY22.5GS10-12UR
13/11/21WET19.5GS11-12
17/07/21MAR21.5Gd10-5P
27/06/21UTT26Gd10-96
30/05/21UTT20Gd10-75

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