Doombar Juvenile Hurdle Guide

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1. ADJALI

Trainer - Nicky Henderson

Jockey -

One of two chances for Nicky Henderson, and the only in the field for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede - who will also have Fusil Raffles to look forward to next year.

Went to Cheltenham in good form - neck second in a Grade One at Chepstow over Christmas, before a good third in a Trial at Prestbury Park behind Fakir D'oudairies - who ran with great credit in the Supreme.

Found out in the Triumph itself though - finishing seventh, and will need to respond sharply.

2. BAND OF OUTLAWS

T - Joseph O'Brien

J -

Winner of one the two juvenile events at the Festival - Band Of Outlaws struck with menace in the Fred Winter, recording a first Festival winner for Joseph O'Brien, and landing a big gamble for punters.

Quickened nicely and won readily, landing a hat-trick of wins having struck at Naas and Limerick in the build-up to the Festival.

Merits the step-up to a Grade One and an obvious contender to fear.

3. BEAT THE JUDGE

T - Gary Moore

J -

Finished nine lengths down when second to Fusil Raffles in a Grade Two at Kempton back in February.

Skipped the Festival to go here fresh, and has made a fine transition from a flat horse into one jumping obstacles.

Won on debut at Ascot, but a big effort is required here to make the frame.

4. CHRISTOPHER WOOD

T - Paul Nicholls

J -

Won a nice Novice contest two weeks before the Festival to throw his name in the hat for Aintree.

Two from two for the yard since switching from Michael Bell's stable - having been rated 85 on the flat.

Smart debut at Fontwell, and deserves his place in this line-up.

Could be the dark horse in this.

5. ELYSEES

T - Alan King

J -

Taking a big jump in class now after his fourth place finish at Newbury just two weeks ago.

More could have been expected that day, after his second in a Grade Two at Doncaster back in December.

That effort failed to land the hat-trick after successes at Ludlow and Warwick, but this could prove a step too far, and others are clearly preferred.

Unlikely.

6. FAKIR D'OUDAIRIES

T - Joseph O'Brien

J -

Joseph O'Brien made the brave decision to send this 4yo to the Supreme at the Cheltenham Festival, as he was well represented with the ill-fated Sir Erec in the Triumph.

Fakir D'oudairies - who had won stylishly at Prestbruy Park earlier in the season which saw him purchased by JP McManus, ran his heart out in the opening race on Tuesday, finishing a good fourth in tough conditions.

Does not get the weight allowance here, but still a definite contender to take the crown.

7. FANFAN DU SEUIL

T - Tom George

J -

Fanfan Du Seuil moved to Tom George's yard after one success in France, but fell on his British debut at Chepstow at the second last after a massive leap.

Made up for it when striking at Exeter, only to finish second at Cheltenham in another Triumph trial in December at the International meeting.

Fifth in the Fred Winter - this demands much much more, and needs to correct some jumping errors.

8. PENTLAND HILLS

T - Nicky Henderson

J -

Worthy favourite - after travelling smoothly to success in the Triumph at the Cheltenham Festival, latching onto the win after Sir Erec was sadly fatally pulled up.

Pentland Hills was very late on the scene after his win at Plumpton on hurdles debut back in February. Was a useful flat horse for Chris Wall and won a few nice races at Windsor and at Yarmouth towards the end of 2018.

Jumped well and handled some touch conditions. Chance to prove that was no fluke here, and will be tough to beat.

9. SONG FOR SOMEONE

T - Tom Syomonds

J -

Very consistent individual, who has only finished outside the top three once in eight career starts - and that was on his racecourse debut at Cholet in France twelve months ago.

Moved to England, and been a fine improver - winning at the third time of asking at Newbiry after a couple of runners-up medals, when going clear in a smart Class Three with some useful outlets.

Won at Warwick again subsequently, and if handling the dramatic step-up in class, would surely hold claims for a place at the minimum.

10. STATUARIO

T - Peter Bowen

J -

Just the two starts for his new trainer since transitioning from Eve Johnson Houghton's yard.

He was third on debut to Snapdragon Fire at Ludlow before second best to West To The Bridge at Bangor.

Dramatic improvement will certainly be called upon if playing a part in this.

11. CHICA BUENA

T - Keith Dalgleish

J -

Only filly in the line-up, Chica Buena has been in fine form this season, but has slightly dwindled off sorts of late.

Landed a four-timer at this venue back in December on Becher Chase day, when scoring by 23 lengths in a Listed affair.

She could not use that to her advantage when finishing second at Musselburgh on New Years Day, and no hangover could explain that disappointment.

Well adrift of Lady Buttons in a Grade Two Mares Hurdle, and looks a tough ask in this top contest with the best rivals around.

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