Grade One Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle Guide

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
1
Paddy Kennedy

Ashdale Bob

J:
 
Paddy Kennedy
T:
 
Mrs John Harrington
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 146
Days: 24

The Harrington team are represented by this six year old gelding who’s acquitted himself well as a novice hurdler this season.

Things weren’t clicking as a five year old and he remained a maiden after three runs over hurdles, but another summer under his belt he returned to the track in fine form and immediately shed his maiden tag scalping odds on favourite Wide Receiver.

He established himself as a novice to follow on the other side of the Irish Sea when cutting through the mud at Navan to a dominant Grade 2 victory, despite pulling hard throughout the race.

He was last seen in the Lawlor’s Of Naas but falling at the second obstacle meant we didn’t truly get to see him play his hand at Grade 1 level.

With most of his form coming with plenty of cut in the ground connections will be praying for further rain to make this a gritty stamina test.

He clearly has a huge engine and cuts through the mud stylishly. If the rain falls and he stays on his feet he can play a part.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/12/21NAV20Y12-03
20/11/21GOW20Sft12-0UR
30/04/21PUN20Y11-122
04/04/21FAI20Y11-121
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-129
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
2
Sean Flanagan

Baptism Of Fire

J:
 
Sean Flanagan
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 135
Days: 40

An early outsider of the field for Henry De Bromhead and Gigginstown.

The gelding struggled in bumpers last season but showed promise this term winning on hurdle debut, also beating Wide Receiver.

Moving into graded company subsequently has left him wanting for quality, finishing third behind Fury Road in the Celebration Hurdle and pulling up when last seen at Limerick.

With his sole victory under rules coming in an average looking maiden hurdle it’d be justified to have concerns about him getting involved here.

Deep ground and a demanding trip have caught him out the last twice and it’s likely to find him out again in an even deeper contest.

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
3
Jack Kennedy

Fakiera

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 138
Days: 50

Gordon Elliott’s only runner is Fakiera, another runner who started life as a hurdler last season but remained a maiden over timber.

He ran creditably enough and bumped into some smart sorts like Entoucas, Jon Snow and Politesse.

Experience and more time paid dividends when he broke his maiden first time out this season beating Gabyanko by the narrowest of margins.

A Grade 3 win was added to his CV at Navan when again he showed tenacity in his finishing application to beat Fire Attack.

Last seen finishing 2nd to Ashdale Bob, he hinted that a further increase in trip will suit again as he did his best work late to capture second after the last hurdle.

If a further increase in trip draws out more improvement he’s certainly not without a chance here.

He has form to reverse with Ashdale Bob but a 3lbs swing in the weights in his favour makes that more than possible.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/11/21FAI21Gd/Y12-08
19/03/21CHL24GS11-50
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-124
18/12/20NAV20Sft/Hy11-72
22/11/20NAV20Sft11-41
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
4
J J Slevin

Fun Light

J:
 
J J Slevin
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 25

The only entry for Joseph O’Brien here as the young trainer sends his very lightly raced 6 year old here off the back of breaking his maiden.

Form of 221 over hurdles reads well on paper but he’s yet to try his hand in graded company so has a hefty price tag next to his name for this.

He did however cut through the mud well at Fairyhouse on his last start but the form has yet to be tested.

There’s an unknown of how he could fare in this higher grade but he hasn’t shown the same level of form as most of his rivals.

He’ll be lucky to make the frame.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/04/21FAI24Y11-38
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-126
12/01/21FAI20Hy11-61
17/12/20DRO20Sft11-62
28/12/19LEO20.5Sft11-72
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
5
Mark Walsh

Shadow Rider

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 42

The first of the Mullins entrants to be noted, the former point to point winner was picked up by the green and gold of JP McManus, with form of 31 under rules.

Third on debut behind Ashdale Bob he was an eye-catching runner that day having kept on smartly behind the first two home.

Winning a maiden with ease when last seen, he’s another runner who’s going to be tested in graded company for the first time.

Sent off at prohibitive odds last time saw him spread eagle the field on deep ground. He glided over the mud but the form hasn’t worked out particularly well.

The seven year old has potential but has plenty of question marks against him going into this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
14/03/21NAA15.5Sft11-13
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-127
26/12/20LIM20Hy11-61
22/11/20NAV20Sft12-03
17/02/18KNO20Sft/Hy11-111
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
6
Danny Mullins

Stattler

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 39

Another for team Mullins, Stattler is already turning heads in the Albert Bartlett market despite only winning once under rules in a maiden hurdle.

The six year old son of Stowaway was beaten on hurdle debut when odds on but hinted on ability despite a few mistakes.

He repaid the faith of followers when showing his stamina at Leopardstown at the end of December to handily win a maiden hurdle over 2.5 miles.

His future certainly lies over further and the extra distance here is very likely to suit and draw out more improvement.

His form hasn’t quite stacked up yet but he could add to his Cheltenham Festival momentum with a big run here, showing he can mix it in Grade 1 company.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/12/21FAI21Y/Sft12-01
28/04/21PUN24Y11-123
19/03/21CHL24GS11-54
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-123
29/12/20LEO20Sft12-01
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
7
Jonathan Moore

Vanillier

J:
 
Jonathan Moore
T:
 
Gavin Cromwell
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: 137
Days: 40

Gavin Cromwell and Jonathon Moore team up with Vanillier.

The gelding was most recently seen going down narrowly to the smart looking Farouk D’alene at Limerick in a Grade 2 over 23 furlongs.

One of the field who has certainly showed his credentials as a stayer he was closing down the winner last time out, he may have got closer if it wasn’t for a mistake two from home.

He showed a great engine to win his maiden which had Stattler held back in third.

That’s a strong line of form to build on and if he puts in a cleaner round of jumping his stamina could have him outrun his large looking price tag.

He handles deep ground and has performed in graded company. One to keep on the shortlist.

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
8
Brian Hayes

Cape Gentleman

J:
 
Brian Hayes
T:
 
Emmet Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 60

A flat recruit for Emmet Mullins, 5 year old Cape Gentleman has only run once over timber but scored at the first time of asking.

He was highly prolific on the flat and has a lofty rating of 100 following an excellent win in the Irish Cesarewitch.

A high class stayer on the level he duly scored in a maiden hurdle on deep ground over 2.5 miles without coming off the bridle. Though the form hasn’t worked out particularly well yet.

He’s a highly interesting addition to the race and has shown he’s of the high quality with his exploits as a flat horse.

The trip is highly likely to suit, if he’s brushed up his jumping since debut he’s likely to be right in the mix at the business end of this.

Brian Hayes retains the ride.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/11/21FAI20Gd11-12F
13/11/21PUN17Y11-92
31/10/21COR20Hy11-21
12/10/21PUN17Gd12-01
29/07/21GAL16Gd10-43
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
9
Paul Townend

Gaillard Du Mesnil

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 40

The current market leader and the apparent first string for Willie Mullins, Galliard Du Mesnil has finished second and first in his two runs since moving to Ireland.

Brought over from France, he was running well in 1.5 mile graded bumpers before being acquired by the Donnelly family and moving to Willie’s yard.

Beaten on debut by Holymacapony when jumping was a little scratchy, he has since confirmed promise with a course success obliterating a large field.

He shaped like the extended trip would be of no concern and drew readily clear after jumping the last.
The form looking rock solid with the second and third winning since.

Despite yet to have been tested in graded company in Ireland yet, he leads the market and has a lofty reputation already.
Likely to be the mount of Paul Townend.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/01/22PUN20Sft11-33
16/12/21NAA19Y12-03
30/04/21PUN20Y11-121
17/03/21CHL21GS11-72
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-101
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
10
B J Cooper

Ganapathi

J:
 
B J Cooper
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 20

A second entry for the Donnelly’s and Mullins is Ganapathi.

A winner of his debut over hurdles at Cork, he was a solid second to rapid improver Dreal Deal recently in the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

So far he’s only been seen over two miles but did shape last time that speed was an issue as Dreal Deal outpaced him on the run-in.

Another one who’s maiden form hasn’t worked out particularly well, it is at least a positive tick in a box that he’s mixed it in graded company.

Plenty of question marks about his stamina as we’ve yet to see him go further than two miles.

He does however cut through soft ground well. Somewhat of an enigma that has a lot to prove over the trip to be involved.

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
11
Robbie Power

Gentlemansgame

J:
 
Robbie Power
T:
 
M F Morris
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 35

A point to point recruit for Mouse Morris, Gentlemansgame made his rules debut this year and showed bags of talent to dismantle a big field by 21 lengths.

Rachael Blackmore had an easy day in the saddle as her mount cruised to victory over two miles and the further he went the better he looked.

It’s not the most outstanding piece of form on offer but it was visually very impressive and he deserves his chance to build on that promise.

He handled deep ground well, just has the question marks over this long 22 furlong trip and moving into Grade 1 company to contend with.

Robbie Power takes the ride.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/12/21LEO24Sft11-100
28/04/21PUN24Y11-112
04/04/21FAI20Y11-73
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-102
02/01/21COR16Sft/Hy12-01
Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
12
Rachael Blackmore

Holymacapony

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 50

The duo of De Bromhead and Blackmore team up with five year old Holymacapony.

A point to point winner over three miles, he bolted up on hurdle debut in a maiden in November last year with Galliard Du Mesnil back in second by a healthy eight lengths.

Sent off favourite for the Grade 2 at Navan won by Ashdale Bob, Holymacapony failed to complete and pulled up before the last having weakened into last place turning for home.

A disappointing run given the ability shown on debut. Blackmore reported he stopped quickly having gotten tired. A good break to freshen him up hopefully has set him right.

If he can build on the promise shown when beating Gaillard Du Mesnil then there’s certainly a possibility he can confirm the form with the current market leader.

He does handle deep ground and has the potential for a big run if he’s on song.

Leopardstown - February 06 2021
Leopardstown 13:05
13
Darragh O'Keeffe

Kalkas

J:
 
Darragh O'Keeffe
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 38

Second string for De Bromhead is Kalkas. Last seen at the back end of last year scoring over two miles in a maiden hurdle.

Previously tried earlier in December over 2.5 miles he was well beaten into fifth by 24 lengths.

A drop in trip seemed to pull the improvement out of him with Blackmore booting him home under a stern challenge from market favourite Rajsalad.

A big price for this and rightly so, he didn’t appear to have the stamina for 2.5 miles on debut and showed more promise when dropped in trip to two miles last time out.

Yet to mix it with graded competition and huge stamina doubts, he’s one that’s probably best left alone here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/12/21PUN17Y/Sft12-08
30/04/21PUN16Y12-06
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-100
30/12/20LIM16Hy11-41
05/12/20NAV20Sft11-105

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