Grade Two Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle 2022

Warwick - January 15 2022
Warwick 14:25
5
Nick Scholfield

Stag Horn

J: Nick Scholfield
T: Archie Watson
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 35

The lesser experienced runner in the race for Archie Watson, who isn’t exactly known for his jump’s horses, but he will look to test his hand with his smart former flat horse Stag Horn.

He couldn’t have been asked to do much more on his Hurdle debut last time out at Leicester, when sent off a well backed odds on favourite.

He did look slightly novicey when jumping that day, but that was his first run over obstacles, however what really caught the eye was he made all to win by just under 2 lengths, where the horse in behind has won nicely at Plumpton since these two met.

That horse also had more experience over the obstacles when winning on his hurdle debut at Fontwell in November (Which was before him, and Stag Horn met at Leicester) so looks a nice prospect for the Anthony Honeyball team in his own right.

With the form being franked and him looking like a nice staying hurdler, with the run under his belt he could come on for the run and provide Archie Watson with his biggest jumps win to date.

Won on only start over hurdles in fine style, second has won since. Did jump novicey on debut however so that may catch him out against more experienced rivals.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/04/22AIN24.5GS11-78
18/03/22CHL24GS11-8PU
15/01/22WAR21Sft11-01
11/12/21HER19.5Gd10-121
18/10/21PON18Sft9-121
Warwick - January 15 2022
Warwick 14:25
1
Ciaran Gethings

Gentleman At Arms

J: Ciaran Gethings
T: Stuart Edmunds
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 20

The Stuart Edmunds horse was a decent flat horse (Winning 3 times on the flat for Harry Dunlop) who looks a nice recruit to the jumps scene as he was a winner on his second hurdle start at Huntingdon last month, where he won comfortably by 13 lengths.

Its hard to gauge the form and him as a jumper because the other horses in behind haven’t ran as yet, and with his pedigree not particularly being out of a jumping family, he might struggle to land a blow in this race up against some nice jumping types.

Winner last time out, but form is hard to gauge and doesn’t necessarily look like a top-class jumper looking at his pedigree. Would need to improve a lot from his last run to land a blow in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/04/22AIN24.5GS11-72
16/03/22HUN20.5Gd11-121
10/02/22HUN19.5Sft11-52
15/01/22WAR21Sft11-02
26/12/21HUN19.5Sft10-121
Warwick - January 15 2022
Warwick 14:25
2
Adam Wedge

Howdyalikemenow

J: Adam Wedge
T: Evan Williams
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 127
Days: 10

One of the more in form runners in the race, the Evan Williams runner has already won three times over hurdles in just four runs, producing some fine jumping displays winning all three races by a combined 20 lengths.

The only poor run in his hurdling career was in an 18-runner field at Cheltenham, where he wasn’t beaten by all that far but didn’t exactly look too impressive in the race to finish 13th out of 18.

With the smaller field to suit in this, he could run well and get in the places at a nice each way price for a yard who knows how to get a surprise winner in a race like this.

Three-time winner over hurdles already in his career, did run a disappointing race though at Cheltenham so the stiffer track of Warwick might not suit, yard knows how to get them ready, and he could get a place finish with plenty of experience under his belt.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/03/22SAN16Sft10-66
12/02/22NBY16.5GS10-610
15/01/22WAR21Sft11-06
05/01/22FFO16Hy11-121
12/11/21CHL16.5Gd11-1213
Warwick - January 15 2022
Warwick 14:25
7
Harry Skelton

Viva Lavilla

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 131
Days: 43

The local duo of Dan and Harry Skelton always do well with their runners at Warwick, and they look to have a live chance in this with a horse who arguably has the best form on paper.

He is the only runner to place in Graded company, finishing second behind Lossiemouth in the Winter Novices Hurdle at Sandown last month.

He was well beaten that day, finishing second by 14 lengths, but the winner looks potentially very smart, with another nice horse back in 3rd who has won since they all met.

His run behind Lossiemouth looks a nice bit of form and with more experience now under his belt, he could run a nice race in this for a yard who won the race back in 2019 with Beakstown.

Finished a nice second in a Grade 2 at Sandown last time out, was well beaten however but does look a nice work in progress for an in form team.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
15/01/22WAR21Sft11-04
03/12/21SAN20GS11-02
16/11/21LIN19.5GS11-41
Warwick - January 15 2022
Warwick 14:25
3
Charlie Todd

Party Business

J: Charlie Todd
T: Ian Williams
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 134
Days: 17

The Ian Williams charge is a winner over hurdles in a 7-runner field at Ascot last December and did run in the Challow last time out where he was a faller, the race won by Stage Star.

He would have been well beaten that day behind a class act but did go into second when falling 2 out, so could have been in with the place money.

His run at Ascot where he ran out a 3-length winner looks fairly decent form; he beat a nice prospect of Nicky Henderson’s that day who has since come out and finished 2nd in his next run recently.

Party Business jumped well on that occasion and looks to be a nice progressive type who will run well with each run he has and does have more experience on a racecourse compared to the favourite, and with these novices that does sometimes count for something.

Trip and conditions won’t be an issue, as his win was over 2m5f on Good to Soft conditions, that were more on the softer side.

Winner over hurdles, might have finished second in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle last time out but did fall with 2 hurdles to go. With more experience to hand he could serve it to the favourite.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/05/22HAY24.5GS11-54
09/04/22AIN24.5GS10-71
18/03/22CHL20.5GS10-125
15/01/22WAR21Sft11-05
29/12/21NBY20.5Sft11-7F
Warwick - January 15 2022
Warwick 14:25
4
Stan Sheppard

Scipion

J: Stan Sheppard
T: Tom Lacey
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 31

The only horse in the race to not win as yet, with him hitting the crossbar in all three starts (1 under rules and 2 over Point-To-Points) He isn’t exactly not in with a chance of running well in this, as his second-place finish on hurdle debut was behind the smart Jetoile at Leicester back in December, who has since come second in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown recently, but he does look up against it.

Being a point-to-point recruit he is a solid jumper, and with that debut experience under his belt, which isn’t a bad run by any means he could go well in this but is up against the more experienced horses.

Had only 1 hurdle start, which wasn’t a bad run behind a Grade 1 runner up, but his lack of experience is a concern against some nice prospects who all have plenty of racing time.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/02/22HAY24.5Hy11-03
15/01/22WAR21Sft11-03
15/12/21LEI20.5Sft10-122
Warwick - January 15 2022
Warwick 14:25
6
Aidan Coleman

Surrey Quest

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Nicky Henderson
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: 135
Days: 17

A race that has thrown up some decent horses in the past with the likes The New One and Willoughby Court normally has a few runners each year that look classy and go into the race in top form.

The current favourite and top-rated Nicky Henderson horses is going into this race with a fairly lofty reputation, unbeaten in his last two Hurdle starts after a decent 2nd place finish on his racecourse debut in a bumper at this course back in May of last year, behind another nice looking prospect from the Seven Barrows stable.

He is coming into this race off the back off two very taking performances over hurdles, with the better performance coming at Doncaster last time out, where he was sent off fairly large odds of 10/1, which is quite rare for a Nicky Henderson runner.

He jumped nicely throughout the race and travelled smoothly but did slightly wonder when coming up to the last, but he was in splendid isolation and concentration levels probably weren’t at a high as there were no other rivals in sight and it was only his 3rd career run, he will learn a lot from that and come here a more clued-up horse.

He ended up winning comfortably going away by 7 lengths with some horses in behind who probably didn’t show their true running.

He won on soft conditions at Doncaster last time out so the predicted soft ground will be no issue for this son of Milan.

Unbeaten in his last two starts and looks a nice prospect for a yard who are known to have good novices, the one to beat as he searches for the hattrick in this step up in class.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/03/22SAN20Sft11-37
15/01/22WAR21Sft11-0PU
29/12/21DON19.5Sft10-111
28/11/21LEI20.5GS10-111
26/05/21WAR16GS10-122

James Mackie

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