Grade Two Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle Guide

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Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
1
Richard Johnson

Adrimel

J:
 
Richard Johnson
T:
 
Tom Lacey
Age: 6
Weight: 11-3
OR: 132
Days: 45

Adrimel for trainer Tom Lacey is the current favourite for this event and looks to be the right market leader possessing some decent form.

The six year old was a bright bumper horse winning his first two events nicely and he was then sent into the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham festival and was unfortunately outclassed.

The form of that race always works out when the runners are sent over hurdles and Adrimel has obliged this term over flights, winning nicely on debut at Sandown in October.

He was then upped slightly in class last time out at Haydock and again was a strong winner, handling the heavy ground very well.

Lacey has decided to step him up in trip today to 2m5f and if handling this looks to be the one to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/01/21WAR21Hy11-31
02/12/20HAY15.5Hy11-51
08/11/20SAN16Sft11-01
11/03/20CHL16.5Sft11-50
19/02/20DON16.5Sft11-91
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
6
Tom Scudamore

Make Me A Believer

J:
 
Tom Scudamore
T:
 
David Pipe
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 137
Days: 36

The five year old gelding looks to be a youngster with big potential having only raced twice under rules to date and showing clear ability on both starts.

He made his debut in a bumper last year at Chepstow, getting off the mark in taking style in what looked a deep race.

This term his handler sent him over hurdles for the first time at Lingfield and managed to finish a good second behind a Bear Ghylls for Nicky Martin who has since franked the form.

He improved for that run at Cheltenham last time out when getting weight off the market leaders to win a smart novices' hurdle that looks some of the best form going into the race.

David Pipe has had a top season with his young hurdlers and he looks to have another classy one here stepping up in class.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/12/20CHL17GS10-121
22/10/20LIN19.5Sft11-22
12/10/19CHP16Sft11-01
17/03/19BTR24Sft/Hy11-11F
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
10
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Oscar Elite

J:
 
Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T:
 
Colin Tizzard
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 140
Days: 42

Colin Tizzard fields Oscar Elite in this Grade Two clash and he will be hoping to truly kickstart his season with the Dorset handler finding winners hard to come by.

The six year old gelding looks to be a very progressive type running in three point to point races and winning his last one before going over hurdles this term.

The son of Oscar made his debut at Chepstow in November over 2m3f and was an emphatic 20 length winner of the maiden in what was very heavy ground.

He was stepped up to three miles last time out again at Chepstow and made it 2-2 for the season seeing off star stayer Springfield Fox by close to six lengths.

Although he is stepping up in class the horse has a lot in his favour with the ground he loves and being a proven stayer should make him one to keep an eye on.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/01/21WAR21Hy11-09
05/12/20CHP23.5Hy11-51
09/11/20CHP19.5Hy11-01
07/03/20TYR24Gd11-111
19/01/20BYC24Gd11-118
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
7
Harry Skelton

Midnight River

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 135
Days: 48

The Skelton's are having one of their best seasons to date for big race winners and they look to have a big hand to play in this event.

Midnight River last term ran twice in bumpers and finished third in both his events, placing behind some nice types that left connections positive for his hurdles career.

Skelton sent him to Uttoxeter in October over 2m4f for his seasonal debut and he got off the mark in great fashion, with the first two being well clear of the rest of the field.

He was then upped to 2m5f at Cheltenham in a Novices' Hurdle and he was a good second behind the likeable Does He Know for Kim Bailey, who since went on to frank the form in a Grade Two.

Midnight River also franked the form of that race when winning last time out at Leicester and that event would have set him up perfectly for this event.

Value player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/11/20LEI20.5Sft11-41
23/10/20CHL21Gd11-32
04/10/20UTT20GS11-01
01/02/20WET16Sft11-33
23/10/19WOR16GS10-123
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
8
Kielan Woods

Mint Condition

J:
 
Kielan Woods
T:
 
Jennie Candlish
Age: 7
Weight: 11-0
OR: 135
Days: 21

Jennie Candlish is a handler having a great season and she will be looking to make it better by winning this event with Mint Condition.

The seven year old has arguably the most experience over hurdles in this field, making her first start over obstacles back in January.

The gelding has been mostly consistent during her jumps career placing in four of his seven events and winning two of them.

Having finished a close fourth in a Handicap Hurdle two starts ago at Haydock, he was stepped up to 2m5f at Wetherby in tricky conditions and landed a smart event with ease.

Stepping into Grade Two company from a handicap makes it very tough for him and he may find some to good.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/20WET21.5Sft11-41
05/12/20AIN20Sft10-94
11/11/20BAN19.5Sft10-31
27/10/20BAN19.5Hy11-51
05/03/20CRL17Sft11-12
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
4
Tom Cannon

Jay Bee Why

J:
 
Tom Cannon
T:
 
Alan King
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 37

The six year old back in October 2019 landed a 10 runner point to point and from that was bought for £68,000 and given to leading dual purpose trainer Alan King.

King in January of last year gave the gelding his debut in a hot bumper at Newbury which saw Your Darling and Flinteur Sacre finish first and second, but unfortunately the youngster could not get involved.

He was not seen again that season and returned this term over hurdles over course and distance at Warwick and was an easy as you like winner of a 17 runner maiden.

He took the event by close to 10 lengths, loving the soft conditions and staying every inch of the 2m5f which makes you believe he will come on again for that performance.

This makes the 8/1 overpriced in our view which makes him a big each way player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/01/21WAR21Hy11-05
10/12/20WAR21Sft11-01
15/01/20NBY16.5Hy11-50
26/10/19LGH24Y11-111
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
5
Aidan Coleman

Lord Of Kerak

J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Olly Murphy
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 133
Days: 39

Olly Murphy has finally this season got the winners firing out with some smart winners over the last few weeks and is hoping Lord Of Kerak can keep the good run going.

The six year old was sent straight over hurdles in October at Uttoxeter and finished a good second behind the smart Wilde About Oscar, who has since franked the form.

Next time out he went to Sandown and again was close up behind Adrimel to finish second and that was at a time when Murphy's horses weren't firing.

He finally got off the mark last time out back at Uttoxeter when stepped up in trip to 2m4f for the first time in his career and it suited him down to the ground.

Although he has to reverse the form with the favourite Adrimel, Murphy's horses are now in better form, he is getting 3lb off him and he is four times the price.

Attractive each way bet.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/12/20UTT20Sft10-121
08/11/20SAN16Sft11-02
16/10/20UTT16GS10-122
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
9
David Bass

Optimise Prime

J:
 
David Bass
T:
 
Ben Pauling
Age: 5
Weight: 11-0
OR: 128
Days: 35

Ben Pauling fields Optimise Prime in this event and having needed his bumper event to get the hang of things, has been superb since stepping over hurdles.

After a poor bumper debut at Newton Abbot, Pauling then sent his son of Shantou over hurdles and he got off the mark in fine style at Hereford.

He backed that up over the same course and distance last time out, but this race looks a different kettle of fish compared to those wins and with the extra trip looks opposable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/12/20HER19.5Sft10-111
25/11/20HER19.5Sft10-121
11/10/20NAB17GS11-08
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
12
Sean Bowen

Pure Bliss

J:
 
Sean Bowen
T:
 
Harry Fry
Age: 6
Weight: 10-7
OR: 125
Days: 30

Harry Fry fields just the one runner in this event with Pure Bliss and the mare is getting plenty of weight off the rest of the field which could tell.

The mare made her bumper debut last term at Ffos Las and got off the mark straight away beating some nice horses that have turned out to be sharp over hurdles.

She was pulled up on her last bumper start with something not being right but returned for this term in November and picked up from where she left off by winning at Uttoxeter on hurdles debut.

She was sent to Exeter in December and was again a nice winner on heavy ground and if handling the extra trip could be one to watch at the prices.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/01/21WAR21Hy10-76
17/12/20EXE18.5Hy11-21
22/11/20UTT16Sft10-101
15/02/20ASC15.5Hy11-6P
22/11/19FFO16Sft10-71
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
11
Harry Cobden

Sending Love

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 8
Weight: 11-0
OR: 135
Days: 43

Paul Nicholls is a trainer in red hot form with a seven timer last Saturday, but his runner Sending Love has a mountain to climb to win this.

The gelding did not show much over hurdles last term to suggest that he could turn into something special, but did land a nice event at Ffos Las on seasonal debut this term.

When looking to back that up at Sandown, he could only finish last of three runners in the Grade Two Winter Novices', a long way behind winner Star Gate.

Although that was a smart race he just looked totally outclassed and he needs a big career best back in this company.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/12/20SAN20Hy11-03
08/11/20FFO20Sft10-121
05/03/20WCN20Sft11-2P
08/02/20UTT23.5Hy10-133
11/02/17KRK24Y11-111
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
2
Lorcan Murtagh

Fitz Well

J:
 
Lorcan Murtagh
T:
 
Robin Dickin
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 18

The penultimate runner of the event is the 125/1 shot Fitz Well for Robin Dickin, who on form should not even be running in the race.

Having finished third in a point to point in January 2020, he made his debut at Hereford in November and was a tame fourth in a Maiden Hurdle.

He was dropped back in trip last time out at Newbury and finished 10th of 12 runners, with the other two behind him being pulled up.

The step up in trip should bring improvement but nowhere near enough for him to get involved.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/01/21WAR21Hy11-0P
29/12/20NBY16.5Sft11-50
02/11/20HER19.5GS11-04
26/01/20CHI24Hy11-73
Warwick - January 16 2021
Warwick 14:25
3
Jack Quinlan

Glen Mooar

J:
 
Jack Quinlan
T:
 
Robin Dickin
Age: 7
Weight: 11-0
OR: N/A
Days: 25

The final runner of the race is the big 200/1 outsider for the same trainer Robin Dickin and this seven year old like his stablemate seems to have been entered in this on more hope than glory.

The son of Presenting has been seen over hurdles twice this term, finishing 13th of 17 over course and distance at Warwick in the race Jay Bee Why won.

Next time out he improved slightly to finish seventh of 15 runners at Huntingdon in a Novice Hurdle and that form simply is not good enough to get involved.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
22/12/20HUN19.5Sft10-127
10/12/20WAR21Sft11-00
01/03/20LKH24GS12-0F
05/03/19NCS16GS11-47
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