Grade Two Dovecote Novices Hurdle Guide 2022

Jake Russell | @JakeRuss1000

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 15:00
Joshua Moore


J: Joshua Moore
T: Gary Moore
Age: 5
Weight: 11-5
OR: 133
Days: 21

A race with some nice-looking prospects in it, the current favourite is trained by Gary Moore in the Goshen colours of Mr Steve Packham.

This son of Authorized has only had the four career starts, including a bumper win at Kempton last March, beating Walking On Air (Currently fancied in the Ballymore at the Cheltenham Festival) by 4 and a half lengths.

Although lightly raced he was very impressive on his 3rd hurdle start at Sandown last time out, jumping slightly left on occasions but he did make all and quickened superbly when running up the home straight, to win by 20 lengths.

The form in behind hasn’t been franked as yet with the other horses not running since, but the manner of his win was excellent, and he looked like a potential black type of horse in the making, showing shades of stable star Goshen who has a very good following.

An exciting prospect for a team who do superbly with these nice novices.

Very impressive winner at Sandown last time out winning by 20 lengths, from behind in his sole bumper win last March has been franked nicely and he looks a super prospect over obstacles going forward, the one to beat.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 15:00
Tom Cannon


J: Tom Cannon
T: Chris Gordon
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 126
Days: 31

The Chris Gordon team have always thought a lot of this horse, and he is one of the more experienced horses in the field with 7 runs under rules to his name (Plus three point-to-point runs) He is currently in top form since the turn of the year, winning two races in a row at Plumpton and Wincanton, winning by a combined 17 lengths.

The form has been franked nicely since his run at Plumpton in January this year, as the horse in second Mark Of Gold (Who was 7 lengths second behind Aucunrisque that day) has won twice since in fantastic fashion, winning twice since by a combined 23 lengths since they met.

The form in behind Aucunrisque looks decent in his previous two hurdle wins, and he is a horse on the rise for an in-form jockey and trainer combination.

Judging by his last performance he will take the step up in class in his stride and certainly deserves a chance at this level. Currently on a two-race winning streak, with his performance last time out a career best, winning by 10 lengths with some previous winners in behind, he could upset the favourite in this.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 15:00
Kieren Buckley

Galore Desassences

J: Kieren Buckley
T: Nigel Hawke
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 117
Days: 62

The lowest rated horse in the field that has a rating, but he has been in top form this season when finding his feet already winning two races in four hurdle starts for Nigel Hawke, a winner at Taunton and Wincanton last year.

The form hasn’t been franked since and its difficult to gauge the ceiling of his potential, but the yard have had a few winners recently and Kieren Buckley has been booked to ride who is operating at a 50%-win strike rate for the last 14 days (2 winners in 4 rides).

The horse has been in top form lately, winning his last two runs by just under 12 lengths, has a rating of 117 which is the lowest in the field and he needs to step up his form to another level to win this.

Might be best watched going forward.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 15:00
Aidan Coleman

Moriko De Vassy

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Tom Symonds
Age: 5
Weight: 11-5
OR: 126
Days: 46

The Tom Symonds trained gelding like the other runners has been in top form this season, winning two of his three starts over hurdles, also with a fall to his name when looking like he might have run a huge race.

He was a 30-length winner on Hurdle debut at Hereford last November, and just a neck winner on his latest start after falling.

That fall might have taken something out of him as he wasn’t too impressive on his latest start, but they did try different tactics in that race which might not have suited, but he did battle superbly and did get his head in front in the end, over conditions that clearly suited him.

He is in top form at the moment and could take the step up in class in his stride but would need to slightly improve on his last run to land a blow in this.

Two wins in three hurdle starts this season, he bounced back last time out after taking a heavy fall the time before, that will have got his confidence back and should he improve, he could run well in this, but would need to step his form up, place chances at best.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 15:00
Harry Skelton

Frere D'Armes

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 5
Weight: 11-5
OR: 126
Days: 23

Another horse who is in fine form this season, already winning two hurdle races in just three starts, he looked pretty impressive last time out when carrying a penalty to win by just over 6 lengths, after jumping nicely but did race quite keenly, but when did respond to pressure when asked of and he looked like the step up in trip further down the line will suit this horse.

He is similarly rated to most of these but does lack the substance with his form in behind in the previous races, which the main protagonists seem to have with their form.

He hasn’t done anything wrong in all his starts in this country though and should he settle better in this he could stay on and pick up the pieces late on.

Two wins in a row and currently in fine form, win last time out was a career best staying on to the line in fine style when carrying a penalty, similarly rated to the rest of these but his form doesn’t have the substance in behind it like most of the other runners, could run well if settling better.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 15:00
Nico de Boinville

Russian Ruler

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 5
Weight: 11-5
Days: 46

The lightly raced horse in the field, with only two career starts to his name, a 2 length bumper win at Warwick last May, and a 3rd place finish on hurdling debut at Doncaster last time out where he opposes with Moriko De Vassy (Who beat him by just under 8 lengths).

It's hard to gauge how this horse will run in this race being as he’s only had the one start over hurdles, but one thing to not is that he would need to settle slightly better to land a blow in this race up against the more experienced horses.

He did look out paced when challenged coming down the straight, so it looks as if a step up in trip will be the key to this horse further down the line, but Nicky Henderson wouldn’t run this horse if he didn’t think he would have a chance.

Bumper winner at Warwick last May, third on Hurdling debut but was well beaten and didn’t look as if the 2-mile trip against quicker horses would suit this horse, place chances at best.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 15:00
Mitchell Bastyan


J: Mitchell Bastyan
T: Milton Harris
Age: 4
Weight: 10-7
Days: 34

The outsider of the whole field, who has won once in his four career starts, but that was a bumper at Aintree back in November.

He hasn’t jumped a hurdle yet (As all four of his runs have been bumper races) This is a very strong race to be making your hurdle debut so he will probably be best watched against some nice-looking types.

Yet to jump a hurdle in his career, but is a bumper winner at Aintree last November, this is a red hot race to make your hurdle debut so probably best watched.

Kempton - February 26 2022
Kempton 15:00
Harry Cobden


J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 4
Weight: 10-10
OR: 134
Days: 28

Paul Nicholls’s horses are starting to get back to form now after their little slow patch over the last few weeks, and they have a live chance in this with Iceo who was very well fancied to win the Grade 2 Triumph Hurdle trial at Cheltenham last time out (Won by Pied Piper) but he was well beaten that day and the experience looked to have got the better of him.

He was far too keen that day, and one thing you can’t be at Cheltenham is running very keenly, as the hill is some task normally. But if we head back to his 17-length romp at Kempton back in December of last year, he looks like a real nice prospect going forward.

He raced keenly on his first hurdle start in this country but did jump well and pulled away down the home straight when asked of.

He looks the sort to appreciate the flatter tracks at this stage of his career and heading back to Kempton where his only win in this country has come, also with the 4yo 7lb allowance, he could run well in this.

17-length winner at Kempton last December, did slightly disappoint last time out at Cheltenham when well fancied to win a Grade 2, but back at a track he will appreciate he could run very well in this.