Grade Two Mares' Novices' Handicap Hurdle Guide 2022

Jake Russell | @JakeRuss1000

Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
1

Speech Bubble

J:
T: Noel Williams
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 130
Days: 44

The top weight in the race with a BHA rating of 130, she has been in great form for Noel Williams this season winning once and finishing second on her two other starts (Only three runs this season) including a 3 length second in the Grade 2 Jane Seymour Mares Novices Hurdle at Sandown, behind Love Envoi who was a Graded winner at the festival since they met, which is a fantastic piece of form.

She won a qualifying race at Newbury for this contest back in January, beating Victorias Peak by just under 4 lengths, where she cruised into the race four out and went on to win going away.

She is a solid jumper and looks to be improving with each run, her last run is a brilliant piece of form as she ran really well against a nice-looking prospect, making her the one to beat in this contest with Graded race experience under her belt.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/04/22AIN20GS10-811
17/02/22SAN20Hy11-22
19/01/22NBY20.5GS11-11
25/11/21LIN19.5GS11-02
13/03/21SAN16Sft11-02
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
6

Corey's Courage

J:
T: Olly Murphy
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-11
OR: 117
Days: 29

The only horse in the race who is currently unbeaten in her career and looks the least exposed horse in this contest, making her a real danger in this should the step up in class not be an issue.

She won a Doncaster Novices Hurdle last time out which was a qualifier for this race, beating My Girl Lollipop by just under 4 lengths, after staying on all the way to the line so this step up to 2m4f from 2m3f will play to her strengths.

She didn’t exactly jump with much fluency early on in the Doncaster race, but she warmed to the task a lot more throughout the race and started to jump better, so she may improve again from that last run.

She would definitely have to iron out those early mistakes, as in a Graded race like this she cannot afford any mistakes against some equally talented rivals, but she looks a nice talent and is the unexposed runner in the race, with the current BHA rating of 117 looking very lenient, meaning she has plenty of weight off the favourite in this.

Olly Murphy thinks a lot of this horse and the yard feels she is a horse who is improving with each run, so deserves to take the step up in class in her stride, with this race not being exactly the strongest Grade 2 contest, so a nice bit of placing from her connections.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/12/22KEL18Hy12-05
23/11/22HER19.5Sft11-135
20/04/22PER20GS11-127
04/03/22DON19.5Sft11-101
12/02/22UTT16Sft11-51
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
14
Charlie Deutsch

Lady Tremaine

J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Donald McCain
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 10-4
OR: 106
Days: 39

It’s no secret Donald McCain is having a brilliant season as he looks to help steer Brian Hughes to a second jockeys’ championship, but the future champ doesn’t ride his horse in this contest as he heads off to Ayr for their competitive Graded meeting where the Scottish Grand National tales centre stage.

Lady Tremaine is a two-time winner this season when landing a class 5 contest at Bangor in December and a Class 4 contest at Carlisle in February.

She has yet to contest in a graded contest like this and takes a massive step up in class, it looks as if this race might come to soon for her, but the one main positive is the booking of Charlie Deutsch who is having a stellar season, so he could get some more improvement out of this horse.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22NCS20.5Sft10-135
22/02/22MAR20.5Sft11-24
07/02/22CRL19.5Sft11-01
06/01/22CHP16Hy11-25
10/12/21BAN16.5Sft11-121
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
12
Harry Cobden

Sabrina

J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 10-4
OR: 108
Days: 31

One of the last time out winners who looks to be running off a very low mark in this contest, with the BHA rating of 108, she beat a horse in Belle De Manech at Ascot in a bumper in February 2020, who has now got a peak rating of 123 making Sabrina’s mark look like its pretty low in comparison.

It took her a while to get off the mark over hurdles, when winning at Wincanton last time out on her fourth run over hurdles winning by just under 2 lengths.

That was a pretty comfortable success although the winning margin doesn’t suggest it, but she did look slightly one paced in that contest so the slight step down to 2m4f from 2m5f might not play to her strengths given a few of these looks to have a fair bit of boot, however her lenient mark in this makes her a very interesting runner.

She does really need to step her form up to a new level however to land a graded success, but as I previously mentioned this isn’t exactly a strong grade 2 contest, so she could improve to win this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/11/22EXE23GS10-111
05/11/22WCN21.5GF10-32
15/10/22NAB21.5Gd11-22
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd10-43
02/03/22WCN21.5Sft11-21
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
11
Tom O'Brien

Largy G

J: Tom O'Brien
T: Noel Williams
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 10-4
OR: 109
Days: 73

The outsider of this field who is yet to win a race over hurdles, and although placing in a few of the races she didn’t look like the winner at any stage and was a well beaten 17 lengths behind Speech Bubble last time out a Newbury.

She was very well beaten that day and no difference in the weights makes it look like she can reverse the form, this looks a little bit out of her range to win.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/05/22NAB21.5Gd11-71
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd10-41
19/01/22NBY20.5GS11-13
02/12/21LEI20.5GS11-410
05/05/21NAB21.5Gd10-123
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
13
Jamie Moore

Moonamacaroona

J: Jamie Moore
T: Alan King
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-4
OR: 107
Days: 29

Alan King’s second runner in the race with the very much inform Jamie Moore riding who is having on of the best season in his career, this horse is yet to win over hurdles and does have some patchy form on paper over obstacles but was a two-time winner in bumpers last season so does look to have some talent in there.

She would need to improve her jumping and not to be so keen when running in this to really land a blow, as a few of the other rivals in this have finished ahead of her in previous races.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/12/22TAU24GS10-8PU
03/12/22SAN20Sft10-85
20/04/22LUD24Gd11-52
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd10-45
04/03/22DON19.5Sft10-125
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
7
Craig Nichol

The Player Queen

J: Craig Nichol
T: Rose Dobbin
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-10
OR: 116
Days: 16

This horse was the rank outsider in the MARES Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival last time out when pulling up, so she has a fair bit to find on that form but has won twice this season at Ayr and Musselburgh respectively.

She knows where the winning post is but doesn’t look to have the Graded quality some of these have. So, she is probably best watched.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/12/22SED20Sft11-12PU
12/11/22WET19.5Gd10-1010
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd10-109
17/03/22CHL17Sft11-2PU
20/02/22MUS15.5Sft11-51
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
2
Bryan Carver

Nina The Terrier

J: Bryan Carver
T: Alan King
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 127
Days: 16

Alan King has had a brilliant season with his jumpers this time around, with Edwardstone being the main shining light for him when winning the Arkle at the festival last month.

The yard look to end the season with another graded contest as they line up Nina The Terrier in this. She has been a busy horse this season running on six separate occasions, winning twice in those runs.

They were early on in the season on good ground conditions, so it suggest she will appreciate these better conditions, which is something that can really play into her favour, but the busy season might have caught up to her already as she really disappointed in the Mares Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival last time out, when finishing 14th out of 19 and never really contesting at all.

She must be showing something at home for the yard to run her in this, and should she go back to her form like she shown in a Listed contest at Haydock last December, where she was only beaten by a neck, I could see her run well in this on the conditions that will clearly suit her better than her previous runs.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/11/22CHL16.5Gd11-35
29/10/22WET16GS11-0F
07/10/22CHP16Gd11-132
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd11-42
17/03/22CHL17Sft11-514
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
8
Rex Dingle

Good Look Charm

J: Rex Dingle
T: Anthony Honeyball
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-10
OR: 116
Days: 36

Another horse who has been running very consistently this season for an inform Anthony Honeyball team who have their horses running well this season.

Good Luck Charm won a qualifier for this race at Exeter in February, where she made all, jumping well to stay on stoutly to the line to win by a length. That race was over 2 miles with the step up to 2m4f looking like it will suit judging by the way she stayed on to the line superbly last time out.

That was a career best performance and comes into the race with arguably the second-best form on paper in this contest, and with the second time of running at this trip, she deserves the step up in class and will run well in this race. Her rating looks fairly lenient so that could prove key in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
24/11/22LIN20Sft11-115
04/11/22FON19.5Sft11-22
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd10-1011
25/02/22EXE16.5Sft11-31
10/02/22FFO20Sft11-72
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
3
Jonathan Burke

Holly Hartingo

J: Jonathan Burke
T: Alastair Ralph
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 120
Days: 21

One of the least experienced horses in the field for Alastair Ralph, who judging by her BHA rating of 120 that she has been given after only three runs, the stewards think she looks a nice prospect going forward.

She has only had the three runs this season, winning twice and running fairly well last time out when coming third at Hereford.

Her two wins were at Ludlow and Huntingdon, so two fairly similar tracks and it just looked like Hereford didn’t particularly suit when running in a Class 3 contest last time out.

Saying that she did run with credit last time out, but the one slight concerning thing is the lack of a break, that last run was on the 12th of March, and it looked a pretty hard race, so less than a month break could come back to bite them.

She was in good form previous to that last run though so should she take the step up in class in her stride, she could step up to the task and run a huge race in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd11-07
12/03/22HER16Sft11-23
14/01/22HUN20.5Sft11-71
22/12/21LUD21.5GS10-101
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
9

Marsh Wren

J:
T: Stuart Edmunds
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-10
OR: 116
Days: 28

A winner this season over hurdles for Stuart Edmunds who is operating at a 33%-win strike rate for the last 14 days, she was really disappointing last time out when tackling a higher grade for the first time.

That was only a Listed contest so stepping up to Grade 2 company looks slight out of reach for this horse for now, but with only the five runs to her name, this young horse could improve further down the line to really contest in these sort of races, considering she won a Class 3 contest at Market Rasen in great style by 12 lengths back in February.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/01/23EXE18.5Hy12-01
11/04/22HEX20GS11-51
05/03/22DON24.5Sft11-19
22/02/22MAR16.5Sft11-01
07/12/21FON19Sft10-122
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
4
James Bowen

Tweed Skirt

J: James Bowen
T: Nicky Henderson
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 10-12
OR: 118
Days: 16

Nicky Henderson’s runner was in great form at Ascot last November when beating a useful looking prospect of Olly Murphy’s in Go Dante, who was an exciting bumper horse last year.

Tweed Skirt mopped the floor with this horse winning by just under three lengths after making all and jumping well all the way around.

She hasn’t exactly franked the form since as she’s ran twice since, finishing 6th of 13 runners in a Class 4 contest and then 15th of 19 at the festival in Mares Novices Hurdle.

The race she finished 6th in was behind Speech Bubble so she has a lot to find form wise, but if reverting back to the Ascot run, she could go well in this providing the step up in class doesn’t provide any issues, with the BHA rating of 118 looking fairly lenient given the horse she beat at Ascot is now rated in the 130’s.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22WCN20GS10-131
07/11/22KEM20.5GS11-101
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd10-124
17/03/22CHL17Sft11-515
19/01/22NBY20.5GS11-86
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
15
Bridget Andrews

Runwiththetide

J: Bridget Andrews
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 10-4
OR: 106
Days: 101

An Irish point-to-point winner with his previous trainer Sean Thomas Doyle looks to get off the mark over Hurdles for new trainer Dan Skelton.

She has slightly struggled in her four previous Hurdle starts and hasn’t won for her new trainer as yet, with form figures of 2-4-3-5 over hurdles.

She has a very lenient BHA mark of 106 but has yet to win over obstacles this season, and the step up to a Grade 2 contest might be to much for her, but she has been contesting in the longer trips which might be something that plays to her strengths, but she really needs to step up her form to another level to land a big blow in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/10/22CRL17GS11-1010
14/04/22EXE16.5Gd11-43
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd10-48
22/12/21LUD21.5GS10-105
02/12/21LEI20.5GS11-43
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
5
Harry Bannister

Nextdoortoalice

J: Harry Bannister
T: Alex Hales
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
OR: 118
Days: 29

Jockey Harry Bannister is currently in great form operating at a 27%-win strike rate for the last 14 days with 6 winners in just 22 rides, as he is booked to ride this horse again for the fifth time of the season.

The pair have been in decent form this season winning on her stable debut for Alex Hales back in November last year at Doncaster, which was a class 3 contest and she won by a very easy 10 lengths, eased down at the finish.

She has slightly disappointed since that run though when contesting in slightly lower class of races, especially last time out when well fancied to win at Warwick last month, she was sent off 5/4 favourite and was well beaten by just under 6 lengths, which doesn’t particularly set her in good stead in this when stepping up in class to Graded company for the first time.

She has been running consistently thought and could surprise a few of us and run well in this, but only being 2lb’s lower than Holly Hartingo (Who on paper has the much better form) she would have to really step up her form massively.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/01/23FAK20GS11-6PU
05/11/22WCN21.5GF10-63
02/04/22NBY20.5Gd10-1210
04/03/22DON19.5Sft11-54
23/01/22WAR19GS11-72
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
10
David England

Walk In Clover

J: David England
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 10-4
OR: 110
Days: 53

The second runner for the Skelton team looks to have the slightly better form than his other runner, a winner at Leicester in January, when sent off odds on favourite to win by a very easy 20 lengths.

The form in behind isn’t much to look at all so she would need to really step-up form wise to land a blow in this, but she has been contesting in Class 3 contests and the step up in trip looks like it could suit this horse.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
31/12/22UTT20Hy11-109
29/11/22STH20.5Gd10-122
16/11/22WAR20Sft11-73
27/10/22WOR23Sft12-0PU
18/04/22CHP23.5Gd11-62
Newbury - April 01 2022
Newbury 13:45
16
Mr Tristan Durrell

Gentle Connections

J: Mr Tristan Durrell
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 10-4
OR: 102
Days: 39

The third and final runner for the Skelton team certainly looks the least exposed runner for them, with only the three career runs to her name so far, she was 12 lengths behind Marsh Wren at Market Rasen last time out, but that was only her second career start so she could improve for this.

It looks like it might be quite hard to reverse the form from her last run, but she has a very lenient mark of 102 so already has plenty of weight on the rest of the runners and 14 ratings lower than her rival from last time out.

Also, young conditional jockey Tristan Durrell has been booked to ride who claims a valuable 7lb’s, meaning she runs off the weights on 9 stone 10 which is very low considering the other runners marks.

The young jockey is riding really well at the moment with a strike rate of 36%, 4 winners in just 11 rides for him.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/10/22CHP19.5Gd10-76
21/06/22NAB21.5Gd11-101
25/05/22NAB17Gd11-51
07/05/22HEX16GS11-71
13/04/22STH20.5Gd11-61