Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle Guide 2021

Leopardstown - December 27 2021
Leopardstown 13:45
3
Rachael Blackmore

Largy Debut

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 6
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 22

This horse has been expertly trained by Henry De Bromhead, as he defied a year and 7 months break off the track to win with ease on his hurdling debut at Cork at the start of the month, beating Champion Bumper 2nd Kilcruit by a cool 10 lengths after making all and jumping like a pro the whole time.

Kilcruit comes into this season with a lot of expectation on his shoulders, and was expected to make a winning hurdling debut as he was sent off 1/16 favourite, but Largy Debut shows what a talent he is going to be even after being off the track for so long, by beating Kilcruit with ease, making himself look the real deal over hurdles for the season ahead.

He is an exciting prospect and Henry and his team have done wonders to get him flying for his first season over obstacles.

Easy winner on Hurdle debut last time out at Cork after a lengthy absence, smashing Kilcruit in the process. Looks a nice prospect for the novice hurdle season ahead.

Leopardstown - December 27 2021
Leopardstown 13:45
6
Paul Townend

Grangee

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-5
OR: N/A
Days: 30

One of three runners in this contest for Willie Mullins, and Grangee looks to be the main protagonist for the top Irish trainer.

She was a three-time winner in Bumpers last season, winning a Grade 2 in the process, before really stepping up nicely to win on Hurdle debut at Fairyhouse last month, beating some nice prospects in behind.

She was well fancied to make it a winning start over obstacles, sent off as the 2/7 odds on favourite, she travelled smoothly and jumped like a pro, before being nudged along and soon going clear up the home straight to win eased down by a cool 5 and a half lengths.

She looked a super prospect for Willie Mullins that day and is an exciting novice hurdler for the season ahead. She also has the valuable 7lb mares’ allowance in this race that no other runner has in the field, giving her a top chance to win her first race at the highest level and making it 2 for 2 over hurdles.

The red hot inform Paul Townend takes the ride, he is currently riding with a 67% strike rate in the last 14 days with 8 winners in just 12 rides.

Three-time winner in bumpers, one of the most experienced in the field and gets 7lb mares’ allowance on these, made a winning hurdling debut and looks a lovely prospect for the season ahead.

Leopardstown - December 27 2021
Leopardstown 13:45
4
Jack Kennedy

Mighty Potter

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 4
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 29

The one of the less experienced horses in the race who is trained by the inform Gordon Elliot, who is 2 for 3 under rules when running at Punchestown in a bumper and Down Royal in a Maiden Hurdle race, before finishing 3rd in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novices Hurdle at Fairyhouse last month.

There could be question marks on the form from his only hurdle win but winning it by 28 lengths shows he was head and shoulders above the rest of the field, after a solid round of jumping and smooth transition into the race, he looks a nice traveller who will possibly relish the step up in trip in later races to come.

Mighty impressive when winning a Maiden Hurdle at Down Royal in October, Hard to gauge talent wise now as he hasn’t properly contested in any Graded races, only finishing 3rd in a Grade 1 Novice Hurdle last time out. Gordon Elliot certainly can get one ready. Very interesting and one to keep an eye on in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/04/22PUN16.5Gd/Y11-121
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-7PU
27/12/21LEO16Y/Sft11-121
28/11/21FAI16Gd11-123
30/10/21DRO17Sft11-131
Leopardstown - December 27 2021
Leopardstown 13:45
5
Davy Russell

Three Stripe Life

J:
 
Davy Russell
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 55

The second runner in the race for Gordon Elliot, with the jockey booking that really catches the eye with Davy Russell onboard.

Three Stripes Life had a big reputation going into this season after a fourth-place finish in the Champion Bumper at the Festival in March, only beaten by 7 lengths or so and some nice words for the horse coming out the camp.

He was fairly foot perfect bar a slight mistake at the last obstacle in his Hurdle debut at Fairyhouse earlier his month, but the form hasn’t exactly done him many favours going into this, but he couldn’t have won on the debut hurdle any easier and looks again like another talent for a top yard.

Assuming Davy Russell has picked to ride this horse means he sees something at home that we don’t, therefore that always puts some confidence behind a horse if you back it.

Champion Bumper fourth at the festival in March, Hurdle debut winner and looks to have some potential, Davy Russell booked make this horse an interesting prospect in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/22PUN19.5Gd/Y11-103
09/04/22AIN20GS11-41
16/03/22CHL21Sft11-72
06/02/22LEO16Y/Sft11-122
27/12/21LEO16Y/Sft11-122
Leopardstown - December 27 2021
Leopardstown 13:45
2
Sean O'Keeffe

Farout

J:
 
Sean O'Keeffe
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 4
Weight: 11-12
OR: N/A
Days: 29

A French recruit for the Willie Mullins team who has the most experience out of all the runners (13 runs under rules both on the flat and over obstacles, with 3 wins).

He is a two-time hurdle winner in the summer since going over to Ireland, before finishing second to a well-regarded Gordon Elliot horse last time out in September, then finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novices at Fairyhouse last time out.

He is a hard horse to gauge but he could put his experience to good use in this against the less exposed sorts, but it looks as if the softer conditions will be more to his liking further into the season. Hard to gauge, but the most experienced horse in the race.

Probably prefers the softer surface being from France, but with a top yard now so can’t be discounted, but probably best watched.

Leopardstown - December 27 2021
Leopardstown 13:45
1
Mark Walsh

Arctic Warrior

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
OR: 128
Days: 29

The outsider of the field who has a bit to prove since he disappointed when pulling up in a Grade 3 contest at Tipperary in October, falling on Hurdle debut in February last season and finishing a remote last of 7 at Fairyhouse last month.

However, he did win nicely on his second Hurdle start at Sligo by 11 lengths after a decent jumping display, but he was very keen that day.

With the same letters as numbers to his form he can’t be trusted to win this, so a chance would be taken for him to win this top graded contest, a similar race he finished last in last time out.

Doesn’t look good enough to win this, will have to step up form wise to win this. Best watched.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/03/22WEX16Hy11-101
27/12/21LEO16Y/Sft11-12F
28/11/21FAI16Gd11-127
03/10/21TIP16Y11-3PU
05/08/21SLI20Y11-61

James Mackie

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