Spring Juvenile Hurdle Guide 2022

Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
6
Paul Townend

Vauban

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 36

Currently leading the market for Willie Mullins and the Pink and Green of Rich Ricci, Vauban made a lasting impression on hurdles debut when coming a narrow 2nd to the Triumph hurdle market leader Pied Piper.

A dual winner on soft ground on the flat over in France over 11 and 12 furlongs shows he has some natural class. Taking a listed event on his last run saw him record a rating of 101.

On hurdle debut he came close to Pied Piper and had to switch for a clear line a couple of times up the home straight but didn’t jump the last well enough to go past that rival.

However that form took a major boost last weekend when Pied Piper strolled to victory in the Triumph Hurdle trial at Cheltenham.

He’ll improve for experience and the form looks red hot behind a smart rival.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/02/23LEO16Y11-123
29/12/22LEO16Sft11-122
30/04/22PUN16Y11-01
18/03/22CHL17GS11-01
05/02/22LEO16Y11-21
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
2
Davy Russell

Fil Dor

J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 11-2
OR: 141
Days: 41

Currently second favourite in the betting for the Triumph Hurdle in March, Fil Dor will be looking to make his mark in the ante post betting off the back of Pied Piper’s demolition job at Cheltenham.

A recruit from the flat in France, Fil Dor came 2nd over 14 furlongs on the other side of the Channel before moving over to the care of Gordon Elliott and being gelded. Debuting over hurdles last October he justified market support to bolt up by 16 lengths at a canter.

Clearly having a good one on his hands, Elliott upped Fil Dor in class where he scored a grade 3 at Fairyhouse to hold off Lunar Power.

Taken up in grade again for his most recent run, Fil Dor showed he’s still improving and managed to put 7 lengths between him and Lunar Power, despite a 3lbs penalty, as the two faced off again.

The best form in the books, improving with every run and already well touted for the Triumph Hurdle next month, he should be favourite here and looks the likeliest winner.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/23LEO17Y11-105
26/12/22LEO17Y11-63
27/11/22NAV17Sft11-41
12/11/22NAA16Y/Sft11-82
30/04/22PUN16Y11-02
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
1
Sean Flanagan

Ben Siegel

J: Sean Flanagan
T: Noel Meade
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 74

Trained by Noel Meade, Ben Siegel started life on the flat having been gelded before his first run.

Unable to score in maiden company over 6 furlongs to a mile, he finally scored his first win when moving into handicap company and running over 9.5 furlongs.

Scoring off a mark of 55 wasn’t a major feat but he did strike up a second win off 59 over a mile and a half and looked smart for going over further.

Held off a mark of 76 on his last run on the level, Meade has switched his charge to hurdles where he scored at Punchestown with a touch of ease. Taking up the lead from the home turn, he scampered clear up the home straight to a nice victory.

The form doesn’t look to add much here as the 2nd and 3rd have since been well beaten by rivals who are lining up here.

His form on the flat didn’t amount to a whole lot but he’s entitled to come on for his first run over timber.

However he looks to have a bit to find with the market principles on form alone.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/02/22NAA15.5Sft11-45
05/02/22LEO16Y11-26
23/11/21PUN16Gd/Y11-21
01/10/21DUN12St9-13
03/09/21DRO12.5Gd9-11
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
5
Jack Kennedy

The Tide Turns

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 19

The second string for Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy takes his place in the saddle again after guiding the gelding to success on his first run over hurdles last month.

Originally trained by Sir Mark Prescott on the flat, The Tide Turns only scored twice in the other code in low level handicap events before moving yards, countries and discipline.

Beaten at short odds of 1/3 in one of his runs throws up a few red flags but he thrived under Kennedy when taking to hurdles for the first time at Punchestown.

Beating HMS Seahorse, the margin of victory doesn’t do him justice as he idled when out in front by himself.

HMS Seahorse was best of the rest when Pied Piper and Vauban clashed at Punchestown at the end of December so the form has some substance.

He’s also beaten similar horses to Icare Allen and has done it by further. Represents some good each way value as he’ll improve from debut.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/12/22LEO16Sft11-513
28/07/22GAL16Gd10-1315
02/07/22BEL17Gd11-912
03/04/22FAI16Y10-103
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-915
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
8
J J Slevin

Six Feet Apart

J: J J Slevin
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 10-9
OR: 116
Days: 8

A sole runner for Joseph O’Brien, filly Six Feet Apart comes here off the back of winning a listed race for juvenile fillies last week.

Making the trip over to Doncaster worth it, she just got the better of Sea Sessions to score a listed prize on good ground. Before that however, she was easily seen off by Fil Dor.

A good winner of her maiden over hurdles she didn’t show the same form on the flat and failed to shed her maiden in her two outings.

Exposed by better horses when trying her hand in graded affairs she looked to find her niche at listed level on good ground at Doncaster.

Likely to find this race too hot again for her to get truly involved.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/12/22CLO16Sft/Hy10-135
13/11/22NAV17Y10-116
01/10/22KLN11Sft8-134
01/09/22CLO9.5Gd8-132
13/08/22TRM12Gd9-83
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
7
Darragh O'Keeffe

Scenic Look

J: Darragh O'Keeffe
T: Mark L Fagan
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 10-9
OR: 116
Days: 41

Right out the outside of the betting is Scenic Look for Mark Fagan. The filly has had four spins over hurdles already as a juvenile but has failed to break her maiden thus far.

Starting life out on the flat she was well beaten at mammoth odds on both of her starts on the level.

Debuting over hurdles in a deep maiden won by Lunar Power, a mistake at the last kicked the stuffing out of her but she shaped ok for 4th.

Sent off 250/1 behind Fil Dor in his grade 3 win and beaten easily by that same rival last time out in a grade 2 looks to give her way too much to find to get competitive in another deep looking contest.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/01/23DUN16St9-38
13/11/22NAV22Y11-35
23/10/22CUR16Sft/Hy9-69
30/09/22GOW16Y10-5F
02/09/22DRO18.5Gd10-24
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
3
Mark Walsh

Icare Allen

J: Mark Walsh
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 40

Yet another runner who started life over in France, Icare Allen won an AQPS over a mile and a half for 3 year olds during the summer for Millie Pacault before being snapped up by J P McManus.

Making his stable debut for Willie Mullins at the end of December, Icare Allen scored comfortably over course and distance.

He was tanking along turning for home and took the lead coming to the last flight.

The form hasn’t worked out particularly well since and an 80/1 shot filling the 2nd place could cast doubts as to how strong the race really was. However it was his only start over hurdles and his first start in Ireland.

A chunk of improvement is likely but he’s going to need it to lie up with more experienced rivals.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/12/22FAI16Sft11-123
18/04/22FAI16Y11-33
18/03/22CHL17GS11-04
26/02/22FAI16.5Sft11-01
05/02/22LEO16Y11-25
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
4
Danny Mullins

Il Etait Temps

J: Danny Mullins
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 261

Another runner for Willie Mullins, Il Etait Temps is going to be a hard runner to assess as the grey gelding has yet to make an appearance over hurdles or for his current trainer.

Two outings in 12 furlong bumpers for 3 year olds over in France failed to yield a win but the shaped with plenty of promise and certainly looked at home on deep ground on his last start.

Coming a narrow 2nd to Il Est Divin who did the form no favours being beaten 50 lengths into last in a grade 1 AQPS on his next outing.

We have very little to go on and he simply could be anything. Best just watched for now.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/02/23LEO16Y11-121
27/12/22LEO16Sft11-122
24/11/22THU16Y/Sft11-41
30/04/22PUN16Y11-04
18/03/22CHL17GS11-05
Leopardstown - February 05 2022
Leopardstown 13:35
9
Rachael Blackmore

Vadaly

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 4
Weight: 10-9
OR: N/A
Days: 175

A filly for Willie. Mullins has another anomaly entered here with the only once seen Vadaly.

A recruit from the national hunt scene in France, Vadaly won a 3 year old conditions hurdle under James Reveley for Daniela Mele on her only outing at Dieppe.

It gives us very little to go on and assess but she showed plenty of ability to win on her first outing over hurdles and made enough of an impression to be picked up by Kenneth Alexander and sent to be trained by Mullins.

Another who’s probably best just watched for now.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/06/22TIP20Y11-53
16/05/22KLN22Gd10-38
18/04/22FAI16Y11-311
26/02/22FAI16.5Sft10-74
05/02/22LEO16Y10-98

Andy Smith | @AndySmithRacing