Thin on quality over the weekend on the National Hunt front (this side of the Irish Sea anyway) but Newton Abbott and Market Rasen both held intriguing cards and kept the jumping enthusiasts amongst us entertained.
Precious little went in my notebook from the action at Newton Abbot on Saturday although it was good to see TROP FORT follow up his victory from last month in the 2m3f Novices’ Hurdle. It may well be that Tim Vaughan has found the key to unlocking his talents and hopefully he can continue progressing from here.
My main ‘NTF 1 to follow from the weekend’, however, comes from the Sunday card at Market Rasen…
Here is my NTF 1 to follow from the weekend –
MR VALENTINO (Lawney Hill) – Sunday 5.05 Market Rasen | 4th in the 3m1f Handicap Chase
The 7yo was making his chasing debut here after 309 days off the track and Lawney Hill wasted no time in pitching him into handicap company off his hurdle mark of 95. He jumping remarkably well for most of the contest, taking his fences with authority and making ground at a number of obstacles. He did make a couple of small mistakes during the 3m1f contest but he will certainly learn from the experience and none of the minor mistakes looked liked putting him on the deck. He looked to hit a bit of a flat spot around 5 or 6 out but he was entitled to after his lengthy absence and in all fairness he kept responding all the way to the line to jockey David Bass’s urgings; a horse giving its all is always a good one to have on your side. MR VALENTINO clung on to the leaders coattails over the last 2 and was coming with a huge late rattle when jockey David Bass had to take a pull on the run to the line as the eventual winner, La Pantera Rosa, started to drift across him in the final few yards. It possibly didn’t cost Lawney Hill’s charge victory but it certainly cost him 2nd or 3rd, or in the current climate Silver or Bronze.
The run yesterday certainly suggested that his current mark of 95 is well within his compass and I would expect him to land at least a couple of handicap Chases as he makes him way up to his ‘natural’ chasing mark.
The horse did suffer from splints and wind problems early on in his career so it may not be too prudent to take his past performances as a guide to his future abilities and because of those problems it could well be that he is extremely well handicapped off his current mark, especially if those problems have now been completely rectified.
I do have one word of warning, however, with this one to follow horse and that is the record of Lawney Hill runners on their SECOND START after a lengthy break.
I had a look at the stats surrounding Lawney Hill runners on their second start after a break of 250 days or more and it seems they rarely follow up that comeback run with a victory next time out –
Figures from 2007 to present and sourced from the excellent Proform database –
1/34 | 3% S/R | -£28.73 BFLSP Win & Place 7/34 | 21% S/R
It is only a small to medium sized sample but it is a slight concern for our lad MR VALENTINO. I’m not saying, of course, he will follow type and run poorly next time out but what I am saying is that if he does put in a stinker on his next start don’t throw him on the scrapheap. The figures suggest that there is a possibility he will maybe feel the effects of this comeback run and potentially run below expectation next time out.
As always this is only something we need to be aware of rather than something to confidently hang our hat on.
There was plenty in this run to suggest he can win a few races over the larger obstacles and we can be sure that Lawney Hill will place him to his best advantage over the coming couple of months, hopefully he can also land us some wonga in the process as well!
Now it’s your turn –
Who were the runners that caught your attention and went in your own notebook as ones to follow from the weekend?
Were there any National Hunt unlucky losers that we should look out for next time out or did any of the beaten runners at Glorious Goodwood strike you as ‘one’s to follow’?
Drop me a comment below and share your runners to follow from the weekend (Flat or Jumps) with the NTF community.
Happy ‘summer’ Punting!
p.s I hope some of you were on the Micheal Nolan ridden THE WEE MIDGET at Bangor on Friday?
Ben – (NTF)