horse racing

NTF 1 to follow from Aintree: A juvenile who showed plenty of Flare in defeat…

Continuing with my look back at the Aintree Grand National meeting from last week, and specifically the Novice Hurdlers, I’ve uncovered what could be a very handily handicapped youngster to keep an eye on for next term. This Juvenile has actually been DROPPED in the weights for what was a career best run at Aintree on both RPR figures AND the Proform speed figures.

My 2nd ‘1 to follow’ runner from Aintree is an Irish raider who looks a very interesting sort to keep on-side for next season…

NTF 1 to follow from the Aintree: FLAXEN FLARE…

FLAXEN FLARE (G Elliott) – 4th in the Matalan Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle – Grade 1 

This 4yo came into the Aintree meeting off the back of a very easy and smooth success in the Fred Winter Handicap at Cheltenham. This was a step up in grade but he deserved his place in the line-up and indeed acquitted himself perfectly well, only going down by 8 lengths in 4th.

After his Cheltenham romp he was hiked in the ratings to a mark of 141, fair enough given the way he won that race. That day he recorded an RPR figure of 135 and a Proform speed figure of 73. On the back of his 4th at Aintree he was allocated an RPR figure of 138 and a Proform speed figure of 80; clear signs this was another step in the right direction and he took the step back into Grade 1 level in his stride. The handicapper wasn’t quite so impressed and shunted him down 6lbs on the official figures to a mark of 135. Now I wouldn’t have expected him to have been raised in the weights but I really didn’t expect any leniency on what, as already discussed, was viewed in a couple of places as a career best run.

So where to now for FLAXEN FLARE?

The handicap route must look very tempting for connections now that he sits on a mark of 135. After his run at Aintree I would have bracketed him as a potential Graded animal, if not at Grade 1 level most certainly at Grade 2 level. If we consider the idea that he could prove to be at his best on ground with cut in it (including his flat runs he has 2 wins on Soft and 2 wins on Good to Soft) and this Aintree run was on Good ground then a return to softer in handicaps off his current mark makes him look a very interesting prospect indeed. Personally I would like to see him scrubbed off until the autumn time when he will be stronger after another summer on his back and will hopefully get ground with a bit more juice in it.

FLAXEN FLARE ideal conditions – Good to Soft or softer ground | Handicap hurdle races at or around the 2 mile mark


Ben – (NTF)

2 responses to “NTF 1 to follow from Aintree: A juvenile who showed plenty of Flare in defeat…”

  1. Not sure on this one Ben. Thought the juveniles were a poor lot bar the obvious Our Connor. Think Flaxen Flare was flattered in a poor Fred Winter. Blood Cotil only decent juvenile in that race, rated 138 compared to Flaxen Flare 135, yet beat him by 16 lengths when behind Our Connor at Leopardstown. Blood Cotil may be one to follow in 2m handicaps next season. (though Mullins factor will affect price)

    • Hi Nigel

      I think the juveniles are difficult to quantify as a group for the simple reason that OUR CONOR is so far ahead of the all, in a way he makes them all look a bit ‘average’. I thought there was plenty to like about FF at Aintree, the quicker ground possibly the reason he couldn’t quite go with the ones ahead of him. I’m not always a huge fan of the Fred Winter form but this one does interest me.

      Thanks for the comment – Ben (NTF)

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