The National Hunt game is ticking along sweetly at the moment, sitting comfortably at the back of the pack picking off the back-markers and waiting to make its move as we inch closer to October. The NTD runners are also starting to clunk through the gears as the Naunton based trainer prepares his crack squad of jumpers for the eye of the storm; or in other words the peak of ‘TWISTER SEASON’!
NUDGE AND NURDLE was a handy winner at Fontwell yesterday for team Twister (BFSP 8.00) and despite him showing plenty of grit in the finish and still being potentially well handicapped on old form the 11yo doesn’t make it as my 1 to follow from the weekend.
The runner that takes the honour of my ‘1 to follow’ is a final flight faller from Stratford’s Saturday meeting who may well be one of those runners that has skipped under the radar this weekend –
DANEHILL DANTE (Alan King) – Saturday 3.15 Stratford – Faller in the 2m Novices’ Hurdle
The 4yo was having his hurdling (and indeed National Hunt) debut at Stratford on Saturday and there was plenty enough in his effort to suggest to me that he can win races in his new discipline. The eventual winner of the race, ONE TERM (R Curtis), is probably an above average sort for this type of contest (won a Listed Cheltenham Bumper last season) but DANEHILL DANTE was on his tail for most of the race before being unable to go with the winner as they swept for home round the final bend. The King runner was sticking on doggedly when he was squeezed out of things at the final flight by GOOD BOY JACKSON leaving him with nowhere to go but the deck. This has to rate as a very unlucky ‘fall’ and the chances are he may well have clung on for second spot and a satisfactory debut result. The Danehill Dancer gelding looks to have the correct physique to make the transition from flat to hurdles and in the main I thought he jumped perfectly fluently for the majority of the contest.
He was clearly well thought of as a youngster as he cost £150,000 as a yearling and started his flat career under the trainership (is that a word?!) of Richard Hannon and even held an entry in the Irish 2000 Guineas at one stage. He clearly didn’t quite make that level on the flat and indeed this full brother to 2010 Gordon Stakes winner REBEL SOLDIER is still a maiden after 14 (now 15 after his NH debut) starts.
The maiden tag, however, does not concern me and there is enough scope about this lad to suggest he can bag a couple of hurdle races in the near future, especially now he has this run under his belt.
DANEHILL DANTE ideal conditions – Too early to say at moment although hurdling figures seem to suggest that Danehill Dancer offspring may just prefer better jumping ground (Good ground or better), something to watch rather than hang your hat on though
DANEHILL DANTE Dosage figures – 5-6-17-0-0 (20+) (28) | 2.29 | 0.57 – Plenty of speed in the pedigree so an easy 2 miles may be ideal for him
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?
Drop me a comment below and share your runners to follow from the weekend (Flat or Jumps) with the NTF community.
Happy punting guys!
p.s. Today’s ‘Return to the Track’ post can be found here
p.p.s The full 14 page ‘TWISTER SEASON’ guide is still FREE to download for everyone. Just pop your details in the form below –
Ben – (NTF)