horse racing

NTF 1 to follow from the weekend: Get IN with OOGOO…

The National Hunt action is coming at us thick and fast now and the big guns are starting to unleash the shackles on some of their bigger names.

Aintree was the main focus of attention over the weekend but there were plenty of races to note elsewhere around the country; Chepstow and Wincanton both producing races that I will be watching with interest as the season develops further.

On Sunday we had the joy of 3 of the NTF ’20 to follow for the season’ runners hitting the track – producing 2 winners and 1 under par effort.

If you still want to get your hands on my exclusive NTF 2012/13 ‘To Follow’ list then simply pop your details in the form on the right >>>>>>>>

The most impressive of the trio had to have been CLONDAW KAEMPFER (D McCain) who romped away with the 2m4f Novices’ Hurdle (Aintree 4.00 Sunday) in eye-catching fashion. He was ridden in supremely confident fashion by Jason Maguire and he is a horse that greatly excites me this season. I’m far from concerned about the prospect of him racing on better ground (yesterday was soft) and actually believe that it will bring about further improvement.

HANDAZAN (A King) ground out victory in the juvenile hurdle (Aintree 1.40 Sunday) and although still not looking all that clever over his obstacles he did seem to improve as the race went on and he did show plenty of guts in the finish. The front-running tactics seemed to help and he does look to be heading in the right direction.

COMEONGINGER (P Nicholls) was the disappointment of the 3 ‘to follow’ runners as he could only finish 8th on his hurdling debut at WIncanton (2.30 Sunday). It is interesting to note that he didn’t wear the tongue tie he supported in his Point-to-Point runs and you would expect to see that back on next time. If not then I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Nicholls send him for a breathing-op, he did find very little when the taps were turned to full.

Other runners from the weekend to note were –

MAD MAX (N Mullholand) – 4th in the Old Roan Chase (3.30 Sat Aintree) – He set a break-neck pace in this contest and was never going to be able to sustain that to the line. In the circumstances he did well to finish 4th and with the freshness now hopefully knocked out of him it will be interesting to see where he is aimed at going forward from here.

GEVREY CHAMBERTIN (D Pipe) and MANY CLOUDS (O Sherwood) – 1st and 2nd in the 2m Maiden Hurdle (5.10 Sat Aintree) – The 2 market leaders dominated proceeding here and both look likely to go on a steep upward curve as the season progresses. The main focus will likely be on the winner although we must not forget the runner-up. He only gave way in the final 1/2 furlong and he will surely be gracing the winners enclosure before long. He was considered good enough to contest both the Cheltenham and Aintree Champion Bumpers last term and looks a smart prospect.

BALLYBOUGH PAT (A Honeyball) – 2nd in the Persian War Hurdle (3.40 Sat Chepstow) – The 5yo did his best to serve it up to the well regarded WONDERFUL CHARM and for a brief moment did look to have the Nicholls runner in trouble. Ultimately the French import proved to be a class above but the run of BALLYBOUGH PAT should not go ignored and he can make an impact this season before going chasing next term.

COOTAMUNDRA (J Berry) – Faller in 2m1f Novices’ Chase (3.40 Sun Galway) – This 9yo was making eye-catching headway and looked to be running a big race when taking a slithering fall at the final obstacle. It’s unusual to see a 9yo making his debut over fences and although he maybe hasn’t proven to be the most straightforward of horses in the past there was plenty to like about this run. Most of his hurdling form has been over or around 3 miles so it will be interesting when they send him over staying trips over fences. It could be they get him handicapped over shorter trips and the ultimate aim is a 3 mile handicap chase later on in the season. His pedigree screams marathon trips (his Dosage figures are rammed with stamina points – a CD of -1.14!) which makes this run even more eye-catching and he should be followed closely; I feel there may be a plan at work with this one…

VALDEZ (A King) – 2nd in the 2m Novices’ Hurdle (4.15 Sun Wincanton) – The 5yo was making his hurdling debut and moved smoothly into contention as they swung into the homestraight. He looked for all money like he was going to collect but he bumped into a very determined rival in Kings Flagship and failed by only a neck to get past him. He will strip fitter for this run and is surely much better than this; compensation awaits sooner rather than later.

All of the above caught my eye for one reason or another but none of them make the plate as this weeks ‘NTF 1 to follow from the weekend’. That honour goes to a north trained chaser that was running at Aintree on Saturday…

INOOGOO (G Bewley) – Saturday 4.35 Aintree – 3rd in the 2m4f Novices’ Chase

This fine looking, solid framed chasing type is one of those that is simply built to jump a fence. Despite falling on his chasing debut at Perth it does look that, in time, jumping will prove to be his strong suit. As such the farcical situation of a half-mile run-in with all the fences in the home-straight omitted due to low-sun was never likely to play in his favour. Despite this he did extremely well to put it up to UNIONISTE and DISTIME and only gave way inside the final furlong. Jockey James Reveley also sensibly eased up a touch when it was clear he would have to play 3rd fiddle in the run-up to the line. I would expect the winner UNIONISTE to make into a very smart novice chaser this term so the proximity of INOOGOO should not go unnoticed.

If we go back to INOOGOO’S chasing debut at Perth it should be noted that he was running a massive race before tipping up 3 out in what I think will probably turn out to be an above average contest for the track. That puts INOOGOO in the bracket of running well in 2 hot novice chases from 2 chase starts.

A quick look at his Dosage figures tell me that he isn’t short on stamina and as such I could see him improving further for tackling 3m+ over fences…

INOOGOO Dosage Figures – 1-0-7-0-2 (10) | 0.82 | -0.20

He is also a horse that runs well fresh so I would not be concerned when he races after any sort of break…

Record after a break of 90 days or more – F2215 (F came at Perth on Chase debut when running a huge race)

I have seen more than enough from his 2 chase starts to suggest that he can be a real force on the north novice chasing circuit this season. Whether he can make an impact further afield is open to debate but he certainly has the size and scope to significantly improve past his hurdle mark of 120. I would be shocked if he can’t pick up a couple of small novice chases this term.

The Bewley yard are an operation I really rate and expect them to make significant strides in the coming seasons; this lad can play a major part in that.

That’s what I think of the weekends racing but what do YOU think?

Who were the runners that caught your attention and went in your own notebook as ones to follow from the weekend?

Who, in your mind, posted the most impressive performance of the weekend?

Drop me a comment below and share your runners to follow from the weekend with the NTF community.

p.s. it was great to see recent NTF 1 to follow from weekend runner GOLDEN CHIEFTAIN scoot home at Worcester last Wednesday. That was a career best on the figures and he is likely to be hammered by the handicapper after that performance. It will be interesting to see what mark he is put on and providing it isn’t overly strong a rise there could still be improvement to come from the Tizzard runner.

Happy Punting

Ben – (NTF)

14 responses to “NTF 1 to follow from the weekend: Get IN with OOGOO…”

  1. Cape express and jack Dexter. We’re my two best bets on. Saturday. I lost. Both as I was chasing. A treble at two meetings. Silly mistake. but. would. have paid. A handsome. return

    • Thanks Charles

      Cape Express was very impressive. Interesting to see if there is still more to come.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  2. great write up as always,

    I had the pleasure of being at aintree for both days, but sadly it was very disappointing on the punting front! Noble Prince was a banker (obviously on trends and form, however, may be best to allow a horse a run following being pulled up with an injury – as he clearly didnt look right. given his first time out record (and his trainers record at preparing a horse fresh) his poor performance cant have just been down to a lack of fitness. definitely one to avoid for now i think.

    the most frustrating run for me, was Kid Cassidy in the 3,25 at aintree yesterday. Normally a front runner, for some reason he was held right out of the back, in a 2 mile race on soft ground. in touch just with one circuit to go i thought he would creep into it but no. however, he finished like a train, everything else was slowing up and he was full of running, however jockey left the run too late I think. he is clearly a quirky horse, but I do strongly believe is McCoy had been on board it may have been a different outcome – i thought it was a naive ride at best!

    I think he is one to watch in his next run.


    • Cheers Josh

      I’m of the opinion that Noble Prince struggled with the way the race was run. It was a crazy pace that the front 2 set off at and the plan for Noble Prince was obviously for Davy Russell to settle him out the back and get him into a rhythm. The way the race developed played strongly against him and gave him little chance. However, even taking that into account I do agree it was still a disappointing run. He could just be one that now needs things to fall EXACTLY right for him to get his head back in-front.

      KID CASSIDY was a weird one. I think he is a tricky customer at the best of times and they were maybe trying something different with him. He is another that maybe needs the make-up of the race to be perfect before he strikes. He was very eye-catching though…

      Thanks for the comment – Ben (NTF)

  3. Hi Ben,

    I hope you are well, and thanks for the great post. I think the performance of weekend went to For Non Stop, who in my opinion travelled like a class horse, jumped like a class horse, and is definitely one to follow for the season.

    What are your thoughts on his run?


    • Hi David

      I’m on the fence at the moment about For Non Stop. I’m half of the opinion that the race fell apart due to the frenetic pace that was on up front and it played into his hands. Saying that if he can follow up this win with a decent performance then he could very easily change my mind.

      Lets see where they go with him from here….

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  4. I liked For Two in the race won by Handazan – was cruising in the latter stages and whilst it suddenly tired in the ground this will definitely be winning races

    • Yes he did look pretty smart and is easily forgiven for getting tired in that ground. One to keep an eye out for this season for sure.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  5. Read with interest your comments about MAD MAX in the Old Roan Chase but if you were impressed ny him, you had to be doubly so with STAGECOACH PEARL.

    Both the above never allowed habitual front-runner NACARAT a sniff of the lead and looked to be cutting each others throats up front. Sensibly, SP was reigned back before taking it up from Mad MAx (who Ithought might have the class to lead all the way) entering the back straight a second time, only giving best to the ultra-impressive For Non Stop two out and keeping on well for third.

    Two miles and a small field where he can dominate, somewhere like Wetherby. That’s where I’d be going with this one.

    • Hi Peter

      Yes fully agree about Stagecoach Pearl, was plenty to like about his run. Agree that a small field – 2 mile-ish race would look an ideal target for him. Interesting to note he also has an excellent record in Nov/Dec (1151313) so may be good for connections to strike in the near future.

      Ta – Ben (NTF)

  6. jack Dexter and Blue surf were good winners for me on Saturday.
    Jack Dexter I am sure went up a class on saturday but still won with style.

    • Hi Paddy

      Jack Dexter looks a lovely sort for Jim Goldie. Interesting to note that Graham Lee has an excellent record on him (15411). Hopefully still more to come…

      Thanks – Ben (NTF)

  7. For Two looked to blow-up badly and should come on a ton for the run. He looks a lovely big chasing type. I liked the way Funny Star jumped. He skipped over his hurdles beautifully and I’m sure there’s better to come. Clondaw was awesome. He looked special.
    Lyreen Legend looked good today, as did the returning Go Native. Jenari was also impressive today. Travelled really well off the pace and will be better over further on better ground. A terrific few days. Nicky Henderson has Vasco Du Ronceray entered at Haydock this week (juvenile). Looks really well bred, could be a serious Triumph horse.

    • Hi Nigel

      Very much looking forward to VASCO DU RONCERAY. As you say he looks really well bred and comes from a line that I follow closely. Lets hope he can deliver…

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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