horse racing

NTF 1 to follow from the weekend: Tony can be a Star over fences…

After an enforced absence from the ‘1 to follow’ activities last week I’m back today with one slightly under the radar runner that caught my eye at Wincanton on Saturday…

TONY STAR (P Hobbs) – Saturday 2.15 Wincanton – 4th in the 2m5f Grade 2 Novices’ Chase

This 5yo showed up well for a very long way in what was a tough enough task for his chasing debut. In 13 previous career starts he had never found himself in higher company than a Grade 3 Handicap but on Saturday he was pitched straight into Grade 2 company. It may not have been the strongest of Grade 2’s but there must have been plenty of easier assignments elsewhere for him. On the whole his jumping was neat and tidy for his first public appearance over fences and he was able to mix it with the main protagonists for the majority of the contest. His first real mistake came at the cross fence 4 from home and that lost him vital ground at a time when the eventual winner started to turn the taps to full. To his credit he stuck to his task and a 9 length 4th placed finish is not to be sniffed at.

As already mentioned this was a high enough level for him to be pitched into on debut and a lowering of his sights should be enough to see him break his chasing duck.

A quick look at his Dosage figures tell me that these sort of 2m4/5f trips should, in theory, be ideal for him…

TONY STAR Dosage Figures – 2-1-5-2-0 (10) | 1.22 | 0.30

I have a feeling that Saturday’s contest may have been run half a step or more too slowly for him and as such I do think he would benefit from a faster run contest. His best runs over timber came when he was able to sit out the back of double figure fields (or at least a strongly run smaller field) and that may well also be the key to him now he has been sent over fences. With that in mind it could be that we won’t really see the best of him until he is sent down the handicap route.

I would expect him to have the scope to make into a better chaser than he was a hurdler and this was certainly a pleasing debut from the 5yo over the larger obstacles.

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

Did you see any clear-cut Cheltenham Festival contenders amongst the weekends runners?

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

Happy Punting

Ben – (NTF)

6 responses to “NTF 1 to follow from the weekend: Tony can be a Star over fences…”

  1. Hi Ben,Early Selection for Supreme Novices at Festival, MY TENT OR YOURS, Trading at 20/1 with most Bookies ,Early days I know but very Impressed with it.All The Best, Albert ,Queensland Australia

    • Hi Albert

      Certainly a horse I like a lot. Looking forward to following his progress. Hopefully we will see him at Cheltenham this weekend.

      Cheers – Ben(NTF)

  2. Ben,
    Seen this horse in the flesh winning his last two and have been very impressed.
    No secret that he is a good one and after yesterday will have a mark in the 150s.
    I still think there is more to come especially on heavy/ soft which obviously loves.
    Will not be surprised to see him win a major race this season.

    • Colin

      Yes I’ve been impressed with ACROSS THE BAY this season. Obviously loves to get his hooves into the ground. Think Welsh National is the plan but must be a worry he is starting to creep a little high in the weights now. Will be interesting to see how the handicapper reacts to this latest romp.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  3. Hope you feeling better Ben. Jezki looked good at Naas. Obviously Flemenstar on Sunday.He settles and travels so well that maybe he could be a Gold Cup horse. We will find out sooner or later. Anything to beat Grands Crus on Saturday? Hard to back him at 2/1.

    • Hi Nigel

      Yes thanks, getting back to full fitness now.

      Jezki looks to have progressed well and should rate as one to follow. Entered in the Grade 1 Royal Bond next.

      Grands Crus looks solid but hopefully I can pinpoint one to be against him this weekend…

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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