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NTF 3 to follow from the weekend…

There was plenty of high class action going on over the weekend with numerous festival contenders lining up at Cheltenham, Leopardstown and Doncaster.

Here are the three main horses that went in my notebook after the weekends racing –

STAYING ARTICLE (E J O’Grady)Saturday – 2.45 Leopardstown – 3rd in the 2m Boylesports Handicap Hurdle

This goes down as an eye-catching run on a number of fronts. The ultra competitive Leopardstown handicap has proven to be a hard race to win under a big weight so the 7yo’s 3rd placed effort under top weight (minus jockeys 3lb claim) has do go down as a huge effort. In the end it may well have been his welter burden that was enough to anchor him, especially when we consider the 2 that finished in front of him were both considerably well handicapped animals. It should also be noted that this was only his 4th hurdle start (and 5th career start) but he travelled and jumped like a horse of far more experience. He actually jumped the last with a marginally lead and when headed he, rather encouragingly, far from downed tools. He put his head down and kept battling all the way to the line and those traits will do him well in future assignments. The horse has always been well regarded by connections and was entered for the Grade One Royal Bond Hurdle in his novice season. He also holds an entry in this season’s Champion Hurdle and although that is a huge step up on what he has so far achieved it again highlights how highly the horse is thought of. He looks adaptable with regards to ground and he should be of interest wherever he may appear next time.

ROCKY CREEK (Paul Nicholls)Saturday – 3.25 Doncaster – 1st in the 3m1f Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle

This was an imposing performance from the 6yo and almost a case of the further he went the better he looked. Once Daryl Jacob had engaged top gear the contest never really looked in doubt. He already has the size and scope of a chaser and he currently sits in the notebook as one to watch when heading over fences next season. This 3m+ trip looked much more to his liking than the shorter 2m5f he experienced at Exeter on his rules debut and his future surely rests over these staying trips. At the moment I’m not overly convinced he is an obvious one for the top novice hurdle races at the spring time festivals although on the back of this run he would certain be worthy of consideration. The Dr Massini gelding holds plenty of stamina in his pedigree and although he would enter calculations for future hurdle assignments it is his future as a potential staying chasing star that really has me excited.

BOTTMAN (Tim Vaughan)Saturday – 1.30 Cheltenham – 5th in the 2m5f Novices’ Handicap Chase

This was a fine run from the Milan gelding and, in my opinion, a considerable improvement on his 3 chase starts to date. He travelled and jumped well in this competitive Novice event and battled on up the hill all the way to the line. He looked more comfortable in this larger field and I have a suspicion this is where we will see him perform at his best. He did look briefly outpaced as the field turned for home and it could well be that he needs a step up to 3 miles to get himself back in the winners enclosure; there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree and that could maybe be put to better use over a more demanding trip. This was a decent race and the 7yo acquitted himself well, there should be races in him yet.

What horses went in your notebook after this weekends action?

Drop me a comment below and let me know who you will be keeping an eye on for future engagements.

Ben (NTF)

8 responses to “NTF 3 to follow from the weekend…”

  1. Hi
    Is Knockara Beau in the Grand National? he was running on nicely in the Cotsold Chase, if not don’t rule him out in a handicap at the festival

    cheers

    Jon

    • Hi Jon

      Yeah I do think Knockara is lurking around ready to strike somewhere. Must be a race in him off his mark…..

      Cheer – Ben (NTF)

  2. The one that caught my eye big time was Battonier Cheltenham 3.10 (impressed me more than most according to the write ups I have read) – still green but watch the race he could be called the winner a way long way out swinging off the bridle and was always going to catch Broadbackbob – anything like this improvement will hold it well for the Festival – Wichita Lineman and Bobs Worth won this race before going onto the festival – they were no more impressive than this one on Saturday – and the fact that the in crowd were on Broadback and were not watching out in the country means they will allow him to go off at a big price
    Bob

    • Hi Bob

      Yes he seemed to have the fav covered from some way out. He certainly seems to enjoy the track anyway….

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  3. Your bang on the money with your assessment of Rocky Creek. I personally think this could be a “Denman” in the making. I’m already excited about next season when we’ll see him over the fences.

  4. My eyecatcher was MODULE G, 2007 DP = 4-1-14-5-2 (26) DI = 0.86 CD = 0.00 in the 16.15 Class 2 Hcp Hurdles on Saturday in Cheltenham. Its only a 5 year old and they went on very fast early on and the horse looked very strong on the runin, despite this pace. I think, when it stays in Class 2 or is stepped up in class, will have again shout.

    • Yes he looks like there could be plenty of improvment in him yet. Could well see him staying a lot further in the future.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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