Those of you that signed up to the free NTF updates list will have been able to download the ‘NTF 2011/12 to follow list’ as part of the free guide package you will have received on sign-up. To date 10 of the 15 horses on the list have taken to the track and I thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at how they have performed and what I think the rest of the season holds for them.
NOBLE ALAN (N Richards) – Form since list was published – UR
As I mentioned after his Paddy Power Gold Cup un-seat I’m still of the opinion he has a big race in him, especially off his mark of 142. Yes, he is starting to get as many letters as he is numbers in his form figures but the way he jumps and travels gives me plenty of hope that he will pick up a decent race at some stage.
CINDERS AND ASHES (D McCain) – 2
A very pleasing debut for the horse at Ascot and hopefully he can build on this. He remains very exciting for the remainder of the season.
MONTBAZON (A King) – 3
Plenty were quick to crab the horse after being beaten on his seasonal debut but I personally thought it was a solid run. King admitted afterwards that the horses wasn’t as fit as he would have liked and he did seem to ‘blow-up’ when he met the formidable Cheltenham hill. I would expect him to move on from that run and he still remains of interest for his hurdling career.
GRANDIOSO (P Nicholls) – 3
Another that made a pleasing seasonal debut, on ground that maybe was not quite soft enough for him. Long term I imagine him to be a chaser but with his seasonal debut under his belt I expect Paul Nicholls to find at least a couple of opportunities for him very soon.
DARNA (K Bailey) – 0-1
Bit of a swerve ball this one as I had him down as a hurdler on a good mark for this season. He started this season in a competitive handicap at Chepstow, travelled well then simply ran out of steam. Next up, however, he appears in a novice chase at Lingfield! He duly won this after hot favourite Kid Cassidy crashed out when 18 lengths up although its probably fair to say he would have been booked for a clear second had the Henderson horse stayed on his feet. Connections admitted after the race that he was only in the race for an ‘educational’ run (sure that’s not allowed but anyway…..) and I have to admit he jumped solidly on chasing debut. He still remains of interest now he is chasing although plans for him do seem a tad unclear and I’m not completely sure what route he may end up taking this term. Could be one for handicaps later in the season….
BARNEY COOL (D Pipe) – 5
Made his seasonal debut on soft ground at Chepstow and he really didn’t seem to enjoy the mud flying. An average return but I would deduce from that performance that he isn’t a horse to get stuck onto when there is significant cur in the ground.
GRANDS CRUS (D Pipe) – 1-1
2 from 2 over fences and basically has done very little wrong. Good to see that Pipe isn’t running and hiding with his stable star and he will have picked up plenty experience from his 2 chase starts to date. I do have a feeling that he may just be better over 2m4f/5f trips as he may settle better over the shorter distances and I see his change of gear and high cruising speed being more of a potent weapon than his stamina capabilities. Ryanair candidate rather than a Gold Cup candidate next year maybe?
SONOFVIC (P Nicholls) – 2
Set a tough task today on his chasing debut being pitched into a Grade 2 against the aforementioned Grands Crus, however, he didn’t shirk from the task in hand and pushed Grands Crus as much as could have been expected on his first fencing start. There was a lot to like about this run and I have a feeling that if the 2 meet in the RSA Chase SONOFVIC could well out-battle the Pipe horse up the Cheltenham hill; I expect SONOFVIC to come on leaps and bounds from this run.
SILVINIACO CONTI (P Nicholls) – 3-1
The jumping of this 5yo has been what has impressed me the most in his transition to fences. He was beaten on his chasing debut at Chepstow, however, that race turned into a bit of a sprint and that would not have suited this lad. Should be more races in this one.
TORNADO BOB (D McCain) – F
I thought he jumped the first few fences well enough on his chasing debut but then it slowly started to fall apart and ended with a heavy and rather odd looking fall. I would imagine it will be back to the schooling grounds for this one and I wouldn’t consider backing him until I’ve seen a better round of jumping under his belt.
There are 5 horses on the list that have not run since I released the ‘to follow’ guide and if you want to see who they are, along with a full explanation as to why they are on the list, then simply pop your name and email in the sign-up box on the right hand side of the site and you will gain acces to the 6 page report. You will also gain access to a clutch of other guides that you can download for free and utilise.
To follow lists can be tricky at the best of times and you have to be prepared for your selections to go in completly the opposite direction to what you expected. So far most on my list are roughly heading in the expected direction (except DARNA) and I would be hopeful a number of them will progress suitably from there first runs of the season.