Harry Fry’s youngster kicks off Paul’s 10 to follow this winter
Top tipster gives his ten to follow in the winter season
BULLIONAIRE (HARRY FRY)
Harry Fry was dealt a devastating blow during August, when his potentially highclass novice chaser Neon Wolf died and it is very much hoped that the trainer enjoys a fruitful campaign and is able to unearth another future star or two.
He has two or three nice prospects for novice hurdles, the pick of which could be Newbury winner Bullionaire, who impressed with the way he travelled en route to winning the valuable Goffs UK Spring Sales Bumper. The four-year-old moved purposefully to lead and appeared to have the race sewn up from halfway up the home straight. Bred to appreciate further, he might want 2m4f to be seen at his best this season, but he looks a nice longterm prospect.
CAPTAIN MCGARRY (GRAEME MCPHERSON)
A four-length winner on debut in a Kempton bumper during March, Captain McGarry looks another nice prospect for middle-distance novice hurdles this season. Trainer Graeme McPherson wouldn’t one you would necessarily associate with bumper winners, which further adds to the promise, while the runner-up came out and won a Southwell bumper – albeit a weak one – by 26 lengths next time.
A five-year-old by Oscar, there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree and he was strong inside the final furlong, suggesting that he will flourish as he goes up in trip.
DORTMUND PARK (GORDON ELLIOTT)
The winner of two AQPS races, latterly in the Grand Prix des AQPS at Nantes in June – the French Champion Bumper – Dortmund Park was subsequently purchased by Gigginstown House Stud and he rates a really exciting prospect for 2m novice hurdles.
An imposing son of Great Pretender, he travelled purposefully on both occasions and he left a lasting impression with the manner in which he finished at Nantes, where he appeared full of running when crossing the line. Clearly not short of pace, he looks one to have onside over the minimum trip once sent hurdling by Gordon Elliott and he could develop into a very smart novice.
FINIAN’S OSCAR (COLIN TIZZARD)
The winner of a couple of Grade 1 novice hurdles last season – the Tolworth at Sandown in January and at Aintree on Grand National day – Finian’s Oscar is now very much one to look forward to in the novice chase division.
An impressive winner of his sole start in the Irish Point-to-Point sphere, the fiveyear-old looked a shade unlucky in his bid for a Grade 1 treble at Punchestown, when he was probably sent for home too early and eventually got outstayed by another smart novice chase prospect, Bacardys.
Given the way that race unfolded, he certainly looks quick enough to start off over the minimum trip and he could end up developing into a contender for the Arkle, although the JLT and Manifesto are probably more likely end-of-season targets for this hugely exciting prospect.
PETIT MOUCHOIR (HENRY DE BROMHEAD)
Having switched yards as part of the split
between Willie Mullins and Gigginstown House Stud, Petit Mouchoir made steady progression during his second season over hurdles, winning both the Ryanair Hurdle and the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.
Third in the Champion Hurdle itself at Cheltenham in March, the grey is now set to embark on a novice chase campaign and it has to be hoped that he ends up as a leading candidate for the Arkle next March. Another who hails from the Point-to-Point ranks – won his sole start between the flags before winning the 2015 Goffs Land Rover Bumper when trained by Gordon Elliott - the six-year-old can make his own running and this will help in small field novice chases.
The Racing Post Novice Chase (Christmas Festival) and the Irish Arkle (February) at Leopardstown are a couple of obvious domestic targets, hopefully en route back to Cheltenham.
RAVENHILL ROAD (BRIAN ELLISON)
A six-year-old chestnut by Exit To Nowhere, Ravenhill Road really impressed me when winning his maiden point by 15 lengths in May of last year and he duly made a wide-margin winning Rules debut in a Market Rasen bumper last October.
Despite showing distinct signs of green- ness – looked awkward around the tight track and hung up the straight – he ran out a taking winner and again impressed when following up under a penalty at Doncaster in late-November. A setback forced him to miss the remainder of the season, but he is expected to return this autumn and, whilst his long-term future lies over fences, he should make his mark as a staying novice hurdler this term. He looks an out-and-out galloper.
RED JACK (NOEL MEADE)
A winner at Naas on debut, Red Jack was then purchased by JP McManus and he easily made it two from two in bumpers
in taking fashion at Fairyhouse over Easter. The form of his debut success could hardly have worked out any better – runner-up Debuchet won twice and finished second in the Champion Bumper while the third Le Richebourg has already won three times over hurdles – and Red Jack now rates a very exciting prospect for 2m novice hurdles.
If Noel Meade can get him out in the early weeks of the season, he could be one for the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle back at Fairyhouse and he should be expected to take high rank this term.
SAMCRO (GORDON ELLIOTT)
The winner of all three starts in bumpers last season, Samcro rates a top-class prospect for novice hurdles this time aound. Having won in poor visibility at Punchestown, the five-year-old followed up in a Listed event at Navan, but stepped forward considerably when meeting better ground for the first time at Fairy- house’s Easter Festival.
The Germany chestnut had earlier beaten Elegant Escape – won twice over hurdles for Colin Tizzard last season – in a maiden point at Monksgrange and it will be a shade disappointing if he doesn’t turn out to be Cheltenham Festival material.
TRUCKERS LODGE (TOM GEORGE)
Whilst most people were focused on the Grand National and the Grade 1 action from Aintree, Tom George was responsible for the winners of both divisions of the Chepstow bumper. Division two looked the stronger event on paper and it was won in taking fashion by Truckers Lodge.
The Westerner five-year-old travelled powerfully on the front end and forged clear in fine style, once challenged by the smooth-travelling runner-up. Given the stamina in his pedigree and the fact that he won an Irish Point-to-Point (dead-heated with Empire Burleque on his second start in that sphere), Truckers Lodge might need 2m4f or further once sent jumping and it is worth noting that George used the same bumper to introduce The Worlds End 12 months earlier.
VISION DES FLOS (COLIN TIZZARD)
Representing the same leading connections of Finian’s Oscar, Vision des Flos won the Goffs Land Rover Bumper when trained by Robert Tyner and he rates another smart prospect for novice hurdles.
Despite racing a shade keenly in the early part of the race, the four-year-old impressed with how he breezed to the front and he knuckled down well once asked to put the race to bed, eventually winning by just a neck. The son of Balko should have learned plenty for that initial racecourse experience and can be expected to step forward once going hurdling in the coming months.