What follow’s is a guest post from Adam Norman, who last season provided us with his ‘Little Black Book’ articles- focusing on horse’s to follow that had caught his eye when track-side. Due to other commitments this series may not continue this season however Adam has looked back at his previous notebook horses, to highlight 10 to follow for this season…
Over to Adam…
Last season’s Little Black Book series has thrown up recent winners like Stylish Moment (20/1), Sweet Vinetta (14/1), Back On The Lash (12/1), Cap St Vincent (6/1) and The Big Galloper (12/1 into 7/4). Here is a further list of 10 horses to follow from that series in the coming weeks.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’s staying chaser ran only four times in his first season over fences, mainly due to the absence of his beloved soft ground throughout last winter. However, he did manage to win once at Carlisle in the manner that suggested better to come. Lacking the experience to land a blow in Midlands National, I remain of the opinion he has the ability to land a decent pot in long-distance races this time around.
Black Ebony (entered at Carlisle on Thursday)
Showed a good deal of promise in two bumpers earlier this year without looking anywhere near the finished article, and connections’ patience looks set to be rewarded. From the same family as Attaglance and numerous other winners, I’m anticipating the Malinas gelding to quickly develop into a 130-type performer this season, with a spring handicap a possible target.
Elixir De Gouet
A winner over hurdles and fences in France on soft ground, this good looking five-year-old was sold at Arqarna for 75k to be trained by Venetia Williams. He clearly hadn’t acclimatised last season but I expect to see a different horse this time around starting out on a mark that has been cut to 126. Let’s hope he’s a good as he looks.
This big rangy chasing six-year-old showed a decent level of ability over hurdles last season, experience that will stand him in good stead over larger obstacles this time around. He’s the type to leave that form way behind for the switch to fences, and looks the ideal sort to challenge for the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in March.
Paul Henderson has a fair sort on his hands with this son of Getaway, who had an educational first season over hurdles. Kept mainly to the minimum trip, the six-year-old threatened to take a hand in the finish on a few occasions before lacking the speed for the finish. There’s little doubt this horse will be seen to much better effect when faced with a stiffer test of stamina, be it over hurdles or fences, and he starts out on an enticing mark.
Had a quiet first season over hurdles but offered more when a tenderly handled fourth on his handicap debut at Chepstow in April. Surprisingly sent over fences on just his fifth start over obstacles the following month, he found the whole experience too much and was pulled up. Made a good impression when returning to action at Hexham earlier this month and he looks one to follow in long distance hurdles on soft ground.
Saint De Vassy
Tom Symonds’ charge has the make and shape of a soft ground performer and was unlucky not to get off the mark at Exeter in March with conditions in his favour. His form overall has a very solid look to it I can see him picking up a novice hurdle before challenging for some decent handicaps over 2m4f, as he looks to be starting out on a very workable mark.
Precocious enough to win five times in France as a three and four-year-old, this well-related youngster still has plenty of time to make a name for himself in the UK. The only occasion he got his favoured soft ground in his first season for Sandy Thomson was when capsizing four out in a race at Ayr in March. I’m confident he has ability well in excess of his current mark of 130.
This three-time winner in France landed here with a sky-high rating and on the face of it showed little in three runs for Sue Smith. However, now down to a mark of 112 and with more time to strengthen into his big frame, I expect this Sinndar gelding to win races over fences in the north when the mud is flying.
Martin Todhunter saddled only three winners during the 2018/19 campaign which may be part of the reason why we saw this horse only twice on the track in that time. On the second occasion he showed a good deal of promise in a decent novice hurdle at Wetherby, taking the eye in the paddock and exhibiting a pronounced knee action. With the yard in much better form now, I’m looking forward to seeing what this Westerner gelding is capable of on soft ground.
Others to keep tabs on…
- Cloth Cap
- Highway Girl
- Reivers Lad
- Le Gavroche
- Point Break
- Just Call Me Al
- All Hail Caesar
- Down the Highway