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SEFTON NOVICES’ HURDLE GRADE 1 – REVIEW

Champ

5th April 2019 – Aintree – This was a very slowly run race and I would not want to bank on his stamina for three miles based purely on this contest. I suspect he will stay; however, I would like to see him do so when given a more stringent test of stamina. Here he was simply in the best place to challenge after three out and clearly had a lot more speed compared with any of his rivals. As impressive as he appeared in the finish I also suspect that he held a significant advantage over more staying types the way the race unfolded.

Emitom

5th April 2019 – Aintree – He was held up at the back of the field which was the worst place to be in such a slowly run race. His rider tried to track the favourite throughout but had a tightly packed group in front of him. I think it would be very unfair to suggest he was unlucky in any way; nonetheless, his mistake at the last hurdle cost him momentum and a couple of lengths and he looked very impressive drawing clear of the field from the final hurdle albeit not quite being able to reach the winner. Unlike Champ he was kept fresh for this meeting which, perhaps, is another point in favour of the Henderson horse. On the day Champ was a worthy winner; however, I would be happy to take the winner on again with this horse in a race which provided more of a stamina test. The Stayers Hurdle often turns into a fairly gruelling test of stamina and Emitom might be the more suited to that type of test rather than the impressive Champ.

Lisnagar Oscar

5th April 2019 – Aintree – There appeared to be a significant advantage held by horses racing prominently today. Perhaps this was even more the case in a slowly run affair like this one. He was given an excellent ride and possibly enjoyed the most positive trip of all. Consequently I suspect that this third place finish is as good as he is and his proximity to the forst two horses may slightly flatter him.

Walk Away

5th April 2019 – Aintree – he was held up ou the back along with the eventual runner up. He was probably disadvantaged by this strategy and can probably be marked up on his finishing position as a result. When the pace quickened up in the home straight he seemed to be more about stamina than speed.

Downtown Getaway

5th April 2019 – Aintree – He has looked like a work in progress in his earlier runs and perhaps did so again here. He appeared to be a danger until dropping away quickly half way up the home straight.

Dallas Des Pictons

5th April 2019 – Aintree – I felt he was given a very good ride and was in as good a place as any to attack in the home straight. He was still on the premises two out but dropped away very tamely thereafter. The obvious conclusion to draw is that this may have come too soon after his tough race at Cheltenham. The runner up was kept fresh for this whilst the winner was having his fourth race of the season. Conversely this Elliott novice was competing in his sixth race of the season.

Trevelyn’s Cove

5th April 2019 – Aintree – He is another in the field that has previously been described as ‘next year’s horse’ by his trainer. He was quite keen towards the front before weakening in the home straight. I suspect we will see him novice chasing next season.

The Captains Inn

5th April 2019 – Aintree – He was less than fluent four out but was still going perfectly well in mid-division when being squeezed against the rail after which he was eased and pulled up. He was certainly not beaten at the time and I would prefer to remain open minded as to what might have happened. On his previous races one would imagine he might be best on a softer surface.

Champagne Well

5th April 2019 – Aintree – He made one early mistake but was generally good thereafter. He was switched wide to challenge on the heels of the leaders early in the home straight but weakened rapidly close home.

Arthur Mac

5th April 2019 – Aintree – He ran past one or two beaten rivals from two out and may have been a tad flattered. That said he has still run a solid race on this first try over three miles. He will surely be more of a handicapper than a graded horse next season.

Ardlethen

5th April 2019 – Aintree – His previous record would suggest he has no problem with this trip. Consequently he was probably just not good enough.

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