Racing: Stable advice on the pick of the winter jumpers

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The Independent Online
Making a list of horses to follow is an absorbing alternative to form-book study. The Independent's 1977 Flat horses to follow has won 33 races and shows a pre-tax profit of pounds 9.69 to a pounds 1 level stake. Successes include Fly To The Stars (20-1 & 14-1), Fame Again (12-1) and Epic Stand (10-1). With the curtain about to fall on the Flat Turf season, it is the turn of jump trainers' to map out campaigns for their strings. The leading trainers tell Ian Davies about their winter hopes.

TOBY BALDING

"Bellator was unbeaten in two starts as a juvenile hurdler last season, winning the Grade Two Wensleydale Hurdle by eight lengths at Wetherby at the start of November and then following up by 15 lengths at Ascot three weeks later. He missed the rest of the season due to injury. Both of those races were on good going, but I think he will be suited by cut in the ground and he could show further improvement granted such conditions. He should stay two and a half miles this season and, after giving him a pipe-opener on the Flat, I plan to run him in the Silver Salver Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow in November. Bellator is not that big, about 15 [hands] two [inches] maybe 15 three and looks a natural hurdler. Hurdante, on the other hand, is a big, strong animal who also is going to need two and a half miles and plenty of cut in the ground. He showed plenty of promise last season, winning a novice hurdle at Leicester by nine lengths, and is going to make a decent novice chaser this winter."

CHARLIE BROOKS

"Hoh Warrior is a horse I hope will develop into a decent novice chaser. He won well on his chasing debut over two at Market Rasen [2m 1f 110yds] last Saturday. I'm going to sit down and look at his pedigree - he is by Lord Americo - but I could see him staying three miles over fences. He wouldn't want the ground too soft, but then he wouldn't want it too firm either. Andsuephi won a two miles novice hurdle at Stratford recently and is a nice sort. He should stay further than that and should go well on soft ground."

TIM EASTERBY

"Simply Dashing, who is effective from 21/2-3m, will be going for plenty of valuable handicap chases this winter. He acts on any ground, with the exception of heavy, and will start off at Wetherby [today]. Good Vibes is a useful handicap hurdler who will be kept busy this winter. He also goes to Wetherby [today.]

MICKY HAMMOND

"Lord Future won a bumper two seasons ago and was fourth on his debut in a novice hurdle at Wetherby last season. He did not run subsequently. He should stay 21/2m and make a fair sort this winter. Traceability was unplaced on his hurdles debut at Market Rasen last Saturday but, a useful performer on the Flat, promises to do a lot better over timber in due course."

NICKY HENDERSON

"Fiddling The Facts will make a novice chaser and do well this winter providing we get some rain. She's a lovely big mare who won over three miles over hurdles and will want a trip over fences. We had some nice horses running in bumpers last season and one I particularly like is Golden Eagle, who is a nice young horse He will stay 2-21/2 miles. He's a big strong horse."

HENRIETTA KNIGHT

"Storm Forecast will go novice hurdling. She was rather surprisingly beaten in her only run in a bumper last season he is a half brother to Tullymurry Toff by Strong Gale who was bought with chasing in mind. However, he is well capable of winning over hurdles. I should think 21/2m will be his trip and, being by Strong Gale, he wants decent ground but not heavy. He is a fine-looking animal. Maid For Adventure is another nice prospect. She won twice over hurdles last season and is going straight over fences this term. Maid For Adventure will be suited by around 21/2 miles. and, also by Strong Gale, is another who wouldn't want the ground too testing. She will be aimed at the Tattersalls mares' chase series which we won the final of last year at Uttoxeter with Tellicherry."

PAUL NICHOLLS

"See More Business is in good form and will run soon. The only time he has been beaten over fences so far was when he came up against Dorans Pride. He wants 3m plus and soft ground, which he hasn't had so far. He will be entered for the Gold Cup but I'm going to bring him along quietly and start him off in the Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow before building up to the big races in the spring. Strong Chairman is a big strong horse who won all five of his point-to-points last season. He is going to make a useful staying novice chaser."

DAVID NICHOLSON

"Castle Sweep was slightly disappointing after winning the Silver Salver Handicap Hurdle last season but will probably go forthe same race again. He is going for longer distances this season. His target is the Stayers' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Escartefigue won in good style at the Grand National meeting in April and goes chasing this season. He looks the sort to do really well over fences."

MARTIN PIPE

"Cadougold is going novice chasing and should win a few races. He is effective from 2-21/2m. Potentate is a useful handicap hurdler, again at 2-21/2m. He is entered in the Silver Salver at Chepstow and might well run there. It is possible he will go novice chasing later on."

JENNY PITMAN

"Mentmore Towers pleased us when third in the Sefton Novice Hurdle over 3m at Aintree in April. He will start off in staying handicap hurdles but is a big strong typical chasing type and might go over fences in the New Year. He would not want the ground too firm. Princeful finished second to Shadow Leader in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival who will stay 21/2m over hurdles this season. He is a gross horse, who has taken a while to get fit, but will be ready soon."

GORDON RICHARDS

"Mr Frangipani is going to make a hurdler. He's a beautiful horse, I wish I had a whole stable full like him. He won't run until we have some rain. He is going to stay 21/2-3m and will make a good novice hurdler. Military Academy is another lovely sort who will make a three mile chaser. He, too, won't run until the ground gets softer."

OLIVER SHERWOOD

"Bear Claw will make a useful handicap chaser. He won the EBF Novices' Hurdle Final at Cheltenham a couple of seasons ago and looks well handicapped over fences. He is a big, strong horse who will be suited by 23/4-3m and want a bit of give in the ground. Knappers Nap had one run in a bumper last season and is going to go novice hurdling. He will stay over at 2- 21/2 miles but will get further later on. Another strong individual, he will also want soft ground."

SUE SMITH

"Kenmore Speed is an improving 21/2-3m chaser who is well suited by a stiff track. He is best on good ground and should win more races in the coming months. The Last Fling could develop into a Gold Cup contender. He is a very talented horse, who stays well. The Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow could be an early target for him and he looks set for a good season. Go Native remains a novice hurdler, despite winning at Aintree on his hurdling debut in the spring, and can take advantage of this."

NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES

"Queen Of Spades [won at Bangor yesterday] will make a fair novice chaser. She's speedy and will only race at around 2m. Kerawi is a useful hurdler and will be going for all the top pattern hurdles at around 2m. I have high hopes for him."

VENETIA WILLIAMS

"Boots Madden jumped well when winning on his chasing debut at Worcester but he won't be rushed into anything too ambitious. The Village Way won an Irish point-to-point in the spring and ran well in bumpers at Chepstow and Worcester. He will want 21/2m over hurdles and is a very exciting prospect."

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