Racing: Stable guide to a season's meetings

Leading trainers give their horses to follow over the jumps this winter.
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The Independent Online
ROBERT ALNER

"Gillan Cove won last week at Newton Abbot. He loves the mud. He was a decent staying hurdler and he's taken to fences. The other one would be Over The Water, who won at Kempton last week, first time over fences. It was a surprise we beat Supreme Charm - whether he ran his race or not I don't know - but our fellow did it quite easily; he jumped like a buck. He's sure to go on. As he's only six, I won't be giving him a hard time, but he should certainly follow up."

KIM BAILEY

"Impeachment, a Lord Americo gelding that's unraced, will run in bumpers before going hurdling, and the other horse I'll give you is Honour Your Vows, an unraced half-brother to Trying Again. They've both been schooled over hurdles and they'll both want a trip."

TIM EASTERBY

"Simply Gifted will be a very good jumper one day. He's got lots of speed and gets the trip and jumps well, apart from the other day at Wetherby! [when he looked the winner but fell two out]. Good Vibes is a very good hurdler. He got beat in a novice chase first time out but I was pleased with him. I think he'll get a trip. They're horses that I think will win races."

MICKY HAMMOND

"Profluent has won on the Flat, over hurdles and over fences, in France. A good winner over 2m4f at Wetherby, he's gone up 7lb for that and his next race is at Aintree next Saturday. There should be a decent race for him. Turgeonev is a French horse, a nice, big scopey kind of horse. He's a three-year-old who's going to run over hurdles and will make a chaser. He's been placed in two or three races around the Paris tracks."

NICKY HENDERSON

"I'd put in Stormyfairweather for a novice chaser and Hidebound [runs 3.50 Newbury today] for a novice hurdler. `Stormy' has won his hurdle races, has always been good at it, and he's a thoroughly genuine sort of horse. He likes life and he likes jumping; he likes racing and I think he'll do well over fences. Hidebound is a big, backward horse but he was very impressive in his only bumper."

PHILIP HOBBS

"Good Lord Murphy won three novice hurdles last season, and he wants a test of stamina and soft ground to be at his real best. He's schooled and jumped brilliantly - you'd be very hopeful he could be a decent staying novice chaser. He's extremely straightforward, and a very honest, genuine horse with lots of scope. A horse with Flat-race form is Thelonius, a three-year-old colt and a good strong sort. He's just the sort to win the Triumph Hurdle and he's for sale!"

HENRIETTA KNIGHT

"The two I suggest are Party Leader and Lord Noelie. Party Leader has run in two bumpers and will go novice hurdling. 2m4f will probably be his best trip. Lord Noelie we bought after he finished second in a point in Ireland. He won a novice hurdle over 2m6f at Stratford in October. He wouldn't want it too wet."

PAUL NICHOLLS

"Rockforce was a decent horse on the Flat for Mick Channon. He was fired, came back and ran a great race at Ascot and finished fourth. I think quite a lot of him. Grosvenor also missed all of last year with a leg problem. He came back and won well and I think he could keep on improving and win plenty of races. A horse I've just bought off the Flat, Norski Lad, looks a big, strong horse, will make a chaser one day and looks an ideal sort to go novice hurdling during the winter on soft ground."

DAVID NICHOLSON

"Windross is a half-brother to Air Shot and has been given plenty of time. Call It A Day is in very good form and hopefully he'll be going for a National."

MARTIN PIPE

The champion trainer nominates Irish Banker, winner of his first two bumpers before coming a close third to Jet Tabs at Chepstow, and Star Of Dungannon, who was 50-1 but gave the Pipe-trained favourite Indian Spring a scare when second in an Ascot bumper in February, trained by Stan Mellor.

JENNY PITMAN

"Princeful is an exciting prospect for novice chases, and Ever Blessed [runs 1.20 Newbury today] is another with potential to be a top novice chaser."

NICKY RICHARDS

"Committed Schedule [runs 2.40 Kelso today] has a nice handicap mark over fences. He's best on soft ground over 3m plus and he'll knock about in the North. We've got a nice horse called Icelandic Lord; he's a brother to McGregor The Third. He's only five and he'll start off in bumpers and then go hurdling."

OLIVER SHERWOOD

"Lord Of The River won his three hurdle races last year. I was very pleased with his novice chase win last Tuesday at Exeter. We'll up him in distance later on but just go softly, softly to start with, and if all is well we might up him in grade. Kadou Nonantais is much the same, except for the fact he is a two-miler. He loves soft ground."

SUE SMITH

"Camtex Capers has had two runs in bumpers and will probably go over hurdles. There's no real story to tell with him apart from that he's an exceptionally nice horse. The Last Fling had lots of problems with his jumping last year. I think he has the ability to run a great race in the Gold Cup, but because of the problems we've had you have to start taking things bit by bit. We're looking for plenty of confidence in the horse before we go on and do anything too big. Sweep Gently won twice last year, and he wasn't right on his last run. He'll probably have one run over hurdles and then go over fences."

NIGEL TWISTON-DAVIES

"Ashley Muck won at Exeter. The more he races, the more he'll learn to settle, I hope - so he'll get better and better. I bred him. Rockliffe Gossip has run well in bumpers and should be okay in long-distance novice hurdles. He likes it soft.''

VENETIA WILLIAMS

"Arctic Camper has obviously done very well as a bumper horse. Things didn't go right for him last year, but hopefully he'll be set for a good season this time in staying novice hurdles. He'll run either at the end of this week or next week. Lady Rebecca will probably run on Sunday at Cheltenham. She'll be running in handicap hurdles. She's very adaptable so she can run at most distances; she does stay well."

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