Nuggets of gold to be unearthed on the winter trail to the Festival
Chris McGrath picks 10 to follow as the jumps season starts heating up
Friday 19 November 2010
(Four-year-old handicap hurdler trained by Paul Nicholls)
Looked a useful recruit last term, scoring at Newbury and Ascot, but disappointed in the spring. Has since had a wind operation and could prove well treated if renewing initial promise.
Arvika Ligeonniere (5-y-o novice chaser/Willie Mullins)
Ultimately well beaten over 3m at Cheltenham, but had tanked through the race and duly impressed back in trip at the Punchestown Festival. Built and bred for fences, he has a serious engine.
Becauseicouldntsee (7-y-o handicap chaser/Noel Glynn)
Impressive move two out in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival, but just unable to hold off Poker De Sivola. This huge, unexposed creature must be kept to left-handed tracks but is handicapped to develop into a National type.
Finian's Rainbow (7-y-o novice chaser/Nicky Henderson)
Stable excels with young chasers and will surely make hay with this one, who cruised through the race until flattening out behind the exciting Peddlers Cross over hurdles at the Festival. Looks a potential Arkle Trophy type.
Megastar (5-y-o novice hurdler/Gary Moore)
Tests the water at Ascot today but it will be disappointing if this handsome animal does not build on foundations laid in bumpers last season.
Pandorama (7-y-o handicap chaser/Noel Meade)
Still only beaten once but may only have revealed the tip of the iceberg. Rallied to win a Grade One novice chase at Leopardstown last Christmas, his first start over 3m. Sidelined after that, but could yet develop into a Gold Cup horse.
Pride Of Dulcote (7-y-o handicap chaser/Paul Nicholls)
Only beaten half a length over hurdles at the 2009 Festival but his true destiny beckoned when an easy winner of his chasing debut last autumn. Disappeared with a leg injury after that, but said to have flourished physically since.
Sarika (4-y-o novice hurdler/Nick Williams)
Caught the eye on his debut, but jumping errors preventing him building on that in subsequent starts. Ironing out those mistakes could leave him dangerously treated in novice handicaps.
Stoney's Treasure (6-y-o novice chaser/Alan King)
Fast-tracked to a handicap for his chasing debut, at Fontwell this month, so presumably considered well treated after sharing his stable's frustrations last season. Seemed to need the run and will surpass that form this winter.
Wymott (6-y-o novice chaser/Donald McCain)
Laid solid foundations over timber last year and made an immaculate start over fences at Bangor this month, jumping really well and strong at the finish. Will prove better still restored to three miles and looks one for the RSA Chase.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Farmers Cross (12.55 Musselburgh) Recent signs of revival off a dwindling mark and better over this longer trip.
Bahamian Kid (4.15 Wolverhampton) Well handicapped and finish last time promised more over this extra furlong.
One to watch
Don't Turn Bach (P F Nicholls) Travelled well a long way before tiring at Warwick.
Where the money's going
Zaynar is 6-4 from 7-4 with the sponsors for the Coral Hurdle at Ascot tomorrow.
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