Horses To Follow - Volume 2

Ian Robinson 10/10/2015
Valerius

Volume 2 of our horses to follow for the 2015/16 season:

BURLINGTON BERT  (Warren Greatrex)

Nice looking horse by up and coming sire Califet in the care of up and coming trainer Warren Greatrex. Won a good bumper at Warwick by 1½ lengths from Call To Order in May 2015, showing a clean pair of hooves to some more experienced rival. Travelling well throughout and taking it up off turning for home, and showing a willing attitude to fend off his challengers. He should be suited by further over hurdles and his action suggests he will have no trouble handling soft ground.  His trainer reports he has schooled well over hurdles and can be expected to make his presence felt in novice contests this season.

CHELSEA FLYER (Emma Lavelle)

Came to my attention last season when reports suggested he was a likely bumper winner having impressed in a racecourse gallop. Last season was not the most prolific for Emma Lavelle, and the stable had a 6% strike rate in September (from 17 runners). But given an improvement in stable form this is one to follow when appearing in a bumper.

CRESSWELL LEGEND (Kim Bailey)

A full brother to the Anthony Honeyball trained mare Cresswell Breeze. His sister is rated 130 over hurdles and still progressing, and there is every reason to think Cresswell Legend can hit the same heights. He won an Irish point at Balysteen in April 2015 in good style. Given a prominent ride he handled the good to firm going and showed a turn of foot from the last to hold off Kings Line. He cost 75,000 Euros at the Punchestown sale and will now be trained with Kim Bailey. As a son of Midnight Legend he should have no difficulty in handling winter ground (his full sister won twice on heavy), and would seem to have the speed for 2m 4f. Can be expected to contest a bumper before heading over hurdles.

DEPUTY COMMANDER (Nigel Twiston-Davies)

A horse we have always liked since we acquired him at the Land Rover sale in June 2012. Had two runs in Irish points at Tyrella for experience in 2014, unfortunately fracturing his pelvis on the second occasion. Returned after a lengthy recuperation to start his training career at the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard, debuting in a Huntingdon bumper in January 2015. Despite being the greenest horse in the field he put up a decent performance finishing 2nd five lengths behind Theo’s Charm. The form of the race has worked out well with the winner beaten only 9 lengths in the Cheltenham Champion bumper. Never right after that he returned to Ireland for another sabbatical where he has both grown and strengthened. He is related to several long distance winners and should continue to improve with age, based on what we have seen to date there are races to be won over hurdles this season.

FLEET COMMANDER  (Henry De Bromhead)

Snapped up by Gigginstown at the 2014 Derby Sale for  a mere €105,000. Looked like he might live up to that price when he eased to a wide margin victory in a six runner maiden  point to point at Bennetsbridge  in February 2015. Despite the small field the form looks solid as the time recorded was easily the fastest on the day, and the 4th horse Misfits won at Castletown last week.  Visually he was even more impressive, being anchored in last position at the third last, to lead as he headed to the final fence and winning going away by 12 lengths without coming off the bridle. More importantly he was highly regarded by Gordon Elliot his trainer on that occasion, and by Jamie Codd who provided the steering assistance. He looks like a horse that will appreciate galloping tracks and races run at a true pace. His stamina can be in no doubt as he completed three miles on soft / heavy ground with ease. He should win his bumper with ease, and could take high order in this seasons novice ranks maybe earning a place in the Neptune or the Albert Bartlett next spring.

THOMAS SHELBY (Alan King)

Considered amongst the top bumper prospects at the Alan King yard last season. Was never quite right and it is testimony to the esteem in which he is held that connections decided to give him another summer. A half brother to Whinstone Boy, and Guzzle An Go, who both won over 2 miles, he should make his mark in bumpers before heading over timber. 

Volume 3 available soon