Jumps Season - At The Races

Rising Stars

    Jamie Lynch highlights 12 youngsters with the potential to reach the top this season.
  • Features

Horse profiles

Allaho (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: No Risk At All - Idaho Falls (Turgeon)
  • Trained by: W P Mullins
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 11 Mar 2020 14:10
  • Result: 3/10, led after 1st, headed next, led 5th, not fluent and pecked 12th, headed after 2 out, every chance from last, 3rd and no extra close home
  • View full form

Minella Indo turned out to be the staying novice hurdler of last season, but, prior to his spring surge, he was beaten fair and seemingly square by Allaho in a Grade 3 at Clonmel. It can’t have been that fair nor square, however, as he finished behind Minella Indo at both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals, third in the stamina-sapping Albert Bartlett and two lengths second (after Ruby Walsh had dropped his whip) in the latter Grade 1.

So, what may swing their relationship back in favour of Allaho? It’s fences, and it’s physique. Minella Indo hails from arguably the best chasing academy in Ireland (Henry de Bromhead), but, in build, Allaho looks every inch a chaser, and his strong-travelling style also lends itself to that discipline.

In short, Allaho has all the tools to go to the top as a novice chaser.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:

Andy Dufresne

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Doyen - Daytona Lily (Beneficial)
  • Trained by: G Elliott
  • Last Race: Naas, 23 Feb 2020 15:10
  • Result: 3/9, a little keen, prominent, 2nd after 2nd, switched right early straight, soon pushed along, challenged 2 out, not fluent last, one pace run-in
  • View full form

The temptation must have been strong – so strong – to let him roll in the Champion Bumper following a dynamite debut at Down Royal (in January), but the patience in protecting what might be a ‘proper’ horse is liable to pay off for Andy Dufresne as his attentions are switched to hurdling this season.

Like most point winners, he cost a pretty penny, £330,000 to be precise, purchased by J. P. McManus, but it looked money well spent at Down Royal when he made short work of the Willie Mullins-trained Golden Spread, who won his next two bumpers before contesting the Grade 1 at Punchestown.

The sky’s the limit for Andy Dufresne, and Cheltenham chat is bound to surround him through the campaign.

Beakstown (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Midnight Reel (Accordion)
  • Trained by: D Skelton
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 10 Mar 2020 16:50
  • Result: 5/20, held up, closed going well on inside from 4 out, disputing 2nd 2 out, soon ridden and held, stayed on same pace flat
  • View full form

Amongst the novice hurdlers of last season, there were few more imposing and impressive specimens as Beakstown in Britain, and the well-worn cliché of ‘anything he does over hurdles is a bonus’ was made for him.

And what he did over hurdles was a fine foundation, winning the Grade 2 Leamington at Warwick, before pulling up – clearly not 100% - in the Ballymore at Cheltenham.

He won his only start in points in his early days, adding weight to the theory that he’ll make a crack chaser, and you can bet that Dan Skelton will have a plan mapped out for him, all the way to the spring Festivals.

There’s a lot of potential, because there’s a lot of Beakstown.

Video Form
1 Dec 2018:
17 Nov 2018:

Champagne Court (IRE)

Something a bit different here, but Champagne Court is a horse to follow for the season whether or not his sights are set on novice chasing, though there’s every chance he will head in that direction. A lot of this is to with his trainer, Jeremy Scott, who had his best season in 2018/19 (38 wins and 50 places), including a number of sustained springers such as Bonza Girl.

In his first season, Champagne Court won a novices' hurdle at Lingfield and, just four races later, on his handicap debut, ran huge to finish fourth (of 24) in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

His great uncle was Grand National winner Royal Athlete, which is a punchy pointer for what Champagne Court could do when sent over fences and longer trips.

Video Form
18 Nov 2019:
12 Oct 2019:
21 Dec 2018:
27 Nov 2018:

Dlauro (FR)

“It was a bit of a surprise to see him win that well but he’s a lovely horse.” It perhaps wasn’t that much of a surprise to Joseph O’Brien, given Dlauro went off 2/1 at Punchestown, and had cost £410,000 after a wide-margin point win, though it is indeed rare to see a bumper won in quite such style, by 11 lengths, while only scratching the surface.

From 17 runners at the last Cheltenham Festival, Joseph O’Brien had two winners, two seconds and a third, not forgetting the tragedy that befell Sir Erec, and in Dlauro he definitely has Cheltenham material for 2020.

He’s 25/1 for the Ballymore.

Highest Sun (FR)

Reserve Tank is the big novice chase hope for the Tizzards, and no wonder from the way he won Grade 1s at the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals, but Highest Sun also has the look of a fine fencer, fuelled by his untapped stamina.

The Cheltenham Festival – the Coral Cup – was all a bit much for him on just his fifth start for the stable, but that was the first bump in an otherwise progressive road in Britain, including a smooth win in a competitive handicap at Chepstow, and all along he smacked of a budding chaser.

With his size, his substance and his style (free-goer), along with the stable he’s in, Highest Sun is just the type to thrive in novice handicaps over fences.

Video Form
16 Dec 2019:
23 Nov 2019:
12 Oct 2019:
23 Feb 2019:
23 Nov 2018:

King Roland (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Stowaway - Kiltiernan Robin (Robin Des Champs)
  • Trained by: Harry Fry
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 25 Jan 2020 15:00
  • Result: 2/8, held up in rear, headway on outside 2 out, led off last bend, headed last, held flat, stayed on towards finish
  • View full form

In December 2016, at Uttoxeter, Neon Wolf made a striking bumper debut and went unbeaten all the way up until finishing second as favourite in the Ballymore.

In December 2018, at Uttoxeter, King Roland made a striking bumper debut, looking a fitting replacement for the same connections’ ill-fated Neon Wolf.

Hype is a hollow vessel, but King Roland did plenty to fill it up with a last-to-first success at Ffos Las to follow up from Uttoxeter, odds on both times, his reputation preceding him.

A galloping machine on the evidence so far, everything about King Roland suggests he’ll be a leading light amongst the novice hurdlers.

Video Form
26 Feb 2019:
21 Dec 2018:

Malone Road

If you’d have said pre-Christmas that Gordon Elliott and Cheveley Park would win the Champion Bumper, nobody would look surprised. If you had said that it wouldn’t be with Malone Road, everybody would have looked surprised.

Envoi Allen did his duty at Cheltenham to cap a perfect campaign, but, before his ascent, his team-mate Malone Road got all the headlines as a monster in the making.

In just two races in November, Malone Road rated almost as highly as an average Champion Bumper winner, before injury curtailed his campaign. It robbed him of time, but hopefully not his destiny, as the impression he made was little short of awesome, no wonder that he’s already topping the market for the Supreme.

Video Form
18 Nov 2018:
3 Nov 2018:

Precious Cargo (IRE)

Phase 1 was for Lucinda Russell, phase 2 was a rush, and phase 3 could be spectacular, because time is pressing, and the time has surely come for chasing. Two easy hurdling wins starting out for Nicky Henderson encouraged them to think big, for the Grade 1 novice at Aintree, where he went off only 4/1, but a blunder accentuated his heavy defeat.

A shell of a horse hitherto, he ought to be that much stronger this season, and there’s something about his style that shouts chaser.

Precious Cargo by name, precious cargo by nature, and they’ve had to tread carefully with him so far (his career has encompassed only six races), but there are compelling reasons for thinking that 2019/20 will be his coming-of-age campaign.

Prince Llywelyn

Considering his dam stayed 3m+, it’s very surprising – but very promising – that Prince Llywelyn showed the speed he did in bumpers, with only two horses managing to beat him through three races: and one of those was the hat-trick completing Get In The Queue at Newbury.

By coincidence, he has also yet to get on ground worse than good to soft, so basically his stamina hasn’t come into play at all, but hurdling will offer that opportunity, and he could easily prove Graded-class, given his grounding in bumpers.

Kim Bailey is gradually making his way back to the bigger time, and Price Llywelyn will help him get there.

Video Form
23 Nov 2019:
24 Nov 2018:

Trevelyn's Corn (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Oscar - Present Venture (Presenting)
  • Trained by: P F Nicholls
  • Last Race: Chepstow, 11 Oct 2019 14:10
  • Result: PU/9, tracked leaders, shaken up and hung left approaching 3 out, soon lost place and beaten, weakened from next, tailed off when pulled up before last
  • View full form

First-time point winners, especially those as easily as Trevelyn’s Corn did it, automatically go for big money, but don’t automatically pay out on their potential straight away, and it has been two years – and just three races – since he cost a premium price of £400,000.

It was odd that after showing so much patience, no sooner had Trevelyn’s Corn won a maiden hurdle (at Wincanton) than he was fast-tracked to a Grade 1 at Aintree, which inevitably left him blowing out of his backside by the end.

But there might have been method behind the madness, in making a man of him ahead of a switch to fences, which has always been the end game with him.

He’s under the radar for now, but a couple of chases could easily change all that, representing the same owner/trainer as last season’s RSA winner Topofthegame.

Video Form
11 Oct 2019:
24 Nov 2018:

Vision D'honneur (FR)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Vision D'etat - Hembra (Croco Rouge)
  • Trained by: G Elliott
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 1 May 2019 16:55
  • Result: F/8, mid-division, 4th halfway, headway to dispute lead before 2 out, pushed along and headed entering straight, soon ridden and no impression on winner approaching last, moderate 2nd when fell last
  • View full form

He was bought off the Flat from France, but part of the reason Gigginstown went to £350,000 to get him on the team was because of the idea of him as a chaser as much as a hurdler, such is his size.

After just two races over hurdles, he was into Grade 1s, at Leopardstown (third) and Cheltenham (ninth), behind Klassical Dream both times, stiff tasks for Vision D’Honneur but very much a means to an end.

With those experiences – and a summer’s strengthening – behind him, it’s easy to envisage Vision D’Honneur getting on a roll in the spring with his attentions turned to fences, liable to be in Graded company sooner rather than later, over two or two-and-a-half miles.

Video Form
26 Dec 2018:

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