Jumps Season - At The Races

Philip Hobbs Stable Tour

    Minehead maestro Philip Hobbs topped the million-pound mark for the fourth successive time in 2016/17 and here he gives us the inside track on this season's team which looks brimful of fresh talent and also features the usual suspects.
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Philip Hobbs made it clear from an early stage last season that his best hope of a Cheltenham Festival victory lay with Defi Du Seuil and true to his word the Minehead maestro proved spot on in his assessment as the JP McManus-owned gelding confirmed his place at the best juvenile hurdler in country when beating Mega Fortune by five lengths in the JCB Triumph Hurdle. 

That was straight victory number six for Hobbs and a seventh win was soon on the board when Defi Du Seuil took the Grade 1 Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree by a length and a half from Divin Bere.

Hobbs will be hoping his new stable star will be heading back to Cheltenham for the Champion Hurdle in March but he was certainly no one trick pony with Menorah, Garde La Victoire, Wait For Me, Sternrubin, Village Vic and Rock The Kasbah making their own contributions to another high successful season that saw Philip end the campaign with 111 winners and over £1.5 million in prize money. 

That was the fourth time in succession that Hobbs had topped the million-pound mark and he will be looking for more of the same from a team that looks brimful of fresh talent as well as the usual suspects.

Here, Hobbs gives Tony Elves of attheraces.com the lowdown on his main hopes for 2017/18.     

All Horses

Allee Bleue (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; chestnut gelding
  • Breeding: Mount Nelson - Murrieta (Docksider)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Lingfield, 14 Nov 2017 14:50
  • Result: 7/9, held up in rear and keen, hit 1st, headway on inside chasing leaders when hit 6th, pushed along and weakened after 4 out, 6th and no chance when blundered 2 out, eased
  • View full form
Form Profile:

133 rated hurdler. Winner of a handicap hurdle at Leicester (2m 4 1/2f) in February by 26 lengths from Pop Rockstar. Made errors when finishing unplaced to Aqua Dude in a beginners chase at Uttoxeter (2m 4f) on Sunday.

Trainer Says:

He ran fairly well recently on the Flat at Kempton in a two-mile handicap and we will use his mark on the Flat but he will be going novice chasing but he made an inauspicious start to his career over fences at Uttoxeter on Sunday. He is suited by soft ground, stays two and a half miles very well and could get further.

Video Form
14 Nov 2017:
8 Oct 2017:
18 Mar 2017:

Copper Kay

Form Profile:

135 rated hurdler and ultra-consistent mare who won three times over hurdles last season and finished runner-up, beaten four lengths, to Snow Leopardess in the Mares “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle Final at Newbury (2m 4 1/2f) in March.

Trainer Says:

She would probably be our best mare and she will start in a mares’ novices chase at Worcester on October 12. She should do well over fences and she appears to handle any ground. Two and half miles is her trip.

Video Form
12 Oct 2017:
17 Apr 2017:
3 Mar 2017:
15 Oct 2016:
27 Apr 2016:

Defi Du Seuil (FR)

Form Profile:

157 rated hurdler and won all seven starts for his trainer last season including when beating Mega Fortune by five lengths when winning the Grade 1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 1f) in March and the Grade 1 Doom Bar Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree (2m 1f) in April by a length and a half from Divin Bere. Winner four times at Cheltenham in that sequence.

Trainer Says:

He was a superstar for us last season and won three Grade 1s including the Triumph Hurdle and won seven races on the trot. The plan is for him to start in the four-year-old hurdle at Cheltenham on October 28 and go from there with, hopefully, the Champion Hurdle in mind. He looks great since his return and in all likelihood, he will then head for the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on December 2 where he won’t have to carry a penalty.

Video Form
27 Dec 2016:
15 Oct 2016:

Demopolis

Form Profile:

Winner of a three-year-old hurdle at Auteuil in May when trained by Guy Cherel.

Trainer Says:

He has only run once at Auteuil where he won and we hope he can do well in juvenile hurdles. It will be another month before he is ready to run.

Dostal Phil (FR)

  • 4-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Coastal Path - Quiphile (Panoramic)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Bangor, 31 Oct 2017 12:55
  • Result: 4/12, held up towards rear, closed 5th, niggled along after 4 out, ridden on outside when mistake 2 out, no impression, took 4th flat
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Winner of his bumper at Deauville (1m 4 1/2f) in October of last year.

Trainer Says:

Again, like Demopolis he has only won his only race in France and seems a big strong horse. He will be running in novice hurdles in a month or so.

Duke Des Champs (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Robin Des Champs - Ballycowan Lady (Accordion)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Aintree, 8 Apr 2016 16:40
  • Result: 6/15, tracked leaders on outside, ridden 3 out, one pace next, 5th and no impression last, weakened flat
  • View full form
Form Profile:

139 rated hurdler. Missed last season but impressed over hurdles when slamming Western Cape 14 lengths at Ascot (2m 5 1/2f) in January 2016.

Trainer Says:

He won’t be seen out until Christmas time as he was forced to miss last season due to a tendon injury. He is potentially a decent horse and we will start him in three-mile novices’ chases.

For Good Measure (IRE)

Form Profile:

137 rated hurdler. Runner-up three times over hurdles last season including when beaten three and a quarter lengths to Call To Order at Cheltenham (3m) in December.

Trainer Says:

He did well last season despite not winning and he has a very similar constitution to his full brother Balthazar King. He will to novice chasing this season which will hopefully see him show further improvement.

Video Form
8 Dec 2015:

Gala Ball (IRE)

  • 7-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Flemensfirth - Nuit Des Chartreux (Villez)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Newbury, 25 Mar 2017 14:25
  • Result: 2/13, mid-division, headway on outside 6 out, soon in touch, challenged 4 out, ridden and one pace after 2 out, 2 lengths down last, stayed on under pressure closing stages, not reach winner
  • View full form
Form Profile:

145 rated chaser. Gained last success when beating Bivouac 14 lengths in a novices’ chase at Exeter (2m 3f) in February and placed in other four starts.

Trainer Says:

He is a good horse but he might not be easy to place as the handicapper has him high enough. He needs to brush up his jumping a bit but if he does that will be a big help and he loves plenty of cut in the ground.

Video Form
12 Apr 2015:
17 Mar 2015:
12 Feb 2015:
1 Jan 2015:

Garde La Victoire (FR)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Kapgarde - Next Victory (Akarad)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Exeter, 7 Nov 2017 14:00
  • Result: 4/8, tracked leader, led 2nd to 4th, pressed leader, lost place after 6th, outpaced in 4th 5 out, blundered 3 out, plugged on to dispute modest 3rd from next, no chance with front pair
  • View full form
Form Profile:

156 rated chaser and 150 rated hurdler. Scored by two lengths from Bold Henry in a handicap chase at Sandown (1m 7 1/2f) in January off a mark of 154 and recently runner-up in a listed hurdle at Auteuil (2m 3 1/2f).

Trainer Says:

He ran over hurdles at Auteuil and ran very well to finish second. He will probably go for the Haldon Gold Cup again at Exeter on November 7 and he was beaten only a short head by Sir Valentino in the race last year.

Video Form
15 Oct 2016:
30 Oct 2015:

Hello George (IRE)

  • 8-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Westerner - Top Ar Aghaidh (Topanoora)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Ayr, 4 Nov 2017 14:10
  • Result: 2/11, held up mid-division, headway before 4 out, pressed winner from 2 out, led after last, kept on and headed towards finish
  • View full form
Form Profile:

130 rated hurdler. Lightly-raced individual who ran only twice last season and scored by 11 lengths from Spice Fair in a handicap hurdle at Newbury (2m 4 1/2f) in March off a mark of 121.

Trainer Says:

He won well when he won at Newbury and he will be novice chasing at some stage this season but will probably start in handicap hurdles. He stays very well and soft ground suits him very well.

Ice Cool Champs (IRE)

Form Profile:

122 rated hurdler. Winner of one of his three starts landing a maiden hurdle at Hereford (2m 3 1/2f) in February by a length and three quarters from Tarrona.

Trainer Says:

He has only run three times and was runner-up in his bumper before winning over hurdles at Hereford. He will be novice chasing very soon but whether he starts over hurdles first I am not quite sure.

Video Form
26 Mar 2017:
1 Feb 2017:

I'm A Game Changer (IRE)

Form Profile:

133 rated hurdler. Made a promising return in a listed handicap hurdle at Market Rasen (2m 1/2f) at the end of September when sixth, beaten five and three quarter lengths, to Listen To The Man.

Trainer Says:

He ran well on his reappearance at Market Rasen recently and will probably be novice chasing at some stage of the season. He can be a bit keen but if he settles better he will improve with a bit of luck.

Video Form
15 Oct 2017:
29 Nov 2016:

Jerrysback (IRE)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Jeremy - Get A Few Bob Back (Bob Back)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Wetherby, 21 Feb 2017 15:00
  • Result: Won/10, mid-division, tracked leaders 4th, challenged on bit on inside after 3 out, led last, unextended flat, impressive
  • View full form
Form Profile:

139 rated hurdler. Won both of his novice hurdles last season beating Jaisalmer four and a half lengths at Plumpton (2m 4 1/2f) in January and scoring by a length and a half from Plus One at Wetherby (2m 3 1/2f) in February.

Trainer Says:

He won both of his hurdle races very easily and he will be going novice chasing. He has possibilities of being very good but he has to prove it at a higher level.

Video Form
30 Jan 2017:

Kayf Adventure

Form Profile:

Scored by three and a half lengths from Emerging Talent on his chasing bow at Newton Abbot (2m 5f) this month. 128 rated hurdler.

Trainer Says:

He jumped well when winning on his chasing debut at Newton Abbot recently and had schooled very well previously. He wants two and a half miles and soft ground at the moment and hopefully can build on that success.

Video Form
2 Oct 2017:
14 Feb 2017:

Longtown (IRE)

Form Profile:

123 rated hurdler. Off the mark at the third attempt over hurdles when beating Earlshill five lengths at Warwick (2m 5f) in March.

Trainer Says:

When he won at Warwick it was a very good run and there could be a fair bit of room for improvement. He will probably go straight chasing in a novice handicap.

Video Form
16 Dec 2016:

Louis' Vac Pouch (IRE)

Form Profile:

132 rated hurdler. A winner three times last season and scored by a head from Oh Land Abloom in a handicap hurdle at Market Rasen (2m 4 1/2f) on his final start in April.

Trainer Says:

He will probably go chasing at some stage but could well start his season in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow. He seems to go on any ground.

Video Form
14 Oct 2017:
23 Feb 2017:
31 Jan 2017:

Multiculture (IRE)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Mount Nelson - Gracious Melange (Medicean)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Haydock, 13 May 2017 15:10
  • Result: 12/17, jumped left and not always fluent, led, clear until before 4th, headed after 3 out, soon beaten
  • View full form
Form Profile:

127 rated hurdler. Winner at Uttoxeter, Wincanton and Warwick last season and finished unplaced in the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock in May on his latest start.

Trainer Says:

I hope he progresses as he is an ex-Flat horses who is less likely to be a chaser. He needs to progress if he is going to do well and could start in a handicap hurdle at the Chepstow meeting this month.

Video Form
28 Jan 2017:
4 Jul 2016:
24 Jun 2016:
21 Jun 2016:
7 May 2016:

Musical Slave (IRE)

Form Profile:

Finished sixth, beaten four lengths, to Roaring Bull in a bumper at the Punchestown Festival in April.

Trainer Says:

He ran very well on his only start in a bumper at Punchestown and will probably start straight over hurdles and is potentially a nice horse.

Video Form
25 Apr 2017:

No Comment (GB)

  • 6-y-o; brown gelding
  • Breeding: Kayf Tara - Dizzy Frizzy (Loup Sauvage)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Punchestown, 27 Apr 2017 18:05
  • Result: 2/25, chased leaders, 10th from 5th, went 3rd travelling smoothly before straight, soon briefly on terms, kept on well without mathcing winner run-in
  • View full form
Form Profile:

145 rated hurdler. Winner three times last season at Market Rasen (2m 2 1/2f) and Plumpton (twice over 2m 4 1/2f) and finished runner-up, beaten eight lengths, to Fountains Windfall in a Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle at Aintree (3m 1/2f) in April.

Trainer Says:

He did very well in his hurdle races last year and will probably start straight over fences. He is a very nice horse who hopefully has a bright future over fences.

Video Form
27 Apr 2017:
2 Jan 2017:
12 Dec 2016:
9 Oct 2016:
29 Apr 2016:

Onefitzall (IRE)

Form Profile:

137 rated hurdler. Gained his sole success in three starts last season when beating Gibralfaro a length in a handicap hurdle at Newbury (2m 4 1/2f) in November.

Trainer Says:

At the moment he hasn’t been taking his racing too well and isn’t the most robust of horses but as he gets older he will hopefully get better. He will hopefully do well over hurdles or fences.

Video Form
30 Oct 2015:
19 Dec 2014:

Ozzie The Oscar (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Oscar - Private Official (Beneficial)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Cheltenham, 19 Nov 2017 13:50
  • Result: 3/3, keen, soon pressed winner, led before 3rd, mistake and headed 3 out, outpaced when went left next, no chance with easy winner after, ridden after last, lost modest 2nd near finish
  • View full form
Form Profile:

138 rated hurdler. Winner at Wetherby (2m) last October when beating Zipple Back six lengths and cracking effort in the Grade 3 County Hurdle at Cheltenham when third, beaten half a length, to Arctic Fire.

Trainer Says:

He hasn’t schooled over fences yet but if he does jump fences he will should do well in two-mile novice chases and could also win handicap hurdles. He is improving and is a nice horse.

Video Form
21 Oct 2017:
4 May 2016:

Perform (IRE)

Form Profile:

132 rated hurdler. Very light-raced and has won of his four career starts. That victory when beating Knockgraffon two and three quarter lengths in a maiden hurdle at Aintree (2m 4f) in October 2015.

Trainer Says:

He has only run a few times and is eight-years-old but it is not his fault as he’s had a few niggly problems. He is a horse who could still do well but has not very much and could go straight novice chasing.

Video Form
9 Apr 2017:
14 Mar 2015:

Poppy Kay

Form Profile:

129 rated hurdler. A winner twice over two miles at Uttoxeter last season before failing by only a neck behind Secret Door in the Challenger Mares Handicap Hurdle Final at Haydock (2m 3f) in April.

Trainer Says:

She ran very well when just beaten in the Mares Challenger Final at Haydock and is one who can improve further. I hope she will progress in handicap hurdles before going mares’ novice chasing.

Video Form
11 Feb 2017:
8 Jan 2017:
20 Nov 2016:
28 Oct 2016:

Robbin'hannon (IRE)

Form Profile:

142 rated hurdler. Had an easy task when making a winning reappearance in a novice hurdle at Worcester (2m 7f) in September when beating The Real Snoopy by two lengths.

Trainer Says:

He won his maiden hurdle at Warwick and ran very well in a listed event at Perth and was a little disappointing despite winning at Worcester the other day but definitely wants softer ground and is better than he showed on that occasion.

Video Form
12 Sep 2017:

Rock The Kasbah (IRE)

Form Profile:

150 rated chaser. Winner of novice chases at Chepstow (2m 3 1/2f and 2m 7 1/2) in October and February last season and creditable sixth to Henllan Harri in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown (3m 5f) in April.

Trainer Says:

He will probably run at Chepstow and if all goes well he might be aimed at the Ladbrokes Trophy which used to be called the Hennessy. He would need to run very well at Chepstow first.

Video Form
14 Oct 2017:
18 Mar 2017:
25 Feb 2017:
8 Oct 2016:
10 Oct 2015:

Royal Regatta (IRE)

Form Profile:

154 rated chaser. Landed a Grade 2 Chase at Ascot (2m 5f) last November by a head from Kylemore Lough.

Trainer Says:

He is not the easiest to place with his high handicap mark and he will probably start in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree at the end of October.

Video Form
24 Jan 2015:

Samburu Shujaa (FR)

  • 4-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Poliglote - Girelle (Le Nain Jaune)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Warwick, 30 Mar 2017 16:35
  • Result: 2/7, tracked leaders, took keen hold, outpaced over 2f out, stayed on from over 1f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, no impression on winner
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Runner-up in his second bumper at Warwick in March.

Trainer Says:

He ran very well in his bumper at Warwick. He will go straight over hurdles, will be suited by two and a half miles and could be an improver.

Sneaky Feeling (IRE)

Form Profile:

135 rated hurdler. Scored by 22 lengths from Mr Clarkson on his final start at Sandown (2m 4f) in March.

Trainer Says:

He had two very good wins at Sandown and Newbury then a very bad run in between and I don’t really know why. He definitely has a good level of ability and he just gets a bit wound up and needs to settle a bit. He will stay over hurdles form now and will stay further but two and a half miles suits him at present. His long-term future lies over fences.

Steely Addition (IRE)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Craigsteel - Blond's Addition (Lord Americo)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Chepstow, 8 Nov 2017 15:10
  • Result: Won/11, towards rear, headway 5 out, every chance 4 out, challenged on bit 3 out, led 2 out, ran on strongly
  • View full form
Form Profile:

116 rated hurdler. Formerly trained by Hugo Proud and favourite when fourth to Gris De Pron at Market Rasen in March.

Trainer Says:

He has come here from another yard and had three runs over hurdles. I quite like everything he has done and he could go to Exeter. I hope he can be one that will improve.

Video Form
8 Nov 2017:

Sternrubin (GER)

Form Profile:

143 rated hurdler and winner twice on the Flat this season. Scored by a half a length from Instant Karma in Listed handicap hurdle at Ascot (1m 7 1/2f) last October.

Trainer Says:

After his run at Newmarket the other day he will now probably go novice chasing starting at Exeter in October. He won on the Flat during the Summer at Windsor and Ffos Las and has schooled well over fences but has a tendency to go to his right.

Video Form
15 Aug 2017:
1 May 2017:

Strong Pursuit (IRE)

Form Profile:

139 rated hurdler and winner at Wincanton (2m 4f) and Hereford (2m 3 1/2f) last season. Good effort on final start at Newbury (2m 4f) in March when beaten only a length by Reigning Supreme.

Trainer Says:

He won two hurdle races last year over a long trip and is a horse we have always thought a bit about. He will be going novice chasing.

Video Form
28 Jan 2017:
4 Jan 2017:

Three Faces West (IRE)

Form Profile:

147 rated chaser. Last seen when beating Coologue 13 lengths in a Graduation Chase at Newbury (2m 7 1/2f) last December.

Trainer Says:

He is a bit of a monkey but he has plenty of ability. If he puts his best foot forward he could do well and will be going for three-mile handicap chases.

Tidal Flow

  • 4-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Black Sam Bellamy - Mrs Philip (Puissance)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Newbury, 9 Nov 2017 15:55
  • Result: Won/16, in touch, headway to chase leaders over 3f out, hard ridden to challenge when not clear run over 2f out, soon switched left, led over 1f out, ran on strongly
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Unraced son of Black Sam Bellamy bred by Richard Johnson.

Trainer Says:

He will run in the next couple of weeks and probably start in a bumper somewhere. He’s a nice horse.

Verni (FR)

Form Profile:

139 rated hurdler. A winner three times over hurdles and runner-up, beaten two and a quarter lengths, to Champagne Classic in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m 4 1/2f) last March.

Trainer Says:

He has had issues with a knee but nevertheless he is a horse with ability and could do well over fences later in the season.

Video Form
20 Oct 2016:
5 Apr 2016:
31 Dec 2015:
28 Nov 2014:

Victarion (IRE)

  • 5-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Scorpion - Gaye Preskina (Presenting)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Uttoxeter, 18 Mar 2017 17:50
  • Result: 2/6, held up on outside, closed over 7f out, led over 3f out, edged left and headed over 1f out, no impression on winner inside final furlong
  • View full form
Form Profile:

Ran well in three bumpers last season and runner-up, beaten two and three quarter lengths, to Portrush Ted at Uttoxeter in March.

Trainer Says:

He was unlucky not to win a bumper last season and was placed a few times and will probably run in one first. He will definitely need further than two miles over hurdles and two and a half miles and further will do for him.

Video Form
18 Mar 2017:

Vieux Lille (IRE)

Form Profile:

137 rated chaser. Probably best effort last season when runner-up, beaten eight lengths, to Yala Enki in the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at Haydock (2m 7f) in December.

Trainer Says:

If he jumps well he could be quite good but he’s had his issues. If he gets his jumping together he could be alright.

Video Form
9 Oct 2016:

Village Vic (IRE)

Form Profile:

158 rated chaser. Placed in ultra-competitive handicap chase at Cheltenham (2m 4 1/2f and 2m 5f (twice) in November, December and January.

Trainer Says:

He’s a grand old horse but off 158 it’s not very easy to place him. He could well start at Chepstow.

Video Form
15 Oct 2017:
31 Jan 2015:

Wait For Me (FR)

Form Profile:

142 rated hurdler, made a winning reappearance in a Beginners’ Chase at Worcester (2m 4f) in September when beating Mile House by half a length.

Trainer Says:

He won the other day at Worcester and will probably run at the Chepstow meeting in October.

Video Form
31 Oct 2017:
18 Sep 2017:
2 Sep 2017:

War Sound

Form Profile:

148 rated hurdler and most prestigious success when landing the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock (1m 7 1/2f) in May 2015.

Trainer Says:

He missed all last season with an issue with a joint but he is much better. He is eight-years-old but if he comes back off that he could do well novice chasing.

Video Form
3 Nov 2017:
7 Mar 2015:

Westend Story (IRE)

  • 6-y-o; bay gelding
  • Breeding: Westerner - Sarahall (Saddlers' Hall)
  • Trained by: P J Hobbs
  • Last Race: Carlisle, 5 Nov 2017 15:05
  • Result: 4/9, tracked leaders, went 2nd when not fluent 6th, challenged 3 out, ridden and stayed on towards stand side rail between last 2, no extra when not fluent last, well held in 4th flat
  • View full form
Form Profile:

124 rated hurdler. Dual bumper winner and fifth in the Festival Bumper to Ballyandy in March 2016.

Trainer Says:

He looked to be potentially good after finishing fifth in the Cheltenham Festival bumper but all went wrong last season. We don’t really know why but he seems in good form and hopefully he can do well.

Who's My Jockey (IRE)

Form Profile:

Half-brother to former Champion Hurdler Hurricane Fly who won a bumper at Market Rasen in April. Finished third, beaten two and a quarter lengths, to Palmers Hill at Uttoxeter (2m) on Sunday.

Trainer Says:

He made his debut over hurdles at Uttoxeter on Sunday and kept on well in the closing stages. He really wants a stiff two miles and he’s potentially a nice horse.

Video Form
3 Nov 2017:
8 Oct 2017:

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