• Ballymore Novices' Hurdle


    Only one winner this century not in first two last time out

    All 16 Challow winners to try have failed to win but 5 from the last 6 gained a place

    All winners aged either 5 or 6 yrs since 1998

    Paul Nicholls has never won this

    18 of the last 20 placed at least in a Graded company

    Deloitte winner hasn't doubled up since Istabraq in 1997

    Since 2005, 27 runners began their careers on the Flat. All beaten

    Irish trained have won six of the last ten


    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt 5 furlongs. To be aged 5 or 6. Will have won over 2m 4f at least if has been tried over that trip. Won last time and will have won at least 50% of all hurdle starts. Will have not been outside first 4 of any completed starts over hurdles. Either has run 4 times this season or has not finished outside the first two this season. Not Henderson, Nicholls nor Pipe trained. Has been placed in a graded race. Won't be wearing blinkers. NH bred. Watch for fancied runners who were in the first 6 home in 2017 Champion Bumper. Respect W Mullins (a lot). Not the Deloitte winner. Not beaten favourite last time. Either ran in this calendar year or won a Graded race in late December. Pre race rating 142+ Didn't start career on the Flat.



  • Evidence


    Ballymore Winners with pre race rating

    2017 - Willoughby Court 147

    2016 - Yorkhill (IRE) 156
    2015 - Windsor Park (IRE) 146
    2014 - Faugheen (IRE) 152
    2013 - The New One 152
    2012 - Simonsig 148
    2011 - First Lieutenant (IRE) 142
    2010 - Peddlers Cross 148
    2009 - Mikael d'Haguenet (IRE) 155
    2008 - Five For Three (IRE) 131
    2007 - Massini's Maguire 138


    AGE - French Holly '98 only second horse aged 7 or over to win this race in its 44 year history (Brown Lad '74). One unplaced in each of the last two years. Parlour Games was 2nd 2015. Ballyalton 2nd 2014 at 20s. Since Crystal Spirit ’91, 20 four year olds have tried. None placed. (Both French Holly and Crystal Spirit were strongly supported favourites).


    TRAINERS - Since Regal Ambition ’90, M/D. Pipe have saddled 37 losers, of which only 3 were placed. 2014 Red Sherlock 7/2 2nd fav and 9th. No runners last three years. N. Henderson One winner and one placed from 31 runners. Lots of short prices. 2012 Simonsig 2/1 fav, definitely stopped the rot. Nothing placed since. Last year Burbank 4th, Consul De Thaix fatally injured. 2016 OO Seven 8th. 2015 Vyta Du Roc 4th @15/2, He used to have a similarly appalling record in the Coral Cup before Spirit River 2010 and Whisper 2014. On The Blind Side

    Never won by P Nicholls. No representatives in the last six, Rock On Ruby unlucky in 2011, Breedsbreeze, Silverburn and Denman under 10/1 and beaten in last 12 years.


    W Mullins has won four from last ten and also 5 placed in the last 12. Won with Yorkhill in 2016. Ran three unplaced 16/1 shots last year. Did run 4 of the 11 runners in 2016. Nichols Canyon 3rd as 7/2 fav in 2015. Wrong type of ride admitted by both trainer and jockey. 2014 Faugheen won and Rathvinden 3rd, 2013 Pont Alexandre all the rage at 6/4, only 3rd (possibly also a strange ride in race ran 22 seconds above standard?). 2012 Felix Yonger 2nd at 16s, the outsider of his three runners, 2011 So Young 3rd. All Willie's winners won last time out and were his most fancied. Getabird, Duc De Genievres


    OTHER IRISH TRAINERS - E. O'Grady has won this twice, 3 of his last four runners being placed, Over the Bar, Pizarro and Catch Me However no runners last seven years. Windsor Park trained by DK Weld and started in bumpers. Three Irish Trained in 2011 finished 1st, 3rd and 4th. (and Oscars Well was unlucky at the last). Monksland 3rd 2012, Rule The World 2nd in front of Pont in 2013. Simonsig won two points in Northern Ireland. Against that, only 10 from last 15 winners started off in Irish points.

    Irish trained 19 winners of the last 45 and 7 of last 12. Nothing better than 5th last year.


    FORM Urubande and Gallileo only winners in past 21 not to have competed in a Graded race before Cheltenham. Gallileo had Graded form on the flat. Yorkhill won a very good Tolworth. Summerville Boy. French Holly and Monsignor last two before that to double up. Faugheen won G3 at Limerick. Windsor Park 2nd in the Deloitte.


    18 from the last 20 placed at least in Graded company, 14 had won. '08 Fiveforthree was 5th in previous Champion Bumper. 5 of the last 8 started their career in Irish points.


    Faugheen and Simonsig followed Mikael D'Haguenet '09 for favourite backers. The latter was the first since Monsignor 2000 (I remember being the only person in Prestbury Park not to have backed Monsignor that day. Only won by the 8 lengths). 2011 So Young 2/1 fav and 3rd. '10 Rite of Passage 7/2 fav and 3rd. Against all this '07 Massini’s Maguire at 20/1 first winner over 16/1 since ’84. Nothing over 7/1 since 2007. Got the upset it was due last year when Willoughby Court at 14s overturned the 2/1 jolly.


    30 from last 32 came from the first six in the market. Hardly a shock. Massini's Maguire and Gaelstorm 16s in '93. Big prices do get placed (Itsafreebee/Ballyalton/Lanzerac/Gentle Rivage/Grey Report) but not particularly over last 5 years. Due to the volume of cash for Neon Wolf, Willoughby Court ended up 5th favourite at 14s. 15 went to post last year compared to 11 in 2016, only 10 in 2015 and 8 in 2013.


    Best trials can be Deloitte at Leopardstown mid Feb (Windsor Park, Danoli, Istabraq, Hardy Eustace, Oscars Well). Bacardys PU here at 4/1. Hard to believe now. However apart from Windsor Park (beaten in the Deloitte) the last six Irish trained winners before came from some other route. The Leamington Novice Neptune Trial in Warwick early January won by Willoughby Court was won in 2013 by The New One and previously by No Refuge. Check Also the Warwick Novice in mid-Feb (Rebel Song, Sayfar’s Lad, Thetford Forest, Putty Road and Monsignor). Aintree My Dream didn't come last year.


    Deloitte winner hasn't doubled up since Istabraq '97 and C Swan might have been a trifle fortunate here that day. The machine got home by a length from Mighty Moss who was amateur owner/ridden and badly steered. Fred Hutsby's only chance. 11s. I should have known better. Oscars Well may have been unfortunate not to double up when he clouted the last at Cheltenham in 2011. 8 others, all short enough priced, also failed, 2016 Bleu et Rouge fell in the Albert Bartlett. 2015 Nichols Canyon 3rd here. Samcro


    THE CHALLOW - (Why do they bother? Do they not know? You would think someone might tell Fergal O'Brien). All 16 Challow Hurdle winners to try here have come up short. 2017 Messire Des Obeaux a valliant 3d at 8s. Left behind as they came around the corner. 8 have been placed in this. Those placed before were Parlour Games in 2015, Diamond Harry, Reve de Sivola, Denman. Al Ferof was 3rd at Newbury then won the Supreme Novices, For Non Stop 4th (fell at last when 2nd in 2011 Coral Cup). Both Gaelstrom and Massini's Maguire both well beaten in Challow before winning at the Festival. 5 of the last 6 Challow winners to run in this have been placed and there was excuses for the other, the great and much missed Taquin Du Seuil. Should have been given his chance in the Stayers last year. But I am digressing. Messire des Obeaux posted the best time for a Challow in the last ten years by a good 15 seconds. Goodish ground at Newbury as opposed to the usual late December bog which can take it toll on young novices. Still didn't work. This year Poetic Rhythm got up to catch Mulcahys Hill in a real heavy ground slog. Might be tempting fate but I did think at the time 'Not this year either.' Mulcahys Hill has since been stuffed by Santini when 11/4 fav on Cheltenham Trials Day. Poetic Rhythm is a second season novice. Finished 12th in this last year.


    Fiveforthree and Peddlers Cross only winners since Istabrag ‘97 not to have won over 2 & 1/2 miles or further previous to this race (they hadn't run over that trip before). All the chat last year was that Willoughby Court should have gone to the Albert Bartlett. The scribes said he needed further.


    Massinis Maguire and The New One won Classic Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham. Santini, (I believe, a huge horse) is going to Albert Bartlett.


    17 of the last 26 had all run at least 4 times previous that season (if you include Windsor Park's autumn flat wins). The other 9 did not finish outside the first two that season. Only Massini's Maguire this century did not finish in the first two last time out.


    Massini’s Maguire followed Gaelstrom ’93 as the only ones of the last 29 winners to have finished outside the first 4 on any completed start that season (a fifth place each). Both were course novice hurdle winners that season and also second season novices.

    32 from last 33 1st or 2nd last time out (not Massini's - finished 3rd to Wichita Lineman in 2m 5f novice on Cheltenham Trials Day). 21 from last 22 won last time.


    Mares. 15 runners in last 24. One winner, a second and a third. (Before Shattered Love last year there had been one no hoper in the past 11. Shattered Love was interesting in that she is Elliott trained and was the subject of a Pricewise plunge, 25s to 8s. Last to finish, never travelled).

    Windsor Park, First Lieutenant and Massini's Maguire only ones since Putty Road ’85 not to have finished in the first two in all completed starts over hurdles. The first two were 2nd and 1st respectively in a G1 last time.

    Faugheen joins First Lieutenant only ones in last 14 to not have a run in the same calendar year. First's last run was to win G1 Leopardstown 29th December. Faugheen's was to win a G3 in Limerick 28th December. Of the last 13 Fundamentalist quickest turn round last run was 28th February, only 14 days before. Willoughby Court 62 days, Yorkhill was 74 days.

    18 from last 20 had won at least 50% of all completed starts over hurdles. Not Windsor Park, only one from three.


    Top-six finishers in the previous season's Festival Bumper: 16 have taken their chance in the last 19 races. Bacardys well beat last year. Yanworth in 2016. Four won (French Holly, Monsignor, Fiveforthree and The New One) and four were placed (Yanworth, Pizarro, Refinement and Rite Of Passage). None of those eight started bigger than 7/1. Possibilities 2018 - Debuchet, Claimantakinforgan, Next Destination, Western Ryder and Dans le Vent.


    HANDICAP MARK In 11 of the last 13, the horse with the current highest handicap mark, i.e. has been assessed by the handicapper, has been placed at least (5 winners). Willoughby Court and Neon Wolf were joint top rated on 152. (How did he go off at 14s, he asked smugly)2016 Yanworth was 158 to Yorkhill's 156, the top two. 2015 Windsor Park only 4th top rated of 146, Nicholls top on 149. 2014 Faugheen top with 152, Rathvinden 151. 2014 Pont Alexandre top on 154, The New One 152. 2012 Simonsig top with 148, followed by Sous Les Sieux 145 (5th), Monksland 144 (3rd). '10 Peddlers top on 148 beats next best Rive de Sivola, '09 Mikael joint top rated with Diamond Harry on 155, 1st and 3rd. In 2015 the top four rated filled the top four places but not in ratings order. One stat to bear in mind.


    BLINKERS, CHEEKPIECES etc - 15 runners in last 18. None ran in the last two years, a good thing to see with novices. Parlour Games 2nd in a hood he always wore. All others unplaced.



    BREEDING - 17 from last 19 were NH Bred including 10 from last 11. Not Simonsig by Fair Mix G1 Flat. But what a machine. Yorkhill by Presenting. Windsor Park by Galileo, Faugheen by Germany, the latter two both dual purpose sires.

    Since 2005, 27 runners started their careers on the flat. All beaten


    See Simon Rowlands Times views for Novice Hurdlers




    BEATEN FAVOURITE LAST TIME - 29 have tried this century, The New One at 7/2 the sole winner. Turned over at 4/5 on Cheltenham Trials Day by At Fishers Cross.


    2015 Maximum number of runners dropped from 24 to 22.






All Posts
Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice (Gary).  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too worried on the Tuesday.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.