A blog from our in-house tipster and racing know it all Martin Higgs
for the week commencing 13th November
It’s all kicking off now and several horses, who have strong later season targets, have started to play their hand.
You have to congratulate the Paul Nicholls team for preparing Present Man to win the Badger Ales at Wincanton, over the weekend for the sponsors, under a great ride from Bryony Frost. The horse’s breeding suggested he needed good ground, but he didn’t know that and he will now be targeted for the Grand National. I also liked Harry Fry’s Bumper winner Caribert, he is a lovely looking horse who will progress further.
This week we are going to bolster up our Horses To Follow list, no sitting on the fence here for H on H!
We start with Cap Soleil who won on her hurdles debut at Newbury last week. Ridden with supreme confidence by Paddy Brennan she looks something special so look out Willie Mullins we could well have a mare to take on anything you have that side of the Irish Sea. She won’t mind soft ground and will probably return for a Mares Listed Hurdle at the same track.
Next up, burn baby burn it’s a ‘Disko’ inferno – sorry showing my age there! I put him up last year, he beat the mighty Our Duke and followed that with a 3rd in the JLT at Cheltenham, then won his last race of the season at the Punchestown Festival. He has re-appeared in a Grade 2 at Down Royal over too short a distance and won, I love him and want to see him run in the King George on Boxing Day, I hope his trainer, Noel Meade, is listening!
Now on to Cheltenham this weekend and the Bet Victor Gold Cup. I like a couple here (or maybe 3). Firstly Ballyalton. He won at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016 rated 140, he then picked up an injury but has had a prep run over hurdles at Aintree, gets in off a mark of 143 and the trainer is in great form. There is a bit of 20/1 around which is appealing! We then look at another ex HTF horse Le Prezien (16/1), Paul Nicholls is also flying at the moment. He finished 2nd at Cheltenham on the last meeting, went up 6lb, not ideal but is a horse I like and think will improve for the step up in trip so worth a saver. Finally I am going to throw in the Harry Fry trained Kylemore Lough (8/1), formerly with Kerry Lee, it will be his first run for Harry but if you go back through his form of 2016 it looks very decent and he could run well.
On Sunday we have the Greatwood Hurdle. Defi Du Seuil is sure to take all the beating but keep an eye out for Project Bluebook, he could slip in under the radar and if doesn’t work out on Sunday, add him to the HTF list for the rest of the season, he will win a nice 2 mile Handicap Hurdle.
So there you have it, plenty to follow and if Disko gets his act together, H on H could have his dancing shoes on and appearing on Strictly before you know it – be easy on me Darcey!