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  1. #1
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    Juvenile Hurdlers 2020/2021

    The juvenile hurdlers are back on Tuesday and after an absence of a couple of years (several if you discount the ones aborted early on), so too is this thread. A spell on the injury list along with a disinclination to work during lockdown meant that I had plenty of time to compile a fairly comprehensive spreadsheet of every juvenile hurdler to have ran since the 2012/13 season. Although I would like to believe that I didn't completely waste my time and am happy with my body fat percentage being in the low teens rather than single digits, there is a danger that the research is completely misleading and ultimately useless. For example, my research suggests that Kalanisi is a hopeless sire of juvenile hurdlers given that not one of his ten representatives have either picked up a juvenile hurdle or achieved an RPR greater than 107 during this period. Facts on the other hand will show that Kalanisi is now a prominent national hunt sire on the basis of his success as a sire of juveniles - in particular Katchit, Barizan and Alaivan. Furthermore, when looking for unheralded sleeping NH stallions whose progeny improve for the switch to jumps, I discovered that the most promising prospects are predominantly dead, standing abroad or are prohibitively expensive due to their ability to sire two year-olds.

    Nevertheless, in the realm of juvenile hurdling where publicly available information is decidedly threadbare, imperfect evidence is better than none whatsoever. Particularly as the genetic attributes necessary for success in juvenile hurdling tend to be specific as there is a demand for both strength and precocity.

    While an exhaustive publication of all of the findings might well be in the spirit of a comprehensive research thread, the utility of same is difficult to justify given the bulk and diversity of the information. As such, it would be more appropriate to apply the findings on a race by race basis. Nevertheless, in the meantime here are a few top-tens for the purposes of fun. Not all of the horses listed will have juvenile runners this season.

    Top Ten Sires of Juvenile Hurdlers since 2012/13 by individual winners
    Mastercraftsman (21)
    Authorized (20)
    Cape Cross (13)
    Teofilo (13)
    Jeremy (13)
    Champs Elysees (13)
    Pour Moi (11)
    Sir Percy (11)
    Galileo (10)
    Soldier Of Fortune (9)

    Top Ten Sires of Juvenile Hurdlers since 2012/13 by percentage of winners to runners (10 or more runners)
    Soldier Of Fortune (64)
    Maxios (55)
    Nathaniel (47)
    Pour Moi (46)
    Dansili (44)
    Motivator (43)
    Kapgarde (43)
    Sea The Stars (42)
    Most Improved (42)
    Sinndar (41)

    Top Ten Sires of Juvenile Hurdlers since 2012/13 by percentage of horses who recorded an RPR 35lbs greater than the lower of either their last recorded OR on the flat or highest recorded RPR prior to their hurdles debut (10 or more qualifiers)
    Authorized (80)
    Pour Moi (80)
    Aussie Rules (73)
    Haafhd (71)
    Footstepsinthesand (67)
    Canford Cliffs (65)
    Fast Company (65)
    Sinndar (64)
    Montjeu (64)
    Casamento (62)

    Top Ten Trainers of Juvenile Hurdlers since 2012/13 by individual winners
    Alan King (51)
    Gordon Elliott (49)
    Paul Nicholls (44)
    W P Mullins (38)
    Nicky Henderson (34)
    Gary Moore (27)
    Dan Skelton (25)
    Brian Ellison (19)
    David Pipe (18)
    John Ferguson (17)

    Top Ten Trainers of Juvenile Hurdlers since 2012/13 by percentage of winners to runners (10 or more runners)
    Nicky Henderson (68)
    Stuart Edmunds (64)
    W P Mullins (56)
    Alan King (53)
    Paul Nicholls (50)
    John Ferguson (50)
    Dr Richard Newland (50)
    Neil King (43)
    John Quinn (42)
    Harry Whittington (42)

    Top Ten Trainers of Juvenile Hurdlers since 2012/13 by percentage of horses who recorded an RPR 35lbs greater than the lower of either their last recorded OR on the flat or highest recorded RPR prior to their hurdles debut (10 or more qualifiers)
    Gavin Cromwell (81)
    W P Mullins (80)
    Sheena West (73)
    Mrs John Harrington (73)
    Noel Meade (71)
    Neil King (71)
    Philip Kirby (69)
    Neil Mulholland (67)
    Harry Whittington (67)
    Mick Channon (64)

    Top Ten thoroughbred families of Juvenile Hurdlers since 2012/13 by individual winners
    14-c (26)
    13-c (24)
    5-h (23)
    9-e (21)
    21-a (21)
    1-w (20)
    9-c (20)
    8-f (19)
    1-k (19)
    2-f (18)

    Top ten damsires of juvenile hurdlers who achieved RPRs of 108 or greater by percentage (10 or more runners)
    Mansonnien (70)
    Turgeon (50)
    Lear Fan (50)
    Poliglote (46)
    Highest Honor (45)
    Diesis (44)
    Anabaa (43)
    Alzao (43)
    King's Theatre (42)
    Linamix (40)

    The RPR figure of 108 was chosen as it would put its achievers in the 75th percentile. I could continue with these top tens ad nauseum but the season will be over before I get through them all. That said, if there are any specific requests using the aforementioned parameters then I will try to accommodate them. I also have stats for the 1268 horses who were sold at public auction as horses-in-training prior to being sent over hurdles. The most interesting findings were that based on extrapolations using mean figures, 119,860 will get you a 108.56 rated juvenile, 49,459 will get you a 97.9 rated juvenile and 3,014 will get you a 54.2 rated plodder. Also, there's a 99.95% chance that you will not recover the sales price through prize money.

    So yeah, hopefully this thread will be fun, informative and enduring. I will try to keep it going with race news, previews and musings where applicable and freely welcome any and all contributions and feedback.

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  4. #2
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    The first juvenile hurdle this season takes place at Newton Abbot instead of the usual Heaven/Hexham. While I am sure all of these horses are both lovely and loved, the standard of form brought into the race is low even by early-season standards. The highest official flat rating going in is 61 which assuming a fluent transition between codes would still only equate to 96 over hurdles. As such, the race will probably not take too much winning. Nevertheless, a race is only as interesting as the beholder deems it to be and by virtue of its kicking off the season, is one that I am looking forward to.

    American Dreamer bg J Osborne 6-0-0 (40) 41
    Fountain Of Youth (Indesatchel){22-d} 4/1 Empire Park 9 wins over hurdles between 1999 and 2003
    American Dreamer has had six starts on the flat, the best of which coming when finishing sixth when staying on past beaten horses in a Chelmsford handicap in February over ten furlongs off 46. Stepped up in trip his next two starts, he was beaten 22 lengths at Lingfield (behind Prince Percy) and 30 lengths at Chelmsford after freely setting the pace in a four runner field. Trainer Jamie Osbourne has won with two of his three juveniles since 2012, including the useful Saint Jerome, and his flat runners are in reasonable form. However, his charge comes in with the lowest official rating and while Fountain Of Youth has yet to be tested as a jumps sire, there is enough pace in his pedigree to have reservations over his being able to find significant improvement for the switch to hurdles.

    Debt Of Honour bg N Mulholland 5-0-0 (52) 51
    Kyllachy (Nayef){7} 3/1 Architrave 1st Juvenile Hurdle, Market Rasen 2010
    After four runs on the flat for Michael Bell as a two year old, he was sold for 7,500 guineas at the Autumn Horses in Training Sale last year. Horses consigned by Michael Bell have a healthy winners to runners ratio of 33% including Rock Of Leon who had a flat rating of 57 although most of these will have been sold as three year-olds. Debt Of Honour was initially allocated a rather harsh mark of 58 on the basis of a one paced 15 length fifth in a Goodwood novice. He made his debut for his current yard three weeks ago where he beat only one home in a Chelmsford handicap off 55 jinking right a furlong from homa and being eased when beaten. His mark has since been dropped a further three pounds. Fitted with headgear his previous two starts, as well as hanging and jinking during those races, Debt Of Honour's temperament casts further negatives on his case tempered by moderate form. However, in Neil Mulholland he is in very capable hands of a trainer with a proven record of winning juvenile hurdles with moderate flat form with Molliana winning having achieved an RPR of just 29 and Harley Rebel and Pass The Time winning multiple hurdles races with sub 60 official ratings. The stallion Kyllachy, who is without a juvenile winner from fourteen attempts in recent seasons does not particularly inspire confidence even if concerns are mitigated by the sharp conditions of Newton Abbot, the reasonable capabilities of Nayef as a damsire and that useful juvenile Ruacana appears 5/3 on the damline. There are perhaps too many negatives at this stage although if there is some aptitude shown on Tuesday then Debt Of Honour could be of interest further along.

    Edebez bg S Mullins 3-0-0 (53) 47
    Zebedee (Barathea){4-r} No immediate jumps relatives, 7/5 Le Breuil
    Not seen since a career best 14 length fifth of eleven in a Nottingham maiden last November. While damsire Barathea was capable of producing jumpers, the same can not be readily said of Zebedee and Edebez's pedigree is more laden with speed than stamina. Seamus Mullins has trained winning juveniles but they typically show more promise on the flat.

    Hector De Sivola bg N Williams Unraced
    Noroit (Montjeu){9-e} 1/1 Espiegle De Sivola 1st 17.5gs Claiming Hurdle, Hyeres 2017
    Nick Williams has sent out nineteen debutants in juvenile hurdles since 2012 and five of them have won during the season. Fifteen of them also achieved RPRs of 96 or greater which would likely be enough to win this particular contest. Stallion Noroit, who died in 2018 aged twenty, is not a household name but has provided winners for Nick Williams including Faire Part Sivola and Diable De Sivola who both made winning racecourse debuts on decent ground. Furthermore, Hector De Sivola is related to horses placed around Auteuil and in the context of this field, Montjeu is a solidly capable damsire of juveniles. With any unraced horse, particularly where one is not privy to reputation, it is difficult to speculate with any degree of confidence. Nevertheless, with the flat standard so low and Hector De Sivola comparing so favourably on all other metrics, he holds a significant chance by default.

    Hiconic bf A Hales 7-0-2 (57) 57
    Sixties Icon (Acclamation){1-n} 1/0 Hi Note 2nd 4YO Conditions Hurdle, Cheltenham 2012
    Finishing runner up in a Wolverhampton seller on her second start for Mick Channon last year, Hiconic made the move to Alex Hales where she was third on her subsequent start in a Lingfield novice before wrapping up her season a length behind the winner in a seven furlong Kempton handicap off 57. She made her seasonal reappearance early last month in a Lingfield mile handicap finishing last of twelve by just under ten lengths after drifting from 8/1 to 14/1. Allowing for her seven pound allowance, her official mark of 57 gives her the leading chance on ratings alone. While Hiconic's family is broadly American, her dam Hi Note was a capable and consistent juvenile hurdler who finished in the first three in all seven starts during her first season over jumps. Sire Sixties Icon has 6 winners from 31 juveniles since 2012 but has a 61% improvement rate on horses switching between codes as juveniles. Acclamation boasts respectable damsire credentials in the context of this race with a 30% winner to runner rate. However it must be noted that full brother The Topp Notes is winless in two bumpers and two hurdles. Trainer Alex Hales is capable of firing out winning juveniles with limited ammunition with his three winners since 2012/13 officially rated no higher than 65. While finishing last on her reappearance is not ideal, she was not expected to run a big race and having never ran further than a mile on the flat, it is reasonable to expect some improvement for switching to hurdles.

    Itoldyoutobackit chg J O'Neill 4-0-0 (41)
    Ivawood (Shamardal){9-h} 5/2 Muthabir 5 wins over hurdles between 2016 and 2019
    Sold for 60,000 guineas as a yearling, Itoldyoutobackit would be a relatively rare flat runner for Jonjo O'Neill. By Ivawood, this half brother to a couple of decent winning two year olds might have been expected to show some precocity. However, he beat only one horse home in three starts, never finishing closer than 15 lengths from the winner. His return in February was a thirteen length ninth in a low class classified stakes and has not been seen since. Sire Ivawood has yet to have a runner over obstacles but his being a speedy two year old by Zebedee does not augur well. Damsire Shamardal falls below average by pertinent metrics. Jonjo O'Neill is obviously capable of training juveniles and enjoyed success in the early 2000s with the likes of Cherub, Giocomo and Quazar. However, Itoldyoutobackit falls way short of standard and while the gelding operation and wind surgery might help, the only reasonable explanation for a win might be given away by his name.

    Peat Moss bg N Hawke 3-0-0 (50) 50
    Fracas (Dalakhani){14-c} 4/1 Direct Lady 3rd Festival Hurdle, Leopardstown 1992
    After leaving Jim Bolger's without seeing a racetrack, Peat Moss had three runs last month for Nigel Hawke. Five horses have made the switch between the aforementioned yards as juveniles with two of them winning and four of them achieving RPRs of 96 and above. However, those horses had shown some promise on the flat for Jim Bolger whereas Peat Moss has been beaten 19, 30 and 16 lengths, twice at Kempton and last time at Chepstow. On breeding there is some hope for Peat Moss as Fracas has a very healthy 59% winners to runners rate over jumps, Dalakhani has reasonable credentials as a damsire and the likes of Scolardy and The Young Master can be found on the damline. There is still plenty of improvement needed but with his astute trainer in fine form, he holds a better chance than the 200/1 that was offered on him on his last flat start.

    Prince Percy bg G Moore 6-0-1 (61) 65
    Sir Percy (High Chaparral){1-u} 3/1 Walk In The Park 5th Listed Hurdle, Auteuil 2007 - NH Sire
    Prince Percy has had four runs in 2020 - three during the winter and once more 26 days ago. Even the worst of that form produced by this consistent animal is superior to anything else seen this year and by some margin. He twice finished 1 lengths behind the winner in ten furlong handicaps at Lingfield off marks in the low 60s and the race where he was beaten into fifth of seven has worked out very well for the grade. Trainer Gary Moore boasts a very healthy strike rate in the field from a sizeable sample size and is well adept at winning juvenile hurdles with horses rated lower than Prince Percy. Sir Percy, also the sire of Presenting Percy, is above average in terms of winner/runner ratios for juveniles, horses out of High Chaparral mares are no strangers to success over hurdles and Prince Percy's granddam is a half sister to Walk In The Park (sire of Min and Douvan). On paper, Prince Percy's credentials look flawless but while his relative talent is conspicuous, so too are signs of temperament. He has been backed on all six of his starts to date, including into favouritism last time out, yet he remains without a win. Misgivings are further enhanced by observations of his races where he has been seen to hang and while being less than enthusiastic about giving best. That the yard has not had a winner in 35 runs must also be a concern. On form, he is perfectly capable of winning a race of this nature and given it is his easiest opportunity to date, he may only need to jump round to win. He would be odds-on on the proviso of an in-form yard and a demonstration of good attitude but since those two factors are lacking, it would be a brave mood to take short odds on this one.

    Strong prospects
    1. Hector De Sivola
    2. Hiconic
    Reasonable prospects
    3. Prince Percy
    Feasible prospects
    4. Debt Of Honour
    5. Peat Moss
    Moderate prospects
    6. Itoldyoutobackit
    Negligible prospects
    7. American Dreamer
    8. Edebez

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    Great to have you back, BH!
    Two's company, three's allowed.

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    Fabulous and thought provoking stuff Bachelors Hall. Thanks for sharing.

    I'm probably being really thick, but you'll have to explain what the 'Top Ten thoroughbred families of Juvenile Hurdlers since 2012/13 by individual winners' table is and what it represents please. I feel like I'm probable asking something blindingly obvious and my brain hasn't kicked in to gear, but I don't know what it is.

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    Me neither, Maruco, but I didn't want to betray my ignorance

    I do know that the Thoroughbred Pedigree Enquiry site groups them in 'families' which are number-coded. I assumed it was something along similar lines.
    Two's company, three's allowed.

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    Thanks DO and Maruco.

    Thoroughbred families are something which I only became familiar with fairly recently and have been out of fashion for a while. An authoritative explanation is found here but I will also offer a rudimentary explanation in my own words and contextualise it for this thread.

    Just as you have the foundation stallions (Darley Arabian, Godolphin Arabian, Byerley Turk), there are also foundation mares. These mares were assigned numbers and the letters after the numbers represent a branch. The majority (save for AQPS and very obscure ancestors) of horses racing today will belong to one of these groups and these codes will indicate a common broodmare on the damline. There was a time when these family numbers would appear in catalogues as seen here in the one for the 1961 Goff's Bloodstock Sales. However, this information no longer appears in catalogoues presumably because these family numbers have become so diluted. Nevertheless, I have collated the numbers for all of the juveniles from recent seasons and will publish them for those running this season just in case there is something useful to be gleamed. If the information offers no discernible evidence as to a horse's potential for the sphere then it is still rather fun and they can be used to trace relatives on a common damline.

    The family numbers in my previews will appear between this characters {} which are actually known as "curly brackets". Using an example from tomorrow's race, Prince Percy belongs to family {1-u} which also features Lostintranslation, Cahervillahow and Walk In The Park who was mentioned in the preview. The common taproot between Prince Percy and Walk In The Park is the latter's dam Classic Park who is the third dam of the former. An examination of their pedigrees will show that the two are fairly closely related. The common dam with Cahervillahow is Muscida who appears a little further back being the 7th dam of Prince Percy and 4th dam of Cahervillahow. Further back is the common dam of Lostintranslation whose 11th dam Veldt (born in 1905) is the 10th dam of Prince Percy. The shared genetics of these horses can get diluted to the extent that there may be people reading this who are closer related to myself than these horses are to one another. For example, Debt Of Honour {7} is related to Master Minded on the dam's side although the common denominator, Myrrha (born in 1831) is the 20th dam of the former and the 16th of the latter.

    Finding these relatives is a convoluted process which for me requires the use of two websites and a spreadsheet. will tell you the family number of a horse if it has one, allows you to find the Stutenlinie of a horse once you find a pattern class dam and transposed pasting and some fannying around will allow you to find that common ancestor. Furthermore, Wikipedia articles on racehorses will (or should!) also categorise the horses into their thoroughbred families so if you wanted to see if your "never nearer than mid-division" sweetheart has notable relatives, you can use the thoroughbred family number category on wikipedia and have loads of fun.

    You can use this as a template and here I have put in 1-n for Hiconic.

    This shows you that Hiconic is from the same family as High Chaparral, One For Arthur and Epatante although you would have to go through a faffy rigmarole to find how closely they are related.

    One limitation of this information that reveals itself when it comes to assessing hurdling potential is that the family 1-n, along with the aforementioned stamina horses, counts the crack sprinter Anabaa among its numbers. That being said, Anabaa's progeny were capable were far from one dimensional sprinters and as a damsire, can count Treve, Capri, Hartnell and Shantou Rock among his descendants. While this could lead credence to the relevancy of family numbers, this is merely one anecdotal piece of evidence.

    Now as far as the evidence I have collected is concerned, there have been 195 family branches represented by juveniles since 2012/13, not including the 81 horses who do not have one (such as Defi du Seuil, Bristol de Mai and Espoir d'Allen). 45 families have had 30 or more representatives and by winners to runners, the most successful are {1-u} with 37%, and {8-f} and {2-d} on 32%. The least successful are {8-c}, {14-f} and {1-m} with rates of 12% or less. However, using the improvement rates, {14-f} is at a respectable 46% whereas {2-d} is on 38% so we can already see how murky these waters can be. {8-f} is consistently above average across the boards with a sample size of 60 and amongst its ranks can count handy juveniles Cerberus, Allblak Des Places and Project Bluebook although Burnt Imp is the only representative to have won a decent juvenile hurdle since 1983/84. {1-p} has poor rankings in the 2012/13 group but by the same token can count Hurricane Fly among its numbers. While The Fly is a rare jumps horse in the group of Black Caviar, Continent and Sole Power, he is still a disorienting exception.

    Maybe information that can be extrapolated from family numbers may become more cogent with some fine tuning and contextualisation through the use of stallion comparisons or dosage factors. Perhaps an astute observer will discover the key and be willing to share with the rest of the class. It is possible that neither will occur from this endeavour and the modern intrinsic value in family numbers exists only as a trivial novelty. Nevertheless, the work done within this thread is for the sake of work and provided it is done with integrity and pleasure then it will be its own satisfying reward. If it happens to throw up loads of winners and unveil the holy grail of national hunt breeding then that will merely be a happy coincidence.
    Last edited by Bachelors Hall; 6th July 2020 at 11:59 AM.

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    Thanks for the detailed explanation. It's an impressive piece of work.

    You touch briefly on dosage in your explanation. Have you done any work on dosage specifically? Or is it on the 'to do' list?

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    I made this post six years ago at the other place but other than ruing not noting the DIs when I was already two thirds through the mass collation, I have not given it a great deal of attention.

    In retrospect, that the likes of Paddys Return, Commanche Court and Tiger Roll had low dosage indexes was borderline prophetic when considering their exploits over longer trips. That Snow Drop and Regal Exit, with their high DIs, would fill the first two places of the last Triumph Hurdle with 'firm' in the going description is also interesting. However, one of the flaws in dosage is that the only stallions taken into account are the ones awarded chefs-de-race status. So while Snow Drop has the dosage credentials of a Nunthorpe winner, this is because Abernant (who appears four generations down) has an influence on the score that the decidedly ploddy damsire Mandalus does not. Furthermore, the application of chefs-de-race status can also be controversial as illustrated by the furore of whether or not Danehill should be counted.

    Applied to tomorrow's runners, if we consider Hiconic, her dosage index is 0.60 which would suggest that staying will absolutely be her forte. However, neither damsire Acclamation nor his sire Royal Applause appear on the chefs-de-race list despite both being blatant speed influences. Although neither had issues with producing horses capable of performing in two mile jumps races, they would still skew the index a little higher were they to enter calculations.

    There might well be mileage in further study although I do have reservations about the aforementioned limitations. What are your thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bachelors Hall View Post
    I made this post six years ago at the other place but other than ruing not noting the DIs when I was already two thirds through the mass collation, I have not given it a great deal of attention.

    In retrospect, that the likes of Paddys Return, Commanche Court and Tiger Roll had low dosage indexes was borderline prophetic when considering their exploits over longer trips. That Snow Drop and Regal Exit, with their high DIs, would fill the first two places of the last Triumph Hurdle with 'firm' in the going description is also interesting. However, one of the flaws in dosage is that the only stallions taken into account are the ones awarded chefs-de-race status. So while Snow Drop has the dosage credentials of a Nunthorpe winner, this is because Abernant (who appears four generations down) has an influence on the score that the decidedly ploddy damsire Mandalus does not. Furthermore, the application of chefs-de-race status can also be controversial as illustrated by the furore of whether or not Danehill should be counted.

    Applied to tomorrow's runners, if we consider Hiconic, her dosage index is 0.60 which would suggest that staying will absolutely be her forte. However, neither damsire Acclamation nor his sire Royal Applause appear on the chefs-de-race list despite both being blatant speed influences. Although neither had issues with producing horses capable of performing in two mile jumps races, they would still skew the index a little higher were they to enter calculations.

    There might well be mileage in further study although I do have reservations about the aforementioned limitations. What are your thoughts?
    In years gone by I found dosage useful for marathon chases, but races have been dumbed down and classier types now prevail in the entry lists so the angle has had its day. These days races like the National Hunt Chase are dominated by those with the highest ratings.

    It's possible there's still an angle to be found with juveniles though. A sweet spot possibly, or perhaps horses that sit outside a certain profile aligned to flat ratings in the context of a single race. I'm thinking from a non-stayer/too slow perspective. Every race is its own event so you could never take it literally, but with the right application to a single race there may be something in it.

    It may just be another piece of the profiling jigsaw, that can sit alongside your other criteria, and then by applying some kind of weighting approach it may possibly produce a profitable angle. Alternatively it may simply be a potential tool to use to eliminate horses.
    Last edited by Maruco; 6th July 2020 at 3:02 PM.

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    Would there not still have some use in the more extreme stamina tests over obstacles such as the Eider or Welsh National? Moderate races at tracks like Sedgefield can really sap the reserves...

    I believe you are correct in that dosages can be considered as part as the broader scheme in the same way as any other factor. A certain DI would not be grounds to automatically laud or dismiss the prospects of a horse but it can be used to support or challenge a premise when used in conjunction with other pieces of evidence.

    I have padded out the research I started six years ago with Triumph Hurdle dosages and here are the averages from every renewal since 1984;-
    1st, 2nd, 3rd Mean = 1.62
    1st, 2nd, 3rd Median = 1.00
    1st, 2nd, 3rd Mean = 1.39 (10 outliers removed)
    1st, 2nd, 3rd Mean = 1.29 (20 outliers removed)
    Winners Mean = 1.42
    Winners Median = 0.82
    Winners Mean = 1.15 (4 outliers removed)
    Winners Mean = 0.98 (8 outliers removed)

    Naturally the stamina requirements to win at Cheltenham in March on worn ground at championship pace are not identical to those required to perform in a slowly run novice at Newton Abbot in the summer. Nevertheless, the trip will still be further than any of these have tried thus far and sketchy jumping will still cost these youngsters vital energy as they will be regularly accelerating to return to racing pace.

    Prince Percy 0.39
    Hector De Sivola 0.42
    Hiconic 0.60
    Peat Moss 0.71
    Itoldyoutobackit 1.57
    Edebez 1.67
    Debt Of Honour 1.91
    American Dreamer 3.00

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    For all the reasons you stated in your analysis this isn't an obvious race for trends given it looks to be a low grade affair. Nevertheless it'll be interesting to see how Percy and the two H's perform given the expectation and just how stamina laden they are.

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    Seeing as a midsummer Newton Abbot juvenile is different to a Triumph Hurdle, I have taken the DIs from those who have won the latter described races since 2005

    14/08/19 GS 6 Must See The Doc0.52
    21/07/19 G 6 The Pink'n 3.00
    15/08/18 G 6 Cracker Factory 0.93
    22/07/18 G 5 Cracker Factory 0.93
    16/08/17 G 8 The Raven Master 1.46
    23/07/17 GS 7 Charlie Rascal 2.20
    10/08/16 G 6 Nachi Falls 0.86
    17/07/16 GF 7 Hygrove Percy 0.71
    22/08/15 GS 4 Doubly Clever 1.67
    12/08/15 GS 5 Leoncavallo 1.48
    03/07/15 GS 5 Doubly Clever 1.67
    30/08/14 G 7 Goodbye Dancer 0.67
    13/08/14 GF 13 Full Day 1.46
    31/08/13 G 5 Walter White 1.67
    21/08/13 GF 5 Baltic Blade 1.40
    03/08/13 GF 5 Walter White 1.67
    22/08/12 G 6 Bajan Hero 1.77
    04/08/12 G 9 Hilali 1.22
    22/07/12 GF 5 Dalmo 0.70
    20/08/11 G 7 Captain Sharpe 1.95
    09/08/11 GF 7 Arctic Reach 0.78
    17/07/11 GF 7 Short Takes 1.18
    31/08/10 GS 10 Joan d'Arc 6.20
    21/08/10 G 8 Gulf Punch 1.13
    10/08/10 G 5 Two Kisses 1.59
    18/07/10 G 12 Gulf Punch 1.13
    22/08/09 GF 10 Barizan 1.29
    19/07/09 G 6 Fongoli 1.13
    08/06/09 G 8 Barizan 1.29
    30/08/08 G 8 Ruff Diamond 2.50
    20/08/08 S 10 Bathwick Man 0.33
    20/07/08 GF 9 Just Mossie 1.75
    22/08/07 GS 8 Sad Times 2.64
    14/08/07 S 11 Soliya 0.78
    26/08/06 GF 11 Left Hand Drive 1.55
    21/08/06 GS 8 Mambo Sun 1.67
    15/08/06 GF 10 Canopus 1.13
    02/08/06 G 10 Psycho Cat 3.00
    31/08/05 GF 9 Gortumblo 1.50
    21/08/05 GF 7 Dream Along 1.00
    09/08/05 GF 10 Election Seeker 1.67

    Mean DI = 1.54
    Median DI = 1.46
    Mean DI (10 outliers removed) = 1.38
    Mean DI on Good to Firm = 1.27
    Median DI on Good to Firm = 1.35
    Mean DI on Good to Soft/Soft = 1.92
    Median DI on Good to Soft/Soft = 1.67
    Mean DI on Good to Firm (4 outliers removed) = 1.30
    Mean DI on Good to Soft/Soft (4 outliers removed) = 1.58
    Mean DI seven or less runners = 1.24
    Median DI seven or less runners = 1.29
    Mean DI eight or more runners = 1.77
    Median DI eight or more runners = 1.46
    Mean DI seven or less runners (4 outliers removed) = 1.28
    Mean DI eight or more runners (4 outliers removed) = 1.56

    While a sample size of 41 is small, these results do show that a Newton Abbot winner will have a higher DI than the Triumph winner as is to be expected. The lowest DI of a top of the ground winner is 0.70 whereas that on softer ground is 0.33. However, the overall picture has a more counter-intuitive look about it as the stamina demands increase on average on faster ground with smaller fields. This can't be altogether surprising given the sample size and dosages being an imperfect science.

    Moving away from dosages, there is a very interesting market move for Peat Moss who following the withdrawal of Prince Percy has been backed into second favouritism.

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    The opening juvenile of the season looked weak beforehand and this was compounded by the withdrawal of Prince Percy. After money for Peat Moss on the day and Hiconic being well backed before the off, the market seemed a fair representation of the field. The pace was slow and while the leaders jumped fluently in the main, erratic jumping in behind will have influenced the course of the race. The going was good, good to firm in places.

    Hiconic was always towards the fore and although she ran around on the approach to a few of the flights, jumped nicely in the main. A little low at the fifth, she overcompensated with a larger jump at the next but was intelligent throughout. She and the runner up began to pull clear on the run to the home straight and was travelling the better of the pair. Though she wandered a little at the last, she was quickly over and away from the flight and ran with enthusiasm all the way to the line. A 5 length winner, she did not beat a great deal in the process but she went about doing so in a nice and professional manner. She would have to show more to win better races but looks like being reliable at this kind of level and would be difficult to beat if turning out again at Bangor on Sunday. A rating around the mid nineties would be reasonable.

    Itoldyoutobackit drifted before the off but ended up posting a career best performance here. Racing fairly keenly on his first run since gelding and wind operations, he was never out of the front two and was one of the better jumpers in the field. His jumping rather fell apart in the straight with a big jump two out and a blunder at the last. This was not a run without promise (a rating in the low nineties would be fair) and he could run up to this kind of form under similar conditions. However, he might be vulnerable if there are demands for greater stamina in the future.

    Peat Moss had not started shorter than 200/1 in three flat starts and was an outsider last night. However, he had been backed into an SP of 6/1 which was not the hugest surprise when considering his trainer and pedigree. In the event, he ran a race more befitting the latter price than the former while jumping well enough. Suffering interference at the first and third, he was not entirely fluent at the fifth after which he became outpaced. Nevertheless, he did plug on for third and while he could not be given a rating surpassing the low eighties on this effort, there is some scope for improvement given a stiffer task.

    Edebez jumped pretty big at the first while possibly distracted by Itoldyoutobackit wandering into the flight, but he put in an otherwise fluent round. He did finish pretty tired and while that could be explained by it being his first run for 244 days, it is still difficult to envisage a race over jumps where he might be seen to better effect.

    Hector De Sivola went off a well backed odds-on favourite which would be peculiar for an unraced horse. This may have been by mere dint of the flat form being poor than an unfettered confidence in his abilities. While he was beaten by almost thirty lengths, it would only be fair to discount this result entirely. He was violently blindsided at the first by Debt Of Honour and was lucky to stay on his own feet, let alone maintain his partnership with his rider. Nervy following the same horse into the second, he was put off twice again going down the straight first time. Toiling in last, he was given a reminder passing the post where to his credit, he did pick up the bridle and move to a prominent position. However, he was a spent force when he hit three out and was not given a hard time thereafter. This was far from an ideal introduction to the sport and there may be concerns that the experience will have soured him. However, there were hints of promise shown today in his mid race response and generally fluent jumping. As such, he would not be one to readily discount next time.

    Debt Of Honour's race was marked by erratic jumping, particularly at the first and third, and he was non too fluent at many of the others. He was not atrocious at the final two jumps although he may well have been too tired to maintain his exuberantly unique take on the art. It is unusual for a horse from his yard to jump so poorly so he may have just been unsettled by the occasion. Nevertheless, there was nothing in today's performance which would make him of interest in the immediate future.

    American Dreamer was unconsidered beforehand and ran accordingly. Involved in a minor collision at the first, he steadied into the fourth and was the first off the bridle before a slow jump at the fifth. He dropped back after the next and finished tailed off.

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    I've only just come across this, best thread I've read on a forum for 10 years + and by far the best I've ever read researching Juvenile Hurdlers. Cracking work BH.
    Man who catch fly with chopstick .... accomplish anything.

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    BH, please do not take this as a criticism but more a comment of someone who would really like to take it all in but doesn't have the time to take in big posts at once

    Can you think of a way of bullet pointing entries and day of race horses to follow for this thread?
    Some people say hes the best since Arkle and thats certainly true when you look at what hes done

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    Cheers Danny, I appreciate those kind words! I have been getting a great deal of enjoyment doing this research for its own sake and if others are able to share in this enjoyment then that is a most welcome consequence.

    Hi granger. I am glad to receive feedback of any kind. I tend to write in long form for the sake of a clarity and context which might be lost in note form but I absolutely understand that it can be a bit overwhelming. In the race previews, I put a general order of interest at the bottom but I can also put the horse's heading in bold so that the comments are easier to find. I could do a kind of pros and cons list although it might get repetitive or need qualification ("going good""trainer bad""pedigree mixed"). Is there any information you would definitely like to see highlighted or are there any specific suggestions?

    Anyways, tomorrow is the Tattersalls July Sale which regularly sees future juvenile hurdlers pass under the hammer. Though I am not particularly compelled to trawl through the catalogue for potential Triumph Hurdle candidates, I do have the energy to have a quick look at the horses sold at Newmarket in recent years.

    While many a horse can sell for bargain basement prices, this sale is no stranger to seeing hefty sums of money risked on a potential jumping star of the future. The following six had price tags exceeding 100,000

    Lethal Steps 2018 Andrew Balding > Gordon Elliott 315,000
    Finishing fifth in the National Stakes as a two year old, Lethal Steps brought an official rating of 102 to the sales ring after finishing fourth in the listed Sir Henry Cecil stakes at Newmarket. Carrying the Cheveley Park Racing colours, he had seven starts over hurdles during his juvenile season without winning a single race although he did break his duck at the end of April in a Sligo maiden. His campaign did see him place five times and also had a trip to the Cheltenham Festival where he finished tailed off in the Fred Winter. Winning again last season at Galway, he returned to the Cheltenham Festival finishing in mid division in the County Hurdle.

    New Street 2014 Richard Fahey > Jim Best 194,250
    After readily winning a class four handicap at Haydock off 79, New Street joined the Jim Best yard. He would not be seen until next March when he was ridden out to win a Stratford juvenile by a length and a quarter. That would be his last win over hurdles and after three more attempts over obstacles, he returned to the flat. He was last seen finishing well beaten in a Lingfield handicap off 57 in January 2019.

    Duroble Man 2013 Roger Varian > Alan King 136,500
    A four race campaign in May and June saw Duroble Man's flat rating rise from 72 to 86. He would finish fourth on his hurdles debut in the class two contest at Market Rasen and got off the mark at the second time of asking at Kempton the following month. He was well beaten on his next two starts - first in an ordinary Warwick contest and then in the Adonis back at Kempton won by Activial. He has not been seen since.

    Starchitect 2014 Edward Lynam > Donald McCain 115,500
    The most successful of these by some margin, Starchitect was an 85 rated four race maiden when making the move to Cholmondeley. Winning his first two starts at Bangor and Aintree, Starchitect would finish runner up in pattern class contests at Doncaster and Musselburgh before a creditable fourth in the Fred Winter. After falling at the last when close up but beaten in Aintree's Anniversary Hurdle, he was transferred to David Pipe where he ran with great credit in three top class handicaps before deservedly collecting a small race at Newton Abbot. He continued to improve as a chaser but his life was sadly cut short when he broke down with Cheltenham's big December handicap at his mercy in 2017.

    Zamoyski 2013 Jeremy Noseda > Steve Gollings 110,250
    Zamoyski won two of his seven starts for Jeremy Noseda, his second one a Kempton handicap off 80. Third on his jumps debut in the Wensleydale, he would fill the same position when running into the then inconspicuous Tiger Roll at Market Rasen. Zamoyski would have three more hurdles races that season, his best effort being a second at Doncaster in February. He would not win his first hurdles race until September 2017 when after being dropped to a mark of 97, would emulate the proverbial buses by racking up a hat trick at Southwell. He has not won since but is still with Steve Gollings and was seen only last week when pulling up at his favourite track.

    Olympic Odyssey 2018 George Scott > Harry Fry 105,000
    100,000 guineas was fetched after Olympic Odyssey was beaten at 1/2 in a Ripon handicap off 66. He then had three goes over hurdles where he was beaten by 30, 24 and 26 lengths. Following a wind operation last year, he had a tune up race on the flat at Nottingham before finishing 48 lengths behind the winner in a Class 5 handicap at Market Rasen.

    Not every horse sold over the next couple of days will look quite as expensive in hindsight and the sale is no stranger to some savvy spending. In 2015, Gordon Elliott and John Walsh bought home winning juveniles Persiflage and Noble Vision after spending only 4,200 each. At the same auction, Stuart Edmunds only had to part with 15,750 to secure triple juvenile winner Wolf Of Windlesham, who counted both the Grade Two Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle and the valuable handicap at Sandown among his successes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    I've only just come across this, best thread I've read on a forum for 10 years + and by far the best I've ever read researching Juvenile Hurdlers. Cracking work BH.
    You should stay in more

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    With the Triumph Hurdle still 253 days away, it is probably still too early to select the winner with any confidence. Nevertheless, some bookmakers have opened their ante-post markets for the race so it will be interesting to see which horses are on their lists. The market is predominantly headed by horses who have already raced over hurdles in France which would make sense at this time of year. Most of the flat recruits will not become apparent until the autumn and the French recruits do have a fine record in the sphere. Of the 76 horses since 2012/13 to have achieved RPRs of 140 or greater, 33 of them had previous hurdling experience across the channel including the likes of Apple's Jade, Peace And Co, Top Notch, We Have A Dream and Quel Destin. France has also provided useful sorts from its bumper and flat fields with Defi du Seuil and Farclas collecting Triumph Hurdles after competing in those respective fields. However, neither of those fields are currently represented in the ante-post lists.

    16/1 Paros chg N Henderson 1 run 1 win 0 places
    Masterstroke (Green Tune){16-c}(0.60) 2/1 Softsong 3rd Lstd Hcp Hdl (121), Sandown 2012
    Well backed before the off, Paros was successful in his sole start which came in an ordinary conditions hurdle at Dieppe on the 22nd of May. Making all and jumping nicely, he did not need to be hard ridden to win by two lengths. The runner up has given the form a credible look by twice finishing placed in pattern company either side of a decisive victory at Clairefontaine. Third placed Hacker Des Places also won next time out at Dax where he beat a previous winner. Trainer Gabriel Leenders has yet to send any significant juveniles to the UK but he did recently collect his first Grade One in the Prix Ferdinand Dufaure. Masterstroke, who this year joined Yorton Farm Stud after standing in France, is a Monsun stallion out of a half sister to Galileo. He has yet to have a UK/IRE jumps winner from his first three crops but does have a 33% winners to runners rate with his French jumpers including the useful three-year-old of 2018, Floridee. Green Tune, another stout influence, is also the damsire of L'Unique. The damline is not short of decent jumps horses with National Spirit winner Prospect Wells and Brooklyn's Gold showing as 4/2 along with Authorized who is a fantastic sire of juveniles. Paros is due to run in the colours of Middleham Park Racing.

    25/1 Heros d'Ainay bg G Leenders 1 run 1 win 0 places
    Sholokhov (Dom Alco){9-f}(0.87) 2/1 Crystal d'Ainay et al
    Heros d'Ainay ran out a most impressive winner of the listed Prix Go Ahead on his debut and speculation of huge offers followed shortly afterwards. However at this stage, the horse is still in France and it has been reported that connections are keen to keep hold of him on the basis that they are in sports and not sales.

    25/1 Quilixios bg G Elliott 1-1-0
    Maxios (Lomitas){16-c}(0.63) 3/1 Quicuyo 1st 2mf Handicap Chase (137), Doncaster 2012
    The least fancied of Francois Nicolle's four runners, Quilixious ground down the long time leader to win the second division of the traditional curtain raiser, the Prix d'Essai des Poulains. The time was two seconds quicker than the first division and while it has yet to produce any winners, the second and fourth filled the same positions (in reverse order) in the Prix Go Ahead. Gordon Elliot has had two juveniles from Francois Nicolle in recent years and while neither won for him during their first seasons, both acquitted themselves well in the Fred Winter with Campeador falling when holding a strong chance at the last in 2016 and Coko Beach finishing runner up three years later. Maxios, another addition to the UK/IRE NH stallion ranks for 2020, as well as being another son of Monsun, has so far shown himself a fine sire of juvenile hurdlers. More than half of his offspring have won over obstacles with almost two thirds achieving RPRs exceeding 107 as well as having 71% improving for switching from the flat. Lomitas is also a very capable damsire of juveniles and both he and Maxios have enjoyed success with family 16-c. Incidentally, he and Paros are fairly closely related on the dam's side with Quilixios's fifth dam being the fourth dam of Paros. Quilixios is set to run for Cheveley Park Stud.

    33/1 Berkshire Rocco chc A Balding 6-1-3 OR 108
    Sir Percy (Shirocco) {1-c}(0.18) 4/2 Bulwark 7th Pertemps Hurdle (127), Haydock 2009
    A rating of 108 was earned after his finishing second in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot. If he runs over juvenile hurdles, only three horses (Housesofparliament, Sword Fighter and Sir Erec - all for Joseph O'Brien) will have brought higher flat rating to the sphere since 2012. While sixty-three horses have gone hurdling after starting with Andrew Balding, some are also sold to race abroad and I have yet to see anything that suggests Berkshire Rocco is being prepped for a hurdles career. That said, if anybody knows otherwise then please let us know.

    33/1 Mica Malpic chg D Cottin 1-1-0
    Hunter's Light (Green Tune){1-w}(0.78) 3/1 Monetaire 2nd Festival Plate (138), Cheltenham 2015
    The Prix Grandak, a race for colts and geldings making their hurdles debuts, has a deserved reputation for being the launchpad of quality hurdlers. In 2018, it was won by Beaumec de Houelle who retired to stud as champion three year old and behind him that day were Quel Destin and Adjali who would finish first and second in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow. Nicky Henderson's We Have A Dream (two Grade One juvenile wins) and Style de Garde (second in the Fred Winter) ran in the 2017 renewal, Frodon won in 2015 and champion Bonito de Berlais was third in 2014. Storm Of Saintly won ahead of Triumph runner up Far West in 2012 when emulating his father Saint des Saints who took the race in 2001. This year's renewal, contested at Compiegne, was won in very nice style by the imposing Mica Malpic. The runner up that day, Prunay, would finish third in a Grade 3 next time at Auteuil and the winning time was a full three seconds quicker than the corresponding event for fillies later on the card. Mica Malpic is the sole offspring to have ran over jumps for sire Hunter's Light thus far although Hunter's Light is from the family of Darshaan, his sire Dubawi produced Dodging Bullets and Poet's Voice has a reasonable record with juveniles. J P McManus has ended up buying the horse and as with trainer David Cottin's Easysland, Mica Malpic is to continue to be trained in France. There is still a chance we can see him at Cheltenham in March although on looks alone, it is possible that he is a more long term project.

    33/1 Midnights Legacy bc A King 4-3-0 OR 90
    Midnight Legend (Generous){8-i}(0.47) 2/2 Katchit 1st Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham 2008
    Hurdling was the plan for Midnights Legacy before he even set foot on a racecourse with connections hoping that he might one day emulate his sire by achieving success as an entire over hurdles before replacing him as a stallion. His pedigree screams juvenile hurdler as it was in this sphere that his full sister Midnight's Gift, and half sisters Giving Glances and Forgiving Glance, both picked up black type. Another full sister Giving Back and half sister Giveaway Glance were also winners as juveniles. Furthermore, Midnights Legacy's dam Giving is a half sister to Miracle - the dam of Katchit who won seven times as a juvenile, including the Triumph and Anniversary Hurdles, before winning the Champion Hurdle the following season. Even the best laid plans in the breeding sheds rarely play out in reality and ones as rare and specific as those for Midnights Legacy would seemingly require some metaphysical intervention. Nevertheless, after a fairly uninspiring debut at 33/1 in a Bath novice last September, this scion has gone on to win his next three starts over ten and twelve furlongs on ground from soft to good while showing a willing attitude. Even without considering his background, Midnights Legacy would be an intriguing recruit from the flat as everything about his profile, along with his being trained by Alan King, would give him all the obvious tools to win races over jumps.

    33/1 Monmiral blc P Nicholls 1-1-0
    Saint des Saints (Mont Basile){16}(0.60) 2/1 La Landiere 1st Cathcart Chase (G2), Cheltenham 2003
    The Prix Rush is another contest for hurdling debutants although as it occurs at the beginning of the season, its reputation is not as strong as the aforementioned Prix Grandak. Nevertheless, it has still featured some very decent sorts over the years including Pic d'Orhy, Goliath du Berlais, Master Dino, Terrefort, Smashing, Esmondo, Baby Mix, Sam Winner, Twinlight, Balko, Cerium, Vol Solitaire and Robin des Champs. The first and second this year have both joined the Paul Nicholls yard and it was Monmiral who came out on top. The form of the race is non too inspiring at this stage with the field producing one win (in a minor contest at Bordeaux) from nineteen subsequent attempts - although only one of the first five home have been out since. By Saints des Saints, out of a winning half-sister to La Landiere and a half-brother to two other jumps winners, Monmiral has a fine pedigree for the game. Paul Nicholls has had only one juvenile winner from four Francois Nicolle imports in recent years although one of the other three was Pic d'Orhy whose career picked up in his second season. Monmiral is set to run in the colours of John Hales.

    33/1 Pamela des Mottes bf F Nicolle 3-2-1
    Kapgarde (Nikos){9-f}(1.22) 2/1 Farlow des Mottes 1st GCdH de Printemps (G3H), Auteuil 2018
    Impressive winner of the first fillies' juvenile of the season and followed up in the listed Prix Girofla before finishing third in a Grade 3. Still registered at the Nicolle yard with no reports of her moving to the UK.

    33/1 Tritonic chc A King 5-2-1 OR 99
    Sea The Moon (Selkirk){4-r}(1.13) 4/3 Le Breuil 1st National Hunt Chase (G2), Cheltenham 2019
    The second Alan King horse on this list, Tritonic would bring a high level of flat form based on his win in the Haynes, Hanson & Clark and finishing runner up in a Royal Ascot handicap. Sire Sea The Moon had a most promising first season as a jumps stallion earning a 43% winners to runners strike rate with 57% of his offspring recording RPRs above 107 including the Grade One winner and Triumph Hurdle third Allmankind. Selkirk's record as a damsire is not quite as exciting although he did produce the Champion Hurdler Sublimity. Owned by the McNeill family, it is more likely than not that he will go hurdling and he would probably make an above average recruit to the game.

    40/1 Gold Tweet bg G Leenders 3-1-0
    On Est Bien (Goldneyev){8-a}(1.22) 3/1 Jance 2nd Prix Sagan, Auteuil 1996
    Won on his first start by thirty lengths at Vichy and appears to be on this list on that basis alone as he is still registered with his trainer. Has since been beaten fourteen and twenty lengths in two subsequent starts.

    40/1 Nimes
    Was last seen pulling up after breaking down badly at Compiegne. Shame on Bet365 and Unibet for still accepting bets on this poor horse.

    40/1 Hell Red grg P Nicholls 1-0-1
    Martaline (Muhtathir){1-t}(0.45) 1/1 Hell Boy GCdH de Compiegne (G3), Compiegne 2019
    Hell Red was runner up to his new stablemate Monmiral in the aforementioned Prix Rush. By the late Martaline, another of France's quality jumps stallions, Hell Red is a full brother to the useful Hell Boy, half sister to listed handicap hurdle winner Hell's Queen and is out of a half sister to Baan Rim Pa who won the Grade Two Prix Leon Rambaud in 2011. The third dam Battani substantiates the juvenile credentials by being the dam of Me Voici, winner of the 2009 Finale, and the granddam of 2013 Anniversary winner L'Unique. Historically the path from Guillaume Macaire to Paul Nicholls has been trod by the likes of Master Minded, Twist Magic and Silviniaco Conti while Sametegal, Frodon and Solo have helped maintain the prestige of said tour in more recent years.

    40/1 Raffles Face bg F Nicolle 2-1-1
    Authorized (Falco){5-e}(0.75) 6/4 Sky's The Limit 3rd Aintree Hurdle (G1), Aintree 2006
    Second to Nimes in his division of the Prix d'Essai des Poulains he won the Prix Rocking Chair next time out. Any winning son of Authorized must be of interest in the juvenile hurdles on these shores but he is another who remains at the Nicolle yard and his being owned by Munir and Souede is not reason alone to assume that he will be moving to the UK or Ireland.

    50/1 Brentford Hope bc R Hughes 1-1-0
    Camelot (Raven's Pass){21-a}(0.68) 3/2 El Milagro 2nd 4YO Listed Handicap Hurdle, Auteuil 2011
    Won his only start in a Newmarket maiden last October by five lengths and appeared alongside the word "Derby" in certain conversations. However, injury interrupted these ambitions and he has still yet to return to the racecourse. The form of his Newmarket win is fine and although Richard Hughes has yet to win from his four runners in juvenile hurdles, his owners are no strangers to jumps horses and Brentford Hope is the only horse who appears in all of the available lists. Camelot has had a fine start with jumpers (Sir Erec and Gardens Of Babylon) so while there is a lot of uncertainty at this stage, he be an interesting horse to see over hurdles.

    50/1 Hacker des Places bg P Nicholls 2-1-1
    Great Pretender (Le Havre){7}(0.45) 2/0 Wild Queen 1st Prix Triquerville (L 4yo Chs), Auteuil 2006
    After looking rather green when third to Paros at Dieppe, Hacker des Places was still looking inexperienced when decisively taking an ordinary race at Dax from a previous winner. His sire's winners to runners rate of 71% in juvenile hurdles is consistent with his similarly impressive rate of 62% in all jumps races and his granddam was a listed winner over fences as a four year old. Hacker des Places is another Francois Nicolle export and will run in the same Owners Group colours carried by Pentland Hills when winning the 2019 Triumph.

    50/1 Mogul bc A O'Brien 6-2-1 OR 110
    Galileo (Danehill){11-d}(0.74) 5/6 Bounce Back, 5/6 Zaliapour
    Sixth in last weekend's Derby, while Joseph O'Brien will likely inherit a few from his father at the end of the season, it is too soon to assume that Mogul will be one of them.

    50/1 Overpriced Mixer bg N Henderson 5-2-2 OR 79
    Harbour Watch (Daylami){21-a}(1.40) 8/6 Keppols Queen 3rd Mares Champion Hurdle (G1), Punchestown 2016
    After winning a pair of Novice Auction Stakes at Thirsk and Kempton for Jamie Osborne, Overpriced Mixer was sold for 90,000 at Tattersalls' Autumn sale. Sire Harbour Watch has a respectable 33% winners to runners rate with juveniles and those out of Daylami mares can hold their own. However, only around a third of each type improve for switching codes and there is a dearth of proven jumpers on the damline. Those sold by Jamie Osborne can pick up prize money but are not usually high class and although there is no reason to assume he can not win races, expensive juveniles who wind up at Seven Barrows do not habitually achieve greatness. Overpriced Mixer will carry the Axom silks.

    100/1 North Street bg J Coogan 3-0-0
    Epailette (Shamardal){14-c}(1.26) 3/3 Long Dog dual Grade One winning novice hurdler in 2015
    Beaten by 19 lengths in a Gowran maiden yesterday at 66/1. 52!/1 would still represent cramped odds.

    tl:dr for granger and others;-
    • Paros - Form of win looks credible, sire has good record in France.
    • Quilixios - Debut won in decent time, sire is very good, Elliot does alright with horses from the Nicolle yard.
    • Mica Malpic - Impressive winner of presitgeous race, bought by JP but set to stay in France.
    • Midnights Legacy - Bred to be a Triumph Hurdle winner, in good hands and has done well on flat.
    • Monmiral - Won another prestigeous race although form hasn't been boosted. Very good jumps breeding.
    • Tritonic - Sire has made excellent start with jumpers and flat form is above average.
    • Hell Red - Second to Monmiral, good juvenile breeding, from Guillaume Macaire.
    • Brentford Hope - Made good impression on 2YO debut, not seen since, could go over hurdles.
    • Hacker des Places - Third to Paros, sire is good, granddam won 4YO chase.
    • Overpriced Mixer - Cost 90,000, might not justify price tag.
    • Heros d'Ainay - Impressive winner on debut but hasn't been sold to run in UK/IRE
    • Berkshire Rocco - Would bring a high rating not no certainty to run over jumps
    • Pamela des Mottes - Won debut but nothing to say she will run in UK
    • Gold Tweet - Won debut but nothing to say he will run in UK
    • Raffles Face - Won second start but nothing to say he will run in UK
    • North Street - Won't win the Triumph Hurdle.
    • Mogul - The Epsom Derby is a Triumph Hurdle trial.
    • Nimes - Bookmakers are soulless parasites.

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    Great stuff, BH.

    I love that penultimate line, which deserves to become immortal: "The Epsom Derby is a Triumph Hurdle trial".

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    The second Juvenile Hurdle of the season takes place this Sunday at Bangor. As with Newton Abbot's curtain raiser, it would not be an exaggeration to suggest that this race probably won't be as memorable as a mid 2000s Champion Hurdle. Still, whilst this field may not contain a Hardy Eustace, Macs Joy or Harchibald, Current's twelfth dam is the tenth dam of Brave Inca which is pretty cool.

    Looking at the dosage indexes of horses who have won the last fifty Juvenile Hurdles at Bangor, going back to 2008, the overall averages are 1.29 median and 1.41 mean. Removing ten outliers takes the mean down to 1.32 which would indicate that Bangor presents a sterner test than Newton Abbot. Although only fifteen of these sample races took place during June, July or August, the averages for those are even lower at 1.18 median and 1.27 mean. Naturally this is not to suggest that non-stayers can never win Bangor juveniles as Chatez demonstrated when taking a slowly run affair in 2014. Also, dosages are more a peripheral guide than a precise science.

    With there being a couple of runners from Monday's race due to line up, I have also had a look at the RPRs of juveniles with one run under their belts and those with two during their first season to ascertain the improvement a sole outing will provoke. This takes into account every RPR recorded since the 2012/13 season. Removing those who recorded a 0 as they will have either been hopelessly tailed off or failed to complete the course, 822 had the one start while 692 had two which is a reasonable sample size. The raw average RPR recorded were 74 for 1 run 86 for 2 runs median, 71.05/83.46 mean, and 71.59/84.57 mean with 100 outliers removed. The differences here are between twelve and thirteen pounds. This figure however does not distinguish between those who have come off the flat and those with previous experience in France, nor does it account for the standard of form attained on the flat. With this in mind, I narrowed the parameters to only include horses who brought official ratings from the flat which removed the imported, the unraced, junior bumpers and those who only had one or two flat starts. This leaves 550 with one hurdles start and 502 with two which is still a workable sample size. Here, the average RPR is for one start 67 mean, 70 median and for two, 81.28 mean and 85 median giving differences of 14.28 and 15 pounds. When the actual flat rating is taken into consideration, I have used whatever the lower figure is out of an official rating and the highest RPR to account for whether a horse has badly or naturally regressed to a realistic official mark, or has only been given an official rating because zero isn't acceptable. From this, I subtracted this master rating from the jumps RPR before further subtracting thirty-five pounds. From here, the median figures are -27 for one start and -13.5 for two which is a difference of thirteen and a half pounds. Now it must be stressed that this research carries a flaw in that the highest RPR recorded from those with two starts may well have been achieved in the debut so these figures should not be regarded as a scientifically rigorous standard. Nevertheless, while one would not expect every horse to improve by a stone for their debut runs, the benefit of experience for young hurdlers is far from insignificant.

    Avis Bay brf P Kirby 2-0-0 (-) 30
    Cable Bay (Galileo){3-d}(0.71) 0.5 First Man Tailed off all four starts over jumps
    Beaten forty-one lengths on his debut at Wolverhampton last November, she fared slightly better on her return in a Beverley Maiden where she was a fifteen length seventh of twelve runners. Her attentions are now switched to jumping after she was withdrawn for refusing to enter the stalls twenty days ago at Thirsk. Cable Bay, yet to have a runner over jumps, has not had winner beyond a mile on the flat. While he is by the same sire as Born To Sea, neither his pedigree or racing career were marked by stamina. Trainer Philip Kirby does train juvenile winners and Galileo is a capable damsire but their respective charges tend to have considerably more going for them than Avis Bay.

    Big Jimbo chc G Moore 3-0-0 (49) 40
    Helmet (Pastoral Pursuits){9-c}(0.45) 3/1 Tiger Trek 1st Maiden Hurdle, Thurles 2014
    Big Jimbo brings with him some reasonable credentials on paper. Stallion Helmet is not an unsuccessful sire of juveniles, trainer Gary Moore does very well in the sphere and Big Jimbo is not too distantly related to the likes of Zarkandar, Zaynar and Zaidpour. However, only minor promise was shown on the flat in three maidens last year, runners from the yard are still performing way below standard and since 2012/13, the only entires to have won as juveniles were Gmac (rated 68) and Sir Erec (2l third to Stradivarius in the Long Distance Cup).

    Current chf D Roberts 1-0-0 (-) 14
    Equiano (New Approach){8-c}(0.57) 2/1 First Buddy 122 5th Anniversary Hurdle, Aintree 2008
    The aforementioned distant relative of Brave Inca, Current had just the one start last year for Richard Hannon where she was a tailed off last of fourteen after showing some speed in a Newmarket maiden. She was then sold at the Ascot November sale for just 1,500 and after a wind operation, was last seen refusing the enter the stalls at Catterick ten days ago. While there are hints of promise on the damline, Equiano has failed to produce a jumps winner and the trainer has not won a juvenile hurdle in recent years.

    Debt Of Honour bg N Mulholland f5-0-0 (52) 51 j1-0-0 (-) 79
    Kyllachy (Nayef){7}(1.91) 3/1 Architrave 1st Market Rasen Juvenile 2010
    Prior to Monday's race, there was a case for Debt Of Honour acquitting himself with credit on the basis his very capable trainer and a reasonable damline. There were concerns over his moderate flat form and his wayward tendencies and it was the latter that manifested in no uncertain terms at Newton Abbot. His jumping could be described as violent at times before finishing tired after tuckering himself out. Although one would hope to see some improvement in his jumping on Sunday, it would still be appropriate to describe rider Tom Scudamore as a brave man.

    Depardieu chg B Brennan 9-0-0 (47) 59
    Leroidsanimaux (Archipenko){5-h}(1.13) 3/1 Shernando 2nd Novices' Hurdle, Kempton 2013
    Depardieu is the most experienced horse in this field on the basis of his nine visits to the racecourse - six of them last year for Michael Grassick. Initially rated 66, presumably on the strength of finishing tenth in a Naas maiden, Depardieu has since dropped to a mark of 47 which would be a more accurate representation on his performances. His latest effort in a twelve furlong Lingfield handicap in March off 50 saw him finish 3 lengths from the winner which is as close as he has ever come to troubling the judge. The form of that race has worked out poorly but at least Depardieu appeared honest and capable of staying a trip. However, while he is somewhat related to the likes of Punjabi, Marracudja and Agrapart through his sixth dam, the sire has never produced a jumps winner and the yard has gone over a year since achieving same.

    Hiconic bf A Hales f7-0-2 (57) 57 j1-1-0 101
    Sixties Icon (Acclamation){1-n}(0.60) 1/0 Hi Note 136 2nd 4YO Hurdle, Cheltenham 2012
    Hiconic had a strong case for Newton Abbot's race and after the market corrected her price from the 12/1 available in the morning to 9/2 second favourite, she won in a very taking and professional manner. Arguments for a strong showing were formed by the stallion's capacity to improve horses between codes, the damsire's solid record, the dam's success and consistency as a juvenile hurdler, the reasonable flat form for the level and a trainer who does well in the sphere. These factors remain pertinent and her prospects for Sunday were augmented by her performance earlier in the week where she looked much more polished than one would expect for a early-season juvenile. That effort showed her fit and in good heart and if they have not taken too much of a toll then she will be difficult to beat in this field.

    Jean Marie chf S Keniry 3-0-0 (22) 18
    Cityscape (Hero's Tribute){1-c}(2.33) 2/1 Red Moloney 146 6th Supreme NvH, Cheltenham 2009
    Beating only one horse home in three starts, Jean Marie was allotted a mark of 22. For all that she is out of a winning half sister to the useful Red Moloney, her sire has yet to have a winner over obstacles and the trainer will have to do something remarkable for her first juvenile hurdler to be a winning one.

    Soldier On Parade bg A Murphy 7-0-1 (66) 68
    Dunaden (Mujadil){1-u}(4.60) 2/1 Out Of Control 1st Claiming Hurdle, Auteuil 2009
    The official rating of 65 is the highest one brought to juvenile hurdles in the two races thus far and his penultimate run at Haydock reads well in the context of this race. Four lengths behind the dead heated winners, one of them - Bahrani Star - was not disgraced at either Royal Ascot or in the Oaks while subsequent Newmarket winner Bondi Sands was just a half length in front. While his DI suggests that he might want for stamina, and his damsire has a poor record with juveniles, his sire - the late Dunaden - was a Melbourne Cup winner and his sole hurdler was a winning juvenile. Furthermore, he absolutely shapes like a stayer in his races and his dam is a half sister to a winning hurdler. Trainer Amy Murphy has yet to score with any of her eight juveniles thus far but she is currently in fine form with each of her last six runners finishing in the first three. There would be concerns regarding the fact that Soldier On Parade does wear headgear and can race freely. While he is a consistent type and his flat form would give him leading claims, particularly as Hiconic has wiped out her allowance, proven competence over hurdles can be telling in this sort of contest.

    Strong prospects
    1. Hiconic
    Reasonable prospects
    2. Soldier On Parade
    Feasible prospects
    3. Debt Of Honour
    Moderate prospects
    4. Depardieu
    5. Big Jimbo
    Negligible prospects
    6. Current
    7. Avis Bay
    8. Jean Marie

    • tl;dr
    • Intro with Brave Inca shoehorned in
    • Dosage indexes of previous winning juveniles at Bangor suggest stamina is a useful factor
    • Research shows that juveniles can improve by almost a stone from their first to second outings
    • Hiconic made a very good impression on her debut
    • Soldier On Parade brings good flat form but greenness and inexperience are concerns
    • Debt Of Honour would have something resembling an outside chance if he jumped less like flubber and more like a horse
    • Depardieu is related to Punjabi and will probably stay, albeit very slowly
    • Big Jimbo has fair credentials on breeding but his own reproductive assets might get in the way
    • Current is distantly related to Brave Inca
    • Jean Marie's uncle is Red Maloney
    • Avis Bay is related to a four race maiden

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