Not much quality on the racing front although a small recommendation at Ludlow. Go each way if you are so inclined. The Grand National entries are out and include Don Poli, Many Clouds, Alvarado, Ballycasey and Onenightinvienna keeping my ante post vouchers alive! Silviniaco Conti should stimulate plenty of discussion!
I found this in a recent (Jan.27th) Charlie Longsdon Stable Tour.
Wednesday Ludlow 3.20 MIDNIGHT GEM 6 b m Midnight Legend – Barton Flower No wins from 6 starts. Runner-up, beaten nine lengths, to Leaderofthedance at Ludlow (2m 5 1/2f) in October. Currently rated 105. “There is a race at Ludlow at the beginning of February which should be ideal for her now she’s had a wind operation.”
Plus the yard is showing some form I make her a one star* selection as she is 13/2 with Coral.
Elliott also has high hopes for Tombstone, who will run on Saturday at Leopardstown in a race where Mullins is responsible for more than half of the nine entries. “He’s in great form ahead of his run in the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle. We’re really excited about running him; it’s going to be a great race. We’ve had a very clear preparation with him. There will more than likely be five or six runners in the race. Willie will probably have two, we’ll have one and there’ll be a few others. I really think the trip will suit and the ground will suit him so with a bit of luck, he’ll do it.” Elliott said in his BoyleSports blog Currently 2/1 with Ladbrokes and Boylesports
“Meade’s Missing Army”
Noel Meade has given ATR a Stable Tour and so we have an update on “Meade’s Missing Army”. It’s not good news. The words “lame” and “next season” appear far too often!
APACHE STRONGHOLD 8 b g Milan – First Battle A 153-rated chaser, he progressed into a high-class novice chaser last season, with the highlights being his win in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase and his second-place finish to Vautour in the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. “He had a setback in October. It’s not too bad and it should heal up perfectly given time, but it looks like we’re going to struggle to get him back to the track this season. It would be a rush to get him back for the Punchestown Festival, so I’d say we’ll end up leaving him alone and concentrating on next season.”
DE NAME ESCAPES ME 6 ch g Vinnie Roe – Heartlight A 134-rated hurdler, he won a bumper at Clonmel for Liz Lalor in February 2015 and changed hands soon after. He has won two of his three starts over hurdles for Meade. “We were going to run him in the coral.ie Hurdle at Leopardstown, but he went lame the day before it. He’s back perfect again now and I’m not quite sure where he’ll go next, as he falls in between being a bit high for handicap hurdles and a bit low for the good novice hurdles. He’ll probably run in a small novice hurdle next. We’ve got him to relax this season which was always going to be important for him, but that said, I still think two miles might suit him better than two-and-a-half miles.”
DISKO 5 gr g Martaline – Nikos Royale Finished second to Bellshill in the Champion Bumper at the Punchestown Festival last season and made it second-time lucky over hurdles in a maiden at Naas in November. “Unfortunately he went lame on me again and while we’ve worked out what the problem is, we won’t have it sorted in time to run him at the Cheltenham Festival. The hope would be to have him back for the Punchestown Festival. I still think he’s a very good horse.”
GUNNERY SERGEANT 5 b g Presenting – Dame Foraine A winning point-to-pointer, he won a bumper at Punchestown in October and might well have made a winning hurdling debut at Gowran Park only for falling at the penultimate flight. He subsequently finishing third in the Royal Bond Hurdle. “We have decided to keep hold of his novice hurdle status until next season. The initial plan had been to return to a bumper in the near future, but we might just leave him off for the rest of the season. He’s a light-framed horse that will benefit from time and his form tells you that he is a very nice horse in the making that should be worth the wait.”
ICE COLD SOUL 6 b g Stowaway – Western Whisper A 124-rated hurdler, he won his first two starts in bumpers at Cork and Limerick last season and got off the mark over hurdles in a handicap at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting. “He had a little setback just before the coral.ie Hurdle and the hope is that he’ll be back at the races in a month or so. He wouldn’t be one for Cheltenham, but his jumping is improving and he could be still well handicapped.”
RATHNURE REBEL 6 b g Beneficial – Euro Magic From a family of Limestone Lad, he won a point-to-point at Dromahane in April 2014, beating the subsequent Grade 2-winning hurdler/chaser Three Musketeers by 10 lengths. “His point-to-point has worked out brilliantly, but he hasn’t been the easiest to train. He’s been close to running a couple of times, but then picked up a small setback. He’s going well at the moment and the hope is to start him off in a bumper in the spring.”
ROAD TO RICHES 9 b g Gamut – Bellora A 165-rated chaser, he progressed into one of the leading staying chasers in the country last season, winning the Galway Plate, the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal and the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown as well as finishing a fine third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He made a winning seasonal reappearance in the Clonmel Oil Chase in November. “He worked after racing at Punchestown on Sunday and we were absolutely delighted with him. Bryan rode him and he came in with a smile on his face, I was delighted and Eddie O’Leary was delighted, so we were all happy which doesn’t happen very often! It’s all systems go for Saturday and hopefully back to the Cheltenham Gold Cup from there. I couldn’t be happier with him.”
WAXIES DARGLE 7 b g Sakhee – Cup Of Love A 137-rated hurdler, he progressed steadily last season and made an encouraging return when third in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November. He has run below form in his last two starts. “His last couple of runs have been disappointing. I don’t know what the problem was in the Ladbroke, but the stop-start nature of the Coral.ie Hurdle was probably to blame for that. He wants an end-to-end gallop and soft ground to show his best. He’s capable of much better than he’s shown in his last two starts.”
I had exactly the same thought whilst watching live
“I was very impressed by Yanworth at the weekend – he was effortless. He looks to me like he might be that champion hurdler lurking in the Neptune.” Ben Pauling Trainer of Barters Hill