HORSES TO FOLLOW IN 2011
Ten (plus one) to follow in Yorkshire
by Will Milburn
Had one run in a Hexham bumper for experience, will probably be best suited by a flat track and good ground. A mare with a fantastic attitude who can jump exceptionally well. Has pleased so far in her work and has come from Ireland with a big reputation. Is one to note in 2 ½ mile maidens from the Andrew Nicholls yard, who has done well in previous seasons.
Chip N Pin
Another interesting recruit for the Easterby team, a 6yo mare by Erhaab who has been placed in the first four on 14 separate occasions under rules and with a rating of 100, should be capable of winning a Maiden and Restricted. Should be suited by soft ground and 3 miles.
Darren has become a revelation in points after been picked up in the bar at Doncaster sales for what now looks like peanuts. Beat the useful looking and well regarded Allforone at Easingwold, turned out two weeks later where he departed two out when disputing the lead, would have surely been in the shake up that day and can progress further.
Previously in training with David Easterby, has now switched to the yard of Susan Mason after a disappointing campaign over the summer. He progressed from maiden company to win a Mens Open last season and will no doubt be aimed towards Novice Riders races. Switched back to Point to Points he could be a class act.
An un-raced 4yo from the David Easterby yard by top French stallion Act One. Out of useful stayer Rositary who won a total of 9 races under rules including 4 Chases and 5 Hurdles and boasted a top rating of 133. He is David's one to follow for the season and can go well for a yard who does exceptionally well with these types.
Quechua Des Obeaux
Previously the winner of a bumper race in France, however failed to sparkle for Philip Hobbs, quickly progressed from her win in a Welbeck match race to end her season by winning a competitive Mixed Open at Hexham. A lovely mare that jumps and stays well and at only the age of six can surely improve further next season and is one to watch in Open and Hunter Chase company.
Trained by Maxine Stirk who does extremely well with her maiden runners. A big strong gelding who has run two respectable races as a 4yo and looks one who will benefit with time to strengthen up and it would be a surprise if he couldn't win a maiden.
Has had two runs in bumpers where he showed a moderate level of ability, however is out of a placed pointer and by Loup Sauvage so Point to Points should bring out the best in him. Works well and will be fit to run early on, where he should be one to note. Trained and ridden by the Walford team who do exceptionally well in this sphere.
The Gloves Are Off
The Cundall family had an exceptional run of things last season and The Gloves Are Off could give a good account of himself this season. Previously in training with Sue Smith, he won a Market Rasen hurdle in April, however back in 2008 contested the Supreme Novices Hurdle, but has not quite lived up to those expectations. Has a 93% completion record and boasts an official rating of 117 over hurdles and 109 over fences, so is more than capable of mixing it with the best next season.
A 5yo by Double Trigger who came on from his debut to stay on strongly into third in a competitive maiden at the Pendle Forest meeting. Will no doubt have improved for a summer on his back and that experience behind him, looks as though he would appreciate a stiff test and should be capable of winning a maiden.
A nice big strong horse who can be forgiven a disappointing run at the end of last season on firm ground, but is one who I believe can go very well. Is highly respected by his connections and rider.
Ten to Follow in the North West
by Arthur Shone
Last season Sian McCain tipped Ice Tea as the likely winner of the Bangor Final, the Glacial Storm gelding duly obliged in the well known colours of his flamboyant owner Derek Malam; the owner also enjoyed success with Vicario, another horse trained by McCain. Malam could be three handed in the Bangor Final in 2011 with Idle Talk. Both of Gary Hanmer's selections Ballyeightra Cross and Fairymount won two races last season; both are very highly thought of by Hanmer and the former will be aimed at the John Corbett this season according to his trainer. This seasons ten to follow come with comments from their respective trainers, with the exception of the dark horse selection from Sheila Crow's yard; comments for That's Ben will be by her son Alistair Crow, who has taken over the dark horse selections from his late father Edward, who had an amazing strike rate of 15 winners from 18 selections. This seasons ten to follow are a bit of a mixed bag, with some familiar names and a few young dark horses as well.
BILLYVODDAN 12YR GLD
"I am very hopeful that he will have another good season,. He won his point to point at Bangor by a long distance and was just touched off by a nose by Coolefind in hunter chase at Southwell, the judge took almost twenty minutes to announce the result. He seems as good as ever and I am looking forward to the new season with him." - Trainer Phillip Rowley
BALLYEIGHTRA CROSS 7YR GELDING
"He ran four times last season and won well at Tabley in both his wins. Tom Greenall rode him when he was third at Bangor and said he hated the heavy ground. I was going to run him in the John Corbett Cup at Stratford last season, but Tom Greenall advised going there this season, which he will be doing with the Bangor Final also a possibility." - Trainer Gary Hanmer
IDLE TALK 12YR GLD
"He will have a run first in a point to point race and then we will look towards the Walrus Hunter Chase at Haydock. I would like to win that race as we were second in it last year with Vicario. The owner Derek Malam likes to have runners in the Bangor Final. He is working well at home and has been enjoying his hunting, a nice prospect for the new season." - Trainer Sian McCain
MAD VICTOR 10YR GLD
"I love this horse, he is so consistent. He will start off in a Ladies Open and then we will go hunter chasing with him. He needs cut in the ground, the Bangor Final is a possibility and if the conditions are right the Foxhunters at the Cheltenham Festival could be a possibility as well." - Trainer Sue Taylor
MY FLORA 7YR MARE
"She is a progressive mare by Alflora who won three races last season by a very wide margin. I plan to run her in one point to point , probably a Mens Open and then she will go hunter chasing .It will be a case of seeing how far she can go, I can honestly see her winning a big hunter chase. I wouldn't be frightened of going to the John Corbett Cup at Stratford with her." - Trainer Sheila Crow
PADDY'S TERN 9YR GLD
"I bought the horse in the summer for one of my long standing owners Derek Pugh. He is by Fraam and won at Towcester last season when he used to be trained by Kim Bailey. He has enjoyed himself hunting and is working well at home. He will probably be our first runner of the season, he needs soft ground." - Trainer Gordy Edwards
PERSIAN ARROW 6YR GLD
"He has come on leaps and bounds and is a nice young horse to have in the yard. I am hoping to run him at Chaddesley Corbett at the end of the month. I think he is definitely a nice dark horse in the yard." - Trainer Phillip Rowley
QUANTUM THEORY 7YR GLD
"By Luso. He is a still a Maiden point to pointer and finished third in his first race at Ballydurn in Ireland when trained by Elizabeth Doyle. He has also finished runner up in a 25 runner Maiden Hurdle at Punchestown. I think he would benefit from a step up in trip and he has pleased me with his preparation for the new season and hopefully will do well, a nice dark horse from our yard." - Trainer Gary Hanmer
STRIKE FAST 6YR GLD
"I have always thought an awful lot of this horse, he is by Portrait Gallery and was placed in a decent Maiden at Dromahane in Ireland two seasons ago. I thought he would be one of our main hopes last season, but he was dogged by niggling injuries. He seems better than ever this time and hopefully will have a good campaign." - Trainer Will Kinsey
THAT'S BEN 6YR GLD
"He is a nice big strong horse by Beneficial, who looks like a good old fashioned chaser. He was brought down in his first race in Ireland and then was beaten only a couple of lengths by the very useful Kilcrea Kim, who is rated 132. Unfortunately the rider forgot to weigh in and the horse was disqualified. He is flying at home and he will win his fair share of races this season. He was always going to be my dark horse selection from the yard and Richard (Burton) is very keen on him." - Trainer Sheila Crow, comments by Alistair Crow