It is rare that I get blown away by a horse, but My Mate Mozzie put up a spectacular performance in the opening Novice Hurdle at Punchestown on Wednesday and I feel the 33/1 with William Hill for the Supreme Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham in the spring is a fair antepost price. Gavin Cromwell’s novice will be kept away from deep winter ground but his fluent hurdling and speed away from his obstacles suggested to me he was top class.
Do note the winning time of the mare’s hurdle winner on the same card was five seconds quicker, which tempers enthusiasm, although My Mate Mozzie carried 19lbs more. On this occasion I will trust my eyes rather than the clock.
Good ground forecast at Uttoxeter this afternoon and the racecourse are often overzealous with the watering can. Throughout the summer all Clerks for summer jumping have described underfoot conditions as good but Worcester and Uttoxeter have often produced good to soft ground while Wetherby’s good ground brought a raft of non-runners midweek with conditions good to firm at best.
In the opener Anyharminasking (1.55) cost connections E145.000 after his point-to-point victory at Tipperary back in April and he can make a winning British/hurdles debut for Jonjo O’Neill. The selection – 3s with William Hill – is the first foal of a Bumper/Hurdle winner and connections look to have found a decent opportunity although he will get further in time.
There is a terrific novices’ limited handicap chase and the fact that the opening show is 4/1 the field in a seven-runner race shows just how competitive a race it is. The chasing newcomers Lord Aquila and Lord Accord have been in tremendous form over timber of late, but they lack the experience of top-weight Kiltealy Briggs and Dog Of War (2.30) with the latter getting a narrow vote.
The only horse to beat the selection in four previous chase starts is Presentandcounting and Donald McCain’s novice is now 30lbs higher in the handicap than when he got first run on the selection at Worcester back in May. Dan Skelton’s 7-y-old has been raised 18lbs himself since landing the first of his three wins at Exeter back in April and needs good ground to be at his most effective. The gelding is 10/3 with MansionBet.
This is a step up in grade for the gelding, but he receives weight from his six rivals and gets a narrow vote. This is a race to watch back again if possible as I am sure there will be numerous future winners come out of the race. Kiltealy Briggs has been the big mover in the market having somehow been put in at 8/1 with Bet365 first thing.
Brian Hughes has just one booked ride on the card – Geronimo in the first – with connections of Bannixtown Glory (3.05) deciding to claim 10lbs from her back with conditional Peter Kavanagh taking over from the former champion jockey. The mare – 4s with 10Bet – reverts to timber having been all out to land the odds on her chase debut at Cartmel at the beginning of June. She had previously won a listed mares handicap at Cheltenham’s April meeting from a 5lbs lower mark which is obviously offset by her jockey’s claim.
There are a number of dangers and Ofalltheginjoints is another reverting to hurdles having spent last season chasing. This is considered a prep run for next month’s Grand Sefton Handicap at Aintree, however, and he might be of more interest back over fences given his fencing is such an asset.
The Evens available for Midnight Jewel (3.23) at Fakenham looks enticing given the ease of his success at Huntingdon last week and, even with a 7lbs penalty, he is 3lbs well in as he is due to go up by 10lbs in the weights from the weekend. The forecast good ground is ideal and, if he is in the same mood, he will be hard to beat in his quest for a hat-trick for Charlie Longsdon whose inmates invariably run well in the autumn.
At the time of writing William Buick trails Oisin Murphy by two in the race for the jockey’s title – what price a tie? – and both protagonists are in action at Haydock this afternoon.
Magisterial went into many notebooks when a never nearer 2L fourth at Newmarket on debut and he can build on that promising run for John Gosden in the 2-y-old Mile Novice event. The well-bred son of Frankel was ridden by Murphy on debut and the champion jockey keeps the ride. There was 10/11 available first thing but he is now too short at circa 8/13.