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Richard Hoiles: 2 new tracker additions following my week at the races

01 Feb | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: 2 new tracker additions following my week at the races

The racing broadcaster gives his thoughts on the racing at Wolverhampton, Cheltenham and Exeter, and reveals the two newest members of his stable of tracked horses.

You can follow all of Richard’s tracked horses with the Racing TV tracker.

A surprisingly quiet week with no tracker runners, so here’s a summary of my racing week and any additions.

The highlight of the Wolverhampton card last Friday was the gamble landed on Racing Country in the 19:15. Backed at big odds during the day, the support became an avalanche close to the off as the horse plunged from an opening show of 20/1 to the returned 5/1. The horse certainly had the black type class but his career had been punctuated by long absences before turning up here on a first start for Martin Dunne off the back of a break of 317 days. In the run it was quickly obvious Racing Country was going to go close, and so it proved with Dylan Hogan producing the horse to win comfortably enough. 

There were a couple of horses whose runs should be upgraded due to tempo, including one in Racing Country’s race in Come On John, who is down to a winning mark if he can get a stronger pace to run at. Another is PHOTON, who is added to the tracker having had very little chance from the back in the 17:45, and is still relatively unexposed. His previous run at Lingfield had also showed promise and he is worth adding for a low-grade handicap at a time when the All Weather tends to become progressively weak (especially if we get another cold snap and extra meetings scheduled.)

Cheltenham the following day was this season’s best day of jump racing so far. The performance of Sir Geno looked the most informative as regards to a potential Festival winner. He has brushed up his jumping since Kempton and is very well developed for a juvenile. His turn of foot from the last up against a decent Flat horse in Burdett Road gives the UK a bona fide candidate in a Grade 1 Festival hurdle race, and outside of Constitution Hill they have been few and far between. Burdett Road looks more of an Aintree type where the sharper track and faster ground will help his largely Flat type profile and I will be surprised if going forward he is ever spoken of in the same breath as Sir Gino, who looks an outstanding prospect.

Lossiemouth scooted away from her rivals in a steadily run International, but the win was founded on speed and the decision to head for the Mares makes little appeal from a betting perspective. The extra trip coupled with the possibility of deeper ground means, smart though she clearly is, conditions could be very different and she will have plausible opposition, not least from her own stable. It was good to see Love Envoi travel better and she is one who would relish the Mares being a slog, rather than the sprint in which Lossiemouth excelled at. 

The other races were great to watch, especially the Cleeve, but personally I don’t think they will prove leading Cheltenham clues. The Cotswold looks weak, the Cleeve runners were grand old campaigners finishing bunched up in an open division, and GA Law looked to find a good opening in one of the shallower 2m 4f handicaps that abound at the track during the season.

Ginny’s Destiny floated around to win again and his jumping is an asset but he will now likely be forced up in grade to the Turners, which will be deeper, and it is probably Jonbon who – off the back of a calamitous round of jumping – may be the one who ends up overpriced. It all began to go wrong at a far earlier stage than the eventual catastrophic error, which really gave him a mountain to climb. He had a hard race in defeat but it was a rare blip on the jumping front and the yard have had the odd reverse over the last fortnight, which makes Sir Gino’s performance all the more impressive.

If El Fabiolo wins well in Ireland this weekend he will be an even shorter price for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, where a better jumping Jonbon would be one of the few realistic alternatives in a likely small field. Often the market and punters overplay both a good or bad last start performance at the expense of a horse’s overall profile, and while NRNB concessions often stop overly generous odds being offered, the Ante Post markets for Jonbon may be worth checking out after the weekend. There are very few other options and Nicky Henderson may be more comfortable running one of his prized assets as an underdog rather than a short-priced favourite.

Exeter on Wednesday rounded off the racecourse visits for the week, where the feature was an excellent ride from Harry Cobden in the last on Wrappedupinmay, who never really travelled or looked likely to win until the final few yards. That completed a double for Harry, and with Sean Bowen scheduled to return next week it raises the real possibility of a great struggle for the jump jockeys’ title. 

COCO BRAVE looked the most interesting horse going forward in the first division of the Mares maiden hurdle. It wasn’t a strong race and it may not be until handicaps that she shows her full potential, but there no one knows the Mares programme book like Anthony Honeyball, so she is added to the stable for her next run.


Additions: Photon, Coco Brave

You can see the stable in full as it stands here.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.