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Richard Hoiles: 2 new tracker horses as 5 depart to begin 2024

02 Jan | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: 2 new tracker horses as 5 depart to begin 2024

The racing broadcaster lets five horses go from his tracked stable at the turn of the year, with two retained and another two joining the ranks.

You can follow all the horses in Richard’s stable with the Racing TV Tracker.

A low-key end to 2023 with defeats for four stable tracker horses – Enjoy Your Life (4th as 13/8f), Imperial Measure (Unplaced as 5/2f), Ed Keeper (3rd as 5/2f) and Springwell Bay (4th at 9/2).

Enjoy Your Life looked to get a bit aggressively ridden while jumping his way up into contention early and not lasting home. He still looks as if he can win off this mark at up to 2m 6f but had a hard race here and as a result is released. He has won at 3m but I think he will prove best back in trip.

Imperial Measure was a real shame, not least as he was my biggest single bet of 2023, travelling well but then stopping quickly and it transpired he had burst a blood vessel. He is well-handicapped off a mark of 89 with his collateral form lines proving so strong, but now there has to be a big question mark about his durability so again he is let go.

Both Ed Keeper and Springwell Bay ran in the same race and are maintained after running well. Ed Keeper looked to be travelling best going to the last but made a mistake, losing his back end and considerable momentum. He is going to be brought along quietly over hurdles and remains one of the nicest horses I have seen this campaign, so he is definitely retained.

Springwell Bay seemed to find such attritional conditions combined with a step up in trip too much, but again is very much one to keep on the right side of. The Coral Cup appeals as a potential target at the Festival and, having had a tongue tie applied for the first time, it will also be worth keeping an eye out as to whether he had a wind op in the meantime.

In an end-of-year clear out I am also removing Eagle’s Way, Classic and Oviedo as flat turf handicappers we are not going to see for a while.

NEW ADDITIONS

Additions to the yard for 2024 are:

Juventus De Brion, who showed promise on debut at Exeter when ridden very much with an eye to the future. He came from a fair bit further back than the first two and was taken quite wide, presumably to get a good sight at his hurdles. Even average improvement should see him competitive in a novice hurdle next time.

Petit Tonnerre was not knocked about when well held at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. He has now had three runs over fences, which will qualify him for the Festival Handicaps. If he is dropped a couple of lbs to 136 then he will be right on the cusp for the likes of the Grand Annual (2m) and the old Mildmay of Flete now run as the Magners Plate over 2m 4f.

He still hangs in the air over his fences a shade but expect that to be ironed out with some practise on the build up to the Festival, where he ran seventh in the County Hurdle last season. He is one – like Springwell Bay – who could be very interesting for the yard in Cheltenham handicaps.

SUMMARY

Released: Classic, Enjoy Your Life, Imperial Measure, Eagle’s Way and Oviedo

Retained: Ed Keeper, Springwell Bay

Added: Juventus De Brion, Petit Tonnerre.

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

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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.