Notebook

  • A Good Skin (IRE)

    Stepped up markedly on the form of his hurdling debut when a close-up fourth at Ludlow and this Irish point winner looks to possess his fair share of ability but disappointed on his handicap and Notebook debut on Boxing Day. Worth another chance to prove that run all wrong. (IO) Trained by T R George, Sired by Presenting

    Bay Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled May 9th, 2009)
  • Aiaam Al Namoos

    Improved for the step up in trip as expected and landed a gamble for the Notebook at Musselburgh when returned the even money favourite. He won with any amount in hand that day and looks capable of going in again. (WH) Trained by J Wade, Sired by Teofilo

    Bay Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled April 3rd, 2009)
  • Amore Alato

    There was market confidence behind Amore Alato on his latest start and he's worth sticking with despite a below-par effort. It may well be that something else comes to light to explain a rare ordinary performance from a horse whose tough constitution served him well last season, but in any case better ground and a return to the more aggressive tactics that have suited him well in the past can see a return to form in the future. (WH) Trained by Nick Williams, Sired by Winged Love

    Bay Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled February 25th, 2009)
  • Andy Kelly (IRE)

    Andy Kelly proved a bitter disappointment for the second time in a few weeks, but nevertheless managed to qualify for the Pertemps Final despite finishing down the field and he could be worth another chance. Very warm and keen to post, his old freegoing tendencies have undeniably got the better of him on both starts this season. But with his trainer also quite quiet, it's just possible that returning on some better ground in the spring will help him although having been dropped by 4lb for Sandown he will need to win again to get a run at Cheltenham. A faster-run race would be a bonus too. (WH) Trained by Miss E C Lavelle, Sired by Flemensfirth

    Chestnut Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled April 4th, 2009)
  • Beast Of Burden (IRE)

    The yard's impressive bumper winners don't always progress as well as people might anticipate while their reputation often precedes them to the betting ring. Those concerns aside, it was hard not to be impressed by his Rules debut and it'll be interesting to see how (if) he progresses. Turned over at odds-on on his hurdling debut and not overly impressive when winning at 1/4 next time but he has scope. (IO) Trained by Miss R Curtis, Sired by Flemensfirth

    Chestnut Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled June 1st, 2009)
  • Bekkensfirth

    May not come into his own until next season but he's worth keeping an eye on at present as he shaped with some promise in a warm contest at Newbury on his hurdling bow. He's related to winners in France and did enough to suggest that he can maintain the family honour once handicapping. (IO) Trained by D Skelton, Sired by Flemensfirth

    Bay Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled March 25th, 2009)
  • Call Me Kate

    Improving daughter of Kalanisi who should be able to make her mark over hurdles when presented with a test of stamina. She demonstrated improvement between her first two outings in bumpers and will hopefully step up on an encouraging hurdling debut outing at Exeter. She was given a lovely introduction by Richard Johnson but was caught for speed having been held up in a slowly-run affair and couldn't land a serious blow before running on to finish seventh of 16. Stepping up from 2m3f is bound to help and she's one to follow in staying handicaps after another run. (MB) Trained by H D Daly, Sired by Kalanisi

    Bay Mare, 4yo, (Foaled February 27th, 2010)
  • Carole's Destrier

    A horse who took the eye at Cheltenham behind Generous Ransom. Stellar Notion ensured a strong gallop up front - too strong - but Carole¿s Destrier was never far away in second and can be credited with helping force the pace. He was travelling well on the turn for home despite doing enough early on, and though he faded after the last this was a really good effort carrying a big weight in a competitive race. A winner over three miles at Exeter earlier in the season, where he beat Carraig Mor and Return Spring, he could go back up in trip now. (BL) Trained by N P Mulholland, Sired by Kayf Tara

    Bay Gelding, 6yo, (Foaled April 29th, 2008)
  • Champagne Present (IRE)

    Keen and evidently inexperienced on his Rules debut, this point winner still almost snatched the race under a fine 'kid gloves' ride from AP and looks to have above-average ability. Highly tried at Cheltenham on his first run for the Notebook and far from disgraced on ground that was thought unlikely to suit. He remains of interest despite flopping subsequently at Ascot when his yard was out of form. (IO) Trained by Jonjo O'Neill, Sired by Presenting

    Brown Gelding, 4yo, (Foaled April 16th, 2010)
  • Chapel Hall (IRE)

    All the rage ahead of what was probably a modest bumper at Ascot so defeat was disappointing on the face of it but he finished strongly after looking desperately green and should make amends next time before, presumably, going over hurdles. (IO) Trained by N J Henderson, Sired by Arcadio

    Bay Gelding, 4yo, (Foaled May 22nd, 2010)
  • Cloudy Copper (IRE)

    May well have made a winning chase debut and successful return from an absence of 696 days with a better leap at the last but there was still a good deal to like about his run at Uttoxeter. It proved that he retains much of the ability that saw him won both previous starts under Rules and it will be fascinating to see how far he can go if he stays sound. Turned over next time but his yard were badly out of form and he's worth another chance. (IO) Trained by Jonjo O'Neill, Sired by Cloudings

    Grey Gelding, 7yo, (Foaled May 22nd, 2007)
  • Count Guido Deiro (IRE)

    Count Guido Deiro was racing off a featherweight last time at Sandown, especially when taking Jamie Balgarry's claim into account, but this was a step up in class for him and things didn't go his way. Hassled for the lead early on by Relax, he lost out in the battle to dominate and was always on the back foot thereafter, with several mistakes creeping into his game at his fences. Still, he was only beaten just over 13 lengths which proves he remains in good heart. Very heavy ground is ideal for him and if he turns up in a smaller field, in an easier grade, granted such conditions, he'll be of major interest. (BL) Trained by N A Twiston-Davies, Sired by Accordion

    Bay Gelding, 7yo, (Foaled May 4th, 2007)
  • Dresden (IRE)

    Made a respectable chase bow on his first run for a new yard in a competitive race at Warwick on ground that was plenty soft enough and again at Ludlow next time. There's little to suggest that he's up to that class but he shaped well enough on both occasions to believe that he can races in this sphere once dropped in class on better ground. Trained by Henry Oliver, Sired by Diamond Green

    Bay Gelding, 6yo, (Foaled March 30th, 2008)
  • Great Try (IRE)

    Beaten favourite on his seasonal reappearance in an Aintree bumper but this scopey individual was entitled to need the run and he duly stepped up on that when chasing home a fair sort on his hurdling bow. He looks more than capable of making his mark in novice hurdles for his top yard. Trained by P F Nicholls, Sired by Scorpion

    Bay Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled April 30th, 2009)
  • Hargam (FR)

    Did enough on his hurdling debut to believe that he can develop into a leading candidate for the Triumph Hurdle in March. He travelled well and was only just denied by a more experienced rival on ground that was unlikely to play to his strengths and connections could be set for an exciting season. Duly won next time at 8/11 without AP getting too serious with him and the dream is still alive. (WH) Trained by N J Henderson, Sired by Sinndar

    Grey Gelding, 3yo, (Foaled February 16th, 2011)
  • Hawaii Five Nil (IRE)

    Travelled well for a long way on his reappearance at Worcester before being outpaced which may have been down to needing the run or a need for a stiffer test (has shaped as though further would suit in the past). He again caught the eye on debut for the Notebook on Boxing Day at a time when his yard was out of form and over a trip that stretched his stamina at Warwick. (IO) Trained by Jonjo O'Neill, Sired by Gold Well

    Bay Gelding, 6yo, (Foaled April 25th, 2008)
  • Ifandbutwhynot (IRE)

    Last year's Gerry Feilden winner climbed to a rating of 148 at his peak over hurdles and has been given a considerably lower chase mark of 132. He is improving over fences and time is very much on his side to get it right over the larger obstacles. It could be that slowly-run novice events don't show him in his best light and we're unlikely to see the best of David O'Meara's eight-year-old until tackling big-field handicaps, in which he thrived as a hurdler. Trained by D O'Meara, Sired by Raise A Grand

    Bay Gelding, 8yo, (Foaled June 5th, 2006)
  • In Fairness (IRE)

    Scopey individual who has needed time to grow into his frame. Switched to fences after catching our eye on his seasonal reappearance but failed to live up to market expectations. Some of the yard's horses were underperformingat the time and he could well make his mark before the season's out - even if his Sandown run does raise questions. Trained by N J Henderson, Sired by Oscar

    Bay Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled May 1st, 2009)
  • It's High Time (IRE)

    Decent bumper performer who made a winning start over hurdles back in November and it looked as if it wouldn't be long until he adds to that success judged by his handicap debut at Musselburgh. Never really in the right place behind a well-backed winner, he gave the impression a stiffer track would suit and this lightly raced performer should soon be making up for lost time. Trained by Miss Lucinda V Russell, Sired by Kalanisi

    Bay Gelding, 6yo, (Foaled April 2nd, 2008)
  • Le Mercurey (FR)

    Arrived from France with a decent reputation and his run in the Keltbray Holloway's Hurdle at Ascot was a step in the right direction. He was outpaced over 2m3f but finished his race well under a relatively tender ride. He looks sure to thrive when tried over further and on this evidence he could well have a race in him off his current handicap mark, with the Coral Cup a potential option at the Festival. (BL) Trained by P F Nicholls, Sired by Nickname

    Bay Gelding, 4yo, (Foaled March 20th, 2010)
  • Lean Araig (IRE)

    Oliver McKiernan said he¿d done plenty of schooling with the six-year-old, and, while it showed, the step up in trip to three miles at Punchestown was a major factor in the Old Vic gelding breaking his duck. The handicapper will have his say but he could well make his mark in better company as he looks to have plenty more to offer now he is facing tests with the emphasis very much on stamina. (BL) Trained by O McKiernan, Sired by Old Vic

    Chestnut Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled April 30th, 2009)
  • Mawj Tamy (USA)

    Denis Cullen¿s cheap purchase out of Charlie Hills' yard has shown enough in three quick runs in maiden hurdles to warrant interest in handicaps over the coming months. His never-nearer third to the promising Rogue Trader at Navan was easily his best effort to date and he was better than the result there too, keeping on well down the straight having had to come from an impossible position turning in. Beaten far enough to think he will start off in handicaps from a pretty lowly mark, he¿s one to keep an eye on over the coming weeks, especially should the market speak in his favour. (SJ) Trained by D Cullen, Sired by Invasor

    Bay Gelding, 4yo, (Foaled March 21st, 2010)
  • Mendip Express (IRE)

    While Sam Waley-Cohen and Oscar Time rightly revelled in the plaudits following the Becher Chase, the runner-up somewhat slipped under the radar. Less than a handful of bookies trimmed Harry Fry's eight-year-old for Crabbie's Grand National glory in the aftermath of his narrow defeat, yet there is plenty to recommend about him for the Aintree spectacular. That he got as close as he did without racing in a prominent position was to his great credit, he jumped the fences really well and he's rated high enough to get in the National without connections having to sweat. At this stage, he's the Notebook's National horse. (BL) Trained by H Fry, Sired by King's Theatre

    Bay Gelding, 8yo, (Foaled May 12th, 2006)
  • Minellaforleisure (IRE)

    Had his first start in more than a year at a time when his yard's horses were running well and stayed on pleasingly in a warm race. Doubtful that he's up to that standard (as his subsequent run in the Ladbroke appeared to prove) but he certainly has ability and looks more than capable of putting his head in front if his sights are lowered. Trained by A M Hales, Sired by King's Theatre

    Brown Gelding, 6yo, (Foaled April 1st, 2008)
  • Monetaire (FR)

    Would surely have won on his British debut but for clobbering a couple of fences. Set the record straight at Newbury to score for The Notebook at 2/1 and there looks to be plenty more left in the tank with his trainer expecting him to improve for a stiffer test. Trained by D Pipe, Sired by Anabaa

    Bay Gelding, 8yo, (Foaled February 19th, 2006)
  • Runswick Royal (IRE)

    Since returning from an seven-month absence, during which time connections tweaked a couple of things that were ailing him, Runswick Royal has twice performed with considerable credit. His victory at Newcastle was franked when Yorkist came out and won the other day and it might well have been two over two had Brian Hughes got going a little earlier behind Royal Regatta at Doncaster. It was a performance that strongly suggested he can pick up a nice novice handicap chase on spring ground in the months ahead, and the fact that his trainer is still flying under the radar - despite an impressive strike-rate with her half-dozen-strong team this season - can only help in terms of getting the right price.(WH) Trained by Mrs A Hamilton, Sired by Excellent Art

    Chestnut Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled March 2nd, 2009)
  • Scoppio Del Carro

    Half-brother to the useful dual purpose performer Daneking and this 75-rated Flat performer shaped encouragingly on his first start over obstacles at Warwick, before unseating when in contention at Catterick and then running satisfactorily at Wetherby. It will be interesting to see what the handicapper makes of him, presuming that is now the idea. (WH) Trained by J J Quinn, Sired by Medicean

    Bay Gelding, 3yo, (Foaled April 8th, 2011)
  • Seeking Susan (IRE)

    Finished strongly to beat all bar the odds-on favourite in a Limerick bumper in a manner which suggests she should be able to pick up a similar race. Her yard has plenty of success in this sphere and are sure to place her to advantage while better ground may also suit with a number of her sire's progeny preferring a sound surface. Trained by Miss Elizabeth Doyle, Sired by Court Cave

    Bay Filly, 7yo, (Foaled January 1st, 2008)
  • Sitcom (IRE)

    While admittedly held when falling two out in a handicap at Leopardstown, there were definite signs that Sitcom will be returning to something like her best form sooner rather than later. Already 3lb lower than his highest winning mark, Sitcom was left plenty to do under a patient ride, and although under firm pressure when coming to grief, she did look to have more to give and could well have made the frame. Given that she¿s a half-sister to a 3m winner and from a staying family, it¿s surprising that Sitcom is still untried at two and half miles, so confidence in her returning to the winner's enclosure would only increase were connections to belatedly up her in trip.(SJ) Trained by C Roche, Sired by Oscar

    Bay Mare, 7yo, (Foaled January 1st, 2008)
  • Storm Force Ten

    They went a real dawdle in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial but that didn¿t stop Peace And Co underlining his claims for the main event in March. The one from the race I took though was Storm Force Ten, who was last of the sextet turning in, not ideal off the slow pace. Considering that, he stayed on well up the hill and almost denied Zarib for third on the line. This was an encouraging effort with the Fred Winter in mind as there could be plenty of improvement in him on better ground. You would think this run will see him nudge up the handicap enough to get in the race, too, and he¿s worth keeping an eye on in the spring. (BL) Trained by A M Balding, Sired by Shirocco

    Bay Gelding, 3yo, (Foaled March 31st, 2011)
  • Tango De Juilley (FR)

    It was a bit of a step into the unknown for Tango De Juilley at Wincanton on his latest start. It was the first time he had encountered heavy ground and it was the first time he had raced over the extended two-and-a-half miles, yet he was beaten less than a length despite not helping himself. Venetia Williams' seven-year-old is used to racing over two miles, and, in the early stages, it showed. The slower tempo meant he raced keenly under Liam Treadwell and soon the horse had pulled his jockey to the front. It would've been understandable had he folded once Black River and the eventual winner Filbert challenged him three out, but to his credit he dug in well and maintained his challenge all the way to the line. Heavy ground is clearly no hindrance and he looks a surefire future winner over the trip. Indeed, if he learns to settle better in the early stages - something that his trainer will no doubt be working on - he could leave his current handicap rating of 138 way behind. Trained by Miss V Williams, Sired by Lesotho

    Bay Gelding, 6yo, (Foaled April 20th, 2008)
  • Top of The Glas (IRE)

    Has failed to take advantage of two decent openings since being added to the Notebook following his second to the well-regarded Chatez on his hurdling bow. His hurdling has gone backwards since that first run too but this decent Flat performer should now get a workable handicap mark. He may need top of the ground to be able to exploit it. Trained by B Ellison, Sired by Verglas

    Grey Gelding, 3yo, (Foaled April 6th, 2011)
  • Vent De La Cote (FR)

    Far from his owner's first string at Naas but this French import caught the eye staying on to the fore of the chasing pack behind the principals and duly ran out a well backed 2/1 winner on his next start at Cork. His future now lies in the hands of the handicapper but there should be more to come. Trained by Martin Brassil, Sired by Secret Singer

    Bay Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled March 23rd, 2009)
  • Vibrato Valtat (FR)

    Scored at 5/2 on his first run since going in the Notebook and went in again two runs later at 5/1 in a Grade One novice chase at Sandown. Followed that up with another victory at Kempton at 11/4 and those performances will force the hand of connections who believe that he is firmly in the mix for the Arkle. Indeed, his most recent victory marked him down as one of the stronger British challengers for the race - and the notion that he's a quirky ride who needs to be delivered as late as possible also seems less of an issue over fences. (WH) Trained by P F Nicholls, Sired by Voix Du Nord

    Grey Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled March 4th, 2009)
  • Village Vic (IRE)

    Decent novice hurdler a couple of years ago and was sixth in My Tent Or Yours' Betfair Hurdle off a mark of 134, he eventually got off the mark in a maiden hurdle at Worcester in September 2013 but hadn't been seen since until Ascot. Sent off 11/4 in a field of five for his chasing debut, he jumped enthusiastically (albeit markedly to his left) and wasn't beaten far despite getting tired late on. This was an encouraging run considering his absence and his handicap mark, some way lower than his highest rating over timber, could be lenient. Let's hope he goes right-handed next time too. (BL) Trained by P J Hobbs, Sired by Old Vic

    Bay Gelding, 7yo, (Foaled April 12th, 2007)
  • Vinnie Red (IRE)

    Vinnie Roe looks a young novice hurdler to follow closely after winning in good style at Stratford. Evan Williams' five-year-old, racing in the famous silks of Mr and Mrs William Rucker, was third in a Doncaster bumper on his only previous racecourse appearance back in March but the switch to jumping brought about significant improvement. For a trainer/owner combination better known for the staying exploits of the likes of State Of Play and Cappa Bleu, it was hugely encouraging to see this son of Vinnie Roe quicken nicely on turning into the straight and he could even afford to make a mess of the last flight of hurdles before going on to beat Summer Storm by five lengths. The ground was against him at Kelso and he can do better again when conditions dry out. Trained by Evan Williams, Sired by Vinnie Roe

    Chestnut Gelding, 5yo, (Foaled March 30th, 2009)
  • Voix D'eau (FR)

    Failed to justify decent market support on his British debut but travelled well enough for far enough to believe that he can win races for his new connections. A drop in trip may suit this novice who also looks to have the scope to jump a fence so all the options appear to be open for this French import. Trained by H Fry, Sired by Voix Du Nord

    Bay Gelding, 4yo, (Foaled April 9th, 2010)
  • Western Rules (IRE)

    Won a bumper in which his trainer had a decent record having taken it previously with Chidswell, Noble Alan and Middleton Dene. Unlikely to be over raced or over faced this season but appeals as one to keep on side over this season and next having landed a gamble in good style despite showing signs of inexperience. Confirmed that impression with an easy win at 4/7 under a penalty and there's surely more to come. Trained by N G Richards, Sired by Westerner

    Bay Gelding, 4yo, (Foaled March 25th, 2010)
  • Zaidiyn (FR)

    Bred to be useful at the winter game, being a half-brother to Willie Mullins' classy Zaidpour and Zaynar, winner of the Triumph Hurdle in 2009. He didn't disappoint when winning in style at Bangor and looks capable of holding his own in decent company despite being turned over at Carlisle where the winner was heavily backed and being pulled up at Catterick when too keen in blinkers. In the last chance saloon now but cheekpieces (worked well for his siblings) and handicap company may be more to his liking. Trained by B Ellison, Sired by Zamindar

    Bay Gelding, 4yo, (Foaled April 29th, 2010)