It was relatively quiet couple of days on the National Hunt front this weekend and in truth my notebook stayed shut most of the time. The flat action, as is to be expected at this time of the year, cranked up a notch and I must say that Farhh was hugely impressive in winning the Lockinge on Saturday. As mentioned on my NTF Facebook page he was unbeaten when returning from a break of 121 days+ and after his G1 romp on Saturday that still remains the case (4 from 4).
As far as runners to follow go there wasn’t much to get my radar twitching, however, there is one horse I want to share with you all who could turn out to be a major player at a minor yard…
NTF 1 to follow from the weekend: MUTANAWWER…
MUTANAWWER (A Crook) – 2nd in the Bumper at Marken Rasen (5.00) – Sunday 19th May
As far as a bumper on a Sunday at Market Rasen goes I have a feeling this one may turn out to be better than a standard run of the mill sort of race. The front two pulled upwards of 10 lengths clear of the others and the 3rd and 4th placed runners look like decent animals in their own right. Second placed Mutanawwer looks one that has plenty speed in his pedigree whilst the winner Make Me A Fortune, who was under a sustained A P McCoy drive, is packed full of stamina influences. In a tight contest (it went to a photo-finish) it was just the stamina traits of Make Me A Fortune that held out and although he is sure to be worthy of following over timber, especially when stepped up in trip, it is the runner up that particularly caught my eye. He traveled sweetly throughout most of the race and looked to be all over the winner as they both pulled away in the home straight, however, Make Me A Fortune’s stamina started to really kick in within the final furlong and the Crook horse just couldn’t quite hang on.
So where to now for MUTANAWWER?
It’s not that easy to pin-point exactly where he may turn up next but he looks more than capable of landing a bumper before heading over obstacles. It has to be said it wasn’t only the visual performance of Mutanawwer that caught my eye but also some of the stats connected with the yard.
Here are a couple worthy of mentioning…
Andy Crook doesn’t have the greatest record at Market Rasen – 0/23 in the past 5 years – so the fact this one all but landed in the winners enclosure had me interested.
Andy Crook’s bumper runners generally don’t win – 1/44 | 2% S/R | Win & Place 5/44 | 11% S/R (since start of 2008) – the fact that this only went down by a neck suggests he is one of the better bumper runners he has had in recent seasons.
Andy Crook’s runners (for whatever reason) perform better going left-handed than right-handed (Market R is right-handed) – L-Handed S/R is 7% compared to R-Handed S/R of 2% – again this is another indicator that this lad is potentially better than some of the recent runners Crook has had in the yard.
The fact MUTANAWWER was doing a few things that plenty others in the yard have failed to do simply added a bit more juice to his visually impressive performance on the track and again suggested that this lad has the potential to be a stable star.
With regards to where he could turn up next Sedgefield does look a potential for him as that is where Crook’s runners do perform at an eye-catching rate – 8/82 | 10% S/R | Win & Place 19/82 | 23% S/R.
On the breeding front (and specifically Dosage) the Red Ransom gelding holds plenty of influential sires (and, to a certain extent, dams) in his 4 generation pedigree and they give him a power-packed Dosage line of 6-10-25-2-1 | (DQ) | (44) | 1.84 | 0.41.
There are plenty of indicators that this 4yo has the credentials to be a well above average runner for the yard and he is well worthy of following.
*Stats sourced from the excellent Proform Database
1 To Follow: Honorable mention…
Stratford held a valuable Handicap Chase over 2m4f on Sunday and for the second race in a row WOOLCOMBE FOLLY (P Nicholls) ran an eye-catching race in 2nd without actually quite managing to win or indeed make my to follow list. I’m in 2 minds whether he is in the grip of the handicapper from his 150 mark or if he is just at a stage of his career where he will continually find at least 1 too good for him every time. As such he remains in my peripheral vision, without me actually knowing what to do with him…
Billie Magern & Problema Tic…
Judging by the number of emails, tweets and facebook comments I received plenty of you backed good old Billie Magern on his romp at Ludlow last week on the back of either my recent ‘ 1 to follow post’ or my FREE Summer Stunners guide. He was mightily impressive that day under what was essentially ideal conditions and there is every chance he could well follow up at some stage over the summer. It all really depends on how the handicapper reacts to his win and what mark he allocates when he reassesses him. Fingers crossed he doesn’t crucify him…
Problema Tic, another NTF 1 to follow runner, also took to the track last week. He turned up in a Class 3, 3 mile Handicap Hurdle at Aintree, not really the conditions I was marking him down as one to follow admittedly. I can only assume this was either a confidence booster after his early fall in the Scottish National or indeed a race to keep him sharp whilst at the same time protecting his chase mark. He was never really put into the contest (suggesting it was potentially just a run to keep him sharp) but he still remains as one to follow when getting his conditions back over fences.
FREE NTF Summer Stunners guide…
My latest FREE NTF guide was released to members of the FREE NTF Service last week. To date there have been 2 qualifiers from the 12 highlighted runners, with both winning – Billie Magern at 9/2 & Trackmate at 14/1. Clearly I don’t expect it to keep firing at this rate (chance would be a fine thing!) but the guide has already proven its worth to followers of the Summer Jumping game and I would expect it to keep doing so throughout the summer.
You can still download this guide by popping your name in the sign-up box at the top right of the Blog.
Ben – (NTF).