Party Business is exactly what I’m looking for against inexperienced rivals in the 13-runner NH Novices’ Hurdle over two miles of ‘good to soft’ Warwick today when there are also jumping fixtures scheduled for other ‘favourite’ venues, Hexham and Ffos Las, where ground conditions are often extremely demanding at this time of year.
I’ve become aware of ‘bumper’ form, NH flat races, and just how important experience, at a useful level, is for the next step of hurdling; thrice-raced Party Business coincidentally achieved his best run over this left-handed circuit eight months ago when the Ian Wiliams-trained five-year-old Shantou gelding finished second, at one and a half lengths, to Black Poppy with others nine and upwards in arrears.
That was undoubtedly strong form and you can bet burgeoning conditional jockey Charlie Todd, aboard each time, has schooled Party Business extensively and to his complete satisfaction. It will be most interesting to monitor his hurdling technique and, do you know, I’m as fascinated now as ever and give thanks to a wonderful life involved with the ‘Sport Of Kings!’
Similarly-profiled Marsh Wren, jumping for the first time, was disappointing Monday, but shaped well and you really must follow all my losing selections as mentioned so often; if a thoroughbred achieves a significant tasty mark you just know there will be a time and place for success. Make a note of them.
Joyful Kit is an interesting ‘dec’ for the six-runner Mares’ Novice Hurdle over two and half miles; Tony Lawes’ charge, mount of James Bowen, was heavily-backed into favouritism at Plumpton a fortnight ago when six lengths fourth behind Blue Bikini, staying on well in the closing stages of two miles which suggested extra distance will be a plus.
Opposing will be Nicky Henderson-trained Queens River, winner of an Irish point-to-point which resulted in owner JP McManus forking out £330000!
Reputation versus form; should be most intriguing.
Henderson sends progressive Moonlight Flit to the Welsh venue for a Maiden Hurdle over two and a half miles of a predictably ‘soft’ surface; what beats this once-raced Getaway gelding will win!
Should we attach significance to stable jockey Nico de Boinville journeying west?
Selections, Warwick, 12.00 Party Business (e.w); 1.05 Joyful Kit (e.w); Ffos Las, 1.25 Moonlight Flit (e.w).
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019