Three eye-catchers from the weekend's Jumps action

Fergal O'Brien will be hoping to find some good opportunities over fences for Totterdown this season.
Fergal O'Brien will be hoping to find some good opportunities over fences for Totterdown this season.

Nick Seddon reviews the weekend’s Jumps action, and picks out three horses who may be worth adding to your trackers…

Totterdown - Fergal O’Brien (15:56 Market Rasen, Saturday)

An early season novices’ chase can often be something to savour, and Saturday’s three-runner event at Market Rasen could prove to be an informative affair. The field was a select one, containing a Swinton Hurdle winner in Le Patriote and last season’s Betfair Hurdle winner Pic D’Orhy, and while both will undoubtedly enjoy productive campaigns judged on what they showed on the day, it would be folly to ignore the effort of the Fergal O’Brien-trained Totterdown in third. 

Indeed, Totterdown has shown some useful form over timber during his career, and while he’s rather old to be trying chasing for the first time as a nine-year-old, he certainly showed plenty to work on in a tough first assignment. Running particularly keen in the early stages, Totterdown set a brisk pace up front, and while he showed plenty of inexperience with his jumping early on, it improved as proceedings wore on. This initial outing ought to have taught him plenty, and while he was ultimately picked off by his two rivals at three from home, he stuck to his task well, attacking the last fence and running all the way to the line. He may not have the same scope for improvement this term as his two rivals, but there’s definitely a race or two in Totterdown over fences, and it would be no surprise should his shrewd yard find him a good opportunity or two over the next few months. 

Buzz - Nicky Henderson (15:10 Ffos Las, Sunday)

Ffos Las’ feature on Sunday was the £25,000 Welsh Champion Hurdle over two miles, which saw some recognisable names fight out the finish, with Graded performers Sceau Royal and Ballyandy finishing first and second respectively. The pair were conceding a fair amount of weight to the field on the day, though Buzz certainly caught the eye with his effort to finish third on just his fourth start over timber. 

Buzz was a useful novice in three starts last term, winning back-to-back events at Taunton and Doncaster at the beginning of the year, and he shaped as though he was on a good mark here, being beaten just three lengths by the winner. Having travelled well into the race under Jeremiah McGrath, Buzz made a bad error at the final flight when moving into contention, and while he probably wouldn’t have won anyways, he rallied well to get within a neck of the runner-up Ballyandy at the line. Rated 136 by the handicapper at the weekend, Buzz looks a smart prospect for valuable handicaps this term, and provided he isn’t punished too severely for this effort, he’s one to keep an eye on.

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Kentucky Hardboot - Mohamed Moubarak (13:15 Kempton, Sunday)

The story of Kempton's opener on Sunday was undoubtedly Nico de Boiniville's efforts to guide home Overpriced Mixer after a mishap at the last, though the runner-up Kentucky Hardboot deserves plenty of credit for his effort on hurdling debut. Having shown just modest form in 11 starts on the level, winning once, Kentucky Hardboot was easy to back in the market for his small yard, but he knew his job well on his hurdling bow, producing a solid round of jumping. He picked up well for his rider's urgings when asked to close on the front two by Jack Quinlan around the bend, and certainly wasn't beaten when a length behind the untidy leader at the final flight. Overpriced Mixer ultimately had too much in the finish, and could be a smart prospect, but Kenctuky Hardboot stuck to his task well in the closing stages, and this likeable type looks more than capable of winning a race in this sphere. 

Horses highlighted in previous articles

Paris Dixie (Nicky Henderson)

Friend Or Foe (Paul Nicholls)

Sir Psycho (Paul Nicholls) 

2021 Cheltenham Festival
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