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Five horses who caught the eye at the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival

By Harry Allwood@harry_allwood
Mon 29 Nov 2021

Our man Harry Allwood pinpoints a handful of horses who it could pay to follow after their eye-catching efforts in defeat at this year's Ladbrokes Winter Carnival.

When an eight-times champion jockey says "I've never seen one like this" after an exciting youngster storms to victory, you have to take note, and that is what Peter Scudamore said following Ahoy Senor’s impressive display in the John Francome Novices' Chase at Newbury on Saturday.

A Grade One winner at Aintree on his third outing over hurdles last season, he defeated some useful rivals in this Grade Two contest, which was his second start over fences, and is now likely to take on Bravemansgame, a rival he defeated at Aintree last season, in the Grade One Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton.

Lucinda Russell joined Nick Luck on Luck On Sunday to tell us more about Ahoy Senor and reflected on his victory at Newbury

There’s only going to be more to come from Ahoy Senor – who certainly has room for improvement in the jumping department – and he’s clearly got a big engine, so it will be an interesting clash when he faces Paul Nicholls' rising star again on Boxing Day.

Angus McNae will be analysing this performance and the other key victories at the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival, including Jonbon's impressive hurdling debut, in The Verdict on Racing TV on Monday. If you aren't able to watch the show live, it will be available to watch on racingtv.com and Racing TV's YouTube page shortly afterwards.

Below are five horses who caught the eye in defeat over the two days at Newbury and are worth following this season.

Good Risk At All

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Race: Second in the Play Ladbrokes 5 a Side on Football 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle (1.15pm, Friday)

I think Good Risk At All bumped into a potential star in Jonbon at Newbury on Friday, with Douvan’s full brother now a best-priced 7-2 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival following his impressive success.

The pace was sedate in the early stages of the race, and Good Risk At All lacked fluency in the jumping department until the pace quickened. However, he jumped much better under pressure than he did on his hurdling debut at Chepstow this month and he appears a work in progress.

I will not be surprised if connections had the Betfair Hurdle in mind for their youngster who, on this evidence, will relish a fast pace that he would face in a competitive handicap as he has been unsuited by the way the race has been run on his past two starts.

The form of his outings in bumpers last season has worked out extremely well, and he was successful in a Listed contest at Newbury in February where he defeated I Like To Move It, who has won at Grade Two level over hurdles this season, and the third, fourth, fifth and eighth in that contest have also won since.

While it may be disappointing Good Risk At All has been beaten on his first two starts over hurdles, he is not one to give up on yet and he remains with plenty of potential.

Mister Coffey

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Race: Third in the Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (1.50pm, Friday)

Mister Coffey developed into a useful hurdler last season, despite his quirks holding him back at the start of last year as he took a keen hold in his races plus also had the tendency to get himself worked up in the prelims.

He ran respectably in a Grade Three contest at Aintree on his final start over the smaller obstacles, where he again raced exuberantly throughout, and ended the season on a rating of 138.

“He’s very good and it will be disappointing if he wasn’t near the top,” said Nicky Henderson when discussing Mister Coffey in a stable tour on racingtv.com ahead of this season, and the Seven Barrows handler also said his six-year-old “has been crying out for fences.”

It was good to see him settle much better – he was also laid back in the preliminaries - on his chasing debut at Newbury on Friday where he produced some big leaps and was slow in the air at a couple of his obstacles.

He shaped as though he would benefit from the experience and while it was a shade disappointing he could only manage third, he was beaten by two rivals who had the benefit of experience over fences – and race fitness - and he will certainly improve when he brushes up his jumping.

He also had the tendency to hang left under pressure, which is a slight concern, but he strikes as being a horse who is capable of much better and he is worth keeping an eye on for the rest of the season.

Court Master

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Race: Second in the Sir Peter O'sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase (1.15pm, Saturday)

Court Master returned to form to finish second behind the rejuvenated Kapcorse in this extended 2m6f handicap chase and signalled that he’s set for another productive campaign.

Michael Scudamore’s eight-year-old was pulled up on his seasonal debut in October where it was reported he made a respiratory noise, and he was given a wind operation prior to this outing on Saturday.

He won two handicaps last season, plus also went close in a couple of other decent contests and is now on a rating 1lb higher than his last winning mark, although may be nudged up a pound or two by the handicapper following his exertions here.

Despite the fact he goes well fresh, it would be wise to think he will strip fitter for his exertions here given it was his first run since a wind op, and he was pulled up a fair way from home on his first outing this season.

This sort of trip appears to be his optimum, and he has produced some of his career-best efforts at Newbury, so it would be no surprise to see him return to the track again over the coming months.

Masters Legacy

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Race: Second in the Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Hurdle (1.50pm, Saturday)

Having shown plenty of promise on his first three starts over hurdles, Masters Legacy failed to land a blow on his two outings following a 413-day absence last season, including when sent off a fancied contender in a handicap hurdle at Newbury in March, and he was not seen again until October this season.

However, the six-year-old proved he retains all his ability when successful at Chepstow on his return, and the form of that race has worked out well.

This was his first start over 2m4f, and he appeared to stay the trip well behind the winner, Earlofthecotswolds, who is a handicapper on an upward curve.

Masters Legacy is a youngster who has had his problems, but it will be disappointing if he does not continue to fulfil his potential this season and he could develop into a useful performer yet, especially as this was just his seventh start.

Remastered

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Race: Fell in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (3.00pm, Saturday)

It was too far out to say if he would have definitely won with a clear round, and the eventual winner, Cloudy Glen, had yet to be asked for his maximum effort but, given the way he was travelling, it is hard to argue that Remastered would not have played a part in the finish to the Ladbrokes Trophy had he not fallen four fences from home.

David Pipe’s charge had jumped well up until his departure and was just about to challenge Cloudy Glen when he suffered a crunching fall.

Thankfully, the eight-year-old was none the worse afterwards and although it was disappointing, connections can now aim him at other top staying handicaps throughout the season knowing he has the ability to be competitive in them.

He also fell too far out for the handicapper to raise him following this effort and a race such as the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day could now be on the agenda, especially as Remastered was victorious over the same course and distance last year.

Providing this fall does not knock his confidence, he can gain compensation before the end of the season.

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