By Joe Napier
We Have A Dream
Five-year-olds haven’t the best record in Champion Hurdles, Katchit being the last horse to return victorious over a decade ago – and he was the first horse from that age group to prevail in 23 years. Indeed, last season’s star juvenile Defi Du Seuil proved another disappointing addition to open company. However, We Have A Dream looks like he may be a different prospect. A winner of all five starts last season, he concluded 2017/18 as top-rated juvenile despite missing the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham due to injury. His final victory at Aintree saw him dispose of Apple’s Shakira, previously thought to be the Henderson first string, by 17 lengths, a powerful turn of foot taking him well clear by the line. He isn’t the biggest, but that cannot detract from his slick hurdling and natural speed. A win at the weekend, in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham, would surely have connections dreaming of the Champion Hurdle in March.
In a kinder universe, Singlefarmpayment may well be a Cheltenham Festival and Ladbrokes Trophy winner challenging for the top prizes on offer. As it is, he was touched off by Un Temps Pour Tout in the 2017 Ultima Handicap Chase before falling when sneaking into contention at Newbury and as such, he’ll be running off just 146 this weekend in the ‘Matchbook Betting Exchange’ Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. The high regard in which he is held by Tom George’s team was reflected by an enormous gamble on him prior to him pulling up after an error in the Cotswold Chase won by Definitly Red and though he failed to win on two starts thereafter, he retains potential off his current mark and can remain fiercely competitive. He’s of interest this weekend in particular, as he has a good record on Cheltenham’s Old Course and he goes well fresh.
Singlefarmpayment: Loves Cheltenham (especially the Old Course!)
It’s always risky to follow a horse with jumping problems but given Modus won three of his first four starts with a degree of authority, Paul Nicholls’ charge may be underrated by the handicapper. His two runs at the highest level exposed his weaknesses at the top table but he is rated 10lb lower over fences and a mark of 146 is fair. He is entered at both Cheltenham and Aintree over the weekend with either race looking a reasonable target to get off the mark for the season.
Shrewd is an adjective often thrown around in racing circles, but Nicky Henderson has been just that with regard to Haul Away, who has steadily risen up the ratings with three victories over the summer. His latest victory at Fontwell was not the prettiest but the most intriguing thing about him as that he is entered in a Pertemps qualifier. That shows sights may already be set on the Festival and though this will be his first attempt at three miles, he has stayed on strongly in all of his recent victories. Add in the fact that he is only a five-year-old and that suggests the potential is there for him to be a competitor come March.
Nicky Henderson: Targeting a Pertemps qualifier with Haul Away
After finishing last of six behind First Flow at Haydock in January, Lostintranslation would barely have been considered for a 0-130 handicap hurdle. However, that was during a tough period for the Colin Tizzard stable and he’s since gone on to be an encouraging seventh in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle before running Black Op to half-a-length at Aintree. He shaped like chasing might be more his game, especially upped in trip. He is entered in the Move Over To Matchbook Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham this Saturday and will be interesting to watch debuting over fences now that team Tizzard have their mojo back.
Lostintranslation (near side) makes his chasing debut
My Stable – Horse Tracking Made Simple
It’s that time of the year when jump season takes centre stage. With thousands of horses, hundreds of jockeys and plenty of trainers performing across the UK & Ireland in multiple meetings every single day, it can be tough to keep track of all that catches your eye.
But not any longer. Our My Stable service is the simple and perfect way to stay on top (and ahead) of the game. You can easily follow the progress of your favourite horses, jockeys and trainers across six months of pure racing theatre by adding them to My Stable.
It’s your own personal space on your free Sporting Life account where you can create a yard full of talent that means something to you. That way, you can develop your racing knowledge and build a better picture of the races to come. Plus, you also get notifications when anyone in My Stable is due to perform so you never miss a jump – or an opportunity to profit.