Horses for courses, or trainers for races?

28-February-2021
28-February-2021 19:21
in General
by Peter McNeile

There are trainers you know have a particular penchant for specific courses, and specific races. Just as you could always expect David Nicholson to produce a good novice chaser at Warwick, so you can always expect his former protege, now highly successful top 5 trainer in his own right - Alan King - to target horses at Kempton's Adonis Hurdle en route to a tilt at the Triumph. 

And so it was no great surprise to see the top dog of Barbury produce smart middle distance Flat recruit Tritonic to win the Adonis on Saturday as a preamble to the JCB Triumph Hurdle in 12 days time. The race has a solid record of producing Triumph winners; 6 horsdes since 1988 have achieved the quickfire follow up, including Mysilv (1994), Katarino (1999), Snow Drop (2000), Penzance (2005), Soldatino (2010) and Zarkander (2011), three of these winners being of the modern day Triumph, a very different race to the cavalry charge that was the Triumph before tha addition of the Fred Winter to the Festival. 

Tritonic wins the Adonis for Max McNeill

And Alan King has form with the Adonis too. Master Blue Eyes (2017) and Redicean (2018) both won their Adonis prep. Redicean was outpaced in his Triumph follow up, filling sixth place behind Farclas for Gordon Elliott, whilst Master Blueyes too was outpaced, but finisnhed lame behind Defi Su Seuil, quite a tough act in the first instance. Redicean has since won a Grade I hurdle in the USA.

Another trainer with a good record in another of Kempton's February races is Tom George, whose Clondaw Castle was well fancied to win the feature Close Brothers Handicap Chase, and did so, always holding the second. This was a leg of a cross card double for Tom, whose horses are coming into form at just the perfect moment for the cluster of big spring prizes. Tom has previoulsy won this race twice with Nacarat.

I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this chase, formerly identified as the Racing Post Chase, has rather lost its identity. In these Covid times, perhaps the title of the race doesn't matter, but to distinguish itself from other staying handicaps, it looks as if some consistency in the sponsor would be on Kempton's wish list. Time was when both its identity and prize fund shone out as remarkable - no longer.

Clondaw Castle will likely head to Aintree, more evidence if it were needed, that top trainers are increasingly seeing Aintree's races as destinations in their own right, and not a post-Cheltenham afterthought. For those that talk disparagingly of the dominance of the Festival, then this is a really positive move. 

Next Event

When?

Sunday December 12th Barbury International First Race 11.30am

Sunday February 13th Vine & Craven First race 11.30am

Sunday April 10th Tedworth First Race 1.15pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where?

Barbury, 3m N of Marlborough, off A346, Jn 15 M4

 

Latest News

Horses for courses, or trainers for races?

28-February-2021
28-February-2021 19:21
in General
by Peter McNeile

There are trainers you know have a particular penchant for specific courses, and specific races. Just as you could always expect David Nicholson to produce a good novice chaser at Warwick, so you can always expect his former protege, now highly successful top 5 trainer in his own right - Alan King - to target horses at Kempton's Adonis Hurdle en route to a tilt at the Triumph. 

And so it was no great surprise to see the top dog of Barbury produce smart middle distance Flat recruit Tritonic to win the Adonis on Saturday as a preamble to the JCB Triumph Hurdle in 12 days time. The race has a solid record of producing Triumph winners; 6 horsdes since 1988 have achieved the quickfire follow up, including Mysilv (1994), Katarino (1999), Snow Drop (2000), Penzance (2005), Soldatino (2010) and Zarkander (2011), three of these winners being of the modern day Triumph, a very different race to the cavalry charge that was the Triumph before tha addition of the Fred Winter to the Festival. 

Tritonic wins the Adonis for Max McNeill

And Alan King has form with the Adonis too. Master Blue Eyes (2017) and Redicean (2018) both won their Adonis prep. Redicean was outpaced in his Triumph follow up, filling sixth place behind Farclas for Gordon Elliott, whilst Master Blueyes too was outpaced, but finisnhed lame behind Defi Su Seuil, quite a tough act in the first instance. Redicean has since won a Grade I hurdle in the USA.

Another trainer with a good record in another of Kempton's February races is Tom George, whose Clondaw Castle was well fancied to win the feature Close Brothers Handicap Chase, and did so, always holding the second. This was a leg of a cross card double for Tom, whose horses are coming into form at just the perfect moment for the cluster of big spring prizes. Tom has previoulsy won this race twice with Nacarat.

I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this chase, formerly identified as the Racing Post Chase, has rather lost its identity. In these Covid times, perhaps the title of the race doesn't matter, but to distinguish itself from other staying handicaps, it looks as if some consistency in the sponsor would be on Kempton's wish list. Time was when both its identity and prize fund shone out as remarkable - no longer.

Clondaw Castle will likely head to Aintree, more evidence if it were needed, that top trainers are increasingly seeing Aintree's races as destinations in their own right, and not a post-Cheltenham afterthought. For those that talk disparagingly of the dominance of the Festival, then this is a really positive move. 

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