Following on from the recent list of Northern-trained horses to follow, I've delved into the notes of southern-based animals that caught the eye at the track last season. The following list contains some of those, in fact only the first-named I haven't seen in the flesh.
The usual caveat here is that the following five horses may all be deceased. Let's hope not.
Ar Mest G Moore
Gary Moore has been plundering winners down south for years but several real chasing types in his care are seriously worth following, including this French bred.
The 5yro ran on all types of surfaces in his first season in bumpers and hurdles races but looked very much at ease on the soft, particularly when getting off the mark at Lingfield in February. However the key race may have been at Sandown next time where he came down three out – too far from home to make a conclusive judgement.
However, he settled better than ever behind the heavy odds-on favourite suggesting the penny was really starting to dropping. He looks a decent jumper in the main (albeit with a tendency to go right-handed) and has substance to jump a fence in time.
The breeding raises a slight question mark but the dam is by Cadoudal so once he learns to settle he is likely to have stamina to burn. Over the top by April, his current mark of 117 looks a good one.
Back To The Thatch H Daly
Henry Daly had one of his better seasons with a super strike rate, and he seems to have plenty of ammunition to enjoy further success this time around.
I do like an old-fashioned looking chaser and who better to bring on such a type than a protege of Capt T Forster, and I expect this Westerner gelding to be one of his leading lights.
A very slow learner, he put a couple of poor rounds of jumping behind him to rout a Chepstow field in January before taking a heavy fall when going well in the Eider.
He jumped well in Midlands National before that gruelling test eventually proved too much, but he's still only six and looks a thorough stayer that can only keep on strengthening. With a rating of 129, he's likely to prove very well handicapped on soft ground this winter and he can land a decent Saturday prize.
Cajun Fiddle A King
Alan King had a ghastly season, registering by far his lowest winning tally in many years, but as a result has several very well handicapped horses in his care.
This mare's first term over fences a complete washout (one of many to be sidelined from January to March) but she had plenty of experience in bumpers and hurdles, when she ran well in the Grade 2 Final race at Newbury in the spring, so there's no worries on that score.
Starting from a very low mark of 112, she has the size for fences and enjoys decent ground, and should be effective 2m4f to 3m. I'm hoping to see a different horse this time around.
Leskinfere O Greenall
A likeable 5yro with plenty of scope, this son of Darsi was noted staying on nicely in all three novice hurdles over 2m4f before being thrown into the deep end somewhat in a C3 handicap at Market Rasen in March.
Even over 2m7f it all seemed to be happening a bit quick but it looks strong form and although disappointing on the face of it, I thought he ran with credit. Big tracks will suit this horse, who looks a dour stayer, while all four runs came on soft ground and it appears to suit.
Given typical strengthening at this stage of his career, he ought be able to pick up a race or two at 3m+ beginning on 113, before embarking on a chasing career for a small stable very much on the up.
Perfect Harmony A King
A £65k purchase as a 4yro, this is a strong, well made chaser in the making that has done little wrong in defeat in three outings over timber following his bumper win at Newbury the previous campaign.
Behind good horses in all three starts, he caught my eye at Doncaster and he looks a staying chaser for this season, although as a novice, it wouldn’t be surprising if his trainer looked to pick up a small race over hurdles first.
An exciting prospect, starting out on a workable mark of 124, he's yet to race on very bad ground. He was a little keen on occasions and a more relaxed attitude can bring about serious improvement.