Boothill (Timeform rating: h127P)
BOOTHILL showed plenty of speed when winning a strong Kempton bumper on his debut under Rules last season, and he clocked a good time in doing so. That effort marked Boothill down as a potentially smart prospect and his performance on hurdling debut at Taunton last week did nothing to alter that view.
Boothill looked something special as he coasted to a 9-and-half-length success in division two of the novices’ hurdle, jumping well in the main and quickening clear on the bridle. The powerful Boothill clocked a time that compares favourably to that registered by the wide-margin winner of the first division, and he rates a really exciting prospect.
Any News (h131p)
ANY NEWS lost his unbeaten record under Rules at Cheltenham on Friday, but he enhanced his reputation when beaten only a length in second. Running in Friday’s novices’ hurdle under a penalty represented a much stiffer test for Any News than what he had faced on his hurdles debut at Bangor, but he proved himself to be a good prospect – impressing with how well he travelled into contention.
Any News led at the last, but was overhauled in the final 50 yards by a rival in receipt of 6lbs and with some solid form to his name. The pair pulled 12 lengths clear of the third in a time that compared favourably to the handicap hurdle on the card. Any News is certainly up to winning more races in this sphere, while he will make a smashing chaser further down the line.
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Captain Guinness (c146p)
CAPTAIN GUINNESS was found to be suffering with a heart issue after being pulled up on his chasing debut at Tipperary last month, but he bounced right back at Punchestown on Friday – putting in an impressive round of jumping on his way to a smooth success in a good time. Trainer Henry de Bromhead has suggested that the Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas will come a bit soon for Captain Guinness.
He is certainly worth his place at the highest level though, and is likely to be a leading contender for the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival in February. It’s worth remembering that Captain Guinness raced only three times over hurdles – he was running well when brought down at the second-last in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – so he remains open to further improvement.
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