Week 7: Autumn point-to-point season

18/11/2017 Kirkistown (yield-soft)

4yo maiden:

This has been a very decent maiden and throws up good track winners consistently. Ballynagour won for Stuart Crawford in 2010 (won a Byrne Plate at Cheltenham) and the 2012 scorer, Annacotty for Willie Murphy, won the Paddy Power Chase in 2015. Neither of the 2016 winners (two divisions) have yet scored but I suspect that Conor O’Dwyer’s Celebrity Status looks well handicapped and has been running respectably. His most recent start was eye-catching.

Sometime Soon (David Christie) by Shantou Unraced (R94)

£225,000 Cheltenham December 2017 to Gordon Elliott; 8th foal; brother to bumper/2m2f-3m hurdle winner Touch Back (Christy Roche R136), 2m hurdle winner Zen Master C Mann-112) and bumper winners Snag List (W Mullins) and Devils Paintbrush (N Meade); dam 1m2f winner (Listed placed over 1m4f for Jim Bolger), out of Australian Grade 3 winner Postage Due.

The Irish Field reported on the sale:

Agent Mags O’Toole and Gordon Elliott paid £225,000 for Kirkistown winner Sometime Soon. A son of Shantou, Sometime Soon was described by trainer David Christie as “the best I’ve trained” after that debut success.

Death Duty is flying the Shantou flag for Elliott and Gigginstown at the moment so this will be an investment to continue that success.

The notion that this is possibly the best horse he has ever trained could be slightly diluted by the fact that Christie never trained a 4yo maiden winner prior to this in the last 10 years at least.

5yo maiden:

You have to go back to 2014 to find the useful General Principle who has subsequently won four races for Gordon Elliott. His rating of 90 and a decent sales price suggested he had ability and he’s won a Grade 3 level over fences.

Davy Street (Denis Murphy) by Grape Tree Road 3 (R87)

Fourth foal; half-brother to bumper winner Miner Distraction (Jeremy Scott); dam unraced half-sister to point/3m2f hunter chase winner Foolish Myth, out of half-sister to 3m chase winner The Portsoy Loon.

He was a withdrawal from the recent Cheltenham-December Sale. The best guide to his chances of success under Rules is that fact that his UK-based sire, Grape Tree Road, has previously produced just three maiden winners (Burren Bridge, Ballymoat and Red OrWhite) and all have been very modest racecourse successes with two handicap chases off marks of 110 and 92 coming their way. This is his first winner between the flags since 2013.

19/11/2017 Turtulla (Golden Vale) (yield-soft)

A new course in 2017 replacing Glenbane where the Golden Vales have hosted an autumn meeting for many years. For comparative purposes, I am using the extended results.

4yo maiden:

“He’s always shown us plenty at home and we think he could be very good.”

A race that can be relied upon to produce a track winner. Won my Michael “Clondaw” Goff in both 2015 (“Cracker”) and 2016 (“Castle”); both horses won their first starts in bumpers and whilst the former has been disappointing since, the latter, Clondaw Castle, looks a very useful prospect for Tom George. It has also produced 7 track winners from 8 previous divisions between 2010 and 2014, so it’s a very reliable contest.

Interesting to relate that winning handler, Andy Slattery, is training a just-turned-four-year-old gelding for a friend of mine and although intended for an early season maiden he has attracted the attention of some serious judges before he even runs based on his home work. Slattery has very decent yardsticks and therefore this winner, Beakstown, could be good.

Slattery is never mentioned in a point-to-point context without reference to his production of, in their early days, Faugheen, Cooldine and Quel Esprit.

Beakstown (A Slattery) by Stowaway Unraced (R92)

Pedigree: E15,000 F; third foal; half-brother to point/useful bumper winner Minutestomidnight who has won a point and two bumpers from her only three starts for Jonathan Sweeney from Co. Cork so this is another serious upgrade for the page; dam (by Accordion) unraced half-sister to winners inc Midnight Gift (bumper/2m3f and 3m hurdle-Tom Hogan), Hidden Agent (2m2f-3m hurdle-Arthur Moore) and My Wigwam Or Yours (2m4f hurdle-N Henderson)- a very likable pedigree indeed! As mentioned above, Foxrock and Death Duty also feature in the recent family.

Beakstown is sure to have been sold privately afterwards and he is an exciting prospect.

Beakstown starred in the pre-Christmas edition of The Irish Field “Future Stars feature”.

5yo maiden:

A poor past record on track for previous winners – last year’s winner, Just Sorted, stayed pointing as did the 2013 winner; Venetia Williams bought the 2015 winner, Darcy’s Sound, who remains a maiden and only Ted Walsh’s 2014 winner managed to win a single hurdle race but has been very disappointing thereafter –  and an 86-rated winner (Three Loud Knocks) in 2017 who seems to be staying pointing eases the burden of research in this contest. He finished fourth in a winners’ event a few weeks later.

19/11/2017 Lingstown (soft)

4yo maiden:

This race was won by One For Arthur in 2013 and he of course won the 2017 Grand National. It was no once-off for the race as good, recent winners have included Minellafordollars, A Rated and Desertmore Stream. On the other hand, Tricky, winner of the first division in 2013 – contrast and compare fortunes with One For Arthur – remains a maiden but if he can be dropped 5-7lbs looks a moral at some point.

Darsi In The Park (D Doyle) by Darsi F-U (R92)

Pedigree: E11,000 3yo, £67,000 Cheltenham December 2017; sixth foal-there’s nary a trace of the previous five foals having any ability; dam unraced half-sister to bumper/2m4f chase/2m5f hurdle winner Arctic Sky (N Henderson), is granddaughter of 1m5f-2m1f winner Karminski.

I wouldn’t be taken by the pedigree and Jonjo O’Neill has a very patchy record indeed buying these pointers. This fellow looks overpriced to me and I am simply not a fan of his sire who can produce handicap hurdlers at best. If you care to track his progress I expect it will be a longer term plan with him although I’m not enthused especially now that I see that two horses that finished reasonably close to him at the finish both pulled up on their subsequent maiden starts.

5yo maiden:

This race has thrown up two track winners from its last three winners and both are solid performers for Evan Williams (2014: Roadie Joe won 5) and Nicky Henderson (2016: Whatswrongwithyou – a bumper winner rated 126). Ironically, this year’s winner has a very low rating of just 82 (gifted the race when the likely winner fell at the last) but I would mark him up significantly as he hails from the right quarters.

I Am Sailing (Margaret Mullins) by Flemensfirth Unraced (R82)

He started a very strongly-supported “two’s-on” favourite so clearly was working well prior to his pointing bow.

He is owned and bred by a Magnier – a brother to the family godfather – and, that reason alone, suggests to me that only winning stock will be retained to race and probably sold on if proving of interest to JP McManus in time. He is the third Flemensfirth foal (first to race) out of a modest maiden hurdle winner in 2006 who is a half-sister to two useful tools.

I Am Sailing has already seen racecourse action and belied his lowly 82 rating by finishing a very promising third in a Navan bumper in December for an initial RPR of 109. One can expect him to progress from here.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss any aspects of the bloodstock and racing industry please contact me at: dskelly@davidskelly.ie

If you would like some advice in relation to your business ventures I would be pleased to call to your premises for an initial meeting which is provided on a complimentary basis.

If you would like to get in touch to discuss any aspects of the bloodstock and racing industry please contact me at: dskelly@davidskelly.ie

Alternatively, if you would like some advice in relation to your business ventures I would be pleased to call to your premises for an initial meeting which is provided on a complimentary basis.

'The Accountant who knows his Assert from his Elbio'