Past Winners » Inthepocket


I am backing Inthepocket and Strong Leader in the Top Novices’ Hurdle.

I thought that Inthepocket should have been favourite.  It may be that he will be better over two and a half miles in time, maybe next season as a chaser, but he ran a big race in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle over today’s trip to finish fourth.  He was only six lengths behind Marine Nationale.

Henry de Bromhead’s horse won the Grade 2 Navan Novice Hurdle over two and a half miles, but he also ran well in the Grade 1 two-mile novice hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival to finish second behind Il Etait Temps.  He continues to improve, he has a really nice progressive profile, and he could improve again today.

I am also getting Strong Leader on side at the price.  He was well beaten in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but he didn’t run badly.  And he had a lovely progressive profile going into the race.

It may be that he is better on a flat track than on Cheltenham’s undulations, even though he did finish second in the bumper at Cheltenham’s October meeting.  Also, the ground that he encountered at Cheltenham was the softest ground on which he had ever raced.

He easily landed a novices’ hurdle on good ground at Southwell on his final run before Cheltenham, and it is obviously a positive that he was impressive in winning a novices’ hurdle at Aintree in December on his only run at the track.