Flaming Ambition, who won his sole start at Maisemore Park in March, has been given the highest rating among horses who finished last season as four-year-olds.
Lists of the leading four- to seven-year-olds appear in the forthcoming edition of the Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Yearbook 2020-21, in which the Chris Barber-trained Flaming Ambition (pictured above under Tiernan Power Roche) heads the youngest age group with a rating of 101. The Yearbook, which returns to hardback for the first time since 2011, can be bought through this website from early September at a price of £19.95.
A quartet of five-year-olds share the no.1 position among their age group with a mark of 103 – they are the Fran Nimmo-trained Adjournment, Tom Ellis’s duo of Harper’s Brook and Itsallintheclouds, plus the Mel Rowley-trained Kyntara. The ratings have been compiled for the Point-to-Point Racing Company by racecourse commentator and form analyst Martin Harris.
Adjournment (James King) in front at Maisemore Park
Flaming Ambition made a good impression when beating Adjournment, who was conceding 10lb, by four and a half lengths at Maisemore Park in March, and was then offered for sale at Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale. He was led from the ring unsold when bidding halted at £65,000, but changed hands privately and moved to Gary Hanmer’s stable for a career under Rules. Adjournment has joined Ollie Greenall’s Cheshire stables after being sold at that Tattersalls sale for £45,000.
Following Flaming Ambition on the list of top four-year-olds is the Alan Hill-trained Zertopek (97), who finished second on his sole start to date behind Guttural at Edgcote – the winner had finished third on his previous start in a Ludlow hunters’ chase. Third on the list is the Tom Ellis trained Another Mystery (95), who was sold at Tattersalls Cheltenham for £55,000 after landing a 14-runner maiden at Kimble. The runner-up, Dash For Cash, and Scotch On Da Rocks, are rated 93.
Of the other leading five-year-olds who were rated 103, Itsallintheclouds was trained by Tom Ellis to win his sole race, an Aldington maiden, in the colours of former PPSA head Stephen Howlett, while his stablemate, Harper’s Brook, won impressively at Chaddesley Corbett in December and was later third in a Wetherby bumper after being sold for £70,000 into Ben Pauling’s yard.
Kyntara, who won at Bishops Court on the opening day of the season, was later switched into Kim Bailey’s yard and ran out an easy bumper winner at Warwick in February.
Kyntara (Alex Edwards) after winning at a soggy Bishops Court on the season's opening day
Salt Of The Earth, who won for Alan Hill’s yard at Barbury before Christmas, and Kinondo Kwetu, who scored at Trebudannon for Fran Nimmo, are next best on a rating of 97. Salt Of The Earth later made £55,000 at Goffs UK’s December Sale when knocked down to trainer Laura Morgan, while trainer Sam England gained what could prove a bargain when securing Kinondo Kwetu at Goffs UK’s Spring Sale for £14,000.
Harris’s ratings are based on performances in British point-to-points or hunters’ chases during the 2020/21 season, not on any subsequent performances in bumpers, hurdles or chases.
Another member of Rowley’s string, The Player Queen, gained a rating of 87 when winning as a four-year-old at Maisemore Park in late October, but after failing to change hands at Goffs UK’s Yorton Sale in November she won a Cheltenham bumper in April. That put a different complexion on her value, and when appearing at Goffs UK’s Spring Sale in May she was sold for £140,000 to trainer Rose Dobbin.
That sum was the highest for a British pointer offered at public auction having run in the 2020/21 season, although the Cheltenham win was a factor. The top price for a pointer who had not run under Rules was £80,000, which was the sum gained for the Ellis-trained Scotch On Da Rocks after winning at Mollington.
*On Wednesday, a look at the leading six- and seven-year-olds