Northern Ireland-trained Vaucelet and the David Maxwell-owned pair of Cat Tiger and Jatiluwih head rating lists in the forthcoming edition of point-to-pointing’s annual Yearbook.
Vaucelet, who won Stratford’s pointtopoint.co.uk Champion Novices’ Hunters’ Chase (for the John Corbet Cup), heads the list of six-year-olds with a rating of 125. Cat Tiger and Jatiluwih are the leading seven-year-olds having been given marks of 129.
David Christie, who trains Vaucelet in County Fermanagh for owners John and Jenny O’Kane, says of the son of Authorized: “He’s out at grass on holiday and the plan is to keep him for hunter chasing next season. The owners are keen on hunter chasing and they also own Winged Leader, who is one of the top four hunter chasers in Ireland. They are always hoping for a horse that could take them to one of the Foxhunters.”
Vaucelet (Ben Harvey) winning at Stratford, with Fumet D'Oudairies and Premier Magic close behind (chasdog.com)
Vaucelet showed promise in two maiden hurdles and then finished second in a point-to-point for Liz Doyle before joining Christie late last autumn. Covid closures meant he did not run again until early May when he won a maiden hunters’ chase at Down Royal, and he followed that up just over three weeks later with the Stratford triumph.
Christie says: “He’s a big, raw, tall horse, and when I got him I was looking forward to giving him a summer at grass to give him more time to mature. I wanted to bring him up the through the ranks last season, but Covid spoiled that plan, and so I had to run him at Down Royal. It’s a tough course, but he did it very well, and then I thought the experience of going to Stratford would do him good.
“Your fences in Britain are totally different to those in Ireland. The Irish fences have more of a belly on them, while yours look darker. Some Irish horses when seeing them for the first time can get sucked into the bottom of them, and that’s what happened when we took Winged Leader to Stratford a couple of years ago [when second to Law Of Gold in the pointtopoint.co.uk Champion Novices’ Hunters’ Chase].
“I was chuffed to bits with the way Vaucelet jumped at Stratford, and he’s a galloping horse, not a horse with a lot of gears, so to win the way he did there was impressive. I think Cheltenham would suit him.
“He’s such a straightforward horse – anyone could ride him at home, he’s very well balanced and has a beautiful mouth and way of going.”
Vaucelet and Ben Harvey are led in by trainer David Christie after his Stratford win (chasdog.com)
The Tom Ellis-trained Fumet D’Oudairies, who finished second to Vaucelet at Stratford having won hunters’ chases at Leicester and Cheltenham, is the second-highest rated six-year-old with a mark of 121, while the mare Daly An Sceil, who was transformed by a move to Jack Teal’s Yorkshire stables and won three point-to-points, is third on 113. Two six-year-olds are given a mark of 111 – the former hurdler Kaproyale, who was so impressive in two wins for Fran Nimmo, and the Chris Barber-trained Famous Clermont, who won the Print Concern Restricted Series Championship and a £1,000 prize.
The leading seven-year-olds – Cat Tiger and Jatiluwih – are both owned by David Maxwell, who also owns the highly-rated 10-year-old Punchestown winner Bob And Co – it will be interesting to see whether he or Porlock Bay head the Yearbook’s overall ratings. Cat Tiger, who like Bob And Co, is trained by Paul Nicholls, won a Leicester hunters’ chase and then finished third under his owner in the Randox Foxhunters’ Chase at Aintree won by nine-year-old Cousin Pascal. Cat Tiger later conceded 11lb to Tanit River when second to that horse at Southwell.
The Beth Childs-trained Jatiluwih won impressively at Bishops Court on the season’s opening day, and while he pulled up at Barbury Racecourse in December he was back to his best when making Wishing And Hoping work hard for victory at Worcester in May.
Jatiluwih (Will Biddick) on his way to post for a winning point-to-point debut at Bishops Court
Premier Magic, who finished third in the pointtopoint.co.uk Champion Novices’ Hunters’ Chase under his trainer, Bradley Gibbs, ended the season with a rating 127 and joint-third place in the table of seven-year-olds. He also won a Leicester hunters’ chase and the Lady Dudley Cup at Chaddesley Corbett’s Worcestershire Hunt meeting.
Sharing that rating and position in the table is Mr Mantilla, who won three point-to-points in Ireland before transferring to Gloucestershire trainer David Jeffreys and finishing eight of 18 in Cheltenham’s St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase.
The Point-to-Point & Hunter Chase Yearbook 2020-21 will cost £19.95 and can be bought through this website from early September. It becomes a hardback for the first time since 2011, and a new feature will be a compilation of the pace ratings which appeared during the season in Go Pointing and which help to identify races that were truly run.
The form ratings have been compiled for the Point-to-Point Racing Company by racecourse commentator and analyst Martin Harris. His marks are based on performances in British point-to-points or hunters’ chases during the 2020/21 season, not on any subsequent efforts in bumpers, hurdles or chases.
Had he been asked to factor in such performances the rating of 101 given to Ahoy Senor would look very different. Now a six-year-old, he was trained by Mel Rowley to win by a distance at Kimble in November (pictured in front, main photo above), following which he was sold for £50,000 at Goffs UK’s November Sale to licensed trainer Lucinda Russell, for whom he won a Gr.1 staying novices’ hurdle at Aintree.
Bred in Britain by point-to-point owner Don Constable, Ahoy Senor is currently rated 152 by the BHA and is the current poster boy of British point-to-pointing.