A Westcountry scribe posted the following list of point to point maiden winners that impressed them in the 2012-13 season on the Jumping For Fun discussion forum recently, they felt these horses would be quite likely to go on to make their mark under rules in the coming few years, and that it was the highest quality season for new horses they could remember for some time. Reposted here with permission as three of the horses raced in the Devon & Cornwall area last season.
1. FULL SHIFT – Very impressive at Milborne St Andrew on début, recording the fastest three-mile time of the day. Jumped for fun, and showed both strength and pace at the end of the race to power up the run-in. Bought afterwards by JP McManus and put into training with Nicky Henderson, I’ve no doubt this 4-year-old would easily be capable of winning a bumper before going on to a successful hurdles and chasing career. Could be destined for the top.
2. PORT MELON – A very sleek-looking individual, who could rate very highly in the future judging by his ability shown in the pointing field. Hacked up over 2m4f at Trebudannon on début, he jumped well and won pretty much hard held. Followed up at Woodford with a very high-class display of jumping, speed and stamina over three miles in what was a strong restricted. He has more than enough pace for a bumper and jumps for fun.
3. NET WORK ROUGE – A very impressive looking horse, he jumped well and bolted up on his only start in a Woodford 2m4f maiden. He came there cruising at 4 out looking like he’d just joined in and went right away from the field without coming off the bit. Even accounting for Siege of Troy’s unlucky fall, this was a serious display and in my mind he’d hack up in a bumper. A most exciting 4-year-old.
4. URBAN HYMN – Heavily backed on début, this grand looking horse met a fence down the back wrong at Charlton Horethorne and came down. Out to gain compensation shortly afterwards at Ston Easton, another mistake saw him fail to complete, before we finally saw what he could do at Larkhill. On good ground he led nearly from flag fall and jumped and galloped his rivals into submission. He looked to me to have the subsequently impressive winner Virtuoso Rouge beaten when he departed 3 out and this was a visual performance that the clock backed up. A real stamp, he should make a fine chaser.
5. V NECK – Appeared at Bratton Down in May, where he looked a very strong 4-year-old in the paddock. He cantered round towards the back of the field before steadily making ground on the final circuit when hard on the bridle. At the last he looked to be around 3-4 lengths down when having to swerve, but effortlessly made the ground up on the run-in to saunter to victory. A horse with plenty of boot, with some very efficient jumping noted throughout his début and he should make a decent chaser.
6. TARA POINT – Technically this is a tad sneaky, as I didn’t actually see her win her maiden, but I saw a huge glimpse of ability in the driving snow at Charlton Horethorne on her début. She had effortlessly taken up the running and having jumped nicely to 3 out, victory looked assured, but she got the fence slightly wrong and sadly came down. A month later at Mollington she duly made amends in effortless fashion. In a normal mares bumper I’m sure she’d win easily, and she could be a very useful mare.
7. SILVER WARREN – Ran twice at Kingston St Mary and won twice, with effortless ease. Jumped and travelled for fun in his maiden where he beat Chinatown Boy, who later finished 2nd in a decent Woodford maiden. Silver Warren duly followed up in a restricted, once more giving a fine display of leaping. He is a great looking horse, and should make a decent chaser.
8. BITOFAPUZZLE – She won a mares maiden at Larkhill, with a lovely display of jumping and really striding away on the run-in. She seemed to really enjoy the good to soft going, powering through the ground that was being rained upon and looked to have stamina in abundance. She should make a really nice chaser in due course.
9. THOMAS BROWN – Put up a decent display at Bishops Court to win on début, where he jumped nicely before showing a ready turn of foot to sprint past his rivals on the run in. He soon followed up in a restricted at Larkhill, where he saw every fence on a stride, and won a shade cosily. Looks a very athletic and rangy type of horse, who should do well over obstacles.
10. VAZARO DELAFAYETTE – Gorgeous looking individual, he jumped well on début at Larkhill before showing a ready turn of foot to go clear of his rivals and win with authority. Subsequently bought for £160,000 at the Brightwells Sales by Bryan Drew, to go into training with David Pipe. I’m sure he’d be capable of winning a bumper en route to a decent rules career.