uses cookies.
By continuing to use this website you imply consent to cookies being used.
For more information see our Privacy Policy

Already A Member? Login Now!

Forgot Username/Password?

Remember Me

& subscribe for full BTO+ access.

Create A New Account

WHAT IS BTO Plus+?Get a crash course in why BTO Plus+ should
be your new go-to for the best racing data

Learn About BTO Plus+
  • Detailed trainer stats with profit pointers
  • Vital speed figures from latest runs
  • BTO+ ratings from thousands of variables
  • Thousands of races analysed for positive trends
  • Crucial course pace bias statistics
  • Unique pace maps for every race
  • Essential 1-2-3 shortlist for best value betting
With BTO Plus+

Journalist Mark Rowntree has put together a list of five horses to follow this winter based in the North.

Times have proved difficult for the vast majority of National Hunt trainers in the Northern region and also across the border in Scotland over recent years, due to a reduction in the number of horses in training following the economic slowdown, coupled with prolonged spells of wet and wintry weather and increased competition from All-Weather racing. However, with a new National Hunt season on the horizon, it’s time to look ahead positively to the future and identify five horses to follow.


Keith Dalgleish/Straightline Bloodstock (5yo g, Milan/Killoughey Babe)

Senor Lombardy was purchased for €125,000 at Goffs in April 2017 as a winner of a 3m maiden Irish Point-to-Point (Ballysteen). Switched to the care of Keith Dalgleish thereafter, he made his UK and rules debut finishing a narrowly beaten second in a Kelso bumper (September), simply finding the combination of a tight track, 2m trip and relatively quick ground to be an unsuitable test.

After a confidence boosting bumper win at Hexham (made all), he returned to Kelso the following month (over 2m6f), and quickly demonstrated his raw natural ability over hurdles by readily disposing of the Rose Dobbin-trained Coole Hall. Although that equally talented rival gained his revenge on improved terms in the French Furze Novices Hurdle at Newcastle the following month, the suspicion from some experienced observers was that stand-in rider Callum Bewley (Brian Hughes at Newbury) didn’t quite make that race enough of a stamina test.

Nevertheless, that was arguably the best novice hurdle in the northern area for some considerable time, and this well-related youngster (dam was a half-sister to the 1999 Irish Grand National winner Glebe Lad) looks to be the ideal type for a staying Novice Chase campaign. A minor issue kept Senor Lombardy off the track for the second half of the 2017/18 season, but more so than any other northern-based horse; he rates as the type to excel over fences (at 3m) on soft ground.


Ruth Jefferson/Mr Richard Collins (5yo g, Getaway/Capelvenere)

Ruth Jefferson has been dealt a rather undeserving hand over the summer losing some of her stable stars to other trainers, but thankfully Richard Collins has confidence in an up-and-coming trainer who continues to strive to undertake the fine work of her late Father Malcolm. Bought for €20,000 in June 2016, Return Ticket made a pleasing start to his racing career in a pair of Catterick bumpers (good to soft). After finishing third on debut to the still unbeaten I’m To Blame (Keith Dalgleish), he absolutely hacked up on his next outing a couple of weeks later (5/4f).

Given a five-month break thereafter, he returned to action when making his hurdling debut (2m maiden) at a hastily arranged fixture at Ayr in May; making the seamless switch to obstacles by downing Swaffham Bulbeck by 6L. Immediately after that race, his trainer told the Racing Post;

“Return Ticket is still a bit green and will have learned a lot from that. He’s had a break as he’s been wanting decent ground. We’ll put him away now and bring him back in the autumn. He will then have a break during the winter and come back in the spring when the ground is better.”

Evidently a sound (good) surface is important to Return Ticket, so all being well, it’s likely to be the spring of 2019 when he fully blossoms. Therefore, he’s one to bear in mind when making your plans for the late season NH Festivals at Aintree and Ayr. With more experience gathered he could ultimately prove to be more than capable of winning a competitive handicap hurdle or two.


Iain Jardine/D&D Armstrong Ltd (6yo g, Fair Mix/Lucylou)

Cool Mix has proved to be a snip at £9,000 from the Goffs UK Doncaster May 2015 sale. His dam Lucylou was an unraced sister to the bumper winners Some Bob Back and Baccarat, as well as the 2m-2m4f hurdle and chase winner You Little Daisy. Predictably, he soon demonstrated ability in bumpers himself; most notably when a 4L runner-up to Pym at Ayr in April 2017, in a race where his owner saddled two other runners (Judge Earle and Donna’s Delight).

Although effective in 2m novice hurdles (with cut) in the early part of the 2017/18 season, he went on to keep finding a few horses stronger; namely Some Reign (Ayr) and Treshnish and McGowan’s Pass (Newcastle). Part of the reason for such mid-season struggles was because he tended to pay the price for his enthusiastic style of racing, so connections were forced to side-step intended targets such as the Premier Hurdle (Kelso), and wait until the better ground arrived.

That patience was duly rewarded when he returned from a two-month break as a vastly improved horse at Ayr (good) in April. Under the expert handling of Irish conditional Liam Quinlan, he cruised clear on his first attempt at 2m4f (second start in a handicap) to score by 7L from Castletown.

In hurdling terms, the handicapper has intervened in the weeks and months since, raising him 12lb to a new career-high mark of 128. Whilst that limits his options over timber (no surprise if he switches back at some stage), the current plan is for a novice chase campaign commencing at either Wetherby on October 17th, or at Carlisle the following week. With a sound surface seemingly key to him fulfilling his potential, he rates as another horse likely to thrive in the second half of the 2018/19 National Hunt season.


Keith Dalgleish/Paul & Clare Rooney (5yo g, Winged Love/Swap Shop)

Costing £30,000 at Goffs Doncaster May Sale (2016), I’m To Blame enhanced his market value by making a winning NHF debut at Catterick (November 2017). The form of that race was very quickly boosted by the third placed horse, the most promising Return Ticket (Ruth Jefferson) winning on his next start.

Given a break of a couple of months by his trainer Keith Dalgleish, the Paul & Clare Rooney-owned gelding duly followed up under a penalty in fine style (despite drifting left inside the final furlong) at Musselburgh in early 2018. Although the runner-up that afternoon Dr Hooves hasn’t progressed quite as well as expected, he remains well regarded by his trainer Lucinda Russell.

A novice hurdle campaign awaits I’m To Blame, and this brother to the 2m6f winning hurdler Showem Silver should be capable of winning plenty more races over obstacles.


Nicky Richards/Straightline Bloodstock (6yo g, Definite Article/Silvers Promise)

This grey gelding (a half-brother to the 2m5f hurdle/chase winner Lily Little Legs) made a relatively slow start to his racing career, but given his physical appearance (fine stamp of a horse - a real chaser in the making) this was probably to be expected. However, after getting to grips with racing and winning minor novice handicap and handicap hurdles at Wetherby (2m5f+), Hexham (2m7f+) and Market Rasen (2m7f), his handicap mark rose from 91 to 110.

Evidently not troubled by soft ground whatsoever, this €30,000 purchase (Tattersalls Ireland - August 2015) should continue to blossom over fences for a trainer known for a patient approach, and with a fine record over time with his staying handicap chasers.

On A Promise has the scope and size to jump fluently around almost any track in the country (left or right handed), and despite being dismounted after crossing the line at Market Rasen, that was only a precautionary measure (minor knock). He wouldn’t look out of place in competitive Saturday winter handicap chases at the likes of Haydock or Doncaster, and is a potentially smart prospect.

To add these horses to your BTO Tracker, click here. To read more of Mark's thoughts, visit his twitter page.

Article Posted on Wednesday 10th October 2018 @ 14.30

Join BTO Today!

Create your FREE BTO account to get 1 FREE BTO Plus+ Racecards every day, as well access to BTO Plus+ subscriptions, bonus discounts and more!

LOGIN or Create an Account

Subscribe To BTO Plus+

More Show/Hide

EVERY BTO+ Race card EVERY day

Revolutionary race informationfor both casual and serious punters


* Your subscription will automatically renew to avoid interruption of service. You can cancel at any time.

Starting Gate

wetherby Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle2m - £3509 - Good (Watered)

1 Bonne Question9/1

2 Bit Of A Quirke6/1

3 Lostock Hall4/1

4 Dew Pond10/3

5 Wor Verge33/1

6 Felix Mendelssohn18/1

7 Dr Oakley12/1

8 Hartside12/1

9 Hurricane Rita33/1

10 Turnbury25/1

11 Baileys Artist50/1

12 L'attendue33/1

13 Farlam King18/1

14 Mac Cennetig12/1

15 Naasik25/1

16 Mighty Mustang28/1

17 Cyrano Star16/1

18 First Of Never66/1

taunton Racing To School Riders Programme Selling Handicap Hurdle2m 3f 1y - £3834 - Good

1 Bulfin Island25/1

2 Iniesta7/1

3 Cool Macavity11/1

4 Better News18/1

5 Stonemadforspeed9/2

6 Good Man Hughie22/1

7 L'Attesa66/1

8 Ice Konig14/1

9 Flanagans Field15/2

10 Cold Fusion25/1

11 The Lady Rules16/1

12 Coisa Blanco10/1

13 Ruby Russet6/1

14 Kahdian13/2

wetherby EBF/TBA Mares' Novices' Chase (NHMOPS Bonus Race)2m 5f 75y - £4809 - Good (Watered)

1 Little Miss Poet7/5

2 Graceful Legend3/1

3 Kalahari Queen6/4

taunton Aspen Waite Complete Business Growth Service Novices' Hurdle2m - £5133 - Good

1 Envole Toi8/1

2 Sofia's Rock7/2

3 Agent Westy150/1

4 Airton33/1

5 Anniversary Gift100/1

6 Dadsinluck200/1

7 Nocturnal Myth40/1

8 Oscar Maguire100/1

9 Ourmullion200/1

10 Spiny Norman250/1

11 Montestrel6/4

12 Penny Poet33/1

13 Swallow Dancer200/1

14 Scaramanga15/8

wetherby Every Race Live On Racing TV Novices' Hurdle2m 3f 154y - £4159 - Good (Watered)

1 Coolanly2/5

2 All Hail Caesar50/1

3 Archippos28/1

4 Article Fifty6/1

5 Farocco100/1

6 Jamessaintpatrick66/1

7 Moon Rua200/1

8 Nelson Road33/1

9 Peter's Portrait25/1

10 Schiehallion Munro10/1

11 Theatre Legend14/1

12 Thelongwayaround18/1

13 Vintage Glen200/1

taunton British EBF Mares' 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle2m 3f 1y - £5133 - Good

1 L'chamise7/1

2 Midnightreferendum3/1

3 Chetsford Water33/1

4 Dissavril10/3

5 Fair Kate9/4

6 Jaunty Velocity100/1

7 Moor Freedom25/1

8 Organdi9/1

9 Sweet Adare14/1

10 Timassini100/1

wetherby Handicap Chase1m 7f 36y - £7343 - Good (Watered)

1 Montalbano11/1

2 Mixboy13/2

3 Yorkist10/1

4 Baby King12/1

5 Movie Legend10/3

6 Caraline50/1

7 Solar Impulse11/2

8 Fair Loch40/1

9 Generous Day9/2

10 Vendor8/1

11 Oliver's Gold33/1

taunton Royal Bath & West Of England Society Chase (Novices' Limited Handicap)2m 7f 3y - £6108 - Good

1 San Satiro4/1

2 Quiz Master9/2

3 One Forty Seven12/1

4 Voie Dans Voie16/1

5 Inaminna15/2

6 Volt Face10/1

7 Pulling Power10/1

8 Norse Legend20/1

9 Marble Moon33/1

10 Minerfortyniner25/1

11 Orchardstown Cross11/4

Latest Results


NewcastleBetway Live Casino Handicap

15Duke Cosimo5/1
Winning TrainerRoger Fell
Winning JockeyBen Sanderson
Runners9 ran
Distances, 1 length
Tote Win£2.60
Pl£1.90, £1.80

NewcastleBetway Selling Stakes

11Captain LarsEvs f
23Zapper Cass9/2
34Discreet Hero20/1
Winning TrainerArchie Watson
Winning JockeyThomas Greatrex
Runners5 ran
Distances1/2 length, Neck
Tote Win£2.20
Pl£1.30, £1.60

NewcastleBetway Heed Your Hunch Handicap

16Equiano Springs4/1 jf
29Athollblair Boy11/2
Winning TrainerT P Tate
Winning JockeyA Mullen
Runners9 ran
Distances1/2 length, 1 1/4 length
Tote Win£4.70
Pl£2.60, £1.90, £3.90

NewcastleFollow Top Tipster Templegate At Sun Racing Novice Stakes

38Kingdom Of Dubai5/4 f
Winning TrainerM Johnston
Winning JockeyJ Fanning
Runners12 ran
DistancesNeck, 5 lengths
Tote Win£8.20
Pl£2.20, £1.90, £1.10
StatusWeighedIn Handicap

112Lion Hearted2/7 f
311King Oswald16/1
Winning TrainerM Appleby
Winning JockeyL Morris
Runners14 ran
Distances2 lengths, 1 3/4 length
Tote Win£1.20
Pl£1.02, £2.50, £3.80

NewcastleLadbrokes Handicap

11Giacomo Casanova2/1 f
25Joey Boy10/1
36Secret Picnic11/4
Winning TrainerK A Ryan
Winning JockeyA Mullen
Runners6 ran
Distances1/2 length, 1 3/4 length
Tote Win£2.30
Pl£1.20, £3.50

CarlisleRacing TV Standard Open NH Flat Race

26Thomas Macdonagh2/1
35Taking Flight9/2
Winning TrainerTom Lacey
Winning JockeyR Johnson
Runners6 ran
Distances4 1/2 lengths, 2 3/4 lengths
Tote Win£3.50
Pl£2.20, £1.10

NewcastleBetway Casino Handicap

Winning TrainerJedd O'Keeffe
Winning JockeyJ Garritty
Runners14 ran
Distances2 lengths, 2 lengths
Tote Win£24.00
Pl£7.30, £1.80, £5.60