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The French Furze Novices Hurdle preview

One of the highlights of National Hunt racing in the northeast each year is the Fighting Fifth meeting. Unfortunately the three main hurdle races of the day have only attracted 15 horses between them, but that doesn't mean they're uncompetitive.

Choosing the rising stars of novice class over the established Grade 1, it's a warm welcome to the blog for aspiring racing writer Liam Hedgecock, @therealhedgy. You can read more of his work on Final Flight Publications.

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Weatherby's Racing Diaries "The French Furze" Novices Hurdle
Class 2, £20,000, 2m6f
1345 GMT, 0045 AEDST


The ‘French Furze’ is a novice hurdle that has been ran at Newcastle racecourse for the last eight years. The inaugural running of ‘The French Furze’ was in 2007 after the race was named after ‘The French Furze’. He was a racehorse who was owned by Jim Ennis and trained by Nicky Richards. His most notable win came in 2003 when he won the Fighting Fifth hurdle at long odds of 25/1. Tomorrow’s edition features just the four runners, though it is an intriguing renewal nonetheless.

Get On The Yager

The first horse and favourite in the race tomorrow is ‘Get On The Yager’ who is trained by Dan Skelton and will be ridden by David England. A six year-old who fetched a meagre sum of £3,800 pounds as a three year-old. He won both of his two starts in the Point-To-Point sphere and could not have made a deeper impression on his first start under rules when he sailed home in a maiden hurdle at Market Rasen at the start of the month, beating Willoughby Court by thirteen lengths, and Druid’s Folly a further twelve lengths. That form has been franked by Druid’s Folly who won yesterday at Towcester in a novice hurdle and Willoughby Court is evidently well thought of as he ran and was fifth in the Weatherby’s Bumper at Aintree back in April. This horse has done absolutely nothing wrong so far in his short career and will be very hard to beat tomorrow if turning up in the same form as he did last time out. It is worth noting that Dan Skelton has a 50% strike rate at Gosforth Park.

Spirit Of Kayf

This son of Kayf Tara is a horse I have a lot of time for. He makes up for his lack of size with the guts and determination that he has, and displayed at Hexham two starts ago when winning his novice hurdle at the first attempt. The form is nothing to shout about, the second has since come out and won a weak race at Ayr by eight lengths. However, he ran at Sedgefield in a stronger race last time out and dived at the second hurdle, unfortunately coming to grief. I hope that fall has not dented his confidence too much as he is an animal who is tough as nails, and I really admire horses that have that rare attribute. He ran four times in bumpers last year, winning once on his second career start. The task was way too much for him when Sandy Thomson sent him down to Cheltenham to run in the Champion Bumper but as I have stated, this horse should certainly not be underestimated tomorrow, particularly if allowed to dominate. He also has the help of being ridden by the hottest jockey around at the moment in Brian Hughes!

Wyfield Rose

The most exposed in the lineup tomorrow is Wyfield Rose who has run twenty-nine times to date, compared to the twelve races that her three opponents have ran in all together. She has become accustomed to winning races recently though, notching her fifth handicap win since May at Sedgefield last month. However, this seven year-old bay mare does have a question to answer back on softer ground tomorrow afternoon. It would be easy to assume that she does not have a chance against her three rivals, but you can never say never in these small field events.

Acdc

This lightly-raced young horse would certainly be a very popular winner at Gosforth Park tomorrow, as he is owned by local businessman Dave Armstrong who I suspect has thought long and hard all week about running this horse. In my opinion, I believe this King’s Theatre gelding is more of a long-term prospect for handicaps, but the jockey booking of Danny Mullins is a rather interesting one.

SUMMARY:
To conclude, I believe that Get On The Yager will be very tough to beat tomorrow and should win this contest before possibly being stepped up in class later in the season. I also think that he will be given a race by Spirit Of Kayf who should run an honest race as he always does.

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