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Autumn Season Stats Stand Out

Autumn Season Stats Stand Out

The success story of Irish point-to-point graduates is continually growing each year with their progression to track success highlighting their value to potential new owners and trainers. The Autumn season graduates have continually reinfored these figures with some of last years winners making the headlines already this season.

Given there tends to be fewer fixtures on a weekend in the Autumn compared to many Spring weekends the racing can in fact be even more competitive with handlers from all corners of the country all heading to one venue to compete.

Midway through the current autumn season, the graduates from 12 months previous have reinforced the confidence in the autumn winners with some of the most notable names from last season having made winning starts on the track for their new connections in recent weeks.

The phenomenal success of Portrush winner, Finian’s Oscar was one of the standout stories from the 2016/17 season following his win in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown a little over two months after his point-to-point debut. The former Denis Murphy-trained five-year-old, who finished second to Barcady’s in the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland champion novice hurdle at Punchestown in April, made a return to race action at Chepstow last month as he made his first appearance over fences on the racecourse a winning one.

The Colin Tizzard-trained gelding ran out the comfortable winner of the Listed Robert Bottram Memorial Trophy at Chepstow, kick starting an exciting novice chase campaign for the son of Oscar.

Another eye-catching winner from last autumn who has since won on his racecourse debut is the Colin Tizzard-trained Slate House. The former Ian Ferguson’s charge made most of the running under Noel McParlan in his four-year-old maiden at Tattersalls in December to run out an impressive 10-length winner. Following that success, the Wilson Dennison-owned gelding was sent to the Cheltenham Festival sale, where he was purchased by Tom Malone for £260,000 and now carries the colours of Eric Jones, Geoff Nicholas and John Roman.

The son of Presenting had been spoken highly of by his current trainer and backed up this confidence on his hurdling debut at Cheltenham last month when he recorded a comfortable three and a quarter length success over Dans Le Vent.

Benatar, a 15 length winner of his four-year-old maiden at Loughbrickland last November is another decent sort to have graduated from the autumn season. The former Karen McNeilly-trained winner was sold privately after his debut success to Gary Moore where the son of Beneficial eased to a 10 lengths victory on his hurdle debut at Fontwell. Placed on his next three starts, Benatar finished last season at Aintree when he was fourth to Finian’s Oscar in the Grade 1 Betway Mersey novices´ hurdle.

Staying this side of the Irish sea, the former Denis Murphy-trained Poli Roi is the latest winner from last autumn to have enjoyed success on the track following his win in the in the Eventsec maiden hurdle which was the opening race of the Down Royal November racing festival. An impressive 10 length winner of his four-year-old maiden, the son of Poliglote topped the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham November sale when he was sold for £300,000 to Gordon Elliot. A winner of his opening two bumpers for Elliot in the Gigginstown House stud colours, the bay gelding also finished third in the Grade 1 Bumper at this year’s Punchestown Festival.

Of the 38 four-year-old winners from last autumn, 14 of them have already won on the track with a further 11 finishing either second or third.

Previous high class horses to have graduated from the Autumn seasons include Grade one winners Yorkhill, Cooldine, Joncol, Holywell, Western Warhorse and the ill-fated Brindisi Breeze who won the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett novices´ hurdle having won his five-year-old maiden at Loughrea just five months previous.
Now in our sixth week of the new season, we have witnessed some exciting maiden winners from the eight fixtures which have already taken place who will no doubly be flying the flag for Irish point-to-point graduates in the months ahead.

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