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Prixdelahorse Tracker – Endavi

Don’t worry. I understand the only thing that matters to racing fans in February and March is the Cheltenham festival and so I will keep this blog post as short as possible. The horse this piece concerns is not going to run at Cheltenham, in fact, based on the level form that he has shown so far, he is unlikely ever to run at Cheltenham.

The winter has finally begun to show signs of passing and that means that Jumps racing in France will start to head North, which begun on Tuesday at Fontainebleau. This card is unlikely to live too long in the memory and with the opening meeting of the year at Auteuil just 5 days away, it is fair to say that we can expect to see a good deal more quality at the weekend. Of the 5 hurdle races run, 2 were slightly quicker than the average final circuit time at the track, which would suggest that the going description of “Very Soft”, a 3,8 on the penetrometer, was accurate.

If you are a regular reader of this blog (which you’re probably not), you will know that I am not a huge fan of using a horse tracker. I think they can lead to lazy form study and a feeling that a tracked horse needs to be backed or laid next time, regardless of the opposition. In the last 12-months I have put just 2 horses into the tracker on this blog. The first was St Donats, who went on to win a Grade 1 Juvenile hurdle and even though his connections have chosen to swerve the Triumph hurdle, remains the leading Juvenile hurdler in Europe in my opinion. The other was Prince de Paname, who produced an incredible set of sectional times on his debut at Chantilly and has gone on to win Class 2 conditions race after a pair of luckless runs. Endavi is unlikely to be reaching the heights that those 2 may achieve this year, but I like to highlight performances that most racing fans may have missed.

The form book will say that he finished 4th in a 5-year-olds and over conditions hurdle, beaten 10-lengths by Ideal D’Allier (with another old friend, Mengli Khan in 3rd). That’s true, but it doesn’t begin to tell the story of the race. It is not unusual to see a horse get a soft lead in France, especially in softer ground, in fact it happened again today at Bordeaux, but to see it happen in 2 races back-to-back is unusual, yet this is what happened on Tuesday. Ioup La La won the 5-year-old only race by getting a soft lead early on and never coming back. Then, 35-minutes later it happened again, when Ideal D’Allier, Mengli Khan and Trent Lane were able to establish a lead of 15-lengths on the rest, including Endavi, a gap that they still held with 3 flights left to take. The winner, Ideal D’Allier, produced a final circuit time of 2:09.67, just 1.67s over the course average and a fair effort when compared to the other races on the day, even though he used energy in the early stages to establish the lead. Working together like a breakaway group in a Tour de France cycling stage, they were fully 18-lengths ahead of the remaining runners as they passed the winning post to head out on the final loop.

As they jumped the 4th from home, it became obvious that the leaders were not stopping, but Endavi was the only horse in the rear group of 6 to make any significant headway in the home straight and to his credit ran on strongly from an unpromising position. His final circuit time was 2:06.77, suggesting that if he had been on terms with the leaders as they headed out on to the final loop, he would have won this race by 8-lengths. Racing is never that simple but he was over half a second faster on that final circuit than any other horse in the 5 hurdle races on the card. Trained by Louise Carberry, he won at Senonnes last season before creditable efforts at Auteuil and Compiegne in Class 2 races and has shown more than enough to suggest he will be able to add to his tally in handicap hurdles this season. The next time he appears, he will be priced as a 4-year-old with a record of 1 win from 7 starts, who was beaten by 10-lengths on his previous start, which makes him interesting as the effort that he produced was far better than the bare form would suggest.


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