Following his each way NAP yesterday finishing second at 40/1, Rhys Williams is back today with another big-priced selection at Ludlow.
"The ability he showed in those two defeats in the Autumn suggest that he can be competitive in a race of this quality."
Showed promise in Irish points
Ludlow 14:00: Hector Javilex 1pt e/w 25/1
Mumbo Jumbo is the favourite for this maiden hurdle but he still has to show that he can find as much in the closing stages of a race as his smooth travelling nature suggests he might so I'm taking him on. Blackcauseway was a £100,000 purchase after winning a maiden point on debut but I think that price will have been significantly influenced by his impressive looks rather than the debut performance as it was only fair on the clock and he may only be seen at his best on galloping tracks over fences in the long term.
It's another horse coming out of the Irish pointing field who appeals at a much bigger price. Hector Javilex failed to win in three starts for Denis Murphy but showed ability on all three starts and I think the market has overlooked his chance.
He was held up on debut at Dromahane and was last of nine still going jumping 4 out before making a big move on the long run to 3 out to be in a close fifth turning into the home straight. However, after jumping 3 out he had nothing left and dropped away quickly to be a well beaten fifth.
He put in an improved performance on his first start of the Autumn season when finishing in a dead-heat for third. He travelled well for a long way that day before being driven along in fifth after jumping 2 out. Unlike on debut, he found for pressure and ran on well without ever troubling the front pair to finish in a dead-heat for third. While the winner of that race disappointed on her latest start under rules, the second and other horse in the dead-heat for third have won both maiden/novice hurdles since as has Brulure Noire who fell at 3 out when starting to drop away.
Hector Javilex was ridden far more prominently on his last start for Murphy and was only narrowly beaten into second at Tinahely. He got into a battle with Jomig Des Bois from turning into the home straight and they were together jumping the last but Hector Javilex made a slight error and couldn't quite get back to his rival on the short run-in. The winner has since been bought for £45,000 to join Donald McCain.
Meanwhile, Hector Javilex was bought for £32,000 to join Charlie Longsdon and now has his first start for him in this maiden hurdle. The ability he showed in those two defeats in the Autumn suggest that he can be competitive in a race of this quality and I think the switch to hurdles could suit him as his jumping was an issue on his last two starts, making small errors that were costing him a little ground and momentum each time.
It is a bit concerning that his trainer has reached for the tongue tie for his first start under rules and it might be that Hector Javilex would ideally want a bit quicker ground but I think the market is underestimating his chance and any 16/1 or bigger appeals.