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Little Jimmy is not a huge horse, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for with tenacity. He rarely runs a disappointing race, having a 72% win or place strike rate throughout his racing career. During the 2017-18 season he managed to finish in the prizemoney five times.
Trainer Tom Gretton has placed this son of Passing Glance incredibly well over the last five years to make the most of the racing opportunities available to him, and as a result Little Jimmy has more than paid his way. Tom describes him as his 'stable star' - a permanent fixture who has provided the yard with plenty of good times at the races - and we are delighted to be syndicating him again in 2018-19, which will be his last year in training. Tommy intends to retire this grand veteran at the end of the 2019 National Hunt season.
In his last four seasons shareholders have been treated to 21 excellent days at the races, and four fantastic wins and numerous placings. He has also run in races worth up to £25,000 in total prizemoney.
Tom believes the gelding is going to continue in the same pattern as last season, so Little Jimmy will have a break through high summer before starting back into training in late summer, building up to the new campaign, which will start in Autumn 2018.
He is a brown/bay gelding, but is actually rather dark in colour and looks tremendous in his summer coat, which tends to come out early in Spring. He is a nimble jumper and in 42 races has managed to complete on 40 occasions! His jumping is normally extremely good - the only two times he has fallen have been when jumping the last fence when under pressure but in contention! Tommy has no worries about the gelding's jumping - or his will to win, as he always tries his best.
Tommy Gretton states "This gelding is a star. He jumps for fun, and its a real character - needing to be treated very carefully. However, when he gets the right ride he will come through the field and really lay down a decent challenge."He's a really good ride, and goes well for all sorts of jockeys - this last season Robbie Dunne has struck up a great partnership with him and I expect to keep that link intact for the coming season."
Tom added “On his day he is a good horse, and will be competitive in pretty much any chase race. Different distances come easy to him, and I expect to have a crack at one or two better races where we can get in with no weight at all - so we could see some nice racecourses as well this winter.”
The plan is very much like 2017-18, where Tom will pick off races as we move through the winter season, ideally looking for races in the Midlands and South.This gelding is quite capable of racing twice in one month, however, Tom has found in previous seasons that 'Jim' went really well when fresh - winning races more often when given 20+ days between runs. We would expect an average of a run once month through the seven month season. the fact that he is eleven years young should not put potential shareholders off - he is still full of life, as his placings last season showed.
Tom says of the gelding "When he's in really good shape, we will race him. I will probably give him a breather in the worst of the winter weather, but once his conditions come, he is more than capable of racing regularly. We've had plenty of success with him and I'm looking forward to finishing his career with a win, if not a couple. He's a lovely horse and it will be great to have plenty of shareholders there supporting him at the races in his last season before he heads off into what will be a well-earned retirement."
Form & Race Plans
The race plan for Little Jimmy will be quite similar to 2018, as Tom Gretton will be making the most of the gelding's ability to beat the handicapper when conditions are right for him. He will be going chasing once again, but could have a starting spin over hurdles.
Tommy Gretton states "Jim enjoyed going hurdling last season and I think we will look for the odd race over hurdles, especially at the start of the winter. But he will also head over chase fences and I'd like to have a go at the Sandown Military race again with him if possible. We had to miss it last year, but it will still be the target again in 2019. It would be lovely to give him the chance to compete in that race in his final year in training."
Into 2018-19 Little Jimmy will be following the same path as he adopted last winter with the gelding - which resulted in seven runs, and some really decent days out for shareholders.
Tom will give the gelding a rest over the first few months of summer, but will be bringing him back into training in August with the intention of having him ready to race once the hurdle races become more frequent in late September onwards. If the gelding looks likely to race in early September we will start his share period early for shareholders, in order to take in his opening run of the season.
This gelding loves seeing a fence in front of him, and relishes a good pace in his races. In fact, he is competitive in any race which has a strong gallop. He is currently rated 92, which means there are plenty of opportunities for him in handicaps up to the 0-120 category. He is just as able in better races with a fly weight, as he is with more weight on his back in lesser contests and we expect Tom to find a combination of these types of races for Little Jimmy as we move through the winter. Last year we ran in races worth £8,000 and up to £12,000 each - and once he goes over chase fences, he will have a high earning potential.
He does like some juice in the ground, so we are less likely to see him out on very firm ground, but he has raced well on all types of ground - but Tom does like to give his jumpers a short mid-season break, so don't be surprised if the gelding doesn't turn out for four weeks or so in January or February if the weather is foul. However, this gelding is more than capable of racing multiple times in a short space of time - and Tom does tend to gear him up for a flurry of races during certain points in the season - with great success in doing so!
Little Jimmy 2019 Guarantee
Whilst we hope to get 3-6 runs from all our chasers and hurdlers per share period, you should expect periods of recuperation from injury or training setbacks. This share period runs for the 2018-19 winter jumps season, until April 15th 2019. During that time the horse may be rested or have time away from the track to recover and it is quite normal for a jumps horse to have periods of 3-6 weeks rest between races. Jumpers tend to run less frequently than flat horses, due to the rigours of the National Hunt season. This particular horse may also have an extended rest during the worst of the winter weather (Jan-Feb).
For this gelding we offer the following guarantee: If due to injury or retirement, his season is cut short and he will not race again, and he has not raced at least twice we will replace him with another, if possible, similar racehorse for the remainder of his share period. Please note that we are unable to pay prizemoney on any replacements and the replacement will be a horse of our own choosing.
We expect demand for Owners Badges on racedays with this horse could be higher than normal. Whilst we have good relations with all the UK tracks, there are always limits to the number of people to whom we can provide badges. Owners Badges are always distributed fairly, but for any major handicap races the horse runs in, badges will be allocated on a ballot basis for this horse so that all shareholders have the same chance of receiving a free or discounted badge. You must expect that on some occasions we will be unable to provide free or discounted Owners Badges to every shareholder who wants them. However, we will always attempt to get access to the paddock for every shareholder at the meeting, even if they have not been allocated an owners badge.
As a shareholder you must understand that we cannot guarantee your horses performance, a specific volume of runs (beyond our minimum guarantee) or that runs will be evenly spaced throughout the share period. This is the chance you take when owning any racehorse and participating in this ownership experience. If you will be disappointed with only 2-3 runs from your racehorse during the season, then please DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THIS OR ANY OTHER RACEHORSE, as you could be disappointed. We believe in being crystal clear with our shareholders - any participation in racehorse ownership is a risk, and we are unable to make any refunds because of share periods which finish early due to injury or retirement - as training and livery fees for the horse still remain whether they are racing or not. This is the chance all shareholders take, as we do ourselves, when participating in the ownership of a racehorse.