Which is Roger Brookhouse’s best National Hunt horse?
At an early stage of the 2021/22 National Hunt season, owner Roger Brookhouse has had 25 runners and four winners, earning nearly £47,000 prize money, and currently lies eleventh in the Jump Owners’ Championship. Of the horses he has run so far in 2021/22, the ‘best’ or, in other words, the highest rated according to the official British Horseracing Authority (BHA) handicapper, is Black Op. The 10-year-old Sandmason gelding was rated 153 when finishing down the field in the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019, but has since dropped to a mark of 145 after a disappointing chasing career during which he has won just once in 11 starts over regulation fences.
Of the horses that have won, so far, this season, Rock On Rocco, who is 2-4 over fences, is officially rated 127, while Champagne City, who is 2-5 over hurdles, is rated 126. In recent seasons, the highest-rated horse to grace Brookhouse’s light blue and pink colours was Summerville Boy, who won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2018. Another Sandmason gelding, Summerville Boy was rated 155 when last seen in public, in the Relkeel Hurdle at Kempton in January, 2021. He is still listed under ‘Horses in Training’ on trainer Tom George’s website but, for whatever reason, his name no longer appears in the BHA ratings database. I have been unable to find any news of his retirement, injury or worse, so his fate remains something of a mystery.