Good morning all,
Well, here we are. As expected, albeit a little earlier than I expected, we have lost all racing this side of the Irish Sea until the end of April at the earliest, and I fully expect our Irish counterparts to adopt the same policy later today.
If we do come back at the end of April then I'll survive, but I have a bad feeling that this is merely the tip of the iceberg. We will see.
Thanks for all your messages yesterday too, they are much appreciated.
As for the Punt, I'll keep it going until the end of the week, as I have a few post-Cheltenham articles and then I'll do a weekly update on a Saturday (not that there will be a lot to update!). Once we get going again then obviously, in the words of Arnie, I'll be back.
If you've enjoyed my scribblings, please feel free to buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/davidmassey. Thankyou very much.
So for today, here's the three (on looks) that I wanted to take out of the paddock for next year from this year's Cheltenham Bumper.
Israel Champ (David Pipe)
By far and away the most impressive looker on show for the bumper and the more he walked around, the more he impressed you.
He's really tall, well built, a proper tank of a horse and he walks well to boot. Something of the complete package. It was therefore disappointing that he could not do a little better than he did here, fading quickly after leading and finishing well beaten, but this clearly isn't his running and I expect a lot better from him next season.
Julies Stowaway (Margaret Mullins)
If there was one horse from this field that was already crying out for some obstacles it was Julies Stowaway. He's got all the scope in the world for fences and I don't think they'll mess around with him long over hurdles. He ran well here, travelled into the race but just lacked that gear needed when they quickened up. 2 1/2m-3m will suit him well next term and he looks the sort to rack up a sequence in Irish novices.
One True King (Nigel Twiston-Davies)
If you want one that's simply as green as grass with any amount of scope then One True King is your one for next year. A really well-made sort that will excel over fences in a year or two's time, he was pretty clueless for the most part here, finding a bit of trouble in running when trying to get involved before merely plugging on to finish a far-from-disgraced tenth. He's related to a few winning hurdlers and chasers and it'll be very interesting to plot his progress next year.