Good morning all,
First of all, thanks for all the kind comments about the blog and Richard yesterday. They are all much appreciated and I know they will be by Daren as well.
A much better run from Powerstown Park yesterday, sadly the cat's out the bag now and he won't be double figures next time but he traded odds-on in the run last night and there's definitely a race to be won with him.
Laugharne also won the last and I know a few of you had a few quid after a strong word for him on the Punt after his Ascot effort. I thought it was a very tricky race but he did it well, a good jump at the last sealing the deal. Should win again.
And it's to trackers we turn today as I give you a couple from the weekend worth watching.
I was at Lingfield over the weekend, attending both Friday and Saturday and it's clear one thing was in evidence – the Lingfield Golden Highway is open for business again. On the straight course, there was a massive advantage to anything that could jump out and grab the stands side rail, and a few made all doing just that.
As such, it might be worth giving another chance to anything drawn low, or that was was trying to come off the back. On the Friday, William Haggas's Nicklaus (nice looker) was well backed to win the 3.55 but simply couldn't operate from stall 2 and was well beaten. We might get a better price about him next time out on the back of this and I wouldn't be writing him off just yet.
Similarly Michael Stoute's Ledham (in the 4.30) has probably run a cracker from stall 4. Winner Jawwaal had the plot draw in stall 15 and duly made the most use if it, but in finishing second Ledham (also held up) has probably run every bit as well. I'd suggest a small step up in trip will suit him well and it's surely a matter of time before he breaks his duck.
As much as the Derby and Oaks trials on the Saturday may prove informative I'd be surprised if we saw a superstar from them. Having said that, I thought Oaks Trial winner Perfect Clarity would come on for the run and she was quite keen to post, so there could easily be more to come from her.
The Derby trial threw up an easy winner in Knight To Behold, with Richard Kingscote riding them to sleep from the front. They were a mixed bunch in the paddock – favourite Kew Gardens is very long-backed and I thought needed even further than this, although his breeding says otherwise. Time will tell. John Gosden's Corelli, on the other hand, is totally different – quite leggy yet close coupled, and has more of a sprinters appearance about him. Again though, his pedigree says he needs further! What to make of it all, I'm not sure at this stage.
Anyway, Plumpton on Sunday was my next stop and suffice to say there wasn't a lot of top-class talent on show. A very enjoyable day nevertheless, and Plumpton deserve a mention for showing all the away races on the big screen – not just the English, but Irish and key French races too. If only all courses did that.
The only race worth a mention was the bumper, unsurprisingly. If it was decided on looks then Invisible Clouds would have won this with plenty to spare. He's got a bit of class about him and should make a lovely chaser, but sadly looks to have a bit of the slows about him at the moment and the market knew it was coming too – he drifted like a barge pre-race. Possibly one to put in trackers and monitor for improvement.
Similarly second home Harrier, who is absolutely huge and crying out for some obstacles already. I was amazed, given his total greenness and the quick ground that he was able to finish as close as he did, but the penny was dropping late and he ran on well, albeit drifting badly to his left and hampering a couple of others as he did. Half-brother Horsted Valley needed three miles, so watch for him when he goes up in trip. Another to keep a beady eye on for the time being.
On to today, and although there's two jump fixtures and York begins today, I'm struggling to much I like. I'm going to give Summer Getaway another chance in the 2.35 at Newton Abbot now he's been equipped with cheekpieces. He looked really fit and well at Fontwell last week and was backed into favouritism, but he sulked from the outset and never went a yard. His previous effort when a staying-on fifth to Ice Tres (winner again since) was decent enough and if he can build on that, and not throw the towel in today, then a double-figure price might look big. Win bet only though, given last week's display.
Today's selection – Summer Getaway 2.35 Newton Abbot
Good luck with all your selections today,