Good morning all,
Huntingdon the next stop-off on this week's tour of the British Isles and it's racecourses. Weather promises to be fine and it should be a good day.
As it was at Wetherby on Tuesday, and my report from there is on the main piece.
Don't forget to email any questions for tomorrow's piece to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll answer them tomorrow. Any Cheltenham questions are much appreciated!
1.55 – Handicap Hurdle
Not a lot to say about this lot, many of whom struggle to win races and that included winner First Of Never, who was breaking his duck at the 39th time of hurdles at the age of 13. That rather tells you all you need to know about this lot, although second home Lostock Hall (who was the paddock pick) might have been a bit unlucky, as his rider appeared to lose an iron at a key time late on. He is very well handicapped and looks about ready to win one.
Turnbury has run awfully here but couldn’t lead (which he needs to) and sulked a bit. He might be worth another try in a race where he’s guaranteed a soft lead.
Baileys Artist is absolutely huge for a 4yo and is clearly still growing into his frame. There might be something to be had with him down the line too.
2.55 – Novice Hurdle
I was quite keen to take on Coonanly – in fact, anything short from Fergal’s, who is having a pretty wretched season by his own standards – but sadly my pick, Archippos, who had shown a bit previously, ran like a drain and was well beaten off.
Winner Schiehallion Munro has plenty of scope about him and will make a chaser easily. He won this with a bit in hand, in truth, and could follow up.
The two I like for the future are the athletic-looking Jamessaintpatrick, who travelled fine but got left behind from two out. He can do better and might pick up a handicap. But the one I really liked was Nelson Road, clearly in need of the run but is a proper tank, not overly big but really well built, very solid and lacks little in the way of physical presence. He’s travelled as well as anything before getting tired late. If he can’t win a race or two I’ll eat my hat.
Thelongwayaround was another to catch the eye but he’ll want fences before he takes off. One for next year, probably.
4.00 – Handicap Hurdle
Another low-grade affair but there were a few nice ones to look at in the paddock, not least the winner Rodeo Dodo, another tall, well built specimen who looked as fit as a fiddle despite a long absence when the rug came off and was clearly the paddock pick. In the end he’s idled after the last and only won ¾l, but that masks the fact he was much better than this lot. Looks sure to win again and as the winning distance wasn’t that great, he won’t get a kicking from the handicapper either.
Others I liked – fourth home Debrouillard, who seems to be improving and should find a race off this mark, Avondhu Pearl, who needed this run but should be fitter after a couple of outings after a break, and Gallows Point who, unsurprisingly for one from Kim Bailey’s yard, has chaser written all over him.
5.05 – Mares Bumper
As nice a looking field as I’ve seen for a while and there will be plenty of winners out of this.
Winner Seaton Carew was one of three I really liked. She looked like she’d come on a ton from her Warwick run and in time, she’s going to make a lovely chaser. Has a bit of quality about her, which isn’t a surprise given her pedigree (related to some cracking chasers) and the way she walked around the ring marked her out. I was delighted to see her win and maybe it was a hint that Jonjo had travelled up to see her run.
The other two I really liked – Puppetonastring, from Tim Easterby’s yard, who has finished a tailed-off last here but that can’t possibly be her running and she’s worth another chance in a bumper. Lovely topline and walk to her, she’s another that will surely improve for some obstacles and when she does, a run-of-the-mill Northern novice ought to be there for the taking. Kerry Lee’s West Coast Glory is more athletic and for now, but she was far too green (shouting when she came into the parade ring) and didn’t have much of a clue. She’s got beaten far enough here to not attract too many people’s attention but she’ll come on a bundle for this and next time might be the time to catch her.
Plenty of the others made some appeal to varying degrees and I’d hope the form of this is going to work out very well.
On to today and I've got a few from trackers all trying their luck – He's No Trouble in the 2.50 at Huntingdon, 7th at Warwick behind Birchdale in a race that's going to work out very well, Sixty's Belle in the 5.10, took a step forward last time out and should improve again and in the 3.25 The Vollan, having his handicap debut and another that came out of that The Some Dance Kid race at Bangor that is simply working out so well. I'll probably back all three but it's the latter that looks to have the best chance and he'd be my main selection today.
Good luck with all your bets today,