I have to say the highlight of the weeks racing for me was seeing the return to form of Sprinter Sacre. He put in a super round of jumping and powered away from a high class field up the Cheltenham hill.
I never had a penny on him but to see such a high class horse return to his best form gave me as much of a thrill as backing a winner. One has to say it was a brilliant bit of training by Nicky Henderson as this horse has had so many problems over the last year.
Now I was lucky to see the greatest chaser of all time run in Arkle and in my opinion at his very best Sprinter would have given him a close race. Mind you the Henderson horse is best at shorter trips and Arkle was best at three miles.
I can hear people saying what about Kauto Star, Denman, Best Mate etc,etc, yes they were all top class but there was only one Arkle and Sprinter has to be the best of this Century when firing on all cylinders.
We had three great days racing at the Paddy Power meeting but the midweek jumping is of a very mediocre standard. In fact tonights Kempton card puts todays jumping to shame with a top class listed event as the main feature.
It was good to land last weeks free tip with Chookie Royale but you won’t hear me shouting about 7/4 winners as I’m sure you could have found that one yourself if you studied the form.
For this weeks Howies Hottie I’m sticking with the Kempton polytrack in the 7.25 which is a good class staying handicap over 2 miles. The selection is Communicator from the Balding yard with the excellent Oisin Murphy taking the ride.
The gelding ran a good race in the Cesarewitch but I feel this slightly shorter trip will suit him better. He is drawn in the car park however it shouldn’t be a problem as he is a hold up performer and I expect Oisin to drop him in and try to make his move in the long home straight. One thing for sure win or lose he should be a decent each way price.
Lord Reason trainer J.Ryan – Noted running on over a mile and worth a try over further.
Philba trainer M.Appleby – He was placed last time when sticking to the inside rail which might have been slower ground on the day.
Dont Be trainer Sir M.Prescott – She could never get a clear run at Lingfield after being held up at the back and finished full of running.
Mr Rock trainer G.Baker – This one is owned by Sir Alex Ferguson and when running at Wolverhampton he ran with the choke out and ran out of petrol. He is a lot better than that and must be given another chance.
The Romford Pele trainer Rebecca Curtis – The gelding is named after Ray Parlour the ex Arsenal player and he was noted staying on strongly at Cheltenham last week. If he brushes up his jumping he could be one for either the Welsh or Aintree Grand Nationals.
Next Sensation trainer M.Scudamore – Jumped like a stag at Cheltenham but a return to the minimum trip would help his cause.
Renneti trainer W.Mullins – He ran on strongly last week at the Paddy Power meeting and is worth a try at a longer trip.
Back next Wednesday have a good week and be lucky.