Well another festival has passed and it certainly did not fail to unearth some future superstars of the game, and at the same time further cement some of the current superstars credentials.
Hurricane Fly produced his best performance to date to defy the critics and be the first horse in nearly 40 years to regain his crown in the Champion Hurdle, and at the same time cost our bookie friend Paddy Power a small fortune in the process.
Our Conor is another of the Irish horses who looks a seriously solid contender to take over from Hurricane Fly next season in the Champion Hurdle after demolishing a decent field on Friday in the Triumph.
On the home front thanks to the exploits of the Henderson yard, we had two absolutely breath-taking performances from Bob’s Worth and the mighty Sprinter Sacre. The formers victory in the Gold Cup was even more impressive due to his dislike for the ground conditions, and the age old saying of ‘Class Prevails’ certainly stands true for this horse. The latter ran away with the Champion Chase and probably provided the most stylish run of the week and has now been branded by some as the greatest NH horse in history.
I myself have to disagree with this statement, as although he has done nothing but demolish his opponents since being sent chasing, he has only done so over a trip of two miles. There is no doubt at the minimum trip barring a fall he is unbeatable, but I would like to see him battle things out over longer trips of two and half miles +. He does not come off the bridle in any of his runs over two miles, so a step up in trip looks a more than logical next step in my eyes. I think it’s ludicrous that people are already rating him higher than Kauto Star on what he has achieved thus far, as let’s face it he has not even scratched the surface of that horses achievements in racing. I have been more impressed this term with the campaigning of the Tizzard horse Cue Card, who has raced over varying trips with plenty of credit, including a decent 5th place finish in the King George on desperate ground. He ran out a ready winner of the Ryanair at Cheltenham after a gutsy front running display, and will likely offer us plenty more viewing pleasure next term. The two mile chasing division has nothing to offer Sprinter Sacre in ways of opposition, he clearly is the best in that sphere, so if connections really want to prove him to be the Frankel of the jumps world then up him in trip and really test his metal, or at the very least get him off the bridle.
The notebook has not really been used this week as many of the Cheltenham runners are simply primed for the meeting, and therefore it’s difficult to suggest that any will improve for next time out (other than the impressive winners perhaps). However one that I do feel is worth jotting down is the Irish trained Our Vinnie. It’s difficult to suggest where he would have finished in the Albert Bartlett on Friday had he not been brought down by the David Pipe trained I Shot The Sherriff. But he was travelling well under a typical Carberry ride up until that point, and has given the impression that three miles on testing conditions see him at his best. I will be watching out for this fella at perhaps Fairyhouse or Punchestown under similar circumstances where I fully expect him to produce a big run.
I will leave you today with a horse who I reckon is worth backing at Carlisle in the 15:30. The horse in question is the top weight Mitchell’s Way who comes here on the back of an impressive C+D win LTO in an amateur riders event. Back under normal rules so to speak his rider gets to make full use of his claim (7lbs) which negates the handicappers rise for that win, and given the horses impressive record around this track (2-2-4-1-1) I fancy him to go in again here. The current market leader Chestertern himself arrives off the back of a very good win at Warwick last Sunday, however his trainer Jenny Candlish has a poor record (0-24) with her runners at this track, add that to his riders record (0-10) and his current price of 11/10 hardly looks appealing. Lucky Landing is another who arrives on the back of a decent win at Market Rasen, but he is better known for his chasing exploits and has yet to really prove capable at anywhere other than that track. At the price of 9/2 for our fella I think he is worth a punt, and I’d be very surprised if he was not playing a big part in the finish.
15:30 Carlisle – Mitchell’s Way 9/2 Win Bet
Until Next Week,