Not the weather to be a Fiddlerontheroof….
This week saw the publication of the Grand National weights closely followed by the usual complaints by various connections. Looks like Tiger Roll won’t be heading for the boarding gate once again as owner Michael O’Leary considers the gelding’s weight allowance is insufficient. It appears Tiger Roll is to be aimed at the Cheltenham Cross Country race once again and possibly retirement after that. Whatever happens I am sure Gigginstown will do the best by their charge.
At this stage I quite like the chance of the Tizzard’s Fiddlerontheroof who ran a good race last time out in the Ladbroke Trophy. He is only eight and had some decent novice form last season, 25/1 is available if we shop around. He’s entered up at Ascot this Saturday if he runs and runs well his price will no doubt get a haircut.
Some interesting races this coming Saturday lets hope Storm Eunice doesn’t scupper any fixtures. I see Friday’s Fakenham card was cancelled due to a warning of an ‘unprecedented ‘storm. Even getting to the courses will be a nightmare and I think there may well be lots of non-runners come race time. It wont be much fun driving horse boxes around in gale force winds so let’s hope the stable staff stay safe, and their charges as well.
The authorities seem to be getting concerned at the moment about the disappointing field sizes. Saturday’s Haydock fixture being the latest case where only 48 horses were declared for the seven races despite the £295k on offer. Whether there is a lack of quality to contest these better cards or the ever dominant Cheltenham is sucking the blood out of other meetings who knows but I am sure the BHA would love to reverse the trend.
Selection – 2:40 Haydock – William Hill Grand National Trial Handicap Chase
The Betfair Ascot Chase is an open contest for a grade 1 and not a race I want to play in but talking of the Grand National, Haydock stages its Grand National Trial at the weekend. If I remember correctly this was the race that Ginger McCain used to use as Red Rum’s warm up for the big event. The ground is forecast to be heavy, so the 3 mile four and a half furlongs trip is going to take some getting. Eleven are declared amongst them is last years winner Lord Du Mesnil who runs off a mark of 150 only a pound higher than last year. The class horse in the race is Bristol De Mai who has a fair chance off 159 the lowest rating he has run off since a Wetherby success back in 2017. Obviously, he is getting a bit long in the tooth and may not be the force of old but at around 8/1 he is too well treated to ignore. Enqarde started favourite for the race last year and finished fifth whilst Sam Brown ran a decent second to Royal Pagaille at the track last time out. They will all be in contention coming out of the back straight, but I fancy Twiston Davies’ old warrior to be in front at the line.
1. Bristol De Mai
No hurdle selection this week as Ascot stages a bet friendly 3-mile chase with some decent entries. Ten have been declared and it’s shaping up to be a really good chase. Top weight Fiddlerontheroof (see above) is the forecast favourite and must go close although his likely price of around 9/4 would put me off backing him. Probably better to have a few quid on for the National and let Saturday take care of itself. I think I will give one more chance to Charlie Deutsch’s mount Hold That Taught. My fingers are still a little warm after backing this lad the last twice to no avail. He ran in the Welsh National off 140 and was quite well backed so off a mark of 132 on Saturday he must have some sort of shout. The trainer and jockey are bang in form so I will chance burning my remaining digits and give Hold That Taught a punt at around 12/1, and hopefully see a decent run by our grand National fancy at the same time.
Anybody notice the Betfair Hurdle result last week? Asking for a friend…
Have a good weekend.
Again, good luck throughout the winter. If you’re interested in racehorse ownership, take a look at the syndicate’s available shares.