Poor fare last weekend with the selections. A third and a second, at least at each way prices, and a misplaced faith in Kevin Brogans ability to raise Drumconnor Lads game to the required level needed at Ascot was the best we could muster. Newtide ran a fine race under top weight giving over a stone to the two who finished in front of him in a race which might prove to have been a good trial for the Welsh Grand National. Fortified Bay plugged on gamely in the long-distance chase to gain a deserved second place at 18/1 admittedly the winner was back home watching Strictly when the selection finished. However only three of the eleven starters managed to complete so it was a worthy effort as our lad’s jumping hadn’t been too good all the way round which must have been a drain on his reserves of stamina.
Betfair Chase Review
I don’t think we learned a lot from the Betfair Chase other than Bristol de Mai appreciated every drop of rain that fell before and during the race. I thought Clan des Obeaux was coming to win in the straight, but the grey quickened again, and the Nicholls horse just couldn’t get by him. Lostintranslation never looked happy on the ground so perhaps its best to forgive him that run. Bristol de Mai’s long-term target would appear to be the Grand National and he should be on any short list for next year’s renewal. My fancy at this early stage is J P McManus’ Any Second Now trained by Ted Walsh. He’s got some good chase form in the book, but connections seem to be keeping him over hurdles for the time being. He ran an ok race at Naas the other day, so it looks like they are trying to preserve his handicap mark for something… who knows?
Not so far off is Boxing Day and it will be interesting to see how the Haydock race form pans out in the King George , the Tizzard horse didn’t have as hard a time as Clan des Obeaux but the Kempton track suits the latter. Throw Cyrname into the mix and its already looking a race to anticipate.
Ladbroke Trophy / Hennessey / Cognac Gold Cup
Talking of suchlike Saturday sees the latest renewal of the Ladbroke Trophy… a title which doesn’t seem to carry as much cachet, as En Meme Temps would say, as its former title the Hennessey Cognac Gold Cup. But maybe it’s an age thing. This is always a great race whoever the sponsor and has been won by some terrific chasers in recent years Native River, Many Clouds, Bobsworth, Denman …that’s three Gold Cup Winners and a Grand National winner for starters. Further back One Man trotted up bringing Tony Dobbin to everyone’s attention. I was there in 1984 when Burrough Hill Lad stormed away carrying top weight and ridden by John Francome. The horse was out on his hooves after the race, but it was some performance. A year later I backed Jimmy Fitzgerald’s Galway Blaze when he won… no it wasn’t my last winner… and it was a great feeling to see Mark Dwyer sitting with a double handful as far out as the cross fence… happy days.
I could rabbit on for hours about previous winners but here are just a few others to jog the memory… Bregawn, Diamond Edge, Spanish Steps, Mill House and of course the mighty Arkle. I know I will have omitted someone’s personal favourite so apologies but space dictates. It’s worth half an hour on Wikipedia just going through the results to banish lockdown boredom for a while.
Selections – 3:00 Newbury: Ladbrokes Trophy Chase
This isn’t a race the North tends to win very often but we have a cracking chance this year with Harriet Graham’s Aye Right .This seven year old has some top novice form from last year and started this season with an excellent third to Cyrname in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby. This horse is the star of the Graham yard up in the Scottish Borders and it would be a result beyond their wildest dreams if Aye Right comes home in front. Unfortunately, the trainer will be unable to attend at the weekend as she had the misfortune to be run over by her own horsebox the other week which cant have been an enjoyable experience lets hope the horse does them proud.
It is possible to make a case for at least half a dozen of the field Henderson Nicholls Twiston Davies et al all have fancied runners but the other who catches my eye is Copperhead of the Tizzard’s. He was my selection in the RSA in March when he fell at the last, but he was beaten at the time. Those in the know reckon the Tizzard horses were not firing for Cheltenham so I am prepared to give this strapping chestnut another chance. He has already a win over course and distance under his belt and Robbie Power takes the mount.
Let’s hope one of these two make it back before Match of the Day.
Talking of footy are there any other Spurs fans out there beginning to dream.
Asking for a friend.
All the best,
Again, good luck throughout the winter. If you’re interested in racehorse ownership, take a look at the syndicate’s available shares.