I have just returned from a long weekend in Northumbria. It provided a good opportunity to recharge the batteries after what has been a tough couple of months for me and my partner.
There was some top class jumps horse racing last weekend with Chepstow hosting its two-day October meeting. The first Cheltenham meeting of the new season is less than two weeks away so the winter National Hunt racing is starting to hit top gear. If times goes as quick as it has this summer then we will soon be talking about the start of the Cheltenham Festival.
This Weeks EyeCatcher’s
All this weeks’ eyecatchers are as you would expect from last week jumps racing. We had a first jumps runner on Sunday with I’m A Game Changer finishing 5th at Chepstow in the race won by Misterton. He travelled well through most of the race but made a mistake at the second last which put paid to any chance he had. He has to improve his jumping if he is to win a handicap hurdle like this and maybe going novice chasing will teach him more respect for the obstacles. Still not one to give up on yet!
Wednesday 11th October
Darebin – Gary Moore – The five-year-old was having his first start for 188 days and also making his debut over fences in the novices handicap chase. He was no match for the easy winner Bigmartre trained by Harry Whittington, another horse who looks to have a nice future over fences and will be one to note if he goes to Newbury next month for a handicap chase that was won by his trainer with Arzal in 2015. Darebin would have found the good to firm going plenty quick enough as all three of his jumps wins have come on soft ground and arguably his best run over hurdles came in the Imperial Cup at Sandown back in March also on soft ground. He should come on well for his seasonal reappearance, as all three career wins have come when racing within 45 days of his last start. His record on soft ground and racing within 45 days of his last run is – 3 wins from 7 runs 43% +23.75 5 placed 71%. He can be placed to win a handicap chase or two this winter.
Saturday 14th October
Lostintranslation – Colin Tizzard – The first of two novice hurdlers from the stable. The five-year won a point to point last November and was having his first start over hurdles in this novice hurdle that was won by Altior in 2015. The gelding likely came up against a nice Paul Nicholls novice here. He was going well in the lead when landing awkwardly three out although he recovered well from that mistake he didn’t have the pace of the Nicholls horse and had to settle for second best on this occasion. The son of Flemensfirth looks like a future chaser, who should appreciate winter ground but can win a novice or maiden hurdle sooner rather than later.
Sunday 15th October
Double Ross – Nigel Twiston – Davies – Was bidding for back to back win in this Veterans handicap chase. He was still in with a chance when making a mistake two out but still ran a cracker to finish 4th under top weight of 11-12. Five of his six career wins have come between September & December, so the first half of the season looks the best time to catch him, and he is 4 wins from 11 runs 36% +17.62 6 placed 55% when racing from 2m 4 ½ f to 3m in that period. The 11-year-old showed he was no back number when finishing 3rd in last seasons Hennessey Gold Cup. I doubt he is still up to winning at that level these days but he can still be competitive in these veterans chases in the coming weeks.
Vision Des Flos – Colin Tizzard – I don’t know too much about this 4-year-old apart from the fact that he was an expensive purchase by owner Alan Potts at 270,000gns, after winning a valuable Irish bumper at the Punchestown Festival for Robert Tyner. Interesting then that Colin Tizzard gave him his hurdle debut in the Grade 2 Persian War Novices Hurdle against some experienced rivals. His relative inexperience was evident as he couldn’t race on with the eventual winner and runner-up from two out. This probably wasn’t the best renewal of the race given the winner was 0 wins from 5 runs over hurdles coming into the race. But you can’t fail to think that Vision Des Flos is the one to take out of the race with the future in mind.
All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable week’s punting.