Tanya's Blog - March 2015
Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous, that was the 2015 Cheltenham Festival which I hope many of you were able to attend. Thank you for such a warm welcome into the Racegoers Club marquee and for your patience. I trust you’ve put it in the diary for 2016!
Ever since the Festival I’ve either been meticulously scrutinising all the races back, researching the Grand National meeting, flat turf season or watching the Cricket World Cup.
Within this musing I thought listing some of the horses who caught the eye, whether running a cracker without deserved recognition or having a less fortuitous run these nine will be closely followed by myself on their next start. If you get a chance they may be worth reviewing.
In chronological order Ballyculla from Tuesday’s 4.40 lost his chance as he pulled so hard it was evident that he needed them to go faster, add to that he was crowded approaching the last and this distraction was no help as he propped on landing at that fence. He hasn’t won in five over fences but surely it’s a matter of time.
Horizontal Speed ran on Tuesday in the last at 5.15 one of the eyecatchers of the meeting for me trying to make all in a highly competitive handicap. He was very willing and kept on well when headed a chaser with immense promise. He is engaged at Warwick on Sunday.
In the Coral Cup on Wednesday much of the attention quite rightly was on French import Aux Ptits Soins and the ever consistent and dependable Activial, though when watching it again and again I spotted Daneking. Once trained by John Gosden now by Willie Mullins he travelled for me like the winner for much of the race and quite simply may not have stayed over shorter he will be potent.
Back in 2013 Special Tiara went off 28-1 outsider of six in the Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree. Spool forward to Kempton in the 2014 Desert Orchid Chase and he jumped his rivals silly. In hindsight there shouldn’t have been such surprise in his third in the Champion Chase. A brilliant piece of jumping and I hoped Henry de Bromhead would send him to Aintree but it seems Sandown’s Celebration Chase may be the target.
On to Thursday and the Ryanair Chase, Eduard will be better suited to Aintree but it wasn’t him who caught my attention, instead it was the runner-up Ma Filleule. She is buzzing at present, her run behind Balder Succes at Ascot and now a second at the Festival. She won the Topham last year, I cant wait to see her at Aintree.
Buywise made his customary errors throughout in the Plate and how he stands up defies the laws of gravity. It’s hard to comprehend how the mistakes don’t zap him of all energy yet still flew home late, how he does it defies belief.
On Friday unless you backed him the performance of Max Dynamite would have been overlooked. Not a horse who crosses our radar yet he was one of Willie Mullins strong team. He ran in the County Hurdle, he finished very strongly from four out and is worth a second if not third look. Roll on his next appearance.
Humour me with this next observation, Shantou Bob was officially beaten 18 lengths in the Albert Bartlett in sixth but he appeared to be over 100 lengths back throughout and Gavin Sheehan would have been forgiven for pulling him up, yet let the horse run round in his own time and him finishing well was a sight to behold. He’ll be a value each-way if running again this season.
Finally the eyecatcher of the meeting Eastlake, just watch the Grand Annual again and you’ll may see what I mean. He was third in the Topham last year, perhaps he’ll go closer on April 10th?
Hopefully there’ll be at least one winner at Aintree amongst those nine. As for the Grand National at this point my four against the field are headed by Unioniste I was initially disappointed by his run in the Denman Chase but now Coneygree has won the Gold Cup, confidence has been boosted. Balthazar King ran well in second last year and I feel he’ll find the frame again, same applies to Alvarado who was fourth in 2014 and connections are trying to make the frame with a horse for the seventh consecutive year. Finally my surprise pick to some is Al Co. He had no right to be so close to Call The Cops two out over hurdles at Doncaster, and Peter Bowen has kept him ticking over with another solid third this time at Bangor to Binge Drinker. Of course he AP McCoy jumped the last in contention sentiment would have me join in the rousing reception as he hit the elbow, we can only hope.
A few stats to remember include: 15 of the last 20 winners bypassed the Cheltenham Festival, 11 of the last 15 winners of the Grand National had run over hurdles at some time that season and 19 of the last 20 winners have been aged 9 or older.
Before I sign off lets have a quick look at the start of the Flat season at Doncaster. Some stats to consider when trying to analyse the Lincoln consider Favourites have won six of the last 15 Lincoln’s to be run at Doncaster, seven last ten were making their seasonal debut and 33 of the last 40 winners were aged four or five. At the time of writing I like Gabrial and Hillbilly Boy. As for the Spring Mile, the last seven winners all carried over 9-3, nine of the last ten winners were making their seasonal debut and seven of the last ten winners were aged 4. Haaf A Sixpence is my pick.
Best of luck if you are tackling these two handicaps.