UPDATE: well that wasa tad disappointing but thankfully not too much damage done and we live to fight another day. Buthelezi got to the front as I hoped and was able to dictate. However when push come to shove he didn’t have the turn of foot required, possibly didn’t stay, and certainly wasn’t good enough on the day. Getting an easy lead was clearly not enough. My betting slip on Blithe Spirit was thrown in the bin after about 1f. Not sure if he semi missed the break but either way couldn’t get out and lay up anywhere near the pace, which surprised me. Whether he sulked when not getting to the front and being crowded from the off I am not sure. A line through that run but he should be a front runner to keep onside moving forward. It would appear the rain throughout the day has made it quite hard to win from the front and it will be interesting to see if any can hold on tomorrow.
Buthelezi 12/1 – 1/2 point win
I will keep these write ups short as I am pressed for time. Suffice to say when I clicked on those pace maps that I use I was surprised to see this horse was the only horse that was likely to try and make all. There are a lot of hold up types in this and others that like racing prominently are drawn in the car park. Shu Lewis under SDS may try and force it as well but as long as they do not cut each others throats they could well dictate this from the front.
The question then is whether Buthelezi is good enough, as there will not be any other excuses. He won a class 2 in gritty fashion last time and has a touch of class, carrying on his improvement at the back end of last season. He has stayed further than this over jumps, although that may not compare however the one time he tried something similar on the flat he was completely out of form. He may not stay, but he hasn’t proved he doesn’t and 12/1 is fair. There is no point in betting EW I dont think as if he doesn’t stay he will fade on the final stretch. If he does he could well have saved enough in the tank from having an easy time up front to see them all off. We should at least get decent run for our money. He will like the ground as well.
Blithe Spirit 5/1 – 1/2 point win
Another trail blazer who could see them all off from the front. Come On Dave may try and go with him but I don’t think he is in the same class and may struggle to lay up with him. The other front runner is drawn wide. Having said that BFiftyTwo has made all here before and may try and do so again. It may come down to who can get to the bend first but the selection will give it a good go and in any case will be handy enough to ensure there wont be any real excuses. He has won here before and is another that should give us an exiting run for our money.