Well a frustrating day yesterday. A 4/1 winner (2/1 SP) for the October trainers was the only highlight. My two against the field in the big chase at Ascot were never in it despite some money coming for both. They were both sloppy at their fences and never able to land a blow which was a surprise. I wont be looking for excuses for either. Pendra has clearly been an tricky horse to train but they appear to have found the key to him since his last run and he has proved that he stays. He could have any amount of improvement in him this season if staying sound and it will be interesting if he can reproduce that form at Cheltenham – maybe flatter tracks will be his thing. The shortlist – the Ellison horse was pulled up sharp as if something was amiss. He was out in front and in a rhythm and the way the race finished he would have played a part. But, that is racing.
Wasn’t it great to see Cue Card back. Suddenly these big chases will take on another dimension which is great for the sport.
As highlighted in the ‘November Trainers’ post, Williams was running a few handicap chasers at Ascot that if they were running today, would have qualified. One won at 16/1>12/1. Hopefully a good sign for the next few weeks.
No tips of shortlist today, mainly due to time. I have had a quick look at the 2.35 which looks a decent chase. Vintage Star at 7s and Son of Suzie 8s (both being backed) did look most interesting. VS goes well fresh and has course form, also a touch of class if putting it altogether, although has something to prove. SoS is just unexposed and there could be a lot more to come over fences. There are two system selections below, but Ballyoliver is 11 now and 4s didn’t seem overly generous. King of the Worlds needs to step up on his chasing form and is a bit in and out. I do think if the Vintage Star who was running well in graded races shows up here, from his reduced mark, he will take some stopping. 6s is probably still fair. A decent race.
2.35 Carl – Ballyoliver (16/1 or under)
3.10 Carl – Shotavodka (14/1 or under)
2.35 Carl – King of The Worlds (12/1 or under)