No return from Thursday’s two bets of mine but it was nice to get a run for my money – in what has been a challenging month not enough have done that in truth. Jonjo’s horse looked like the winner in the hurdle race as to my eye he was swinging away turning for home – but then he either found very little, or didn’t stay, or both. He seemed to empty out very quickly indeed and I am not sure if something went amiss or his the petrol hit red in a matter of strides.
Royale Knight somehow returned 10/1 and if he was anywhere near that price this morning I would like to think I would have advised that he carry some of your money. I thought 9/2 was ok but not overly generous given his effort LTO. It was his reappearance but was still disappointing, even more so in context of his reappearance last season. That was his only chink in truth as indicated and 10/1 would have justified a chance. He also went on to demonstrate a few things of note. 1 – don’t be put off when a horse drifts (9/2>10/1) 2. Weight and ratings can mean sod all at times, and arguably more so in long distance races. Last year Lackamon gave Royale Knight 4lb. This year he received 15lb. A 19lb swing and yet he still could not get in front. He was out-jumped, out-stayed and arguably out-classed by a horse with slightly younger legs. The way the race developed ended up setting up for a closer and the 12lb higher mark from his win in this last year clearly wasn’t enough to stop him. Clearly at times weight makes a difference, both absolute and relative – but is never something I have got too hung up on – and as always, it is about price. There are more exposed horses who never appear to win above certain marks etc, but even they can make you look stupid at times as well. They are just my thoughts anyway. I suppose he will be aimed at the Grand National again now.
Finish The Story didn’t run too badly and I think he out-ran his odds back in third and he looked to out-run his rating. He is a small horse and a light weight probably helps. I would like to think if he got an uncontested lead over slightly shorter, at a track where the fences are not too stiff, that I will get my money back on him at some point in the future. As they went out for a final circuit I was getting excited but turning in he did start to flag, before plugging on. Twirling Magnet is one to take out of the race. He travelled well and jumped well until late on. He looked to tire near the end on his first run for 120+ days and/or was outstayed up the home straight. He is tricky and needs some cajoling but Jonjo will get him back in the winners enclosure in a handicap chase at some point no doubt.
My judgement on the rest of my shortlist was ok, with none of the other 5 or so horses I looked at winning. Although one did finish second at a decent price, having looked like the winner, and nearly had me cursing.
NO Tips or Shortlist today, nothing really stands out. There is a decent novice chase at Uttoxeter that should be informative for the future and a decent chase at Wetherby, 2.15. Most of the runners are making their return and there is a bit too much guesswork – the market is wide open and it looks like a race where you could make a case for quite a few of them.
6.40 Wolv – Forgiving Glance (9/1 or under)
4.10 Uttox – Gold Ignot (12/1 or under)