Welcome to our first edition of The Racing Week That Was
We start at Thurles Moyle Park was the one to watch in 1225 beginners chase Moyle Park supporters knew their fate early as he pulled up sharply after the first fence ,sustaining an injury.The race was won by Ttebobb who produced a splendid round of jumping winning hard held,the race was over 2 miles 2 furlongs Ttebobb has already won over 3 miles as a hurdler. Jessica Harrington has a smart horse in Ttebobb on her hands and he will take high rank among the Irish novice chasers on this evidence. All hell let loose ran a promising race in behind he never threatened the winner but will pay his way over fences for sure. The 1255 Thurles featured the return of Sir Des Champs who was getting weight from most of his rivals having been absent for over 600 days. Sir Des Champs won in taking manner having made up a lot of ground rapidly he jumped clean and still looks classy. Sir Des Champs much like Sprinter Sacre earlier this month was entitled to win this race. I am a big fan of Sir Des Champs ,I would love to see him trained for the King George and the Ryanair as I think both contests would really suit him. The targets conversation will have to wait for another day but it's welcome back Sir Des Champs for now.
Shades of Midnight ran a promising race in the 1250 Haydock .This race was run over 2 miles 6 furlongs all Shades of Midnight was doing was staying on a step up to 3 miles and, I reckon Shades of Midnight will not be far away. Silsol won the Betfair novice chase this is usually a decent race this renewal featured the debut of the potentially exciting Minella Rocco. The 3 runner contest was tactical Silsol despite conceding 5 pounds all round rallied on the run in to win by a nose. Minella Rocco took and age to get going and will have learned lots from this. Private Malone ran a blinder and looks a decent prospect who will pay his way.
Ascot had a couple of interesting contests, however one horse really stood out on the day Thomas Brown who produced a sensational round of jumping. Harry Fry has his horses flying right now but Thomas Brown looks to have star quality where he goes next will be intriguing.I cant let this blog go without mentioning the old warhorse Fruity O'Rooney who gamely rallied to win the handicap chase . Fruity O'Rooney is the sort of horse that jumps fans love good on him and his connections.
A very good days racing with lots of quality on show. The big race was the Betfair Chase at Haydock it was a disappointing turnout in truth. Cue Card won very very well he really impressed whatever physical problem Cue Card had seems behind him now. Cue Card has struck up a great partnership with Paddy Brennan who seems to ride Cue Card with confidence. Silviniaco Conti had the run of the race there was no obvious excuse for Silviniaco Conti there was chat about blinkers next time as Silviniaco Conti may have got a bit cute.I would be inclined to trust the result but the hope would be the Irish King George raiders are better then Cue Card and Silviniaco Conti. The last point on this race is, I can't understand why Dynaste continues to race over 3 miles a waste of time in my view.
The rest of the Haydock card had quality Baradari won the fixed brush hurdle for the excellent Dan Skelton. Baradari once again showed Dan Skelton is a master at placing horses to win big pots who are new recruits to the Skelton yard. Definitly Red and Batavir both ran well, Closing Ceremony went a crazy gallop and it was no surprise he faded he is better then this. Baradari will step up to graded company now. Irving got the better of Top Notch in a thrilling contest.We know Irving is a solid Grade 2 horse that said he did well to master Top Notch in the closing stages. I thought with two cleaner jumps at the last two flights Top Notch would have won . I do think Top Notch will go up in trip. I would be amazed if either of these two won a champion hurdle. The other horse to stand out on the day was Rock the Kasbah who looks a progressive looking horse who may handle a step up in class in his stride.
Ascot was all about Vautour and his eagerly awaited comeback he duly won. Vautour was not at his brilliant best but when push came to shove he picked up and did his job.I thought it was a good starting point only. I did not like the way he jumped to his left with a view to the King George the mistake at the 11th fence was X Rated. I saw Ptit Zig in the flesh at Down Royal and was not over impressed so from that point of view the performance of Vautour was a little flat in my view. I do not subscribe to two popularly held views 1 Vautour will definitely stay the Cheltenham Gold cup trip 2 Don Cossack is the top chaser in Ireland and the UK. I will say this with the King George in mind. I think the race will suit Don Cossack better then Vautour and if Don Cossack is ever going to defeat Vautour it will be at Kempton. I would suggest Cue card and Coneygree (if supplemented) should be Joint Favorites for the King George.
The rest of Ascot saw the wonderful national hunt hero Rock On Ruby mop up another Grade 2. I was very impressed with Dresden but furious with myself having backed him at Aintree when he won last time out to ignore him this time. Dresden is one to keep on the right side of. There was a treble for the excellent Harry Fry on the card.
Gowran had plenty of decent horses on show the beginners chase race Gowran 320 was the one of most interest .Monksland won and may go for the Drinmore now, Roi des Francs ran very well. Noble Endeavor caught my eye he has a big handicap in him.I punted him in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham ,Noble Endeavor could long term end up much like (Holywell 2014)in the old William hill handicap chase race 3 day 1 of Cheltenham 2016 you heard it hear first . The 135 Maiden Hurdle had a talented looking 1,2,3 in Stone Hard, Don't touch it and Supasundae all look nice prospects for the winter.
First off the UK attitude to Sunday racing continues to mystify me. I find the lack of quality Sunday UK horse racing baffling. I may well return to this subject in a blog later on. I have got off my chest Navan saved the day with a super card.The maiden hurdle 1240 Navan was a race for the Sky Plus. The contest was won in impressive fashion by Woodland opera (I was surprised he was not fav) who jumped beautifully and fought off Coney Island in a great tussle. Potters point was fav and was third, these three horses look smart although I think Potters point is more of a chaser.
The Monksfield Novice Hurdle 110 Navan was up next this was won in superb style by Falcon Crest who was highly regarded as a bumper horse but has excelled since switching to hurdles. Falcon Crest won this with plenty in hand jumped very slick and traveled supremely well he reminds me of Jezki in his novice season I do think Falcon Crest is trip and ground versatile. I expect Falcon Crest to be among Ireland's better novices and will follow him tell he shows otherwise. The Beginners 210 Navan featured Douvan the most exciting horse potentially in Ireland. I thought it was perfect Douvan jumped well against inferior horses. Douvan and Ruby had a difference of opinion at the last but Douvan got himself out of it which was a good sign. I reckon its onward and upwards for Douvan. The Troytown was below normal quality but it was a 1-2 for Gordon Elliott. The race itself was won by Riverside City under a good ride from Jack Kennedy its not a race I would be wild about from a form point of view going forward. I was much keener on the Navan 310 from a future form view point. The reliable Misty Lady ran her usual game race setting a good gallop. Misty Lady backed out of it going to the last. There was a short head between Prince of Scars, Russian Bill and Roll it out it was an epic horse race. I think these horses are all potentially very decent ,I believe this contest will turn up lots of winners in the coming months.
The bumper 340 saw Augusta Kate enhance her big reputation where she destroyed no less then 8 previous winners to win. I was in Listowel when Augusta Kate hacked up first time out I could hardly believe my eyes I believe them now though. Augusta Kate looks like she can follow the path of the great Quevega and be an outstanding race mare if fitness as always allows. The story of the day was 16 year old Jack Kennedy who rode a brilliant treble. A bright future surely awaits this talented young jockey after a day he will never forget.
Not a whole lot to report at Ludlow one horse who I thought will have another day was Old Pride he ran a great race in the 355 Ludlow and could be of interest on a flat track over 2 and half miles.
Kempton had more depth Vaniteux impressed over fences jumping and quickening away well to win hard held. Vaniteux may deliver on some of his early promise this season and may develop into an Arkle horse. Harry Fry had another winner in Presenting arms to continue his fine run. Presenting arms landed some nice bets (4/1 to 2/1) and looks a horse to be with till defeated.
Sedgefield of most interest with Urban Gale and Tomorrows Legend being two horses who may pop up on December 26th at Sedgefield and get us a few quid. They are worth putting in the horse tracker and if they run at that meeting may oblige.
Lingfield was very heavy going over the jumps but it did not stop the Harry Fry juggernaut with Jessber's Dream bolting up in the maiden hurdle 100,Happy Diva crashed out at the last but Jessber's Dream had it in the bag in any event. Dan Skelton had a winner with Master Jake 200 and he can win again.
An ordinary days racing in truth. There was one really top looking prospect at Wetherby 100 it came in the giant shape of Draytonian who while being green destroyed his rivals. Draytonian is a fine stamp of horse and could go on to much better things. Run Ructions Run won the beginners chase 130 and should win again during the season.
At Fontwell 1240 the winner Clondaw Clan looked a decent horse and could follow up next time out. I thought Degooch ran a race full of promise 110 and is one for the notebook and will probably feature in my notebook horses in December.