Not too impressive today, maybe we can do a little better for Saturday.
Just the one all-weather meeting, again at Wolverhampton, but before concentrating on this, I have a few ideas for the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park (3.05).
Winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival back in March, Sizing Europe beat Big Zeb by 5 lengths (although he was himself beaten by the same horse in May at the Punchestown equivalent). It is noticeable that in his subsequent runs over further than the 2 mile minimum trip, Henry De Bromhead's chaser has not really looked himself, even when winning at Gowran Park. Today, back in distance, he certainly will be all the rage in the betting ring.
But is there anything up against him that may give him a run for his money?
Kauto Star's half brother, Kauto Stone really impressed running in his native France last season and comes here, now being trained by Paul Nichols. Overnight rain is expected at Esher and any further easing in the ground will certainly help his chances.
Wishfull Thinking should not be far away in the shake-up even after a poor run on his re-appearance at Cheltenham last month. Trainer Philip Hobbs has reasons for this below-par run and is confident the 8-year-old gelding will return in fine fettle to challenge.
My choice for the race however, is a bit of an outsider in GAUVAIN. Nick Williams' course and distance winner has occasionally struggled in the past when running at this Grade 1 level, but he looked mightily impressive when winning the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham last month. At a price of 8/1 (when writing), he is certainly worth a small investment (IMHO).
- 3.05 Gauvain - unplaced
- 5.50 Chokidar - won 6/4
- 6.20 Andalieb - 2nd 9/4
- 6.50 Delft - won 6/5
- 7.20 Rulesn'regulations - unplaced
- 7.50 Forty Proof - unplaced
- 8.20 Martine's Spirit - won 3/1
- 8.50 Monahullan Prince - unplaced
- 9.20 Eastern Gift - unplaced
On Sunday we get a welcome day off from all-weather flat action with National Hunt cards at Kelso, Warwick and Fairyhouse on offer. If you have access to the Attheraces satellite/cable channel however, at Kelso (2.30), the Scottish Borders National Handicap Chase over 4 miles is well worth a look. With £15,640 to the winner. it promises to be a highly contestested trawl through ground that should have a fair bit of give in it.What will win? Well your guess is as good as mine, but isn't that generally the case?
Myself and Mrs Tatty are off to Second Meadow this afternoon to see the mighty Biggleswade United take on Harefield United in what could be classed as an early 6 pointer, especially with the precarious position both sides find themselves in at present. United have made a couple of signings during the week so we are very hopeful of a positive result.
Come on United! (the Biggleswade variety)