A great day yesterday for the blog with 3 out of 4 winners and one place away from the full house.
1.20 2m3f Class 3 Handicap Hurdle – Not Never 6/4
Was a huge runaway winner on his penultimate run early last year around Plumpton, he was hit hard with a 15lb rise and was highly tried on seasonal debut in a Grade 3 Handicap at Ascot, he ran and shaped better than the 12th he placed gives him credit for, the form of the race is solid and the 300 days off the track and on testing ground both wouldn’t of helped either and big reasons why he backed out of the race quickly after running so well for most of it.
Today the return to class 3 company will be much easier, the firmer underfoot conditions will be welcome and will be fitter for the run, he also handily gets a 3lb drop to his mark.
1.30 2m6f Class 5 Handicap Hurdle – Cottonvale 10/3
Trainer Christian Williams is in brilliant recent form with a 45% strike rate to his name in the last 2 weeks, he teams back up with James Bowen who he has a great relationship with and a healthy +£7.15 level stakes profit, 23% strike rate and 46% covering the top 2 places.
The gelding Cottonvale unfortunately fell at the last flight when well in command and looked to finally break his duck over hurdles, which handed the winners spot to stablemate Uno Mas who’s since boosted the form heavily when a runaway 13 length winner in a higher class. That was just Cottonvale’s 4th run for Christian and the gelding looks to be improving with every run. Providing the fall hasn’t dented confidence, then hopefully the gelding claims that elusive win.
6.15 2m Class 2 Conditions – Festival of Ages 11/10
Surprised to see this gelding taking the AW finals route, a horse that would have been very exciting on breeding in Dubai IMO, but anyway even with just the 6 runners for this AW Fast Track Qualifier, it looks competitive and a race to look forward to.
Ex Aidan O’Brien colt Aircraft Carrier has impressed tons on his recent 2 wins and certainly one to watch, I do however feel this is just too much of a step up just for now. Watersmeet won this race last year before a huge run in the Marathon final when just beaten a neck and is the yardstick for this race. Gelding Festival Of Ages although 5yo only has 4 runs to his name so is the least exposed in this race and has already finished ahead of Watersmeet by 3 lengths when they met last month in another FTQ. Today FOA gets the services of Adam Kirby who’s been riding with plenty of confidence and knows the horse better and for me beats Watersmeet once again comfortably.
7.45 1m1f Class 6 Handicap – Bollihope 8/11
The last race of the night and looks the easiest race to call, a very weak race and only one horse to beat in the in form False Id, That being said Bollihope easily brushed aside False Id just last week in a very similar race, False Id is again drawn wide and Bollihop gets a nice sit in draw 1, even thou a 6lb rise for our selection, the distance and the manner of his win shouldn’t be enough to stop him and record a 2 out of 2 wins for new connections.
Brought to you by Russell Blair Racing