Well Saturday was a tough day at the office!!
Jack Dexter ran a big race in 3rd under his welter burden and softened the hammers blows slightly (very slightly!!) but apart from his effort there was precious little else to shout about.
Let’s dissect the runs of our BDH squad and see if we should boot any of them into touch…
2.40 Ayr – Silver Cup
Two things went markedly against Scott Dixon’s runner here. At the time of writing we were looking at Soft ground, which is the ideal conditions we want for him. By the time the gates went up it had dried to a tacky Good to Soft, OK for him but not perfect and in a race of this nature you probably want perfect conditions. It was also quite clear (by the time they crossed the line!) that it was the high stalls that held the upper hand here, he was isolated in stall 1 and that just left him high and dry with nowhere to go.
One thing that did surprise in this race was that the low group actually gunned it down the middle. Why not stay in a straight line and fire down the far rail? Most horses are better with a rail to run against, last time I looked there were no rails down the middle! Personally I thought it was a strange decision, it maybe made little to no difference but there was a rail down that side and I would have thought it would have been more beneficial to use it that float about down the middle of the track…
We learned nothing about T-Ball here and he stays on the list, hopefully we get PROPER soft ground for him next time out.
I actually though he ran a sound enough race in 8th. He came there with a challenging run but as soon as he was pulled into the middle his run fizzled out. He was at least still well in the ball-park come the line and I’m happy to keep him in the squad for now.
3.30 Newbury – Group 3
Didn’t even manage to engage 1st gear here! He was struggling after about 100 yards and never looked like landing even a glancing blow. Is he just feeling the effects of a long-ish season?
We have been unlucky not to collect with him recently (VERY unlucky!) but I fear he may be stuck in no-mans land now (above his handicap ceiling but not quite up to Group level). With that in mind it’s time to say goodbye to this squad member, he did us proud despite not winning but things are probably going to get tricky for him with regards where to place him and we now say au revoir to STEPS.
3.50 Ayr – Gold Cup
Hard to crab a 3rd placed effort from a mark of 110 in one of the most competitive sprint handicaps known to man. He was an each-way bet and he delivered. For a brief moment it looked like he would unleash a barn-storming finishing kick but it wasn’t to be. Drying ground wouldn’t have been perfect for him but in no way could it be used as an excuse, I would have preferred soft but was more than happy to dive in on Good to Soft.
One thing that did spring to mind in the aftermath of the race was ‘Did he need the run?’
This was his first start for 84 days, his record after a break of 31 days or more now reads – 464312 – admittedly not that bad but now look at his record after a break of 30 days or less – 11100115371 – or even after 20 days or less – 1001111. Certainly edging towards him being better after a recent run and something for us to bear in mind going forward from here.
I’m more than happy to keep JD on the list after that run.
DUKE OF FIRENZE
No bet on DOF anyway and ran as I expected. To be honest I didn’t even hear the commentator mention him once! These would not have been his ideal conditions and I’m not judging him on this performance. He can still do damage when conditions suit him, just not sure there will be spots for him to strut his stuff before the season is out…
I did put up 2 additional selections for the Gold Cup and they both ran OK without setting the world alight.
OUR JONATHON ran a sound race in 7th and I did briefly think he may sneak a place for us but he just couldn’t quite get there. He is on a decent mark and could pick something up before the season is out.
GABRIEL’S LAD was probably caught on the ‘wrong’ side of the high numbers and his 9th place was a decent enough run considering he had to do most of his work out in the middle.
Again I was surprised that there wasn’t a group trying to gun it down the far side rail. It was drying ground and what’s to say the far side wasn’t drying faster than the near side? Surely it was worth a punt instead of losing ground tracking over to the middle?
I’m going to review all the big sprints from Ayr later on today, there are a few I noted when watching the races ‘live’ as potentials for our BDH squad but as always I like to have a proper look once the dust has settled.
I’ll do my best to keep all things BDH updated in the coming weeks but my attention will be switching to NTF very shortly and I expect that to devour plenty of my time; I’m already doing some work on the Paddy Power Gold Cup!! I’m starting to think David Pipe has a fantastically strong hand (again!) to play in the race with a couple of his team (obvious and less obvious members) but there is also one from the Hobbs team that is potentially very interesting…
Anyway that’s for the National Hunt leg of my racing work (you can join NTF here and grab a bunch of FREE guides at the same time), I’ll hopefully have a new BDH squad member for you in the next couple of days on here.