Well the nights are really drawing in now, the temperature is dropping, it's Halloween and Bonfire Night next week and the end of the turf flat season is upon us.
Still we have next season to look forward to and if we can harness what we have learnt this year and put it to good use next then who knows what can be achieved.
Anyway, back to what happened last week and how has the handicapper has reacted.
First up is Class 4 Totesuper7 Hcap at Pontefract over 5f which was won by Captain Royale, who is trained by Tracey Waggott, Russian Spirit was 2nd and Strike up the Band 3rd. The winner has been raised 4lb for his 1 length win to a mark of 76.
Strike up the Band has been right out of form this season and he was ridden differently here being held up before being produced to stay on into 3rd. Ishetoo had run very well on his previous run and he is dropping down the weights of late and as a result of this effort he was dropped a further 2lb to 76, he must surely be capable of winning off that mark.
Later on in the week at Kempton the Class 4 5f Hcap went the way of Piscean from Sutton Veny and the winner was raised 3lb for his 1 1/4 length win. Anne of Kiev finished in 5th having not had a run for 5 months, she looked an improved performer earlier in the year when she did this blog a favour and she may be capable of a bit more improvement as she is only on a rating of 80. Henry Cecil's Tomintoul Singer is another that has promised more than she has delivered and she too should be able to win off her revised mark of 80 having been dropped here for finishing 9th. The race itself was run in a course record time.
Doncaster on Friday saw Mac's Power show a powerful finish to win for James Fanshawe in this Class 2 Hcap over 6f and beat a competitive field with little fuss. He had won his previous outing at Wolverhampton and his trainer has always given him a good word when asked. On his trainer he has been out of form for most of this year but he's bounced back in this last few weeks with several winners. The winner as a result has gone up 7lb to 97 but there's every chance under Fanshawe that he will be able to progress even further and take a big handicap next summer. Esprit De Midas in 2nd showed his good run at Haydock wasnt a flash in the pan but its going to be difficult for us to know when his going days will be. Kelly's Eye received the usual Jamie Spencer ride and found all the gaps gone when he tried to make his move and he remains on 93. The handicapper released his grip on a few behind dropping the consistent Parisian Pyramid 2lb to 96, Secret Witness 5lb to 95, Rasaman 2lb to 86, Quest for Success 2lb to 97, Advanced 2lb to 93 and Singeur 3lb to 92.
On Saturday at the same venut the opening 5f Class 2 Handicap went to Hoof It who has run some decent races this year and Fallon who had trouble in running on him in a previous race prevailed this time by a neck from Noble Storm who ran his best race this year. The winner has been raised 5lb to 99 but his jockey thinks he is capable of further improvement next season. Cheveton continued his good spell in 4th and he remains on 97 and he may need to come down again before winning again. Anglezarke was an eyecatcher running on at the end and she has had her problems this year with injuries and this was a good effort for the 5yo and she should be kept in mind for future. Our Jonathon was another that caught your eye out the back and he is open to improvement from 3 to 4 years of age. Harry Patch who had showed decent form on his limited runs this year was obviously not at his best for this as he looked to be struggling some way out from his stall 3 draw, but you couldnt blame the draw for this dismal effort as the winner himself was drawn 1. Arganil is better on the AW and his trainer will have welcomed the 2lb drop he received to a mark of 92 and he looks assured of further success this winter.
Sticking with the AW the Listed Mercury Stakes at Dundalk in Ireland had a few from these shores contesting and the race went to Invincible Ash in a time of 58.10s from Hitchens. Out the back was top AW performer Jaconet and I'm sure she will leave this form behind when she next runs at Lingfield over 6f.