**KNOW THE BEST HORSES IN TRAINING (BEFORE THEY RACE!)**
Monday 9 November 2015
Disappointing Weekend ???
I went to Aintree on Saturday and whilst not winning a retirement fortune I did manage to pick up some information once having paid the extortionate £25 to get in!!
It was great to see Bobs Worth and Simonsig dominating the finish of the Class 2 Betfair Hurdle but not so great that there was no depth of entry to make this race more than a "run out" for the Henderson duo - there was after all £18,768.00 to the winner!!
That was compounded by there being not one northern entry - surely someone had something in that rating band that they could have run - it was penalty kick waiting to happen!
After the race I offered my congratulations to Nicky as he couldn't have hoped for a better result. It was clear afterwards that Simonsig wont be contesting a 3m chase any time soon and that was confirmed by Henderson, although had he had a bit more company on the way round he may have been able to reserve more energy for the finish. He had been off the track for 970 days and you also have to take into account that this was still only his tenth race under rules and off those ten he has only had three races over fences which culminated in his Arkle win in 2013.
Bobs Worth now heads for the Hennessy, although there will be a jockey issue as Nico de Boinville will ride Coneygree.
Venetia Williams was at the track and she enjoyed success through the mare Pepite Rose in the Class 2 Handicap chase over 2m 4f who ran away with the event. It was a top weight carrying effort by the only mare in the line up and this was her "Gold Cup" it would seem. Upepito though was yet to be asked a serious question and the large weight concession would surely have told up the straight and compensation awaits for him.
Broxbourne had been targeted at the mares hurdle on the Wincanton card but missed that to run at Aintree instead and the tip should have been taken, albeit Henderson had warned previously that soft ground wouldn't help her cause - but trainers "what do they know". She didn't appear to mind the soft going and she too won well whilst the stables Caracci Apache, who looked great in the paddock, suffered a mid race injury in his contest.
I'm partial to having a bet in a bumper and I particularly like the festival one. There were some nice lookers on Saturday namely Golden Investment and The Fresh Prince and they should pay their way as the season progresses and once they jump a fence - but they all played second fiddle to the more experienced Mahlerdramatic.
There is a lot to look forward to this week with Cheltenhams three day Open meeting commencing on Friday and the word "soft" looks odds on to figure in the going description. Tomorrow I will try and come up with a couple of long price ew selections for the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Greatwood Hurdle.
Onto today and there are a couple of entries for Paul Nicholls at Carlisle. Dan Skelton withdrew both his runners yesterday as I don't think his horses are running consistently at present.
The going is heavy, soft in places and the rain continues to pummel the north and I would imagine this very stiff track will take no prisoners today and some odd results may ensue.
1.45 - Silsol ran 4 times last season winning twice at Newbury and Ffos Las on soft and heavy so he should have no trouble with conditions today or staying the distance. Paul Nicholls says he may need the run but he said that last year and he came out and won - a bit like Irving on Saturday! I believe he is the highest rated hurdler Nicholls sends chasing this year and the stable think there is more scope for progress in this code, particularly on soft ground. There are no frills with this horse he is solid and dependable and jumps well and the plan has always been to come north as the stable are high in the novice chase department. He is up against two similar types here in Seeyouatmidnight and Maximiser and it will be no walk in the park. In addition Sam Twiston Davies may be low on confidence at present as he has only ridden 6 winners in the last 14 days all of which were fav.
2.50 - Salubrious was a Grade 1 performer over hurdles and won the Martin Pipe at the festival in 2013 off a mark of 141h. That said Nicholls wasn't overly impressed with his initial handicap rating of 153c following his Fontwell win on his sole chase start prior to injury last season and that has now been reduced to 148c. He is said to be in good form but given the injury, today's attritional going and the fact that he hasn't run for 402 days you couldn't back him with any confidence and Blakemount's previous run out may swing the balance in his favour.
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