Fences are there to be jumped and sadly the main hope for this year’s big race ended up on the floor at Aintree’s biggest fence, The Chair. I hope Teaforthree is back next year and ridden a bit more positively again – he just didnt seem to be jumping with his usual elan after being kept back from the front of the race (presumably in an effort to help him get home).
Pineau De Re was a comfortable winner in the end and really wasn’t far off meeting the stats criteria. If I had counted the Ulster Grand national as a top staying chase like the English. Scottish and Welsh versions he would have done. A lesson learn there but this game is all about building on mistakes like that.
Ma Filleule won the Topham so impressively on Friday that many will be thinking of her already for next year’s National but beware. She could end up being handicapped out of the race after demolising her opponents off 150. The Gold Cup is an equally attainable target based on that run and I wouldnt put anyone off an early interest there at 33/1 – she is only 6 and could have further improvement to come! Her price should certainly be closer than it is compared to Holywell right now
Aintree results below:
THURS stakes profit/loss
0,5 pts ew HAWK HIGH @14/1 lost 1 -1
2pts ew CLARET CLOAK @9/2 3rd 4 0,25
1pt ew ANY GIVEN DAY @20/1 lost 2 -2
1pt ew SPIRIT OF SHANKLY @14/1 lost 2 -2
1pt ew BIG FELLA THANKS @16/1 lost 2 -2
1pt ew GIORGIO QUERCUS @25/1 fell 2 -2
1pt ew RACING PULSE @14/1 lost 2 -2
0,5 pts ew PORT MELON @25/1 lost 1 -1
1,5 pts ew THE GOVANESS @10/1 Lost (4th) 3 -3
1pt win SIMPLY NED @14/1 2nd 1 -1
2,5pts ew TEAFORTHREE @10/1 fell 5 -5
0,75pts ew VINTAGE STAR @ lost 1,5 -1,5
1pt ew SOLL @50/1 NR 2 0
1,5 pts SWING BILL @4/1 to finish top 10 9th 1,5 6
0,5 pts ew KASHMIR PEAK @20/1 lost 1 -1
0,5 pts ew SCOTS GAELIC @20/1 lost 1 -1
TOTALS 32 pts staked -18,25pts loss on week
Adding this to Cheltenham selections the blog is now running on a 21.62 pt profit this year (from 98.5 pts staked – a 21.9% return)
So a disappointing week but still nicely ahead on the year
I tend to wind down my Jump racing interests after Aintree has finished and the flat will gradually take over – November is when it all starts again over the fences properly for me
Blog posting will be less frequent as my time is taken up more with the main summer tennis events and so most of my thoughts will be found on Twitter
Here’s a few horses I am looking to see again in coming weeks with the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas in mind
No 2yo impressed me more than Berkshire‘s last to first sweep in the Chesham at Royal Ascot. The form of that race worked out superbly and he sort of reminded me of another old favourite, Chief Singer, at the time.
He reappeared once after that at the back end of the season and was much less impressive but the overall feeling was that he was just a baby last year and this year is what it is all about.
He should be back at Newbury this Saturday – I wouldnt be expecting him to be fully tuned up for that and a small field may not suit. As long as he runs well, I can only see him improving quite a bit more in the Guineas where the race should suit him better
In opposition on Saturday could be Be Ready, the other 2yo that greatly impressed me last year when winning at Doncaster in September. He hasn’t been seen since then and the stable can’t seem to decide at the moment if he is a Guineas or a Derby horse. saturday should tell us more but I’d be disappointed if he isnt a Group winner in waiting.
Australia seems a crazy price in the Guineas and that’s all about O’Brien stable hype – we’ve been there before and seen as many flops as successes. Toormore is the one with solid form who they should all be more wary of if he has trained on
For the fillies, Ihtimal ran behind Berkshire in the Chesham and continued to progress from there. The worry was that being quite small she wouldnt train on but she has been impressive in Dubai already this year and that could well give her an edge this early in the year. She is top of my shortlist for that race right now
Rizeena may well be back this weekend and did very little wrong last year, proving that a mile was not too far for her when beaten by the ill fated Chriselliam on her final start (Ihtimal 3rd but not the best of rides for me there considering she had proven stamina). Her trainer knows how to win this race and she is the main danger for me.
The ‘dark one’ I have in mind for this race but maybe moreso for the season ahead is Amazing Maria. She took time to find her form in her first two races but then showed her true potential with two highly impressive victories at Goodwood – dominating from the front and using an impressive stride to have rivals in toruble a long way out. She hasn’t faced the class of opponents that Ihtimal and Rizeena has but is one to ignore at your peril
No recommendations on these – they are just ones I’d like to keep on my side and have high hopes for in the coming months – hopefully there’s a Guineas winner (or two!) listed in there
Thanks for reading once more