Not a great start for my blogging with both of my horses stuffed out of sight.
I charged down to Wincanton after an early morning meeting in the office. The weather was fine when we got there, but the car park was a mud pit. I met up with Tom Dascombe who had just walked the course – they were calling it soft but by his reckoning it was heavy. Master of the Race was anything but on the day and I did my dough – I’m inclined to forgive him as the ground was ultimately against him, but he needs to improve his jumping. I didn’t back Conservation in the end as the price was short and it was stamina sapping ground (he handles soft but isn’t a genuine stayer at the moment and wouldn’t be suited by too much of a slog). He didn’t run well – his jumping was a bit sketchy and he ran out of steam with half a mile to go. He finished very tired.
My first instinct is to forgive Master of the Race for now, but I am more concerned about Conservation. I don’t think MOTR went on the ground and there was no evidence to ever suggest he would – it was probably just too soft for him. Conservation ran vaguely ok until he blew up, but he blew up early. He needs more time, but we need some evidence that he will get there in the end and there isn’t enough of that at the moment. Fingers crossed that he will start improving – I’ve no doubt that he will but he has a long way to go and the immediate worry is that he at best he will be moderate.
Still I live and learn. I have three runners entered over the next few days. Prince Ary is declared at Kempton on Saturday, Berkhamsted runs on Saturday at Lingfield and Mon Michel probably runs at Folkestone on Tuesday. They all have strong chances and quite possibly could all start favourite.