Follow the Bear

BETTER TOGETHER ran well down the field at Chepstow – apparently he jumped ok and he looks to have come back alright. His day will come but it is probably a long way off.

Nick runs his “superstar” in the Agfa hurdle at Sandown tomorrow. There is no horse I have enjoyed watching on the gallops more than STRAW BEAR – he is big and muscular and powers up the hill like a machine. He’s a biggish price for the Champion after his odds on failure in the Christmas Hurdle, but it’s public knowledge that he wasn’t well that day and the race should be disregarded. On all his other form he’s there or therabouts on a par with Detroit City – he’s ranked 1lb behind him in the official ratings. So why is Straw Bear 14/1 for the Champion whereas Detroit City is 100/30? He shouldn’t be – Detroit City may turn out to be a wonder horse but Straw Bear, who is a year older but only made his hurdling debut in 2006, also has the right to improve. I’ve backed him for the Champion and I’ll be backing him in the Agfa tomorrow.

I’ve been going through the catalogue for the February Tattersalls sale, but although the sale is still a week away I am already frustrated. Juddmonte had entered a group of unraced 3yos with staying pedigrees – they seem to do this every year. These horses have presumably been very slow to come to hand and may never be fast enough to make an impression on the flat in the UK – they are interesting potential trades to sell into the NH market in a year’s time though. Unfortunately the two best looking prospects were withdrawn this morning, presumably having been sold privately. This is the way of things in the market at the moment – very few decent horses are getting to the ring, and what gets there goes for huge prices.