Another weekend of dashed hopes, capped with Bouguereau finishing down the field in 7th in the Italian Derby. Well at least I can say I’ve had an odds-on favourite in a Group 1, which is rare enough. Bouguereau is a super horse, but he’s a big, fairly lean galloping type with real staying power – he isn’t a speedster, and on the very fast ground over the shorter trip he was found out by smaller faster horses. To make matter worse he was bumped halfway through the race and he lost one of his front shoes – we think that made quite a difference but it’s hard to know how much. I still think the world of the horse, but it’s clear that he will need a proper test of stamina to be at his best.
The rest of the weekend was no better. Mon Michel has, I think, done enough for the season, and needs a break. Scrapper Smith was really disappointing – Ed Vaughan was expecting a decent run and was perplexed afterwards. The only half decent run was from Lilac Moon, who traded 6/4 in running before fading rapidly in the closing stages. They had watered the course at Nottingham and it was loose on top – she has a slightly strange daisycutting action and she didn’t like it. She’ll be winning soon enough.
I’ve got a few declared this week. Prince Ary goes in a novice chase at Fontwell on Wednesday, and Ours comes out at the same meeting. On Friday Max One Two Three goes for a 6f listed race at Newbury, and Maxwell Hawke, a new PCH 2yo, comes out at the same meeting. Later at Aintree King’s Head will try to follow up his win from last week (ground permitting).
One thing that has been good lately has been my betting – last week was my best for a long time. I like three tomorrow;
Drachenfalls is bred to be a 2yo 5f G/F specialist, and was expensive given his relatively unfashionable sire, so he must have looked the part. Kevin Ryan isn’t really firing yet but he’s having the odd winner and it may be coming. He’s up against a couple of Bahamian Bounty colts, but they invariably want 6f and wouldn’t necessarily relish the fast ground.
It’s rare to see a horse with so much in his favour as Habshen has in the 4:00 at Yarmouth. He’s won second time up for the last three years, his trainer is in the form of his life, he wants a mile G/F which he has. He isn’t even favourite in the tissue.
In the 4:50 at Redcar, 13yo Ellen’s Academy makes his 100th appearance on the turf in a claimer. He has the ground he needs and even in his dotage he ought to be able to deal with these young whippersnappers.