I was very happy with my two runners yesterday.
Astrodome was run out of it in the closing stages, but they went no pace and it turned into a sprint, which was never going to suit him. He’ll improve for that – he was very well this morning and should be out again soon.
Theophrastus looked like a possible winner at one stage, and finished within a length of a place. For a horse destined to be a three mile chaser it was an exceptional run, and our aspirations for him to become top class are still alive. Nick described him as a “total fool” – always horsing around (is that his fault!?). He’s injured himself many times over the years we’ve had him, invariably by jumping around in high spirits.
The great thing about both horses was that they clearly enjoyed the racing experience. Their both big characters and having them willing is half the battle. I put a lot of store in these two – they should go in the notebook.
Plenty of racing today and I’ve had a quick look. Every NH course racing today has heavy ground – it raises the odd concern. There were horses running yesterday that didn’t go on the ground but their trainers had to get them out. With no good ground options we’ll have more of that today – horses that want better ground but are running because time is running out to get a run into them for Cheltenham. I think anything unproven on soft/heavy ground should be avoided.
One horse who might come into this category is Ashkazar, who is considered to be better on better ground. I have such a big opinion of the horse that I’m going to back him anyway, but with reservations. Smoothly Does It likes it heavy, and his mark has dropped a few pounds since joining Jim Best. He’s won at Uttoxeter before and looks worthy of consideration. I’ll reserve the nap for Bougoure who runs in the 3:55 at Haydock today. He would have won this race two years ago (on heavy ground) but for falling at the second last. He has a chance to make amends today running off the same mark – he’s a backable price.