INEXPERIENCE AND TACKY GROUND THWARTED RATHHILL IN TOLWORTH
After a very busy Christmas and New Year, last week represented a fair shift down in gears, but there was still plenty of interesting action to look back on.
My main ride last weekend came on RATHHILL in the Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle at Sandown, but unfortunately it didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. In a nutshell, he was just found out by his inexperience and the tacky ground.
It was a big step up for him at this stage of his career and he wasn’t up to it. He jumped big and the winner was very slick, so that just put him on the backfoot. While I’m sure he will stay further in time, he doesn’t lack pace and I wouldn’t like to blame the trip for this.
There is no doubt he will improve as he gains more experience, but if he was going to put himself into the conversation for a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, he probably needed to overcome his inexperience to compete on Saturday.
I wouldn’t be downbeat on his long-term prospects, but we learned that he isn’t quite ready for the highest level just yet.
What it reminded me of was trying to follow Un De Sceaux around Cork on heavy ground a few years ago!
Sensulano is a lovely mare, but she just couldn’t keep tabs on Laurina on that tacky ground which she wasn’t enjoying from an early stage. It would be unfair to judge Sensulano on that performance.
I was impressed with Laurina. She settled well, jumped solidly and won by a long way. Going into the race, she was still very much the unknown danger in the Champion Hurdle and she still looks like that after Sandown.
She’ll have some questions to answer in stronger company, but she’s answered every question she’s been asked pretty emphatically so far.
I didn’t take my other ride later on the card at Sandown due to an issue with my ankle.
I had hurt it in a fall when riding out during the week and it just got a bit aggravated as the day went on at Sandown, so the doctor stood me down and I didn’t ride for the rest of the weekend.
I’ve decided to rest it for the first half of this week too, but I’ll be good to go for the weekend.
One of the rides I missed on Sunday was GLENLOE in the Follow At The Races On Twitter Novices' Chase at Plumpton on Sunday.
Master Dino would have been very difficult to beat either way, but Glenloe made a few mistakes and got on the backfoot. His jumping will need to improve if he’s to come up to the mark, but that experience should stand to him.