Stratford, 29th October
Happygolucky made a good start to his chasing career by putting in a near foot perfect display over 12 fences. He got close to the third last, but the further he went the easier his success. Fitness wise I felt he was not fully tuned.
Paint The Dream looked fit and did nothing wrong in his attempt to get off the mark over fences for the eighth time. Out in front he measured his fences well and was only brushed aside after clearing the last fence. On this evidence he will not be a maiden for too long.
Black Kalanisi defied his odds of 50-1 to run a cracker in third. Now he has put in a clear round of jumping this should boost his confidence.
Thomas Macdonagh looked fit and was ready to go on his chasing debut. He was close to the pace and his overall jumping was pretty good for a debutant. He only got tired in the closing stages. I think this experience would have taught him a lot.
Earth Moor looked as if he would improve for the run and this chestnut gelding is not the biggest. He made a wide move coming down the home straight on the first circuit, but he struggled from thereafter and weakened with three fences to jump. I would just be concerned about him on a big track.
Galice Macalo, this four-year-old daughter of Saddler Maker was a real handful paddock side and just wanted to get on with things. She looked a little firecracker going out on the track and you could see this filly was a hundred percent fit. As the field tried to line up she was reluctant to go forward, but once she consented she took a keen hold in front and never saw another rival as she bolted up by 11 lengths.
Jane Williams clearly has a talented filly on her hands, but I think she is a type that lives on her nerves.
Eaton Collina looked fit after his summer break and was given time to warm to his task. His jumping got better as the race progressed and I like the way he stayed on well in the closing stages. He was no match for the winner, but this was a good starting point.
The big chasing type Above Suspicion looked as if he would come on for the run. I thought overall he ran with plenty of credit until his fitness gave out coming around the final bend.
This race was all about Champagnesuperover. Looking at him paddock side he has grown in to an imposing chaser of the future and I thought he looked well. He travelled through the race with relative ease, but I thought he lacked a change of gear from the last and his yard has been very short of winners of late.
When You’re Ready is a good looking type by Malinas and he looked in tip top shape. Placed in mid field his jumping was good from the word go and as he swung around the final bend I liked the way he put daylight between himself and the second in a short space of time.
Brother Pat who had previously run 13 days ago looked fit and stepped up to run well in third.
Troed Y Parc was the biggest horse in the field and he had chaser stamped all over him. Out in front I thought he ran much better than his seventh place suggested because the track was a little tight for him and he was struggling for pace approaching the second last.
Ascot, 31st October
Ibleo belied his paddock appearance to almost take this Listed contest. He looked tubby in the paddock and was gradually brought in to the race. As he made steady headway he led jumping the second last, but you could see his stride was starting to shorten and he was just caught in the shadows of the post. He is bound to take a major step forward from this.
Amoola Gold looked fit and well having won 17 days ago. He came with a sustained challenge from the second last and had enough just to prevail. This 7yo should not be hit too hard by the handicapper.
Molineaux turned up here looking to be carrying condition and I thought his display overall was good. I am sure he will make significant improvement when he next appears.
Flaminger looked full of himself paddock side and tried to run the finish out of his opponents. He jumped with enthusiasm up front, but once challenged three fences from home he weakened dramatically. Maybe his sights should be set a little lower.
The top-weight Copeland who was second in this race last year looked grand, but his jumping didn’t hold up and he unseated his rider at the sixth.
Captain Morgs, this once raced gelding didn’t look 100% tuned up and his performance suggested that there is further improvement to come. It looked as if he took a blow coming around the final bend, but once he gained his second breath he ran on to get right up on the line.
Annual Invictus is not an elegant looking type because he is quite narrow and didn’t look great in his coat, however he made the favourite pull out plenty in the closing stages. I am sure he can win a race for his new connections.
Strike A Pose, I thought this chaser looked in rude health and that his overall performance was good. He looks the type that will appreciate an extra half a mile.
Fearless is a great big chaser and even though he has had a run it still looks like he will improve for the outing. He got close to a couple of flights, but I am sure he is just a work in progress.
Kid Commando, this grand looking type by Robin Des Champs looked a little on the burly side, but it didn’t stop him from winning this Listed contest with a fair bit in hand. His jumping was never tested and he got a little close at the second last. Overall this was a good performance.
The mare Malaya looked fighting fit and lost nothing in defeat. She moved in to the contest, but was unable to lay down a challenge from the last. Back in Mares Company could be the way to go with her.
Her stable companion Scaramanga looked fit having run on the flat 17 days ago.
Anthony Honeyball had a cracking day and Regal Encore supplied him with his third winner of the day. This grand campaigner looked full of beans beforehand and everything fell right for him as he came through late to record his fourth victory at the track.
Whatmore looked in great order and produced a really god effort. Held up at the back he moved in to contention jumping the third last and as he made his challenge on the inside he looked a major player only for the winner to find extra in the closing stages. Off his new handicap mark he should be competitive.
Black Corton looked fit and well and ran with credit off top weights.
Might Bite looked in great nick and enjoyed himself up in front. He got tired coming off the final bend and weakened in the closing stages. On this evidence he might be able to pick up another race before the season is out.
Star performance of the week
Star performance of the week goes to Espoir De Romay who impressed on debut when winning a novice chase at Huntingdon on Sunday. He was very clever with his footwork at a number of fences and I like the way he bounded clear after jumping the last.
Eyecatcher to note
Global Effect, this gelding by Presenting has a good physique, but he needed the run. His overall performance was good as he was up with the pace, but he took a tired fall at the last.