Wincanton, Saturday November 7th
Only three runners lined up for this Grade 2 event which saw Ga Law become only the third 4yo to win this event since 1990. Looking in decent nick this gelding by Sinndar showed his two other rivals how to negotiate 17 fences without putting a foot wrong. Going forward I think the ground is the key to him and I am not sure he will be able to operate in winter ground.
Hurricane Harvey who looked fine made a few errors on the way round and his jumping came under pressure down the back.
Grand Sancy looked well, but wanted to go faster in the early stages. He seemed to be in a rhythm, but once he made a blunder down the back straight he came off the bridle and his jumping and action fell apart.
Sceau Royal joins Celestial Halo as joint winners of this Grade 2 event. Looking in fantastic order Alan King’s 8yo jumped and travelled with ease and once he came around the final bend you could call him the winner. Once clearing the last he stretched out to a comfortable success. The trainer has hinted that he may turn up at the Shloer Chase at the weekend. I think an early target for him could be the Christmas hurdle at Kempton.
Teqany, this grey by Dark Angel was placed behind the leaders and as he made steady headway he was simply outclassed over the final two flights.
Considering the ceiling of this handicap is 0-155 with a top weight rated 146 this was an average renewal and the unlucky horse was Sizing At Midnight. Colin Tizzard’s 8yo jumped and travelled supremely well and was still on the bridle and looked a major player only to capsize whilst jumping the third last.
El Presente carried on the great form of the Kim Bailey yard by lifting this Listed event. Racing in mid field he looked tap for toe mid race, but he kept on responding and eventually got up right in the shadow of the post. He has definitely showed a liking for going right-handed because all his victories have come this way.
Potterman took his form to another level by running a personal best in second. When the pace increased, he looked to be struggling, but to his credit he kept responding and came through late only to be denied by a short head.
Kitty’s Light came from way off the pace and did remarkably well to secure third position given that he was slightly impeded clearing the third fence from home.
My Way who looked grand set out to make all the running, but I am not totally convinced he saw out the trip in the end because he was treading water in the closing stages.
Present Man tried his best off of top weight, but was brushed aside in the closing stages.
Champagne Court looked the part, but was never at the races.
Pasvolsky looked fit and made use of his fitness to run out a game winner of this final race. Once his attentions are switched to hurdles I think he will definitely get further.
Silent Revolution looked well and was well placed from the start. It looked as if he was going to overhaul the winner approaching the furlong marker, but he was unable to find extra in the closing stages.
Earth Business travelled well, but was green when coming off the bridle.
Earth Company who has a chasers physique ran green throughout the race and did all his best work inside the final furlong.
Earth Lord made a mid-race move, but was too green to do himself justice.
Stratford, Sunday November 8th
Dubai Outlaw, this grand 7yo looked in tip top shape and made a mockery of his handicap mark of 87 by running out a comfortable winner. Travelling well his jumping was never under any severe pressure and he sauntered in to the lead. David Jeffreys 7yo will take a hike in the weights, but on this evidence, he is still a fair way in front of his mark.
Miss Gemstone looked a picture of health and her jumping was good overall. Once she was joined by the winner, she had little response, but considering this was her first run of the season she should be able to take a step forward and should go very close back against her own sex.
Watar Allstar looked as if he would come on for the run so I was pleasantly surprised by the way he performed given that he jumped left-handed at a number of fences.
Apple Mac who has a good record when fresh looked to be carrying a lot of condition for his first start.
Witness Protection, this gelding by Witness Box turned this race on its head to win by 10 lengths. Looking fine beforehand he jumped and travelled easily in second gear and was never asked any serious questions as he strolled off in to the sunset. It will be interesting to see where his trainer pitches him in next.
The chaser Fantastikas looked fine for his seasonal return, but his jumping was not up to standard and I am not sure this sharp track was totally to his liking. I think you will see him at his best on a big galloping track.
Master Templar, this well-made chasing type looked fit, but was taking time to warm to his task. He still showed elements of immaturity on the way round.
The favourite Prince Escalus looked the part, but I just wonder if his jockey went off too quick out in front because he capitulated coming off the final bend.
Prince Llywelyn, this chestnut was making his seasonal return and he looked to be glowing with health. Placed behind the front two his jumping got better as the race went on, but I am not sure the sharp nature of the track played to his strengths.
Enzo D’airy, this strapping gelding looked as if he would be better for the run, but it didn’t stop him from bolting up by 14 lengths. His jumping was clean and accurate from the word go and in the end he won with his head in his chest. I think life will be a lot harder once the handicapper has had his say.
Bathiva came here in cracking form, but his mistake very early on may have just knocked his confidence. Even though he was blown away by the winner he travelled up looking a big threat, but found very little coming around the final bend.
Rainyday Woman, this mare by Kayf Tara looked in superb nick and duly blew her rivals away with a commanding success. She was well placed from the off and sat just off the leader. Once she was given the offer she booted clear and looks a very useful recruit.
Harde Fashion looked as if the run would do him good. He came through steadily with his challenge, but he lacked the turn of foot needed in the closing stages.
Fontana Ellissi, this gelding by Sinndar looked fit, but showed signs of greenness in the early stages of the race.
Greatest Starlooked as if this run would put an edge on him.
Star performance of the week:
This goes to SCEAU ROYAL who looks a different character after having his wind tinkered with. He has options of either going over fences or staying over hurdles. Wherever he goes as long as the ground is good he should be hard to beat.
Look out for this horse:
ANIMAL, this Suzy Smith-trained 4yo looked the part, but ran as if the race was needed behind the impressive Witness Protection. He may be worth noting if the trainer sends him to one of her local tracks.