ASCOT notes will be on the site by noon.
Aye Aye Charlie
16th November 2019 – Cheltenham – No sooner had he moved up travelling well when he clouted four out and appeared all set to drop away. To his credit he did plug on again and was fighting for second spot in between the final two fences. He is a really quirky sort and if he were mine I would bring him back here in December and January before having a crack at the (now less than) four miler in March.
16th November 2019 – Cheltenham – Extreme hold up tactics were tried for the first time in a very long time. He made up ground on the leaders from three out until two out and, at the same time posted the same time as Rockpoint did half an hour earlier. From two out to the line he was about three seconds quicker than his stable mate despite having competed over nearly half a mile further. No doubt the same tactics will be tried next time. It is possible that his chances will continue to be more obvious in small field races. His jockey thought the Welsh National might be the race for him.
16th November 2019 – Cheltenham – He has jumped and travelled beautifully out in front and is probably unfortunate to come up against a horse rejuvenated by a change in tactics.
16th November 2019 – Cheltenham – He has run a tremendous race and been dropped 2lbs as a consequence. He was really travelling well until after three out and has merely struggled on the bad ground down the hill. He was on the wide outside from three out which might possibly not have helped. He has been given a very considerate time of it from soon after the third last fence before being pulled up well before two out. He has a tremendous record round here and has every chance of winning a big prize this season.
Highway One O One
16th November 2019 – Cheltenham – He jumped the first five fences perfectly before clouting the sixth and unseating his rider. He suffered no ill effects and his connections might be quite relieved that he did not have to endure a really tough time of things on a second circuit.
Vieux Lion Rouge
16th November 2019 – Cheltenham – This was a nice seasonal introduction on his way back to Aintree. He has finished first and second in two of the last three running’s of the Becher Chase and only disappointed in between those two runs when competing on very heavy ground off a mark of 152. He will hold a strong chance again in three weeks. He has now completed the course in all six attempts round the course if we include his three starts in the Grand National.
16th November 2019 – Cheltenham – This was an awful lot easier than it appeared in the finish. His amateur jockey simply steered him round and produced him late to win with a ton in hand. He also made his late move on the inside which may have been a significant disadvantage. The handicapper could not raise him by enough and his new 146 mark will not get him beaten if he is in the same form next time.
17th November 2019 – Cheltenham – His record in grade one and two races now reads: 6 1 4 3 3 7 4 – and his only success in this sequence came when trading as the 4/9 favourite in a four runner novices’ chase at Warwick. I don’t know if his chances were compromised by the slow early pace; they probably were. That said he has also finished well beaten against similar company when competing off a faster pace. The ground should have suited him today so the probability is that he is simply not quite up to this level. Maybe he can show more when stepped up in trip?
17th November 2019 – Cheltenham – It is difficult to be categorical when the finish was so close; that said I doubt he was done any favours by allowing horses to challenge up his outside. This is usually the way and it is quite likely a factor in the finishing order here. He was also extremely keen in the early stages and has done really well to finish so close given the trip he has endured. He was three seconds slower than Hang In There from the first hurdle to the third last. He made that ground up to finish next to the novice at the line when comparing the races side by side. This points to this race being slow run in the first half which played a part in him pulling so hard early on. Maybe he will be better in a faster run race? He can be marked up as the only one of the first seven to finish to race prominently throughout.
Quel De Neuf
17th November 2019 – Cheltenham – He has travelled well throughout on a surface he was unproven on prior to today. I am not certain but feel fairly confident that the inside route his jockey took from the second last to the line has not been in his favour.
Dame De Compagnie
17th November 2019 – Cheltenham – He made up a lot of ground from before the last hurdle to the winning line and looks ready to be stepped back up in trip. He is very inexperienced and competing in this competitive field might do him a lot of good. This was an eye catching performance with a big field race over an intermediate trip in mind – Martin Pipe or Coral Cup perhaps?
17th November 2019 – Cheltenham – There will be many horses that flopped on this testing ground at this meeting. This one could well be one that gets forgotten about more than most given his unfashionable profile.