22nd April 2017 – Ayr – He finally got his head in front after four second place finishes in a row. He is definitely a bit quirky based on his previous record. He could not have asked for an easier target horse to aim at from the last fence here as his main rivals had long since thrown their claims away. He lost ground at each of the first three fences in the straight and personally I doubt he would have still been in touch in a stronger race. He was less than fluent at a few and, although this would have been a welcome success, at the same time, I think he has run better in defeat this season. He was about a second faster up the home straight compared with Vaniteux; though slightly slower from the Henderson horses first fence to the line. He travelled half a mile further and jumped five fences more than Vaniteux so his times compare very favourably. I would not want to use this victory in itself as evidence of Cloudy Dream being better over this intermediate trip. He beat a soft rival and the other two favourites did not run their race. Furthermore, the speed he showed up the home straight compared with the now 158 rated two miler Vaniteux suggests he would be at least equally effective over the shorter trip in a fast run race.
22nd April 2017 – Ayr – Once again he travelled beautifully through his race before finding little when asked for an extra effort. He is one to mark up for the SFC markets in the early and late part of next season when the ground is quick.
22nd April 2017 – Ayr – I suspect that this is as good as he is as he seemed to jump well all the way and merely finished ahead of two rivals who jumped less well and just behind the runner up who does not find in a finish.
Clan Des Obeaux
22nd April 2017 – Ayr – Purely on the strength of this performance one would not be in a hurry to back him on a left handed track again over fences. He jumped right at many of his fences and dramatically so at two or three. His connections had said that setting the pace was not ideal at Cheltenham earlier in the season so it was a mild surprise to see him at the front from early on in this race. He did appear to be enjoying himself, however, and did jump with real exuberance at many of his obstacles, even if he was moving out to his right. He is a very talented horse but not one short of his quirks I think.
22nd April 2017 – Ayr – He was on the rail in second spot in the slip stream of the leader as they jumped down the far side. Everything appeared to be in place for him to run a very big race when he smashed through the last in the back straight and nearly unseated his jockey in the process. He lost all chance at this point and was pulled up before two out. Based on his Aintree win he would have gone very close today and he was certainly my idea of the favourite to win at the point he made his blunder.