5th April 2019 – Aintree – He looked a non-stayer in this race last year but was allowed an easy lead throughout here which resulted in him romping away with plenty to spare. The time of this race was around 16 seconds quicker than last year which tells part of the story. His trainer described this as a career best performance and one can understand why as he looked to be in a different league to the rest of the field. Fortunately we also have a fair bit of evidence to suggest that this is probably not the case given different conditions. The post-race talk was of stepping him up to three miles next season; of course it is one possibility that he will be suited to this extra half a mile. Unless he is fortunate enough to enjoy another equally untroubled lead in the future, however, I strongly suspect that this is not the race to be judging his ‘new found’ stamina on. I still loved watching this performance; nevertheless when a horse does something well beyond what he has achieved previously there are usually plenty of extenuating circumstances attached to that apparent improvement.
5th April 2019 – Aintree – I doubt he has done a lot wrong given the easy trip enjoyed by the all the way winner. He may have been feeling the effects of his tough race at Cheltenham; at least I would suggest that this is what his connections will be hanging their hats on.
5th April 2019 – Aintree – This was described as ‘last chance saloon’ for this one to prove he is right up there with the best; personally I remain convinced he is just simply a horse that needs very soft ground to show his best form. On the plus side he may be more forgotten about the next time he gets his conditions; even more so due to his unfashionable connections.
5th April 2019 – Aintree – He made a serious error at the 11th fence and I suspect this played a major role in the way he finished the race. Perhaps he also paid a price for staying just behind a winner that had everything go right for him on the day. When you are taking a chance on an outsider running to his best and challenging better rated rivals you know he is going to need everything go right for him. This did not happen here – personally I was hoping to see him bowl along in front so was disappointed when his jockey was keen to hold onto him over the first few fences. Whether this made any difference – I have no idea.
5th April 2019 – Aintree – I have always doubted his stamina for this trip and maybe due to him being well past his best he dropped away too far out for a lack of stamina to be the determining factor.
5th April 2019 – Aintree – He made several mistakes and generally made these fences look very big – which they are!!