7th October 2022 – Chepstow – One would guess that his 10lbs hike up the weights on the back of his previous total increase of 15lbs would make life tough for him from now on. His trainer certainly seemed to be of this opinion given his assertion that ‘today was his Gold Cup’ and ‘let us just enjoy today’. He has been on the go since May so the chances are we may not see him again until the springtime. This was a battling performance, and he certainly lacks nothing in his desire to win. The runner up may have blown up and/or hit the front too soon thus presenting him with an easier target. This appeared to be a fast run race with a tired finish; that said, it was pointless comparing times with any of the later hurdle races due to the heavens opening soon after this race finished.
7th October 2022 – Chepstow – His trainer suggested he blew up from the last whilst his jockey thought he may have gone too soon and tired/idled as a consequence. The third and fourth horses to finish both looked tired approaching the last and yet both closed on the runner up from the last to the line. The fifth horse to finish maintained his losing margin with the runner up from the last to the line despite appearing to tie up in between the final two flights. On balance whatever the reason for his tired looking finish, we may see him held onto longer next time. His trainer also said he has improved over the summer adding to the possibility that he was well handicapped off 118 today. His trainer decided to roll the dice and risk losing his mark for the chance of winning this grade two contest; even though he has now been raised to 130 after being beaten here, one can still understand his trainer’s decision. He should improve, though whether he can improve enough to be competitive off his new rating is impossible to say with any confidence.
7th October 2022 – Chepstow – Donald McCain expressed his concerns beforehand that this race might come too soon for his horse. He appeared to stop very quickly once headed before staying on again from before the last hurdle to the line. His winning hurdle form has generally come in relatively weak summer races whilst competing off a mark of around 125.
Quid Pro Quo
7th October 2022 – Chepstow – All five of the Skelton horses at this meeting finished well beaten which may be a key variable. He was heavily supported into 7/4 favourite on the back of having won his previous two races over hurdles. He has been dropped to 128 and, despite appearing to be very one paced here, I would prefer to err on the side of him being another well handicapped horse from the Skelton yard.
7th October 2022 – Chepstow – After sharing some of the lead during the race he appeared to be a spent force from after two out. He did manage to maintain his losing margin with the runner up from the last to the line which offers some encouragement.
7th October 2022 – Chepstow – After racing prominently in her previous races she was held up well out the back here. We cannot be certain; however, it does appear that stable confidence was not strong today. Maybe we will see a return to more positive tactics in the near future.