I’m just back after five magic days in California for the Breeders’ Cup and I have to say it was a brilliant experience. There are loads of lessons we can learn from them, and I’d say that the casualness of the whole experience was my big takeout. There seemed to be far more inclusivity for racegoers with the paddock just about the only ‘no go’ zone.
Moore and Buick just brilliant
I have to take my hat off to both Ryan Moore and William Buick for some breathtaking rides. Watching at the time I guess it was the bravery of Moore that stood out for me when he sat tight on Auguste Rodin and nipped up the inside in the stretch. As for William Buick’s timing on Master Of The Seas in the Mile… talk about knowing where the wire is!
Clonmel an embarrassment
From the positivity about the Breeders’ Cup, I have to mention the shambles of a three runner Clonmel Oil Chase on Thursday. I’m not talking about the winner Allaho, who made a great return after a long absence. I’m talking about a three-runner race with literally not a soul there to watch it. Something needs to be done. I remember going to Clonmel Oil Chases in the past where honestly you couldn’t get a car parking space. Maybe the race needs to be moved in the calendar a bit closer to the big Festivals as a proper trial. Something needs to be done though as it’s not working.
2.20pm Champion Chase
I have put the boot into Clonmel about a poor turnout for their feature and I guess Down Royal will be disappointed to have a combined seven runners for their Grade One and Two features. Perhaps there are just too many options for these two and three mile top-notch chasers and it wouldn’t have helped having the Clonmel Oil Chase 48 hours before. Anyway, this looks the perfect starting point for Gerri Colombe with conditions looking ideal for him. Just be careful of the fact that the other three all have a run under their belts this season and he will definitely take a big step forward from this. ⭐ STAR PRICES ⭐
2.55pm Down Royal
Only the three for this Grade Two with the trip looking on the short side for Feronily. Gordon [Elliott] saddles Ash Tree Meadow with the trip looking spot on. The concern with him would be the ground as he wouldn’t want it to get too soft. ⭐ STAR PRICES ⭐
2.45pm (Grand Sefton Chase)
Our first look at the Grand National fences this season on what looks like being really soft ground. They had to take a look on Friday morning with the National Course passing an inspection. Gesskille looks the obvious one to go one better than 12 months ago, but don’t rule out Irish raider Born By The Sea. He was a good sixth here in the National last spring, so we know the track suits and he stays all day. ⭐ STAR PRICES ⭐
2.25pm (Badger Beer Chase)
Plenty will be cheering on Frodon (pictured below) to win this again at the age of 11 and he is sure to give Bryony [Frost] a lovely spin. He may struggle to hold off his stablemate Threeunderthrufive though. He’s had a win op since not getting home in the Scottish National and I am convinced he is a well-handicapped horse. ⭐ STAR PRICES ⭐