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Sunday 6 December 2015

Special Tiara denied a win

Not the best of days yesterday, though (with a bit of luck) it could have been a great day.

As I expected, there was a lot of support for ALGERNON PAZHAM in the Becher Chase at Aintree, and he went off the 7/1 fav. From the off, his rider Ryan  Hatch (who has a 3lb claim) did not look comfortable. It may be that his saddle was loose, as he looked to be struggling to keep his balance. We will have to wait for next time to recover losses.

Next up was TOP WOOD, who started the 7/2 joint-fav. He ran a cracker, but possibly too much use was made of him in trying to keep-up with the pacemaker Rigadin De Beauchene whose rider was clearly trying to run-away with the race. When TOP WOOD took up the running 4-out and went well clear, I thought we had out first winner of the day in the bag - but he looked to be tiring as he came to the final fence (which he jumped slowly) and had nothing left to hold off the staying-on Tour Des Champs.  This was a great effort, but I fear it may have taken a lot out of the horse.

Then we had perhaps the biggest disappointment of the day when SPECIAL TIARA was denied a win in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.  Those on the email list had taken 5/1 about the horse on Friday afternoon (that's when I sent out the draft blog) and by the off his odds were reduced to 3/1. He was rekindling his challenge on the run-up to the final fence and - based on the ground he made-up on the run-in - we have to feel denied a win as he was severely impeded by the winner who knocked him sideways at the final fence. Sure, it was an unintentional error and no fault of his rider, but I think SPECIAL TIARA would have pulled clear had that not happened, and won by a length at least.  The winner Sire De Grugy is back to his best but, as I've never rated him better than 164 as a 2-mile chaser, I can't see him winning the QM Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next March.

Our final selection was FAGO back at Aintree.  He was brought quietly into the race and I thought with 3 to jump he may stay on to secure 3rd place as the front-pair had gone clear, and though he did pass Top Cat Henry (who faded quickly after the final fence) he was passed himself by the eventual 3rd, Distime, on the run-in.

There was another brave display from one of my favorite horses FOXCUB who was a gallent 2nd at Sandown at 12/1, and MANY CLOUDS ran a great race at Aintree when 2nd to Don Poli.

Onto today, and no advised wagers.

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