Is it time to confine Cyrname to the 2m5f trip at Ascot? Or do we just forget about him altogether? There is obviously something wrong with him either physically or mentally, and (as he qualifies for "veterans" races on 1st January 2022 when he becomes a 10yo) maybe it's time to stop thinking of him as the "best chaser in training"? As for Shan Blue, this was looking like a very exciting winning performance until he fell at the 3rd-last fence. If he goes to Newbury for the Ladbrokes Trophy on OR148 then he must have one helluva chance. And we managed to nick a few quid with the 4-place eachway wager on Mighty Thunder who plodded-on to be 4th: he was always going to finish the race and I did expect him to beat Clondaw Castle (who isn't a graded chaser given the way he was swept aside by Clan Des Obeaux at Aintree in April), but 4th was good enough.
Over at Ascot, there was a cracking day of racing. Unfortunately, after noting Nassalam on the blog, I didn't put him down as a selection, and he only went and won. I don't think he's the sort of chaser who could be graded class, but he should continue to be competitive in handicaps. And then I was disappointed in myself for not being on Soaring Glory in the handicap hurdle, as he was on my alert list after winning the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, and I think we can draw a line through his run in the Supreme Hurdle at the Festival in March. This horse looks like he's going places to me.
My selection Editeur Du Gite set a punishing pace in the 2m1f Listed handicap chase, and had nothing left to give from 2-out, and then badly blundered at the final fence losing his rider. This was a tremendous effort though, and on a left-handed track he will be worth following NTO. It was an intelligent ride by Bridget Andrews on the eventual winner Amoola Gold, as she sat well-off the pace and let this field run itself ragged on the stamina-sapping ground.