We weren't far away from a decent win last Saturday, as Burning Victory looked like winning the Cesarewitch (advised at 8/1) until Buzz produced a devastating burst of speed close home to take the prize - but it was an honourable 2nd. Then, at Chepstow, I put the horses in the handicap chase that I fancied - Paint The Dream and Manofthemountain - in the wrong order. I thought Paint The Dream would need his seasonal debut (and he most certainly didn't) and perhaps I should have advised a reverse forecast! The Computer Straight Forecast paid £34.75.
On Saturday, we have 2 good meetings on the jumps at Market Rasen, Ffos Las, and a low-class affair at Stratford. There is a decent Class 2 handicap chase at Market Rasen at 3:20pm over 2m5f & 89yds, with 9 runners declared. There are a couple on my alert list: Guy and Senior Citizen; and both have a chance. Guy won on his seasonal debut last year, on similar ground and he could be very interesting running-off 10st 4lb. Senior Citizen also won on his seasonal debut last season, and this will be his first run since the 8th May (so effectively his seasonal debut too).
At Ffos Las, the Novices handicap chase at 4:00pm over 2m5f looks wide open and we have a half decent field for this Class 3 event. From my alert list, Mario De Pail was brought-along very quietly last season, and he could be very useful for trainer Sam Thomas who I think is on his way to making his mark in the sport. It is likely that 2020 Betfair Hurdle winner Pic D'Orhy will start fav for Paul Nicholls, but he's not looked a natural chaser.
The Welsh Champion Hurdle, a Class 2 limited handicap, is the feature race at Ffos Las and from my alert list there is Calico and Umbrigado, and while the latter spent last season chasing he did record some good speed numbers and could finish in the places. Personally, I think Calico is a lot better than OR139 and if the wind surgery has a positive effect he could be the one to be on.
The meeting on Sunday at Kempton is one that is worth keeping an eye on. My local trainer Nick Gifford (I'm a member of the Nick Gifford Racing Club) sends Fearless Freddy for the Class 3 handicap chase and this C&D winner won't be far away. Later in the meeting, I'm expecting Sceau Royal to prove the better when he meets Silver Streak, but I think they both have to fear the race-fit Teqany, who was not far behind Sceau Royal in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton last November.
It looks like being a cracker of a weekend.
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