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Sunday, 4 December 2022

Review of Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th December

What a great day of racing, but (on the downside) an abysmal performance by myself on the tipping front. Maybe I'm not putting enough research into the races, I trying to maintain the methods that have worked well for the last 10 years, but something isn't gelling. So, I'm going to give things a rest and just review the races for a few weeks, and return with my usual Boxing Day "Yankee" on the 26th December.

The jumping performance of novice chaser JONBON was exemplary, so great leaps at speed. I only noticed hesitancy once, and given he is a novice chaser he's allowed a mistake or two while learning his trade.  Boothill performed valiantly to keep the race alive, and also provide a decent yardstick as he won at Ascot LTO and came into this with a rating of OR147.  As he was clearly outclassed and Jonbon almost certainly could have won by further, you have to think Jonbon is capable of 160+  which puts him on a par with Edwardstone (who won the same race as a novice chaser, and won the Tingle Creek later on the card).

The Tingle Creek had a great field with every horse rated OR160+, and what a performance from EDWARDSTONE.  He seems to fiddle a few of his fences, but what an engine! Over the last half-mile there was only one horse in it. So how good was the performance? To be fair, the ground (good-to-soft) was in the winners' favour as the best 3 speed ratings for Greaneteen are on "Good" ground, as such I don't think he was within 10lb of his OR171 rating. If you mark Greanteen at 160, that puts Edwardstone at 171 which makes him a definite challenger for Energumene.  Shiskin? I did write on the blog that he may need a run or two to get back to his best, but talk now is of going to 3 miles with him, and I did write that on my blog back in September!

At Aintree, the Grade 2 "Many Clouds" Chase saw Grand National winner Noble Yeats pitched against one of last season's leading novices: Ahoy Senor. It was no contest - NOBLE YEATS put this race to bed with a great turn of foot coming to the final fence and, with stamina not in doubt, he ran out an easy winner. It was 160+ by Noble Yeats and he could well be in the Cheltenham Gold Cup next March as a leading contender. What about Ahoy Senor? Starting with his rating for this performance, I rate his last 6 races 155 / 119 / 155 / 155 / 156 / 150. His "Charlie Hall" run was terrible, but other than that he's been super consistent - but he's not a 160+ chaser.

At Chepstow, FARINET has been threatening a run like that for some time, although it is difficult to assess just how good it was as the field were spread-eagled. He could well follow-up in another 3-mile handicap chase, as he shouldn't go up more than 7lb for this win. 

Fairyhouse on Sunday provided some great racing, including the Grade 1 "Hatton's Grace" hurdle over 2m3f being contested by Honeysuckle, who has previously won this race in 2020 and 2021. Here are my ratings of Honeysuckle since winning this in Nov-2020 - apologies for the screenshot quality.

This will upset some people, but the highest rating I've given her is 161 for winning the 2021 Champion Hurdle: generally I reckon she's about 155-158. She has been winning top-class hurdle ratings off the back of her mares' allowance, combined with the reality that the 2-mile hurdlers of recent years have been a poor bunch.  By my assessment, Honeysuckle will not only have to be at her best next March to win a Champion Hurdle with Constitution Hill running in, but she's going to have to find about 7lb (probably 10lb) of improvement on that. To put in context, she's going to have to run 20lb better than she did on Sunday.   



 

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