28th November – 4th December All Weather Musings and one for Wednesday??

Nine race cards, additional fixtures, my punting woes, the list of what I could rant about is seemingly never ending at the moment. I’m going to resist the urge to do so though. One thing I will have a quick moan about is Charlie Hills. Harry Magnus was put up as one to follow in the first ‘All Weather Musings’ of the season, despite being beaten 5 lengths I had been confident that he would improve enough from his second start to win a novice on his third run. Just an ordinary one, where winning means you end up with a mark in the mid 70s, but still getting a price as the market potentially would have thought it would have been a third ‘spin’. What does Charlie Hills do? Rocks up in a class two against a load of runners rated in the 80s and 90s. Mind numbingly stupid placing off a horse. There was absolutely no need to do it. I half think he’s got away with being given a mark of 82. Truth be told, the placing doesn’t surprise me one bit after thinking back to the following. I was down at Lingfield for my birthday a few seasons ago, September 18th 2018 to be precise. A quiet affair, my pal had scooted off so went down to the rails to watch the second last before heading back to Croydon. Charlie was about 20 yards from me watching the race, he had Groveman running who ended up getting a softie on the front end (107.2% finishing speed) No bad thing around ‘Leafy’ right? Groveman gets touched off, as he (Charlie) walks past me I say ”unlucky with that Charlie” knowing full well he’s had the softest time on the front end and not been unlucky at all, just one of those things you say. His response, baffling. ”Unlucky would be an understatement, he’s done really well given how hard it is to make all around here”. The response took me aback, mainly because that simply isn’t true. As person that isn’t afraid to speak his mind when the time is right, I preceded to explain how that just isn’t true and Groveman getting a solo made it even easier to win from the front. ”Well, I can assure that it is, I think I would know” was hissed back at me before he bowled off into the distance. Punters know nothing, trainers know everything apparently.

Anyway, enough on Hills. Four horses below from the last week that had caught my eye in some, way, shape or form for your trackers/notebooks.

Monday 28th November

16:45 Kempton- A rare winner in November for me came in the shape of Loyal Touch. The shape of the race looked ideal for him, lack of pace, hard pulling morning favourite (Nap Hand) and a couple of questionable stayers (Thunderball and Uncle). 4/1-7/2 seemed on the large side, 5/2 is the price I had put him at. Well backed on the show, the race went as planned, Loyal Touch took up a handy position in a race run at a less than even tempo, Nap Hand was too free in rear. The Mark Johnston trained runner got the jump on him just after the cutaway and the result never really looked in doubt thereafter. He looked a size bigger than his rivals in this contest, no doubt there is physical progression to come and the lingering signs of rawness could potentially be ironed out given a bit more time or gelding. I feel short term he’s one to be against and possibly over estimated in the market next time out. A 5lb rise for winning what was a weak heat given the suspect stayers and lack of well handicapped rivals seems a tad excessive. The clocked was stopped in a modest figure to boot, I’m looking forward to be against him.

Wednesday 30th November

19:20 Kempton- Given some of the large all-weather figures that he has put up, I felt Pistoletto was worthy of support on Wednesday at Kempton. A better horse on synthetics this quirky, yet capable gelding had tumbled down the ratings to a mark of 84. A full 8lbs lower than when winning back in April. Due to the fog, it was hard to see what happened in the early stages of the race but as the runners emerged from the gloom it was clear he had been caught out of his ground in rear. Steady late gains were made without being asked for anything like maximum effort. For all he’s a horse that needs to be treated with ‘kid gloves’, I’m adamant that this was a float up, despite being ‘in’ the market. Versatile trip wise, with recent winning form coming between 8-12f, personally I feel that 10f is bag. Dropped another 2lbs for what was evidently a promising reappearance, he’s now eligible for 0-80s off of a mark of 82. Lo and behold, he rocked up today in the entries for the 0-80 10f at Leafy next Wednesday. A field size limit of 14, only 13 were entered up meaning connections will get a run should they wish. With Darragh Keenan jocked up already it suggests that is the route they’re heading. A quick browse through the runners and nothing has filled me with dread, I strongly suspect he’ll be one to go to war with come what Wednesday. Christmas money anyone?

Thursday 1st December

18:00 Chelmsford- The money arrived overnight for Eagle Creek, then weak in the market throughout the day. It looked a case of you take our price, we’ll give it a cold run. Not long with Mick and David Easterby, the 8yo had a couple of spins on the soup and then rocked up at Southwell mid-November. He caught the eye this day, ended up 3-4 deep at various stages, kept on for minimal effort from the saddle. Handicapper was kind enough to drop him 1lb, no doubt the yard was hoping for another one or two off. With the price going early at Chelmsford it looked very much a case of the same. Dropped out in the early stages and allowed to find his stride, still travelling well coming into the straight it was a case of nudge, nudge and chicken wings out. This run confirmed to me that the fire still remains, dropped another 2lbs to a mark of 76 a 0-75 against inferior rivals with a half decent gallop on the cards will be a spot I look to potentially back him in next time out.

Saturday 3rd December

17:50 Wolverhampton- A novice here that I feel will work out in due course this is. The two ‘form’ horses ended up filling the first two places but it was the Simon and Ed Crisford trained The Bunt that had really caught my eye back in 6th. A proper big old boat, size and scope a plenty, despite looking like he had been left a couple of gallops short, he attracted late support (16/1 into 8/1). Game over from the start, missed a beat and was on the backfoot from the get go. As is normally the case in these novices, they lobbed around and it paid to be on the front end. He largely went well in rear, showed bits of greenness meaning he had to be nudged along at various stages of the contest. Still going well, but spotting the leaders circa 10 lengths at the two pole, he was forced to make his ground around the field, head slightly proud and given a couple of soft reminders and ran on strongly under hands and heels to beaten just over 4 lengths, finishing with a lot more to give. Mentally and physically the run would have done him the world of good. It’s worth noting that his half-brother Staging Post was well beaten on debut in a bumper before leaping forward on his second start and winning. This Cracksman colt will be a smashing 3yo, the money was left behind this time but I fully expected it to be recouped in due course ahead of what’ll be a promising 2023 for this colt

At the end of the day, everything comes down to price so feel free to give me a nudge on Twitter if any of these are running and you want to know if I’m pressing blue, pink or sitting on the fence

Thoughts, comments, retweets and feedback are greatly appreciated as always.

Be lucky,

Quentin

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