Monday, 23 November 2015

Banish those Monday morning blues!

Well we missed a winner on Saturday in Baradari. I simply didn't have enough spare time to devote to writing up the blog. One thing for sure is there was no attempt to preserve a handicap mark for Baradari he took up the lead and powered away on his favoured soft going to win by 7 lengths and 12 lengths in the very competitive Grade 3 - Class 1 Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle over 2m 7f. Only a 5yo he will make some chaser when he switches to the larger obstacles when the going gets tough.

Paul Nicholls didn't have the greatest of weekends with only Irving winning although Ptit Zig and Silvianaco Conti both fought as hard as they could in the face of difficult tasks. The stable seem to be having a short break now as they have nothing entered up until Thursday at Newbury and Taunton where they have a total of 17 entries.

Dan Skelton though has runners out at Kempton this afternoon which are reviewed below :

1.05 - Two Taffs Won a bumper at Market Rasen on his only start for the stable last March. Chasing is said to be his game as he is a very good jumper, although his dam was an unraced sister to the high class staying hurdler Teaatral, He returned to the fray in a Class 4 novices hurdle at Bangor over 2m finishing 3rd beaten two short heads to Lady Yeats and Dashing Oscar. Lady Yeats was comprehensively beaten by the stables Welsh Shadow at Haydock on Friday. There should be a stronger pace here so hopefully that will suit him better and he does have some speed at the finishing end too. That said he is up against some decent sorts here in Air Horse One and Brain Power both look to be exciting horses as they start their novice hurdling campaigns and this race could prove informative as it has been won by horses that have gone on to be top class in the past with Henderson winning it 4 times in the last 10 years.
Brain Power 1st 7/4F
Two Taffs 2nd 11/2
Air Horse One 7th

1.35 - Stephanie Frances finished 2nd to The New One on her return and then ironically fell, after jumping well, on her chasing debut, when clipping the heels of another horse when leaving the back straight. Hopefully none the worse for that experience she might be able to make use of her 7lb mares allowance against this much better than average field of runners. She has been pulled out when the going has turned soft and this may well be her last run until the spring. Vaniteux though could be top class over the larger obstacles and second place may be the best she can do. 
Vaniteux 1st 8/11F
Stephanie Frances Fell

2.10 - Fairytale Theatre seems to be a bit under the radar at Lodge Hill Stables as she is rarely mentioned by anyone even though she made the frame in Grade 2/Listed company last season. She returns here in this Listed hurdle over 3m 110y and Harry Skelton rides her for the first time but the whole field has a lot to find with Hendersons Polly Peachum who is 22lb higher on ratings than Fairytale Theatre but only concedes her 8lbs.
Fairytale Theatre 3rd 5/1
Polly Peachum 2nd 

3.15 - Walk On Al - It was thought that anything Walk On Al did over hurdles was a bonus as he is more of a chaser but he could only finish 3rd and 5th on his only two starts last season before picking up an injury. He returned at Wetherby in a Class 3 Handicap hurdle and finished 7th of 13 over a trip short of his best. The 3m here is more up his street and he has been dropped 4lbs to 120h and with the first run hopefully bringing him on he should give a good account. Monetary Fund seems to be on an attractive mark over hurdles and could be good for a place too.
Walk On Al
Monetary Fund 3rd 8/1

3.45 - Closest Friend  trotted up at Market Rasen winning by 17 lengths and as a result he was given a fair mark of 127, however the form didn't amount to much. Going right handed seems to suit him hence his race entries so far and he is a good jumper. He wasn't able to take advantage of bottom weight at Ascot when stepped up in the Class 1 Listed Handicap hurdle on his next start as he weakened rapidly before the last. He looks to have better prospects here off 125h back in this Class 3 Conditional Jockeys Handicap over 2m and he should be capable of further improvement and I expect a bold run on this easier track but may play second best to 3yo Paddys Runner who is rated 127h and carries 16lb less than Closest Friend with Tom Bellamy's 3lb claim.
Paddy's Runner 2nd
Closest Friend 5th


Closest Friend 0.50 points ew @ 14/1 with Stan James and Sporting bet - 12/1 elsewhere - Unfortunately jockey decided to give the entire field a head start and was always pushed to get back into it - one to write off!

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