First blog in a long while, apologies to all the millions out there waiting for something from me. It’s a sub-standard Pontefract meeting if anything on Monday, but having not blogged for so long, and with me going over for a couple of hours, I felt the urge to put something down.
The book has been going great guns for anyone who has bought it and been taking note. We had three out of three earlier this month, a treble that unfortunately I wasn’t on myself, but I hope some of you were.
Alongside been busy with work during the World Cup, I’ve also been busy with my family life over the past few weeks. Anyone who has read the first page of my book will know that my first racing experience was with my grandad, and unfortunately we have moved him into a care home over the past few weeks, so it is unlikely I will get to experience going to the races with him again. He has dementia, which is a cruel disease I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and it has become too much for the family to deal with and look after him. For the past two years we’ve taken him to the Sunday Pontefract meeting and I’ve got the chance to see him and my son at the races together, something that will stick with me forever.
Anyway, that’s why Ive been quiet, but he’s beginning to settle in now so hopefully I can find more time on an evening to get a few things down on paper so to speak.
Onto Pontefract on Monday, I did warn you it wasn’t the best of cards, and the lack of runners has really spoilt what should be a good day of racing….
The first race on the card features three horses who have all ran well over C&D recently. Highly Sprung won on his last start, with The Amber Fort and Round The Island behind him in 2nd and 4th respectively. Since then Round The Island has won over C&D, and comes here again looking for another. I thought The Amber Fort was a little unlucky when behind Highly Sprung coming round the bend, and is 1lb better off at the ratings here, so he would be the pick for me in the opener. At 4/1 he also appears to be the value against his two recent rivals, who are both shorter in the betting, despite it looking like there is little between them.
Disappointing turnout for the feature race, although we did only have four runners last year if memory serves me right, and had a thrilling finish with a Godolphin winner. Think there was a group horse from the Karl Burke yard in behind too, if my memory serves me right. I’ll not be betting in this one.
The one thing I’m going to say first about this race is in regard to Penny Pot Lane. Fast ground is not her thing, so I’m not touching her at all, but when it gets to the autumn, she is going to be of real interest. She won over this C&D off 73 last year, and is down to 70 now. Expect to see her drop another couple of pounds while running on fast ground, then back her to bounce back when we have some rain and the ground softens in September/October.
Anyway, onto the race itself, I’ll be backing Brockholes to continue her improvement this summer. She has won nicely at Catterick over an easy 7f, so the change to a stiff 6f shouldn’t be an issue for her. In her most recent run she did well at York on Satuday, and is turned out quickly again here. Assuming she doesn’t feel anything from her quick turn out again, she looks a nice price here to get back to winning ways.
Not a race I’m that interested in, another no bet race. Four runners and questions marks over them all leaves me happy to leave this. I thought French Resistance did it nicely at Carlisle, and their was support in the betting for him that day. However, 7lb extra and three further furlongs on this stiff track makes me question him. It’s not a race for me to be getting involved in.
Mark Johnston recently said he didn’t like handicap and would get rid of them, I feel the same about classified races. I think Mark is talking out of his you know what regarding handicaps by the way, but I do not understand the point of classified races at all. This is another race I’m not getting involved with too much, but I may be swayed into backing Walk On Walter. He will make the running in this field, and I get the feeling he could get a soft lead and not be stopped, but it isn’t a race I have a huge interest in.
I’ve seen money for Trinity Star a number of times this year, and he has strong chance on his most recent run here. However, I wonder if the seven year old can handle two runs in eight days, and I’m happy to pass him over at the short price he is due to that. The horse I like in the race is Storm Ahead, a horse who has now had five runs for Tim Easterby. After finding his feet during his first three runs, he has ran two nice races to finish third on his last two starts. Those two races represent good form, and I’m sure Tim can find a little more improvement in him the more he works with him. He ran second at Ascot off 90 in September last year, and goes off just 80 tomorrow, so he is well handicapped if finding that form again.
I’ve not looked at the last because I don’t intend to be there for it, so good luck if you pick something out in the race!