horse racing

What we learned from the weekend: 18th & 19th October…

Well that was a fantastic weekend of jumping action, wasn’t it?

That Cheltenham Showcase meeting left us all salivating for more…and then THE NEW ONE showed up for a Sunday stroll at Kempton and that was it, game on, we are all absorbed in the wonderful National Hunt game for another season.

Time to start planning the next 6 months of your life around the major jumps races! May be best to send family and friends and little schedule of all the important National Hunt contests/meetings with a note saying “Not available on these dates, thanks”. It will save heartache in the future, trust me.

With that superb weekend of Cheltenham racing in the can it’s time for this weeks version of ‘What we learned from the weekend‘…

What we learned from the weekend: 18th & 19th October…


1. THE NEW ONE still has four legs and they all point in the right direction…

Yes The New One got his season off to a comfortable start on Sunday, disposing of his rivals with the minimum of fuss. This was nothing more than expected and there isn’t really much to take from this except the fact he is clearly in full working order.

What does interest me/bug me a little was Sam Twiston-Davies comments after the race. The jockey (who I have a lot of time for, don’t get me wrong on that) said…

“Very happy with that – just what we wanted. We didn´t want anything flashy today and if he was ever going to get beat it was today as it´s a long way to Cheltenham and obviously we wanted a bit to work on. Obviously his jumping gets slicker as we go along. The mistake at the last was all me. It was just a case of getting from A to B and I don´t care what it looked like.”

Number 1 – “If he was ever likely to get beat it was today“. Eh, no. If he is ever likely to get beat it’s in Grade 1 company; form at Grade 1 level is 2 wins from 6 starts – form at Grade 2 level and below is 9 wins from 10 starts. He was also all out to win one of those Grade 1’s by a diminishing head. The facts are he is unlikely to get beat outwith Grade 1 level, even if he isn’t fully tuned up/fit. I understand STD was alluding to the horse’s fitness and that may have got him beat but he was miles ahead of this lot in class terms and that was always going to pull him through.

Number 2 – “The mistake at the last was all me“. There always seems to be a bloody excuse for this horse, in victory or defeat. The Champion Hurdle aside (which was an extremely unfortunate incident all round, none more so than for the now departed Our Conor) I’m always hearing something being said about why he didn’t quite perform as expected, even when he wins!

“I went to the front too soon” “The mistake at the last cost him” “He’s better over shorter” “His jumping will improve”

Maybe he just isn’t quite the superstar he’s being made out to be?

He’s a bloody good horse, ain’t no doubt there. He’s also a proper Grade 1 animal. But he isn’t a Hurricane Fly or an Istabraq. He WILL get beat from time to time, he WILL win less impressively than expected.

I just wish they would stop looking for excuse for him. Let the horse be what he is going to be. Let him ping the last flight Sam, get him used to gunning the last hurdle and romping away with victory. If he isn’t good enough then so be it.

I sometimes think trainers/jockeys get nervous when they have a potential top of the tree beast on their hands. They start thinking and acting differently with it. They don’t want to mess it up. Which in turn actually results in them messing it up! It’s maybe human nature. It probably happens in most sports and in all walks of life. It’s most likely the difference between champions and potential champions.

So no more excuses for the horse please. He’s a top class horse and he can win Grade 1’s, but he’s beatable and he will get beat, we just don’t need to hear any excuses for him when he does get beat/only wins by a nose.


Staying with team Twister…

2. Twister Season smashed though the +20 points barrier at the weekend…


Team Twister had a grand old time of it at the weekend (Fri, Sat & Sun), with 5 winners from 9 runners for a level stakes profit of +£17.99. That took the Twister Season total to +£25.52. It’s been a slower grind this Twister Season but yet again they have fired in a total in excess of +£20 points. Sure there are still 10 days to go before the official end of Twister Season but once again they have proven to have their string in bouncing form, providing us shrewd punters with some juicy profits along the way.

If you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about then grab your FREE Twister Season guide from HERE.

Embrace Twister Season, it keeps delivering!


3. David Pipe has a potential monster on his hands…

The closing bumper at Cheltenham on Saturday was won by David Pipe’s MOON RACER, by and EASING DOWN 12L! It was a demolition job by the 5-Y-O, who was purchased for a cool £225,000 in April after sauntering home by 7L on debut at Fairyhouse.

The Cheltenham Bumper actually looked a strong enough contest before hand but the others were well and truly blasted out of the water by MOON RACER, as soon as Tom Scudamore pressed the button it was game over. He recorded a rather impressive RPR figure of 131 in victory here, that’s lofty enough for any bumper let alone one run in October. To put that in perspective the last five Champion Bumper winners recorded a figure of 140-141-142-138-138 when landing the Festival contest, MOON RACER’S Saturday run is already withing reaching distance of those figures.

Will he be kept to bumpers though? I hope not. I hope they go hurdling. He looks to have plenty of scope to do serious damage over timber and his pedigree looks pretty tasty as well.

If you missed the race on Saturday I urge you to go watch it, NOW!

MOON RACER looks a potential superstar for Pond House, let’s hope we see him hurdling before long.

Drop me a comment below if anything caught your eye from this weekends racing, there was plenty going on and I’m sure you’ve all got plenty to say 🙂

Ben (NTF)

9 responses to “What we learned from the weekend: 18th & 19th October…”

  1. I was impressed with JOHNS SPIRIT and he could progress further this season. Could turn out to be Grade 1 material. Back in the field, the 3rd placed ERICHT went straight into the notebook. This was only his 6th chase and he was a good 5th in the 2013 Coral Cup hcap hurdle.

    • Thanks Ian

      Agree with Ericht. Geraghty was easy enough on him once the front two had gone on and that run should have straightened him out for the season ahead. You hope/think there is more improvement to come.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  2. I think racing The New One over a bare two miles is part of the issue.
    When he won the Neptune in 2013 he was staying strongly, as he’s bred to do, so a stiff 17F+ is best as he ages and he can be a lay against top oppos. on Boxing Day.

    • Interesting thinking Chris

      3 from 3 over 2m5f as well and it’s likely any jumping frailties will be more evident over the shorter trips.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  3. Hi guys Finally got round to re- watching the racing from Saturday’s meeting at Cheltenham. Ben’s summary of the day was excellent. I thought Ballyglasheen ran a really nice race behind Tiger Roll and Calipto – he’ll surely be of interest in handicaps, if he gets down to a mark of 140-142 (currently off 145) he’ll be a live one. Seems to go on any ground as well. I read that Calipto had breathing issues which may have been the cause of his struggle up the hill having looked the more likely winner. Agree 100% with Ben’s comments on Moon Racer – Wow! his second facile bumper win – first one in Ireland was just as easy – could be very decent. I think there is definitely a decent mare’s race in Pass The Time, ran too freely on Saturday but isn’t off a bad mark and looks to have retained her ability. Jump racing is back!!

    • Hi Glenn

      That 4-Y-O Hurdle (Tiger Roll and co) will probably turn out to be a serious bit of form all round to be honest. Got to think all 4 could be up to winning races this season at their respective levels.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

  4. Calipto was not fit needed this to put him right
    I believe there is a handicap in him ridden with restraint and when fully tuned up.
    Paddock was key on Saturday Tiger Roll looked as if he’d flown in from the south of France!
    John’sSpirit will improve for run as will most of the field that contested that race just do worry that there were a lot of horses who find it hard to win whereas JS is a superb trier.
    Bumper was a very strong event winner was fit but will improve further lots of winners will come out of the race

    • Hi DJ

      “Tiger Roll looked as if he’d flown in from the south of France!” Love that comment 😀

      Agree that plenty of horses from the John’s Spirit race will come on plenty for the run. Also agree plenty of winners will come from that bumper. Winner blew them out of the water but they were no mugs behind, ga from it.

      Cheers – Ben (NTF)

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