Despite the fact there were some competitive contests taking place over the weekend the racing certainly seemed to have that ‘pre-Cheltenham’ feel to it.
There wasn’t really much outside the obvious that really caught my eye and my ‘little black book’ lay dormant for most of the weekend.
There was, however, one runner that flashed up on my radar and he again seems to be coming into form as the nights begin to stretch out and the end of season festivals start appearing on the horizon.
Take a squint at my solitary ‘under the radar’ eye-catcher from the weekend –
AURORAS ENCORE (S Smith) – Saturday – 2.40 Sandown – 3rd in the 3m 1/2f Class 3 Handicap Chase
This was much more like it from the 10yo, who was having his 3rd start after over a year off the track. He was running from a much more realistic mark (134) in this handicap chase (was running off 141 & 148 on his last 2 chase starts) and that is very much a mark he can win from (last win was in a listed chase off a mark of 139). He momentarily lost his place in this contest before moving swiftly back into contention and 2 from home looked likely to take a hand in the finish. He couldn’t quite keep tabs on the front 2 but going down by 4 lengths in 3rd is no disgrace and tells us he is ready to strike in the near future. 4 of his 6 career wins have come in March (the last week of), April or May and his form figures do suggest he is a better horse with the sun on his back; prior to Saturdays effort his 3 best RPR figures were recorded in the spring/early summer time. He is also a horse that runs best when turned out within a month of his last start as all 6 career wins have come within 30 days of his last start; look out for a return to the track within the next 30 days. 5 of his 6 wins have come going left-handed so it may also be the case we see him continue his resurgence when racing the opposite way to what he did on Saturday; he didn’t looked too inconvenienced by the right-handed Sandown contours but there were a couple of suggestions he would possibly prefer going the other way round. The Second Empire gelding has run well at tracks such as Ayr, Aintree & Uttoxeter in the past and they may also be the best places to catch him at this time around; he looks primed to strike and get himself back in the winners enclosure some time soon.
Ideal conditions: spring/early summer time | run within past 30 days | around his current mark (134) | left-handed track
It’s almost here!
I’m sure some of you still want to get in some last minute study so what better place to go than the FREE Cheltenham Festival preview videos I was involved in – Free Cheltenham Festival Preview Videos
Please feel free to share these videos around. However, if you are at work try not to send it on to the boss!! (unless of course he is a racing fan!)
For those of you that want to stay on my site (all of you I hope!) here is the World Hurdle preview video we shot –
Also wish me luck for my ‘Life changing Cheltenham Festival Yankee‘. It could all be over once the runners have crossed the line in the Supreme but hey, we all gotta dream!
Happy Cheltenham punting one and all 🙂