We witnessed plenty of top class National Hunt racing this weekend, dominated in no small part by the master of Ditcheat Paul Nicholls. With the champion trainer banging in winner after winner its safe to safe the National Hunt game is back in full swing!
Here are two runners from the weekend that particularly caught my attention….
SA SUFFIT (J Ewart) – Saturday 2.40 Kelso – 2nd in class 2 Limited Handicap Chase – 2m1f
This must go down as a huge run by the 8yo on his seasonal debut under conditions that were far from ideal. The French bred needs serious cut in the ground to be seen at his best so it’s safe to assume the prevailing good ground he encountered would not have been to his liking. The 2m1f trip would also have been on the sharp side and it did look like he was outpaced over the last couple of fences before drawing on his stamina reserves on the long Kelso run-in to get within 2 lengths of the impressive winner Stagecoach Pearl. James Ewart still feels the horse retains all of his ability and there are races in this guy when the mud starts flying (4 of his 5 career wins have come on soft); one for the notebook over the next few months.
CRUZ ON TED (N Henderson) – Saturday 4.05 Sandown – 4th in the closing bumper – 2m
For most of this contest jockey David Bass looked to be niggling away at the 4yo who appeared to find the field going a yard or 2 too fast for him on his racing debut. Once they straightened up for home and met the rising ground he started to motor home and in the end was only beaten around 6 lengths. He will have learned plenty from that run in what is habitually a competitive bumper and a small step up in trip could well be in order. There looks to be races in this one and he will be of interest in his next few starts for the powerfull Henderson yard.
Who caught your eye or impressed you this weekend? Leave a comment below with your own weekend eye-catchers.