Paul’s October Blog uploaded - NH Season Leading 20 Handicaps Big Race Trends uploaded - The Jumps Season Service 2023/24 will commence on Friday, October 27th.
Today is somewhat of a recovery day (from screen work anyway) after yesterday’s Cheltenham Ante Post Week 11 copy weighed in at 10,800 words so this morning will mainly consist of watching Novak Djokovic take on Kei Nishikori before a first look at the weekend racing for tomorrow’s Big Race Focus in the afternoon. I’ll be at Cheltenham for Trials Day on Saturday which should be informative as always (and it's also been a lucky meeting for me down the years) and later today we’ll get to know the Cleeve Hurdle entries.
I did pop into the Racing Post website first thing however to see that they rated Faugheen as the second best hurdler on their RPR ratings to Istabraq in the last 20 years. I have to admit being taken aback to see Dato Star in joint-third with Alderbrook though. I wonder what Hurricane Fly fans will make of that? Or Binocular or Rooster Booster for that matter who were runaway winners of their Champion Hurdle.
I watched a fair chunk of the golf from both tours at the weekend and concluded that Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson are winners waiting to happen in the next few weeks. Mickelson loves this time of year playing in his home state of California which also helps him reach his peak for The Masters which is always his best chance in a Major and which he was second at the age of 45 last year. He has not won anywhere since The Open in 2013 but his game looked in good shape on his first start since October finishing tied third having changed swing coaches and that should have sharpened him up for an attack on the Farmers Insurance Open this week (22/1) and all the events in the lead up to Augusta. I couldn’t put you off backing him blindly each-way for all events in the next few weeks.
Henrik Stenson won’t be playing in the Qatar Masters this week but his excellent run in the Desert Swing events (4 of his 9 European PGA Tour wins have been in the desert) continued last week finishing third (after tying for second in South Africa on his previous start) and I’ll be looking to back him if he tees it up in the Dubai Desert Classic which he won in 2007 which starts on February 4th.