Masters Final in General Sports & NFL Divisional Round (Sun) uploaded - Masters Semi Finals in General Sports & NFL Divisional Round (Sat) uploaded - Weekend Race Previews uploaded - The Masters (Fri) uploaded - Premier League Picks & Ante Post Focus uploaded
We still have the Racing Post Trophy and The Breeders’ Cup but that’s pretty much it as far as I am concerned for what I thought was just an okay flat season. Enable was the star, clearly, and the sprinting division was the best I can remember for many years, but I’d rather be in the Cracksman camp going forward of the Gosden pair if they ever meet.
I thought we had it with G M Hopkins at 20/1 in the finale on Champions Day until he was mugged close home by Lord Glitters. I think time will tell that he was beaten by a Group 2 horse or better in fairness. Still, we had our success on the day with Librisa Breeze who was also bolstering the profits for the Horses to Follow column with his 10/1 victory having been 16/1 before he was Pricewise'd. My ten to follow for the jumps season will be uploaded towards the back end of this week.
Bar my trip to Del Mar next week it’s jumps all the way now until the end of April and Gordon Elliott was getting in that all-important, early-season experience into some of his best novice prospects amongst his six-timer at Punchestown last week. Death Duty was very good but Samcro looked something potentially very special given the way that he moved through the race, his striking physique and the way he hurdled on his debut over timber. Maybe he jumped a bit big to be a proper Supreme Novices’ Hurdle horse and his trainer didn’t seem that keen to go 3m this season so the Ballymore (formerly the Neptune but it was the Ballymore before so they are returning sponsors) looks the obvious Festival target even at this very early stage so I can see why he is already 6/1 favourite. He is certainly the most exciting novice I've seen so far this season over fences or hurdles.
I’ve already recommended a 25/1 shot for the Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post service and that weekly column will recommence on the Monday after the Cheltenham November Meeting. That three-day fixture will also be the next set of Race Previews outside of Ante-Post Focus where I will be looking at The Breeders’ Cup this week and the Charlie Hall/Down Royal meetings the following week. The JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal has been a lucky race for us recently with the Gigginstown-owned trio of Roi du Mee, Road To Riches and Valseur Lido winning in the last four years so hopefully that will continue.
You may have noticed a new menu item at the bottom of the right-hand column called Odds and Sods. This replaces Eurovision but, fear not quality-music fans, the Eurovision Song Contest will be featured in the Odds and Sods section in May. It just seemed a bit odd that Eurovision should have a category for itself which only consisted of two articles a year. The Odds and Sods section will be just that, encompassing the more fun elements of site like quizzes, competitions and any other stuff that I fancy which wouldn’t appear under the usual menu items.
I’m pleased to say that over the last six weeks I’ve made good headway with my Punting Theory Book which will be posted out to all members this winter. It is not for sale. I’m not pinning down an actual date but I’m trying for Christmas and certainly no later than January. I originally mentioned that it would be around 50 chapters but upon writing it I have discovered that many of the ideas can be encapsulated into others so it will be around 25 chapters and approximately 200 pages in length. All I need now is a name to call it. All ideas welcomed! Seriously!