The opener was one of them with It's A Sting looking a really solid favourite to get off the mark over timber, despite being bred to stay much further than the minimum.
He's a really good looking horse but yet again found one too many, this time a 50/1 shot in Double Shuffle who picked his pocket on the run to the line.
It was galling for jolly backers with market rivals Neck Or Nothing (who surely has physical/mental issues) and Skylander beaten off, the latter still a little backward.
Money came for A Cor Et A Cri but this leggy, heavy topped French import did not take the eye and will need time to grow into his frame. Lady Buttons looked fine but hasn't been in any kind of form this term.
|A crap picture of the excellent Lil Rockerfeller|
Readers will know he was very much a horse in focus and he followed up with a solid effort on terrible terrain at Sandown. A massive run looked assured back on a decent surface and this strong, progressive sort did incredibly well to land the cash in the 'betting without' market after severe interference at halfway.
This was a mighty effort and he's a certainty for one of these - you could see him running well in the Fred Winter if he were to get a run. The favourite was really well backed despite being unappealing on looks and clearly has an engine.
The veteran chase looked tricky but I was able to whittle them down and got things pretty much spot on. With Robbie a non-stayer, the ill-fated Burton Port winless in five years, Oscar Time a big drifter and Alvarado looked just in need of the run we were down to four.
Shoegazer was gambled-on but it was hard to see why, looking short of peak fitness and very much on the small side - that apart from an absence of recent form.
I very much liked the prospects of Reaping The Reward from an each-way angle in the 8-runner field. Totally unexposed over three miles, I thought the slower pace would aid his jumping and he could creep into the race.
Unfortunately for backers he went too well and the boy Nichol found himself in front way too soon. It was unfortunate he didn't take a pull as it may have been the difference as Aachen battled back to win.
Venetia's horse ran quite an eye-catching race at Newbury last time but was dropped two pounds and looked on great terms with himself. He's not over-big and can be chancy but he was worth a wager, as was Ikorodu Road who looked really well but was found wanting over this trip. He clearly needs further or softer ground, but remains in good heart and may yet win again.
|AP tells Coops how he reeled in the punted Western Jo|
With Wicked Spice needing to bounce back from a poor run and an absence I was extremely keen on Western Jo with first time sideburns.
I was counting the cash up the straight as all he does is stay but I was late in seeing McCoy stoking the favourite and you could have written the script fully two flights out despite Milan Bound having 10 lengths still to find.
It was a disappointing end to punting proceedings, with hunter favourite Paint The Clouds looking very well for his return at an unbackable price.
The bumper looked a decent affair with the winner Davy Doubt the most forward of the lot. Don't count on him to go on from this over timber though as he doesn't have much about him.
Bengo looked a very big baby, an embryonic chaser, while preference beforehand was for Micks Lad (big, strong, quite fit but clearly mentally backward in running) and Kerrow, who got back on track after a poor effort. He'll need a trip over timber but this nice sort looks certain to make his mark.
Mr Beatle is a really nice stamp of a horse who will win races in the north, as will Jellied Eel Jack given plenty of time and a trip.