The opener had a good shape to it and although I'd priced up Just Cameron as the 7/2 favourite alongside Village Vic, I much preferred the latter rather than the former.
The difference in the weights looked marked and on first sight the Hobbs horse was the one to beat as he looked really well. However, Just Cameron was merely shown the paddock very late on, the reason being he was very on his toes and positively bursting with health.
He didn't look particularly well handicapped after his two victories over Duke Of Navan but at the end of the day he was over-priced and boy was I glad I had a decent saver on him as Village Vic ran no sort of race after going left from the off.
I wouldn't be Colliver's biggest fan and he's best when the horse shows him the way home. But the pair have struck up good a rapport and this strong stayer at two miles was never likely to get caught, especially with Ifandbutwhynot and Ubaltique doing the chasing.
|Just Cameron; improving at a rate of knots|
I was very keen on Ziga Boy in the marathon chase and I don't really know why he finished weakly after looking the likely winner down the far side.
I wouldn't have found William Money if you'd given me all day, the smallest horse in the field. They weren't the nicest bunch although both the second Buachaill Alainn and Fourovakind looked in good order, as did the disappointing Pinerolo.
Southfield Vic was the least appealing horse on looks ahead of the big money handicap hurdle but he landed the first of three wins on the day for top teen Sean Bowen, who out-rode Sam Drake on the runner-up Raktiman.
This was a really nice bunch, the only one clearly requiring more time being K Bailey's Net Work Rouge, while Special Wells is another of the Smith horses to have seen enough for the season.
Virak was a class apart in the three mile handicap chase, in which Carrigdhoun looked to have improved fitness-wise from his win here last time and duly ran a big race, while the very likeable Algernon Pazham put his poor latest effort behind him and should continue to pay his way.
The 2m 6f chase was another that failed to capture the punting imagination with loads in with a chance, headed by the most attractive Future Gilded with Tenor Nivernais, Comeonginger and Cloudy Bob all looking likely to give good accounts.
However in a real war of attrition it was the grey Hollow Blue Sky who gritted it out for another very promising claimer Jamie Bargary.
Bet of the day however came in the fixed brush race where Carlisle winner Central Flame took on some southern-based talent, and predictably was largely ignored in the betting. The money all day for Hello George was rather baffling - he's clearly quirky and was taken down to post very early.
|Central Flame landed a good punt for the Waltons|
The Waltons bravely put conditional Jamie Hamilton on Central Flame for the first time and he gave the lovely big chasing type (a three time point winner) a sound ride, always keeping him up to his work and staying on really strongly up the straight. It was a thing of beauty.
The bumper was interesting and physically there was only one horse to be interested in; the favourite Vieux Lille. I found myself upsides the stable lad in the mens room pre-race and he cautioned that the horse is very babyish mentally, so it was a concern when Bowen set a funereal pace on his father's Red Six.
With a staying pedigree the jolly was never likely to have the tactical pace for this and duly never landed a blow. Kingy's Wishing And Hoping was really lean looking and should improve plenty for another summer, while Bleu Et Noir, Wicked Willy and Petapenko were very backward physically. That said I didn't like the winner either, although Bowen's youngster's do carry condition he didn't look ready for this.