After passing up the 'opportunity' to visit Town Moor on a grizzly Friday we were raring to go ahead of a Saturday card that, like the previous day, had cut up owing to the rain-softened ground.
You know it's been a wet winter when even the Donny turf rides slow and it's hard to believe the next meeting here will usher in the start of the ghastly FLAT SEASON.
With plenty of form out there - if you know what I mean - and a lot of false looking favourites going down, now is the time to BET MORE if that's possible. So I was pacing up and down waiting for battle to commence round the country and promptly got stuck in by laying a short-priced Greatrex hurdler at Stratford that had already got beat three times.
For the opener on Town Moor you could essentially have bet 4/1 each of five which didn't make it a great betting medium, although the first thing to do was get against the wretched Astigos in the place market after received a 'gift' at Wetherby last time.
With the bet on it was good to see the creature get worked up down at the start and we were soon totting up the takings. What I wasn't counting on was a return to form for Upsilon Bleu after backing it as if defeat was out of the question at the local track last time.
I had basically pouted 'Eff-you that's your last chance' although perhaps someone of a kinder nature might have opined that the run was just too bad to be true and that the ex-French horse was worth another pop.
With the race run to suit, Jimmy Reve had an armchair sit and some late support was justified. Pearls Legend ran his race but looks to be in the assessor's grip, while Yorkist has become disappointing. Ulis De Vassy looked really well for this return and it's possible that fast ground and perhaps a little further is his thing.
The second was tricky. The juvenile Fingertips looked just a baby and had a big task on at the marathon trip, while Waterclock is one to oppose on balance. Zeroshadesofgrey looked a bit obvious to me and was backed to win here for a fourth time, but is another that is weighted to his best.
Henderson's Sugar Baron is an ok sort but does go freely and that was a concern as you need to stay round here. To his credit he dug in well after the last, but I don't think the form is out of the ordinary.
I was dead against D Skelton's Yes I Did in the mares hurdle. She's skipped round a couple of northern venues well enough but this was a different ball game and she looked a bit flat beforehand to these eyes. She's an enthusiastic mare, this didn't look the right race and she didn't have the run of it.
The Organist and Briery Belle looked tough foes. The former has a touch of class while the latter is a slugger and already needs a real test. The pair came clear and they look set to do well in such races over timber and fences over the coming years.
Revo went bonkers early doors on the fractious Samedi Soir, who must have good ground. She's a nice sort and will win again this spring.
The Grimthorpe wasn't much of a contest and The Last Samuri was fully revved up for his national prep. I don't think you would see a nicer sort for the 'Nash' and it wouldn't surprise me if he went off as short as 5 or 6/1 at Aintree. He has everything - and I can see Mr Rooney rounding of this momentous season with a signature success at one of the festivals.
I didn't get drawn in to playing the short odds in the last three races, which had cut up real bad. Cracked Rear View cost a small fortune but looks very limited at present. A big chase type, he's very backward and leery and should be opposed in a deeper race this spring. He had nothing to beat although P Kirby's Improved can win a small race granted good ground.
Wintered Well easily backed up his Catterick win (what a miss that was) when chief rival Rocklim dumped Lucy Alexander with a circuit to go to leave the female jock a long drive home after re-routing from Kelso.
I couldn't work the bumper out. King's Midnight Maestro is well related and a nice type but backward and green, while Ferguson's Wenyerreadyfreddie could easily have gone through the point field being a stronger sort. The market could hardly split them and I wasn't about to make an educated guess.
Ballycash is on the small side but at least took a step forward from Warwick, while Spring Hill looks ok and can undoubtedly win a small race in a couple of years' time at somewhere like Mkt Rasen or Fakenham for Mr Bealby.