Most trips to the Bridge are filled with optimism but there was a certain foreboding ahead of this one with six short-priced jollys, and not being much of a FAV backer it was never going to end well.
In fact, the only one not to win was Cafe Au Lait in the opener, who failed to land some big bets as he was grabbed on the run-in by the moderate looking Cougar Kid. Hugh's Secret failed by some way to build on his run behind the second last week.
The second race was a shoo-in for Chti Balko and so it proved. The opposition was virtually non-existent but to be fair the winner galloped willingly to the line in the manner of a horse who could defy a penalty if he gets his jumping together.
The third was the only real betting race but really it was about one horse, the heavily backed Nomoreblackjack, who long-term followers really needed to win to get some cash back.
The market suggested today was his day and to be fair he looked really well beforehand. It was never in any doubt once Cook hit the front early on and as he popped away at the head of affairs the rest fell away.
It was truly a weak race but you couldn't knock the winner, who unfortunately faces a rise of at least a stone if you believe the consistent Halcyon Days ran to his mark in third (he looked a bit flat to be fair).
The uncompetitive nature of the action continued in the next as the quite useful looking Red Rising won as he liked. He's clearly a strong stayer but he's big and rangy and should develop into a decent chaser.
Ronn The Conn once again showed stamina was his forte as he filled the runner-up spot, but he'll need a real test once sent over fences. Nonetheless he's one for the longer term and he's a nice strong individual.
Delusionofgrandeur looked more professional physically than The Bay Oak and I fancied the Smith horse to give the yard a double. The Bay Oak is clearly going to make a better chaser but he has shown lazy/awkward tendencies before and he tied up on the run-in after Skelton tried to put it to bed some way out.
It was a bold effort but he ran into a really gutsy performer who was already 2/2 round here. Foolishly I'd put the phone away when the Skelton horse went clear so wasn't in position to capitalise on what could have been a good trade, as I always felt Cooky was going to get him there.
Aengus was another well-backed horse looking to follow up his Wetherby but unlike Cafe Au Lait he did so in some style, proving he stays the longer trip to beat Turtle Cask, who didn't show much improvement for the application of blinkers.
I was against Monsieur Arkadin, who still looks very light framed and lean after a break and isn't one to be interested in for a while. Bruce Almighty looked really well but clearly has mental or physical issues.