Friday 28 November 2014

Doncaster - Alexander The Grand

I won't lie to you it looked a fairly trappy card at ole' Donny today and I was very wary as I wasn't as well prepared as I would have liked. However, it was competitive enough and for that we should be thankful.

The opening novice handicap chase looked a proper conundrum although I wanted to get against nominal favourite Fergal Mael Duin, who looks an old dodger to me.

However, finding that special one is harder than you might think, the least attractive being Tales Of Milan, who doesn't have much size or scope about him. However, the Middleton yard know their eggs and he bounced out and jumped them silly. At least I only place-laid it!

Second-placed Dundee is a strong, bullish horse who isn't that tall and I wonder if he needs genuine good ground as he seemed to find it a bit of a struggle here. For a well-handicapped horse it was disappointing he couldn't pick the winner up.

The second race saw top bumper horse Relic Rock take on a couple of Flat horses in Novirak and Silvery Moon. I heard from a number of sources that they fancied the latter and he's a nice, strong sort with plenty of size and it's surprising they haven't gone over timber with him before now.

Novirak didn't quite have the same presence and he was more novicey in the first half of the race but the way he came home suggests he may have a future in this game. Relic Rock is a stayer first and foremost and they had to ride him aggressively round here. However, I thought he might just need the run and he was duly caught after the last by Glingerburn.

The Richards horse was highly thought-of before getting a 'leg' and he's a nice looking animal although he looked in need of the run here. Therefore it's to his credit that he could pick up the hot favourite and hopefully he can go on from here now. The second will be alright though, and he'll be better over further when they can ride a race on it.
Un Ace: Won like the good thing it was
Un Ace looked in terrific fettle ahead of his four-runner novice chase and he was unnopposable despite cramped odds. Free Thinking looked fit enough on her return but she doesn't look straight forward and it looks unlikely that she'll be emulating her talented mum Liberthine. Flementine looked in need of it but a better run was still expected.

The stayers handicap hurdle looked very trappy and I couldn't split a whole host of them beforehand. The winner, Wicked Spice, looked really fit and strong although I couldn't have backed it on what it had achieved and it wasn't exactly a standout. Taruma is a very nice stamp of a horse and looked really well but pulled too hard early on. He will relish the bigger obstacles.

The one I picked out to lay was Orby's Man, who I've seen a few times now and he doesn't really take the eye, a bit on the small side and still unfurnished. I wasn't especially taken by his latest run at Towcester and he was plenty short enough here against a competitive lot.

The biggie for me came in the next where they piled into the old monkey that is Big Water. That was fine by me. I know the horse well and on many occasions he has failed to live up to his billing. He looked to have turned the corner last time but that wasn't much of a race and I was much keener on the prospects of market rival Premier Grand Cru.

I was quite taken by the latter's reappearance at Carlisle after a very long absence in a good race that has already seen Back To Bracka come out and win. He had duly tightened up nicely for that and he's a super looking horse who I was hungry to back - my only concern being that he may need further, but I do like a 'closer' round Town Moor.

It was a good job the masses went for Big Water as my fellow drifted like the proverbial. In the old days that would have put me off but sometimes you've got to grab your balls in one hand and part from the readies with the other.
Lucy Alexander deservedly took the plaudits today
It was closer than I thought it would be in fairness and it was only thanks to a fine ride from Lucy Alexander that we got paid. I'm not sure what the horse has achieved here as he looks a darn sight more than a 117 horse and I'm aware he was much better than that before his injury. He may need another half mile now to be seen at his best. I didn't think Shadrack was well handicapped (that said he looked in great order) while I had Tregaro down as an out and out fast ground horse.

I'm still waiting for the right day to back Jokers And Rogues. He's a nice horse but the penny is slow to drop - that said he was ridden too aggressively in the handicap hurdle. He's still a baby and may need another 12 months and a fence before we get stuck in.

Ergo Sum was a horse you didn't want to be against and he looked ready to do the job - sadly the price had gone for us on-course players and we had to sit it out. There were mentions for maidens First Of Never and Tennessee Bird, who both looked extremely fit after absences and probably produced personal bests. The Kvilleken ran another solid race but he looks like a monkey, carrying his head high beforehand, and may be one to avoid.

I need to see the race again but Whichwaytobougie is probably the one to take out of it. He's a decent looking sort who will be better for this and they've done a good job with regards to his mark. When the money arrives, don't hesitate to go in.

If anyone is interested in learning more about me, I had the honour of being interviewed by the guys at You can read the article here.

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