Well, we bit the bullet and travelled on up to Co Durham for another stab at the lotto that is the Sedgy dog track. The going was changed to good to soft after the first and the tacky ground made for uncompetitive stuff.
The first was a typically ghastly 0-100 handicap hurdle which is hard to say much about - Mr Slack's Hi Bob was all the rage on stable debut but he never really landed a blow on the winner Robben and he may want a bit further.
K Bailey's Thumb Stone Blues went off favourite in a weak novice where chief rival Shanroe In Milan had not gone on physically on his effort here last time, and he looked small and weak compared to these.
It meant the jolly didn't have much to beat, although I did think Dick Darsie might give him more of a fright. The Smith horse needs fences and three miles already.
I'd made a note of Cabragh ahead of the staying chase as the beast had been handicapped in 2m novice hurdles after coming over from Ireland and the shrewd England (nee Drake) yard know the time of day.
He looked a real chase type, if a bit of a handful, but his lack of any recent form and apparent loneliness in the betting was enough to let him run. There was some late money, which was about the time I was tucking into pie and chips.
The other interesting one was Major Ridge, a horse that was often touted around the track but hadn't shown a great deal, not withstanding the occasional snippet of ability. He's a big chase type and on a very attractive mark. I'm not sure he stays, and he looked like the run would do him good, but I'm sure he can do well for his new handler.
The race had a fair shape as What A Game and Darsi Dancer look too small for fences, particularly the former, while the jolly On The Road is only a moderate looking sort and had stamina and jumping to prove. He looked a bit sticky on this chase debut.
Spiculas was all the rage on his return from a couple of years out, and was returning for new trainer M Jefferson. It was good to see the horse looking so enthusiastic but he was overdoing it in the paddock and got a bit warm.
He then overshot the start on the way to post and was very keen in the race, but took it up going to the second last and appeared to have it in the bag.
But he had nothing left for the late climb and Perseid, who was produced fit and well after a break, had stamina in the tank and rallied late to win going away, scuppering a decent punt.
I think Spiculas has run a massive race here all things considered, and suspect after a decent break he can more than atone for this. He looked useful before his injury break and is a 130 horse for sure.
The Smiths were back in the winner's circle after Maxed Out King finally delivered on promise shown seemingly eons ago. This was frustrating as I'd struck him off my 'to follow' list after a lamentable display last time when it appeared to go wrong.
He's what you'd call an old fashioned chase type that you don't see any more, very strong and big boned. As Sue said after he's been crying out for fences and it was another big priced winner on the day that slipped under the wire.
To be honest I though Distant Rain was a good thing after he was ridden too boldly at Towcester last time. This keen going sort should do ok over fences as he jumps ok but he got a no-brains ride behind the winner, repeatedly jumping into the back of him under restraint After a short break, I'd be interested in him again. Frustratingly the rest were of no interest whatsoever.
The hands and heels novice hurdle was a non event as Irish import Justforjames won by a mile after setting off at a searching pace. Only Derrintogher Yank could go with him but he got the arse with it after a while and they came home at wide intervals.
Royal Supremo hadn't grown since last spring but this was lamentable, seemingly never going after early errors, while Priory Lad looked much fitter than previously but couldn't go this pace. I'd be inclined to ignore this and he'll look really well handicapped when his attentions are turned.
The bumper looked a one horse race as Bellamy had been hammered in the betting all day, but he couldn't go with them in the straight and the Ellison trained The Linksman belied an absence to land the spoils, despite looking as though the run would do him good. Top trainer, decent animal.