Sunday 18 March 2018

Cheltenham - eyecatchers (2)

Day three


Shattered Love; I first saw this beautiful mare in the Aintree bumper and have followed her progress closely. She's developed into a lovely strong chaser and when they're built this way the mare's allowance is simply a gift. Her odds halved throughout the day and I thought she was thoroughly impressive. Wouldn't it be great to see her back here in the Gold Cup next year.

Benatar; A very good looking horse, strong, stoutly built. A little keen beforehand and as always tanked throughout the race. Clearly not straight forward, the way he stayed on up the hill suggests he has loads of stamina and if they find the key to getting him settled, he could go a long way because at six, he can only improve.

Bigmartre; A likeable sort, big and strong but not necessarily the biggest or best in this field. He was on edge and shaped like a non stayer, although the odds are he's only going to be a G2/G3 type and was essentially outclassed in a very good field.


Louis' Vac Pouch; Unraced since winning in November and the plan didn't come off, he got quite stirred up beforehand and was never in it. He may yet have a decent spring if the yard returns to form, although he has to prove worthy of a lofty rating.

Champion Chase

Un De Sceaux; A unique looking horse, short front to back and very strong, rotund. As we know he's very enthusiastic in a race but he was on his toes a good deal and got quite warm; whether he wasn't quite himself on the day, I'm not sure.

Balko Des Flos; Quite athletic looking, a little plain, and possibly room to strengthen further. Has been a very good horse from the get-go and came in here under-estimated on account of the going, but he surely goes on most types of ground and there must be a chance of him tilting at the Gold Cup on a better surface. Fears about his jumping were also unfounded.

Stayers Hurdle

Supasundae; His sweaty appearance put me off him last year and again he got rather warm, although he's quite an imposing individual.

Sam Spinner; One of the smallest in the field, he looked fit and well. He jumps hurdles well but I'd be looking to oppose him if he ever went chasing. The fractions he set wouldn't have suited him and if it comes up soft at Aintree he's worth considering.

The Worlds End; A bit of a 'nothing' season for this good looking chase type, whose effort here may go under the radar. Undoubtedly better on a sounder surface, and if it ever dries out he'll be of interest this spring.

Brown Advisory

The Storyteller; Not over-big, but quite classy looking, and likely to prove better than a handicapper in time, although his jumping may always be a slight issue.

Ballyalton; A lovely looking horse with loads of size and scope, performed with credit for a third time at the festival. He can win again, and granted better ground you could see him going well in this next year.

Kings Socks; The subject of a market move, he looks rather one-paced but may be better over shorter. He's a decent looking animal.

Pougne Bobbi; Good size and scope, it's a shame he's so inconsistent because he has the stamp of a very useful recruit.

Kim Muir

Mall Dini; A good strong sort, he travelled like the winner but not for the first time found one more determined on the run-in. Nevertheless, this was a third cracking effort at the Festival and better ground is sure to see him go well again next year.

Squouateur; Lacking in size and scope, he's always likely to struggle in the hurly-burly of big-fields, which he usually faces. 0/10 over fences, he looks well-handicapped and perhaps a return to timber could see him back in the winner's circle.

Actinpieces; Ever-enthusiastic, and very much on her toes in the prelims, although she calmed down eventually and was fine. Thoroughly genuine and consistent, she's good enough to contest listed mares races.

Tintern Theatre; Lacks size and scope and his jumping has been a cause for concern all season. Expertly handled by Sam Twiston-Davies to win at Kempton, he'd be of interest next term if reverting to timber, as he stays very well and remains on a decent mark.

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