What did we learn from today - our first National Hunt meeting of the season.
Despite plenty of watering the ground was described as good to firm by the jockeys hence a clutch of non-runners.
Modest stuff overall, the clear highlight being the success of Kinondo Kweto in the staying chase, picking up a remarkable-in-the-circs £9k+ for this third W on the spin.
Jonny England noted this pot was worth a good deal more than the 'Bobby Renton' at Wetherby in the middle of next month - shame on the North Yorkshire venue!
Kinondo has barely left the snaff in three jaunts over the black ones. Noted as a fair prospect last winter, the six-year-old was only given a short break before getting a late summer campaign and has done the shrewd Guiseley husband & wife combo proud. The previous Uttoxeter win bagged £12k+ - top bananas.
The six-year-old will go up another 5lb for this but as we saw at Uttox he's still very green and doesn't do much in front. My heart bleeds for the h'capper <not>. He looks a proper winter chaser - yet to run on soft - and it's hard to put a ceiling on his ability.
Even accounting for the weaker summer form, I'd have him as a 130 type already. Who knows where they'll go next - there are few better than the Englands at placing horses to best effect.
Runner-up Farouk De Cheneau, like the winner a tad keen, is probably a strong stayer but lacks size and scope and was fiddly a few times here. I'd worry about him over bigger fences. His coat was gleaming - Hendo feeds his nags caviar and champagne.
The Oliver Greenall kennel is in good heart and was denied a double on the card when The Questioner was caught on the back foot in a steadily run finale.
A winner on soft ground, I've had him marked him down as a through stayer and he got stuck in a pocket at the wrong time before rattling home. This was knowhere near a stiff enough test and I'd be interested next time on a stiffer track like Carlisle (outside).
WTAF has happened at the Newland barn? I've heard a couple of reasons why he's gone 69 days and nearly 50 runners without so much as a sniff. The only blank months he'd had since 2015 were Feb 16, Feb 19 and Feb 20. He's had fewer runners than normal during the summer which tells me there's a bug around.
FWIW the ones I saw today looked dull in their coat and they stood out in this regard with the vast majority of runners still holding onto their summer sheen. Avoid until further notice.
It's still early days for the jumpers. Scouse wordsmith P Ferguson was in attendance promoting his annual which means everyone's getting excited about the season ahead. My advice is to take a pull, tiptoe through October and the hopefully with a bit of rain we can then get reet stuck in!
PS; Oh, by the way. Note the name, if you haven't already, of Jake Thomas Coulson. Don't know anything about him but I suspect he knows how to train racehorses.