A quick post today, dear reader, to bring you up to speed on a couple of points.
Firstly, as some of you have already noticed, Obvious is running today. She takes her chance in the 4.20 race at Goodwood, another strong looking maiden (as you'd expect for the course). It's fair to say that we don't have any high expectations of her this afternoon, but we'll be hoping she shows up well for as much of the race as possible.
Her future will lie in handicaps, where hopefully she'll be able to race off a mark of around 60, which should enable her to get competitive. Today, she'll be facing animals rated 80-odd, and with potential to be better still.
After today's run, Obvious will receive her initial handicap rating from the assessor, and we'll all be waiting with bated breath on that information.
Despite all of the above, I'll be throwing a few wildly optimistic pounds at our beastie this arvo!
[I should also add that Julia's Sand Repeal runs in the first race, for her son, Ross Birkett. Sandie is ultra-consistent, having finished in the first four in six of her last seven runs, and Ross has won on him twice now. Each way may pay...]
Next up I just wanted to teasingly thumb my nose at the Fallon nay-sayers, after his brilliant treble yesterday. All of the winners were for extremely shrewd handler, Luca Cumani, and we punters can look forward to many a handicap sting next Summer (and the rest of this year too), with this wily and effective team.
Of course, I know that one swallow doesn't make a summer and all that, but this is testament to Fallon's pulling power that big trainers with good horses are already clamouring for his services.
Kieren Fallon as role model? No, despite his apparent remorse since his return. But Kieren Fallon in the plate when I've had a bet on the horse in question? Every. Single. Time. Quite simply, he da man. Still. (And remember, he's still not race fit!)
It's been a while since I've put a selection up on here, a fact that may have been of great relief to many of you! 😉 But all good things come to an end, and I've dug out a couple for the racing later on.
First up, I'm going to stick with a horse I've been tracking since his debut third in a Listed race in France, Mata Keranjang. He was arguably a bit disappointing at York last time, in a Group 3. But, prior to that, he'd finished second here in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes.
Course form here is always a bonus as it's a somewhat idiosyncratic track and, despite the presence of several improvers - notably the Cumani-Fallon horse, Field of Dream (shipped in from Italy), I'll be wagering that Mata K can hit the board at the fourth time of asking.
Over at Sedgefield, I'm Your Man bids to repeat his course and distance win from last year in the 4.45, a handicap chase. Representing the little known stable of Mrs E Slack, this horse was actually the first runner, and first winner, for TrainerTrackStats last season.
The horse is a standing dish here and at Hexham, and he more than knows his way home. In what looks an open contest, I'm Your Man has track, trip, weight, ground and class all in his favour and should run well. One slight negative is his jockey, James Halliday, who may not be the strongest in the saddle, and these exposed handicap chasers do tend to need a lot of rousting...
Incidentally, talking of TrainerTrackStats (TTS hereafter), I've received a number of emails asking what's happening this season, and whether there will be a TTS manual.
Well, as you may know, TTS is now owned, researched and published by Gavin Priestley (of Festival Trends and Nag Nag Nag fame).
And I had a chat with him at the weekend on this very subject (as it's one close to my heart, as the creator and former publisher of TTS). The first thing I can tell you is that TTS is looking better than ever, and that's something kind of hard for me to admit after three years as either sole publisher or co-publisher (and three profitable years of results too).
But, hat's off to Gavin, who's done a truly excellent job of the research.
For the first time this year, TTS will run from the beginning of October, as opposed to its traditional September start, and this brings it more in line with the 'real' National Hunt season.
From my chat with Gavin, I know there's at least one more BIG surprise still to come, but I'll save that for nearer the time.
Suffice it to say, TTS is coming, and - in my totally biased opinion 😉 - it's the indispensable betting manual for the winter game.
That's all for today. Back later in the week.