CHAMPAGNE WEST finished second on Saturday and apart from completely missing out the fence in front of the stands first time round he couldn’t have done much more. The fact that Richard Johnson rode the winner on the stables “other” one is a little galling as this is what I wrote in the original piece, “So we are going to fly in the face of the two biggest trends, ran in that years Paddy Power and run in last 28 days and put forward CHAMPAGNE WEST as the selection. Course and distance form is crucial and Champagne West has won here twice. The horse has gone well fresh in the past, he will act on Soft ground, the yard is in fine fettle, jockey Richard Johnson is unstoppable and probably rides this track better than anyone in the weighing room and there is a distinct possibility that he could be a better horse than the 150 mark the handicapper currently has him on.” Then on Thursday Johnson announces he rides Village Vic and in hindsight I should have put it up as a one star saver but even on the replay as they ran to the last I still thought Champagne West was going to pick up the winner!! Sadly the lack or a run and the stone concession proved too much. Looking to the future, Champagne West will be back as that 2m 5F round Cheltenham are his ideal conditions. As for the Festival he might have to look at the RyanAir as winning the Plate Handicap on the Thursday off OR155(?) would be a big ask. However Village Vic could be a big player in the Plate off about OR145(?), he wouldn’t mind the quicker ground.
The rest of the runners in Saturday’s race will be covered in the Weekend Review.
Really looking forward to next Saturdays Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot. Our selection JOLLYS CRACKED IT (put up at 14/1) is currently no bigger than 7/1 on the High Street (some 8/1 on line) and Stan James is as low as 6/1!!
I am currently working on the 3m Sodexo Silver Cup (3m handicap chase) at the same meeting, hopefully put up an Ante Post selection tomorrow (Tuesday).
Hopefully by the end of today I will have posted a Weekend Review, #startracking news and a #startracking Ante Post for Saturday! Hopefully.
I must watch this Monday Navan card though (Ball d’Arc, Whistle Dixie, Felix Yonger and Black Hercules debut over fences) and it kicks off at 11.30am!! Also got an eye on Regal Encore/Zamdy Man at Plumpton and Preseli Rock at Ffos Las.