Clockmaker bounced right back to something like his best, again proving just how important it is to know where a horse is capable of giving his best, as he beaten a total of 78.75 lengths on his most recent four outings. That was down to running under unsuitable conditions and at tracks that just didn't favour him. It is the sharp, turning tracks that bring out the best in him, especially when getting a real pace to run at and some juice in the ground, all of which he got here. Everything went smoothly for him, with Paul Mulrennan doing everything right and most importantly, at the right time. The pair powered home to deny the runner-up, who would have been a deserving winner but we've had plenty of those lose and it was nice to be the ones to nab someone for a change. Despite a rise in the weights, he can win again at the sharper tracks.
I love Jamie Spencer, he's excellent when on song, but Mac's Power didn't get the best of him today and that was that. The horse was playing up beforehand and did take a keen hold through the race, so to be fair to Jamie he may not have been getting much assistance below him. However, this looked very much a ride to suggest that there are other intended days for the animal and I will say no more than that! Modest.
+11.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 7-6-2-6-3-0-2-8-1-0 (1 winner & 3 places).
Two selections for today, both of whom have chances granted some luck and the second one in particular would have a huge chance if he's trying and back to form, as his latest effort suggested. It's a quiet day for a Saturday, but there aren't exactly too many of the type of contest that I like to get involved in, so there's no point in forcing the issue. Hopefully we will bang in a few more nice winners before the month is out and get things back on track. Clockmaker was an enjoyable one, given his overall profile. Some more please!
Have a good day folks and take it easy. Thanks for the e-mails too, will get back to everyone later on today.
If I had a gun to my head, I'd say that the low drawn runners would be at an advantage here due to where the pace seems to be, but I always get that wrong and Kaldoun Kingdom is the runner that I expect to be capable of going very close here, so will side with that instead of my usually incorrect draw judgements. Richard Fahey's 7-year-old hasn't won for some time, but he has run many a fine race in defeat against top sprint handicappers and as a result, could never come down the ratings sufficiently enough to leave himself an even better chance of landing a big pot. He's getting a chance now though, off a mark of 93, 12lbs lower than his peak rating of 2010 and shaped really well on his most recent run, over the speedy 5f at York. Even at his best, 5f is too short for him, all five of his career wins coming over 6f, but he ran home really well to end up being beaten by just a length and although not getting the full 6f here, five and a half may prove to be ideal. Interestingly, he's a real end-of-season performer who usually comes to hand right about now, with his September & October record reading 15 runs, 4 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds. That's extremely positive and so is the fact that the only time he managed to win outside of those two months came at this track, his last career success (off 99). The ground will be fine, Paul Hanagan rides again for just the second time this season and the horse needs to win if he's to get into the Ayr Gold Cup, which has been his target all season apparently. If the draw is not an issue, then he will go well at the very least.
Reg Hollinshead's strike-rate during the flat season usually peaks at September and is doing that again, with the veteran trainer already having three winners this month. One Scoop Or Two also came to hand properly in this month last year, winning a Haydock handicap off 78 before placing off 84 at today's course on his next outing. He showed nothing in his four turf outings this season, but has some excuses in place for those runs and did at least show up well when returned to the all-weather at Wolverhampton last time out. The way that he ran on from off the pace was encouraging, given that he's at his best when getting to dominate proceedings and it was a sign that another autumn success beckons. As a result of those poor turf runs this year, he has collapsed down the ratings to a mark of 70, a stone lower than the previously mentioned place that he achieved from a bad draw at this track just over 12 months ago. JP Guillambert was on board that day, for the only ride he has ever had on the horse, and is back now to replace Russ Kennemore. That's a positive, given the jockey's 15% strike-rate at the track and hopefully he can get a similar tune out of the 6-year-old gelding. They've fared a hell of a lot better on the draw front as well, with stall 3 being perfect to adopt attacking tactics (though likely to be taken on for the lead). The ground isn't going to be an issue either and like Clockmaker yesterday, this is an animal that I expect to see winning before too long. It could well be here (market will guide; a drift is likely to mean defeat) and he's worthy of taking a chance on at the prices. If he can bounce back to the form he showed about 12 months ago, then he's more than capable of winning on this drop in grade (first run in C5 for an age) and hopefully does so.
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