James Boyle’s Horses To Follow – Week Thirty-Five
All remains quiet on the HTF front with few runners lining up, but Filbert (5/1 in the morning; 7/2 SP) did at least provide a winner. That success came around Wincanton over the extended 2m 4f trip on top of rotten, heavy ground and the combination of ground and trip was one that I thought he’d despise. Thankfully for his backers, it didn’t seem to be a huge issue and he won about as readily as could be hoped for given his poor jumping was on show once again. There’s plenty of talent there, but now is time to remove him from the list.
Firmdecisions was the only other runner to line up and, having nearly halved in price from 12/1 into 7’s in a sprint handicap around Lingfield, he ran the race of his life. Sadly, all it ended in was a second placed finish for the now Dean Ivory trained 5-year-old as Boom The Groom held him off by a neck and that was a rather frustrating sight! Connections will be encouraged, however, as it gives them more options with a horse who had previously shown his best form over a furlong further. I will persist, as he should be up to winning soon..
HTF representatives with entries this week; Ardkilly Witness, Midnight Appeal & Piddie’s Power.
Horses To Follow – Week Thirty-Five:
Madness Light (3rd January) –
Warren Greatrex is enjoying a really good season, for all that winners have dried up somewhat in recent weeks, and I’m expecting him to get Madness Light back into the winners’ enclosure sometime in the near future. The french-bred always looked likely to make up into a better chaser than hurdler, so the fact that he managed to reach a decent level in that code last term is encouraging (hit a high of 135). We’re still waiting for the 6-year-old to show his true worth over fences as he fell on his British chasing debut last month and didn’t jump well enough at Sandown on Saturday. However, with the front-runners failing to come back (as with the next pick), he probably did as well as expected to finish in third place and I would be expecting much better from him in due course, particularly when he’s able to sit a bit further forward in the field. Better ground, although not strictly needed, could suit him.
William’s Wishes (3rd January) –
In terms of being an eye-catcher, William’s Wishes wasn’t much of one over the weekend at Sandown but there’s not much point in taking that run literally as everything went wrong for the horse. He was ridden pretty dead, to say the least (dramatically held up in last) and that didn’t suit with the front-runners failing to come back, whilst added to that he made a bad error at the first ditch and never really looked happy in the jumping department afterwards. I got the impression that he was being minded somewhat, with other days possibly in mind once it was clear things weren’t panning out, and on the promise of his Tingle Creek run the time before he should not be a million miles away from competing in some of the decent handicaps. Given his previous injuries, it’s hard to trust the horse but I’m hopeful he’ll come good before the season is out. Assistance from the handicapper would help, too.
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