Turf Talk: Hedging our bets with variety act

Tim Boulter
Tim Boulter

WE WENT quite close on Saturday with Moohaajim and Tominator, in running I thought both were going to win but unfortunately it was not be.

I thought Tominator ran a blinder in the Cesarewitch I think he could make some hurdler now with the switch looking inevitable.

On to today (Wednesday) and there are some decent races around and a nice card at Wetherby now the jumps is starting to get into flow. Variety is the word of the day for the column with something over the sticks, one on the turf and one on the pollytrack.

3.15 Nottingham

First Mohican is bound to prove popular, an unexposed fresh horse at this stage of the season makes lots of appeal but he is likely to start very skinny and I thought perhaps Las Verglas Star would make a good alternative. Only a small field at Pontefract last time out but I thought it was quite a strong performance to add to some of his good form this season like when second at Glorious Goodwood. Though it was a small field they went a decent pace and it was a fair test which he seemed to relish. Never far from the pace he was challenging in the home straight and just outstayed his rivals in the end finishing strongly up the home straight and ending up nicely clear of the field. Little Rocky has subsequently won very easily at Bath just last Friday and there is little reason to think that Sirvino back in third will reverse the form. I thought he relished the soft ground last time out and is possibly just a better horse for some ease in the ground, Verglas progeny often tend to like it deep and he looks one of them and he should run well here with a lot in favour. He is posted quite wide but it is a big galloping track here and I think the draw can be negotiated and he should be in amongst the finish.

3.55 Wetherby

After a quiet season last year Pigeon Island returned to the track last month in fine form when taking a handicap chase at Uttoxeter and should stand a good chance of following up. Never too far from the head of proceedings he jumped well through out the contest and looks far more accomplished now than he ever has over fences. He looked like he might face a race down to two out but after getting over it he started to pull away and from the last come clear of the field looking like he had a bit in hand. Indeed, he may just have a bit in hand, he has had a quiet time of it over the last year or so but he is a classy performer at his best and for all his racing he is still only nine years old and could be capable of returning to his form of old. Nigel Twiston-Davies is renowned for his form in October and although he has hit the wall a bit in the last week, the first week of this month he was having winners all over the place so I would not worry at all. All in all a classy performer at his best, looks to have returned to the track in great form and could have a bit more to work with in the handicap and should just have a bit of a fitness edge at this stage.

9.10 Kempton Park

Last week I went in on Chapter And Verse but he was a non- runner and returning to his favourite stomping ground and his optimum trip I am going to give him a chance again. He has let down on his last couple of runs but he rarely fails to run a good race here and until his recent couple of bad runs he looked to be returning to his best. He won here at the end of August in a typical off the pace run of his and only three pounds higher dropping back in class a bit he does not appear badly handicapped. This does look reasonably competitive with a couple of young pups in the line up from the Noseda and John Dunlop yards but he knows his way home here and he sets a good standard on his best and should go close if all is well.

3.15 – Las Verglas Star (ew)

3.55 – Pigeon Island (nap)

9.10 – Chapter And Verse