I've just watched 8/13 favourite Ask hold Hattan half a length in Sandown's Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes. The jolly has held on well enough and you'd expect improvement, this being his first run of the season, but he didn't certainly didn't win in the manner you'd want from an odds-on shot.
On paper the 7.15 at Bangor this evening looks between Quizzene and Abstract Art; I prefer the latter and will get involved if 5/2 becomes available.
Tomorrow's dual code card at Sandown acts as the final curtain for this jumps season, the highlight being the Bet365 Gold Cup. Ten of the declared nineteen run from out of the handicap; will the Scottish National winner Iris De Balme be able to take this long distance chase just one week later? The way the horse sprinted up the home straight at Ayr suggested there was more to come - amateur Charlie Huxley keeps the ride here. I've lost patience with Ungaro; perhaps it's a little unkind but in my book he has become 'difficult to win with'. Royal County Star comes over from Ireland after a mid-season break and second place in the Irish National. He is set to run off his correct mark here, looking a player from a yard that knows the time of day. Royal County Star gets the vote.
On official ratings Monet's Garden is the one to beat in the Celebration Chase while Full House will appreciate good ground and could be considered an each-way longshot in the competitive-looking 2.10 provided he's fit enough to do himself justice on this his first run for six months.
I don't really study Flat form. In the Bet365 Mile Sir Michael Stoute's course and distance winner Rob Roy is officially the top-rated animal; on his seasonal debut he takes on seven opponents, six of whom have already had the benefit of a run this year. I will consider taking a chance if the horse is priced around the 7/2 mark.