Chad Yeomans reflects on a Marsh Hurdle that was missing its star attraction, and reveals the two horses that caught his eye at Ascot and Lingfield Park.
Not So Sleepy
What an absolutely fantastic performance from Not So Sleepy in the Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle at Ascot, as the Hughie Morrison yard continued their fantastic end to the season.
To be able to kick clear and keep striding on after setting a relentless pace in such bottomless ground was very impressive. His connections have been touting the Champion Hurdle after that victory and, in a very open-looking year, why not shoot for the stars?
Sadly, the race fell apart with the absence of If The Cap Fits and then Paisley Park, but we still saw a cracking contest.
Coming to the last, it looked as though it was L’Ami Serge‘s to lose, but he thought he’d done too much and started to tread water – literally – as The World’s End battled back to claim his scalp with 50 yards to go.
I don’t think connections of Paisley Park will be losing sleep just yet.
I was very taken by Riders Onthe Storm at Ascot. He absolutely bolted up and could be targeted at the Ryanair Chase from here.
He was rated 153 before the race and I’d be surprised if he was put up any less that 10lb, so he has to come into the reckoning. He’ll be winning plenty of races in the future, that’s for sure.
Dubai Warrior won the Listed Betway Quebec Stakes at Lingfield Park on Saturday, and the one-time Derby hope looks to be coming of age. I saw him in the parade ring and winners’ enclosure and was really taken by his size.
He’s 16ft 1in and looked more like a hurdler than a middle-distance all-weather horse, but he’s clearly very talented and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back at Lingfield Park for the Betway Winter Derby in February.
This is one of the best weeks of the year, mainly because of all of the great racing we’ve got to look forward to. There is plenty to get stuck in to and, no doubt, lots of highs and lows to discuss in the New Year.
Good luck to everyone. I wish you all a merry Christmas, a happy new year and plenty of punting luck!