Richard Johnson: Thomas Patrick lacked his normal sparkle
The champion jockey reviews all of his weekend rides at Newbury and Carlisle and reveals what's next for one of his winners, La Bague Au Roi.
For some reason Thomas Patrick just didn’t show his normal sparkle at Newbury on Saturday.
I spoke with Tom Lacey on Sunday night and he said that’s he’s absolutely fine, we just don’t know why he didn’t run better.
It’s obviously very good news that he’s OK and there’s no injury there, but on the other hand it’s a bit confusing.
He felt a bit flat and was just a little lacklustre in himself. We went a good gallop but we didn’t go crazy.
It’s disappointing, both me and Tom thought everything was perfect for him, especially after they had all that rain.
There are plenty more big days to look forward to, it’s just frustrating when it doesn’t work out.
I know some have said that Sandown may have left its mark, but he was absolutely bouncing at home and Tom said he’d never had him better.
At least he’s OK and in one piece, so we can go again. We’ll put it down to an off day.
He’s a very good staying chaser and he’ll be back out either before or after Christmas. Let’s hope he bounces back.
Rest of Newbury on Saturday
Top Gamble ran a nice race in the finale. He’s a big horse and always improves for his first run.
He loves soft ground and is one to keep an eye on in the future. If the rain continues to fall, hopefully Kerry [Lee] will find a nice race for him over Christmas.
Kayf Adventure ran better than his finishing position suggests in the Peter O’Sullevan Memorial, he’ll definitely improve for the run.
He just seemed to get a bit tired turning in before running on after the second last.
It’s hard for horses making their reappearance on ground like that against others who have had a run. I think you’ll see more from him on his next start.
Gumball hasn’t been finishing off his races as well as we’d like. The ground certainly wasn’t in his favour and let’s hope we see a better horse in the spring back on some decent ground.
Who’s My Jockey was another who was slightly disappointing on the day. The ground was also against him and we hope to see more back on a better surface.
Visually, Santini was very impressive in the novice chase. The more Nico asked him the more he gave, it was a good start over fences. He looks a real stayer and these long distance races are where his future lies.
Kempton next for La Bague Au Roi
We were thrilled with La Bague Au Roi on Friday, she was really impressive.
At this stage the plan looks to be the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day where she may well meet Santini.
They’re two very good yet different horses, but she’ll probably need fairly decent ground to go there.
Flat tracks seem to suit her very well, so Kempton will hopefully be perfect.
Carlisle on Sunday
We went up there expecting a big run from Garrettstown, but we might have bumped into a pretty smart individual in The Con Man.
It may have been a bit better than the average novice hurdle on a Sunday at Carlisle.
Garrettstown will definitely be winning soon. He did everything nicely, just got beaten by a better one on the day.
It was great to get a win on the board with Hidden Dilemma in the final of the mares’ Northern Lights final.
She’d won well at the course last month and it was a nice prize to pick up. It’s a good initiative that the Jockey Club and Carlisle have put on.
Chicoria got a bit tired on his first start since April, which was understandable considering the testing ground.
Apple’s Jade is a star
Apple’s Jade was brilliant at Fairyhouse to win the Hatton’s Grace for the third year running.
Not only was she visually impressive, she was seeing off top class horses easily and she’s going to be very hard to beat wherever she goes this season.
It was another great day for Gordon [Elliott] who had a four timer and it’s nice to see Cheveley Park having National Hunt horses. They’re a big breeding operation and it’s great that they’re supporting the jumps as well as the Flat.
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