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John McConnell at the Showcase

If you take one thing out of the Showcase meeting, it must be the mental note that John McConnell runners at this two-day meeting need respecting. He has slowly built a team that seems to have improved in quality and was rewarded with three winners across the two days.

Encanto Bruno’s bumper win was probably the most notable and is now a 20/1 shot for the Champion Bumper back at Cheltenham in March. 

Auguste Robin gives flat fans a flash of brilliance 

The flat season is slowly turning out of view, but the Vertem Futurity gave turf fans one last look at a future star with Auguste Rodin heading into the winter the one of the ante post favourites for both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby. A 3 and a half-length victory over the smart Epictetus impressed many with trainer Aidan O’Brien claiming his 11th winner in the final UK Group one of the season.

He was delighted with another winner in a race he has farmed. Post-race he explained where we can expect to see him next season. “I’d say we will have no problem starting off in the Guineas, he has a lot of class He’ll love good ground at Newmarket, and you’d imagine he’ll get a mile and a quarter on his ear. Usually, if horses are that good and that classy, they don’t have any problem getting a mile and a half. He looks to have all the right things. Next Spring, we will get to see just how good this exciting colt by Deep Impact could be. I think at this point in time if I had to pick one, I would be keener to back him for a Derby than a Guineas but it is more than conceivable that he wins both next season.” 

Eye Catchers

Each week I will aim to pick out a few eye catchers some of which perhaps are obvious others that perhaps have gone under the radar. First up was GA Law for BetVictor ambassador Jamie Snowden, he ran a stormer in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree finishing staying on third, providing he backs that run up next time out he should be up to winning a very good race. He is now 12/1 with us top price for the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November at Cheltenham and could well give Jamie and his team another big race winner.  

My next horse is only noted as an eyecatcher in case you didn’t see the race, up at Kelso we had Snake Rolls win by a huge margin for trainer Lucinda Russell. I will be very curious as to what sort of contest this smart winner could end up in, but he is in good hands and should at least look likely to be one of the better novice hurdlers in the north this season.  

Finally, the bumper at Aintree gave Harry Fry another winner as his team hit form, they won this contest in 2019 with White Hart Lady and Credrojava scored nicely to reward favourite backers. My eye catcher comes in the shape of the third Tipperary Star who was making her debut for Warren Greatrex, she looked booked for second before Ruby Island arrived past her in the latter stages. With the benefit of the experience at Aintree she looks more than capable of winning a bumper next time out.  

Bumper Start Embarrassing For The Sport

I want to try to avoid rant of the week style comments but the start of the bumper at Cheltenham on Saturday was frustrating as a punter to watch. These unsatisfactory starts do irritate me, how often do we see one enterprising jockey nick a few lengths at the start? As for the walking for several seconds once the race is off it’s just a bit embarrassing for the sport. Whilst bumpers primarily exist for the education of a horse, I do feel it’s something that needs to be nipped in the bud this season if we expect the betting public to embrace them as a betting medium.  

Irish Dominance At Cheltenham Once Again 

We have already mentioned the success of John McConnell at the two day showcase meeting but other Irish trainers also featured and frankly dominated the meeting. Charles Byrnes landed a touch with the Pertemps qualifier winner Shoot Now, Willie Mullins sole runner scooted up for Brian Hayes and Gordon Elliott landed a double with Chemical Energy and the Champion Hurdle bound Pied Piper both scoring. It very much feels like a warning shot across the bows that Irish Dominance of the big UK meetings is very much here to stay.  

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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