It was obviously disappointing that Double Shuffle was withdrawn late on from the Gold Cup because of not eating up the night before, and the soft ground wouldn’t have been ideal either, but hopefully Tom’s patience will be rewarded here. Obviously, it is going to be testing here again too, but I wouldn’t have thought the ground will be as deep as at Cheltenham and this track represents an easier test in terms of stamina, anyway. He showed everyone how good he was in the 32Red King George when beaten just a length by Might Bite at Kempton – I thought we may have just have had him there jumping the last – and it must be a positive that he comes here a fresh horse.
Of course, Might Bite is the horse to beat, but who knows how much his tremendous Gold Cup run took out of him? And I keep on coming back to how close we got to him at Kempton. Our horse is an 8yo on the up, and I just hope there is some more in the tank. There will probably need to be, as this is a deep race with the likes of Bristol De Mai and Tea For Two also in attendance – to name just two of a strong field – but we are very happy with him coming into the race. I’m hopeful of a big run.
He clearly ran too badly to be true at Chepstow last time but, even so, it was a little disappointing to see the handicapper ignore the run and leave him on the same mark. We know he is better than that, though, so we can’t really moan, and 2m in soft ground are his ideal conditions. He did it really well for me when winning over course and distance in November, getting up close home, and I’d like to think he is still fairly weighted on a 5lb higher mark. The break since that Chepstow run is probably a positive, too, as he is a horse that really does go well when fresh. He needs to be delivered late, but that is my job.
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