A fair few people were calling for Jean and Colin to throw in the towel after Cue Card was beaten in the Betfair Chase but you could make a fair argument that his Ascot run for me last time wasn’t far off a career-best. I said before the race how unbelievably well he felt at home and the way he travelled and attacked his fences was more reminiscent of a chaser half his age. Unfortunately, one nearly half his age was in there, and a bloody good one at that, in the shape of Waiting Patiently and we will be hearing a lot more about him in the months and years to come. He is some horse. So there was no disgrace at all to be beaten by him, and the fact that it was 15 lengths back to Frodon in third, shows you what an outstanding effort that was. It meant the world to me to be back on him again at Ascot, and he really would bring the house down if he won this race again. He handles any ground, and he could just give Un De Sceaux, who is definitely the one to beat, something to think about if he is the same form again here. I bloody hope he is, as he is one hell of a ride when he is on song. I am biased, obviously, but I think he will run a massive race.
The official ratings tell you that she has a little to find with some of these, and there is no arguing with that. That’s a fact. But she isn’t far off them with her mares allowance, and 3m in deep ground are her conditions and I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised were she to sneak into a place at a big price. Don’t forget, she beat Wholestone first time out at Wetherby and she has run three good races in defeat since, including behind Agrapart in the Cleeve last time. In fact, a lot of her form revolves around Wholestone, and I think that one will run very well here. I will probably give her a quiet ride and see what develops up front. Hopefully, they will all fall in a hole late on and we will mop up the pieces. I can genuinely see her being placed the way that I will ride her.
Quite By Chance
He had a wind op before running at Sandown last time and I think you can safely ignore that run. There was carnage at the first fence there and he took a hefty bump, and was never in the race afterwards. The handicapper has played very fair in dropping him 2lb and he is now on a decent mark, some 3lb lower than when a good third at Ascot in November. He ran really well here in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup a couple of years ago, and I can see him running a decent race at a price. And hopefully the first-time blinkers will sharpen him up, too.
We all have Laurina to beat by the sounds of it, but Cap Soleil is a fair mare in her own right. She was very, very good the day she beat Countister at Newbury earlier in the season – I was blown away with her there, and we have seen what the second has done since – and I don’t think she was at her best when beaten by Dame Rose at that track next time. She showed all her guts and tenacity to win over 2m3f on heavy at Haydock last time, so the ground will hold no fears for her here. In fact, I think she did well to win there as I wasn’t as happy with her there as I was at Newbury. We purposely gave her a good break after that gruelling Haydock run, and she comes here in very good order. In fact, she has really come into her own in the last three weeks, and is now in the form of her life. She won her bumper here, too, and she is another who I can see running a massive race.
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