Can Frodon win the Ryanair…possibly…Fakir D’Oudairies the Triumph Hurdle….unlikely…Birchdale the Ballymore….no and Paisley Park the World Hurdle….YES, YES, YES!
I have to admit that last answer is partly fuelled by my tasty ante-post bet struck on him at the back end of last year at 33/1. There is now the very realistic chance of new double-glazing being installed in the house should the Emma Lavelle charge fly up the hill in similar style in six weeks’ time.
I thought that the seven-year-old was no more than workmanlike at Ascot, but off a very solid pace here and after initially being niggled along down the far side, this hugely progressive stayer settled the issue in flamboyant style after the last flight of hurdles.
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To my eyes Frodon had the run of the race in the Cotswold Chase due to a lack of in-running decision making from Byrony Frost’s rival jockeys.
He has as much chance of staying an extra two and a half furlongs at championship pace as I have of taking over in the saddle at Closutton when Ruby Walsh eventually retires.
Anyone that suggests otherwise, as even a sporting gesture or not, is deluded in the extreme especially as Paul Nicholls’ yard have a greater source of ammunition already for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.
What I couldn’t understand was why didn’t Tom O’Brien, one of our top senior jockeys, fail to put Frodon to the sword down the far side by taking him on with Elegant Escape.
Tom may well bounce back at me that Elegant Escape didn’t have the necessary pace to get on terms. But his staying prowess made such a move imperative and may well have seen him land this valuable prize in the light of witnessing his late rally up the final climb.
At his current odds of 20/1 for the blue riband of racing where Paddy is non runner no bet, I cannot see him being out of the first three, if he tries to follow up his Welsh National win on day four of the Festival.
Fakir D’Oudaries put the opener to bed in style against his fellow juveniles, but I thought they were a very ordinary bunch of first-season hurdlers.
Birchdale wouldn’t have won had Brewin’upastorm stood up, even though the latter was also coming to the end of his tether up that torturous final climb.
But the final word must go to Paddy Brennan in the least significant race of the day, the handicap hurdle at 4.10 and his titanic ride on Benny’s Bridge.
Out the back for the majority of the journey and still 25 lengths off the pace at the top of hill, Brennan simply didn’t panic as he slowly caressed his mount into the race.
Hitting the front after the last flight, he simply toyed with his rivals and it was yet another masterclass from this most unsung of jockeys….undiluted genius?
Well of course it was after all, his initials are PJ!Saddle up at PaddyPower.com now for all the latest racing odds