One Track Mind has looked anything but a natural over fences with Warren Greatrex's Grade 1 winning hurdler only finishing third on his second start over the larger obstacles at Catterick. The six year old appeared to frighten himself at the first fence on his chasing bow at Newbury last month and never recovered. Stepped up to three miles one at the North Yorkshire track, he jumped carefully and, while he never looked like falling, One Track Mind didn't attack his fences with any conviction. While he kept on in the homestraight, a mistake at the fourth last effectively ruined any chance he had. It will be interesting to see what rating he is given over fences because his performances thus far have been nowhere near what he achieved over hurdles.
The race went the way of Delusionofgrandeur (featured in the first One Jump Ahead Update last month), who stepped forward from his two previous outings this term. Well held behind Aux Ptits Soins at Kelso last time, Sue Smith's gelding appreciated the longer trip and is the type to contest a 'National' one day. All he does is gallop, jump and stay. Stablemate Vintage Clouds chased him home but was beaten six lengths and is proving frustrating to follow at present. The jury is out regarding his optimum trip.
Like Delusionofgrandeur, hurdling debutant Master of Irony was nominated as a horse to follow in last month's OJA Update and John Quinn's new recruit made the ideal start to his new vocation. Purchased out of Ralph Beckett's yard for 46,000gns in late October, the 87 rated Flat horse wore down the favourite Ckalo Des Loges after the last to win the juvenile hurdle at Catterick. He looks a fine addition to his Malton stable and is capable of winning more races.
The Catterick card rounded off with a bumper and Boagrius spreadeagled his field to win by a dozen lengths. One of Bromley's Best Buys in OJA, the former Tom Lacey trained winning pointer made all the running and had the race in safe keeping some way from home. Warren Greatrex's charge looks a strong stayer and he looks sure to give his owners, Million in Mind, plenty of fun this winter. Expect him to come into his own over two and a half miles plus over obstacles.
Indeed, it proved a good day all round for followers of One Jump Ahead with another 3 winners at Wincanton, namely Movewiththetimes (4/11), Connetable (5/1) and Strong Pursuit (8/1). The last named was very impressive for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson. An ex-Irish pointer, he had clearly benefited from his previous run at Ascot having missed the whole of last season due to a bone issue. The Minehead trainer had suggested he was one to follow on page 88.
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