All orders for Ahead On The Flat received before 1pm on Tuesday have been posted out. The response has been excellent. Indeed, we only have 250 copies remaining. If you haven't ordered a copy, please go to the Publications section of the site.
The Talking Trainers section produced three good winners at Epsom on Tuesday. Ralph Beckett indicated that the City And Suburban Handicap would be Victory Chime's (8/1) first target this season and he duly made all winning the ten furlongs event by a length and a quarter. Stablemate Patient Dream (100/30) won the concluding one mile handicap. Held up by Rossa Ryan, the gelded son of Al Kazeem hit the front inside the final furlong before winning cosily. Andrew Balding's string are in splendid form and Group One Power (100/30) won the Great Metropolitan Handicap on his seasonal reappearance by a length and a quarter.
I spent a couple of enjoyable days at Ayr on Friday and Sunday with Milkwood providing the highlight in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. Advised at 10/1 in the Aintree Update, Neil Mulholland's gelding had been out of luck in his three previous outings. Given ordinary rides at both Newbury (Betfair Hurdle) and Cheltenham (County Hurdle), Sam Twiston-Davies took over in the saddle for the first time and the Dylan Thomas gelding was always going well. Still on the bridle approaching the final flight, he readily pulled clear on the run-in to win hard held by nearly four lengths. His trainer is considering a tilt at the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock (8th May) before schooling him over fences.
Bass Rock (17/2) was nominated as a novice handicapper to follow in the Christmas Special and the ex-French gelding came good in the two miles five handicap hurdle later on the same card. Owned by Ray Green and trained by Sandy Thomson, the son of Martaline had shaped well in defeat over shorter trips earlier in the season. Making his handicap debut off a mark of 115, he led at the last before staying on strongly to score by three and a quarter lengths. I suspect his owner will have had the race in mind for sometime and, once again, it proved a well hatched plan. As I have stated before, there are few better planners in jump racing than R.A.Green.
A sad postcript from Sunday's action were the fatal injuries sustained by Claud And Goldie, who collapsed shortly after crossing the line in the Scottish National in ninth position, and Wetlands who fell at the second last and suffered a spinal chord injury.
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