It may have taken until the final day of the season but One Jump Ahead readers were finally rewarded courtesy of Wait For Me (5/1) in the concluding handicap hurdle at Sandown. I have been adamant for sometime that Philip Hobbs' charge has been crying out for a step up to two and a half miles and he got the opportunity to tackle the distance for the first time at the Esher track. Given a patient ride by champion jockey Richard Johnson, the seven year old crept into contention down the backstraight before mounting his challenge between the final two flights. A decent leap at the last sealed his win before powering clear to win by half a dozen lengths. Likely to be sent chasing next season, he could be aimed at something like the Silver Trophy at Chepstow in October beforehand provided the ground isn't too testing. I hope clients kept the faith - it was a long wait but a worthwhile one.
Like Wait For Me, Altior is featured in the Top 40 Prospects of OJA and Nicky Henderson's dual Festival winner rounded off his first season over fences with another breathtaking display in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase. In fact, this season's Arkle winner made the Queen Mother Champion Chase victor Special Tiara look distinctly ordinary as he swept past Henry De Bromhead's charge after the penultimate fence. An eight lengths scorer, he is a very special horse and, unless Douvan returns to his brilliant best, Altior will be the one they all have to beat next March in the Champion Chase.
Thank you to those clients who have emailed since Afjaan's (3/1) impressive win at Haydock. Pinpointed as one to watch out for in the Diary yesterday, William Haggas' charge overcame a sluggish start to win going away by a length and three quarters. His trainer couldn't have made it much clearer of his opinion of the five year old on page 74 of Ahead On The Flat. Indeed, he looked a class above the opposition here. The Royal Hunt Cup in June could be his next port of call.
A couple of horses who caught the eye this afternoon included Sir Chauvelin in the two mile handicap at Ripon. Jim Goldie's gelding stayed on well to grab second behind My Reward. Despite being ten pounds higher, this run may have put him spot on for a repeat win in the Braveheart Stakes (0-95) at Hamilton (19th May). That is, of course, provided he isn't raised more than three pounds (raced off a mark of 92).
Sam Missile was having his first run since being gelded when chasing home Fidaawy in the extended ten furlongs handicap at Doncaster this evening. Beaten half a length, James Fanshawe's string have yet to hit top form but it will be a surprise if the lightly raced four year old doesn't win a decent middle distance prize this summer. Rated 87, he could develop into a prime candidate for something like the Old Newton Cup at Haydock in early July.
Don't forget, if you haven't already ordered a copy of Ahead On The Flat, please head to the Publications section of the site in time for next weekend's Guineas meeting at Newmarket.
“Thank you for a very successful and profitable email service. My personal highlight was the win of Aloomomo whose romp round Uttoxeter was a joy. Keep up the good work with all your services, the books and updates, they are simply the best by a very long way.”
“Just want to say thanks for running the service again this year, I have ended up with a nice £756 profit from it so I'm obviously very happy with that so thanks a lot!”
“Thanks for your email Mark would just like to say your selections and insight has been awesome. Keep up the good work sir your service is the best.”
“Thank you for an excellent tipping service throughout the three months. It has been a pleasure and profitable to be a member of your service. Your indepth knowledge and analysis of the race has been excellent. I honestly rate your service as one of the best and most profitable.”
“Thanks very much for the fantastic service you have supplied, I have been involved with racing tipsters for over 30 years and never had as good a strike rate as yourself, out of this world.”
“The email service as usual has been brilliant and this season's OJA seems to continue to unearth amazing insight if you have the time to trust and follow it in detail over a period. Thanks as always for your outstanding value for money publications.”
“Superb information again Mark, I managed to get some 11/4, will certainly pay for Xmas. Different class.”
“Awesome result the magicman strikes again. Won with plenty in hand and not a moments worry great write up spot on again and results speak for themselves best service I've tried, keep up the fantastic work sir. Very happy customer!”
Mark Howard Publications Ltd.
69 Fairgarth Drive