Top 40 entrant Mazzini's frustrating season continued with James Fanshawe's gelding finishing third at Ascot. Competing in the same six furlongs handicaps his stablemate The Tin Man won twelve months earlier, the three year old was slowly into stride and immediately on the back foot. Despite running on well, he still found himself a couple of lengths behind the William Haggas trained pair Symposium and Ornate. While it may have been a career best effort, one can't help feeling he should have finished closer. Looking on the bright side, he remains a well handicapped sprinter who could be a Wokingham/Stewards' Cup horse next summer. Regular readers will feel I am obsessed with the horse but I remain convinced there is a big prize in him one day (probably in about 2022).
Even though he is only a novice, Paul Nicholls is thinking in terms of the BetVictor Gold Cup (the Paddy Power Gold Cup to me and you - or even the Mackeson Gold Cup) for Frodon following his smooth five lengths success at Fontwell. Previously trained in France by Guillaume Macaire, last season's Victor Ludorum Hurdle winner has won twice over fences this Autumn. The highlight of his two wins has been his jumping - quick and low over his fences, the four year old proved too strong for Nicky Henderson's Clean Sheet. Rated 139 over hurdles, the bookmakers won't be taking any chances when pricing him up for the two and a half miles event at Prestbury Park in mid November.
Following a terrific campaign last season, Malcolm Jefferson's team have made a relatively slow start this Autumn and Double W's maintained the trend at Hexham. Held in high regard, the Fruits of Love gelding looked to be travelling well down the backstraight but was unable to reel in race fit rival Australasia and was beaten three and a quarter lengths. With that run under his belt and once his stable hit form, he remains a horse to watch out for, especially once switched to fences. The ground at the Northumberland track would have been soft enough for him, too.
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