What a week it's been so far!
Well this week has really lived up to all the hype and the expectations most national hunt fans have placed on the festival. Those on the track have well and truly delivered so far by putting on such an amazing show for us all. The best thing being is that we still have Gold Cup day left to run tomorrow.
We opened the festival with a hotly contested Supreme Novices Hurdle, with the well fancied Getabird top of the market and after all of his races under rules so far, you had to think he had a very good chance and a lot of people did because he went off at as SP fav at 7/4. We then had Kalashnikov, who was really well liked and really well backed to turn the fav over, this would of been a fairytale win for young trainer Amy Murphy and although his backers where right about him turning over the fav, they had seemingly missed the horse that beat Kalashnikov in the Tolworth Novices Hurdle at Sandown back in January. As they sent off Summerville Boy at what seemed to me a huge price of 9/1, me and all of our club members made sure we snapped up some of the 14's & 12's in the lead up to the festival as soon as we all knew the ground was going to be as testing as it has been, as I felt this would really help Summerville Boy and wouldn't be as favourable to the top 2 in the market. So our festival was off to a flyer in such an exciting way, Summerville Boy didn't jump as well as I'd expected, giving ground away all the way round to the very fluent Kalashnikov and then when we jumped the last I really thought he'd given it away but Noel Fehily galvanised his horse and got him up in the shadows of the post, to snatch the fairytale away from Amy Murphy when she must of thought her horse had got the race won. I watched it with friends in a local pub and the whole pub erupted when Summerville Boy got up as we had all backed him, that was the start for me of what has been a superb week so far.
Footpad was most people's banker of the week and what a performance from him and Ruby Walsh to win the Arkle the way they did. Footpad was ridden quietly while Petit Mouchoir and Saint Calvados went off at a real fast gallop, in hindsight what Ruby done sitting off that gallop was the right thing to do and you could see Footpad benefited from staying away from the early speed. I'm really looking forward to watching Footpad progress again next year, as this is certainly one very exciting chaser.
For me the real highlight of the festival so far was Presenting Percy winning the RSA Novices Chase. This is a serious horse, a horse that I think will go on to possibly win a Gold Cup in time. Davy Russell has had a supeb festival so far and this for me was him at his very best, he gave Presenting Percy such a cool ride. They where held up in rear for most of the race, then about 5 fences from home Davy started to bring Presenting Percy in to the race, just after 3 out he was in 2nd and travelling better than anything in the field, the pair then took the running up before the 2nd last and readily went clear from his rivals.
With 75% of this years festival completed, there's been lots to talk about and some superb performances, these are just the highlights so far for me.
What's been your favourite moment so far from the festival? Tell me in the comments, as I'd love to hear what you think.
Thanks for reading the blog.
Racing Club Manager