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Angus McNae

Captain's Blog - 13th December 2010

There was some excellent racing at Cheltenham on Saturday with Master Minded and Menorah taking pride of place. Master Minded is clearly back to his best and won comfortably in a good time. He jumped with speed and accuracy and displayed the high cruising speed and ability to quicken that we associated with his wins in the Champion Chase in 2008 and 2009. He will be tough to beat in March though there is a good deal of momentum behind his stable companion Woolcombe Folly who won the opening contest on Saturday over the same trip in a marginally faster time. The problem with Woolcombe is that he put up a lifetime best performance at the weekend and it is always hard for horses to repeat the feat unless they had something in the tank and can improve again. He looked flat out to me and probably does not have much more to give, on the other hand Master Minded won with a little in hand with a bigger performance on the horizon and for that reason folks I am out of this bandwagon that is rolling in favour of Woolcombe. Master Minded started his comeback at Ascot, improved a fair bit then to win on Saturday and then will finish it by winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March. Those that have taken fancy prices about Woolcombe for the big race are full of themselves at the moment, but he could bounce to the moon next time in the Game Spirit Chase and then they will realise that there is only one Master when it comes to two mile chasing.



Menorah was impressive in winning the International Hurdle. He saw of the unbeaten Cue Card and did so fairly comfortably. On balance he deserves to be at the head of the market for the Champion Hurdle albeit we are yet to see Khyber Kim and need to see Binocular again. He will be suited to the strong gallop he will get in the Champion Hurdle and must be a big player. On the other hand Cue Card is not. For me he should run in the Supreme Novices and if he is going to win that he will have to be ridden more patiently. He has a high cruising speed, but he does not want to be in front seeing daylight and using up energy until he jumps the last hurdle. He has a tendency to cruise to the front a long way out, this is OK against lesser opposition, but against the big boys he needs to have his energy distributed more evenly through a race which means holding him up for longer. I suspect however he is ridden he will always struggle to beat Menorah though.

A day off for me today before heading to the office tomorrow to help out with the action from Catterick which touch wood is going to get the green light in the morning.

Have a good day.


Today's Selection

4.50 Wolverhampton – Leyte Gulf (each way 9/2 Victor Chandler )



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