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Angus McNae

Captain's Blog - Friday 16th November

The Open Meeting starts today and at we are delighted to be able to bring all three days straight into your living room, or pub.

Having put up Dodging Bullets yesterday as one of my horses to follow for the season you will not be surprised to find that he is my selection today in the Grade 2 Hurdle. Please have a look at my blog yesterday for my thoughts on this horse in general. In terms of today this contest looks to be a tailormade stepping stone for this promising young hurdler.

I really do think that he could be a very useful and this race will serve by way of more education for him. It is only his fifth race over timber and there is plenty more to come. Most importantly it will be another race in which Ruby Walsh can continue to educate him and teach him to settle. His slight over-exuberance at the moment is his Achilles' heel, but with more experience and under the tutelage of Walsh I am sure he will settle down. Either way he will take a lot of beating today.

I am not working today, but will be in the studio for the next couple of days and am looking forward to being a part of our Cheltenham coverage. Finding winners, as ever, will be tough, but if in doubt at Cheltenham I always look for course-specific form. The track is a tough one for horses and so often horses with experience at the track will beat those who have never raced there before. This is particularly true when it comes to the Festival, but I do think that the ability to handle this track whilst going a decent pace is not an attribute that all horses possess.

Looking ahead to the big race tomorrow I am going to pose a question for you to chew on and for me to do likewise before delivering a verdict. Is it the case that Grands Crus actually wants genuine soft ground to bring out the best in him? He clearly acts on decent ground, but do you think that for him to win top-class races he needs it deep? Just a thought for you going into tomorrow and the BetVictor Gold Cup.


Today's selections:

2.25 Cheltenham - 4* Dodging Bullets (5/4 Coral)

* If I have a strong view about a selection I will always make that apparent and I scale the confidence I have in my selections. One is minimum faith and 10 is maximum bet stuff.



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