How good is SUMMERVILLE BOY? That Tolworth form upheld in the process, but more eyecatching was the fact that nothing in the race seemed to go his way (including a mistake at the second last that would have stopped lesser horses) yet he still won. Even more significant than the win was the fact that if this race had of been over a furlong longer he would have won by 10L+. Make no mistake he’s a serious horse and one who could relish the pace and the likely smaller field he’d get in the Chanpion Hurdle. He seems to be that right blend of very good two miler who stays further that have done very well in the race throughout the years. He certainly has the scope to do well over fences but I think hurdles will still be his game next season and the 25-1 about him for the Champion Hurdle is massive in my humble opinion.
KALASHNIKOV ran an absolute blinder considering he got racing a long way out. The fact he was still leading after the last and on the run-in speaks volumes about his ability. As we saw all week coming from behind in the strongly run races was the tactic that was paying off and who knows if this race had of been the first one on the Wednesday instead of the Tuesday then Jack Quinlan may have ridden him more with a tiny bit more restraint. This fella has got the scope for fences make no mistake about it and if he attacks his fences with the same zest then he’ll take the beating in next season’s Arkle. At 14-1 and with Samcro likely to stay at longer trips he rates value even with a year to go.
If there was an eyecatcher in the field then it was CLAIMANTAKINFORGAN from the Nicky Henderson stable who probably wouldn’t have been at his best on the ground. But that was compounded by jumping off in the second half of the field and then a slow jump at the first meant he was always playing catch-up. At one point at the top of the hill it looked like Nico was going to let him coast home in his own time but he made up ground down the hill and then turning in he probably made up more lengths than anything in the field to finish fifth. And all that came under a really tender ride given the nature of the big occasion and defintely one which was with another day in mind. This fella can win a big race and I get the impression on a flatter track like Aintree he can run a massive race in their Grade 1 novice.