What a shame Kauto could not retain his King George crown. It would be a fitting mark of a terrific career. I know Clive Smith, who is a class act, and Paul Nicholls won’t take any riskes with Kauto and the Major expected a retirement announcement yesterday but it seems a small bleed occurred. I am pretty sure Kautos swan song will be a pitch at his third Gold Cup.
In a black Saturday which returned the Major to a modest year to date profit of under 10%, the two grade one races yesterday were the bits we got right. First up, we got not only the winner of the Christmas Hurdle but also the shape of the race. Bincoluar was the class act, he is such a bull of an animal and shaped impressively. The Champion Hurdle race is shaping into a cracker, can you call it from Binocular, Peddlers Cross, Hurricane Fly, Menorah, Oscar Whisky or any of the other contenders that have not done a lot wrong? I don’t think a bet on Kyhber Kim for the Cheltenham showpiece would be a terrible decision right now. He was simply not suited by a sharp 2 miles around Kempton and back at Prestbury, I would expect him to be finishing like a train up the hill. He was simply caught for toe yesterday.
In the big one, Kauto never looked to be travelling fluently. I am sure some people would ask the question about whether AP was part of the reason he did not settle but that would be nonsense. Watching Long Run win, a few things struck me. Firstly, that his third at Cheltenham caused an over-reaction. Henderson has always thought Long Run a star and as I ventured previously, his festival performance last year was simply not the script. He could be great. Secondly, the result yesterday and the manner of it just showed me that the changing of the guard has come at the top of the racing league. Move over Denman, Kauto (and Imperial?) here comes Diamond Harry, Long Run and even Pandorama. The new kids are in town. The final point to take was that reading race form strictly, doesn’t this offer a line of form suggesting Little Josh is a horse to be reckoned with?
Today Tottenham carry the Majors advice from yesterday as they take on Manchester United at home.
There is a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse that sadly attracts four runners and a 1/2 favourite. The listed race at 1.15 also has a hot favourite. The Major liked the look of Wood Lily in this one but no bet advised.
In the earlier maiden at 12.40, the Mullins hot pot is attracting all of the money which leaves some value in Sorted each way at 14/1. The other I like is Baycross which ia also easy to back at 25/1.