With the weather deteriorating, the tracks are getting on the softer side of soft. Cue the mudlarks. Saturday at Ascot, At Fishers Cross returned to try & improve on his seasonal debut and put a marker down for Cheltenham 2014. These plans were put to rest when Tony McCoy was unseated at the last. Reve De Sivola had already made his move for home & a blunder from Salubrious at the second last, left no challengers as the Nick Williams trained eight-year-old, passed the line 10 lengths ahead of second place. At Fishers Cross with a similar blunder in the closing stages of the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury last month is a slight concern. Trainer Rebecca Curtis, earlier in the week said "I just hope we get a bit of rain in Ascot to soften things up a bit". Perhaps it was more than they had hoped for, but still no sign of the form we witnessed from him last season. No doubt it will take At Fishers Cross a few races to get back into his stride & we will see the same potential from the previous season. Houblon Des Obeaux & Easter Day were the only favourites to win leaving plenty of value for punters.
In Ireland on Sunday, Ruby Walsh paired up with Willie Mullins to race Un De Sceaux against a relatively uncompetitive field . At an sp of 1/16 the market revealed all, & wasn't wrong. An almost faultless display left smiles all round for Walsh & Mullins as Un De Sceaux won with 29 lengths behind him. Un De Sceaux now goes 16/1 to win the Stanjames.com Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Looking ahead, boxing day is bursting with potential. The King George chase will see some big names go head to head to prove their worth, including Cue Card, Al Ferof, Dynaste & Silviniaco Conti. the Christmas hurdle will most likely see The New One & My Tent Or Yours collide as they look to prove themselves further.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas & plenty of luck on boxing day.