The flat season looms & an attractive card at Lingfield on Saturday gave us an insight of things to come. The Spring Cup saw William Haggas, summon the talents of Ertijaal, who was a step ahead of the pace throughout. American Hope imposed an impressive late challenge to try & knock Ertijaal, but to no avail. Lots of Grandeur mentions as he looked like the one to beat after he had seen of a number of his opposition last month. Robin Hoods Bay managed to reverse the form, driving from the middle of the pack to snatch the win from Windhoek. Grandeur never got involved. The Irish flat season got underway on Sunday with Curragh doing the honours. Picking a winner can be tricky at the start of the season. A tough day at the office rounds things up for most. None the less there were a few pointers to take. The UK flat season is ready & waiting with Cheltenham behind us. Next Saturday Doncaster holds the Lincoln Handicap to get things underway.
The, Don't You Just Love Downpatrick Hurdle got off to a blistering pace, set by market leader, Un Beau Matin. Ironically, may have impaired his jumping to begin, dipping quite badly on landing over the first, however Paul Carberry soon had the favourite ticking over productively & made all to win. A quick double for Carberry having got Taglietelle up in the first.
Another unfortunate loss from the darker side of horse racing as Tiqris took a gut wrenching fall. Opening up odds on before a small drift to even money. Held at the back, Tiqris tracked the pack, improving stride by stride. James Best was poised & patient, cruising has never had a fitter title. Regards go to Philip Hobbs & connections. Vicente went on to win for Nicholls & was eased before the line, chased home by Gold Ingot.
Last week Joe Tizzard announced, he is hanging up the boots, & will be sorely missed by many. Had Cue Card not been sidelined we may have got more from him, but like he said "I think you know when the time's up". He will still make his mark in racing, assisting father Colin with training & the family dairy farming business. It will be interesting to see who gets called up to take Cue Card to victory next season. No doubt plenty of talent knocking at the door for the opportunity.