Well I suppose if you’re going to get your trends broken then why not do it in style!
Not enough superlatives to share about Tiger Roll, other than he’s one helluva horse, and I’ve learned my lesson not to quibble over a few extra pounds he may be carrying again!
In terms of the trends, well it was a less than satisfying result and after two years of relative success, it will give me some cause to reflect on my approach for 2020.
The shortlist came up with 3rd, 4th and 7th, which I can’t really defend as a satisfactory result at all.
My biggest take from this years race is that rejecting horses based on weight is no longer a statistically valid approach when the ground conditions aren’t soft enough to sap the energy of horses at the top of the handicap.
Tiger Roll, and each way payer Anibale Fly both had impeccable credentials for this race and would undoubtedly have been on my shortlist were it not for that one trend.
Crucially, the 3.5 mile and key trial stamina trends once again provided a massive clue. These trends managed to shorten the forty runners to 22, and that included six of the first seven home.
Year after year stamina can at least, half the field down to a more manageable twenty or so. After that it gets a lot more difficult!
But perhaps for next year at least we can just park the trends and enjoy the greatness of Tiger Roll. He’s now entered a Red Rum like category of legends and is still only 9, so may well have a few years of racing left in him.
If he starts next years race he’ll be on my shortlist one way of another!
Before I go I thought it’s appropriate not to forget that there was a fatality in today’s race – the first since the new safe fencing has been introduced. I don’t profess to have anything particularly insightful or constructive about the subject of safety except to share my sympathy for the horse and his connections, and the hope that any lessons that can be learned to make racing safer are implemented.
Thanks for reading and until next year.