We were pleased with both Misu Pete and, particularly, Arlecchino’s Arc at Chelmsford on Saturday evening. The widest of all draw was probably responsible for a portion of the length and three quarters Misu Pete was beaten and which resulted in Jason having to make more use of him than he would ideally have wanted; Arlecchino’s Arc confirmed his quiet progression and took another step forward and he will be of more real interest in a similar race going forward.
We go back to Chelmsford this evening with Arlecchino’s Leap and Black Truffle with the latest of the two races being only at 8.15 (ie an hour earlier than Saturday!). Off just three pounds more and better drawn than a fortnight ago when he won so nicely under Jason, Arlecchino’s Leap should be decently competitive this evening albeit in a slightly better grade of race, the bottom horse of Derek Shaw’s being on a four timer although having gone up more than in a stone for his three wins.
For a variety of reasons the Apprentices we might have put up on Black Truffle are not available so we are pleased to get Tom Marquand; we haven’t got the greatest draw right out wide and, without any claim, Black Truffle is not quite as decently in as he has been and, even though there are only nine runners, the race is really tightly handicapped; barring the inconsistent Bertie Blu Boy there might be only three pounds between the remaining eight including Black Turffle; but we go back to Chelmsford to run well.
The going at Cheltenham as of yesterday pm was Soft, Heavy in Places with significant rain over Sunday night and right through Monday; dryer Tuesday and Wednesday but further rain Thursday and Friday so the ability to go in the conditions will clearly be something of a prerequisite.
In Ireland the order of the leading Hunters has begun to change with the marvellous On the Fringe now rising 13 and even with Nine Carberry back on board may find the new generation have too much youth on their side; and one person who might well be leading that generation is the seven year old by Scorpion, Burning Ambition; second in his first Point, he then won four in a canter before winning a Limerick Maiden Hunter Chase with ease; he made the Grand National fourth (and hopefully the future winner of the Aintree Foxhunters next month) Gilgamboa pull out everything in his second Hunter Chase at Punchestown last month. He is a person with huge potential and in the Foxhunters on Friday he will go post with a serious, serious favourite’s chance; he has not been totally unbacked to win the 2019 Gold Cup.