The ground and trip are his Strong Suit
18 August 2012
3.05pm Newbury - Strong Suit.
I am up nice and early on this beautiful sunny day. By 8.00am this morning I had already spent half an hour in a sandpit with my daughter building endless sand castles, had cleared the garden path of weeds, chatted to the neighbours, and had also taken my daughter round the block on her trike. I feel ready to go back to bed for an hour or so, but there is no rest for the wicked I am afraid.
Being up and about and proactive about my day means that for the first times in ages I am watching the Morning Line from the beginning. I am pleased to see that they have Jamie Osborne as a guest, he is a great thinker and talker and a good trainer to boot. He adds gravitas to any program he appears on.
At the moment they are discussing the Hungerford Stakes and I find myself agreeing with Emma Spencer, who fancies Strong Suit. I see Tanya Stevenson also fancies it in her blog. This horse needs fast summer ground and has not had it yet this year, now he has got ideal conditions underfoot, the seven furlong trip at which he excels and opponents that have never achieved the level of form he has. He can regain the winning thread. The ground really is the key to him and now the rain has gone away this horse should get back on track.
I fear that my bet on Richard Hughes to win the jockeys' title is going to take a severe dent over the next few days. Hughesie is currently the odds-on favorite, but from today is serving a five-day ban. This will allow Ryan Moore to once again establish a lead. This does not mean Hughes is beaten, after all there is still a long way to go in the Championship, but when he returns on Thursday he could be as many as 10 winners behind Moore. With De Sousa benefiting from plenty of Mark Johnston rides and winners at the moment the Championship race is boiling up nicely. I still think Hughes will win, but avoiding more bans will be crucial to success.
Our selection yesterday finished second, as did the one on Thursday. Such is the rich tapestry of this great sport. Today, you may have guessed I am all over Strong Suit, he is only 2/1 but should win under Ryan Moore, much as it will pain me to see Moore move another winner clear of Hughes in the Championship.
Enjoy the sun folks and I will be back on Monday with some more thoughts.