We saw some good finishes yesterday, and some decent horses. Amour De Nuit was just touched off in a close one with Asum, but he looks like he will progress quickly. Hint Of mint was backed into odds on and battled well to get the win close to home. He will win again in the same grade. Casper King showed that the Cheltenham run can indeed be ignored, but he is a little quirky for sure. He fought to get into the lead in a battle on the run-in with Volpone Jelois. But I think that he eases off slightly as soon as he gets the head in front and the seconditis might be a recurring issue.
Wednesday December 21st
Ludlow and Ffos Las over the jumps today, where it should be soft at Ffos Las and a little bit better than that at Ludlow. Ffos Las has the modern drainage system as mentioned previously, so the ground should be fair at both tracks.
At Ffos Las, I think Nigel Twiston Davies has found a decent opportunity for Ballymalin despite carrying penalties for two wins this season. His run at Cheltenham, when beaten by a stable mate, has worked out well and I think this horse is clearly the best in the race. He has to concede plenty of weight, but the jockey takes off ten pounds and is a decent rider who the trainer has confidence in. The horse look straight forward and I think he will be taken to the front and has a good chance to make all the running in conditions that will suit. The small field size will help, and I do not rate the favourite Billy Bronco particularly highly. Ballymalin looks to be a good price by comparison and I think the betting will be closer between these two by race time.
12.50 Ffos Las (Race 1), Ballymalin, 1.50 Points win at 5/2 BOG with Skybet, Hills and Boylesports.