The jumps season is in full swing now, although since my last Good Bad Ugly column the Breeders’ Cup and Melbourne Cup have taken place…
So who or what is in the mix?
Harry Cobden came of age last season as a jockey, with his efforts on Clan des Obeaux, Topofthegame and Cyrname all superb.
Judged on what I have seen so far this season that upward curve is going to continue.
I was in a privileged position to be at the yard of Paul Nicholls on Friday morning, and was in the truck as the champion trainer and Cobden discussed the Badger Beer Chase due to be run at Wincanton the following day.
Both believed Present Man had outstanding claims in his hat-trick bid, but equally Nicholls was keen to stress to Cobden that he could not give the stable companion an easy lead.
Cobden was quick to chip in with something along the lines of: “I’ll be on his tail don’t you worry about that.”
As a result it was fascinating for me to watch the first three fences of the big race, where Cobden gave Present Man no chance of an easy time of things.
Cobden went on to score well, and was strong in the finish. A big future awaits.
The vets in Australia were quite wrong to not let Marmelo run in the Melbourne Cup.
Basically a new scan picked up images that the locals struggled to decipher, despite the fact trainer Hughie Morrison was adamant the horse was fine. A trainer is licensed – vets should listen to them.
Added to that is one of the oldest sayings that Brough Scott often used to use when he presented on Channel 4 – it is not an exact science.
The simple truth is that scans would probably stop almost every horse from running in any race.
I am told many bleed on the gallops in the morning – but they still race.
What happens if a machine is used for regular bleeding?
There has to be common sense used – and that will come mainly from those closest to a horse who will generally care about that animal more than anyone else.
It’s the Cartier Awards Tuesday evening, and I genuinely don’t know who will be crowed Horse of the Year.
That said, it’s easy for me to say who I think it should be!
For much of the season Magical has topped the rankings, but while we love Magical there is not a person on planet earth who jumps up and down with excitement about her.
Obviously some will say Enable for her great King George win, or possible Blue Point or even maybe Battaash.
But in my view there is no doubt the youngster Pinatubo has been the horse of the year.
He’s run lots of times, is unbeaten, is rated higher than most juveniles every get rated, and he landed the Dewhurst.
He’s the Horse of the Year for me – but of course my views count for absolutely nothing!