You’ll have guessed from the silence my side that I have little confidence betting anything at Aintree or Punchestown in the spring. Most of the fancied horses have been to Cheltenham for the festival, a meeting many have been trained for all season. These then will be secondary targets at best, where a horse’s wellbeing must be taken even more on trust than is normal.
One we know for sure is better than he showed at Cheltenham is Goshen, a juvenile star who promised so much. Whether his misfortune in the Triumph hurdle put him off Cheltenham forever, who knows? His last two runs there have shown a horse who seems determined not to be faced with coming down that hill then up into the straight. Judging those performances against his other form, especially his Wincanton stroll in February, you’d think he was a different animal altogether.
The form book suggests the ground cannot be soft enough for him. The forecast is yielding and I can only hope he strides out on it all right. His possible ace in the hole here is that he is unbeaten going right handed over hurdles: 3 from 3. I would not have a big bet on him, but he is well worth a fiver each way at the general 12/1 on offer.