Saturday rides: conditions should help Vicenzo Mio improve
I guess it will feel very much like the calm before the storm when I travel to Sandown for my four rides on Saturday, but it's a good-quality afternoon's racing nonetheless with some excellent prize-money on offer.
The plan this season was to qualify for the Grade 3 European Breeders' Fund Matchbook Vip "National Hunt" Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final.
He graduates to handicaps on a mark of 121 and carries a nice racing weight of 10st 10lb. As always, it's a really competitive race, but he should run well.
A legend of a horse, he tackles a very competitive looking race. He has risen back up the weights after memorably landing the Veterans' final over course and distance in January, but always gives his best.
What happened at Kelso baffled me for ages. He was still travelling so strongly between the last two fences, but simply didn't get up the hill.
I am hoping the shorter trip and potentially faster pace will enable him to switch off and come home stronger than he did last time.
He didn't enjoy the very heavy ground at Hereford last time, but had jumped really well prior to falling at the second-last.
He should find underfoot conditions in the Matchbook Casino Handicap Chase much more to his liking.