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Great Heart'Jac has started to build himself a reputation of not going through with winning when asked to. He did it on the bumper run before his most latest start, where he travelled nicely but when Paddy Brennan asked the question he threw the towel in, and the same happened again today. Frustrating, especially when he was backed in to 8/13F.
A horse who was starting to look progressive at the start of this year was EDE'IFFS ELTON. He managed to win back to back chase races, both at Wincanton, and doing it comfortably on both occasions. We've not seen him since January, but I don't think that is necessarily seen to be as a negative after the comments his trainer, Robert Walford, made after his most recent win.
After his last win, Robert Walford said: ” He is a lovely horse and we've always thought a lot of him – finally he's showing what he's capable of. We've had him entered everywhere and it's always been off, so I'm very pleased. He might get one more run this season but he's a big baby and he's had a hard race here. Maybe next season we'll look at proper staying trips, I could see us running him in a Devon National for something like that”.
Despite the fact this horse is now a 7yo, he is still has a lot of maturing to do, and I think the Walford stable have tried to do that over the course of the year, and the time away from the track would have been a learning session for him. I like the fact they didn't run him again, even though he was clearly in good form. You see on many occasions when a horse is hot, they just keep riding the wave and they might land a few more wins in a short amount of time, but it might take it out of the horse in the long-run, so the fact that connections have let him rest up is a positive sign. Also, Robert Walford mentioned the Devon National to be a target for this horse, and that's why I think this race is a perfect starting point for him. It will give him experience around the track, and this is a much tougher race than what he has previously been in before, so connections will know whether he is up to the standards of a Devon National, so this can be seen as an acid test.