Wayne Hutchinson: Festival for Godsmejudge?
Top National Hunt jockey Wayne Hutchinson reflects upon his near-miss with Godsmejudge in the big race at Warwick.
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I was very pleased with Franklino's run at Warwick last Saturday and it was nice to get him going again.
He travelled well and jumped super, then took a blow turning into the home straight and galloped on right to the line.
He will improve for the run as he has had a long time off but as I said it was very pleasing and he can build on that first effort as he retains his ability.
It did not really happen for West End Rocker back over hurdles in the Pertemps Qualifier as we were hoping to rebuild his confidence.
It was a competitive race, they went pretty quick and he was flat out all the way and I am sure the run will not have done him any harm but I don't know where they will go with him from here.
He is difficult horse to place and one option is veteran chases, but I am worried that we may have seen the best of him. I think what happened at Aintree last year has left a mark unfortunately but if he can get over that, then he could well win a veterans' event.
Godsmejudge ran his heart out when second in the Classic Chase at Warwick and he gave me a fantastic ride. It was only his fourth run over fences and it was it superb for him to jump as well as he did for a novice.
I was gutted he got beaten in the manner that he did but it was one of those things and he gave the winner Rigadin de Beauchene 6lb so overall we were thrilled with him.
He is a tough little horse and something like the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival could be the race for him.
Reddy Tobouggie was fourth on debut in the closing bumper and he also put up a pleasing effort for Alan King. He was well behaved and showed a good attitude so will improve for the experience - there was a lot to like about the run.
I was on board Dalavar in the novice hurdle at Newbury in midweek and he is progressing with racing as he has started to settle a lot better as he learns his job.
He finished closer this time to Alan's other horse Uxizandre - he stays well and he will probably be one for novice handicap hurdles.
Iona Days ran well for a long way in the handicap chase and he was out quite quickly after running over the Christmas period. He might have been a tiny bit flat, the ground was a little bit too tacky for him and he is probably on a high enough handicap mark.
But he ran his race and could pop up in due course as he is a big strapping horse who might be better carrying more weight in a lesser race.
I have a quick update on one of the stable favourites, Bensalem, who did have an entry this weekend after a long spell on the sidelines and has been entered in the World Hurdle. He was in at Haydock and I think connections were keen to get him started again.
I schooled upsides him on Monday and he is in great nick, while I rode him in a piece of work myself last week. It is great to have him nearly back to making a return.