The impressive victory of American at Uttoxeter on Saturday made the frustrations of Cheltenham a bit easier to bear.
The plan had been to take American to the Festival for the RSA provided the ground was soft enough but he is so fragile through his knees we couldn't risk him there once the going dried out.
While winning an £18,000 handicap under top weight at Uttoxeter from a mark of 148 was reasonable compensation I've no doubt he would have played a part in the RSA if conditions had been in his favour.
He jumps for fun, is unbeaten in three starts over fences, has a high cruising speed and stays well so we have plenty to look forward to next season if, as seems probable, he doesn't run again before his summer holidays.
I've always thought the Welsh Grand National could be the race for American and we might also have a look at the Hennessy Gold Cup under its new title.
I felt we were unlucky to miss out at Cheltenham with Neon Wolf only just touched off on ground that was a fair bit quicker than ideal while Unowhatimeanharry ran with great credit in finishing third in the Stayers' Hurdle.
The good news is that we have now won more prize money this season with six weeks still to go than in the entire 2015-2016 campaign.
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