Batsman back on the scoreboard!
It was great to see Opening Batsman bounce back to form with an all the way victory in the Bathwick Tyres Chase at Wincanton on Saturday.
We then came tantalisingly close to enjoying a double on the day when Fletchers Flyer was narrowly beaten by Definitely Red in the Grade 2 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Haydock after leading until the last hurdle. He was giving 3lbs to the winner and again looked every inch a chaser for the future.
I'd given up predicting what Opening Batsman might do after some below par runs. But he had been second at Wincanton last time and stepped up on that performance with a clear cut success from the front.
I decided to put the blinkers back on him on the basis that he needs all the help we can give him. And they seemed to do the trick as he dominated throughout, jumping well, before coasting clear nine lengths ahead of Harry's Farewell.
You could argue that Opening Batsman was fully entitled to win on the form of his fine success in the Racing Post Chase two years ago. But the way he had been running since you could not guarantee it.
Saturday's cosy victory certainly offered a fair bit of hope that he has turned the corner.
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