Whilst its true to say our young 10lbs claiming Robert Hogg worked his socks off, the indolent Fill the Power, as usual, did things his own way once again.
If I went to the trouble of creating a list of Racecourses, factors and conditions required to ensure we got the best out of the old monkey, then Market Rasen wouldn`t have been on my “tick” list.
A fast flattish track, which on Boxing Day seemed to be riding on the good side, saw the final stages of our chosen 3ml 3f hcp Chase being fought out at speed...yes even after 3ml 3f, with the winner Gonalston Cloud staying on best of all to win in an unusually tight finish for a race of such extreme distance, with less than 7 lengths covering the first 5 home.
Except Gonalston Cloud wasn`t staying on best of all...no way.
Even though we were out of the prize money, the horse that undoubtedly was staying on best of all was, guess who ? that`s right, Fill the Power, who when I lost interest about half a mile from the finish to seek solace from the drinks cabinet, was tailed off, plum last, and miles behind the rest.
Yet shortly afterwards, relaxed again, and minus my Mr Grumpy face, I decided to watch, and review the replay of the race.
Incredibly, FTP and jockey Robert Hogg had actually made up a tremendous amount of ground in the straight, and stayed on to finish less than 3 lengths behind the leading pack of 5.
But, irrespective of what I could see of on the split screen…. finishing 7th of 10 does not give my syndicate members cause for celebration.
The lesson to be learned, which we should know by now, is that tracks like Market Rasen do not suit Fill the Power.
The cynical amongst us might say that even if there was such a thing as a 6 ml Chase, at any Racecourse, FTP would again be the one staying on best of all to finish, yet again, unplaced.
Frustrating though he is, it has to be pointed out that the horse doesn`t choose if, where, or when he should run, thats decided for him.
So one of my New Years resolutions will be to search the Fixture List for long distance Chases at tracks, like Carlisle and Hexham, where he has won in the past….i.e stiff tracks where, given favourable ground conditions, only true stayers such as FTP are seen to excel.
Although in a few days time our fella will be racing as an 11yo, he would still be categorised as relatively lightly raced.
So, as he retains plenty of ability and still seems to enjoy his racing days out, with all the right ticks in the right boxes in evidence in future races, lets hope either Messrs Cook, Quinlan, or even Hogg, between them can cajole Fill the Power, and his loyal owners…who would need no cajoling whatsoever… into the winners enclosure before too long.
In the meantime, to my loyal Syndicate members, may I wish you all a happy and successful New Years racing, and to my loyal website follower, please keep logging on !!
Here endeth the lesson.