Good Bye 2012 Flat Season Review Hello Jump Preview

It is with red eyes and sore throats we wave goodbye to the flat and we can safely say: it was better than any one could have hoped. With Australian fillies, a triple crown hopeful and a monster. It certainly exceeded all expectations.
We must take a moment to congratulate the team at Henry Cecil’s with the phenomenal way they have dealt with the superstar. Being at Goodwood for perhaps his easiest victory, however it was not winning the race that made it so special it was events after I began to see why this horse had captured the imaginations and hearts of a nation. He was paraded in front of the stands and around the paddock for every Tom, Dick and Harry, and in a sense every person took a little bit of Frankel home that day. For a horse of such apparent unearthly qualities he truly is the nation’s favourite.
So what now?? Can the jumps season possibly come close to that? At the moment it feels rather like Coldplay’s support act is about to take the stage.
But, there are whispers of excitement about one horse in particular as the new season- proper approaches, one horse which last season just left everyone begging for more: Sprinter Sacre. Can he become the new Frankel and reconnect a nation with the jumps after the National saga of last year?
Having recently watched the re-run of the last years Arkle… WOW. If you are feeling a little sad to see the flat saunter off into the distance for the year, ONE piece of advice watch the Arkle. It will well and truly re-affirm your faith that there might just be something very special in store.
It would be cruel and very untrue to pretend that it will only be about one horse with others like: Fingal Bay, Long Run, Sanctuaire, Weird Al, Simonsig, Sir de Champs, Sizing Europe the list can go on and on and the the horse I am itching to see get back on the track is Rock on Ruby. Now with rookie trainer Harry Fry although it was no secret that he played a major role in the training of this horse last season, it will be interesting to see how he fairs after the “shock” victory in the Champion Hurdle last year.
To add another dimension to what could be an epic season, this year we may even see a change at the top of the trainers tree, with Henderson looking very dangerous to take the title he came so close to usurping last year…
In boxing throwing punches regularly can grind an opponent down and seal victory, but so often it is the one huge blow that you don’t see coming that wins the fight.
One thing we learnt last season: Nicholls is never beaten until that final bell. Henderson was placing hard punches, 7 winners at the Cheltenham festival and 6 at Aintree. Going into the last round at Liverpool it seemed that Henderson had dealt the final punch. Although in this match-up no one saw the last one coming. As a racing world eagerly watched the big screen at Liverpool to see confirmation the grey Neptune Collonges had become the first Paul Nicholls trained horse to win the national it was that final blow in what had become a thrilling trainers title. That was it, the punch that I suspect neither Henderson nor anyone saw coming.
The general consensus on the trainer’s title this year is that it is Nicky Henderson’s to lose. Looking at the horses he so much strength in depth and at present appears to hold all the trump cards. But in the unpredictability of the sport anything can happen…so do not despair and bring on the Support Act, it’s going to be a corker, enjoy!