AYE AYE CAPTAIN . . . . . . .

I was very pleased to see CAPTAIN CLAUDE get off the mark on his third start in the Heatforce National Hunt Flat Race for Conditional And Amateur Jockeys in deep ground at Ffos Las on Wednesday.

A brother to two winners rated 129 and 131 at their peak, he has been a bit of a slow burner this season for his owners Decimus Racing V. But we always felt he had ability and there was a degree of promise from his debut run at Uttoxeter where he was surprisingly green. Then he was still a shade backward mentally when he showed a bit more at Chepstow just over a month ago.

Ben Godfrey gave Captain Claude a positive ride at Ffos Las and the horse appeared to enjoy the ground, sitting upsides at the front. He gradually got into a nice rhythm and galloped on strongly in the closing stages to win with something to spare.

Long term I see Captain Claude as a chaser who will probably be racing at distances close to three miles in soft ground.

He jumps well at home and will now continue his education in maiden hurdles.

Earlier at Ffos Las a bad mistake six fences out cost GUSTAVIAN a winning chance in a  £17,000 novice Chase. He was travelling sweetly at the time and rallied so well late on that he was only three quarters of a length behind New Age Dawning at the line.

There will be other days for Gustavian who was decent over hurdles and relishes testing conditions.

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