Whiskey Chaser kicked off his season on the 4th of December with a run in the Karen Stapleton Memorial Handicap Chase, a race over 2m 5f in heavy going at Sedgefield.
Unfortunately Frodo’s race was just a few days before a trip I’d previously arranged to watch Manchester United take on Wolfsburg in the Champions League. I opted to travel to Germany in the hope of seeing Louis Van Gaal’s men qualify for the knock out stages of the competition (stop laughing!).
Once again I’d be watching the race unfold from the comfort of the sofa, and looking at the weather reports coming in from the North East of England I was secretly glad I couldn’t go! Due to a lack of racing elsewhere the meeting at Sedgefield had prime coverage on Racing UK and viewers got a detailed run down on the contest by the commentary team – including a video flash back to Frodo unseating James Cowley at Leicester! Why couldn’t they show Whiskey winning at Carlisle?
After my recent visit to the stables at Bankhouse I was impressed by the condition of Frodo. I don’t think I’d ever seen him looking better at this point in the season. So I was optimistic for this race but not carried away, similar to my feelings about United’s chances in Germany. The betting exchanges also showed support and you could back Whiskey Chaser at 3/1 just before the off.
As in previous races, Frodo took up and early position at the front. Jumping was solid and he looked to have settled fairly well. However, at the two mile mark he began to tail off. He finished out the race but was a long way of the eventual winner Verko. Whiskey Chaser finish 4th but remember this was only a four horse race!
It goes without saying that the result was disappointing, but the fact remains that Frodo has rarely excelled in these early season encounters, as United manager Louis Van Gaal is fond of saying… “It’s a process” and despite being knocked out of the Champions league by Wolfsburg, you do get the feel that Manchester United and for that matter Whiskey Chaser aren’t too far from finding the winning formula. We need to be patience and stay true to the managers philosophy – It’s a process!