After being spoilt with the racing over Christmas, the January blues hit hard last weekend watching the race meetings drop like flies. We were saved by Cork and Wincanton on Saturday at least, even if there may not be any obvious Cheltenham Festival pointers to review.

The closest we got to that was in the extended two-mile-five-furlong novice hurdle at Wincanton. The time itself may not have blown us away, but it was the way the Joe Tizzard-trained six-year-old went through the race that impressed me. He travelled powerfully throughout and quickened very impressively off a slow run race to clock a Finishing Speed Percentage of 114.16%, the fastest of the day. Quite impressive in the testing conditions.

A horse that made good use of demonstrating our lengths gained jumping metric was Georges Saint in a two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase on the same card.

He went off favourite, having bolted up around Fakenham the time before. That day he had gained 13 lengths through his jumping throughout the race however he really struggled going back right handed on Saturday.

He ended up finishing third, beaten 1.75 lengths, but he gave 7.9 lengths away through his jumping throughout the race.

This showed visibly through his careful jumping and tendency to jump left (sometimes quite violently). He is one to watch next time back on a left handed track.

Slick jumping

On the other hand, Jet Setting Johnny proved himself to be just that in a two-and-a-half-mile beginners chase at Cork, and made his life a lot easier through his slick jumping.

He powered home by half a length, and crucially gained six lengths through his jumping throughout the race.

Combined with covering the last half a mile 0.59 seconds quicker than the runner up, Thedancingfarrier didn’t stand a chance to keep his head in front.

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