This exercise began because I was puzzled by the OK Grand Challenge opening betting when Daffiq who has not raced for a year was at 7/2, and Finchatton , who won the OK Grand Challenge last year, was on 10/1.
Daffiq (Randall Simons) won the 1600m Independence Trophy on 2 May 2021, carrying 57 kgs and beating Finchatton with Diego de Gouveia up (54 kgs) by 0.10 lengths. They are due to meet again on Saturday, June 4, over 1800m – a distance Daffiq has not tried previously although the breeding is there (Silvano (GER) – Crown Office (USA) by Horse Chestnut). At this stage, I stopped worrying about Daffiq as he remains a mystery.
So, what about Finchatton who did, after all, win the 2021 OK Grand Challenge carrying 55.5kgs and beating Peggson, Holy Land (52kgs), and Fareeq. In February he won the 1600m Ipi Tombe Stakes (L) and was followed across the line by Holy Land, What A Dandy and Captain Of Tortuga – all carrying 60 kgs. Holy Land was a quarter of a length off Finchatton, What A Dandy 1.50 lengths, and Captain of Tortuga two lengths behind.
Finchatton’s last start was in the 2022 Castle Tankard (Gr1) over 2000m, which was won by True Beauty on May 7, and, in addition to Finchattton and True Beauty, nine other OK hopefuls also ran in the 2022 Tankard.
Below I have listed the relevant 2022 Tankard runners in the order in which they finished, plus the weight carried in the Tankard, lengths behind – and the weight they will carry in the OK Grand Challenge (Gr1) in brackets.
Your basic arithmetic is sure to be better than mine, but I think Finchatton has to be in with a good chance – as do some others.
TRUE BEAUTY 55.5 kgs (57.5 kgs) +2kgs
ONLY HIM 57.5 – 0.75 lens (58.5 kgs) +1kg
HOLY LAND 58.5 – 2.25 (58 kgs) – 0.5 kg
WANTAGE 56.0 – 3.00 (55.5 kgs) – 0.5 kg
CITRUSDAL 52.0 – 3.25 (52 kgs)
FINCHATTON 60.0 – 4.25 (59 kgs) – 1 kg
BUGATTI BLUE 55.5 – 4.75 (55 kgs) -0.5 kg
LILY BLUE 60.0 – 5.50 (59.5 kgs) -0.5 kg
ARMSTRONG 55.0 – 9.50 (55 kgs)
LOVE THE VIEW 52.0 – 10.25 (52 kgs)
MR GREENLIGHT 57.5 – 25.25 (57 kgs) -0.5 kg
OTHER OK GRAND CHALLENGE ACCEPTORS: What A Dandy 62 kgs; Captain Of Tortuga 59 kgs; Daffiq 57 kgs; Edward the Seventh 54.5 kgs, Seven Seas 52.5 kgs; Mind Master 52kgs; Obscure 52 kgs; Varnica 52 kgs Reserve 1; Tulip Way 52 kg Reserve 2.