This weekend saw some excellent racing that gave us a guide for the big jumps festival of the year of who will be going where and what odds certain horses might be.
However, there was also another side to jumps racing that has been seen more and more frequently this season, creeping into the sport and if it continues will start putting punters off going to race meetings.
For the second time this season, a race has been given as a walk over to the only horse left in the race, they get the full winning prize money but also for winning the Handicap get a penalty for there supposed run.
This is frustrating as if only glancing at the form of the horse who gets given the win you may be swayed to back it because it won last time out and technically it did but did not run a full race and it was against no one else.
At Leicester on Sunday there was a declared 20 runners for the Class 3 Fernie Novices Hurdle in the week but when it came to the actual race all other horses had been withdrawn due to the firmness of the ground. This handed Bailarico the easiest victory of his career.
This was also the same for Gavin Sheehan or won't ever pick up an easier winner in a race. The big problem at the moment in jumps racing is the lack of rain the racecourses have had means that at some places the surface is very firm and a lot of the big guns need soft ground.
A lot of seasonal reappearances are still yet to happen for a lot of big horses aiming for Grade 1s at the Cheltenham Festival but with this on going problem and only mother nature able to solve it, its difficult.