Following a period of decent weather in Scotland, the ground was on the fast side, so there should be pointers here for summer jumping.
Time pressures mean I’ll have summarise a little concentrating on positives and a few negatives.
ARTLESS unshipped her rider in spectacular style at the first in Wednesday’s 2 mile Mares’ Intermediate Hurdle. She led ‘enthusiastically’ to the first, then skewed violently left, jettisoning Denis O’Regan in spectacular style. Hopefully this was an aberration as I feel she has the ability to win a race or two. A poster on the Racing Forum put forward the absurd notion that O’Regan jumped!
Doubtful whether HI DENSITY achieved much in winning. BUFFY is now 1 from 24 and better off in handicaps, but doesn’t win often enough for my liking.
GRAY MOUNTAIN won the two and a half mile maiden hurdle. He came off the flat in the U.S.A., and this is a bit different, but his jumping can be improved and there may be more to come. GENERAL LEDGER lacks a bit of pace and may be seen to better effect over three miles.
STRAVAIGIN once again proved how she is suited by good or fast ground, and proved she stays three miles in winning the novice handicap chase. She jumped well here and I still fancy she has a little more improvement in her. GARLETON battled well in second having raced prominently.
CLEMAX made all in the three mile handicap hurdle. A decent performance!
GUNS AND BUTTER was stepped up in distance but faded in the final half-mile. Could be two and half at a decent pace suits best.
MY ARCH looked to be stretched for pace when falling 4 out.
COMMERCIAL EXPRESS is struggling at the moment and never showed here. PORTAVADIE is another out of form.
ORMELLO won the two mile handicap chase, but possibly the most significant performance came from TOM’S TOYBOX who had the field on the stretch 4 out having been up with the pace all the way. He was only headed on the flat and seems a winner in waiting to me. BESTOFTHEBROWNIES looks a good measure in third.
YANKEE HOLIDAY had an off-day, whacked one early on and was never going. He’ll run better races here this summer.
The closing handicap hurdle looked an ordinary event. MR JACK DANIELLS stayed on to beat STYLISH SHOT and TRANOS, but I can’t really see these winning races other than ‘in their turn’.
Thrusday’s afternoon card commenced with a moderate looking three mile Intermediate Hurdle. CARRICK DHU stayed on to win it, but I would imagine he might be difficult to place to win now.
The second race was a decent looking Novices’ Hunter Chase over two and a half miles for 5 to 7 year olds. A couple of non-runners took the edge off a little, but there were encouraging performances from the winner ALWAYS RIGHT and the second CHARMING KNIGHT. Both raced at the head of or close to the pace. Mr Dawson on Always Right looked rather untidy on the run-in, but his mount came clear in decent style.
A lot of ordinary types in the Maiden Chase. MEDIA MAN made the running and came away on the flat. You can’t fault the effort, but he’ll find things tougher in future. MILL ROW couldn’t match the winner on the flat. Past that ATHOLLBROSE ran passably in third, but no immediate promise of chasing success from the rest.
STORM PROSPECT and ROSIE’S GLORY looked most favoured in the claiming hurdle, and so it proved. Handicaps may be a different matter.
RUSSIAN SKY is in decent form at the moment and will presumably be kept on the go. Possibly better suited by the three miles than the extreme trip when fourth in the Highland National, he stayed on well to win. PADDY THE PIPER ran an encouraging race in second. CATCH THE PERK generally runs his race, raced up with the pace and is a good marker in third.
PROFESSOR HEGARTY had been out the back but was making progress when falling three out. Worth an interest in similar company.
SNOWY was favourite here, but he’s unreliable and was never going.
Most significant run in the two and a half mile handicap hurdle might be from ENGLISH CITY who ran fourth returning from a lay-off. Hopefully he may drop a pound or two for this run which would help.
The runners in the bumper finished pretty close together, and I suspect it might be heavier on numbers than on runners with ability. SCHOFIELD might progress but I’d oppose him under a penalty.