PERTH – Thursday September 25
Going – Good to Soft (good in places)
Perth’s season drew to a close for 2008 and was blessed with a pleasant sunny autumn afternoon and a healthy crowd.
2.20 2m 0.5f Novices’ Hurdle
A race run at a fair pace.
NOBLE ALAN had some creditable form from bumpers and a hurdle win in the book, though on the face of it had to find some improvement to win this. That he did to win with a bit in hand with another previous winner in second. Making progress before 3 out, he led between the last two and ran on. A sound performance and there’s probably more to come.
MHILU, who won a weakly contested event here earlier in the year, made a forward move 3 out and, though held by the winner, stayed on well. His previous win was over half a mile further, and this run suggests the extra distance will help. Should win again if stepped back up in trip.
CHORD pressed the pacemaker for much of the way, and then took over at the second last. He found his efforts had taken their toll and could only offer one pace when headed. This was a decent effort and he’s another capable of a novice win.
Bumper winner FRONTIER DANCER set the race up for the first two, setting a decent pace but paying the price in the straight. There’s a bit to work on with this one, and he didn’t help himself by aiming toward the course exit on the stands’ bend. He’ll more than likely improve and find a race.
SEA STORM has solid placed novice form to his name, though a late starter in the jumping game. There’s enough ability evident that a small novice event should come his way this season, probably over a longer distance since all his best work was done up the straight.
SAFARI JOURNEY made eye-catching progress to two out, but then nearly came down and his chance was gone. This was satisfactory enough and he’s worth keeping an eye on.
2.50 2m 4.5f Novices’ Chase
Favourite and chasing debutant CRESCENT ISLAND had settled well early on, but then headed for the exit gate on the stands’ bend. There was no chance of a recovery so his jockey called it a day. He did exactly the same in an Ascot bumper some time back. It’s noticeable that he was kept to left-handed tracks after that which may be the key.
MISTER GLOSS pulled hard early, and had a tendency to jump left which became more exaggerated close home. However, he cruised away from his main rival in the straight. He seems quite versatile since he won over 3 miles at Exeter yet could still win over 4 furlongs shorter round this sharper track. Plenty of scope for placement it seems and worth noting.
FRANC VILLEZ went well enough for two miles, but paid for trying to keep tabs with Mister Gloss. He fell in a heap facing up to home and was pipped for second. He’s not always going to find one as useful as the winner. He’s a summer horse and will presumably be put away before contesting handicaps next year.
OMIX D’OR was settled off the pace in third, and kept on in the straight to snatch second. This promised enough that he’s worth considering against lesser opposition.
SEEK THE TRUTH was way out the back, but stayed on well enough over the final two and wasn’t far behind the second and third at the finish. Much better than his previous effort over fences at Sedgefield and offers some promise for the future. He’s possibly not betting material in the immediate future, but progress will be worth noting.
KING’S ENVOY is rated 65 and was remote from early on. There has been no suggestion that he’s good enough to win a race.
3.20 3m 0.5f Novices’ Hurdle
There were a few previous winners in the field, so the likelihood is that the form is worth a bit.
VALERIUS had something to find on one or two here, but won this very comfortably, going clear from 2 out.
OSHKOSH is related to decent chasers, so a move to fences might improve matters, and he lost nothing in defeat here, leading to 2 out and keeping on once headed. Looks a potential winner of a similar event and then I’d expect a move to chasing.
FAIROAK LAD weakened from 2 out and should have been closer judged by previous form, and may have needed the race after a break.
SEEKING STRAIGHT is steadily getting the hang of things over hurdles. He had no chance on the ratings so probably ran up to his form or even slightly above it. His best chance in the near future will come in staying novice handicaps.
ANDREW NICK was near the pace for a long way but dropped away from 3 out. He’s a recent chase winner and may well have more success in that sphere.
MANADAM dropped out from 3 out. He won over half a mile shorter last time so possibly didn’t stay here.
3.50 2m 0-125 Handicap Chase (water jump omitted)
ASUDO was coming off a new two year absence from the track and making his chasing debut here. He seemed well ‘set up’ for this outing, moving up steadily from the sixth, hitting the front two out and, despite giving that obstacle a clout, ran on to win with a bit in hand. Much depends on how the handicapper reacts, but he entered this on 113, so there should be another opportunity in a similar class. He’s a three mile winner over hurdles so there’s a chance he might improve if moved up in trip. The time was decent here, so the form should hold up.
KIT CARSON didn’t show until late, but stayed on nicely for second. He’s yet to win in 8 outings in the UK, but his previous run at Market Rasen hinted that he was coming to hand, and there should be a small race to be found for him.
CONNEMARA ROSE set a decent pace, was pushed on from 2 out but weakened once headed.
TOP DRESSING was taken down to start very early. Held up in the rear he made progress at halfway but didn’t get to the leaders. This was his seasonal debut so there’s a fair chance there’s better to come.
SEEYAAJ is normally a good marker but found this a bit tough, struggling from 4 out.
YANKEE HOLIDAY is a headstrong character who needs careful handling. Possibly found the class a bit tough, he was 5lbs out of the handicap, but he did put in some work to pick off a few toward the end and will be more competitive back in a lower class.
CANTGETON made some progress down the back straight, but then whacked the fourth last and his chance was gone.
POLAR GUNNER has struggled since coming back from having 2007 off and was never in with a chance.
OR DE GRUGY was disappointing out the back, but his best form recently has been with a stiffer test of stamina, either a longer distance, soft ground or both, so I’d bear that in mind this autumn.
4.20 2m 0.5f 0-120 Handicap Hurdle
BAGUENAUD was well backed in a couple of bumpers here last year, but then disappeared into the pack in a few hurdle outings. However, his last run suggested a win was imminent and he won well here, leading the main pack for much of the way and going on from after the second last.
REGENT’S SECRET has mixed hurdling with flat outings this year. He won a couple of novice events over this C/D earlier, and this performance, staying on well suggests he will have decent opportunities in handicaps.
DARK ENERGY progress from the rear to two out, but couldn’t get to leader from then on. He stays well on the flat, but has been campaigned around the minimum distance over hurdles.
BORDER TALE led for a while then got outpaced but plugged on at the finish. He runs some decent races, but his wins tend to few and far between these days. I’d tend to oppose him at them moment.
SCULASTIC made progress from the rear until 2 out then couldn’t up the pace again. His previous form pattern suggests this run may have helped and the chances are he’s competitive off this mark 10lbs higher than his winning mark.
WHITE LIGHTENING set a decent pace but then weakened quickly from two out. In a lower class he might be a bit too quick for the opposition on a sharp track.
CALCULAITE made good progress to two out but then almost came down and his chance was forfeited.
HO PANG YAU runs regularly but doesn’t win very often. STORM PROSPECT seems likely to struggle off this mark, but may be seen to better effect if entered in a claiming hurdle somewhere.
4.50 2m 4.5f 0-110 Novices’ Handicap Hurdle
The pace set by Waterski didn’t seem that quick but many in this contest didn’t get competitive.
FLEMISH INVADER was a bumper winner, but stepped up on hurdles form to take this, battling hard to hold on close home. Connections reported that he had benefited from a summer’s growth.
LAURELDEAN MELODY challenged before two out and made the winner pull out the stops. She’s consistent sort who’s got winning form over 2m 2f, but should stay further than this trip.
SHANKLY BOND stayed on take third. He has bits and pieces of hurdles form.
MISTER IN BETWEEN was close the pace early but offered no more after 2 out. Tried in a tongue-tie here and upped in trip, there is at least some promise for the future.
ORMELLO is on a lower mark over hurdles than fences, but couldn’t muster enough pace at the business end.
The remainder didn’t figure seriously.
5.20 2m NH Flat
As with many of these events only a few were competitive.
STRONG REBEL was a point-to-point winner on his only race in Ireland. He had to work hard to hold off the runner-up’s renewed challenge close home. However, he did what he had to do and, with staying blood on the dam’s side will presumably be moved up in trip when going over hurdles.
MOSCOW CATCH looked to be finding it tough entering the straight, but responded well to his jockey’s urgings and came very close. Looks a nailed-on winner of a similar event.
TCHANG GOON, another winning pointer in Ireland, just lacked enough pace in the final furlong. This was a decent enough debut.
FLAYGRAY kept on in the final two furlongs. He couldn’t get on terms with the first three but was well clear of the remainder. This was a decent start and this one is worth noting.
SPELLCHECKER showed a degree of promise on debut in January, but has progressed from there. This one will presumably be sent over hurdles, but I’d want to see a run or two first.
TANGO SALLY was well backed but didn’t deliver, fading out of contention for 4 furlongs out.