Wednesday, 15 October 2008

All Steeplechase Card at Carlisle

CARLISLE – Friday 10th October
Going – Good To Soft (Soft in places)

The flat/Hurdle course needed time to recover from a rather damp Flat season, so Carlisle served up an all-chase card. Due to on-going drainage work the second fence down the back was omitted in all races.

The races turned into a slog in the rain-softened ground, the ground easing steadily throughout the afternoon. It might be worth noting some of those which raced prominently then fell away, particularly under less testing conditions.

2.00 2m 0-100 Handicap Chase

MALKO DE BEAUMONT has shown form over three miles, and didn’t get into the picture until the straight. Staying on into contention three out he kept up the gallop to the finish. A move back to a longer trip will help him.
TOULOUSE EXPRESS, possibly suited by the conditions, performed much better than of late. He raced prominently, led at the eighth and led on the lfat. When passed he had nothing extra to fight back.
ROYAL GLEN stayed on late for third, but was never in with a chance of winning. He’s had four wins at the minimum trip round Hexham and might be owrth a glance if returning there in the near future.
I’M YOUR MAN led 4 out, but was very tired at the last and folded on the run-in. He found things tough close home here and will do better on an easier track.
BOG OAK was never in the argument and fifth was as close a position as he reached.
EBORARRY led early, but never got a clear lead and once passed found it all a bit too tough.
HUGS DESTINY and IT’S BERTIE were others to show up well early but folded in the latter stages.
HOLLOWS MILL, NATIVE COLL and TIN HEALY’S PASS made no show. CUCCINELLO lost touch from halfway and pulled up.

2.30 2m 4f Beginners’ Chase

This race was run at a decent pace, so it was a creditable performance from the winner KILLYGLEN who raced prominently the whole way. He led 3 out, but still seemed destined to be swallowed up. However, having he saw off the opposition determinedly and the evidence suggests he can pick up a novices’ chase under a penalty.
TOT O’WHISKEY had some sound hurdle form, and turned in a decent show on his first chasing effort. He stayed on well in the latter stages but couldn’t quite get to the winner. A good start and he seems a ready-made chase winner.
HIGH BIRD HUMPHREY was rated lower than the other principals over hurdles. He made progress to challenge two out but could find no extra on the flat. A very good effort and is another who should find a race.
GOLDEN CHILD ran a decent race in handicap company on his chasing debut, and confirmed the promise with a sound effort dropping back in distance here. He lacked a bit of pace close home, but a return to three miles will help.
CHECKERBOARD led but made some sloppy jumps at times and possibly paid the penalty for that, fading over the last two fences. He will come on for the run, but needs to sharpen his jumping a bit.
YOUNG ALBERT never got into the race.
WILL BE DONE raced prominently for a long way but weakened to finish out the back. He came a cropper twice in four runs in Ireland, but his jumping was better here and the McCain stable should be able to produce better in time.
POKER DE SIVOLA never looked happy in the rear. QUW’S LAW went well to 4 out and then folded, but he did sling in a couple of below par runs over hurdles before bouncing back. (QUW’S LAW was subsequently reported as having a breathing problem.)
LUCIUS RUFO dropped back swiftly after being prominent early.
JASS never got competitive and eventually unseated 3 out when well behind.

3.05 2m 5f 0-95 Handicap Chase

A moderate event with the first two stepping up significantly on recent efforts.

It’s likely that SEEK THE TRUTH was suited by the stiff test here. He’d shown only moderate form on easier tracks but was prominent most of the way here, staying on to see off his nearest challenger. This wasn’t a great race, but given similar conditions he’ll stay competitive.
MR TWINS had been out of sorts for some time. In fact it’s the best of a year and 12 runs since his last placed effort. It may be that the stiff test here suited, but he’s not one I’d trust to repeat the form next time.
MISTRAL DE LA COUR chased the leaders but was well held in the latter stages.
RECKLESS VENTURE is suited by this sort of test, but couldn’t get to the leaders from 5 out. He’s a bit short of the mark so far this autumn.
ARCTIC COVE plugged on to pass a few late, but was never in the race.
NICKY TAM came there very comfortably 4 out, but fell in a heap from 2 out. He still has something to prove, although he might progress given time.
FRED BOJANGALS, reported as unsuited by the ground, and NEIDPATH CASTLE never showed and finished well back.
LUCE BAY was well beaten on all previous efforts and folded from the seventh, soon pulling up and offering little encouragement.
RING OF BEARA was soon in the rear and receiving reminders. He was pulled up before the tenth. He had some decent form in Ireland in testing conditions, so might be worth keeping an eye for signs of a revival. He was subsequently reported as having been struck into, so it seems the run can be ignored.
SHULMIN fell at the third.

3.30 2m 0-125 Handicap Chase

A competitive handicap chase.

The most significant piece for form here may belong to the eventual last, STONERIGGS MERC. He’s ideally suited by further over a less tough track, so to be up the front for a long way in a competitive event was to his credit. Having led or disputed from the start he weakened quickly from 3 out. He will find much easier opportunities than this in conditions which will be more suitable.
GLINGERBANK was kept in touch, moved up steadily to challenge at the last and held on well on the flat. His record suggests he doesn’t stand too quick races, so it could be there will be a break before his next appearance.
SOME TOUCH made a very pleasing comeback here, leading or disputing with Stoneriggs Merc before taking over from 4 out. When headed by Glingerbank he battled back well and should find a race soon.
SEEYAAJ stayed on from the rear to take third, followed by FIRST LOOK who also ran on from well back.
MISS PROSS had every chance 3 out but couldn’t raise here game from there. This is probably about as good as she is, and she looks held on her mark of 114.
CANTGETON was generally placed in midfield and couldn’t raise the pace to challenge the leaders.
HUSH TIGER made no show and needs a drop in the weights to figure.
KIT CARSON hit the sixth hard and unseated.
TRIBAL DISPUTE ran no sort of race and pulled up. His visits to the curse have been intermittent and it’s 3 years since he showed any decent form.
YANKEE HOLIDAY pulled to the front group early on but was soon struggling. He had a tough task at the weights and wouldn’t have relished the conditions. I’d forgive him this run. He needs a less stiff track and a drop in class to figure significantly.

4.05 2m Novices’ Chase

The start here was a complete shambles and it should have been declared a false start. Tell Henry whipped round and got in most competitors’ way, but this was all that was reported at the subsequent enquiry and no action was taken. The question I would have asked of the starter was “Why didn’t you call a false start?” Maybe that’s just too obvious!

The result of the trouble was that ASTARADOR got a start on the others and was settled in the lead jumping well. The field closed by 4 out, but the leader had plenty in the tank to see them off. It wasn’t a bad performance though, and given that he was a decent handicap hurdler last season he’s probably capable of moving up from this.
THE DUKE’S SPEECH came from another parish to finish second. He’s dotted back and forth between chases and hurdles, but hasn’t yet been seriously competitive in a chase.
CAVERS GLEN stayed on for third from well back, but is now 0 from 19. Off a mark of 95 he had no chance here anyway, and his best opportunities would seem to be in novice handicaps.
MASTER NIMBUS took on the leader from 4 out but simply wasn’t good enough. He paid the price for his efforts fading into fourth, but could be considered a ‘moral second’ for his efforts. He has shown enough in two chases to suggest there is a minor novice event to be won with him.
ALL FOR THE CAUSE chased the leader but could not go the pace from 4 out. He was behind Master Nimbus last time and the form here is probably worth about the same.
TELL HENRY lost his chance at the start and did passably well to finish 21 lengths adrift. On the face of it, assuming he is more co-operative in the future, this was a reasonable return to the track and better should follow.
EARL SIGURD, rated only 78, kept up valiantly to 4 out before the effort told. Minor handicaps are his best chance.
ART HISTORIAN made no show and his recent efforts over jumps and on the flat offer little encouragement.
HIGH STAND LAD was behind until falling 3 out.

4.40 3m ½f 0-115 Handicap Chase

SEE YOU THERE bounced back from a succession of ordinary runs. He’s a dour stayer who is best over a stiff track with cut in the ground and was recording a fourth course win. His other win was at Hexham. Having been waited with he stayed on up the final hill, and battled gamely when challenged on the flat. He stays further than this, and will be competitive in staying chases in Scotland and the North for the next few months.
SUPER ROAD TRAIN was outpointed on the flat but lost little in defeat. He doesn’t run many bad races and will always have a say in these conditions. He’s another who stays further.
BUSHIDO raced prominently and plugged on into third. This was by far his best run since missing the half of 2006 and all of 2007. He has won staying chases and is no lost cause off his current mark. He may be slightly better on an easier track.
CADOUDALAS looked dangerous four out, but was fell away from two out. This was a fair effort on his chasing debut and the chances are there’s better to come. He was effective at 2m 4f to 2m 6f over hurdles, so a drop in trip may help.
JONNY’S KICK and BLACKERGREEN were never seriously involved in the race.
EMERALD DESTINY and SEA CADET were in otuch to halfway but dropped back and pulled up.
FREDDIE THE THIRD set the pace, but put in a succession of poor jumps which eventually took their toll. He weakened quickly from 4 out and soon pulled up very tired. His previous races had all been around the minimum distance, so a drop back may help, but he needs to get his jumping together.

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