Wednesday, 8 October 2008

KELSO's seasonal opener

KELSO – Sunday October 5th
Going – Good (Good To Soft in places)

Kelso opened it’s season with an average card.

2.20 2m ½ f 100-125 Hcap Hurdle

On the face of it quite a competitive heat, but in the end the field were well strung out and a few disappointed.

BORDER TALE is a difficult performer to tie down. He had run a moody race at Perth and his recent form was generally below his best. It is perhaps siginiicant though that James Moffatt’s stable was reportedly under the weather, and this could be a sign that the string are getting over their problems. Border Tale was able to lead the field here and showed enough in the straight to see of his rivals comfortably. Problem now is that he will be hiked up a fair way for the win and it’s likely he’ll struggle off a higher mark.
DAY TO REMEMBER stayed on to take second. That’s three races running he’s recorded more or less the same value of form. Consistent but not got his head in front in 9 runs since his hurdling debut .
REGENT’S SECRET stayed on from the back as he is wont to do. A fair third, but not one I’d be lumping on in handicaps at the moment. Just behind FRONT RANK ran a fair race in fourth, without threatening over the last two.
QUICUYO made an encouraging seasonal debut, being in the firing line to two out then fading. I’d expect him to step up on this form next time.
HISTOIRE DE MOUERS ran well to 2 out but then faded and it may be that se’s now held by the handicapper.

2.50 2m 6 ½ f 88-112 Handicap Chase

MORE LIKELY won a novices’ chase nicely here early last year, but her form has been patchy since. She probably needs things to go her own way, and on this occasion she was able to dominate in the latter stages, though the departure of two significant rivals may well have helped. A significant rise in the weights beckons after a 17 length victory and it will be much harder from now on.
ANDY ANSHAN won a minor hunter chase at Newcastle in the spring and seems to be steadily progressing. Couldn’t go with the winner from two out, but this was only his sixth race under NH Rules and he’s going the right way.
GETINBYbUTONLYJUST looks handicapped to the mark at the moment. He may well appreciate a stiffer test then this.
EVEN FLO’s form is up and down, and she’s 13lbs above her only winning mark.
DOC ROW was well held over the last ¾ mile and is not threatening a win over fences yet.
ROYAL MACKINTOSH may well have needed the run. He went well to three out, but a mistake finished his chances. Worth keeping an eye on now his seasonal debut is out of the way. Stable mate CUPID’S MISSION was well outclassed in this company.
POLAR GALE departed at the second fence.
STRAVAIGIN was still close up when falling 4 out. She’s consistent when the ground is good or better, but does chuck in a mistake or two, and is probably handicapped to her form.
Having been outpaced a bit, NGONG HILLS was getting back into the argument when brought down by Stravaigin. He has shown some promise in six outings and there is hope of a win sometime.

3.25 2m 6 ½ f Intermediate Hurdle

GRAY MOUNTAIN produced a couple of promising performances in minor events at Perth earlier in the year. He stepped up significantly on that form here, going clear nicely on the run-in. A flat career in America is not often a pre-cursor to a hurdles career, but Lucinda Russell has a very interesting prospect on her hands for better class novice events this season.
PAGAN STARPRINCESS has had a habit of finding one too good, but lost nothing in defeat here running up to previous form.
NO PANIC ran a promising race in a handicap at Galway last time, but had no answer to the winner here.
KING BARRY ran a respectable race in fourth if lacking the pace of the front three on the flat. The race won’t have done him any harm and I assume he’d go back over fences next time.
The rest of the field were well held.

4.00 2m ½ f 3yo Novices’ Hurdle

Chances are this was a pretty moderate field with a few remote by the finish.
SILK DRUM beat off the opposition with the minimum of fuss. He might just be under priced against stiffer opponents.
RIVINGTON PIKE set the standard for the form in the book and was well held. He’s lacked any ‘oomph’ at the business end so far over hurdles and it might need a drop to a claimer or seller before he can record a win.
STOP ON Ran a respectable race in third, but didn’t inspire on the flat and I’d need to see more.
The rest were basically ‘out with washing’. Silk Drum’s more favoured stable mate RIO NOVO, an 80,000gns purchase, dropped away swiftly from halfway and presumably had a problem.

4.30 2m 1f 73-99 Novices’ Handicap Chase

This looked a poor event before the start and seemed to fall into the lap of the winner.
RED MAN RAY was given a soft lead, and nothing to him. His jumping was less than perfect and I’m pretty sure he would struggle if pressured.
HO PANG YAU’s presence in second place says much about the quality here since he’s proven as moderate.
DUKE OF MALFI showed a little promise and as a 5 year old has time to develop. At the moment he’d need a very soft race to score, but perhaps worth keeping an eye on.
ATHOLLBROSE kept tabs with the winner for a way, but as in the past ran out of steam.
ZA BEAU had some decent form at this level in the summer, but is struggling now and, having chased the leaders, fell away in the latter stages and was pulled up.
ART INVESTOR looks no better over fences than his poor hurdles form, while DESCRIPTION and ARCTIC COVE were never in the race. MORE SHENNANIGANS raced prominently for a while but disappeared in the latter stages.

5.00 2m 2f 78-98 Novices’ Handicap Hurdle ( 4 hurdles omitted due to low sun)

Possibly not the toughest assignment against this company, but MAX BYGRAVES’ performance could not be faulted. Stayed on well up the lead and will likely improve for an increase in distance.
FLAMED AMAZEMENT was visored for the first time and improved on recent form. He led until the flat but couldn’t hold the winner. Future prospects may depend on the headgear doing the trick again.
SUDDEN IMPULSE showed her first significant form over hurdles. She’s run well enough on the flat of late and may be in a position to pick up a similar event.
SOLWAY BAY ran an honest race but lacks pace. Might be worth aiming at a bigger test of stamina.
PINEWOOD LEGEND was nursed into fifth, but reported as having a breathing problem.
The remainder were well held. BRAVE BRINCHO gave no encouragement on return to hurdling after his heavy tired fall at Perth.

5.30 2m ½ f NH Flat Race

These events are normally quite competitive round here, and it would be no surprise to see a subsequent winner or two emerging.

McMURROUGH brought previous winning form into this and his experience clearly helped. He had a good duel with the second which will have taught him a lot.Even allowing for an extra penalty he might pick up another similar event before going on to jumping.
SITTING TENANT ran a very creditable race in second, making the winner work all the way. Was very easy in the market, but has more than enough ability to pick up a similar race.
FORTYSECOND STREET like so many of his stable inmates cost a few bob. He ran a fair race in third, weakening in the latter stages. He’s capable of winning a bumper, but the stables runners are often under-priced and I’d be tempted to oppose him.
QUICOLACI showed promise, fading in the latter stages but finishing fourth.
ZERO SIX ZOO seemed very green and may need a bit of time. She stayed on in the latter stages. One to note, but not yet one to back.

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