Going - Good; Weather - windy and rainy.
A couple of chases and a few characters we will see around the Northern circuit in the next few months.
4.00 2m 4f Beginners' Chase
This looked a significant race to me, and the first four all did enough to suggest there's a race to be won with them.
COOL OPERATOR was a winning pointer as a four-year-old and won a hurdle last season. He's always been viewed as a chaser in the making. He jumped right at the first and gave the eighth a bit of a thump, but apart from that his jumping was spot on. He contested the lead from early on, jumped in front at the tenth and cruised clear from 3 out to win with any amount in hand. We're very early in the season, but this looked a decent performance and I look forward to seeing Cool Operator step up in grade.
OVERBRANCH improved on his chasing debut at the last meeting. He had no chance with the winner but pulled away from the other principals in the straight and is goig the right way.
WISE OWL chased the leaders for most of the way but found himself tapped for pace from 3 out.
NORBORNE BANDIT led or disputed to the eleventh but was under pressure at that point and fell away from the third last. He previously made a promising chase debut in a handicap and would be intesresting if dropped back in trip.
CASH MAN showed some promise oer fences last season but was never in the race here. He was always in the rear group and had no chance from the tenth.
DON'T ASK ME was not as good as a number of these over hurdles. He contested to the tenth and then fell away.
SIR MONTY had an Aintree hurdles win to his name last season, but has offered precious little encouragement since. Soon under pressure, he struggled here.
RIGHTFUL RULER was another always in the rear group.
5.00 2m 4f 0-110 Handicap Chase
GOLDEN FEATHER made it three in a row, held up early then being urged into the action from 3 out and pushed out to win on the flat. He may still have a little in hand.
FRED BOJANGALS has up and down form but has a chase win to his name. Leading 2 out he kept on but was held by the in form winner. This is probably his optimum distance.
SCHINKEN OTTO is a fast ground specialist and it's possible the rain didn't help. He led until the tenth and didn't give way easily, since he was still not far away at the last but was held on the flat. He's been dotting back and forth between flat and jumps in recent times, and this run was encouraging after a lay-off. His best chance of getting his favoured ground this autumn might be at Musselburgh which rides faster than other courses in Scotland/The North.
GLIMMER OF LIGHT threatened to win a seller at Hereford a couple of runs back, but departed when clear. Apart from that he's not got close, but his best chance maybe if he can dominate against inferior opposition.
WHATCANYASAY may well have needed the race and dropped away from 4 out.
PRINCE CAR struggled early and pulled up. No promise in two chases otuings so far.
There's Hexham coming up on Friday and then Kelso start their season this coming Sunday 5th October. I can't get to those two meetings, but I'll keep an eye on the racing, particularly the chases. I'll be at Hexham for their meeting on the 11th.