KELSO – Friday November 21st
Going – Soft
12. 15 2m 6 ½ f Class 3 Introductory Hurdle
A race that essentially concerned four, with the rest making up the numbers.
BOGSIDE THEATRE went off in front pulling hard as was her way on the flat. She went very well to two out but then the petrol ran out and she fell in a heap. If she settles better she will do well at these longer distances, but in the short term it might be worth a go at a shorter trip. Her hurdling wasn’t too bad.
OCKEY DE NEULLIAC had solid form in three bumper runs on varied going last autumn in the French provinces. He had to work hard to win this one, battling on the flat to hold off two pursuers. This was a sound enough start and he should go on from here.
PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE has some fair form in France on his record including a chase win. He was the one to pursue the leader for much of the way, led briefly after the last but was just held on the long run-in. He’s a half-brother to Miko De Beauchene which presumably means we will see him chasing before long.
SPHINX was making a very belated hurdles debut and was probably finishing fastest of the front three. He’s rated in the 80s on the flat so has ability and his presence close up shouldn’t be a detracting factor here. He will presumably be aimed at a novice hurdle and should be good enough to pick up a run-of-the-mill event at this sort of trip.
LOCKSTOWN got outpaced in the latter stages. He’s shown enough in three outings to suggest he can progress with time.
PUTNEY BRIDGE showed promise in bumpers last year but was struggling after halfway here.
12.45 2m ½ f Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle
Some interesting prospects here and one or two might progress.
SIGNALMAN built on a promising Newcastle debut, working hard to see off the second in the latter stages. He should be capable of defying a penalty in similar company.
SIRKEEL made a promising UK debut, belying odds of 66/1. He’d shown a glimmer of promise in France back in 2007 and having been up there all the way here kept on once passed. He may well win a novice hurdle, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the stable send him chasing sooner rather than later.
DARK GENTLEMEN was held by the first two but put in a solid hurdles debut. He will stay further.
ALWAYS BEST never figured seriously in the race but stayed on in the latter stages.
BRACKEN LAD showed some promise in a couple of bumper outings. He was prominent early, dropped back then stayed on in the closing stages.
BLACKS BRIDGE raced prominently then weakened from 2 out.
SOLIS had run a fair enough race but looked held in third when taking a heavy fall at the last.
1.15 2m 6 ½ f 0-125 Novices’ Handicap Chase
BASODA set a sound pace in this event. He was still in the lead when blundering and unseating at the fourteenth. There was a degree of promise on this chasing debut and he’s one to consider in similar company.
DOC ROW has had a few attempts against more experienced opponents and the drop to novice company was welcome. He disputed for much of the way and got the better of the argument in the final stride against a determined runner-up. He stays well and a step up in trip in similar company would likely be rewarded on this form.
ZITENKA looked the winner up the run-in but was just headed close home. The glimmer of promise on his previous two starts hinted at a better effort and it arrived here. Presuming he can re-capture this form then he should make the winner’s spot soon. It maybe significant that he had two wins on slightly better ground in Ireland.
MR PREACHER MAN was a close up third. Lucinda Russell should place him to pick up a chase before long. I suspect a slightly longer trip would favour him.
JUSTTHEONEFORYOU was left in front at the fourteenth but couldn’t find any more once passed in the straight. He went up 6lbs for a second at Carlisle which doesn’t help at the moment.
WATCH MY BACK made a sound enough chasing debut back in fifth. He’ll know a bit more next time. His dam was good on fast ground and I suspect slightly better ground may help.
MR BARNACLE jumped poorly and ultimately did quite well to get round only 12 lengths in arrears. He needs to sharpen his act over the fences, but if he does he could win in this company.
STAGECOACH DIAMOND never figured and his handicap chase efforts to date suggest a drop in the ratings is required.
JASS fell independently of Basoda at the fourteenth, but I got the impression he was distracted by the fall of the latter. Assuming that was the case he seems on a reasonable mark given that he was going well enough at the time.
ROOBIHOO lost touch down the back for the final time. He was well behind on his first two efforts last season and probably needed the race.
1.50 2m 1f Class 4 Beginners’ Chase
The pace was very steady early on and they didn’t start racing seriously until the last mile.
PALOMAR won over hurdles here last year and I noticed he wore ear-plugs that day. I didn’t notice whether they were fitted here though I presume they were one of the keys to his improvement last season. This was an impressive chasing debut; he was held up and made up ground swiftly from two out. He came away well after the last and should progress in novice company.
NAIAD DE MISSELOT met one too good here but did nothing wrong in defeat. His profile suggests one aimed at a chasing career and he should improve with a step up in distance.
QUICUYO raced prominently but was tapped for speed from the last. He was a three time winner over hurdles and he’ll find easier chasing contests than this.
THE SHY MAN was hampered three out and lost any chance. Not surprisingly from previous observations, he stayed on in the latter stages and is crying out for a longer trip over fences.
WATCH THE WIND ran respectably given that he’s only rated 79. There’s a glimmer of promise in his jumping to suggest that he has a chance in a low level handicap.
LORD SAMPOSIN ran well for a long way, as often in the past, but was tired when falling at the last.
BOB’S DREAM had every chance two out but fell away after the last. This was a fair enough debut given the company, and a novice handicap may be his best bet.
MORE SHENNANIGANS matched the slow pace here but was feeling the pinch when coming down 3 out. He struggles even in poor handicaps.
2.25 2m 2f Class 3 Handicap Hurdle
A big field here and this was a pretty decent handicap.
ISSAQUAH, turned out looking well on seasonal debut, scooted away from these on the flat and might just be ahead of the handicapper. She looked impressive in both bumpers and her sole novice hurdle. She can step up a grade.
TARTAN SNOW put in an honest performance staying on in second. He goes well round here and may well record another win given soft ground.
SINATAS kept on from the rear for third, but may be held by the handicapper.
CULCABOCK is well exposed with 52 runs over jumps on his CV and what you see is not easy to place to advantage at the moment. He runs an honest enough race though, and should reward his connections with regular place money.
OPEN DE L’ISLE ran creditably on return to hurdling. He went very close on his second outing last season and might be worth an interest next time out.
FRONT RANK is handicapped to his ability and ran a fair race. He hasn’t won over hurdles for two years.
GREENBELT went well up front to three then gave way.
3.00 3m 1f 0-115 Handicap Chase
The event I looked forward to on the card, with a host of familiar faces to the Scottish staying chase circuit.
KING BARRY has done a fair bit of travelling in recent times, but it’s noticeable that his last four wins have all been in Scotland. If you take out his journeys to the Midlands and South his record is 4123124121P841, the P being in the competitive Perth Gold Cup last year and the 8 was the only time he was visored. Much to encourage in those figures and I feel he can cope with a rise in the ratings given the amount he had in hand here. It’s probably worth putting a line through him if venturing south.
HIDDEN BOUNTY belied his years staying on to finish second. He might still just squeak a win upped in trip.
RYMINSTER is best fresh, but runs a lot of decent races and performed creditably here staying on in third. Keep an eye out for him after he has had a rest.
ROYAL MACKINTOSH never got to the leaders but was staying on late. He has done well with an uphill finish and a visit to Carlisle, or possibly Hexham, might well see him victorious at this level.
CATCH THE PERK ran a fair race in fifth but weakened in the latter stages. If he can be kept sweet then it wouldn’t surprise me if he added to collection of Perth wins next spring.
GETINBYBUTONLYJUST ran prominently for a long way but faded in the straight.
SEA CADET was well backed but struggled from 3 out.
Previously improving TEENANDO exited at the second.
BENBEOCH raced prominently early but had cried enough after two miles, finally pulling up.
ANGLICAN was never going at any point and pulled up.
KORELO always behind, was pulled up and dismounted on the flat.
MATMATA DE TENDRON went with the leaders to the twelfth but then faded and pulled up. Previous suggests only a real slog slows down the opposition enough to give him a chance. He’s been placed 5 times out of 7 (2 wins) in heavy and his minimum winning distance has been 3m 3f. Combine the two and we probably have a stat to go to market with!
3.35 2m 6 ½ f 0-115 Handicap Hurdle
A very popular winner for Borders trainer Rayson Nixon in POLITICAL PADDY. The win was well deserved as ‘Paddy’ has run some fine races in defeat over the last year or so. He came clear from the last here to win nicely. He is well suited by a stamina test which he’s likely to get here in the winter months.
RARE COINCIDENCE raced prominently, was pushed on coming into the straight, but couldn’t muster any extra speed once passed. Only a 7 year old, he’s had 110 runs (15 wins) in all races, retains his zest for the game and is presumably tough as old boots. He hasn’t won over hurdles for a while, but this run suggests a small handicap hurdle may fall his way.
WEE BERTIE put up his best effort for a while and a slight drop in class would be helpful.
LAGO had every chance 3 out, but was left behind in the straight. This was his first race since April and will presumably be beneficial.
HAPTHOR raced keenly early, but lost his keenness going away from the stands for the final time. He didn’t look too willing after that and his 1 from 25 win record doesn’t inspire.
WATERSKI couldn’t get his head in front here and is struggling at the moment.