CARLISLE – Sunday November 2nd
Another chase only card at Carlisle. I had thought following the chasers might be fairly comfortable with two or three races per card, but Carlisle are making my hobby a little tougher at the moment. This was the third such card in a row and numbers were down a bit.
I'm just keeping up with the chasers at the moment, and having to rely on televised stuff, but hope to go racing again later in the month. Can't make Kelso this weekend but I've got a couple of Musselburgh jump meetings lined up before Christmas, then Aileen will dragged off to the same venue for our annual Christmas-week outing!
In typically perverse fashion, my blog gets re-invigorated when the 'Northern Marathon Mob' emerge as they did at the end of this Carlisle card. Familiar old characters who do their stuff month after month, year after year.
Still a tough test with the going showing up soft despite a drier week. The second fence down the hill remained out of action.
1.35 3m ½ f Beginners’ Chase
A small field but the chances are these are four with a chance of a win or two over the season.
COMPANERO won three Irish point-to-points a couple of years ago, and ran well in testing conditions over hurdles, so three miles round here held no terrors. I presume he’ll be kept to decent class novice events from now on.
NINE DE SIVOLA has run some cracking races in staying handicaps, yet remains a chasing maiden. He’s been out of action since finishing second to Hot Weld in the 2007 Scottish National. He’s likely to go for the marathon events to which his stamina is suited.
WILL BE DONE isn’t as good as the first two, but ran respectably and won’t always run into opposition as useful as the first two.
GOLDEN CHILD dropped out of contention after blundering 3 out. He’s looked better to me on a flat track.
2.10 2m 4f (Class 2) Intermediate Chase
This race has an irritating habit of cutting up from a decent entry. That being said, there were four decent competitors on show here.
TIDAL BAY has proved himself top drawer, and had no problems here, taking it up 3 out and going clear. His principal opponent didn’t run up to form, but it’s difficult to fault the performance bar one jumping blunder. Although high in the handicap I wonder if he might be aimed at the Cheltenham handicaps at this distance. He was impressive in Grade 1 company last season.
RIMSKY ran creditably in second though clearly held by a far superior performer. He needs further and might be one to look out for in long distance staying chances, since he ran well in a couple of four-milers last season.
O’MALEY might be a bit of a ‘twilight horse’ since his three novice wins place him on a rating of 135 which is plenty high enough. His trainer may have to travel a bit to find opportunities.
ALBERTAS RUN was below form, but was not given a hard time in the latter stages once his chance had gone. A step back up in trip is needed. Apparently the ground was a bit on the soft side for him, and the horse is being aimed at the Hennessy.
2.40 2m 5f 0-115 Handicap Chase
CAVERS GLEN has run some decent races in defeat over fences and was given a chance to step up here. The impression is that around this trip on a stiff track suits best, and it’s worth noting that the closest he’s got over farther is a well held third. Staying on up the hill he did this well enough and may defy a rise in the weights.
MALKO DE BEAUMONT didn’t give his real running at Kelso. This was more like it but he couldn’t quite raise his game to get to the leader. He seems fairly versatile regarding trip and going though he does seem in his element when the mud is flying.
INNOMINATE performed a bit better than at Hexham and his jumping was sharper in the latter stages. A step up in trip should help.
DOC ROW got a bit closer than of late. He reported suffered a breathing problem on his previous run here, but there was no evidence of that this time. It might be interesting to see him run on a less testing course since his hurdles win came at Folkestone.
CADOUDALAS seems to find the final slog here a bit taxing. He’s got closer at the likes of Haydock and Newcastle, which have slopes up to the finish but aren’t as tough.
BALLYNURE fell away after being prominent early. His last two wins have been battles of attrition in heavy ground, one in particular when 4 finishers were strung out round Ayrshire. It could be that it wasn’t soft enough for him to see off these opponents.
EXTRA SMOOTH needed this race after a two year break. Worth keeping an eye on as he had fair form in his previous spell on the track.
STONERIGGS MERC has no chance round here in these conditions. Ignore his recent efforts and keep an eye out for him on a sharper track in less testing conditions.
DIGITAL MEDIA jumped left and struggled on seasonal debut. He’s not yet proven over farther than two miles.
PETERS STAR soon got behind on chasing debut and didn’t get past halfway.
LORD SAMPOSIN makes too many mistakes for his own good and soon had no chance. A minor novice event would be his best hope, but he needs to clean up his jumping act.
GOLDEN DUCK pulled up and his record to date suggests line can be drawn through him if there’s a significant up slope in the way. Two pulled ups in a row will help his price for the future, so readers are advised to note this one.
3.10 3m 0-135 Handicap Chase
SEE YOU THERE has come to the fore in two soft ground events round here. He will be aimed at better class chases. This was a fifth win at the course and he’s always worth considering here, but word is he’ll be aimed at higher class marathon events.
IDLE TALK had some fair stayers some way behind in finishing second. He was just held but this was a decent effort. He got round in his own time in the National and generally has had tough tasks in decent staying events. If his trainer can aim at slightly lesser events like this then he may well record his first win since January ’06.
THE GANGERMAN ran an honest enough race, being placed yet again, but probably found this slight rise in class from 0-126 to 0-135 a little too tough.
MONEY LINE hovered up staying handicaps in the south last season, but the handicapper may have put a temporary stop to it. He does get into 0-120 races though and that may be his chance, since he ran in contention for quite a way and will probably come on for the race, as seems to be the case with many from the stable this autumn.
LUCKY NELLERIE isn’t good enough in this company and was found out up the hill.
MERIGO had a pipe-opener over hurdles, and it could be that his rise through the weights last year has made him hit an end stop.
BANNISTER LANE led early and faded in the latter stages. He probably needed the race, will come on for it and presumably be seen campaigning on the long-distance chase circuit this season.
KORELO was aimed quite high after a year off. He had a number of impossible tasks before that and needs to race in easier company.
MOKUM pulled up and was reported as disliking the soft ground.
CANADA STREET fell at the second on seasonal debut. He has run creditably in staying chases, but his two chase wins have been in uncompetitive contests.
THE LUDER, who never showed before pulling up, and ARNOLD LAYNE, who ran prominently early then cried enough, seem plenty high enough in the weights.
3.45 2m 0-105 Novices’ Handicap Chase
TEENANDO is making decent progress off low marks in this company. There is probably another race or two in him yet, since he’ll not be hiked a massive amount for this win.
JUSTTHEONEFORYOU ran a creditable race and won’t always run into an improver like Teenando. Lightly raced and should progress to take a similar contest.
MONGORNO is five year old, but like many French bred horses has plenty of jumping experience. He has steadily improved in the UK, but I get the feeling he’s likely to have found his level now, and what you see is what you get.
SUPER BABY was held from 2 out and might benefit from a step up in trip. A winner over 2 miles 3 furlongs over hurdles, his recent seconds and thirds have been over at least that distance.
PLAYER was beaten 20 lengths here which is the closest he’s got over fences.
JORDAN’S LIGHT has run over hurdles and on the flat recently. This seems to be a bit of a ‘what we can we try now?’ sort of placing and he never threatened.
I had SEA SENOR down as the type for chasing, but two large margin defeats to date don’t inspire. It may be that staying handicap hurdles are his best chance at the moment.
WOODY VALENTINE put in another feeble effort.
THE BAY BRIDGE hadn’t been encouraging on recent hurdles efforts, and pulling up here was not a good chasing start.
TULLY HILL ran one passably good race in Ireland, if fifth of 7 can be described as such, but has been pathetic otherwise. He failed to negotiate the first here.
STORM PROSPECT showed no immediate aptitude for chasing on debut over fences, racing behind and pulling up in the latter stages.
ART HISTORIAN started off moderately over jumps and has got progressively worse over 7 efforts. He was struggling early.
4.15 3m 4f 0-95 Handicap Chase
‘Just a slog at twilight’ for some lowly chasers at the end of the afternoon, on a track now pretty well churned up. This race went to the form book with the two most accomplished performers involved at the finish.
MOUSTIQUE DE L’ISLE is never likely to win a prize for fastest animal in training but he does keep plodding on and it was enough to see off Huckleberry who has been performing with credit recently. He’s capable of performing well off a higher mark so isn’t a lost cause but he’s pretty much a win in turn sort of performer.
HUCKLEBERRY ran another creditable race. He was feeling the pinch against slightly better opponents when falling at the last at Kelso. However, there were no signs of ill-effects and he pushed a slightly better opponent until the run-in here. He lacks nothing in effort, seems to be taking his races well, and may well pick up another staying handicap before long.
SHULMIN ran a fair race in third. He’s not bad in the lowest class when things fall for him. Note that his record round Sedgefield over fences is 1552112 and he’s one of the first on the list in chases at the County Durham circuit.
STRUGGLING VAGABOND hit a purple patch in the winter of ‘06-‘07 round Fontwell and Plumpton, often with much cajoling from Jamie Goldstein. I doubt he would have appreciated a long road trip to slog round here. I hope that he’s not become cheesed-off with the business, but his recent form has been dire. He jumped right here, but then he frequently has to turn both ways at Fontwell.
SUPER BOSTON plugged round in his own time as seems to be his way these days.
BEAU SADDLER was reported as having a breathing problem, having a tongue-tie applied here, and with usual ‘sideburns’ replaced by a visor. He is not even a consideration as a betting proposition until some signs of revival are noted.
SMART THINKER was never going and is yet to get closer than 24 lengths fifth in 11 races.