Going- Good (Good To Firm in places)
A siginificant drying out of the ground at Newcastle. It wouldn't have suited some of the 'grinding stayers'.
1.30 2m 4f Beginners’ Chase
MILL SIDE struck me as a potentially decent newcomer pre-race and proved it with a decent effort. Having only had the three hurdle runs before this, he’s got few miles on the clock for an eight-year-old. He stayed on well to win this and will benefit from a step up in trip.
THAT’S RHYTHM made it three seconds in a row, but didn’t lose anything in defeat to a decent looking opponent. Having been passed up the straight he was still staying on at the end and a step back up in trip is clearly needed.
BELON GALE benefited from his run behind That’s Rhythm at Hexham and built on it nicely here. I got the impression there that he’ll need time to develop, and I suspect this is short of his best trip. He was staying on at the end.
I was a little bit suspicious of HIGH BIRD HUMPHREY’s effort at Carlisle and felt it might have flattered him. This performance suggests that’s not the case and he’s a good deal better over fences that hurdling. His trainer should be able to find an easier event for him soon.
JASS plugged on having been caught for tow with 5 fences left. He probably ran up to his form but his chance of winning will come at a lesser level. Trainer and rider were subsequently quizzed over the running and riding of Jass with explanation noted, but he just didn't look good enough in this company.
ANDIJAN was hampered at the first which left him at the rear. He had made some progress but then hit the fourth last which did for him. He pops over the Irish Sea on a regular basis and should be competitive in lowly novice events.
NILE MOON found the move up from novice hunter class a tough one. He’ll neeed a drop back in class.
TEERIE EXPRESS, dropped in at the deep end on debut, was prominent early but lost touch from 6 out.
THE SHY MAN was stepped up in trip here but we learned nothing as he fell at the first. The runners dawdled to that fence, which is no good for novices, and I’d give him another chance in lesser company over at least this trip.
MY FRIEND PAUL promises little, now showing three non-completions and two 100 length plus defeats.
INDUSTRIAL STAR is a hurdles winner, but distinctly unpromising over fences to date.
3.00 3m 0-85 Handicap Chase
This was a very lowly contest with some very moderate animals and much ‘iffy’ jumping. However it was an entertaining race, with a few in with a chance over the last four.
SMART MAN’s form line doesn’t look bad for one at this level with plenty of placings showing. However, he’s not inclined to pull out any extra once he hits the front and just scraped home here. The fact that he was headed after the last gave him something to aim at and he got up close home, but he’s not one to lump large amounts on.
SAM CRUISE is a winning pointer but his recent Rules form has been littered with jumping errors. However there was a suggestion of a hope if he could get his act together. He made some awkward jumps early on but recovered and looked the winner in the straight only to thump 2 out. His rider just retained the partnership but lost an iron and though recovering Sam Cruise couldn’t quite get back up under pressure. He lacks nothing in effort, but his jockey will need super-glue if Sam Cruise doesn’t getting his jumping act together. Rider Robert Walford was suspended for 5 days for over-use of the whip.
JETHRO TULL looked to me to have been treated with kid-gloves recently, presumably because he’s rather fragile. Put into the race here he had a right cut and was only run out it on the run-in. Assuming he stays sound he may reward connections patience before long.
MOSCOW GOLD did not look an easy ride early on, being hard to settle and ungainly over his fences. He had every chance in the straight but was held over the last two. This was a fair effort but as an 11 year old he’s well exposed, and off a mark of 65 there will not be copious opportunities.
NELLIEDONETHAT made a fair debut for the Russell stable but couldn’t go with the leaders from 4 out.
DOUBLE PAST tired between the last two, but produced a best effort over fences.
MAE MOSS’s rating of 59 sums up her chasing ability, though she’s a bit better over hurdles and if she’s to win that’s where it would be most likely.
GREENOCK was never going and is better than this effort.
HOLLOWS MIST and CARPE MOMENTUM trundled round in the rear and don’t look good enough even at this level right now.
LOST IN NORMANDY should have done much better against this opposition. I suspect he’s better when able to lead but, although he does come up trumps occasionally, he’s not particularly reliable.
SHADE BONNY fell early when out the back.
The recent form of GALAHAD, TUATARA BAY and TRUE TEMPER makes depressing reading and all pulled up. Countdown contestants would have fun with the letters and large numbers…….
4.00 2m 4f 0-95 Handicap Chase
Another handicap big on numbers but low on decent recent form. The second last fence was omitted as an injured jockey lay on the landing side.
HALL OF FLAME was back to his best after a lay-off. He put in a spirited effort in the straight, presumably won’t be over-penalised for this and has good prospects of picking up a similar event. It’s possible that he’ll do better over a longer distance.
GENERAL HARDI is still a maiden after 21 efforts, but lacked nothing in effort. He was just held close home but this was a good effort. He shows enough willing to pick up a race somewhere along the line.
CHIGORIN is now 1 win from 40 and seems to lack pace at the business end. On the face of it this was a fair effort, but he’s not one that inspires as a likely winner.
PARTICLE’s performance in fourth was as good as any he’s produced to date, but he wasn’t good enough at the business end.
SANDS RISING briefly threatened 2 out, but had nothing more to give. He runs many fair races but struggles when push comes to shove.
NICKY TAM seemed to be going easily into the straight but ran out of petrol. He may be worth a try at two miles, but may be one who flatters to deceive in his races.
YANKEE HOLIDAY weakened in the straight. He is a headstrong type and I don’t think he truly stays this distance. This class is right, but a drop back to two miles would seem the best idea.
DIVEX and FRED BOJANGALS never got competitive.
EMERALD DESTINY faded in the straight. He’s probably better over further, but recent runs offer little encouragement.
TULLY CROSS won a poor contest at Hexham, and was shoved up in the weights for that. He probably isn’t as good as his current mark.
STAR FEVER finished out the back and is right out of form.
STORMY BEECH is probably better around two miles, but even allowing for that his recent form is dire and it could be the years are catching up.
HURRICANE BASIL pulled up and looks very slow. (BHA 'Why They Ran Badly' reported that Hurricane Basil bled from the nose)
BUCKSTRUTHER departed at the first.
LUCE BAY has achieved nothing to date and unseated early, as did SOMETHING GOLD who’s been well beaten in recent races.
SEEK THE TRUTH may just have been feeling a recent hard race at Carlisle. He got into contention in the straight, but faded and then fell at the last.