SEDGEFIELD – Tuesday 25th November
Going - Soft
A bright day in County Durham, but overnight rain softened the going a shade.
12.50 2m 4f Beginners’ Chase
An event in which very few were genuinely competitive in the latter stages.
CAST IRON CASEY confirmed the Kelso of his Kelso second, staying on down the straight to win with a little in hand. He jumps well and stayed this distance. He seemed suited to Kelso more than the up and downs of Kelso so there may be more to come.
TORKINKING led until the run to the last. He kept on for second and looks good enough to pick up a novices’ chase.
CHIEF DAN GEORGE kept on for third having been tapped for pace after the third last. His trainer suggested that he was sent to Sedgefield as a confidence booster, and it would seem a case of ‘job done’. The stable rate him over fences, and I understand he now heads for a staying novice event at Hexham in December.
LEASE LEND couldn’t raise his game in the straight. He’s finding one or two too good in these events and may have better chances in novice handicaps. Overall his record is sound having been out of the first 4 only twice in 15 races.
HERNANDO’S BOY was left behind after 3 out. He’s rated 128 over hurdles, and this first chase effort was inconclusive.
BEDLAM BOY was comfortably held and has a way to go to match his hurdles form. He had a couple of hurdles wins over stiff tracks and they might suit better than Sedgefield.
TREEHOUSE didn’t figure on his racecourse debut but got round in his own time. He’s related to winning pointers so given time may turn into a chaser.
LOGANS RUN has not sparkled on two chase efforts to date.
BILLY MURPHY and ISLAND KEY were prominent early but struggling with a mile to go.
PRE-TOKEN showed a glimmer on chase debut, but was dismal on this occasion, his jumping letting him down.
2.20 2m ½ f 0-105 Handicap Chase
The winner of this is well exposed, albeit a course specialist.
STORMY BEECH was revived by blinkers at Newcastle and his trainer worked the remainder of the trick by bringing him to his favourite track. He’s now 5 wins and 7 places from 12 attempts at Sedgefield. He led all the way and pulled out the stops down the straight. It was heartening to see an old campaigner still giving it the works and being rewarded.
WHATCANYASAY plugged on to challenge at the last, but hit it which effectively ended his chance. Although not the most consistent, he does have the tendency to throw in the odd lousy performance, he does have 3 wins to his credit at Sedgefield.
EBORARRY didn’t get his head in front this time. He never really got to the leader and was one paced from 2 out. He has won over fences in the past but, while he’s on a consistent(-ish) run it’s a long time since he got his head in front. He runs often which suggests an iron constitution.
CARRIETAU chased the leaders but made no impression from 3 out. He’s improving as a chaser, and has time on his side. He won three times over hurdles, so has winning credentials, and will probably pick up a chase somewhere along the line.
CEDAR RAPIDS regressed from his second here last time, the leaders having more left in the straight.
DIGITAL MEDIA was second in a selling hurdle at Hexham on previous run. After initial promise he seems to have lost his way over fences.
FIRST FOUGHT made no show and hasn’t got very close in recent chasing runs.
BRIGHT SPARKY made a succession of mistakes early on. His chasing debut was no more inspiring than recent hurdles runs.
FLAMING HECK won an uncompetitive event at Hexham in May where the second was way below ideal trip, and he struggled on first run since then.
3.20 3m 3f Conditional Jockeys’ 0-95 Handicap Chase
The low sun meant the third last fence was omitted on all circuits.
It really is worth looking out for course specialists at Sedgefield and this race was taken by another of them.
After her Carlisle third I hinted that SHULMIN would be interesting back here, and this time I’ll acknowledge that she is ‘she’ rather than ‘he’. (Concentrate that man!) She made it 4 out of 8 over fences here moving smoothly through the field on the final circuit, challenging in the straight and holding on despite wandering about on the run-in.
NELLIEDONETHAT improved on Newcastle form. He kept on but caught the wrong opponent here and should win a similar event soon.
MITCHEL HENRY was in a much more appropriate class than for his novice outings. He’ll make his mark at this level, particularly off a generous looking rating of 70.
BLUE RISING showed signs of a return to form. He was in contention from 4 out but couldn’t raise his game enough. He’s a maiden who seems to lack the pace or inclination to get into a scrap, but there’s still time to change things around.
HEROS COLLONGES went well to 4 out but was then couldn’t match the leaders. He was beaten about 8 lengths and this was by far his best effort of the last two years. He was off 92 here and unseated at the Chair off 137 in April 2006.
RIVAL BIDDER struggled from the thirteenth and would prefer better ground.
SAM CRUISE jumped better here, leading to 4 out. He weakened before 2 out and it maybe the extended trip got to the bottom of him.
NORTHERN VIC jumped stickily in the rear and lost touch from 3 out. He took a few runs to get warmed up last season.
PRESENTING ALF put up another lack lustre performance.
COUNT THE COST was struggling a mile out and pulled up. He acquired blinkers here in place of cheek pieces without serious revival.
MAE MOSS running from 17lbs above her official rating of 51, was struggling very early. Her jockey shoved along for a way before giving up the ghost at the fifteenth. She did win a poor novices’ handicap hurdle in May ‘07, but her chances of winning a race over fences are negligible.