Thursday, 19 February 2009

Carlisle - Monday 16th February

Going – Heavy (Soft in places)

Another all-chase meeting at Carlisle and I presume they will now run the whole jump season with just chases. The day’s meeting at Market Rasen balanced things nicely since they ran only hurdle races.

The first fence in the back straight was omitted.

2.15 2m 5f 0-90 Handicap Chase

MITCHEL HENRY has run some honest enough races since graduating from the pointing field and deserved his win here. He looked held two out but stayed on determinedly to collar the leader close home. A rise in the weights will probably take him out of the 0-90 range, though he should still be competitive at a slightly higher level.
IT’S A CLASSIC ran a cracker, disputing the pace for much of the way before taking over three out. He looked the winner at the last, but was running on fumes on the flat and got caught 50 yards from home. He refused at Fontwell when very tired two runs ago, then fell at Uttoxeter last time, but seems to have brushed that off and in his current form should pick up a minor handicap chase.
BABE HEFFRON went with the pace but felt the pinch from three out. He had been off the track since March 2007, and this was a rules chasing debut (Irish maiden point winner), so there is almost certainly better to come.
SEEK THE TRUTH as given a quiet ride and moved to the fringe of the leading group at the bottom of the hill. He couldn’t get any closer from that point. He’s on a mark he can win from, but probably needs better ground than this.
JOHNS SQUARE got closer than he had done in three efforts over hurdles, but couldn’t get to grips with the leaders and I’d need to see more to be interested.
MR TWINS led early but was seen off up the final hill and his losing run is now 27.
TULLY HILL won an Irish point back in 2005 but his record since has been abysmal and he pulled up not far past halfway, subsequently being reported as having a breathing problem which explains a lot.
LUZENIE was never going and pulled up. Since moving from France he hasn’t got closer beaten 50 lengths and was reported as having a breathing problem.
GUNADOIR wasn’t interested from the start.
JACKSONVILLE is an elderly hunter chaser, last seen nursed round third of three finishers behind Natiain in April (3m 7f – Perth), and was easily held in this company.
NICOZETTO seems to have been unnerved by his fall at Musselburgh as his two subsequent runs have been poor.

2.50 2m 5f Class 4 Mares’ Only Novices’ Chase

RATE OF KNOTS comfortably saw off her one serious opponent here. She led two out and stayed on. I suspect she will find it tougher in open company or handicaps and might be under-priced in such races.
TASTES LIKE MORE led but hit a flat spot around halfway. She came back into contention three out and chased the winner home from there. Her handicap mark of 100 looks accurate, so she wouldn’t want to go up for proximity to this winner.
TACINJA had every chance three out but found the first two too good from there on in. She was coming off a break so there may be a little more to come.
DEFINITELY IT has looked slow over jumps and had no chance here. She went well enough in front to the eleventh but then quickly fell away.
CUTE N YOU KNOW IT, making her chasing debut, never looked happy and was being niggled along from early on.
SUNNY BROOK won a handicap at Hexham in November but had a stiff task here. She ran a fair enough race, being in contention until after two out, but took a heavy fall at the last when beaten.

3.25 2m 0-115 Handicap Chase

This looked a decent little handicap and I suggest the form can be taken forward with confidence.

LE ROI ROUGE had been running creditably without being able to get into the final argument in Class 2 races. The drop down to a Class 4 event clearly suited and he stayed on well to lead within the last 50 yards. This win will take him out of Class 4 company, but he will still have opportunities if keeping to the next grade up, maybe 0-120 or 0-125.
The veteran HOLLOWS MILL is a bit difficult to catch right and looked up against it in this company. However, he had a real going day on this occasion and looked likely to prevail before a gelding nearly half his age mugged him close home. This effort shows what he can do on his day, but he hasn’t won for two years and isn’t win betting material.
NORMINSTER has progressed over the season and produced a career high on this occasion. He was pushed along four out but responded admirably if never quite able to get to the leaders. He’s showing a good attitude right now and may well pick up another handicap if dropped a little in grade, always bearing in mind he’s best round Carlisle or Hexham.
ET MAINTENANT performed creditably on going which I would imagine was on the testing side for him. Back on better ground he should be in the mix in similar events and I suspect a step back up in trip would do no harm.
CANTGETON had every chance two out but then gave way. He’s sliding down the handicap but not threatening a win.
ANGLICAN went well to the bottom of the hill and then cried enough. This was his best effort in the UK, but there is still some way to go before he can get involved in the finish.
INCORPORATION raced prominently until three out. His best form is on flatter tracks in less testing going.
EURO AMERICAN made headway to four out but then dropped away. Course and conditions suited, so there seemed no excuse.
STORMY BEECH looked happy bowling along in front but soon capitulated once headed. He needs things his own way and decent performances are few and far between these days.

OSO MAGIC fell heavily at the fourth though got up OK, and brought down BOG OAK. This was uncharacteristic of Oso Magic who had never failed to finish in 20 chases before this.

4.00 2m Class 3 Novices’ Chase

Each of these performed much as a pre-race analysis suggested.

PSYCHOMODO won this with the minimum fuss and is now off to Cheltenham for one of the handicaps.
AURORAS ENCORE ran a fair race in second but couldn’t go with the winner from three out. He needs a longer distance on less testing ground.
STORYMAKER was no match for the first two from three out. He was always going to struggle against two higher rated opponents and his trainer must look for easier races.
PISTOL BASC continues to look slow.
ALMOND COURT fell early on, and his recent form is dismal.
KEMPSKI shows no aptitude for chasing and I’m surprised that Rayson Nixon tried him over fences again.
AUTUMNGOLD is an 11 year old with a seventh place in one Irish maiden point in 2004. He was soon left behind, pulled up, and gives not a hint of being a racehorse.

4.30 3m 4f 0-130 Handicap Chase

RacingUK didn’t have a replay of this race available, so analysis is performed off the bare result and form book comments.

James Ewart clearly has a progressive staying mare on his hands in OVERLADY. She beat nothing of great note at Sedgefield she’s moved on to seeing off some established performers here. She clearly revels in a good stamina test and kept on well having led approaching the last. Ewart must be looking forward to aiming this one at the Northern staying chases in the future. One point that should be made is that she is not the biggest mare and might be best kept to races where she has light weights.
BOLD RANSOM stuttered a bit last time at Ayr, but seems to have continued his upward progress with this effort, being outstayed on the flat. He’s another comparatively young staying chaser who is one to note for similar events.
Twelve year old HUKA LODGE represented the established brigade and ran to his form. His problem is that he’s never won off as high a mark as this over fences.
ROSIE ALL OVER is mare who has improved through the season. She’s probably reached a ceiling mark for now, but ran a sound race here leading from four out until just before the last.
ROYAL MACKINTOSH should have had no trouble with the trip, but faded from two out. He’s had a succession of races in tough conditions and it could be a rest is needed.
BORIS THE BLADE was upped by half a mile on anything he’s tried before and didn’t see out the trip, weakening up the final hill. Three miles in the mud seems best for him.
MATMATA DE TENDRON looked to have missed out on an opportunity when Sedgefield was called off the previous day, and though conditions were ideal here the company was too competitive. Given the right race and conditions I’d still bear him in mind.
BELLANEY JEWEL won on his seasonal debut, but has been well off his game in three attempts since.

5.00 2m 5f 0-115 C.J./Am Rid ‘Hands and Heels’ Handicap Chase

TEENANDO returned to his best here, and gave the impression there may be more improvement in him. He kept on strongly up the hill.
MANOUBI has developed a habit of staying on just too late to get involved. He pipped Honour’s Dream for second on the run-in.
HONOUR’S DREAM was driven along a mile out but kept responding though never having enough left to challenge the winner. He would appear to be handicapped to his mark.
RED SCALLY pulled up three times last spring, but performed a good deal better for his new stable on his first run since then. He had every chance until weakening before the last. It is reasonable to assume he might come on a bit for this and could pick up a similar event
CHICKAPEAKRAY couldn’t go with the leaders from four out and seems held at the moment. She tries hard and places now and again but that means she stays on the same mark.
MANDINGO CHIEF ran prominently to five out and showed a little more than of late.
LAGO took a horrible fall at the eighth and I didn’t see him get up. I’m not sure he survived the fall.

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