CARLISLE – Sunday March 15th
Going – Heavy (soft in places)
As has been the case all season at Carlisle the going was heavy though it seemed to have dried a little on the surface, and gave the impression of not being quite so testing as previous meetings. On this occasion the fence missed out was the second last. The ground around one or two of the other fences, notably the third last, is looking well chewed up and desperately in need of a summer of rest.
2.00 2m 5f Class 4 Beginners’ Chase
This looked a straightforward opportunity for HOCKENHEIM who had run some respectable races in the past couple of seasons without getting his head in front. He led and stretched his field from the bottom of the hill and won with a fair bit to spare. On the basis of what we have seen so far his handicap mark of 119 seems a true one.
PASS THE CLASS looked in trouble three out but stayed on up the hill. He’s run like this before and is rather frustrating.
INDY MOOD has come to chasing late in his career, presumably in an attempt to rekindle his enthusiasm since his hurdling form had dropped away. This was an improvement on his debut, and a move to a handicap over a longer trip may help.
ASTON LAD never got seriously competitive here. He’s got very little chance in these events as his jumping is still a little tentative, and his handicap mark seems a bit stiff.
FLEMEN LOON is a poor performer and had no chance from four out. #
CALFRAZ was well behind from the tenth, and didn’t jump that fluently.
2.30 2m 0-95 Handicap Chase
A run of the mill event, with plenty of well tried novices. However it was a fair old race from the bottom of the hill.
NORMINSTER enjoys himself round here and at Hexham and has been in fine form most of the season. He made progress from three out and led before the last. Clear after the last he idled, but then pulled a little more out of the bag when it was needed. He regularly gives his running and the impression is that he’s still a little better then the 92 he ran off here. Credit once again to his trainer Rayson Nixon who made it an impressive 8 winners from 50 runners this season.
WEE GEORGE struggled in his early career, but now seems to be getting the hang of the game. He looked held at the last having raced prominently, but stuck his head down and had a right go on the flat. On this evidence he should land a handicap at this level. The drop to the minimum trip seemed to have done him good at this stiff track.
WORK BOY showed a degree of promise behind Banoge on his chasing debut and built on that here. He stayed on well and longer distance should see further improvement.
FRITH is possibly handicapped to his limit now. He held every chance before the last but couldn’t muster the extra required to challenge.
ASTYANAX, with ‘sideburns’ replacing blinkers, produced his best chasing form to date, being well in contention most of the way but producing no extra from before the last.
MOYNE PLEASURE flattered briefly three out but then dropped away. He did at least show a little more than of late, but isn’t offering too much encouragement overall.
DUKE OF MALFI never really got into the race and was held from three out.
BULLIES ACRE was prominent early, and led two out but weakened from that point. Although finishing last this was more encouraging than his run at Hexham three days previously.
3.05 3m ½ f Class 3 Novices’ Chase
LE BEAU BAI showed no ill effects from his Cheltenham outing where he was pulled up in the National Hunt Chase. More at home in this less demanding company, he disputed from three out and ran on well on the flat.
Oliver Sherwood brought MOUNT SANDEL up from Lambourn for this event. Given that his best from is on sharp tracks he performed well here just running out of steam after the last. Back on a more suitable circuit he should continue to pay his way.
TASTES LIKE MORE was rated 29lbs worse than the second, so to get within in ¾ length was a creditable effort. She appeared held two out but stuck to her guns in the latter stages. She would certainly be interesting in a mares' only race or back in a handicap.
BELON GALE’s jumping did not stand up against competitive opposition and he was tailed off by three out. Time is on his side though.
3.35 3m 2f 0-95 Novices’ Handicap Chase
A very moderate looking event.
SABREFLIGHT set a varying pace, staying on determinedly when the others came at her up the hill. She is trained in Wiltshire but given her record at Sedgefield, 2213 in four attempts in a bumper and over hurdles; another venture north might pay dividends.
IKEMBA pulled up in a point last time, but it was in the company of Amicelli and Killone King which looked an impossible mission. His rules record isn’t all that bad and he might be worth another go at this level. He never quite got to the winner but was only beaten a half length.
MINSTER ABBI had an impossible task last time, and on this occasion was held after the last. This is here level.
POLOBURY made a satisfactory chasing debut in fourth, not beaten far. She stays well and does have years in hand on the remainder here.
TREASURED MEMORIES was given reminders early, but held every chance when coming down two out. Three falls in five attempts may not do her confidence much good.
BAKER FLINN s comfortably outpointed from turning away from the far side.
4.10 2m 5f 0-130 Novices’ Handicap Chase
The top rated here was 120 which should be borne in mind for those who consider the class.
STORYMAKER is a versatile sort who has won over two and three miles over hurdles. He picked up nicely from the last and just held the rallying Teenando. He wouldn’t want to go up too much in the ratings as 114 is probably about his mark.
TEENANDO put right the hiccup last time with a much better run here. She had an uncontested lead on this occasion which certainly helped. She looked one paced two out but found more on the run-in and doesn’t look finished with yet. Form around Carlisle is 113152.
PACCO won at Towcester last time and the 6lb rise might just have anchored him, the opposition here being a wee bit tougher. He had every chance at the last but couldn’t muster any extra on the run-in.
MISTER POTTER put in a fair effort in fourth considering he was lugging 11-12 in this going.
BOUGOURE is not in the form he was a couple of years back, despite a drop of 12lbs in the ratings.
BANOGE seemed to find the trip beyond him round here in the conditions.
FIFTYFIVE DEGREES was just being pushed along when taking a false step landing over three out. His jockey took the wise precaution of pulling up, but it seemed there was no serious damage.
LA PANTERA ROSA never got involved and was very disappointing.
4.40 3m ½ f 0-90 Handicap Chase
A bunch of plodders in the finale, led by STORMONT DAWN who recorded a second course win. She went clear from the last but is not the most predictable though a decent performer at a lowly level on her day.
STARK RAVEN joined issue at the fourth but was held once headed before the last. He ran to his form.
SUPERROLLERCOASTER has not recaptured last season’s form despite dropping down the ratings.
KIDITHOU needs better ground than this.
The previous effort here may have told on THE MAYSTONE who was never travelling.
HAS SCORED knocked into another runner on landing at the first and lost his action. His rider reported a ‘dead leg’, though I always thought such a description was a human feel of a knock!