CARLISLE – Saturday April 11th
Going – Good(Good To Firm in places)
With drier weather around in the North East the going has become decent at Carlisle. As a bonus this meant that all fences were jumped, something which hasn’t happened often, if at all, previously this season.
Due to time constraints a few of the notes are necessarily brief.
2.20 2m Class 4 Novices’ Chase
A big hole was knocked in this event by the absence of the two main contenders, Sa Suffit and Fit To Drive, and two other absentees left only five to contest the race.
SOUBRIQUET was left challenging for the lead when the leader ducked out before the sixth and eased away comfortably in the closing stages, though it’s doubtful he achieved too much.
GENERAL LEDGER was held from two out.
LADY CHATELAINE was held by two more gifted performers but at least showed she jumps competently and seems better over fences than hurdling. She might be of interest aimed at lowly handicaps in the coming months.
PANTHER’S RUN went along nicely in front until ducking out approaching the sixth. He’s on a long losing run and doesn’t look one to trust.
PAPERCHASER fell at the fourth.
2.50 3m 2f 0-95 Handicap Chase
An event for some low grade ‘grinders’.
ASTYANAX was prominent all the way and took charge on the flat. He was unproven at this trip but saw it out very well on this stiff track. His overall profile suggests we can’t rely on a follow up.
SANDS RISING plugged on fro second. He’s running well at the moment but lacks any pace at the business end.
NELLIEDONETHAT has run well over the winter and produced another sound performance in third, though he is probably held by the handicapper now.
STARK RAVEN hit a couple of fences as the race warmed up and couldn’t get back into the argument from three out.
ESME RIDES A GAINE shows a little ability but is basically fairly slow. Having been outpaced down the back she stayed on again up the hill but the leaders had gone. This was an adequate handicapping debut and she may come on with experience.
STAR OF RAVEN, SUPREMELY GIFTED (reported as finishing sore) and PACK DRILL could make no impact from a mile out, while SHULMIN was always out the back and probably needs a return to Sedgefield.
GETINBYBUTONLYJUST, normally consistent if frustrating, ran a lack lustre race and was reported as not suited by the ground.
POLOBURY jumped poorly and had lost touch by the eighth.
3.25 3m ½ f 0-130 Handicap Chase
This is normally one of the better handicaps held at the course over the season, but the field did strike me as all that brilliant.
ANTONIUS CAESAR was taken wide for much of the way. He disputed the lead from the tenth and coasted into the lead three out, and went away from there before being eased on the flat. The trip from Northamptonshire was well worth while and his trainer may be eyeing up a few races now the going is decent.
THE WHISPERER stayed no from the bottom of the hill without remotely threatening the winner. He has had a stop-start career to date, but his record reads well and he may go on from here.
CROZAN showed some evidence of a return to form, keeping on for third.
MILL SIDE made a creditable first appearance in handicaps, lacking an increase in pace over the final three fences. He has shown promise in novice events this season and will find his level in handicaps and with experience will pick up a race or two.
RIMSKY led or was prominent to three out but then gave way. His best form has generally come at courses with uphill finishes, but he probably raced a little too freely on this occasion.
ROYAL MACKINTOSH has run well through the winter, but may just welcome a break. He’s still on a mark he can cope with when at his best and I would keep him in mind round here in testing conditions next season.
NOIR ET VERT went prominent after halfway but was struggling before four out. He seems a bit too high in the handicap.
BAFANA BOY was always at the back, and BANNISTER LANE faded from a mile out having led to the tenth.
OPEN DE L’ISLE as not proven at this trip but seemed in trouble after two miles, so that would not have been the excuse. His trainer suggested to the stewards that the fast ground was the problem.
JUST FOR MEN performed poorly and pulled up, but then his only previous effort on this sort of ground ended being well beaten, so it seems reasonable that the ground was against him.
3.55 2m 5f Class 3 Novices’ Chase
ISN’T THAT LUCKY Seemed to have a golden opportunity here and so it proved. He had no trouble seeing off Logans Run from the last. He’s now finished for the season and the likelihood is he will be aimed at decent class middle distance handicap chases next season.
LOGANS RUN showed he retains the ability suggested by his hurdling efforts and ran creditably here if held by a better opponent. It should be no problem to get a novices’ chase win out of him, though his ability is now exposed and he will be short priced.
CORNERBACK went well for a way but was firmly put in his place from three out.
CLASSIC HARRY had a very tough task here and had lost touch before four out.
SPIVITUS, LUSENTO and ALMOND COURT were way out of their depth here.
4.30 3m ½ f 0-110 Novices’ Handicap Chase
CHERNIK put aside some indifferent previous chasing form to take this ridiculously comfortably. He had shown a glimmer last time, but this effort was way in advance of three previous goes over fences. He will go up a long way for this and to remains to be seen if a repeat effort can be made. Able to dominate from the front it could just be that the race fell his way.
INDY MOOD was left behind from the bottom of the hill and this effort seemed a bit below his last two runs.
CUTE N YOU KNOW IT stayed on for third, but had been well held on previous chasing efforts putting the form into context.
CLASSIC CHIC was outpaced from the thirteenth but plugged on up the hill and doesn’t seem to have much basic speed.
EASBY MANDARIN was left behind in the last mile.
PISTOL BASC weakened from the bottom of the hill and has to prove he can see out the trip.
NGONG HILLS should have been involved on recent form but was left well behind from a mile out.
JORVEYBROOK won what looked a soft event at Newcastle, didn’t jump well here and was pulled up five out.
TOY GUN has lost his form totally in recent runs and may have a problem.
GLEN OMEN and FINLAY’S FOOTSTEPS both pulled up, neither offering any encouragement recently.
5.05 2m 0-115 Handicap Chase
The Twiston-Davies stable has hit form at this time before, and BERMUDA POINTE looked well readied for this one and he won easily despite whacking the last. He has run over assorted tracks and distances quite consistently, but the impression is that a stiff two miles is best.
WATCH THE WIND ran well from 10lbs out of the handicap, although on what he had achieved previously it puts the others’ performances in context. He had shown glimmers of form in the past and I suspect he’s a spring performer.
HOLLOWS MILL had one of his better days in third but isn’t ready betting material these days.
MASTER PAPA was held from the bottom of the hill. He’s better on a sharper track, and is back below his winning mark.
IT’S BERTIE couldn’t dominate here and he has gone steadily up the handicap without recording a legal win.
SOME TOUCH was outpaced from three out. A couple of seasons back he would have had these fro breakfast, but his form is falling away.
CANTGETON blossomed for a couple of runs but was well held here.
SOPRANO fell last time, and that may have affected his confidence as he didn’t get involved and pulled up.
NORMINSTER probably found the ground a little quick, but this was so far below his form that he may have had one race too many.
5.35 3m ½ f Hunters’ Chase
HARTBURN has been showing plenty of progression in points and won this with a fair bit to spare. Handling regulation fences clearly holds no terrors and she should progress in hunter chases.
GARDEN FEATURE has won over four miles in points and stayed on for second here. Connections may look for a real test over fences.
BEN NELLY has been well beaten on most fencing efforts but performed respectably here given his 74 Official Rating, being beaten 32 lengths in third.
TEERIE EXPRESS went well enough until a serious blunder four out knocked the stuffing out.
NOCATEE completed in his own time in customary style.
HENRY’S PRIDE led early but gave way swiftly up the hill.
BLACK SMOKE completed slowly in handicaps last year and did the same in this class.
NATIAIN seems to have been thoroughly soured by a number of tough tasks in handicaps this year. He failed to start on one occasion and the towel went in quickly from five out on this occasion. At his best he would have carried these and a place behind Black Smoke shows how much his form has tailed off.
GEEVEEM made mistakes and toiled in the rear, as did JACKSONVILLE who stays well but had no chance in this event.