Going – Good to Firm
6.35 2m ½ f Class 4 Novice Chase
This contest was marred by an accident involving the hard pulling JALAMID. He took hold from Michael McAllister from the start and hit the fourth hard, sustaining a broken leg in the process which necessitated him being put down. Sadly the poor gelding attempted to gallop after the field on three legs for a way, a disturbing sight. Not a great comment on the staffing level that the jockey had to hold up the screens as the vet carried out the sad deed.
The second last was omitted due to the aforementioned incident, and that was the point at which Irish-trained chasing debutant SCHELM took control. He went away to win quite comfortably. He has won on yielding, but it would seem the faster ground suits and he’s one to note on a similar surface.
WOODY VALENTINE has been in very good form recently and ran another excellent race on distinctly unfavourable terms. Rated 24lbs worse than the winner, he couldn’t match that one’s pace from two out, but held the rest of the field and continues in good heart. He may be moved up a few pounds in the handicap for this run, but he’s in such rattling good form at the moment that this may not stop him winning again.
BUCHAILL ON EIRNE was another Irish–trained chasing debutant. He performed reasonably well in third bearing in mind the trip would be on the short side for him. His jumping wasn’t bad but can be sharpened and he will learn from this.
LITTLE LU stayed on late without getting in a blow suggesting a longer trip would be better.
HELLO NOD was left behind from three out. He had a stiff task with the first two, but got round for the first time in three chasing attempts which at least suggests a move in the right direction.
WHAT HAPPENED had no chance on hurdles form and dropped away from three out.
KARMADICE pulled hard early on and took over following Jalamid’s accident. He had blown himself out by four form home and needs to settle to have any chance over fences.
MADGE and UPTOWN LAD, serial non-achievers, bumbled around in the rear.
8.5 3m 3f 0-105 Handicap Chase
Back in October I said of SAM CRUISE that ‘there is a suggestion of a hope if he could get his act together’. I then rather undid that work by suggesting he didn’t get the trip when running here. However, he’s one performer who I thought might produce some worthwhile form with a little patience, and it came to fruition in decent style on this occasion.
Keen to post as is his way, SAM CRUISE led at a decent pace and kept up the gallop to the finish. He was still on the bridle two out and gives the impression that if he jumps accurately he can rate a great deal higher than his current 79. Tim Walford commented that the fast ground was essential so it could be a case of ‘make hay while the sun shines’. Will he repeat the form? If only I could tell you the answer! Is he capable of repeating the form? I’m pretty sure the answer is ‘yes’.
FINBIN is one I taken a liking to at this level. He has shown enough in two chases now to suggest he’s capable of regularly contributing to his keep. He never got in touch with the leader but stayed on for second and there should be opportunities to break his chasing duck. Two hurdling wins prove he has what it takes to win races.
POLAR GALE had course and conditions to suit but didn’t get close enough to challenge on this occasion. The rest of the field was strung out and this effort was sound enough.
KELLS CASTLE stays well but just doesn’t see out his finishes and seems destined to collect a lot more place money than win money.
ESME RIDES A GAINE performed creditably from 6lbs out of the handicap, staying on past a few late on having been under the shove with a circuit to go. She needs aiming at the lowest class handicaps where the sliver of ability she possesses might be enough to make a mark.
CELTIC FLOW was 10lbs out of the handicap. He ran prominently in the main group until four out, which was a fair effort.
The handicapper saw fit to move TURBULENT FLIGHT up from 43 to the lofty heights of 49 following her last effort. It makes little difference though and she was 33lbs wrong here. She probably ran pretty much to that level beaten about 40 lengths, plugging on in her own time.
BIG BONE once again looked very slow. Tried over fences and hurdles over a variety of trips he isn’t making an impact.
HOWS TRIX won at Tramore last year but has disappointed twice since moving to Ferdy Murphy.
TULLY HILL showed up to halfway but quickly back-pedaled. He runs with some zest early on but has precious little to offer in the latter stages of his races.
PADDYMcGINTYSGOAT desperately needs to fins a contest against ‘Delaney’s Donkey’ as he has generally struggled and didn’t build on the slight glimmer shown here last time. Those of a certain age will understand the reference.
The race wasn’t run to suit NICOZETTO and he’s not predictable anyway. He overtook a few but was well back when falling at the last.
PALMERS PEAK is happiest when able to get to the front and dictate. He couldn’t do that here and dropped away from a mile out before pulling up.