Friday, 3 July 2009

Perth First July Meeting - Day 1

PERTH – Wednesday July 1st

Going – Good To Firm

The Racing Post had an article where was much bleating from a Hawick based owner about the amount of Irish horses travelling to Perth. Quite what the course is meant to do I don’t know since the excellent ground and decent prize money creates competitive racing. Should we have races for Scottish trained horses running for £900?

Over a third of the runners at this meeting were Irish but in the end the ‘home team’ won 4-2. That being said the home team’s tally included s winner for Alison Thorpe who had travelled even further from her Carmarthen base than had many of the Irish contingent. Jim Goldie kept the flag for the Scots with a winner in the last. This must be one of the rare occasions when winners on one card have come from the four home countries plus the Republic of Ireland.

2.20 2m 4½f Class 5 Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

With so much balloting out in these contests in Ireland, it was no surprise that there were 12 raiders contesting this race.

POSH LADY has had a few goes over hurdles and recorded what appeared to be a personal best to win this event. She chased the leader from two out and took over on the flat. She seems better at this distance than shorter, needs decent ground and presumably her trainer will look for opportunities at the remaining meetings here this year.
LOUGHADERRA DAME didn’t do too much wrong, leading approaching two out and being overhauled late on. She was well clear of the remainder and her visit to the winner’s spot is surely only delayed.
BORAGH PRINCESS was going well enough three out but didn’t pick up as the front two did. The impression is that the sharp track does not play to her strengths and she needs a stiffer test.
DREE HILL had every chance to two out but was well outpaced from there and pretty much repeated the form of her Cartmel debut.
RIVERSCAPE struggled from two out and is another who requires a stiffer test.

2.50 3m ½f Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle

This was a shoo-in for Galway Plate bound BACKSTAGE. A winner of the Perth Gold Cup he proved himself more than capable of handling some distinctly moderate novice opposition.
FLASH CUMMINS, off the track for a long while, proved he still retains his ability. He never got in with a sniff of wining, but made good progress to gain second. He should make up for lost time before long on this evidence.
SOLWAY STAR pretty much ran to form in third and would be in with a better chance in handicaps.
Peter Buchanan sent BROCKS BRAE after the fifth and he soon went clear. He had nothing left from two out though and has yet to record a win in 23 attempts in all company.
LORD SAMPOSIN weakened from three out and probably didn’t stay.

3.20 2m Class 4 Novices’ Chase

The first UK based winner travelled all the way from Carmarthen to see off another major Irish challenge. DISHDASHA was fifth in what may turn out to be quite a decent novice event on opening night at Ffos Las. He cruised away from the last here to win with plenty in hand. If the right race can be found he may just be capable of carrying the two win penalty. Otherwise it will be handicap chases and presumably 0-135 events and upwards.
TOP MARK jumped awkwardly at times and this probably cost him his chance. This still wasn’t a bad performance and with sharper fencing he will win again.
SAFARI ADVENTURES led from the sixth to 4 out and ran in snatches. Having looked well beaten he picked up again from two out. He’s not recorded a win over fences in 11 goes, and doesn’t help himself with a lack of race rhythm.
HELVIC HEAD wasn’t out of it three out, but quickly went backwards after belting the obstacle. His form has gone downhill since the turn of the year.
MORE SHENNANIGANS is outclassed in most company and had not an earthly here being tailed off by the eighth fence.
PUTITAWAYFORAYEAR performed marginally worse than More Shennanigans and was well detached by the sixth fence. There have been few signs of encouragement from this animal.
FLYING FORME won what must have been a truly dire Irish point in April, but has been dreadful otherwise. He went to the pace to before four out, but quickly subsided and his jockey called it a day after a tired jump three out.

3.50 2m 4 ½ f 0-105 Novices’ Handicap Chase

PAPERCHASER has shown steady progression in recent weeks and deserved this first win. Having been held up, he worked his work into contention up the straight, led at the last and held the closing second on the flat. He probably needs to be held up, but given the right sort of race he looks capable of recording another win, particularly while this quick ground prevails.
ACCORDION ROILELET made a fine handicapping debut. Winner of what looked a moderate hunter chase at Cartmel; he made headway down the straight before challenging on the flat. He was just held but looks to have enough about him to challenge again in similar company. He certainly seems in good heart this year.
FORTIS ET FIDELIS had hinted at finding some form when sixth at Listowel last time. He belied 28/1 odds here to give it a good go, racing prominently all the way before being run out of it on the flat. A good effort that gives some encouragement for the future. It could be that the fast ground was helpful.
TRAFALGAR MAN has been on a decent run, but the rise in weights combined with a step up in distance was against him here. He was in front going to the last so a drop back to two miles would do no harm.
TOULOUSE EXPRESS, another in a decent run of form excepting the odd typical wobbly, forced the pace until four out before paying the price. There was probably a little too much competition here and I wouldn’t write him off just yet. Haven’t I just changed my tune with this one in recent weeks?
HE’S A HOTSHOT pulled hard for much of the early running and was nudged along after the eleventh fence to keep going. He faded from that point.
ALAGON hit the tenth hard and that stopped him in his tracks.

4.20 3m 0-130 Handicap Chase

This race was run at a decent pace which had half the field yelling “enough!” with half a circuit to go. The time was 7.6 seconds under the standard so there is every reason to respect the form.
CROZAN hadn’t won since 2005 and is now 32lbs below his career high. A change of tactics seemed to do a rejuvenation job here and he galloped a competitive field into the ground. Assuming his confidence is boosted by this there should be more to come.
MARUFO jumped awkwardly in the rear early on. He moved through to have every chance from three out but couldn’t get to the winner. This looks a decent effort and there will be easier opportunities for him. It is worth noting that he is now 11612 on ground good or faster.
MILL SIDE was hampered when All Rise came down at the twelfth which left him some work to do to get back into the race. Allowing for that it was a pretty decent effort to work his way into third place and he’s another that looks best on good or faster ground.
KELLS CASTLE has run a succession of decent races and fourth here, well clear of the remainder, was a creditable effort given the company. However his losing run is now 13 and he just doesn’t quite produce the extra in the latter stages of races.
NO COMPLAINT made brief forward progress going to the fourth last but was quickly on the retreat.
WATER TAXI seems handicapped above his ability and struggles in this company. He needs some relief from the handicapper.
IRON MAN was feeling the pinch when taking what appeared a rather tired fall three out. He would have done a bit better than recent efforts though and is worth keeping an eye on.
BROOKLYN BREEZE and SHANNON SPRINGS never got into the race and pulled up before three out.
MR ED was hampered by All Rise and couldn’t recover enough. He hadn’t been pressed at the time and can be forgiven this race.
ALL RISE was up 30lbs following his Perth Gold Cup effort and subsequent Hexham win. He was still going within himself when falling at the twelfth fence.
NGONG HILLS made a couple of bad mistakes but he was feeling the pinch and struggled with the tougher opposition.
FAKIMA lost touch by halfway and persisted in a forlorn last place until three out.

4.50 2m ½ f 0-135 Handicap Hurdle

TOSHI recorded a third jumps win of the year, adding to a Chester flat win. Brought through from the rear in the straight, he stayed on well after the last. It might be worth a go at the decent handicap hurdles in the summer and it’s also worth noting that he still seems off a decent mark on the flat.
A stablemate of the winner, SPIRIT OF THE MIST had every chance two out but was outpaced going to the last before staying on again to take second. He was running from 12lbs out of the handicap which presumably won’t be forgiven, but a drop in class should be enough to gain some win prize money. He might pick up a minor novice hurdle if his trainer is so inclined, although I get the impression Mr Goldie’s preference is to go for a handicap.
SIBERIAN TIGER looked dangerous going to the last but had no extra to offer on the flat. He was quite highly tried her and there should be easier chances. He’s still a hurdling maiden so there are a few options.
BORDER TALE was stretched for pace a bit going to four out. He came back enough to lead before the last and then could only muster one pace. This has often been the problem, but his flat form is decent of late and there may be a staying event for him on the level.
BAGUENAUD was never better than fourth or fifth and found the company a little tough.
ELLERSLIE TOM set the pace until weakening under pressure after two out. He ran well off 129 in the Swinton Hurdle, but he’ll have a tough job to win off 135.
TRANOS was on his game this time last summer but is struggling this year and was well beaten.

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