Friday, 23 October 2009

Carlisle - Thursday October 22nd

Going – Good

A sprinkling of rain over the last few days has seen the Carlisle going ease to near ‘good’. There were three on the card, one ddistinctly decent novice, a fair quality staying handicap and a lesser staying event.

2.40 2m Class 3 Novices’ Chase

A very decent novices’ chase for this point of the season, and there should be a few winners from the race.

FIENDISH FLAME made a very impressive debut. Sent on in front by Jason Maguire, he jumped very well and had plenty left in the tank to go away from three out. He’s the best novice chaser seen out in the North this season and looks likely to step up to Graded company with no fears.
DOESLESSTHANME had progressed nicely via bumpers and novice hurdles. He put in a couple of slow jumps early on and never got to grips with the winner. However, there was plenty to like about the way he went about his job and he will not catch such a strong opponent every time.
MORE EQUITY put in a cracking chase debut. She stayed on up the hill to gain a well merited place. This run appeared a good deal in advance of her hurdling form.
SONGE might be regarded as second best on the day since he paid the penalty in the closing stages for attempting to go with the leader. He was still in pursuit until a blunder at the third last saw him start to struggle. Rating 150 over hurdles, he should be capable of getting somewhere near that mark in chases given time.
OCKEY DE NEUILLAC was never near the leaders. However he did keep on up the hill for fifth. This looked a very tough task on his debut, but he did enough to suggest he should make a mark in less exacting company. It’s worth noting that Ferdy Murphy’s stable has yet to find anything like top gear this autumn.
REGENT’S SECRET struggled in this company and had no chance from halfway.
MIRAGE DORE appeared to provide further proof that Rose Dobbin has yet to have her charges anywhere near their best. His jumping was a little ponderous, but even allowing for that he should have got involved here In the end his placing of sixth was as near as he got. A watching brief is advised until the stable shows more encouraging signs.
THE KEALSHORE KID was dropped in at the deep end on his chasing debut. He made a brief effort before four out but never got seriously involved in the contest.
UPTOWN LAD had no chance in this company. For stablemate ALLEGEDLY RED this was like being asked to cross The Channel without have swum before! Off the track for yonks, he played up as the runners left the start and steadily lost ground until his rider called it a day at the bottom of the hill.

3.15 2m 1f 0-123 Handicap Hurdle

The exasperating HIGH BIRD HUMPHREY reverted to hurdles and really should have won this contest. He passed front-running WHISKY MAGIC after the last, but once in front the ears pricked up and it was clear he decided he had done enough despite his rider’s urgings. Even then Whisky Magic only got up on the line. ‘Humphrey’ continues to collect place money to pay his way but is not one to trust with a win bet.

3.45 3m ½ f 0-130 Handicap Chase

DESCRIPTION built on the promise of his third in what looked a fair novice event over an inadequate trip at Hexham. He chased the leader, took over at the tenth and stayed on up the hill to win in decent style. He’s as highly rated as over hurdles, but there was enough in this performance to suggest he may not have finished the general improvement that started in February.
NILE MOON set the early pace and stuck at his job well enough to threaten once again coming to the last. He ran out of puff at that point but gained a deserved consolation prize. Good or faster ground suits him best.
SHREWD INVESTOR intersperses dire runs with the odd good performance. In fact when he’s completed the course he’s now 5 wins from 13 efforts. When his jumping holds he is capable at this level and he only gave way two out. It may be that smallish fields are his best bet over fences since his jumping is put under less pressure.
KALMO BAY sat out the back until staying on up the hill to take fourth. He tends to rely on picking off tiring opponents and would benefit from a slight drop in class.
THE WHISPERER was under the shove going to four out and didn’t threaten the leaders. Lightly raced for an 8-year-old, he has a sound overall record and should come on for this run.
SOUBRIQUET continues to perform moderately and looks to need a drop in the ratings.
MR STRACHAN had curtailed season last term and never got involved here. He needs softer ground and some relief from the handicapper.
ZITENKA, on her first run since last December, was never going and pulled up before two out. Her wins have all been within 15 days of her last run so the run was almost certainly needed to bring her on.
BLEU POIS was struggling by the eleventh and dug his heels in when faced with the last fence. It took a while to bring him to the boil last season, so the run may bring him on.

4.50 3m ½ f 0-95 Handicap Chase

Phil Kirby has been going along very nicely this season. His SIMPLY SMASHING re-acquired the tongue-tie after a disappointing hurdle run at Sedgefield. It seems the aid did the trick. He stayed on well in the latter stages to collar Ballynure on the line. If his airway can be kept clear a good stiff test appears to suit him, though he is best on good or faster ground.
BALLYNURE has not always looked the most committed, but he couldn’t be criticised in defeat here. He put in plenty of effort to look the likely winner from two out, only to get ‘done’ in the shadow of the post. The problem from a backer’s point of view is that his price is often shorter than his win record warrants.
VIEL GLUCK made a satisfactory chasing debut, though admittedly against a generally motley bunch. He had every chance at the last but then ran out of steam. That said, his best two performances have come with stiff finishes.
One of what I understand are only two in training from the Ferguson yard, SHULMIN went well enough to three out but couldn’t go with the leaders from that point. She’s best at Sedgefield and connections will presumably be eyeing a County Durham based campaign.
BULLIES ACRE, who ran passably well over two miles at Hexham, has offered little evidence that he is effective at this trip and was stymied by the finishing slope.
TOY GUN raced in front for a way then quickly fell to the back. He did keep going enough to beat a few home but the pre-Christmas wins from 2009 are receding in the memory. That being said, I note his recent record in heavy ground is 1P211P, and the last ‘P’ was when out of his depth. Value seekers might like to carry that gem forward.
FINBIN put together a good run of form when kept on the go earlier this year. He may have needed the race here and never got involved.
TREEHOUSE defeated a ‘large box of marshmallows’ at Hexham in April but has done little otherwise. He was on the fringe four out but folded at that point.
HEVER ROAD took over from Toy Gun after a circuit. He started to strain approaching four out, and once passed two out dropped back swiftly. The odds are there is a physical or mental reason for his swift capitulation.
SILVER DAGGER added a second consecutive ‘Refused’ to his record. He plugged round in the mud for a third at Cartmel but other than that his recent record is abysmal.
LETHEM PRESENT, returning after a year’s absence, was never going and his rider called it a day with a mile left.

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