Thursday, 26 November 2009

Chasing, rather slowly, around Sedgefield!

SEDGEFIELD – Tuesday November 24th

Going – Soft

A very ordinary midweek card at Sedgefield.

1.20 2m 4f Class 5 Beginners’ Chase

APRIL SAN didn’t get into the race in heavy ground at Market Rasen. The conditions wouldn’t necessarily have helped one coming back form a layoff on that occasion, and the run clearly proved of benefit as he produced something like his consistent hurdling form here. Settled off the pace, he came under pressure to make progress after the thirteenth. April San then picked up nicely down the hill to the last and overtook the one paced Knockavilla up the final climb. He was lucky to find an uncompetitive event here and his future lies in novice handicaps in the foreseeable future.
KNOCKAVILLA didn’t particularly progress from a promising run at Hexham over a shorter distance. He was done for pace in the closing stages and the impression is that a stiffer track suits better.
KARMADICE briefly threatened the leader going to two out but his run petered out. Winner of a bumper and a hurdle, this was an improvement on his first chasing effort and his is going the right way.
THE GREEN HAT, who is blind in his right eye, showed a little more ability than on his previous two outings. He chased the leader until giving way from three out.
THE THIRSTY BRICKY never got into the race and was well held from four out.
RIGUEZ DANCER fell at the third.
BEAR WITNESS won an Irish point but was receiving reminders by the eighth, lost touch and was pulled up before the second last.
CHIEF LADY OLWYN jumped poorly in the rear, soon lost touch and was pulled up before two out.

2.50 2m ½f 0-106 Handicap Chase

I’m not a great fan of putting blinkers on horses. Oft times it’s a desperate measure with animals that haven’t been producing anything. However, the aids have certainly galvanised CARRIETAU into action. He has looked a soft touch in the past, but is a completely different animal equipped with blinkers. He ran a decent second to the progressive Garleton at Hexham and stepped up on that form here, leading all the way and finding enough on the run-in to see off the only opponent he hadn’t burnt off before two out.
CORDIER closed on the leader going to the tenth fence. He chased form three out and threatened going to the last but couldn’t respond when Carrietau found more. He’s yet to win over jumps, but it should be possible to find a small handicap if he can repeat this effort.
FARNE ISLAND picked up from three out and kept on for third without threatening the front two. He often flatters for a while in his races, but one win from 42 races sums up his career.
BARTON SUN made progress from three out but his effort had come to an end approaching the last. He does show a little but would need to be in the lowest class.
WATCH THE WIND has placed in weak races but lacks pace or jumping accuracy to get seriously involved at the finish.
NORMINSTER showed up until three out before fading. He has just hinted at a return to form, and is much better at Carlisle or Hexham.
NEW WISH made no impact, has won only a couple of selling hurdles over jumps, and probably needs better ground anyway.
WHATCANYOUSAY has ability at this level on his day, but has been way off the mark of late. He showed up for a while early in the race but had dropped out of contention.
ORMUS was well behind from the eighth on chasing debut.
STORM SURGE won at Ayr in February but fell early on here. Quite lightly raced, he’s capable of a win off his current mark and should be kept in mind

3.20 3m 3f 0-99 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

Here we had a bunch of plodders ridden by inexperienced jockeys, and it wasn’t difficult to put a question mark or worse against the chances of most.

There has been common myth perpetrated over many years about lemmings jumping over cliffs. However it appears a human-linked racing version is alive and well, and we saw a good example in this race. That’s the only way I can describe the actions that sent LIZ’S DREAM to 5/2 favourite. The Harrison gelding is a big old boat who is never going to do anything in a hurry. It was possible that the change to fences and move up to this trip might do the trick, but in my opinion it was not a 2 in 7 chance. In the event Liz’s Dream travelled in midfield and was weakening when falling two out.
In a field such as this the chances were that one might emerge from left field to take the contest. In the event it was OPUS CAFÉ who was returning after the best part of two years’ absence. Looking at this one’s record it wasn’t a total surprise since he had shown ability in staying hurdles. He stayed on nicely to lead at the line, past and present evidence suggesting he has enough about him to repeat a win in similar company if remaining fit and healthy.
EL TUCO, a point winner in Ireland, had been buried away in midfield in a selection of hurdles. He jumped well enough, pressed from four out and took over two out only to be caught close home. The run must be taken in context, but chasing seems more this one’s game.
PATCHOULIE CONTI raced in touch with the pace and was going well three out having kicked on into the lead. He didn’t have enough over the final two fences and dropped away. I wouldn’t imagine the trip would trouble him, so maybe the ground was a little too soft.
YA I KNOW faded from four out having chased the leaders to that point. The slog in the mud he won at Market Rasen was worse than this event.
LUSENTO made a bit of headway to three out but never got into contention.
LETHEM PRESENT set the pace to four out and then dropped away. Three miles on better good looks more suitable.
BAFANA BOY hinted at some form back in July at Cartmel but has been woeful since and was always in the rear on this occasion.
SHULMIN had the right course and ground but is totally off her game at this time.
MATMATA DE TENDRON should have been suited by course, distance and going, but is unpredictable. He raced with the pace until four out and then weakened.
FINBIN was pulled up having never got into the race and may just be a spring horse.
ELLANDSHE looked after himself at his own slow pace and was pulled up before two out.

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