CARLISLE – Sunday November 1st
Going – Soft (Heavy in places)
November arrived with a dousing as Scotland and Northern England were hit by heavy rain on Friday then again on Sunday. The net result was the type of winter jumping ground that stayed with us for most of last season at Carlisle.
The first hurdle down the back was omitted and replaced in the early races by a water splash! The first two fences down the back were omitted as was the fourth last. The weather was thoroughly miserable for the early contests with heavy rain and a howling gale blowing smack into the runners’ faces over the last two fences. The conditions were such that they favoured the dour stayers, but decent sized fields stood their ground throughout the afternoon and we have some evidence to take forward through the winter.
1.0 2m 4f Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle
This contest was run 30 seconds over the standard and the runners certainly didn’t push the pace early on.
Having shown promise on better ground previously, GOING WRONG stayed on determinedly to hold his main challenger with a bit to spare. He should be capable of defying a penalty.
WYMOTT pushed the winner until the final burst to the line. He was hindered on the flat by a brushing boot flapping loose, though I doubt that affected the result. This was a very promising hurdling debut and he should win a hurdle.
FRANKIE ANSON ran promisingly at Kelso in March and his presence in third adds weight to the form. He found the final slog beyond him but he there is likely better to come, particularly in slightly better conditions.
TURTLE SPIRIT comes form a family favoured by these conditions. He was not disgraced in fourth and is now qualified for handicaps.
James Ewart is not one to hurry his stable until the ‘jumping season proper’ which I’d estimate he sees as November to April. His TURBO ISLAND was made favourite on the basis of two testing ground bumpers wins at Ayr, the last run in a swamp. He jumped a trifle deliberately and weakened from three out. Not every horse will be suited by an introduction in such testing conditions and I expect him to leave this form way behind. Staying will be his game.
JURIDICTION was threatening to run a decent race when unseating three out, perhaps indicating just a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for Mrs Dobbin’s stable.
1.30 3m 1f 0-92 Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle
A poor event with the starter open to question, and not for the first time on this course.
CINAMAN disgraced himself last time by charging the tapes, unseating his rider and doing 2/3rds of a lap. His behaviour was a pain at the start once again. He once again charged the tape, but for reason known only to himself the starter chose to let the field go thus giving Cinaman a 10 to 15 length advantage. Having been given a start, CINAMAN was able to dictate and had enough in hand to hold off ROSENEATH and RIFLEMAN on the run-in. RIFLEMAN hasn’t looked keen in the past, but ROSENEATH comes from a jumping family and is capable of going on from here. He should pick up a minor hurdle before going chasing.
The report of the Stewards’ Enquiry regarding start came up with the following judgement:
'.....Having heard their evidence and viewed a video recording of the start, the Stewards noted their explanations that Mr.H. Challoner was taking all reasonable measures to control his mount and that the remaining riders were happy to take a lead from him. They therefore took no further action.'
2.05 2m 4f Class 2 Intermediate Chase
A very good event with one or two runners who will be seen at the better jump meetings over the season.
KNOCKARA BEAU was given an easy introduction at Cartmel back in May and took time to warm to his task on that occasion. Sharpened by the experience he was right on his game here, and the way he pulled clear of the proven Killyglen suggests he can mix it with the best novices over fences this season.
KILLYGLEN, a proven novice last season, was up with the pace all the way but couldn’t hold his opponent from two out. He will be better for the run and I would presume he will go to the Open Meeting at Cheltenham as his next call. This pipe opener may have been just what was required.
CHIEF DAN GEORGE needs further than this to be seen at his best. He plugged on to take third.
CROCODILES ROCK won here last season but struggled under a penalty on two subsequent runs and was struggling from four out here. It might be worth dropping him back to two miles.
CAMDEN GEORGE had a stiff task here. His jumping can be a bit iffy but wasn’t bad after a couple of reminders put him straight. He will win a handicap or two when his jumping holds.
AURORAS ENCORE probably found the conditions too tough around here. He probably should have been pulled up, but made up his own mind by refusing at the last.
THE GREEN HAT was hopelessly outclassed here, soon tailed off and was pulled up before the eighth fence.
2.40 2m 1f 0-113 Handicap Hurdle
The weather was a little better for this race and by now a bit of the standing water had started to soak away.
DINARIUS was going well two out, led after the last and forged clear. This was the first time he had encountered testing ground over hurdles and it did him no harm. He can record another win in similar conditions.
QUATRO PIERJI took it up three out but was run out of it from the last. He may go up for this as he was a long way clear of the third. He handles testing ground and the uphill slog well enough.
SUPER BABY jumped big like the decent chasing jumper that he proved himself last time. Proving his well being he was one paced from three out but did enough for third, and will be well tuned for a return to the larger obstacles.
CASH MAN and EDMO YEWKAY, fourth and sixth respectively, are others who will be seen more to advantage when returned to fences.
3.15 3m 2f 0-135 Handicap Chase
There was heavy showery rain during this contest.
SILVER BY NATURE landed one of Carlisle’s top jumping events, pulling away from his field from two out. He struck me as a potentially decent performer early in his career, but his form has been up and down and his jumping sometimes leaves a bit to be desired. However on this occasion he got things together and maybe now can move no to bigger and better things. He has shown his best form on soft or heavy ground so the testing conditions were right up his street, and he proved that he sees out this trip very well.
BACK TO BID has been in the wilderness for a couple of years, his career having stalled after a promising hurdling career. He stayed on from the rear over the last four fences and picked up second place on the run-in. This run does at least suggest he is capable of winning his first chase since early 2007.
MR STRACHAN was up with leaders all the way if found out for pace from two out. He got the ground he needs here though may just need to be eased a little more in the weights.
JASS showed enough here to suggest that he is capable of pitching at the better Northern staying chases even allowing for a mark of 135. He has run well on heavy but my impression is that he’s more suited by a bit better ground than this.
RATE OF KNOTS was in the mix four out but struggled from the bottom of the hill. The race will bring him on and I’d expect him to produce better than the fifth place here.
REEL CHARMER finished sixth but was a long way detached from the first five. He found this class tough and may need a drop in grade.
MERIGO was never going on his seasonal debut. The conditions here suited and it’s probably safe to assume that this race was needed from a fitness point of view. He has taken benefit from a run or two in previous seasons.
TOT O’WHISKEY was struggling at halfway, being pulled up before two out. His form tailed off last season and a sign of a recovery would be needed before he can be considered.
ANTONIUS CAESAR was always behind and was pulled up at the bottom of the hill. He has taken a couple of runs to warm up in previous campaigns.
ZITENKA was in midfield until feeling the pinch around the ninth. She needed a couple of runs last season to come right, and her wins have come when reappearing within 15 days of her last run.
TEEMING RAIN doddled up in appropriately awful conditions at Exeter last season. He’d shown nothing for a while before that and reverted to type here despite conditions which were theoretically in his favour. I suspect he needs to have had a recent run, though he has produced some dire performances in between his last two chase wins.
SHERWOODS FOLLY raced up with the pace until four out (last one on the far side), but gave way quickly from that point and was pulled up. Another likely to benefit from the run but six runs from March 2008 show him FP5P0P.
WILD CANE RIDGE paid the penalty in the ratings for some good form in his early chase career. Despite dropping in the weights he is still trying catch up with the handicapper. He has benefitted form a first run of the season in the past.
MALKO DE BEAUMONT, an improver last season and one who shouldn’t be inconvenienced by testing conditions, ran no sort of race and connections were unable to offer an explanation. His form pattern suggests his rating of 124 has taken him out of his winning range. His last win was a by a battling two lengths off 116.
3.50 2m 0-102 Novices’ Handicap Chase
There wasn’t a huge amount of decent form brought to this race. However, BOB’S DREAM could at least boast a few places and has won over hurdles. This was the most stamina sapping test eh had faced over fences and he came out on top, forging clear from the last fence. This was a weak event though and it’s questionable whether there would be an awful lot of improvement to come.
FARNE ISLAND is inconsistent and has only one flat win to his name in 41 efforts. He led two out but gave way at the last. There’s no guarantee he’ll repeat the form next time.
MORE SHENNANIGANS took an age to find any sort of measurable form, but to his credit he has now run three respectable races this autumn. He stayed on late past tiring rivals. He’s hardly betting material but does at least appear to be racing honestly.
BULLIES ACRE is another who wouldn’t top of a ‘must back’ list, but a fourth here has merit from 12lbs wrong in the weights. He raced near the pace for most of the way but had nothing extra to offer from two out. His closest finishes have been here or at Hexham where the hill, on this occasion aided by the going, slows the others down.
LINDSEYFIELD LODGE raced prominently to three out from whence further reserves were not forthcoming.
HURRICANE JACK took no significant part in the proceedings until passing a few late on. This was a first chase effort and there was enough to suggest he may offer better in time.
BRADDOCK ISLAND disputed or led until making a mess of three out after which he weakened. He showed more here than on his chasing debut.
SEVEN IS LUCKY didn’t jump well on his chasing bow and was always in the rear division.
LUSENTO is yet to get close over fences and had cried “enough” before the final climb.
HEAVENLY CHORUS mad progress and seemed to be going well three out. His effort petered out and he finished in the rear. He was much better over hurdles.
WELL OILED was outpaced four out and pulled up before two out, showing no more than on his previous run at Hexham.
4.20 1m 6f 3yo NH Flat
Alan Swinbank’s ROYAL SWAIN looked ready to do himself justice on debut. He took up the running two out, showed a lot of greenness once in front, but showed enough resolution. He should progress for this experience.
Stable mates VANNIN and EAGLE OWL showed plenty of promise in chasing home the winner.
BOW BADGER led to two out and then gave way. He pulled hard early when setting a very steady pace and will improve if he settles better.
James Ewart’s SWALLOW, whose dam won over hurdles and fences and is a half-sister to Azertyuiop, raced up with pace until giving way from two out. He at least put in enough to pull away from the remainder and will produce better with time.