HAYDOCK – Wednesday 28th October
After a being winless since July 2007 CATCH THE PERK recorded a tenth chase win, and a thirteenth career win, as Lucinda Russell found a nice opportunity at Haydock. With the familiar sheepskin cheek pieces removed, he was held up and then came clear over the last three to beat Thai Vango by 14 lengths. He went close twice at Hexham in the summer and still retains his ability on going days. The key to future chances rests with the handicapper’s view of his comfortable win.
NEWCASTLE – Thursday 29th October
Going – Good (Good To Firm in places)
1.30 2m 4f Class 4 Beginners’ Chase
PAMAK D’AIRY ran a number of decent races over fences last season, mainly in handicaps, but never got his head in front. His was well tuned up for his comeback and jumped soundly to win with plenty in hand. Assuming the handicap says “as you were”, then he will continue to be competitive in handicaps.
BORDER REIVER is a chasing type but was well held by one with more chasing experience. He jumped well enough though and will no doubt come on for this outing.
ELLANDSHE is a safe but very slow conveyance, though connections found a soft maiden point for him in the spring. He plodded round for £611 in third.
DESERT MAZE jumped a bit to the right but seemed safe enough in front until falling six out.
3.00 3m 0-87 Handicap Chase
It wasn’t difficult to blow a hole through the credentials of this group of six chasers. However, SEEK THE TRUTH has more than enough ability at this level if inclined to show it. He went comfortably all the way and forged clear from two out. A repeat is by no means guaranteed, though similar lousy opposition would help!
HEVER ROAD goes OK when in front but generally jacks it in once challenged. He led to three out but plugged on once headed and was well clear of the third. The re-application of blinkers on his last couple of runs does seem to have sparked a little more enthusiasm. His days of a win off 113 in 2006 are a distant memory.
CELTIC FLOW plodded fractionally quicker to the line than OSCAR TRIAL but both were seen off before the straight.
JBALLINGALL had shown recent signs of a revival. However it was back to square one here as he gave way quickly from a mile out and was pulled up.
RECKLESS VENTURE lives up his name in being less than foot perfect at times. He came a cropper at the seventh.
4.00 2m 4f 0-94 Handicap Chase
Tim Vaughan isn’t frightened to travel in search of opportunities. His Fakenham winner CHAPEL FLOWERS followed up with the minimum of fuss here, seeing off a motlety crew with ease under a 7lb penalty. It appears that the key has been found, and there may be a bit more in the locker.
PERSIAN PRINCE chased gallantly up the straight though well held. He has won three points and has shown enough to two recent handicaps to suggest he can remain in the mix in ordinary events in the north.
PANTHERS RUN plugged on for third but is normally haled in the latter stages.
COPPER’S GOLD jumped a little better than his previous run, but a mistake at the eighth set him back and he struggled once turned for home.
CHIGORIN never got near the leaders and a brief effort five out came to nought. He ran a couple of decent races this time last year but has been well held since.
MASTER PAPA was off the track from February ’07 to December ’08 and has gone rapidly downhill since then. He dropped away before four out.
TOULOUSE EXPRESS went well in front but was feeling the pinch when hitting the eleventh and quickly subsided and was pulled up.
Although showing a little in Irish points, MONTY’S BOY was moderate over hurdles and looks no better over fences. He was tailed off when pulling up before four out.