NEWCASTLE – Friday November 13th
Going – Good To Soft (Soft in places)
12.55 2m 4f Class 4 Beginners’ Chase
Sadly this race saw the demise of a promising performer in Nicky Richards’s GRAND THEATRE. He fell at the fourth and suffered fatal injuries.
A traveller from Peter Bowen’s yard in South Wales, MUMBLES HEAD won this in decent style. Having shown much promise as a hurdler his recent career has been stop-start with curtailed campaigns. He was always prominently and came clear from three out. It would be a surprise if he didn’t make an impact off a penalty in novice company.
DIAMOND FRONTIER couldn’t match the winner from the omitted third last, but made a sound enough chasing debut.
Irish pointing winner SCHINDLER’S MAZE held a chance entering the straight but faded from that point.
STAGECOACH DIAMOND, who generally runs prominently, led to the tenth but was struggling before the home turn. He’s better off in handicaps, and probably capable of winning such a contest, but has proved very frustrating over fences.
LORD LARSSON was going well enough on the tails of the leaders when coming down five out. ELLANDSHE was brought down at this point, but the fact that he was so close suggested the pace can have been nothing special.
THE BRIG OF AYR is bred to need time and a distance of ground. He had lost touch by the ninth and was pulled up before three out.
2.00 3m 0-110 Handicap Chase
After three and a half years off the track DARK BEN might have been excused a little ring-rustiness. However, ne was produced spot on by his new stable to win this contest with ease. He jumped very well all the way, if just drifting right a tad, and had his race won from four out. His overall record is sound, showing 4 wins and 8 places from 18 runs and there might just be a little more in the locker.
SILENT BAY kept on for second, seeing off the remainder well enough. This was a sound enough effort after a year off.
LETHEM PRESENT’s recent runs have been poor and she looked to be struggling five out. She did rally a bit in the straight and managed to secure third place which gives some hope for the campaign.
SADDLER’S WAY got round this time after two unseats. He was held from four out but the clear round is a better sign.
WINDY HILLS didn’t make an impact.
STAR BEAT was outpaced from four out and has made little impact in four efforts over fences.
TEENANDO was in good form last season, but his jumping has totally gone to pot in recent times and a watching brief is advised until there are signs of a revival.
CHERNIK is on a 15lbs higher mark than that he won off at Carlisle in April. A number of that field were below form and I suspect the level has been over-rated. He was never going here and pulled up before the eighth. It might be worth noting that his best form has been in the spring.
DAY DU ROY had little hope from 20lbs wrong in the handicap. He was pulled up before two out having trundled around in the rear.
3.10 2m ½ f 0-115 Handicap Chase
An uncompetitive race which was a bit of a gift for LEASE LEND whose previous efforts had suggested he was more than capable of victory at this level. His Carlisle form had been franked by the third Gansey who had since won at Haydock. Lease Lend came clear from two out, was driven out in the closing stages, the impression being that he felt he had done enough. He will probably find subsequent races a good deal tougher.
JUSTTHEONEFORYOU, having been outpaced in the straight, picked up again on the flat to close to the line. This was a sound effort and there should be a small handicap for him somewhere.
ARUMUN raced prominently but couldn’t offer enough from three out. For pattern watchers, his three chases wins have all been off top weight in 0-110 company, winning marks being 107 and 108(twice).
QUITO DE TRESOR was staying on four out but he thumped two out and couldn’t get back into the race after that. A winner over fences in France, this run was better than his hurdles efforts in the UK.
TRANOS often races prominently but tends to be a soft touch at the business end. He was ridden and held from four out.
Irish challenger HOT COMMODITY was struggling by the ninth and pulled up before two out.