SEDGEFIELD – Monday April 12th
Going – Good (Good To Firm in places) – The ‘cross fence’ at the top of the hill was omitted in all chases.
An all amateur riders’ meeting and the ground dried out. My report is rather brief due to time constraints but I’ll try to cover the key points.
2.10 2m Class 4 Amateurs Riders’ Novices’ Hurdle
Progressive COASTLEY pulled clear from two out. With dry conditions suiting I presume he will have a target at Perth and will take the beating. SUMAK just held off pint-sized but big hearted RAVASWAMI for second. THE ONLY WAY kept on to finish close behind in fourth.
2.40 2m 4f Amateur Riders’ 0-105 Handicap Chase
I’ve asked questions in the past about TOULOUSE EXPRESS, but on his day he is very decent at this level and takes some passing. He had too much resolution for this field, recording his third course win. The ground is no problem and he’s still on a workable mark.
GENERAL HARDI chased from three out but couldn’t make an impression from the last. He’s only won one race in 30 attempts and that was on fast ground.
VIEL GLUCK seemed a good deal more willing than of late and only gave way approaching the last.
LAWAAHEB won in similar conditions here a year ago but was held form before the last off a higher mark. He is clearly difficult to keep fit as he has been lightly raced of late, but he’s worthy of consideration when fast ground prevails.
MISTIC ACADEMY was held from two out but was a fairly close fifth, a best effort on his eighth jumping effort.
WITNESS RUN faded from two out and it’s a long time since he won.
MUTUAL RESPECT weakened two out and is sliding down the handicap without out showing signs of winning.
IMPACT ZONE plugged on form the rear but never got into the race.
JANAL was never dangerous, MANOUBI has been running well lately but can be moody and never got involved and WHATCANYASAY is right out of sorts at present.
CLOUDIER led to three out but then quickly retreated.
EBAC showed a chink of light last spring, but that flame seems extinguished and he was well beaten when unseating two out.
3.10 2m 4f Novices’ Hunter Chase
OVER TO JOE stayed on well to lead close home. He was very ordinary in handicaps and just beat SEAVIEW LASS, a mare who pulled up on her only other effort under rules in 2007. Both are point winners but not likely to make an impact in tougher hunter chases.
CRASHTOWN HALL stayed on late having been well behind. His hurdling form suggests he would be better than some of these, but there was no hint of that here.
RACING ACE was outpaced from three out and needs more of a stamina test.
MISTALAD and FIFTH COLUMN were beaten from halfway.
FAIRY SKIN MAKER slipped up on the top bend.
BARRY THE CRACKER led until three but was tired when pulled up after two out. He looks too headstrong to last out under Rules.
JOHN DILLON and THE VIKING were prominent early but both faded and were pulled up in the straight.
3.40 2m 1f Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Selling Hurdle
The title of the race says it all.
Consistent but moderate PRIORYJO was good enough to hold the in-form SAMIZDAT. Both acquit themselves well enough in non-sellers.
The remainder, led by TAR and SILK AND ROSES, do not look win material.
4.10 3m 3f Hunters’ Chase
OPTIMISTIC HARRY looked to have no chance for most of this contest. Samantha Drake was rowing away form early on, but finally got a tune out of her mount as the others tired. For one rated only 71 over fences he has a reasonable record of 4 from 11 over jumps but as he is an 11-year-old that suggests he’s difficult to keep fit.
DIX VILLEZ looked the likely winner when Floreana jacked it in, but was out on his feet when caught on the run-in. Raw ability gets him in the mix, but his jumping isn’t the best when pressed and that hinders him in competitive events.
NADOVER was flattered when left a remote third approaching the last.
SENORA MOSS chased the leader early but was struggling on the final circuit and finished well beaten.
FLOREANA looked most likely to win approaching the last a couple of lengths up, but veered right and declined the fence.
WAS I RIGHT disappointed recently at Vale Of Lune and struggled going on to the final circuit before being pulled up.
FORTY SHAKES raced prominently early but was exhausted when clambering over two out at which point his jockey called it a day. With hindsight he probably wouldn’t have taken the second last.
4.40 2m 5f Hunters’ Chase
ROBIN DE SHERWOOD was once rated 130 and has been in good form in points. He challenged going to the last and just prevailed in a battle to the line. He looks to have enough about him to win again in this sphere.
PEN GWEN was always prominent and gave of his best if just foiled on the run-in. He had been struggling in handicaps but seems in better heart after a spell hunting.
BRIZE NORTON stayed on from well back for third.
BELEM RANGER unseated at the first in the Aintree foxhunters’ but jumped round after. He must have felt the effect of those self imposed exertions from three out here since he had every chance on his best form.
BAL DES CHAMPS raced keenly in front until headed and weakening before the last. This French import might be of interest in these events if he settles a little better.
KINFAYRE BOY lost touch from three out and LUCIUS RUFO dropped away after whacking the eleventh.
ALLUMEE is a light of former days, once rated 124, and was pulled up two out after never getting involved.
OCEAN DANCER has a dreadful record in recent times and has dropped from pulling up in handicaps to pulling up in a hunter chase. Retirement beckons as racing him seems futile these days.