HEXHAM – Saturday 8th May
Going – Good to Soft(Good in places)
The final flight in the back straight was omitted due to ‘ground under repair’. This resulted in a very long run between second last and last, and only six flights jumped in the two mile races.
2.15 2m ½f Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle
MONTOYA’S SON finally showed the winning ability that he has hinted at. Previously a weak finisher over hurdles, he stayed on determinedly to pip TWENTYNINEBLACK near the line. The latter should pick up a small race before long as he didn’t do much wrong here. PYRACANTHA ran creditably under a penalty to finish a close third, if just held on the flat.
ATTAGLANCE ran a promising fourth, one paced from the last, and will benefit from a step up in trip. He has prospects.
2.45 2m ½f Class 5 Selling Hurdle
DUNASKIN finished with a rattle to pip the consistent PRIORYJO on the line. The latter is a fair measure at this level but should probably have won this. She went clear but idled after the last.
DR VALENTINE was one paced from the last in third and this is his level, while SUNSET RESORT stayed on to show just the faintest glimmer of ability, though never seriously involved.
3.15 3m 1f 0-91 Handicap Chase
FINBIN presumably benefitted from his reason comeback after a lay-off. He’s plenty capable at this level on his day and won this race with a bit to spare, staying on up the hill and pulling clear from that point.
SHULMIN chased the leaders two out and kept on for second. She’s in reasonable heart now and has plummeted in the weights.
HASPER plugged on for third. He’s at least competitive at this level, but he’s getting on a bit and lacks any serious pace near the finish.
JANAL plugged on for fourth but his presence ni that position sums up how moderate this race was.
CINAMAN went well until two out but a bad mistake there blew any chance he had. Early evidence is that he tries hard enough over fences, but he’s small and that’s always going to be a drawback. It might be interesting if he went pointing since he has reasonable speed and would be better over less arduous obstacles.
THE ARTFUL FOX was a well held sixth and has struggled under Rules.
IMPACT ZONE was in the hunt approaching two out but then weakened.
REXMEHEAD probably didn’t stay but he was beaten a long way out anyway.
The remainder pulled up. EDITOR’S ROSE was too keen early keen early and THE GREEN HAT was never going. BENNY THE PILER went well until a mile out but then struggled and seemed to lose his action before pulling up four out. GLACIAL RAMBLER is poor maiden and struggled from halfway.
3.50 3m 0-99 Handicap Hurdle
Nicky Richards has FLYING DOCTOR in rattling good form at the moment. He eased into the lead at the last and came clear with any amount in hand. His trainer will presumably do his best to exploit opportunities in the near future.
SOLWAY ALLY has been running well of late. She kept on under pressure but couldn’t respond to a clearly well handicapped winner. There will be other opportunities in the coming weeks.
AUBERGE kept on for third but is an ordinary maiden, the same going for ALMOND COURT who was a one paced fourth.
4.25 2m 4 ½ f 0-122 Handicap Chase
I’ve always considered OCARINA a decent performer at this level as he will jump them silly when he gets his act together. Things finally clicked after mediocre spell and James Ewart’s charge made up for an indifferent 2009-10 campaign. He raced prominently, was ridden to the last and led on the flat.
CASH MAN was headed after the last but kept on for second, remains in good form and has both hurdles and chase options.
NILE MOON felt the pace down the far side but stayed on again for third. He’s capable at this level on his day but not particularly consistent, and probably needs a race where he can dictate terms.
LIVINGONAKINFEDGE ran a little better than of late but was held by the top of the hill.
JUST FOR MEN weakened two out as did BABE HEFFRON, while NELLIEDONETHAT once again ran no sort of race and finished well behind.
QUICUYO raced close up but weakened approaching tow out and was pulled up before the last. He had threatened a return to form but this was a backward step.
BLEU POIS is another out of sorts, losing touch from the eleventh and pulling up before three out.
5.00 2m 4 ½ f Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle
Liz Harrison has her string in fine form at the moment and picked up another win with SOLWAY SAM. He led before the last and stayed on to go clear. This trip suited and he hints that a longer trip will do no harm, so there’s a fair chance of more to come.
PATRIOT kept on for second but is basically exposed which perhaps shows the level of the beaten horses. WAVE POWER has proved ordinary over hurdles and struggled from the top of the hill.
SOULARD couldn’t replicate recent chasing form back over hurdles and was beaten on the long run to the last.