Saturday May 29th
The weather was disappointing for the first of three days’ racing at Cartmel and a good few of the crowd were on their way home before the end of the evening.
The opening hurdle saw Donald McCain’s mare IDENTITY PARADE make it two from two over hurdles, hanging on gamely from STAND CLEAR. The latter was clear of the remainder and Ferdy Murphy should find a minor event for him.
In the seller DUNASKIN looked to be struggling on the home bend but, as previously, he rattled up the run-in to wrest the contest close home. In the end it was a comfortable win and his turn of speed does make a significant difference at this lowly level. LETS GO GIRLS isn’t the most consistent performer but ran well enough to take second, just ahead of DANNY ZUKO who was dropped in grade after a disappointing return to hurdles last time. WOODY VALENTINE stayed on from a way back to take fourth but is not hitting his best at the moment.
7.00 2m 5½f 0-100 Handicap Chase
SHULMIN has been hinting at a return to form of late. All her previous wins had come at Sedgefield it seems that a sharp track is the basic requirement for producing her best. Able to settle comfortably she took up the running at the last and was kept up
to her work to win. She was 8lbs wrong here, but at her best that mark is very generous and she built on this performance just two days later.
EMOTIVE has been running creditably over fences and kept on for second if unable to get to the winner. He’s doing enough to suggest that his trainer can find a handicap chase for him.
CROFTON ARCH ran as good a race as he has done for a while. He kept on at one pace for third, but this was a decent effort from 10lbs wrong in the weights and he was another to build on the performance later in the meeting.
SYCHO FRED couldn’t match the principals from three out. He probably needs a stiffer test but his jumping is a bit sloppy.
STORM SURGE was prominent most for the way but found wanting on the long run from the last. His best has come around two miles and a drop back in trip would suit.
PEAK SEASONS is moderate and is found out in anything like a competitive race. He ran prominently but struggled from the last.
CORPORATION, placed in weak novice hurdles last year, has been disappointing of late and dropped away from the eleventh.
WINGED FARASI was never going and was tailed off when falling at the last.
7.30 3m 2f 0-95 Handicap Chase
A multiple point winner in Ireland and a respectable sixth over the cross-country course at Punchestown, VOLCANIC ROCK proved well up to the quirky test that is a Cartmel staying chase. He made steady progress from halfway and was nudged clear after the last. He seemed to have a fair bit in hand and it wouldn’t surprise me if his trainer searches for further opportunities this side of the Irish Sea.
ONTHEGOAGAIN, a second Irish challenger and a winner at Hexham in October, ran a sound race if outpointed from the final bend.
THE ARTFUL FOX has limited ability but kept on to take third place.
GERSHWINNER weakened before the last and is proving very disappointing as is BATHWICK BREEZE who raced prominently but gave way tamely from the last.
COPPER’S GOLD has picked up a couple of soft events but having led from the start gave way two out and weakened. I still think he can win off his current mark if able to get a soft lead in a moderate contest so don’t write him off.
SIERRA PEAK and SAM CRUISE have both seriously lost their way of late and were well beaten. The latter doesn’t help himself with some appalling jumping0.
DUNBRODY HOUSE jumped badly in rear and was pulled up.
BENNY THE PILER once again went out like a light and seems to have a problem.
8.10 2m 1 ½ f Class 4 Novices’ Chase
The favourite MUTUAL FRIEND needed a decent pace here but the four opposition jockeys were not of a mind to oblige. He rallied close home but couldn’t find enough to take the race and is a sort who needs things to fall for him.
THUMBS UP was the obvious second choice and made a sound chasing debut, leading after the final turn and having enough in hand to hold on.
WATCH OUT had every chance but was outpointed in the final furlong, SPRINGFIELD RAKI was outpointed form three out and JAMES CAIRD, formerly useful on the flat but off the track after a disappointing spell hurdling, was beaten two out.
SIR FRANK ran on gamely to take the 2m 1½f novices’ hurdle. He’ll be competitive in similar events over the summer. DUTY FREE is consistent if regularly finding one too good and ran on well for second. BEAT THE SHOWER stayed on for third and might be worth a glance in a moderate event at a stiffer track.
ARDESIA continued her improvement to take the closing handicap hurdle. Locally trained DEVILS DELIGHT is consistent enough in this sort of company and kept on for second. ROYAL FLYNN was a well held third and isn’t particularly close to that elusive victory. KNIGHT VALLIANT is running a little better now after some dire runs in the winter, but was held in fourth.
Monday May 31st
Going – Good
Glorious Bank Holiday weather brought out the usual huge crowd at this delightful Lakeland venue. This is the ultimate Country Fair meeting.
A mares’ novices’ selling hurdle is about as low quality as jump racing gets. DREAM RISK built on a degree of jumping promise, and a couple of respectable flat runs, to come clear in the straight. STIR ON THE SEA raced keenly for much of the way but was outpaced in the street, though finishing in front of Stratford winner BONZENO QUEEN. The rest will struggle to win anything over obstacles.
Progressive BEIDH TINE ANSEO hosed up with ears pricked in the four-year-old hurdle and looks likely to have his sights set a good deal higher before long. He was decent on the flat with Jim Bolger and is starting to show that ability over hurdles. ANDHAAR made a promising debut in second and will be unlucky to run into another one as good as the winner on the summer circuit. Back in third CLASSIC CONTOURS sets the level having twice been a runner-up previously.
3.20 3m 6f 0-104 Handicap Chase
SHULMIN made it two wins in three days with a very easy win, the trip here being a bit more suitable than the one she won at on Saturday.
PAUILLAC stayed on under pressure form the last without threatening the winner. This quirky course seemed to suit him as his form of late has been moderate.
BACK IN BUSINESS plugged on for third, LAVENOAK LAD was one paced after the last and arguably needs a track or conditions that place a greater demand on his stamina.
HEVER ROAD has been in good form in the spring, but he’s basically just a plodder and could only keep on from the rear, the turning track possibly not playing to his strengths.
FINBIN found this event tougher than what turned into a match at Sedgefield and was never dangerous.
STOP THE SHOW was up with the pace for much of the way but was quickly cast aside in the last three-quarters of a mile.
ESME RIDES A GAINE raced with the pace until losing here place four out, quickly back pedalling.
FEELING PECKISH made his losing run 72 and finished tailed off.
GERSHWINNER didn’t see out the trip, but he was beaten at the three mile mark anyway and is very weak in the latter stages of his races.
SADDLER’S WAY struggled from halfway and was pulled up two out.
3.55 2m 5 ½ f Class 4 Beginners’ Chase
SIMARIAN seems to have had his interest rekindled by going chasing. He followed up a promising second on debut with a determined effort to win this race, leading to two out and rallying on the flat.
LAST FLIGHT battled well enough having taken the initiative from Simarian but was just held. Peter Bowen isn’t frightened to put in the horsebox miles and should find an opportunity for her.
INDIAN PIPE DREAM stayed on under pressure in third.
HEARTHSTEAD DREAM did well to stay in contention for a long way given that his jumping was slow at times. He faded after one mistake too many three out.
BALLYCOLIN is likely to need more of a stamina test and lost touch from the last while YOUNG YOZZA cut no ice on chasing debut, struggling from early on.
4.30 2m 5 ½ f Hunters’ Chase
Prolific winning pointer ARDNACLANCY broke his Rules duck with a determined effort, seeing off pacemaker WHAT OF IT in the straight.
LAGOSTA kept on for third, FATHER MURTAGH was held after the last and finished fourth.
CLUTHE BOY has won points but is finding hunter company a lot tougher, while THE STCKLER raced close up until giving best from two out.
ATHOSS has shown promise of late but was disappointing on this occasion, fading from four out.
WILFIE WILD, a fourteen year old returning to senior racing after three years, went well enough until weakening quickly after the last.
BARRY THE CRACKER was held up in last place and stayed there, becoming tailed off down the wood-side on the final circuit.
Back to the closing hurdles contests and PADDINGTON BOB took the two and three-quarter mile novices’ handicap, just holding GALLEY SLAVE who didn’t do much wrong but is rated a lowly 68. LUKEY LUKE, previously beaten in a seller, was close up for third and the rest were put in their place.
The closing Conditional Jockeys’ staying event was won by FLYING DOCTOR who continues in very good form. GLEN ROUGE is basically a plodder but has run some fair races of late. The rest were well held though MONEY FINDER went well until giving way in the last quarter mile and she may benefit from a stiffer track.
Wednesday June 2nd
Going – Good (Good To Soft in places, Soft on the wood side)
Just a bit of cut in the ground for the closing day of Cartmel’s Spring Festival and that may have made a difference to a few.
TWENTYNINEBLACK made it two in a row in the opening novices’ hurdle seeing off SILVERLORD. Gordon Elliott should place the latter to win before long, though it’s worth noting this one will probably need a sharp two miles to bring out the best. 113 rated QUATRO PIERJI ran a fair enough race in third and sets the level.
BASFORD LASS won a weakly contested mares’ maiden from SAINTLY LADY with the well exposed MAOLISA third having been prominent all the way.
3.25 2m 1½f 0-94 Handicap Chase
CROFTON ARCH produced his best run for a good while, leading and sticking on well up the straight. He seems in good heart at the moment and enjoyed bowling along in front round this tight circuit.
BOLD PIONEER looked to be going best on the flat but couldn’t find enough once asked. I suspect it says a lot for Graham Lee’s talents that this one made second place.
TURBO SHANDY is a course and distance winner but couldn’t make any impression from the final bend while STAR TENOR couldn’t summon pace to challenge form the last.
TROODOS JET had every chance but couldn’t raise his game from the last despite urgings from above.
SCHINKEN OTTO found this tougher than his Sedgefield contest and faded from the last.
FLAMING HECK was tailed off whilst ICE IMAGE went well for a way but weakened disappointingly down the wood side. Those two beat GLENGAP who lost touch four out and shows little promise at this time.
3.55 3m 6f 0-115 Handicap Chase
A disappointing turn out for an event dominated by Chabrimal Minster in recent years.
LYDON HOUSE stays well but doesn’t win very often. He just kept galloping here and had the race in safe keeping from the last.
MR ED contested until the last but just plugged on and his overall form pattern is discouraging.
MASTER SEBASTIAN plodded on for third but was never close enough to threaten.
LITTLE GIRL ran a decent race from 23lbs out of the weights, running prominently for much of the way and keeping going well enough to hold fourth. She shows a glimmer of ability, but time and a desperately low rating are against her.
SPORING REBEL was out of contention with a mile to go and walked in for fifth.
MICHIGAN D’ISOP never got into the contest and was pulled up three out, whilst VICTORY GUNNER pulled up having raced prominently to the tenth.
4.30 3m 2f Hunters’ Chase
THUNDER HAWK recovered his form and showed a good attitude to rally and lead near the line against an idling second.
DELIGHTFUL CLICHÉ should have won but decided that he had done enough a furlong out having cruised into the lead three out.
DOC ROW ran creditably in third back in a more realistic class. He couldn’t summon an extra effort once turned for home.
THISTLECRAFT was held form three out whilst AREYACODDINMEE never got involved and was tailed off from two out.
FAIR QUESTION was rallying and looked likely to be involved in the finish when thumping the fourteenth and shooting his rider out of the plate.
OPTIMISTIC HARRY gave Samantha Drake a nasty unseat at the first whilst OAKLANDS LUIS and PROUD ANDEES struggled on th final circuit and were pulled up.
SUMMER SOUL continued his good form in the 2m 6f handicap hurdle, scoring for Lucinda Russell’s yard. Flight before the straight was omitted on the second last circuit and Campbell Gillies shaped as if expecting to miss it when it was the last. The damaged flight had been repaired and Gillies corrected himself sufficiently, gathering his mount to quicken clear quite impressively. This one might have another race in him as he is in fine heart and form here looks solid.
DOWNING STREET stayed on from a long way back for second overtaking CASH MAN who tried to match the winner but weakened after the last. These two are decent measures at this level and another in-form performer was fourth in SPARE ME.
The closing contest of the meeting saw ARDESIA add to Saturday’s win. Like Shulmin earlier this one came out of his first race in good nick and put up another decent performance. Solid form credentials were at a premium here though, previously well held GOLDEN FUTURE staying on for second with course specialist WENSLEYDALE WEB benefitting from a return to her favourite venue, though never threatening in third place.