CARTMEL - Thursday July 15th
Going – Good (Good to Soft in places)
Recent rain, much welcomed by the locals for some reasons, meant the going for this meeting was just on the soft side of good. Despite indifferent weather the crowd held up quite well though a figure of 5,500 was a little down on last year’s figure.
Time constraints mean I’m concentrating on the chases with brief notes about the hurdles contests.
2.30 2m 1f 110yds European Breeders’ Fund (4) Beginners’ Chase
Not a strong event and we didn’t learn an awful lot more about STAGECOACH PEARL. However, he did see off moderate opposition comfortably and couldn’t be asked to do any more. Always going well, he went clear on the long run-in.
KIND HEART made a satisfactory chasing bow. He was a little awkward at one or two fences and was left behind on the flat. He’ll probably be better over a stiffer track and will come on for the experience.
RISK RUNNER stayed on from the rear for third. He had every right to get involved considering his hurdles mark, but given that his win came at Newcastle then it’s not difficult to conclude that this track will not bring out the best in him.
GOUGANE was never in the hunt and finished a well beaten fourth.
EL PRESIDENTE didn’t achieve much on his chase sat Fakenham, despite a second place, and was feeling the pinch four out.
OVERQUEST made brief progress from the rear to the seventh but didn’t get near the leaders.
Pointing winner SENDEED has not hinted at making a mark under Rules and was tailed off from the eighth.
LISGLYNN JIM was ridden at halfway and pulled up at the eighth.
3.00 2m 1f 110yds Temple Heelis Commercial LLP (0-92) Handicap Chase
HIGH STAND LAD looks at his best when able to ‘bully’ inferior opponents, though he can’t be relied on even given those circumstances. A tongue strap was tried here and it’s possible that measure worked the oracle. He went on from four out and was well clear by the last, this effort by far his best over fences.
PEAK SEASONS chased the leader from the ninth and performed as well as he ahs done of late. He’s basically very ordinary though and has run many times since his last win.
ICE IMAGE is frustrating but kept on to take third.
HAPTHOR passed a few late on from the rear. He places occasionally but it looks hard work.
PINEWOOD LEGEND was another to make some moderate late progress.
CROFTON ARCH ran two good races here in May but reverted to his previous moderate form on this occasion.
LUKIE VICTOR faded from the ninth. He’s not sparkled for a yard which often improves horses joining them.
WELL OILED was tailed off and looks very moderate.
WENSLEYDALE WEB, who has gone consistently well here in hurdles, does not look a natural chaser and was always struggling.
TROODOS JET, normally thereabouts in this company, was close up when falling at the eighth, while EMOTIVE was in contention when overjumping and falling at the water (four out).
3.40 3m 2f Weatherbys Bank (0-120) Handicap Chase
An open event with most looking to be handicapped at their level.
MIZEN RAVEN led two out and, despite being hampered on the run-in, was driven out to the line for a narrow victory. He showed the right attitude but will find it more difficult next time.
DUKEOFCHESTERWOOD has struck me as a type capable of winning chases. He performed creditably in only his second run over fences, challenging from three out if held in the final furlong. He was squeezed for space on the run-in, but held on merit. He will learn from the experience and I’d expect him to win a staying handicap chase.
DALLAS BELL was held up but made progress in the final mile to chase the leader on the run-in. This was arguably his best effort over fences.
PETITE MARGOT had to rousted along for much of the trip, but as is here way she remained in contention. She was outpaced going to three out but stayed on after the last to finish a close fourth.
THE ARTFUL FOX led or was close up most of the way but weakened quickly after the last.
WESTERN GALE was pressed to remain in touch for much of the way and lost touch approaching the last.
ONTHEGOAGAIN was tailed off in the final mile. He’s a winner at Hexham and it likely this course didn’t suit him.
THUNDER HAWK led early but dropped out quickly from the seventh and was soon pulled up.
A moderate opening novices’ hurdle was fought out between the two form principals, OURSININLAW and OUR GUARDIAN ANGEL, the former suited by a step back up to a more suitable trip. They beat a poor collection of opponents.
Maurice Barnes’s good year continued as he produced BOLD EXIT, a cheap purchase from Tom George’s yard, to win the maiden hurdle. The race lacked any strength but Barnes has managed to get a few moderate performers to progress in recent times, and this one saw off the second by 24 lengths. The favourite, Donald McCain’s FLICHITY, was thoroughly uncooperative, unruly in the preliminaries and hurdling poorly in the race. He finished well tailed off.
RARE COINCIDENCE scored a first hurdles win since 2006 in the 0-110 handicap over Cartmel’s minimum distance. CANNON FIRE led two out but was caught near the finish while SOUBRIQUET returned to form with a close third, the three finishing clear.
MONKHAIR was a comfortable winner of the closing novices’ handicap, though he gave his supporters a scare when stumbling and almost unseating close home. Spinning around this tight circuit seemed to suit this one down to the ground.
HAMILTON – Friday July 16th
Hamilton’s Glasgow Fair Friday meeting is headlined by the Scottish Stewards Cup over six furlongs. LOWDOWN took advantage of a favourable draw, had the run of the race and won quite nicely. A suggestion of how well favoured he was came in the sprint at York yesterday when HAWKEYETHENOO turned the form round with Lowdown struggling. Jim Goldie’s charge was badly drawn and finished lame at Hamilton but showed no ill effects on the Knavesmire. He will probably get into the Stewards Cup at Goodwood now and is in rattling good form.
The first two to finish on the far side were ESPRIT DE MIDAS and BALDEMAR. Both have run creditably since, the former when a close third over seven furlongs at Newcastle, and the latter when not beaten a huge distance in ninth behind Hawkeyethenoo at York. Both are worth noting in upcoming engagements.
The support card was of relatively low quality and I struggled to spot anything of immediate interest. However, HIGH RESOLUTION notched up a notable handicap double over the Thrusday and Friday of this meeting.
AYR – Monday 19th July
Ayr hold a Fair Meeting on the Monday afternoon, though the Glasgow holiday isn’t marked as consistently as it used to be and the crowd was around the 2,500 mark. The feature event, a Class 2 five furlong handicap was won by FAVOURITE GIRL who held on gamely in the final furlong. PAVERSHOOZ was a close second and has worked his way into form. He hit form at a similar time last year and seems primed for a win.
QUEST FOR SUCCESS is high in the handicap now but ran best of those drawn wide and might surprise before long.