PERTH – Wednesday 30th June
Going – Good To firm (Firm in places)
This was very much summer form with the ground as fast as it is likely to get in this part of the world. Gordon Elliott made hay while the Scottish sun shone, one of his regular raids from his Irish base paying dividends three times on each day of the meeting.
2.20 3m ½ f Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle
A very comfortable win for Gordon Elliott’s winning pointer ABBEY LANE, adding to a win in a Gowran Park maiden hurdle some ten days previously. He just had to be pushed out to win this event and this impression is that there is a fair bit to come, probably over fences in the long term.
KEMBLA GRANGE saw out the trip on stepping up from 2½ miles. He stayed on gamely from two out but was no match for the winner, though he showed enough to hint that a small race is his for the taking.
ELUSIVE MUSE, another long distance traveller but this time from Wales, led until after three out, keeping on at one pace for third.
2.50 2m Class 4 Novices’ Chase
Tragedy struck in the second race as the mare TREATY FLYER came clear up the straight seemingly on the way to an impressive victory. She came crashing down at the last in what proved to be a fatal fall. A prolific winner, she seemed to have taken to chasing very well and will be sorely missed in Alison Thorpe’s stable.
RED KINGDOM was well held when left in front but summoned enough to hold on from the last. He looks better over fences than he did over hurdles and there will probably be better to come.
STAGECOACH PEARL was hard driven four out but stayed near enough to the second to challenge on the flat.
GRAND OPERA kept on for third though never looked like winning.
ALL THE THE CAUSE ran no sort of race and was well beaten.
SALTRASH lost touch on the final circuit and, given that he was reported as having bled from the nose, it was surprising he wasn’t pulled up.
3.20 2m 4½f Class 4 Mares’ Maiden Hurdle
NIAMH’S WAY, rated only 81, stayed on to win this though the form looks worth very little.
Bumper winner GRACE N’ FAVOUR led until before the last and was then one paced under pressure.
MILLROCK LADY raced close up but struggled from two out.
MODESTINE raced prominently until hanging badly left after the seventh and being pulled up. The manner of her exit suggested a problem, physically, mentally or with the tack.
3.50 3m 0-130 Handicap Chase
All BILL’S ECHO’s wins have come on good or faster ground and he returned to his best, picking up from two out and leading at the last. He’s dropped the best part of 20lbs in the ratings over 20 months and that won’t have done any harm.
HARRY FLASHMAN ran another sound enough race, though he might well have won having been left clear on the home bend. I wonder if he was giving it his all from the last.
WESTERN GALE kept on for third without ever being better placed. He’s not running as well as he is capable currently, though I suspect a stiffer track will do no harm.
BEAR WITNESS tracked the leaders but was held from three out.
FLYING DOCTOR got reminders going to thirteenth and was driven. He did respond to get in touch, but then whacked three out causing his jockey to lose his irons. Jon Farrelly made a decent recovery, but all chance had gone. On balance this was no bad handicap debut and I believe he can make his mark in similar events.
SHERIFF HUTTON, with conditions to suit, was beaten after three out and eased down to come in last.
PETIE MARGOT had been driven for some way but was still hustling Harry Flashman when her rider came adrift on the home bend. It appeared to me that Paddy Brennan may have had a tack problem as he exited ‘stage left’.
4.20 2m 4½f 0-105 Handicap Chase
KING ROONAH had looked a winner in waiting on more than one occasion of late and obliged at what seemed a very generous 7/2. He challenged on the bridle too out though got lazy on the run-in and had to be driven out. He was beaten in better company the next day but should win another chase.
EMOTIVE progressed through the field from three out. He never looked like winning and, though he has taken quite well to chasing, he is frustrating.
STOLEN LIGHT stayed on for third having been in the lead or near the front most of the way. This was a good effort from 12lbs wrong, but does devalue the form a bit.
STORM PROSPECT is a cussed individual though did consent to stay on from the rear for fourth. Peter Buchanan deserves plaudits for his persistence.
ICE IMAGE once again proved a softy at the sharp end, fading from two out.
CLUELESS dropped away from three out and hasn’t shown much other than a brief glimmer when fourth at Sedgefield.
HIGH STAND LAD lost touch from the tenth. He won at hurdle at Musselburgh last season when able to dictate and needs things his own way.
NOBLE COMMANDER weakened three out, BROADWAY STAR was feeling the pinch from the eleventh and ATHOSS was never going.
4.50 2m ½f 0-130 Handicap Hurdle
WIKAALA has looked a tough sort to win with, but she showed enough determination in the closing stages to win this fair quality handicap hurdle.
DISHDASHA has been in good form of late and stayed on well for second. He still looks competitive off 130 and won’t be a huge amount higher after this.
Keen going RAMPANT RONNIE, wearing a first-time tongue-tie, led until headed at the last and could offer no extra. Nevertheless he put up a respectable effort.
SPA WELLS raced prominently and kept on for fourth, ahead of ANNIBALE CARO who was held from before the last.
PERTH – Thursday July 1st
Going – Good To Firm easing to Good (Good To Firm in places)
With rain about, and it’s much needed in the area at the moment, the ground eased in the early part of the afternoon.
2.20 2m ½f Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle
RIVERSCAPE’s Downpatrick victory suggested that she had more to give. This proved to be the case as she saw off two higher rated opponents. Getting into contention form two out, she led on the flat and ran on well.
WIND SHUFFLE ran creditably enough in second, disputing three out, leading from two out until the flat and running on once headed. He should be capable of picking up a novice or perhaps a handicap.
BEIDH TINE ANSEO was held from before the last here though this was a good deal tougher than previous assignments. He is only young and I’d be surprised if his progression has ceased.
MR NOBODY kept on steadily from the rear and Tony Martin might be expected to place him to advantage somewhere along the line.
WHAT A RIDDLE ran creditably but appeared held when coming down two out.
2.50 3m ½f 0-105 Handicap Hurdle
With sixteen going to post this race was big on numbers but decent form was thin on the ground.
LONG WAIT won this very easily having taken time to get the hang of the job over hurdles. There looks to be more to come though the form has to be seen in the context of the quality of opposition.
TARKANI normally manages to avoid exerting himself to the full though stayed on for second.
MAOLISA, who is moderate but does stay well, kept on for third having been thereabouts for most of the race.
FOLLOW ON passed a few late on to finish fourth. His only win was at Hexham and that stiff track would suit him better.
HERMOSO appeared to have run out passing the stands for the second time, but it transpired that Sam Twiston-Davies had ridden a finish a circuit too soon, an offence for which he was awarded a 12 day ‘holiday’.
3.20 3m 0-90 Handicap Chase
HURRICANE JACK normally finds that the fences get in his way. However, he ran respectably in first-time blinkers last time and stepped up here against soft opposition.
GERSHWINNER has been mainly disappointing since winning here last year. His jockey gave him reminders even before the first fence though he did keep on for second place.
EXECUTIVE’S HALL was outpaced to three out but stayed on again for second. He has time to develop and I believe he has staying chase wins within him given time.
LORD LESCRIBAA dropped out of contention form three out. He blew hot and cold in points and seems pretty much the same in ‘senior company’.
HASPER was going nowhere when taking the thirteenth by the roots and unseating Gillan Crow.
JANAL raced up with the pace early but dropped away on the final circuit and was pulled up. He isn’t currently hinting at adding to his only win.
SHORT STRAW has shown little to date and was beaten past halfway, being pulled up before the back straight for the last time.
The blinkers applied to ASH HIGH brought no improvement and he was tailed off when pulled up before four out.
3.50 3m Class 4 Novices’ Chase
This could turn out to be a strong contest with the first three potential 140+ level over fences.
BILLIE MAGERN has plenty of pace and jumps well. He ran this field of novices ragged, had the race won down the home straight. Given that the second is rated 132 and the third has a hurdles mark of 145, then there’s every reason to suggest that Billie might be capable of scaling the heights that brother Ollie reached. He certainly looks a natural at this game.
DEL RIO couldn’t match the winner, and a mistake four out didn’t help, but he kept on to see out the trip in second place. He will turn into a decent handicap chaser in time.
CHICAGO GREY’s jumping wasn’t as slick as that of the first two and he was outpaced after four out. He has the basic ability and is another decent prospect given a chase or two under his belt.
CORRICK BRIDGE ran respectably coming off an 8 month break. He had a fair second to his name previously and plugged on in the straight. He would be unlucky to cop such sharp opposition in future events.
Maiden Irish point winner QUEEN COURT had a very tough task on her second chasing outing. She did well to stay in contention until two out before the effort told. Connections must take encouragement from this effort.
DUKEOFCHESTERWOOD, who has always looked a potential chaser, jumped competently but faded steadily from the twelfth. This was a tough ask and he can find his level in time.
AURIFEX had no chance and was tailed off in the last mile.
HAVING NIGHTMARES lost touch form four out.
4.20 2m 4 ½ f 0-130 Handicap Chase
NATIVE CORAL had a dismal ‘09/10 but showed that he’s no back number by coming from the rear off a strong pace. The race was probably run to suit but he has a fine record here which reads 121161. Fast ground suits and he’s now four out of five at trips around two miles and a half.
QUITO DU TRESOR takes a lot of credit since he raced up with a decent pace all the way and looked to have seen off his field by the last, only for the winner to arrive with a wet sail late on. He is consistent, goes well on good or faster and should add to his tally of wins in the near future.
STAGECOACH AMBER kept on for third though never able to dominate the field as he would wish.
KNIGHT LEGEND gave way two out having led or disputed to that point. This was a fair effort but he’s not as good as he once was and time is starting to catch up.
RETRIEVETHELEGEND, returning to fences having been hurdling since a fall last September, was held up and never got seriously involved.
SOUBRIQUET made on impact here though this race was a good deal tougher than the company he beat at Sedgefield.
KING ROONAH was beaten before three out. This was a rise in class and his efforts of the previous day may not helped.
STORYMAKER lost touch before four out and ANOTHER AMBITION had been dropped a fence earlier, eventually pulling up before three out.
4.50 2m 4½f 0-90 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
This was a very moderate event which looked likely to go to GRAND ART. Coming off a lay-off well in excess of a year he was going very well two out. He veered left when put under pressure going to the last, interfering with Can’t Remember in the process and, though he stayed on well enough to hold on, he lost the race in the stewards’ room. Tim Vaughan seems to have Grand Art back to the form he’s capable of and he might well make amends.
CAN’T REMEMBER has shown form on and off but wouldn’t go down as consistent. She came to challenge at the last and rallied after being bumped approaching the hurdle. She showed determination and it could be that the tongue-tie applied here made a difference to her.
KNIGHT VALLIANT showed continued signs of revival in third, staying on from two out.
PAPRADON led until two out but was one paced once headed.
MIDDLEMARCH didn’t run so freely this time, the visor having been dispensed with, and kept on for fifth.
5.20 2m NH Flat
ESPERAO led under pressure after two furlongs on the bridle two out, then had to have pressure applied to pick up a furlong out from which point he came away from his field.
CORKY DANCER stayed on for second. He’s not quite confirmed the promise of hiss debut win but he looks good enough to make a mark over hurdles.
INISHARGIE was held once passed two out. He lacks pace over this trip and will come into own given a stiffer test of stamina over hurdles.
BLUE SHIRT LILLY was outpaced five out, but she was not pressed by her rider from that point and is probably better than the distances suggest.