Apologies for infrequent updates of late. I'm not able to commit as much time as i'd like to my reports these days. I do have a number of Scottish meetings lined up for the coming weeks as there are a number of weekend meetings. I do feel happier doing an on the spot reports rather than picking up replays off the internet.
SEDGEFIELD – Tuesday September 7th
Going – Good To Soft
Overnight rain, and a subsequent softening of the ground, led to a number of non-runners and the four chases were weak affairs. The last fence was omitted once again, the open ditch being the last fence giving a run in of well over two furlongs.
3.35 2m 4f Poker@Bet365 0-95 Handicap Chase
STOLEN LIGHT recorded a first win over fences, pretty much having the run of the race here. He set the pace, was still going best two out and was driven out to win. Subsequent tasks are likely to be tougher.
FESTIVAL KING made a promising re-appearance after missing last season. Held up early, he got into the race from three out and made steady progress approaching the last. He kept on under pressure and connections must take encouragement from one who can step up on this.
KEOGHS BAR, a pointing winner representing Irish trainer Irene Monaghan, had every chance from the final but wasn’t good enough.
In form from hurdling, ISLE OF INISHMORE was making a chasing debut. He got into the argument three out but was another found wanting in the closing stages.
COLOURS OF AUTUMN made bad mistakes at crucial stages and dropped away after thumping two out. He didn’t do badly in Irish points but is finding handicap chasing a tough assignment.
MAIDSTONE MIXTURE is capable at best but rapidly descending the handicap. He weakened from three out and is offering little encouragement.
SENDEED raced close up until weakening from three out. He went lame on landing over the last and was pulled up.
4.45 2m ½f bet365 Best Odds 0-112 Handicap Chase
A weak event went in ratings order with CALCULAITE staying on to pick off the front runner on the line.
FILM FESTIVAL was plenty keen enough, but kept up the gallop until finding the final climb just too much. He is suited by this tight track where he can get out in front and lead his field a merry gallop.
SCHINKEN OTTO was held from two out and probably not suited by the overnight rain.
SKIDDAW JONES is readily opposable, jumped poorly and was pulled up before three out.
TIGER KING doesn’t look a natural chaser, jumped clumsily in rear and was pulled up before the seventh. He looks better kept to hurdling.
5.20 3m 3f Bet365.com 0 – 91 Handicap Chase
ARCHIE’S WISH showed once again that he’s much happier over fences than he was over hurdles. That being said, this race didn’t take huge amount of winning. He tracked the leader all the way round and forged clear on the run-in.
I’ve suggested in the past that EXECUTIVE’S HALL can improve with time and a decent trip. The move to the latter brought about some improvement as he set the pace until overhauled at the last. He kept on but didn’t have the pace of the winner.
The acquisition of a visor on Executive’s Hall is not a good sign. I do feel that a jumper needs to be able to see what’s going on around him, though the aids do work on occasion, notably with Carrietau last season.
MOON MELODY has a fair record for a lowly rated horse. He’s best on a turning track but the ups and downs here may not have suited so well and he was held from two out.
SHULMIN, a three time course and distance winner, has periods in form and periods in the doldrums. After a purpled patch at Cartmel in the springs she’s back to moderate form, being outpaced form two out on this occasion.
The Scottish summer jumping season comes to end in the last week of September, Perth closing up for the year with a two day meeting. Kelso then starts the winter campaign with its first meeting on October 3rd, Hexham picking up the threads in early October just over the border.
On the flat, an Ayr Western Meeting summary will follow then I'll be at Musselburgh for their meeting a week Sunday(26th).