Sunday, 10 July 2011

Soggy Perth Sunday

PERTH - Sunday 10th July

Going - Good (softening significantly in heavy rain from 3.40 onwards)

A fairly low key meeting that won't live too long in the memory for most. The heavens threw it down with rain during the fourth race and the remaining contests were run on softening ground, with parts of the course becoming water splashes.

2.10 2m 110yds toteplacepot Maiden Hurdle (Class 4)

Lucinda Russell has brought in a few new recruits for the summer campaign and WILD GEESE scored on his second outing for Arlary Stables. Racing prominently, he led at the last and was driven out for victory. This wasn't a great contest but he'll probably go better over a longer distance.
THAT'LL DO NICELY was fifth in a moderate Musselburgh event back in November. He was going well enough two out but outstayed from the last. He has prospects in minor company over hurdles.
MR TALLYMAN finished weakly again and is basically a one paced sort.

2.40 2m 4f 110yds Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer Novices' Hurdle (Class 4)

Few cards at Perth go without a winner from Gordon Elliott, and the Irish trainer obliged with BRAVE BEAUTY in this event. She won this fairly comfortably, easing into contention approaching two out and shaken up to go clear on the flat. She stays further but has speed to win at shorter distances.
GREEN MINING led until approaching the last and lost nothing in finishing second. He has prospects of recording a second novice win to go with his Worcester victory.
TAP NIGHT ran a fair race in third place, though held from two out. He's a flat bred sort who was previously in action the US, and I wonder if a drop to two miles might help.

LOCH DHU faded rather disappointingly from two out. That was handicap and I wonder if he might be better off in that company.

3.10 3m 110yds Try totequickpick On all totepool Bets Handicap Hurdle (0-115)

WINTER ALCHEMY looked a winner in the making when I first saw him. He's proved to be a little less than straightforward, jinking left here before the last, but stayed on under encouragement having led or disputed from the start. I suspect there may be a little better to come and stamina seems his strong suite.
MANGER HANAGEMENT was eased into the race approaching three out and had every chance. He was tired on the flat, hung right and was held.
FARFIELDS matched the winner until weakening before the last. This was a fair effort on his handicap debut and would be interesting if dropped in class.
OH SO BEAUTIFUL chased the leaders but was held from two out. She has steadily improved with experience and as a four-year-old a little strengthening will help in stamina contests.

3.40 2m 4f 110yds toteexacta Handicap Chase (0-122)

The heavens opened and the rain heaved down during this race.

Fife amateur Lucy Alexander has been getting a significant number of outside rides in recent times. She's a decent amateur rider and was helped by an improving performer in SCOTCH WARRIOR. Michael Smith's gelding has adapted well to the challenge of moving from hunter chases to handicaps and is progressing. Always going well up front, he responded well when asked for an effort from two out.
PEACHEY MOMENT has gone up 8lbs since last time and was held from the last but ran a sound race against a well weighted opponent. He has been progressive and the combination of rain and weight might have counted against him.
STEEL MAGNATE couldn't make any impact on improved terms with the winner and was held from two out.
BIG BURROWS offered a little more encouragement than on recent outings, though held in the straight.

4.10 2m 4f 110yds Try totequickpick If You're Feeling Lucky Novices' Chase (Class4)

Three Irish runners were pulled out to reduce the field to three, the rain still coming down heavily.

FOOL’S WILDCAT looked the likely winner approaching the last, and was four lengths up on the flat, but he totally gave the race away. He’s proved unreliable previously and is one to oppose at short prices.
KHORUN looked to be struggling before four out, but stayed on in the straight under driving and won a shade comfortably in the end. It’s difficult to quantify the performance though since the race was presented to him with his rivals underperforming.
Irish maiden point winner GOLDEN VIEW moved straight into chases form bumpers. He ballooned the first three but jumped better until making a pig’s ear of the water and dragging his hind legs. He stayed in contention but struggled once turned for home. The blunder could have hurt him and he’ll be worth another chance though has something to learn about fencing.

4.40 2m 110yds Red Hot Chilli Pipers Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-96)

It was still raining heavily and the entrance to the back straight was covered with standing water.

OCARITO surely can’t be improving significantly as a ten-year-old and presumably is just less bothered by rain than the others, but won this nicely, leading all the way and responding when asked on the flat. He was clear with COOL BARANCA who is ion decent form here and ran well enough.
The third VIA ARCHIMEDE has shown little of late and was well held.

5.10 2m 110yds totepool A Better way To Bet Standard Open NH Flat Race

The hurdles were left in position during this contest and the runners routed around them. Given that they went outside six flights and inside two then this probably added 40 or 50 yards to the distance. The rain continued to fall and the puddles grew.

The form looks pretty solid as two previous winners occupied the first two places. JIVE MASTER followed up an easy win at Newton Abbot with a driven out victory here. The winner’s profile looks sound and he has prospects when going over jumps.
INCAS ARTICLE won at Clonmel then ran fourth in what seemed a competitive contest at Bellewstown last weekend. She disputed form a mile out but was held once the winner asserted in the final 300 yards. Neither the sharp Bellewstown track nor Perth would bring out the best in her, so she will surely improve once moved up in trip.
BLAZIN WHITE FACE appeared to improve on her effort behind Atlanta Falcon here, closing to three furlongs out but held afterwards. She stuck on well enough and she would be of interest in a mares’ only race.
LADY OF VERONA made a fair start to here career, making an effort before the straight but then unable to match the principals. She’s bred to stay and will improve on this in time.

HAMILTON – Saturday July 9th

A moderate card of Class 5 and 6 events.

ELTHEEB burst clear of his opponents in the 1m 3f Class 5 event and should hold his own in better company next time.

A maiden seller is hardly a rich source of winners, but the second here THE FIERY CROSS has at least shown he has a bit of speed and was gaining on 66/1 chance Weetentherty at the line. Now he’s qualified for handicaps Ian Semple might find a low level event over five or six furlongs.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Northumberland Plate Day

Apologies for no recent updates. I've been caught up with other matters and just haven't be able to write any reports. What I'll likely do from now on is cut down the length of the narrative and try to concentrate on a few significant performances.

NEWCASTLE - Saturday 25th June 2011

Along with David Cormack of The Racing Forum I popped down to Newcastle for the Northumberland Plate meeting. It's a grand old social occasion for the locals and a large and well behaved crowd was in attendance. The price of £42 for the Premier Enclosure is a bit steep, but on the other hand there was no shortage of takers.

Tominator benefitted from a step up in trip to take the feature to mile handicap. the noe I would take out of this contest is PETARA BAY, lightly raced in recent times but retaining a fair degree of ability. He had some traffic problems, but ran on well in the final quarter of a mile and looks capable of taking a staying handicap. MONTAFF came from the rear to take second place, but he's not an easy ride and I'd be wary of getting involved at a short price.
MY ARCH was drawn on the wide outside and never able to get into the race. He made an effort in the straight, but couldn't get on terms and was well beaten. This was a tough ask in the company, but he is well worth bearing in mind if dropped in class.

In the opening Group 3 seven furlong event the one that caught my eye was ETON RIFLES. Rated 94, he was fair bit below most here on official figures, but showed good pace and kept on into fourth. He ran some decent races over seven furlongs last autmn and looks ready to take a race in a slightly lower class.

KLYNCH ran a cracker to finish fourth in the 0-100 seven furlong handicap. This was a tougher ask than his previous runs but he was bang there most of the way and only gave way in the final furlong. He's run a decent race since and is still weighted to win a race.

The most experienced runner in the field, Kool Henry took the two-year-old maiden over five furlongs. The one that caught the eye on debut was SATANIC BEAT who coudln't quite match the winner and Free Zone, but stayed on well to take third. He's nicely bred, will benefit from a step up in distance and looks a winner in the making.

The closing three-year-old handicap over the round mile might prove to be a decent contest. WEAPON OF CHOICE led all the way nad responded determinedly when challenged in the closing stages.
MY FREEDOM was very green in the preliminaries, and proved so on the track. He would have won had he gone through a gap two out, but he baulked at it, then picked up once switched to take second. He appeared in a competitive at Newmarket this week, and was once again hampered by his greenness, being pipped on the line after hanging right and left in the last two furlongs. If he gets his act together he'll be Listed class at worst and must surely win a handicap.
YOJIMBO was clear of the rest in third and is another to note for future contests.

Mr Cormack managed to tempt me into parting with a little cash to cover a small ownership interest in a hurdler/chaser named OUTLAW TOM. He's a stayer trained by Lucinda Russell who will be aimed principally at middle range staying chases into the autumn. In the meantime he will be campaigned over hurdles and fences as opportunities occur. He ran fourth behind Bold Perk at Perth but probably paid the penalty for being the only one who seriously tried to take on the easy winner. He was essentially second best contestant on the day and did enough to suggest he'll win over hurdles or fences before long. He stays all day, has a good attitude and I reckon he won't want the ground too soft. The plan is that he will be campaigned in spring, sumemr and autumn.