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.