CARLISLE – Sunday October 30th
Going – Good to Soft
KOUP DE KANON won the opening novices’ handicap hurdle with any amount to spare. Second and third are exposed, so he probably beat a huge amount, but he’s a likeable sort out of which the McCain yard should find more improvement.
The second CLAUDE CARTER has ability but doesn’t find much at the sharp end, and NORTHERN ACRES plodded on thorough the field for third. Not much encouragement for any of the others.
David Pipe has a decent novice chaser on his hands in NOTUS DE LA TOUR. Jumping really well, he had his field beaten from four out and this decent handicap hurdler will stand a step up in class over fences.
STOPPED OUT stayed on promisingly for second on chasing debut and should find a similar event in the north.
Lightly race QUEL BALLISTIC kept on for third without ever getting into the contest. He’ll be better for this and John Wade should get a win out of this one.
SIGNALMAN jumped exuberantly, typical of many a Ewart trained chaser, but paid the penalty for taking on the winner, fading into last of six. I presume he’s been difficult to train, as races have been few and far between, but he has some ability and will be competitive once finding his level.
SUPER DUTY was a very easy winner of the 2m 3½f novices’ hurdle. Previously a Bangor bumper winner, he came clear of two previous winners. E was a bit green out in front but still eased close home. His pedigree suggests he will improve with distance.
Previous winners BENEFIQUE and HOUSTON DYNIMO ran to form under penalty and double penalty respectively.
A half-sister to Sir Harry Ormesher, FASHION STAKES was well beaten in bumpers last year, but showed a glimmer of ability in keeping on from well back for fourth. There’s plenty of work to be done still, but she hinted that she may progress from here.
The Cumberland Handicap Chase is a competitive early season Class 3 event and the first five here all look to be going in the right direction.
POWER PACK JACK impressed with an all the way win at Perth, and proved he’s versatile with another front-running win over this stiff circuit. He unseated last time, but he jumps boldly and also has plenty of stamina.
QHILIMAR was always on the premises and stayed on for second place. He seemingly ran into a well-handicapped winner and shouldn’t be out of the winners’ spot for long.
HUMBIE progressed up the hill and looked the main danger to the winner at the last. He skewed left which cost him a few lengths, but he recovered to close on the first two and just miss out on second place. He’s improved with steps up and trip and might well come on again over a longer distance.
CAPTAIN AMERICO never quite got the leaders but kept on to take fourth. He’ll find easier contests.
Hexham novice winner LACKAMON found this tougher, but he held every chance up the straight and was far from disgraced in a close fifth. He will know more next time he faces this company and I think he will progress into a decent staying chaser.
The Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase has proven a decent pointer in recent years and the six competitors are worth keeping an eye on for various reasons.
Sue Smith is adept at pulling here horses out to perform well after a break and MR MOONSHINE was impressive here. He jumped nicely in front and was allowed to fiddle the last two when well clear.
HIDDEN KEEL, rated 149, was probably a bit below par on seasonal debut and outpointed from three out. However, from past experience I suspect second here will prove a reasonable effort.
Ferdy Murphy’s horses are all short of top fitness at the moment and his three will no doubt come on for the race. KELLYSTOWN LAD came from well back to take third place. He was lowest rated here and his place probably owes something to the way the race was run. LORD VILLEZ chased the leaders but was well outpaced from four out, while DIVERS was never going and pulled up before three out. He’ll need to be much fitter if aimed at the upcoming Cheltenham meeting.
GILBARRY was niggled at for much of the way and never got into the race. He’s much better than this effort suggests.
The Class 5 handicap hurdle does not look an awful lot of help for the future. The winner ARISEA has only won in selling company previously and a rise for winning this won’t help him in handicaps since he had a couple of regular soft touches in second and third. KING BENNY, admittedly a winner at Newton Abbot where the quirky course may have suited him, seldom finds much late on and ditto LEITH WALK who capitulated when asked for an extra effort approaching the last.
I was eagerly awaiting the juvenile bumper with a good vibes eminating from the Ewart camp for UEUETEOTL, suggesting they might have a decent animal on their hands. Leading from the front he quickly went clear when asked three out. In the end it was a close run thing, with Malcolm Jefferson trained HI GEORGE closing at the line and just failing with a telescope needed to view the other runners. The pair are both bred to do a job over jumps, could just be very sharp and their hurdling debuts are eagerly awaited.