KELSO – Saturday October 20th
This meeting looked in a bit of danger midweek, the course soaking up 70mm of rain in 12 days, but drier days on Friday and Saturday were enough to ensure the meeting went ahead. Clerk of the Course Hazel Peplinski commented that the course could have taken another 10-15mm, and on my inspection that looked accurate. Conditions were stamina sapping but well raceable. The quality of track’s drainage was emphasised by the amount of standing water on the golf course in the middle of the course.
2.05 2m ½f Download the Free Racing UK iphone App Novices’ Hurdle (Class 5)
Two points about the race title:
1. Why does it have to be so long?
2. In my book ‘App’ means apprentice in this sport!
That aside this was a decent contest which is likely to yield future winners, despite mishaps catching two of the three main contenders.
DEISE DYNAMO, second in an Irish point to twice Rules winner Dottie’s Dilema earlier in the year, was left well clear as his two main rivals departed two out. He was going well enough at that point and seemed likely to finish first two. As it was he eased home for victory.
A tall four-year-old who still has a bit of filling out to do, Deise Dynamo looks to have plenty more to give and is likely to make a mark in much better company in time.
OUR JOEY, a strong attractive sort and twice a bumper winner, raced prominently and had every chance two out, if just coming under a shove. He stumbled on landing and came down but looks sure to pay his way in the near future.
ROCKING BLUES, another striking type looking a chaser in the making, cruised up to dispute approaching two out and appeared to jump the hurdle well enough. He appeared distracted as Our Joey came down and hit the floor himself well after the obstacle. Off the track for two years since a debut bumper success he is another that looks a readymade winner.
CASTLELAWN is a chasing type who will need more time. He plugged on for a fortunate second, but will come into his own with fences and a stamina test.
ONE FOR HOCKY, a Newcastle bumper winner in March, looked fit neoguh on seasonal debut but was left behind from the fifth. I suspect that better ground will help and he’s better than a 42 length defeat suggests.
Back in February I noted EDMUND as a chasing type who will need time. He was outpaced from flight number five and came home in his own time, but should be competitive once chasing.
RESOLUTON has shown nothing to date.
Sometimes you see a hrose running and wonder quite why connections bother. BENFIT WAY was brought across from County Armagh, his previous record in points and a bumper an abysmal PP9PFPP, the ninth when beaten miles last in the bumper. He set off in front, jumping violently right, and was totally spent by the fourth hurdle. Benfit Way is not a racehorse.
2 .40 2m 7 ½ f Clifford and Martin Frith Novices’ Chase (Class 4)
Not a bad novices chase won in decent style by OUR ISLAND, highly tried in National Hunt Chase and Scottish National last year but finding this more his level. His jumping wasn’t spot on, but good enough to keep him well in the contest. Having hit the front three out he had to be rousted to keep going on the flat, but I suspect he felt he had done enough.
MICRO MISSION stayed on determinedly but couldn’t get to the winner on the run-in. This was a decent effort, she’s favoured by the mares allowance in the conditions and should find a novices’ chase.
ON BROADWAY jumped well enough on chasing debut but got tired in the ground. He was beaten by two decent performers and will find easier races.
GOREY LANE didn’t jump well enough in this company and was left behind from three out. Rated below a few of these over hurdles, he needs sights set lower.
SYDNEY PAGET raced in contention until falling three out. He jumped well enough to that point and looks capable of making amends.
BOLLIN RIVER has shown little to date and had no hope here, tailed off by the twelfth when pulled up.
3.15 EDF-FR Fallago Rig (110-135) Handicap Chase
A decent little contest with a few that should win races this season.
ACROSS THE BAY looked nicely set up for his first run of the season. He bowled along in fornt, jumping well and pulled away from two out. He can stay further and trouble better opponents.
BESCOT SPRINGS performed to his best here. Wearing a visor for the first time, he stayed on well from two out but couldn’t get to the winner. His current mark of 123 might enable easier opportunities to be found and he can win before long.
LORD VILLEZ looked very well for his first run for five months. He stayed on from midfield in the straight. Ferdy Murphy’s string normally take a time to warm up in the autumn, so a prominent performance is a good sign for one who looks well enough handicapped.
ROLECARR looked as if the race would bring him on. On the heels of the leaders to two out, he flattened a bit after that but promises better to come.
LEAC AN SCAIL raced in co0ntention until a mistake three out knocked the stuffing out of him. This was a fair effort and there is plenty of scope for placing him off a mark of 114.
Willie Amos apparently expressed reservations about whether LIE FORRIT should have been running in the testing conditions. This suggests the gelding wasn’t as far forward as his trainer would have liked. He faded badly from three out.
BLENHEIM BROOK raced well enough to three out before giving way. A combination of firat run of the season and the testing conditions may not have helped. This will be his level in time.
CAVERS GLEN needed the race and dropped away from three out. He should come on a fair bit.
SUPER ALLY had a tough task here and was never travelling. He was another that needed the race.
3.50 2m ½f Peter Doyle (91-113) Handicap Hurdle
A largely exposed bunch were seen off by a revitalised HUNTERS BELT who didn’t look in much trouble from two ou, despite breaking a hurdle section in half. A twelve length win means he’ll be pushed into a higher class and will have harder tasks.
The remainder of the field all took advantage of the gap caused by the broken hurdle, led by STANLEY BRIDGE who kept on well enough for second. Four times a winner last season, this run suggests he has every chance of adding a victory or two this term.
I marked RUPERT BEAR down as one to keep an eye on last season. He won a race at Hexham in the spring, and this big typically robust James Walton gelding performed creditably on his handicap debut. He’ll make a chaser in time, should be capable of winning a handicap hurdle in the meantime and will stay further.
ENDEAVOR plugged on for fourth, but never in the contest. He’s capable at this level, if quirky temperament wise, but below his best at this time.
4.30 2m 6 ½ f Happy Birthday Gillian Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)
Irish import STREAMS OF WHISKEY looked fit on his UK debut for Nicky Richards. He was bit green in front in the closing stages, but held on well enough. This wasn’t the strongest event but he should progress.
Rated 103 after a couple of places in Ireland, MILANO MAGIC stayed on honestly enough after the winner. He placed over three miles in Ireland so further may suit, and Nick Alexander should palce him to win a small race.
A winner at Perth last time, RYTON RUNNER was well held here.
JUMBO SUPREME looked a nice sort in the paddock but faded tamely from three out, while11-year-old TEERIE EXPRESS found these too sharp for him.
5.05 2m 1f Beginners’ Chase (0-110)
I took a chance to watch this race from the centre of the course. However, walking down to the last fence it was clear that the low sun was far too bright for the fences in the straight to be jumped. They were omitted, so I made a quick trek across a soggy golf course to the fence past the stands. I had to keep on the move from here to see the whole race.
This was a ratings related contest which does at least give a chance to those now forced to have a run in a non-handicap chase before going handicapping.
Five runners were reduced to four as WILLIAM MONEY dived at the first fence and fell. He was hacked back and looked none the worse.
ROS CASTLE was impressive in winning this. Jumping significantly better than his opponents, he gained a length and a half at the fence I was stood at. He was not pressed to come clear in the straight. He stays 2m 4f and will prove his worth in better company.
ANGEL SUN was held up rear of the four survivors and never got to the winner. He kept on encouragingly up the straight to take a clear second and should be capable of picking up a minor chase before long.
OVERAFRICA was hanging left and this didn’t help him when meeting his fences. He was well outpaced in the closing stages and is likely to need a tougher test of stamina, particularly given that his best hurdles performance was over 2m 5f at Towcester.
TUTCHEC is a big animal who probably takes some getting fit. He jumped soundly enough but was left behind from two out, this race being likely to bring him nearer to fitness.
5.40 2m 6 ½ f Edinburgh City FC Conditional Jockeys’ Training Series (62-98) Handicap Hurdle
Nick Alexander’s string is in decent form at present, and he seems to have wrought some improvement out of those horses acquired from his now assistant Sue Bradburne. CAUGHT IN THE ACT won a bumper but disappointed afterwards. Coming off a break he was always going well and asserted from two out under an assured ride from Joe Colliver. Racing off only 81 here, Caught In The Act seems very well handicapped given the evidence of his two wins.
SOME LAD ran creditably here last time and saw out this extended trip well enough. He probably ran in to a decently handicapped winner and was clear of the remainder, leading three out but finding the winner too good from the last. He should win a similar class race.
LIVVY INN was never in the contest proper but stayed on through the field for third and it’s difficult to know what to make of this effort. On the face of it this was better than recent races, but I’d be happier if he had got more involved.
DICKIE HENDERHOOP, a long standing maiden, once again flattered to deceive for a while before coming up short. Not for the first time made favourite, it’s amazing how many are happy to follow this one over a batting cliff!
KING KALIUM hasn’t shown much to date, but did at least keep on in the closing stages to take fifth. He looks a chasing type and could make a mark in time in lowly handicap chase company.
DUNDOCK has been running well in recent times but never really got into this contest. He was hled from two out having been off the pace for most of the way.
VALLANI is normally decent in this class but she ran no sort of race here. That said she had top weight, which for a small mare in this ground is a bit of a task.