Sunday, 28 April 2013


Friday April 26th
Going – Good To Soft (Good in places)

After viewing the first two days via TV coverage I was able to get along to the third day of this meeting. It’s so much better to be on course as you see so much more of what is going on.
There have been notable changes to the layout around the entrance and paddock area. A new horse walk from the paddock now takes a wider arc behind the fish and chip shop, and if nothing else this gets over the problem of the fish and chip queue blocking the horse walk! Extra food outlets, seating areas and general open space have been added to this area.
A mobile racecourse museum was situated near to the paddock and is worth a look to see how the course has developed over its 400 year history, and particular the strides that the Scone venue has made in recent years.

2.20 2m ½f Highland Hospice Maiden Hurdle (Class 4)

A penalty kick for THE COCKNEY MACKEM who was much better behaved than on Wednesday when he refused to start. He took charge from three out and soon had the race won. He’s consistent but this was his first win, though he’s an animal with plenty of ability who must surely record further wins over hurdles and fences.
DAMASCUS STEEL ran encouragingly to take second. He couldn’t make any impression on the winner from three out, but he was well clear of the remainder. This winner of a maiden point at Great Trethew last year can be placed to win a small race on the local circuit.
CLONDAW KINGHT is a long term project and wouldn’t be seen to best effect at two miles around Perth. He kept on steadily have been tapped for speed three out and will show more given time.
SILVERTON is a big mare who should do better over fences. She led or disputed to the fifth but was held from three out.
ELMAATIGRA fell away from three out. He cut into himself, was treated by the Clydevet  Equine Hospital and his racing future remains in the balance at this time.
BARDELI showed some promise in a bumper in February. He never got competitive here, but was not given a hard time once his chance had gone and the impression is that he’s a good deal better than his sixth place here suggests. He may well reward patience and is worth keeping on a list of ‘ones to keep an eye on’.
Gordon Elliot normally brings a strong contingent to this meeting. However, this season he brought only one horse to Perth in the shape of JIMMY THE HAT. Elliot has worked the oracle with a few dubious characters, but he’ll have his work cut out with this one who doesn’t look straightforward. He was placed in a maiden point last year so it may be that a significant step up in trip is required.

2.55 2m Turning Out Quality Handicap Chase (115-124)

ANAY TURGE has performed pretty decently all season and ran off his career highest winning mark here. Held up early on, he made progress down the far side and took charge from two out, galloping on to win with a fair bit in hand.
QUTIO DU TRESOR, now in the ownership of Tay Valley Chasers, showed his best form the season, staying on up the straight but never able to match the winner. He needs decent ground and remains more than capable in this 125 or less grade. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s kept on the go this summer and aimed at similar contests in the short term.
Tony Martin watched the race at my favourite spot by the last fence, and the remarks on the phone suggested he was fairly happy with third place for GALLOPING GANDER. A Thurles maiden chase winner on good ground, he’s been struggling in the mud through the winter. Held here, but looks capable on his day and is worth looking out for in the coming weeks either side of the Irish Sea.
OPERA OG has been progressive this season but was held here. He took over two out but then blundered at the next and was soon beaten. Previous evidence suggests he is better with a stiffer test.
AL QEDDAAF had every chance but couldn’t match the leaders from the home turn, while WOODY WALLER was never happy and trailed in last.
ROSSINI’S DANCER won this last year when able to dictate, but he was taken off his feet from the start, lost touch before the fifth and was soon pulled up.

3.25 2m 4½f Traditional Crabbie’s Green Ginger Wine Handicap Hurdle (74-100)

KING’s CHORISTER, fresh from a fair third here on Wednesday, stayed on well to lead on the flat. It’s worth nothing he’s had no more than a 15 day lay-off before any of his wins and he certainly looked very well in the paddock here.
GOAT CASTLE is a headstrong sort who was held up. He stayed on late but retains his maiden tag at the age of nine.
SETTLEDOUTOFCOURT was well backed from 5/1 into 3/1. Stepped back in trip form three miles, he stayed on up the straight but didn’t get to the winner. A stiffer track might be helpful, with a trip to Hexham being a possibility on that front in coming weeks.
MOMKINZAIN has ability but has been largely disappointing as a hurdler. He looked to have every chance at the last but faded on the run-in.
NORTHERN ACRES never got on terms with the leaders and was struggling three out, though passed a few up the straight.
YOUNG SPARKY took a heavy fall at the last when beaten. He was down behind the screens for a fair time, but jockey Richie McGrath emerged with thumbs up, followed by his mount who was applauded as he passed the stands.

4.00 2m 4½f Lonmar Global Risks Novices’ Handicap Chase (127-133)

Not sure what to make of this as the winner didn’t jump all that well and only three of the five completed.
ANEYEFORANEYE, coming here off a long break since winning here in September, stayed on well from the last having had to swerve to avoid a faller at the last. He has been well placed by Malcolm Jefferson who had him in decent nick on return.
CHARTREUX, second on Wednesday over a longer trip, raced close up and was left in the lead at the last but outpaced on the run-in. A sound effort for one who needs further.
SWIFT ARROW was niggled at from a long way out and always in the last pair.
ROUGE ET BLANC hit the tenth and unseated. He then took an awful fall when loose, but thankfully came lolloping past the last fence a while later.
HAZY TOM raced in the lead, and was apparently eyeballing Chartreux approaching the last which may have caused his fall. He was down for a good ten minutes, attendants pouring water on him to cool him down. Patience paid dividends as he eventually got to his feet and was another to get a generous round of applause as he returned up the track.
A handful of us were watching the operation to look after Hazy Tom until we got ushered away by a steward. It may smack of voyeurism, but it was fascinating to see track attendants, vet and trainer working hard to do their best to help the gelding. His flanks were heaving and I presume the shock of the fall places a strain on horse’s systems when they are tired. All well in the end though and credit to those involved.

4.35 3m 7f G A Engineering Highland National Handicap Chase (For the Julian Llewellyn-Palmer Trophy) (94-125)

One of my favourite contests of the season and a decent race, somewhat better to watch than the 2 finisher slog in the mud that we saw last year. I missed these in the paddock as course crossings were stopped due to the presence of the stricken Hazy Tom following the previous race. Thankfully they all have a look at the last fence before going to the start so I did get a look at them.
FLYING AWARD, a winner over 3m 6f at Bangor earlier in the setting, is a fair stayer at his level. In the rear division early on, he made steady progress on the final circuit, took it up three out and stayed on determinedly for a deserved victory. Fine reward for Suzy Gardner’s trip from Devon.
VICTRIX GALE was second place and his trainer Tony Martin was stood near me down by the final fence, a location he seems to have realised gives as good a view as any at Perth. The mare went steadily in midfield and was brought to challenge at the last. She kept on well enough up the run-in and was just gaining at the line. Martin went hurtling off after her shouting “Go on Victrix! Go on Victrix!” and he looks to have a fair staying mare on his hands and she can win a similar long distance contest, particularly if able to race her on decent ground.
SOUDAIN stays all day and kept on up the straight but never got to the leaders. He needs softer ground than this and on that basis this was a very creditable effort.
CERIUM won this last year and had shown some signs of a revival in recent runs. He never challenged but plugged on into fourth place. His overall record is 9 out of 39 and I still wouldn’t count out one last hurrah as he retains ability.
BALLY SANDS was bang there until weakening from three out. His wins have been with more cut.
PETTIFOUR has run well in similar events but never got into the contest here.
LIVELY BARON was never better than mid division, losing touch from four out and pulled up at two out.
OVERLADY had a tough task from out of the weights, lost touch when belting five out and pulled up before four out.
BEAU DANDY disputed for two circuits, but soon dropped away and pulled up after hitting five out, the same point at which LORD VILLEZ called it a day having been in rear from the start.
EXTALAR is better at Carlisle and was taken off his feet in the second half of the race, pulling up with six to go, as did ACRAI RUA who raced with the pace for two circuits then quickly gave way.
PAPAMOA was shoved along for much of the first two circuits, but he probably needs softer ground and Lucy Alexander conceded defeat after the sixteenth. Don’t write this one off for similar events next winter.

5.05 3m 3f Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (103-129)

There are few such stamina tests on the hurdling calendar, only Sedgefield run a contest over farther. KRIS CROSS has looked an out-and-out-stayer and this distance and class suited him down to the ground having been highly tried last time. He led at the last and held on determinedly for victory. I would imagine his future lies over fences and he will be an interesting recruit to the staying novice section of that discipline.
SUN CLOUD, held up early, chased the leaders two out and stayed on into second. He’ suited to this sort of event, but doesn’t look especially consistent.
ARKOSE disputed until being run out of it on the flat. He mainly exposed, stays well and ran to form here. 
DAASIJ never got seriously into the race and was well beaten in fourth.
TOO COOL TO FOOL led until headed and four out, losing touch from two out. He’s useful on his day but not consistent.

5.35 2m ½f Racing UK Standard open NH Flat Race (Class 5)

Lucy alexander went most of the way to clinching the Conditional Jockeys’ Title with a third win of the Festival on FRANKIE’S PROMISE. This one has come on for each of his runs and, despite needing a fair of encouragement, came readily clear. This one should make a mark over hurdles next season. Lucy meanwhile will have an enforced holiday for overuse of the whip, though her father comments that she’s more likely to be in the gym than soaking up the sun!
GREENSALT was the pick of the paddock and looked the likely winner three furlongs out, only for the winner to come by and leave him behind. A brother to Raya Star, he should make his mark over hurdles.
MYSTEREE kept on into third and this was a very promising debut under Rules. His Irish point second may not read that strongly but he’s in the right hands and made a fair start.
BARNEY RUBBLE stayed on in the final two furlongs. He’s a half-brother to a 6 furlong seller winner out of a sprinting dam so anything he achieves in National Hunt will have to be judged on course efforts rather than pedigree.
Of the remainder I’d keep an eye on CENTRAL FLAME, a James Walton gelding who showed up for a long way until weakening turned for home. The stable’s horses generally need time so it’s encouraging that he can run prominently at this stage.
The Inverurie stable of Jackie Stephen produced MO ROUGE to make a Rules debut. He was left behind in the final half mile and the most northerly stable in the country have yet to make a mark. This one does look the raw material if the stable can get things to click.

Friday, 26 April 2013

PERTH FESTIVAL 2013 - Days 1 and 2

Wednesday April 24th
Going – Good to Soft

Last year one of the groundstaff told me that the grass had been cut seven times before this meeting. After a miserable cold spring that certainly wouldn’t have been the case this year. However, the sun has appeared in recent days and the meeting opened to a bright day, the ground just on the soft side.

3.00 2m 4½f Aberdeen Asset Management Maiden Hurdle (Class 4)

A weakly contested event, made even more so by the dismounting and withdrawal just before the start of THE COCKNEY MACKEM. He fell a couple of years back in a similar event at this meeting and, though a chase winner, has still record a hurdles win.
In the favourite’s absence the locally trained STANDINTHEBAND outstayed VALLEYEOFMILAN to put Lucy Alexander in pole position for the Conditional Jockeys’ Title. The pair were well clear of TOTAL ASSETS who at least stepped up on previous run, but may not have achieved an awful lot in the scheme of things.

3.30 2m 4½f World Horse Welfare Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (86-115)

Up one minute and down in the depths the next. The Alexanders lost GOLDTREK in this race. The headstrong mare led until stepping at the seventh, the injuries resulting from her fall meaning that she was put down.
The race was won by the improving GOLDEN SPARKLE who eased clear on the run-in. She ran well at Ayr and has made good steps forward this season.  She can hold her own in open company, as can LUCEMATIC who stayed on encouragingly down the straight to take second place.
LILLIOFTHEBALLET looks quite well exposed and was put in her place from two out, while the fifth, BLAZIN WHITE FACE, is better as a chaser.

4.05 3m ½f EBF Future Champions NH Novices’ Hurdle (Perthshire Challenge Cup) (Class 2)

The event attracts only a small field, but there are normally one or two decent sorts amongst the runners. UTOPIE DES BORDES has won in Listed class and was ridden clear from before the last to win here. He should have a chance in handicaps next term if held at his mark of 137.
NELTARA, rated 5lbs less than the winner, ran at least to that level in second and arguably slightly better. Despite creditable runs with cut in the ground, I suspect this one is better on a decent surface.
IMPERIAL VIC went well in front, but stepped at the fourth last and didn’t recover sufficiently after losing significant ground. He was bought as a chaser, so the owners are well pleased with his achievements this season. He was not disgraced in third and looks an exciting prospect for chasing next season.
BEEVES was struggling from three out and didn’t run his race here.

4.35 2m Aberdeen Asset Management Novices’ Chase (Class 3)
Despite sweating heavily beforehand, KIE gained reward for a series of excellent efforts, staying on well to see off a main opponent 7lbs well in at the weights. His free-going style is well suited by this turning track and he held the aces up the straight.
UPSILON BLEU was held from two out despite his best efforts. He has run creditably since coming over from France, but it remains to be seen whether he can make an impact in handicaps off a mark of 140 next season.
PRIVATE EQUITY tried to match the winner, but was out on his feet from tow out. He had won from the front on his last two outings and the obvious conclusion is that being taken on did him no favours. In small fields and given an easy lead he can pick up handicaps in future.
SEAN AIRGEAD didn’t jump with any fluency and was well held some way out. I would imagine he will be back at Perth over the summer and will find easier races.

5.05 Fonab Castle Hotel Amateurs’ Handicap Hurdle (67-105)

I struggle to find these races as much of a pointer the future, the winner here AHHDEHKEN stepping up on some moderate previous form, racing prominently and asserting approaching the last flight and holding on from the consistent GLASSON LAD. The runner-up remains a maiden and keeps finding one too good, and he’s always likely to be near the front of the market.
Double winner GREY AREA was held from before the last and may need a bit more cut than he got here. A fair effort though off an 8lb higher mark.
DELIGHTFULLY came from well back to finish fifth, his rider being suspended for easing off and losing fourth to BREDON HILL LAD.  The latter is relatively unexposed and may have more long term prospects than many here. The same can’t be said for professional loser DICKIE HENDERHOOP, once again priced in single figures but steadfastly holding on to his maiden tag.

5.35 Aberdeen Asset Management Handicap Chase (114-136) (Scottish Memories Challenge Cup)

A competitive event that resulted in a one-two for the Tom George stable from Slad in Gloucestershire.  The winner GODD ORDER is relatively lightly raced for an eight-year-old and may have scope to improve further. He moved into contention approaching the straight, challenged two out and led at the last, staying on well for victory. He can be placed to win again before long.
CHARTREUX raced prominently and then led four out, but couldn’t hold the winner on the run to the line. Not over-raced, he’s a versatile sort who has won on good and heavy and on different types of tracks.
REAL MILAN kept on for third without threatening to finish any nearer. This was a reasonable effort for a first handicap run.
Enigmatic PIGEON ISLAND, seen a number of times at Perth during his career, picked off opponents late on to finish fourth. He’s at his best in big fields and being allowed to stay on through the field.

6.10 Try Crabbie’s Curiously Crisp Scottish Raspberry Handicap Hurdle (107-132)

DEEPSAND doesn’t look the most straight forward of animals, but he sprinted clear from the last here to complete Lucy Alexander’s double  and looks a good deal better than the 121 mark he ran off.
PLATINUM was put in the right places by Harriet Bethell but just found one far too good. Philip Kirby shouldn’t have any problems placing this one to win in the coming weeks.
SMADYNIUM was held from two out and looks on a high enough mark, while the fourth JAWAAB was way too keen and had burst himself by three out.
LATERLY has fallen over hurdles and fences recently and his hurdling was far from fluent on this occasion.

Thursday April 25th
Going – Good to Soft

2.15 2m ½f Loretta’s Racing Collection Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)
LONE FOOT LADDIE had been presented with two tough tasks on his last two runs. He welcomed the easier opportunity. He ran on well here, jumps neatly enough and should go on from this win. This was a welcome winner for Lucinda Russell who has had a quiet time in recent weeks.
ANOTHER MATTIE was off the bridle three out but rallied under driving, closing from two out and only half a length down at the line. He will suit a stiffer test and should pick up a race.
Favourite LOOKING ON raced close up but was held on the flat. He didn’t jump particularly fluently and is probably capable of better judged on his Plumpton win.
TANTAMOUNT was never competitive but kept on late for fourth and this debut at least suggests some promise.

2.45 2m ½f Try Crabbie’s Strawberry and Lime Handicap Hurdle (69-95)

A moderate handicap hurdle contested by exposed sorts.
URBAN KODE recorded the second win of the day for the Russell stable. He just held off SOME LAD in a battle on the flat, the pair clear of KING’S CHORISTER.
Back in fifth, LEWLAUR SUPREME ran better than he has for some time. He won here over three miles in 2011 and might now be low enough to make an impact in a staying contest.

3.15 3m Bill and Bunny Cadogan Trophy Novices’ Handicap Chase (109-130)

Lightly raced FIDDLER’S REEL was backed into favouritism here, obliging in decent style, driven out to hold hid nearest challenger. He looks potentially a good deal better than his 109 mark provided he stands regular training.
WILD GEESE ran creditably in second and has progressed nicely this season. He’s well thought off by his trainer and should be thereabouts in handicaps in the foreseeable future.
THE MUSICAL GUY was in9 rear for much of the way, not jumping with much fluency, but he put in good work down the straight to finish third. He looks one who will need a longer distance to be seen at his best.

3.45 2m 4½f Pipe and Piling Supplies Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (96-120)

SEEBRIGHT has been progressive this season over hurdles and stuck on well to take this event off top weight. He is reported as going chasing next season and looks one to keep on a list to follow.
LOOK FOR LOVE was held up but finished with a rattle to take second place. He is a keen-going sort and needs restraint.
UNTIL WINNING held every chance up the straight, but was just pipped on the line for second place. He’s a chasing sort and will presumably take that route sooner rather than later.
HALLMARK STAR was disappointing off a lay-off and is much better than seventh place here suggests.
ACADEMY showed promise in early hurdling efforts, but he’s starting to get frustrating now. He was not far away two out but was held from that point.

4.15 2m 4½f Spiffing Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Festival Handicap Chase (Kilmany Challenge Cup) (126-147)

The conditions of the Kilmany Cup have varied over recent seasons, but it has settled into a pretty decent handicap chase. This year’s winner QUINCY DES PICTONS had travelled from the Somerset yard of Alan Jones. Racing handily, he led two out and put the race to bed nicely on the flat. He’s versatile in regards of trip and track, but will be on a career high mark after this.
MICHAEL FLIPS went up to a career high equalling 146 after his Ludlow win. He put in a creditable effort on this occasion, rallying in the straight after being briefly tapped for speed on the home turn. This was a decent effort but he wouldn’t want to go up the handicap any more.
FRONTIER SPIRIT put up a game effort from the front, only giving way at the last and beaten less than four lengths. A fine effort considering he ideally requires more cut in the ground.
MAC AEDA needs a stiffer test of stamina than this, so fourth place was no disgrace. Given the right conditions he can go close.

4.45 3m 2½f Harris Tweed Clothing Company Hunters’ Chase (Balnakelly Cup)

SPECIAL PORTRAIT has not been completely on his game this season, but asserted himself as best of the hunters in this region with a comfortable victory here, having much too much staying power for his opponents. He stays very well, suited by cut in the ground and is aimed at the 4m 1f chase he won at Cheltenham’s hunters’ meeting last year.
NOIR ET VERT tried to match the winner but wasn’t as good from three out. This was his best Rules effort for some time.
GO WEST is at his best when allowed to dominate and there was too much competition up front here, so third was no disgrace.
TOMMYSTEEL has been successful in points this season, but found this company much tougher. He ran well for a long way but gradually faded from five out.
WHO’SLAUGHINGNOW did his best here but wasn’t remotely good enough in this company. He’s a youngster who has time to improve in the pointing sphere and may well be competitive given time.
Course specialist SOTOVIK, making a Rules return after a couple of pointing wins, ran well for a long way but felt the pinch in the last mile.
TWELVE PACES was never the easiest to catch right and looks a back number under Rules now.

5.20 2m 4½f John Crabbie & Co Superior Soft Drinks Handicap Hurdle (118-135)

BAR DE LIGNE had run creditably given some tough tasks in recent runs. Back in a more comfortable class he was able to show his ability to good effect, coming clear in decent style from two out. He will now go novice chasing and his trainer reports he will be kept on the go in the coming months.
NOW THIS IS IT is a consistent sort handicapped to his ability. He’s likely to be back at Perth over the summer and a similar race will fall his way at some point.
MALIN BAY kept on well in the latter stages and will benefit from a step up in trip, his wins having come over further.
PAS TROP TARD has looked at his best in testing ground, he probably got lucky with a soft win on good here last year. He never got in a blow here.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Musselburgh kicks off Scottish Flat season

MUSSELBURGH – Saturday March 30th

Going – Good To Soft (Soft in places)

The chilly weather continued though the snow showers had died since earlier in the week. That didn’t mean I avoided the snow, driving through a heavy shower on the way around the Edinburgh by-pass. At the course though the weather was cold but generally sunny.
The course looks rather tired after hard winter, desperately in need of some warm growing weather. The tacky ground was hard work for some of the runners, front or prominent runners being favoured throughout this opening Scottish Flat meeting of the season.
To save typing a succession of irritatingly long race names I’ll acknowledge Totepool support of this meeting at the beginning.

1.50 5f 2yo Conditions Stakes (Class 3)

Brocklesby winner MICK’S YER MAN looked well forward for an early season two-year-old. He had a strength advantage over his opponents and made the long trip from Dorset pay nicely. He can win again while he holds a physical advantage.
SKYE’s THE LIMIT tried hard enough to match the winner but gave way in the final furlong. A sound enough effort for this sprint bred type and Richard Fahey should be able to place him to win an early season contest.
INTENSE FEELING looked a bit revved up in the paddock, but she couldn’t match the pace of the first two. She has subsequently won a small contest at Warwick at short odds which does at least suggest this form will prove reasonably strong at this stage.
SCARGILL, fit enough but more sparely made than some, was taken off his feet early on but made some moderate late headway into fourth. A stiffer track should help and he will learn from this.
VINE DE NADA was one of the favoured three in the betting, but was well short of what was required from halfway. 

2.25 5f 67-85 Handicap

A field of largely exposed sorts and a race won by one who wins in his turn. This was OLDJOESAID’s 7th career win from 65 efforts and had slipped to a generous mark if he was at his best. He followed the pace and was comfortably in command from the furlong pole.
CADEAUX PEARL might be another on a decent mark as her later form in 2012 was not up to much. She kept on in the closing stages for second and may well be positioned to take similar contest soon.
French import GANDALAK is an odd looking animal, rather wide and low slung if that makes sense! Leading early on, he kept on encouragingly in the closing stages to take third. He should be capable of finding a race before long.
GO GO GREEN franked the form with a win on Monday at Redcar having been held from two out here.

3.00 5f Borderlescott Sprint Trophy (Class 2)

A nice early event for sprinters just below the top class, won by a back to form TANGERINE TREES who fought off one serious challenger from the furlong pole. Bryan Smart’s eight-year-old is an imposing animal and was turned out looking on the spot for his seasonal debut. The race conditions favoured him here as Hamish McGonagall had to give 15lbs to this Group 1 winner.
KINGSGATE CHOICE put a personal best in second, pushing the winner until the closing yards. He should be capable of mixing it at Listed or Group 3 level this term.
MARY’S DAUGHTER was well held by the first two but ran soundly to fill third place and would be competitive in fillies’ pattern events on this evidence. The Land O’ Burns Stakes at Ayr in June might be a target.
HAMISH MCGONAGALL had a tough task conceding 15lbs and more to the rest. He weakened quickly in the final furlong to finish last of the seven. He still had his winter coat and I suspect he will strip fitter.

3.35 1m 78-96 3yo Royal Mile Handicap (Class 2)

This race might be expected to yield a few handicaps, but last year’s renewal wasn’t that fruitful bar a useful winner in Chapter Seven. The 2013 renewal was dominated by those who had run on the all-weather and over-riding impression is that race fitness told. The winner NEWSTEAD ABBEY certainly looked hard fit and came clear in the final furlong to win eased down. There may be another race in him on turf before the handicapper catches up.
On a day when winners came from on the pace the one to take from this race might be the lightly raced CARRY ON SYDNEY. Second at Kempton last time, he picked up ground steadily through the final two furlongs to take runner-up spot here.
HIDDON COIN set the pace and kept on determinedly for second.  He’s had a successful winter and doesn’t look badly treated on a turf mark of 82.
TOP NOTCH TONTO ran a fair race to finish fourth but couldn’t get to grips with the leaders having been held up.
Mark Johnston ran four here, but results suggest his string might be a gallop or two off their best. GREELEYS LOVE looked best of the quartet and finished fifth.

4.10 1m 6f 51-69 Handicap

FULL SPEED seems a rejuvenated performer at the age of eight.  He sprinted clear of his field his field here and might be expected to follow up.
ACTIVATE is consistent and kept on well enough to fill third place. He can win a race in this grade.
AZERODEGREE was always on the premises but lacked an extra gear from two furlongs out. He’s lightly raced and may have some scope for improvement, this run being his most encouraging to date.
HAWDYERWHEESHT was well held in the straight, but he’s likely to come on for the race and is better than the bare form.

4.45 7f 30yds 66-90 Handicap

This was won by a progressive sort who goes on the list of horses to follow.  HI THERE led one out and quickly put distance between himself and his rivals. He raced off 80 here and that could prove generous as he looks capable of stepping up a grade.
LAFFAN has proved a decent sort in his ten races and acts as the measure with a sound second place. He led until headed by the winner and kept on for second. Four times a winner in the first half of last season he appears well prepared for an n early tilt at prizes this term.
GALICIAN was held form the furlong pole but, given that Mark Johnston’s horses seemed just short of the mark on the day, he should be capable of better. His two wins last season were over 6 furlongs.

5.15 5f 67-85 Handicap

MOVE IN TIME won a Listed contest in 2011, so running off top weight of 85 gave him a fine chance in this contest on his debut for David O’Meara. He put the race to bed with no trouble in the final furlong. He’s been shunted up 10lbs for this, but such was the ease with which he came away from his field that a win in higher class must be a possibility.
COME ON DAVE was in rattling good form last backend, and a sound second here suggests he’s picking up where he left off.
ROTHESAY CHANCER raced toward the rear early on but kept on well in the latter stages to take third. He will be in there and pitching for similar events in Scotland in the coming months and is capable of notching up a win before long.
A rare tubed runner, MASTER ROONEY was walked down to the start well before the other runners. He remains a pound above his previous winning mark and still has to prove he retains that ability.