PERTH – Wednesday May 15th
Going – Good
6.00 3m ½f Air Ambulance Handicap hurdle (Class 4)
SETTLEDOUTOFCOURT built on a promising effort here last time. The step back up in trip helped and, having been a little outpaced after three out, he stayed on from two out to gain the edge near the line. Andrew Parker doesn’t rush his charges and this one could make up into a staying chaser in time.
ANY GIVEN MOMENT moved to take the lead at the last but was caught close home in a driving finish. This trip suits and he runs well on a right-handed track, though it’s possible that’s coincidence and that he just likes a flat galloping track, his two other recent wins having been at Musselburgh.
HIDDEN HORIZONS made a brave attempt at making all but couldn’t answer the first two on the flat. He put up a good effort and will presumably be back here for a similar event before long.
BESCOT SPRINGS was never far off the pace and kept on, if held from the last. This was a sound enough effort.
DICKIE HENDERHOOP once again wasn’t short of supporters at 6/1 S.P., but could get no nearer than the heels of the first four up the straight. The wins column remains at zero.
6.30 2m 4½f Sunburst Handicap Chase (Class 5)
A poor contest with an alphabet full of letters in the form figures. SHOOTING TIMES is better than these when he cares to show it, and he landed the race wearing a first-time visor. Always handy, he kicked no from four out and held his only challenger from three out. He was up to winning a class 4 event over hurdles and if he can be kept sweet then he ought to be able to land a race at a similar level over fences.
SNUKER put in a satisfactory effort on his second outing over fences. He chased the leader from four out but didn’t get near enough to threaten. He should be good enough to land a similar race at this level.
SOLWAY DORNAL plugged on but was fighting a losing battle from three out, while ALEXANDER OATS was under the pump a long way out but kept on past a tired few in the straight.
MONSOON MUSIC was given reminders early on and it seems as if his heart isn’t in the game. A work colleague of my wife has enquired about taking this one for re-training and that move must surely be close after this lack lustre effort. A win in a dire four-runner Newcastle chase remains this one’s career highlight.
7.00 3m Salutation Hotel Perth Handicap Chase (Class 4)
WILD GEESE has improved steadily over recent months and mad most of the running to win this event. He stayed on well down the straight to win with a bit in hand. Tay Valley Chasers should have a good time with this one in the coming months and they also have a part-lease of back to form Quito Du Tresor.
BERTIE MILAN raced disputing or near the lead most of the race, but was one paced from two out. A fair enough effort and he will have chances in similar events.
RUDEMEISTER may need a stiffer track and was tapped for pace from four out, though sticking on toward the end of the race. His jumping could still be sharpened a bit.
Nothing else got in a serious blow in the contest.
7.30 2m 4½f Strathbraan Brewery Maiden Hurdle for the Alan Normile Memorial Trophy (Class 4)
JUMBO JOHN ran a decent race in handicap company off 110 at Navan last time. He stayed on relentlessly under pressure in the latter stages to land the race for Irish trainer Lorna Fowler. The ground seems to suit this one and he could well be back here soon.
MANDARIN SUNSET pushed the winner all the way. Upped in trip, which he had hinted might help last time, he looks sure to land a race before long.
CLONDAW KNIGHT is a chaser in waiting. He made most of the running until before the last but the effort told form that point.
ANOTHER MATTIE never got on terms with the leaders but kept on for fourth.
CRUACHAN tried hard for Lucy Normile in an attempt to land the race run in memory of her late husband. Having every chance two out he weakened before the last and faded to fifth.
8.00 2m Steadfast Scotland Novices’ Handicap Chase (Class 5)
Nine fences jumped as the first fence was omitted due to low sun on each circuit, and the open ditch in the straight was missed as it couldn’t be jumped as the first in the race.
CLOVERHILL LAD recorded a first win over fences. He had shown a glimmer of promise on his first three efforts in the UK and the sharper track seemed to suit, not a surprise since he had run well at Tramore and Clonmel, both sharpish right-handers.
CELTIC INTRGUE had every chance two out but could only chase the winner from that point. He’s run moderately well on a number of occasions without winning, though he’ll probably find a lowly handicap chase sometime.
MORNING TIME was comfortably held from three out and normally manages to find two or three too good. VOSGES showed promise early in his career, but he’s regressing and was well beaten fifth here.
8.30 3m Bruce Farms Hunters Chase
Fence in far corner missed out once again, so 16 fences jumped.
Favourite SPECIAL PORTRAIT got cannoned into by Sea Wall at the second fence and his rider was knocked out of the saddle.
HARRY FLASHMAN, always strong at this time of year, looked all over the winner at the last but idled on the run-in. Jamie Alexander urged BACK ON THE ROAD into action and he stayed on to snatch the race close home.
THE HALFWAY BAR plugged on up the straight to take third, passing WATERSKI who had done really well to still be chasing the leader two out but weakened into fourth from two out.
9.00 2m ½f Fonab Castle Hotel Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 5)
I was uncomplimentary about MOMKINZAIN after his last run here. However, he came clear very nicely to win this contest, admittedly against a host of disappointing opponents. The winner was a stayer on the flat but maybe the sharper track at the minimum trip was what he has been in need of. He showed good speed in the closing stages and, if this isn’t just a flash in the pan, he could follow up even if raised to Class 4 next time.
SOLWAY DANDY is lightly raced and went some way to confirming the promise of a second to Coverholder at Wetherby. He’ll presumably be seen out at the likes of Perth and Cartmel in the coming weeks and has possibilities.
SOME LAD looked to be going well two out in the lead, but found little when asked for more effort before the last.
PERTH – Thursday May 16th
Going – Good
2.25 3m ½f St John’s Perth Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)
INDIAN CASTLE, the short priced favourite, led but raced idly and needed reminders from Jason Maguire. He kept responding and stays well, though the second was very close at the line.
BALLYBEN travelled better than the winner, was driven from two out and closing fast at the post. He will win a hurdle before long and this contest may prove to be quite decent.
LORD FOX’s jumping was very novice but he stayed in contention until two out at which point the effort told and he was allowed to come home in his own time once beaten.
MONBEG chased the leaders two out but weakened before the last and was well held in third.
NEW VIC was the first beaten, losing touch from three out.
2.55 3m Timothy Hardie Jewellers novices’ Chase (Class 4)
IMPERIAL VIC was bought as a chaser and proved that spot on with a fine debut. He jumped well in front and his staying power was used to good effect when asked for an effort in the closing stages. He has a fine future over fences.
SIVOLA DE SIVOLA put it to the winner as best he could be didn’t have enough in the closing stages. He made a solid debut and won’t run into one as good.
FIDDLERS REEL was held; from three out. He found two decent sorts in front of him and can get competitive again in a staying handicap.
KRIS CROSS went well enough but hit a couple and a bad mistake at the thirteenth put him on the back foot. Once beaten he was allowed to come home in his own time, but he will prove better than this form suggests with experience.
3.30 2m 4½f Expro Handicap Chase (Class 4)
HAWAII KLASS raced prominently and stayed on to win wearing the blinkers that apparently wrought a degree of improvement at Sedgefield. His form hasn’t been that special over the last year or so, but he’s been more on his game of late.
FATHER SHINE kept on past beaten rivals and may have been a trifle flattered by second place.
BLAZIN WHITE FACE raced prominently and tried to match the winner but weakened approaching the last.
4.05 2m 4 ½ f Crabbie’s Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle (Class 4)
NOTARFBAD tried hard to make all. He had been headed when Urban Kode took a heavy fall two out but couldn’t hold OVERPRICED on the run-in. The winner generally gives his running, while the second has less experience than some of these and may well have a race or two in him. He kept on from the last but was too tired to raise his game further.
URBAN KODE would have won this if he had stayed on his feet. Provided the fall doesn’t harm his confidence then he should win a similar contest.
KING’s CHORISTER stayed on into a never nearer third, while LATIN CONNECTION stayed on from the rear but is exposed and generally opposable.
4.40 2m Media Shop Handicap Chase (Class 4)
Course specialist SCOTCH WARRIOR recorded a fourth win at Perth, passing Kai Broon on the run-in. It’s difficult to say whether this one has a particular fondness for the course since he does most of his running at Scone anyway. He pulled up at Wetherby coming off a long break last time, but was cherry ripe for this race. He may well follow up while in this mood.
KAI BROON looked the likely winner but was caught at ‘the elbow’ and had no time to respond. He’s best on good or fast ground and will presumably be kept on the go in similar races this summer. He will normally enter the backer’s equations positively.
AL QEDDAAF tried to make all but once again was tired in the straight and looks to be held off his current mark.
5.15 2m 1/2f Joseph Ribkoff at Loretta’s Collection Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)
A race marred by a horrible fatal fall for Donald McCain’s COUNSEL at the second last.
BOW BADGER was going well at the second last and stayed on for a clear winner. His wins normally come after a long break, but it was only 21 days since his last run. He’s not been heavily raced for a seven-year-old and has possibilities going forward.
JONNY DELTA was held in second before the last.
FLAMING ARROE put together a fair effort on his handicap debut, if held from two out, and should improve with experience.
5.45 2m ½f Breakthrough Breast Cancer NH Flat Race (Class 6)
Only five contested this bumper but it could prove to be a decent little contest.
Regular raider Tom George landed the contest with French-bred newcomer VIACOMETTI who got on top in the final furlong after a prolonged battle against two main challengers.
Stuart Crawford bumper runners in Scotland are seldom far away and CRAIGANEE filled a close second place. He ran on well enough under pressure and is presumably well regarded since he started his career in a Cheltenham bumper last October.
KILBREE CHIEF looked the least well grown of these and can strengthen in time. He was outpaced four furlongs out but stuck at his job under pressure. This Irish point winner will leave this form behind in time and may prove a nice jumps prospect.
UPPERCUT DE L’ORNE is a French bred animal that found his way on to the Irish pointing circuit, winning last time up at Knockanard. He made most of the running but wandered about once the pressure was applied and could only raise one pace from two furlongs out. His point form doesn’t look anything special but he appears to have ability and will move on from here.
TOMAHAWK WOOD improved on his debut Hexham effort even though last of the five.