Going – Good
A low key card and run-of-the-mill racing makes it difficult to take a huge lot forward to future meetings. One or two though prove the benefit of running on better ground at this time of year.
1.55 2m ½f Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)
DAMASCUS STEEL confirmed promise of his Perth run, taking the lead on the run-in and showing determination to hold on. This wasn’t the strongest event but he’s going the right way. Irish pointing winner ISLAND CONFUSION made most of the running only to be foiled after the last. He fought back well once headed and should go on to better things in time. He seems to handle all surfaces well enough, being a winner of a bumper on heavy after his point win came on fast ground.
The pair were clear and the remainder will have to find their level in handicaps.
2.30 2m ½ f TDR at Q1 Selling Hurdle (Class 5)
RADMORES REVENGE had much to spare on his four opponents and came clear in the closing stages. I’LL BE FRANK kept on gamely but had little chance of holding the winner at the weights, while THAT’LL DO NICELY was running on the spot before the last.
BORDER TALE is now in decline at the age of 13 and this former trailblazer is a light of previous days.
LEWLAUR SUPREME needs to be in a bottom grade staying handicap hurdle to have any chance and was beaten two out here.
3.05 2m 4 ½ f Conditionals’ Handicap Chase (Class 4)
OR D’OUDAIRIES has been consistent in recent times and was finally rewarded here with a first win since 2009 and a second victory at Hexham. The second SERGEANT PINK is unreliable though kept on well enough here, while the third PAPA CARUSO has not totally convinced though his record is 2 from 18.
CLASSIC CUT was outpaced three out and is basically a stayer, while stablemate CIVIL UNREST’s jumping once again let him down at crucial stages.
ANCIENT TIMES has been in good form lately but didn’t cut it in the latter stages. He may well need a bit more cut in the ground to be seen at his best.
3.40 3m Handicap Hurdle(Division 1) (Class 5)
A bunch of underachievers gathered together for this one.
CORKY DANCER was clearly on good terms with himself. He led from the start and was well clear from three out and stayed on from that point.
SOLIS stayed on late without ever threatening the winner and this was a typical performance.
GREY COMMAND tried to match the winner down the far side for the last time but paid for efforts and weakened into third, the rest being well beaten off.
4.15 3m Handicap Hurdle(Division 1) (Class 5)
Episode 2 of the staying contest was arguably a bit stronger than the first contest but this was a real slog. The winner CANDLEFORD stayed on up the hill and took up the running before the last. He was driven out to win and added to some decent runs in points and a good second at Newcastle. He may be worth a time over regulation fences.
GRANWOOD kept on for second but couldn’t match the winner from the last. He’s a regular at Sedgefield where he recorded his sole success.
BOB’S TICKET plugged on into third but he’s well exposed and doesn’t look an immediate winning prospect. He wasn’t bad in Irish points but hasn’t progressed over hurdles.
SADDLER’S MOT was fourth, not able to follow up a selling win at Wetherby where Corky Dancer was fourth. Given the result of the previous contest, that pretty well sums up the throw ‘em in the air and see what comes down nature of races at this level.
4.50 2m 4½f Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)
Another weak contest, the winner showing more resolution close home than her main rival.
A winner of a Uttoxeter bumper, RATTLIN kicked on down the far side and still led approaching the last. She was headed but stuck her head down to get back in front close home. She may well have to stick to mares events for future success.
AZERODEGREE closed up the hill and let at the last. Her head went up and she didn’t seem totally willing close home. It could be inexperience but she doesn’t look one to trust unreservedly at this point.
MISS McNAMaRA chased the leader to the top of the hill and then weakened. There may be better to come but this form is lowly.
5.20 3m 1f Novices’ Handicap Chase (Class 4)
STAGECOACH JASPER made much of the running and still held every chance when falling two out.
LUKEY LUKE was left clear and stayed on well enough in the latter stages to make it two on the trot. He followed up a Class 5 handicap chase win at Wetherby, which sums up this race in terms of overall level. He jumps well though which sets him in good stead in this company.
BOLLIN FIONA is not the most fluent jumper and had to be driven along after many of her fences. She is game though, suited by a stiff track and stuck at it enough to take second in front of JUSTJO who was never closer in this race, but as close as he’s been in any contest to date.
CALL IT ON was feeling the pinch when unseating three out, while ON BROADWAY was never really travelling, pulled up three out and possibly needs more cut.
DOLLAR MICK, off the track for the best part of a year, was always in rear and pulled up before the sixteenth.
5.50 2m ½f Standard Open NH Flat Race (Class 6)
ZIGGIE set a steady pace, quickened down the far side and was good enough to hold his only serious challenger. He looks to have enough about him to go on from here.
LINE D’AOIS made the winner pull out the stops in the closing stages to make a promising start under Rules. There should be a small contest for him before long.
The other five were well beaten and no so much out with the washing as out with the neighbour’s washing! They showed nothing to recommend them in the immediate future.