CARTMEL – Saturday August 24th
Going – Good, Good to Soft in places
2.30 2m 6f E.B.F. Mary Cookson Mares' 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle (Class 4)
This was a weakly contested mares hurdle. ME AND BEN travelled nicely for most of the way, took over after two out and went clear, though having to be kept up to her work as she idled on the run-in.
J T’AIME was more competitive than at Perth, but having led was readily put in her place from two out, though plugging on. On recent evidence these mares’ events offer her best chance of success.
TILLERNOORA gave a tad more encouragement with a hurdles and a distance of ground than she had a weak ago in a Perth bumper. She was with the leader for much of the way but cast aside from two out.
MINI MUCK hurdled untidily and a blunder three out put paid to any chance she may have held.
LANGLEY HOUSE was well beaten when her rider suffered tack problems and was jettisoned after three out.
3.05 2m 6f Hadwins Handicap Hurdle (64-95)
This event was contested by a collection of ‘characters’ with plenty of previous between them and pretty much a case of which of them felt inclined on the day.
PETE hasn’t won for a while, but if he consents to give his best he’s better than most Class 5 performers. He cruised up to the leader going to two out and led fractionally at the last. Anyone who has watched Pete run before will know it was never going to be as simple as it looked. As it turned out the Barry Murtagh gelding kept going sufficiently well to hold off his only serious challenger after the elbow.
FLYING DOCTOR has been off his game since winning at this time last year but put in a much more encouraging effort here. He shared the pace for much of the race, taking over from three out ,and kept on honestly enough from the last if always held by one probably a godo deal better but not inclined to show it.
The pair were 22 lengths clear of the third and will inevitably be bumped up by a fair amount, as if they’ve suddenly improved at the age of 10. GALLEY SLAVE, part of Michael Chapman’s regular Cartmel visiting party, picked off a few late on to take third with twelve-year-old WESTERN SOUND a never dangerous fourth.
3.40 2m 5½f Burlington Stone EBF Beginners’ Chase (Class 4)
These events can be worth a glance here as it’s not unknown for a half decent chaser to start out at Cartmel. Not sure quite what to make of this though as BRACKEN HOUSE made a few blunders but stayed on much the best on chasing debut. His saddle may have slipped a bit, Paul Moloney looking distinctly uncomfortable on the final bend, so it may prove a meritorious effort.
FOUNDRY SQUARE put in some slow jumps and having every chance was held in the final furlong of the long run-in. He has ability but needs to jump better over fences.
DANNANCEYS HILL looked a shade disappointing when hurdling and once again was unconvincing here. Disputing until the last he found little on the run-in, rather typical of a few from the McCain yard in recent days.
REEF DANCER was nursed home by Kenny Johnson if not nearly good enough.
WINGED FARASI was beaten with a lap to go and CUMBRIAN FARMER gave the second a thump giving Jonathan Bewley no chance of staying in the saddle.
4.15 2m 5½f Grant Thornton Handicap Chase (70-93)
PRESENTING JUNIOR travelled handily for most of the race. He chased the long time leader from the last and got up near the line to follow up his Hexham win of 70 days previously. This is a low level but he showed the right qualities when the chips were down.
Off the track since the same weekend alt year, OH RIGHT set a decent pace and jumped a good deal better than the others here. He had them all on the stretch over the four fences on the woodside, but once the fences had been jumped he had just too little in the tank to hold the winner. He should pick up a race before long if in this mood.
CLOUDY DAWN chased the leader most of the way but was found wanting from two out.
THE GOOD GUY was never much better than mid division and didn’t get to the leaders. His best recent form has been on slightly quicker ground than this.
TRUCKERS BENEFIT flattered with some progress from a mile out but was beaten two out. In general his form has been uninspiring of late, though he did win at Plumpton last year.
GIBBSTOWN has shown very little in Ireland. Poor jumping in rear here offered precious little encouragement and he was beaten a mile out.
PADDYSPARKS was flattered by a third in a moderate event at Worcester last time. He wasn’t very fluent in his jumping and was well behind four out.
IN THE HAVEN jumped abysmally in rear and was beaten by halfway. He won a beginners’ chase here in May but there were moderate horses a bit too close for comfort on that occasion and he has shown nothing since.
4.50 3m 2f Totepool Handicap Chase (Sadik Memorial Trophy) (73-99)
Action at the scrag end of the staying chase division, but I’m sure the late Gus Sadik would have taken any amount of pleasure from this contest. The jumping here was a good deal better than that shown in the previous race.
MORE EQUITY has dropped down the handicap of late and has struggled a bit. She showed plenty of zest here against lowly opposition and bounded clear from the last having taken the contest by the scruff of the neck form the thirteenth. I was quite to surprised to note this as only her fourth win, but she’s been an honest enough mare for many seasons and it was nice to see she retains here enthusiasm.
MR DUFFY was presumably sent to Cartmel by Dessie Hughes in the search for softer opportunities than in Ireland. He travelled well enough for much of the way, pursuing the winner from four out but found wanting from the last fence. This was his best effort over fences in what has been an interrupted career of late.
SOLWAY DORNAL was beaten from four out, along with PEAK SEASONS, a regular here who never got near the leaders.
FORESTSIDE was always in the rear of the field.
LE SEYCHELLOIS raced prominently for two circuits but was behind by four out. He was second in the same moderate race that Paddysparks (see 4.15) contested at Worcester but that’s about the sum of recent achievements and he seems in decline at 13.
SIERRA VICTOR belted the sixth fence, Jamie Hamilton exiting stage left. He’s capable at this level and note is twice a winner at Hexham.
5.20 2m 1½f Totepool.com Cartmel Cup Handicap Hurdle (106-127)
DARTFORD WARBLER raced in touch with the leaders, took over two out and gradually pulled clear from that point. A decent win from one successful twice in 2011-12 but having had a curtailed career since.
BRIGHT ABBEY was never close enough to get in a blow. On the face of it this wasn’t as good as the effort at Perth, but he couldn’t stick with a lively pace and only showed toward the end. There’s a race in this one so stay patient.
SUD PACIFIQUE was under the pump some way out but stayed on in the latter stages.
TINSELTOWN race prominently and took over at the fifth. He was headed two out and only found one pace after that. His recent decent jump runs have come at Southwell where he has a fair record.
TOLEDO GOLD blazed a trail for a mile and a quarter but went too fast for his own good, particularly in a competitive contest.
5.55 2m 1½f EWGA Racing Excellence Hands And Heels Conditionals and Amateurs Handicap Hurdle (65-95)
RAVI RIVER finally broke his jumps maiden tag at the age of 9. He was in the lead or thereabouts for most of the way. Passed on the final bend and led into the straight, he responded well to Kieron Edgar’s urgings and was going away at the finish. He’s more than capable if he could be cajoled into a repeat effort, but I wouldn’t rely on it.
CLARION CALL came to lead before the last looking the likely winner. He was passed on the run-in and found no more. He is on his lowest ever jumps mark but was found out once again when the chips were down.
BROTHER SCOTT had every chance but wasn’t good enough in the final reckoning.
GRETHEL was in rear most of the way but picked her way through the field late on. 4 wins from 106 efforts sums up her usefulness as betting material.
TIM’S APPROACH ran as well as could be expected in finishing fifth from his lowly rating. He puts in some effort but is very slow.
GLACED OVER seems an odd acquisition for the strong McCain stable, though has shown bit and bobs of form in the past for Bob Shiels. She raced prominently for a long way but was beaten from two out.
MORNING TIME has run well this summer but was taken off his feet here.