Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Carlisle - end of October

CARLISLE – Wednesday October 30th

Going – Soft

1.10 2m 1f 3yo Hurdle (Class 4)
A winner in France, AZZA made the pace and gradually wound things up from three out. She had the race in the bag before the last with many of the others weakening in the testing ground. However, the second MOST HONOURABLE stuck to his task up the hill and was not disgraced beaten six lengths in second.

1.40 2m 4f Novices’ Handicap Chase (Class 4)
HOLLOW BLUE SKY, off the track for over 600 days, stayed on to land the spoils from the fast closing THE NEPHEW.
Two to take from this race from my point of view. The first is SAMSTOWN, previously with Lucinda Russell and now with Alistair Whillans. He travelled well enough for much of the way but was tapped for speed in the closing stages. I suspect the race will bring him on, he stays well and should be capable of winning a similar race off his current mark.
The second to note is NEWSPAGE who stepped up significantly on some very ordinary hurdle form from 20lbs wrong at the weights. He raced prominently and jumped well enough before fading from two out. John Wade knows the time of day with his chasers and this one can be placed to win at the lower end of the scale.

2.10 2m 1f Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)

THE LIQUIDATOR stepped up from bumpers to win easily on his hurdling debut.
KNIGHTLY ESCAPADE put in a fair effort in second, but I’m a little bit wary that previously poor looking QUICK BREW was third.
Keep an eye out for the James Walton trained COQUET HEAD. The stable never hurry their horses and this three times point winner is likely to prove better over fences. He travelled well enough off the pace but couldn’t match the principals up the hill.

2.40 3m ½ f Handicap Chase (Class 3)

PAPAMOA can be a hard ride as he often comes off the bridle early on. He travelled a good deal better on this occasion and one thing he does do is stay. While he didn’t appear to be going as well as the second three out the one thing you do know is that he will see out the trip. He stuck to his task and did enough after the last to hold on. Well worth keeping an eye on for these middling class stamina tests in the north.
MY BOY PADDY was going well in the latter stages but couldn’t find enough to see off a determined opponent. This was a sound effort on seasonal debut though and there should be a similar contest for him before long.
The rest were well beaten with INCENTIVISE not jumping well and never really in the contest from halfway.  FULL OF JOY chased the leaders before throwing out distress signals at the bottom of the final hill.
CHAC DU CADRAN went well enough in front until misjudging the tenth, a fence he had hit on the previous circuit. There’s a long run before this fence and I suspect some horses’ concentration can waver. He can be forgiven the lapse and is a fair staying sort who won the North Yorkshire National last season.

3.15 2m 4f Handicap Hurdle (Class 4)

BIG CASINO continued a pretty decent day for the Twiston-Davies stable. He held off a fair sort in TALKIN SENCE who wasn’t disgraced on seasonal debut and is one to note at the likes of Ayr and Kelso.
BALLYBEN was held from two out but plugged on for third.

3.50 2m Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3)

DEFINITE DREAM and FIRTH OF THE CLYDE pulled well clear of the remainder in the closing stages.  The latter is particularly is one to note as he is lightly raced and clearly has plenty of ability.
RUPERT BEAR ran well to three out before weakening on chasing debut. Like his stablemate Coquet Head in an earlier race he will likely come on for the run and can win a chase or two at this level.

4.20 1m 6f 3yo NH Flat

This turned into a three furlong uphill sprint. HURRICANE HOLLOW put a fair bit of distance between himself and the opposition in the latter stages. I notice this one was bought by Tom Malone and that’s a pretty good sign as he has made some pretty purchases for Lucinda Russell. This one provided a first ever ‘jumps’ winner  for Keith Dalgleish. Given that he has started in bumpers one would imagine Dalgleish will have an interesting contender in hurdles if he so wishes.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Kelso mid October

KELSO – Saturday October 19th

Going – Good to Soft (Soft in places)

This meeting really gets the season going at Kelso with plenty to go into the notebook ready for the coming months. The novice chase in particular looked a strong event with two very decent staying chasers fighting out the finish.

The rains arrived midweek and softened the ground a fair bit, though the jockeys reported it as pretty decent ground on the soft side of good.

1.35 2m ½f Dalkeith Bowling Club NH Maiden Hurdle – Division 1 (Class 5)

Not a strong event to start the card but Donald McCain had PLAN AGAIN well readied to win this one with the minimum of fuss. Always travelling well, he led two out and pulled clear. Previously winner of an Irish point and a Musselburgh bumper this six-year-old gelding should make strides up the scale and is likely to make up into a chaser.
BERNARDELLI looked reasonably straight for his seasonal debut and kept on stoutly from two out without threatening the winner. This was a step up on previous efforts and he looks to have benefitted from a break since January.
SPITZ caught the eye in the paddock on hurdling debut. He was always well placed but couldn’t match the winner from two out. A winner of a Musselburgh bumper last December this one should come on for the experience.
ELLISTRIN BELLE chased the clear leader Aw Ripe China for much of the way but could only find one pace once turned for home. She stuck to her task though and there are a few weak mares’ hurdles in the north where she could make a mark.
FRANKIE’S PROMISE, a double bumper winner last term, put in two poor jumps the second of which decanting Lucy Alexander who had to be stood down for the meeting after suffering a broken nose. Her mount was just as bad jumping the third loose and then found a way to by-pass the remaining obstacles! More schooling will presumably be on the agenda. Lucy Alexander is as tough as they come and isn’t expected to be out for long.

2.10 2m 7 ½ f Clifford and Martin Firth Memorial Novices’ Chase (Class 4)

The best contest on the card and in terms of the animals contesting this could be rated a Class 2 event. The finish was a ding-dong battle down the straight between two distinctly decent looking novice chasers.

GREEN FLAG was flagged up to me as a horse to follow from Lucinda Russell’s yard. He was pretty decent as novice hurdler but has always been regarded as a chaser in waiting. He really made a mark here, brought steadily into the contest toward the end of the first full circuit jumping efficiently he joined issued from the turn into the straight, just prevailing following a prolonged duel with a determined opponent. I suspect the form of the first two here is into the 140s and I’d expect further improvement with experience. A cracking debut by Green Flag who has an exciting campaign ahead with the Paris Pike Chase over this course and distance in December the first target.
IMPERIAL VIC has proved a revelation to his owners since being bought at the start of last jumps season. He has a nice easy going style, able to lead at a sensible pace or to follow a leader when required. He kicked on from the eleventh and had most on the stretch by the home turn. Taken on by Green Flag approaching the omitted two out (damaged on the previous circuit), he stuck grittily to his task and on the run-in kept battling away before being held in the last 50 yards. This was decent effort giving 7lbs to a talented opponent. I am told that his long term target is the Rehearsal Chase.
FULL JACK, a Grade 3 winner in France, made a satisfactory debut in the UK chasing sphere. Theoretically he had an advantage at the weights with the second, but it’s difficult to judge form between France and the UK but he wasn’t disgraced against two very good animals. His French form was all on very soft or heavy ground and a true stamina test may suit.
BALDING BANKER had a good deal to find at the weights but ran well until outpaced from three out.
FOUNDRY SQUARE tried hard to match the first two and looked booked for a decent third place when crashing out at the last. On form to date he’s not that far behind the first two and, assuming there aren’t lasting effects from the fall, should win a staying novice chase.
SHOW PUBLIC unseated at the eighth before the race commenced in earnest. This one was an easy winner of the Heart Of All England Hunter Chase at Hexham in May and will find much easier opportunities than this race.
WITNESS IN COURT set the pace until the eleventh but was stretched from four out and pulled up before two out. He will have chances in softer races with an easier lead.
NETMINDER, winner of a decent novices’ handicap at Ayr in April, was struggling before the two mile mark and pulled up after the twelfth. Sandy Thomson’s runners normally take a race or two to tune up and this form should be left behind.
Inexperienced BIG GEORGE went very well for a couple of miles and was then pulled up as he faded. He’s a big chasing sort and a pointing winner and he showed enough here to suggest there will be opportunities once he finds his level.
SAGLIERE had shown little previously and was totally outclassed here, left behind from before halfway and pulled up with a circuit to go.

2.45 2m ½f Dalkeith Bowling Club NH Maiden Hurdle – Division 2 (Class 5)

VINNY GAMBINI ran in a couple of Irish points back in 2011 but this was his first run since. He looked well enough on his return and was driven out to win this contest. I suspect the break has allowed him to develop as he is quite a muscular sort who should make a chaser in time.
UEUETEOTL has ability and should really have added to a debut bumper success by now. He led three out here and still had an advantage at the last, but he hit the flight and that cost him momentum. He stuck to his task but couldn’t foil the winner’s challenge. He’s talked of as a novice chaser and I’m sure there are races to be won with him.
ORCHARD ROAD stepped up on his previous run for his yard. He challenged going to two out but was held on the flat.
GOLD FUTURES looked plenty fit enough on his hurdling debut. He made progress to have every chance at the second last but couldn’t raise his game from the last.

3.20 2m 7½f EDF-ER Fallago Rig Handicap Chase (113-139)

Jan Faltejsek made his return to the UK after a second successive Velka Pardubice success the previous Sunday. He resumed a successful partnership with KNOCKARA BEAU who won this race for the second year in succession. He travelled well throughout and had the contest in safe keeping before the last and was eased on the run-in. He has an excellent record at Kelso but future opportunities are dependent on the handicapper’s reaction to this comfortable win as any significant rise will mean there will be very few contests here for which he is eligible. The Kelso Premier Chase over a slightly shorter trip here in March would be an obvious target.
BESCOT SPRINGS put in a creditable effort in second, arguably his best for a while, staying on from two out but not threatening the winner.
MORE EQUITY, running off 113 from 5lbs wrong in the weights, ran what might arguably be seen as a career best. She struggled last season but has blossomed in recent months.  She chased the leader on the final circuit, was outpaced going to two out but then stuck to her guns up the final hill. She’s not a prolific winner, 6 from 61 runs, but she is in good heart and may find a contest at a slightly lower level in the coming weeks.
PETTIFOUR is not the greatest jumper and was driven going on top the last lap. He stuck on up the run-in but was never closer than his final fourth place.
RAPIDOLYTE DE LADALKA, considered good enough to have a tilt at last season’s Irish National, had every chance on the home turn but weakened in the straight. This should go some way to setting him right and I’d expect a better showing next time.
GARLETON set a decent pace jumping as well as ever. He weakened before two out and was well held but I wouldn’t write him off just yet.
WICKLOW LAD made no real impact on first outing for Nick Alexander and was pulled up before the last. His chase wins have all been in soft and heavy and presumably he needs that ground to slow the others down.
MICRO MISSION, looking fit enough on seasonal debut, fell at the sixth.

3.55 2m ½f Peter Doyle Handicap Hurdle (90-115)

In the main the field here were exposed and the race was ripe for taking by something that hadn’t got many miles on the clock. TURTLE WATCH obliged for Jim Goldie, staying on from two out and leading on the flat. This was significantly better than previous efforts and it could be a little cut in the ground helped.
CAPTAIN BROWN, beaten a long way on the flat at Hamilton last month, led for most of the way only to be headed on the run-in. He was by no means a tear away leader and had all bar the winner beaten before the last. The tactics worked well enough and he may find a similar contest.
BOGSIDE chased the leaders two out but made no impact. He has ability but is normally opposable.
HALLMARK STAR came to dispute second two out but couldn’t get any closer. He’s got a good record in testing ground and may need genuinely soft or heavy ground to break his duck.
SEATTLE DRIVE, claimed at Musselburgh recently, was well backed but faded tamely from three out.  He has run well enough with cut in the ground before, was brought to this contest hard fit and there doesn’t seem much excuse for a very poor effort. He was pulled up before the last; all but taking out the tail ender STANLEY BRIDGE on which horse Brian Harding could really have called it day at that point.
PUSH ME won well against weak opposition here last time but was never in the race on this occasion. I suspect she’s not at her best when asked to hurdle in softish ground and I’d be willing to give her another chance on a better surface. Free draining Musselburgh would be the obvious place for such a chance.

4.35 2m 6½f Royal Smithfield Club Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)

I got a heads up on this one that KILGEFIN STAR works well at home and there aren’t many in the stable that can keep up with him. Bear in mind this is a stable that houses decent animals in Imperial Vic and Orsippus. A winner of a point in Ireland after a fair tries, this one’s strong suit is clearly stamina and he made it pay here. He took up the lead four out and gradually stretched the chasing group from that point. The second made little impact and he stayed on well for victory.
Looked on as a potential chaser, this one doesn’t look dissimilar to Imperial Vic in terms of profile and is worth keeping an eye on.
MYSTEREE wasn’t disgraced in second, even though clearly held approaching the last. He was well clear of the remainder and can add to his Hexham win before long.
SHANEN was sweating here and will probably benefit from the outing. He chased looking dangerous two out but there was no more to give.
MISTER D led until four out and at least stuck to his task afterwards. He looks a chaser in waiting and connections will surely have been encouraged by this effort.
MO ROUGE showed just a glimmer of encouragement but was well held from three out. This one was sent from a stable in Inverurie, the farthest north by a fair way of any yard in the UK, it would be nice to see trainer Jacqui Stephen strike a blow for her outpost somewhere along the line. This gelding probably has ability but may need a little time.

5.10 2m 1f Sir Maxwell Harper Gow Memorial Novices’ Handicap Chase (89-105)

This wasn’t a great event but taken by the in-form SENDIYM who won at Sedgefield earlier in the month. He led at the sixth and stayed on under pressure to take the contest. He’s three from 7 in chases and has the right attitude for contests at this end of the spectrum.
ROYAL RIVIERA put up a fair effort on chase debut. He disputed two out and stayed on up the hill.
MY IDEA had every chance at the last but was tapped for pace in the final half furlong.
PEAKS OF FIRE needed some encouragement at the start and lost six or seven lengths. He then rushed up to join the leaders, and was up there until weakening two out. He’s got the ability to win a race like this, but if there’s a problem it’s balanced between his ears. Both his jumps wins have come in heavy ground.
BEN AKRAM didn’t jump well and was never in the race.
TAKAATUF sprawled on landing at the third and was quickly pulled up. Assuming he’s Ok he can be forgiven this.
CAVITE ETA was in touch when unseating at the seventh and earning Henry Brooke a trip to hospital.

5.40 2m 6½f Maxwell Celebration Conditional Jockeys’ Training Series Handicap Hurdle (77-100)
This contest was delayed for some ten minutes awaiting the returning ambulance and took place in the gathering gloom.
Not a contest that will live long in the memory, but a return to form for CAPITAL VENTURE who had promised much in the past but had only one win before this in a stop-start career. He led two out and was all out to hold on after the last.
TOP BILLING showed a bit more than on previous outings in making the winner work for victory. He hasn’t shown a huge amount since his three-year-old days, and has yet to wins in 11 outings flat and jumps, but his best efforts have been with cut in the ground.
TEXAS ROSE travelled well in the most part but didn’t find an awful lot approaching the last and there was not a huge amount of encouragement from the remainder of a moderate collection.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Musselburgh Flat Finale

MUSSELBURGH – Monday October 14th

Going – Good To Firm (Good in places)

Musselburgh completed their 2013 flat season with a competitive card boasting decent prize money for a Monday programme. A season blessed with fine weather ended on a similar note as the East Lothian avoided the wet weather which I left back in Fife.

2.10 5f Apprentice Handicap (46-60)

TADALAVIL has been in the wars having recovered from a fractured leg some time back and then getting into a contretemps gate that ended with multiple stitches in his chest. He hinted at a return to form here a couple of runs back with a fourth place in similar company. Drawn near the rail in a race where such a draw was the key, Tadalavil got a good run through on the rail and showed enough determination in the closing stages to hold two main challengers. He’s not got as races no his record as some 8 year old sprinters so there’s a chance Linda Perratt can keep him sweet and coax another race win or two.
BEAUTY PAGEANT, a winner here at the end of September set the pace from the best draw and kept on well enough once headed. She looked very well, is reliable in this company and there may just be time for her to take a similar contest before stumps are drawn on the turf season.
HERE NOW AND WHY has been consistent of late and pushed hard for second place if just held in the closing stages. He’s not a prolific winner but has a decent record at Musselburgh.
AMIS REUNIS finished as fast as anything in fourth. However, Alan Berry’s stable tend to fire lots of shots in the hope that a few will hit the target and can be opposed for betting purposes.
LADY POPPY was dropped in class but didn’t make enough impact.
LIZZY’S DREAM was outpaced early on and picked off half the field in the latter stages. He’s 2 from 3 at Wolverhampton and a comparatively lightly raced so might be worth a glance in lowly company at Dunstall Park.

2.40 1m Irish Stallion Farms EBF 2yo Maiden (Class 4)

One or two might make up into better animals with another winter behind them.
MINDBLOWING built on a third place at Redcar, taking up the running three out and basically had everything on the shove from that point. He’s out of the sprinter Mind Games, but there’s more stamina on the dam’s side and he wasn’t stopping at the end of this mile.
MAMBO RHYTHM was dropped back from a stiff ten furlongs at Pontefract, so it was no surprise that she got taken off her feet for much of the distance. She rattled home down the middle the track from two out without threatening the winner. She’s a half-sister to Earl Of Leitrim who won over 6 furlongs in a truncated career but looks to need a distance of ground herself.
LAYLA’S RED DEVIL progressed from a Chester sixth, keeping on for third. She’s a Dalakhani filly out of a Sadler’s Wells mare so it’s likely that longer distances will be her forte next term.
ART OBSESSION probably ran to about the form of his Ayr second in finishing fourth here.
INSAANY was an expensive purchase and half-brother to a number of winners. He still looked green when asked for an effort two out but did pick up a little in the latter stages to take fifth place.
ICE MAYDEN looks to have some growing to do and is likely to benefit from a winter to strengthen somewhat. She looked to be travelling well over two out but there wasn’t as much forthcoming as seemed likely when she was asked. She may be one to note in handicaps next spring if she comes on over the winter.

3.15 1m 1f GBI Racing Welcomes Nicosia Race Club Selling Handicap (45-64)

The term seller tends to be looked on as the basement of racing, but this was a good deal better than a few non-sellers in Class 6. The first four have all been in decent form in the not too distant past and the result has a degree of strength about it. If there is a drawback it’s that the combined ages of the first four are 33.
CAMEROONEY’s form had tailed off a bit under Brian Ellison, but Marjorie Fife has rekindled the gelding’s enthusiasm. Apprentice Nathan Alison set a sensible pace and was able to repel allcomers up the straight to record a third course win. Clearly the 10-year-old is an animal well loved by owner Jean Stapleton and even if there had been a bid in the auction I can’t imagine anyone else would have taken this one home.
It’s worth remembering that a decent front-runner who can settle has every chance round here and prominent runners have come out consistently best at Musselburgh this year.
Twice a winner this season, SILLY BILLY made the winner work in the closing stages under a penalty for an all-weather win. This one has plenty of mileage on the clock, notching 5 wins from 63 runs, but seems in good heart and will presumably be kept on the go at Wolverhampton and Southwell.
ROYAL STRAIGHT had conditions to suit and kept on well enough for third, but is looking difficult to win with these days.
VIOLENT VELOCITY never quite got to the leaders but kept on for fourth not giving up ground in the final furlong. Another ten-year-old, he seems in good heart and a slightly lower all-weather mark may be exploitable.
A third 10-year-old, MONTHLY MEDAL made an effort two out but was never close enough.
ASSIZES won a Newbury maiden in October 2011 but his career has been steadily downhill since with no other win to show. He was slow away, a bit keen early on and never placed to challenge.

3.45 1m 5f Betfair Scottish Stayers’ Final Handicap (61-85)
The end to a very successful series of Betfair races over the season. This is a chance to determine which of you readers were taking notes as I flagged up BAYAN KASIRGA as a potential winner of this race after she won a qualifier here in September. Given an excellent waiting ride by Samantha Bell she burst through a gap a furlong out and came through to win by a very cozy length and a quarter. A good point too was the fact that she seemed to relish being squeezed for room and was strong enough to comfortably win a barging match! She looked to have more in hand and will stay further so I’d put her on a list of horses to follow, whether itbe for a quick follow up or if she’s held back for next season.
HAWDYERWHEESHT hit the front a furlong out, but I got the impression Graham Lee would have liked to have got there on the line and this one didn’t look all that comfortable out in front. A very good effort though.
CORTON LAD finished fast to take third without ever looking the winner. He’s been consistent all year and though he hasn’t won at this trip he clearly sees it out well enough.
VITTACHI ran a sound enough race to finish fourth, not that far away from the second. Having dropped in the weights he has done nicely enough this season.
GEANIE MAC suffered slightly as a more determined came past at the furlong pole, but fifth place was an excellent effort form out of the weights. She’s run very well this season without getting her head in front.
TITUS BOLT set the pace as he often does, but eyed the stable block going away from the stands and lost ground. He was headed three out and dropped away. He will presumably be on hurdling duties here soon.
ST IGNATIUS ended up last but looked to have run quite well. He was in the front rank until over a furlong out before the tank registered empty. He quickly dropped back but it may be he didn’t quite see out this trip in a such a competitive race.
WORTH A KING’s didn’t show much in the race, but he’s notably for the fact that he hind hooves clatter into his front hooves when he walks round the paddock. He’s very lightly raced in recent times and I do wonder if his race action is all it should be.

4.20 5f 32Red Casino Handicap (64-75)

LAYLA’S OASIS showed decent form for her previous stable but hadn’t quite clicked for Richard Fahey, though not far away on a couple of occasions. This win was not easy but she dug deep in the final furlong and got on top in the last 50 yards.
GOTTCHER, well beaten at Catterick and then in a big field at Ayr, was back to his best with a decent effort in second. He led two out but was passed 50 yards out.
ROTHESAY CHANCER ran his best race for ages from an unfavourable draw and stayed on well in the final furlong for third, while OPT OUT was drawn in stall 1 and ran a similar sort of race in keeping on for fourth.
TOM SAWYER, a close second to Opt Out here last time ran more or less to form with that one in filling fifth place. He set the pace and had every chance.
ALGAR LAD was outpaced early and made some late progress to fill sixth position.
JINKY is capable on his day but was on his toes in the paddock and wasted too much energy pre-race.

4.50 7f 30yds McEwan Fraser Handicap (80-90)
CHOOKIE ROYALE performed well off similar marks last autumn and this does seem his time of the year. He hadn’t pulled up any trees since an all-weather win at Wolverhampton in March, but won with a bit to spare despite veering toward the stands’ rail in the closing stages. I noted that Chookie Royale’s handler Keith Dalgleish watched the races from the benches near the ½ furlong pole.
SILVER RIME has run a number of decent races this season and stayed on for second place.
WANNABE KING stayed on for third and it’s worth noting he’s got a fair wins to runs record of 8 from 40. He tends to be an ‘all or nothing’ character as he has only two places on his record and in my book that does make him handy betting material if you have the patience to survive some misses while awaiting a hit.
ALEJANDRO was held in fourth and seems in the handicapper’s grip now.
GANDALAK has plateaued after a decent spell in the spring. He set the pace but was held once headed over two out. To his credit though he didn’t completely capitulate once passed.
Favourite IPTISAM raced too keenly in behind the leaders and was beaten from two out.

5.20 1m 6f Willie Park Trophy Handicap (73-94)

Potentially the classiest contest was left until last, though with two runners pulled out it was down on strength and a fair proportion of racegoers had left to avoid the traffic.
We did have a contest that looked to have five animals with the potential to improve into their four-year-old season.
COMMISSIONED, an 11 length winner of a Catterick maiden last time, got the best of a prolonged duel with a very determined front-runner. The battle will have done him no harm and I suspect he could make up into at least a Listed class performer next year. He determination saw him get his nose in front near to the line.
DEFICIT set a decent pace from the start and proved very difficult to pass. He has only a win at Bath on his success record, but it isn’t for lack of effort and this may prove a decent close second in time.
SLIP OF THE TONGUE attempted to match the first two but had to give way in the final furlong. He is a big long striding gelding who didn’t look totally at ease round the tight bends here, so perhaps will show better on a galloping track.
ARAMIST has improved steadily for Alan Swinbank and stuck to his task if held. This was a tough ask and he will find easier opportunities in handicaps.
SILENT MOVIE won a handicap at Wolverhampton and found this contest a bit beyond him, but there’s enough about him to suggest there are more races to be won. I would imagine Mark Johnston will seek out further opportunities for this one on the all-weather and the Middleham trainer is not averse to running his stayers at Southwell.

Joe Fanning’s narrow win over Tom Eaves in the final contest meant that he pipped Eaves in the Musselburgh Leading Jockey Table by 10 to 8. It would have been 9 each if Deficit had held on.
Mark Johnston secured the Trainers’ title narrowly from Richard Fahey.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Hexham - October 12th

Going – Good
Two fences omitted down the far side.
Card sponsored by Intu Metrocentre.

2.15 2m 4f Novices’ Handicap Chase ( Class 4)

STREAMS OF WHISKEY ran a decent race coming off a break. Always up with the pace he asserted going to the last and stayed on well. He stays well and may improve over fences for a stiffer test.
HIGHBURY HIGH chased the leader from before the last but was held though clear of the remainder.  This was a distinct improvement on anything he has shown before having been well beaten in hurdles and generally no better in Irish points.
AGRICULTURAL is a competent jumper and ran a decent race in third, one paced form before the last, holding off SPITFIRE ACE.
BALLYCOOL raced keenly and led for much of the way. The effort told before the3 last and he faded into fifth place.

2.45 2m ½ f Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)

A weakly contested mares’ event.
SULTANA BELLE had plenty of race experience behind her without a win. Significantly Peter Buchanan took the ride for Stuart Crawford against a runner from his retained stable. The Irish-trained mare responded well when challenged two out and won going away.
Punchestown bumper winner RATHVAWN BELLE pulled her way alongside the winner going to the second last, but there wasn’t that much in the tank when asked up the hill. Some of Lucinda Russell’s runners look a gallop short of their best at the moment and this one may come on for the run.
JORDAN’S DAY was outpaced down the far side and was a distant third.
CINNOMHOR looked clueless at the first and went in a different direction from her jockey at the second to sever the partnership.

3.20 2m 4 ½ f Handicap Chase(Class 4)

Kit Alexander is mixing post-graduate studies at Durham University with his amateur riding. He was seen to good effect on his father’s ROSSINI’S DANCER, dictating the pace most of the way and kicking on up the hill. His mount is decent at this level on a going day and had the race in safe keeping by the last. I’ve always thought that this one but better on a flatter track, but you can’t crib at this effort.
Lucy Alexander grabbed second on ALLANARD in a race dominated by her family. She was niggling at her mount for much of the way but he did respond but couldn’t get to the winner in the closing stages. A bit more cut in the ground may help.
ETAXALAR kept on for third and is more of a stayer.
ULTRA DE CHATELET travelled very well on the downhill run after three oututtu didn’t find much when asked.

4.00 3m Handicap Hurdle (Div 1) (Class 5)

HARTFORTH broke his duck after 26 goes flat and jumps, staying on well in the latter stages to win a moderate contest.
SILVER DRAGON stayed on late for second. This was his third race over hurdles and well in advance of anything shown previously though a step up to three miles clearly helped.
SYMPHONICK set the pace and plugged on once headed at the last. He went well in his previous race here.
AMORE MIO kept battling away from two out but was held on the run-in.
DELIGHTFULLY stayed on through the field to take fifth, a pretty typical effort.

4.00 3m Handicap Hurdle (Div 2) (Class 5)
I’ll BE FRANK took his Hexham record to 1221 staying on from the last to hold his main challenger.
SADDLERS MOT closed on the run-in but was held close home. He’s another that generally runs well around this quirky circuit.
FLYING DOCTOR ran passably well but he regularly finds some too good these days.
ALMUTAHAM set the pace but weakened once headed before the last. He ahs won over course and distance, and this was far better than recent efforts.

5.00 2m 4 ½ f Maiden Hurdle (Class 5)

BALLYBEN put a disappointing Perth effort behind him, racing prominently and sticking on gamely in the latter stages. This one is on my list of horses to follow and is well regarded at Arlary. He may well progress to chasing before long.
MILANO MAGIC ran some decent races last season without getting his head in front. He responded well when asked here but found one just too good. There should be a hurdle for him before long.
SHIMLA DAWN went well on the heels of the leaders two out and stuck to his task on the run-in. This effort reflected the promise shown in two Wetherby efforts and I suspect this one will make his mark chasing in time.
RED PENDER filled fourth well clear of the remainder. This was a promising Rules debut and the second and third from his Borrishouse point win have both franked the form since.

5.30 2m ½ f Handicap Chase (Class 5)

LOCAL PRESENT is well exposed but took advantage of a drop in the ratings to win this event.
PRINCE TAM needs things to go his way and is easily beatable, but wasn’t disgraced in second.
MORNING TIME was close up in third, back to chasing after a successful summer hurdling. He hasn’t pulled up any trees over fences though this was arguably a personal best in that sphere.

6.00 2m ½ f NH Flat (Class 6)

Two came clear in this event, LINE D’AOIS forging away from the top of the hill. He confirmed promise of second places in Irish points and a previous bumper here. He did the job well enough.
ROYAL RIPPLE couldn’t match the winner but was well clear of the third. His Irish point form was nothing special but this effort he’s coming along as he strengthens up.
YOURESOMEDREAMER may be a quiet one to consider over time from Lucinda Russell. He was pulled up in his only Irish point but the impression is that he was not really ready for that and he’ll improve with time.