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.