KELSO – Saturday November 9th
Going – Good to Soft
12.30 2m 6 ½ f Jane Medd NH Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)
A novice event where the first three were well clear and the form is probably decent.
Debutant THE LAST SAMURI looked very fit for hurdling debut , travelled well and stayed on after leading two out. He should win over hurdles again and will make a chaser in time.
MYSTEREE turned round form with conqueror here at the last meeting Kilgefin Star on 7lbs better terms, keeping on under pressure from two out after tracking the leader. A decent effort and he hasn’t done an awful wrong over hurdles to date.
KILGEFIN STAR set the pace, a tactic designed to keep him out of the way of the deadwood in this fourteen runner field. He was headed two out and stuck to his job if held on the flat, his form working out pretty much to the pound with Mysteree. Connections seemed satisfied enough with this effort.
HEART DANCER, 27 lengths back in fourth, was closely followed by MAGIC PRESENT and VOLO MIO. All three are bred to be chasers and are likely to be more prominent in that sphere.
1.05 2m 1f Ship Inn, Dalkeith Novices Handicap Chase (84-110)
CLONDAW KnIGHT, well touted beforehand, impressed me at the recent Arlary Open Day. He looked to have strengthened and schooled impressively. Always travelling well here he pulled away from his field from two out and looks the type to move on from here to further victories. He will stay further once he has strengthened up a bit more but showed speed enough at this level. One to keep on the right side as it’s likely he will rate significantly higher than this level.
SURPRISE VENDOR raced prominently and stuck on well enough from two out. He ran into a good one here and had the remainder beaten off.
SWING HARD was in rear early and made a few mistakes. He picked up well enough over the last four fences but could never get to the leaders. He won a point and seems likely to stay further than this under Rules.
COAX disputed for much of the way but looked beaten three out. He rallied in the closing stages and this was a better effort than when last seen over jumps. He’s 1 from 29 in all disciplines though and it remains to see if he can be competitive next time.
ROBIN’S DIAMOND was a fit too fizzy in the paddock. He made an effort three out but could make no further impact over the last two.
MY IDEA didn’t jump well enough to get competitive, BRIERYHILL BOY, two handlers and taken down early, looks too headstrong at the moment and JIMMIE BROWN was never going.
ALFRED OATS slipped and fell on the bend into the back straight. He hampered TEO VIVO who nearly came down and struggled afterwards, not looking entirely sound behind when unsaddled. LEROY PARKER was also hampered at this point and couldn’t get into the race.
1.40 3m 3f Graeme Todd Haulage and Friends Handicap Hurdle (109-135)
There aren’t many hurdles of this distance and this would be one of the better ones in the north over the course of the season. TALKIN SENCE really goes well here and stays all day. He’s the size of tuppence ha’penny compared to some of others but he was always going well and held the second in the latter stages. He could well follow up while in such good heart.
BISHOPS HEIR made a very encouraging comeback after a season off the track. He closed to three out and kept on under pressure to the line. He’s a chase winner and his trainer should have options under both disciplines in the coming weeks. All his wins have come on soft or heavy ground.
KARINGA DANDY was arguably best looking of these pre-race. He was outpaced three out but kept on up the final hill. This lightly raced gelding looks a chasing type and clearly stays very well.
ALPHA VICTOR led until two out but was readily put in his place from that point. He’s on a plenty stiff enough mark at this time.
DEVOTION TO DUTY remains in the same ownership as before but recently moved from Lucinda Russell to Philip Kirby. He was driven at the tenth flight and made no impression from that point. He has been placed over three miles but I suspect is better around 2m 4f.
MICRO MISSION, a faller here over fences a few weeks back, was well held by three out.
2.15 2m 7½f Flannigan Skip Hire Handicap Chase (125-138)
KRUZHLININ raced comfortably most of the way, survived a serious error four out and showed fair speed from two out to hold on form a single serious challenger. This looked a decent from one who could be capable of making a mark in better company over fences.
MAGGIO ran to his best, keeping on determinedly after the winner up the straight, if always held. Only up a pound for this, he will have opportunities and goes well at Kelso.
ANEYEFORANEYE was held from two out. All her winning form is at shorter distances and she wouldn’t want the going any softer than this. She is on a reasonable mark given the right circumstances.
I understood that SA SUFFIT had been retired due to leg problems, but he pitched up here now running out of the stable of Jim Goldie. He plugged on having been outpaced on the run to two out and given the near two year lay-off this was a reasonable enough effort.
ROLECARR was never travelling comfortably and needs softer ground, his best chase form being around here in soft or heavy going.
GARLETON set a good pace to two out and then weakened.
BLENHEIM BROOK was never travelling with any ease and was behind three out then pulled up before the last. He’s decent at his best but recent form has not been good.
2.50 2m 1f Mayfield Restaurant Handicap Chase (117-136)
This race has dropped a grade from what it was but is still a fair contest for short distance chasers.
SWIFT ARROW was a winner here last season during a purple patch. Probably benefitting form a first outing of the season he led at the last and stayed on well to the line. He’s now 3 from 3 at Kelso.
JET MASTER had failed to complete in three chases prior to this, but he jumped well in the main. A mistake at the last may didn’t help as he led into the fence, but he rallied on the run-in and if he can repeat this he will win chases.
UPSILON BLEU, accompanied by two handlers in the paddock, raced in behind the leaders then led from four out until two out. He kept on well enough on the run-in, is a decent chasing sort and looks capable of landing a race before long.
RHYMERS HA’ ran a creditable race against more gifted opponents. He was held form the last but this offered sufficient encouragement should be dropped in class.
MR MOONSHINE was dropped down significantly in distance for one who has competed strongly over three miles. He was left behind from two out and it may well be that he hasn’t got the speed at shorter distances.
WILDE PASTURES disputed the lead early but was left behind from three out. His wins have all come on genuinely soft ground and this run will have done him no harm.
3.25 2m 2f David McLean (DM27) 7/7 Memorial Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (74-100)
The curse of the low sun struck for this race with the second last flight bypassed and the last omitted which meant the run-in was at least four and half furlongs.
CIVIL UNREST followed up a convincing Musselburgh win on the Thursday with a more hard fought victory here. He set the pace, stretched things when required and found enough under driving in the final furlong. He’s been moved up 14lbs for his Musselburgh win and it could be back to chasing again.
TRUST THOMAS ran a sound race, pushing the winner hard no the long run-in. His best efforts have been with cut in the ground.
RHYMERS STONE is probably a chaser in waiting, but put up his best effort over hurdles here staying on to the line.
BLUE SEA OF IBROX ran a respectable race from a lowly 74 rating. He was outpaced ni the final two furlongs has hinted at ability on both outings this term.
VODKA RED made progress down the far side but weakened once turned for home and though having a glimmer of ability is basically beatable.
4.00 George Harrow Memorial Handicap Chase (79-96)
A distinctly moderate contest where few offered much encouragement pre-race.
JIM TASNGO hinted a revival on a recent Hexham effort and was good enough to hold these. He was always on the premises and responded wel l enough when driven out to the line. He did rate 115 at one time and is at the right end of the scale if he retains enthusiasm. He’s a good ground performer and will presumably put his hooves up for a while if serious rains arrive.
BEN AKRAM jumped significantly better than on his last effort here. He made headway to two out, kept on to the line and is plenty capable of winning a similar contest if his jumping holds up.
BOB’S DREAM put in his best effort for sometime in finishing a close second. He’s probably decent material for an equine shrink to practice on, but capable when in the mood and healthy.
BALLYCOOL made mistakes at the rear of the field. He stayed on up the straight to take fourth palce which was the best he was placed at any time.
OVERLAW went well to two out and then quickly dropped away. Word was that he was fit enough and expected to run a big race so the performance was a disappointment.
SENDIYM threw away his chance with errors in the second half of the race, but may atone as he is more committed to the job than many at this level.
BREEZE WITH EASE made errors and was beaten half a mile from home.
Long standing maiden LAYBACH unseated at the second.
CARLISLE – Monday November 11th
Just to prove that every dog has his day, DICKIE HENDERHOOP won a woeful novices’ handicap hurdle. He was 3/1 which didn’t go much of the way to recovering losses from being regularly backed to shortish prices in the past. You never know, he may have turned over a new leaf…
SNUKER earned a place on a my horses to follow list on the basis that he’s a chasing type a long way down the handicap ratings who is probably better than his form suggests. He was given a real stamina test here over 3m 2f in the heavy and he stayed on strongly up the hill.
SHOAL BAY DREAMER put in a creditable effort in finishing second at his second attempt over this trip.
The feature Graduation Chase normally proves to be a decent contest and was close fought on this occasion. Sue Smith’s VINTAGE STAR battled well to hold off two talented challenger. He was outclassed at Cheltenham in March but should prove a decent handicapper.
BUDDY BOLERO stuck on well and is essentially an out-and-out stayer. He’s not been heavily raced to date, revels in the mud and is one to look out for in real stamina tests over the winter.
IMPERIAL VIC was pointed at this contest as the race conditions favoured a novice. He set the pace until coming out of the far side for the last time. He was then outpaced going to three out and looked beaten before staying on very well in the closing stages. He was first in the queue when guts and determination were handed out and hasn’t run a bad race under Rules, and I suspect this form is better than it looks given that he would probably not be at his absolute best in extreme mud. The Rehearsal Chase is his target but he could win a staying novice chase under a penalty for his Perth win.