AYR – Saturday November 2nd
Going – Soft (turning Heavy)
A miserable afternoon at Ayr as the weather took a turn for the worse.
12.55 2m John Smith’s Maiden Hurdle (Class 5)
This was hard work for many in the latter stages. The favourite HALLMARK STAR dropped away in the straight in the rain softened ground and might be better in less exacting conditons.
The well backed REDPENDER raced prominently, took a definite lead three out and forged away from his pursuers. He showed fair form in Irish soft ground points and staying should prove his game in time.
SILVERTON put up a best effort to date, cutting out much of the pace and sticking to her guns once passed. Her best previous effort was third in a heavy ground bumper at Kelso, so these conditions appear right up her street.
FRANKIE’S PROMISE jumped better than at Kelso but was still very wayward when asked for an effort in the straight. He lost lengths at each of the last three flights and will win an event like this once his jumping problems are corrected.
FINAL ASSAULT made an encouraging hurdling debut. He chased the leaders up the straight but could never get seriously to grips with the winner. He showed enough to suggest that there are races to be won with him in the not too distant future.
1.25 3m 110yds Plumbstore Handicap Hurdle (83-110)
AMORE MIO disputed or led for most of the way. He had a set to with the second from four out and was headed at the second. However, slightly behind at the last, he stuck his head down as was going away at the finish. This was his first win since 2009, during which time he’s dropped from 132 into the 90s. Clearly he’s better than that and testing conditions suit.
HARTFORTH looked the likely winner two out, but the tank registered on the run-in and could offer no more. He was well clear of the third though and this was a creditable effort.
Two regulars in these events up here, SOLWAY SAM and AUBERGE battled out third with the former just prevailing. SOLWAY SAM had a purple patch in 2010 but hasn’s looked much like winning since, while AUBERGE won a couple at Hexham in the summer but is essentially opposable.
DAASIJ was never going and well held from six furlongs out as was stablemate THE FLAMING MATRON.
2.00 Topstaff Employment Handicap Chase (74-92)
TRESOR DE L’ISLE travelled well throughout the race and steadily asserted from four out. This was a fair bit better than anything he has shown before and the summer break seems to have been a benefit. These sort of contests are clearly his level, he’s lightly raced and a follow up would appear likely.
SHOAL BAY DREAMER won after a break at this time last year. Having raced prominently he lost his place going to four out before staying on late for second. He’s one win from 17 and the event he won at Hexham was weak.
MILAN ROYALE had every chance down the straight and was found wanting from two out. His win came in a moderate five-runner event at Sedgefield.
ALEXANDER OATS was beaten after three out. He beat much better than these here back in February 2011, but has regressed steadily since then.
ACCORDINGSCRIPT flattered briefly going to three out but soon dropped away.
LAYBACH jumped quite nicely but was under the pump when falling four out. 29 races and no wins tells the story.
BALLYCOOL made headway three out but soon weakened and unseated when beaten at the last. He was keen early on which didn’t help his chances of seeing out the trip in these conditions.
SPITFIRE ACE thumped the first and gave Henry Brooke a taste of the Ayrshire turf.
2.35 3m 1f John Smith’s Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (114-136)
On a visit to Arlary, GREEN FLAG was signalled to me as one to follow this season and he made it two from two with a convincing performance in the rain and gloom. Held up initially, he was steadily put into the race on the second circuit, joined the leaders and steadily got on top from two out. He is a natural as a steeplechaser and I suspect will prove better than handicap class before the season is out.
SCOTSWELL found one too good here, but put in a fine round of jumping himself. He’s an honest soul with a decent win to runs record over hurdles. On this evidence he should win races over fences as he won’t always run into one with the potential of the winner.
SIVOLA DE SIVOLA didn’t jump as well as the first two and was held from four out.
STREAMS OF WHISKEY didn’t jump fluently but did well to stay in contention though was held and looking second best when falling at the last.
A Cheltenham Festival winner in the past, PAUSE AND CLAUSE was held and took a heavy fall at the twelfth.
3.10 2m John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle (110-126)
TRUCKINMG ALONG has generally run well on his trips to Ayr. Back to only 4lbs above his previous winning mark, his efforts up the straight were rewarded as his forced his head in front near the line.
MORNING ROYALTY made the running for all bar 50 yards of this contest. He relishes this testing ground and battled hard when challenged.
TITUS BOLT came to the last with every chance but gave way. If dropped in class he would appear to have every chance of winning a similar event, but he needs things his own way and better ground would help.
COOL BARANCA was stretched for pace most of the way but plugged on through the field for fourth.
SAPHIR RIVER disappointed after a decent chasing win last autumn. This return didn’t offer too much suggestion that a revival is imminent as he was never in threatening position and well beaten from three out.
CALL BOX raced prominently but was out on his feet from two out.
OUTRAGEOUS REQUEST couldn’t handle this ground and can be forgiven this run.
UBALTIQUE has ability but has proved beatable when perhaps capable of better. He was never near the front and pulled up before two out.
3.45 2m John Smith’s No Nonsense Handicap Chase (109-130)
SIMPLY NED is a sort I have liked ever since he won a bumper at Kelso. He proved a decent hurdler, and made up for a first fence Carlisle fall with a convincing success in senior company. He travelled wel l throughout, jumped well and has the ability to go in better company.
STORMIN EXIT is a game sort who is fair measure at this level when on his game. He was not disgraced, beaten by a talented opponent but well clear of the third.
UN GUET APENS ran a decent enough race but was held form two out. He’s lightly raced and was given some tough tasks in novice chase company last season. A novice handicap will prove more his level and he will win chases.
CATCH TAMMY raced prominently and led at the eighth. However, he was held down the straight and is probably best when able to dictate affairs. A smaller field may be a help.
KEALIGOLANE went well enough to the eighth in front but was ridden on the final bend and not dangerous afterwards. He is another that needs to dictate affairs.
4.15 Odds and Evens Bookmakers Newcomers Standard Open NH Flat (Class 6)
A tough test for newcomers. Both FLY HOME HARRY and WARRIORS TALE showed signs of greenness up the straight, the former showing more tenacity in the closing stages. Difficult to gauge what the form is worth, but both should have learnt a bit from this.