Saturday, 29 November 2014

'Saltire Festival' Meeting at Musselburgh

MUSSELBURGH – Friday November 28th

Going – Good

A low class card but, with good going prevailing after a reasonably dry spell in Scotland, decent sized fields unlike at a number of other courses of late.

12.05 3m ½f Saltire Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (64-100)

ONE FOR HOCKY is a progressive staying hurdler and that helps at a level full of regressives and non-achievers. Always travelling well, he took the lead before two out and soon put the race out of reach of his opponents. He will be up a grade now but should hold his own up in class.
BALLYREESODE stayed on for second without getting near the winner. He wasn’t disgraced on a track that doesn’t play to his strengths as well as the likes of Hexham and Newcastle.
DISCOVERIE has ability, but is hard work and could only plug on from two out. He often runs passably well but has yet to win.
WYFIELD ROSE set the pace until before two out. Still pitching for second at the last she faded on the run-in and she has yet to prove she sees out three miles.
CLONLENEY raced keenly up with the pace and was beaten three out.
FARMERS CROSS was visored for the first time, but he has been struggling of late from out of the handicap.
LEROY PARKER was a fair flat performer in Ireland (rated 74 at one time) but his jumps efforts in the UK have been generally dire. Hood and to the usual blinkers achieved nothing.

12.35 2m Dalhousie Bonnyrigg Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (Class 5)

THANKYOU VERY MUCH, a winner on the flat this year, raced prominently, took it up three out and stayed on well to hold her challengers. A step up on her Wetherby effort and there may be a mares’ novice event for her under a penalty. I suspect her trainer will be looking for decent ground.
TARA MAC stepped up on her previous effort, moving into contention up the straight but never getting to the winner. She blundered at the last, but I don’t think she would have won the race.
CATCHTHEMOONLIGHT ran creditably in third, picking off rivals up the straight but not getting to the winner. She needs riding like this, so if she’s going to win will probably be suited by a few battling for the lead and passing them late on.
STYLE SETTER got into contention in the straight but a couple of jumping blunders didn’t aid her cause and she was held form the last.
DEFINITELY GLAD disputed the lead but was under the pump three out and gradually faded.
KNOCKLAYDE SNO CAT is a lightly made filly. She wasn’t able to step up on a fair third at Ayr, making no impression up the straight.

1.10 2m 4f Donaldson Timber Engineering Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (101-120)

Irish trained BEARLY LEGAL was pressing the leader when left in front at the last. The likelihood is that he needs this decent ground so his trainer might well seek similar opportunities here in the coming months.
BORUMA raced well up with the pace, but he’s a dicey jumper and after taking a few liberties with his fences came a cropper at the last. He needed a decent leap at the last, put in a short one and clipped the top and came down. He has the speed but his jumping needs to improve.
COBAJAYISLAND raced up with the pace but was another who put in some risky leaps. He was keeping on when hampered by Boruma’s fall though recovering sufficiently to take second.
BETTER B QUICK raced keenly, though held a chance three out. He kept on after being left in third but would likely have been no better than fifth otherwise.
REAPING THE REWARD stayed on from three out. He looked to be getting just the worst of the argument when severely hampered at the last. He had to swerve violently to avoid Boruma and Craig Nichol did well to stay in the saddle, though any chance he had disappeared. Worth a try up in trip.
RYTON RUNNER never got into the race on chasing debut and his jumping didn’t convince.
THE ICE FACTOR looked very fit. He raced too keenly and he needs to pay more respect to his fences.
THINGS CHANGE was disappointing. His jumping was less than fluent and he was beaten three out.
BROKETHEGATE veered out towards the stable block at the start and did not take any serious part. He jumped four fences very stickily when tailed off before Diarmuid O’Regan pulled stumps.

1.45 2m 4f Cornhill Building Services Ltd Maiden Hurdle (Class 5)

FLY VINNIE built on a promising third here in a three mile event. This was arguably a bit short of what is likely to prove his best trip, but Danny cook set out to make the best of his stamina. He responded well when challenged and held on gamely from a determined challenger. Bearing in mind a promising rules debut it was hard to see why he started at 25/1. He’s a nice sort who will make up into a chaser sooner rather than later.
RED SPINNER put up a creditable effort in second on hurdling debut. Pressing the winner from three out, he lacked nothing in effort and was clear of a fair performer in third. A visit to the winner’s spot looks very likely in the near future.
TRADEWINDS was tapped for speed from three out. He has been beaten by a succession of decent hurdlers and his day will come.
MERCHANT OF DUBAI, second to a progressive type in handicap last time, probably ran to his 115 mark here. He had work to do at the weights with the third and the first two are likely to be at least high 120s performers.
THE COBBLER SWAYNE disputed second four out but faded form the final bend and nothing lese was in the contest over the last three hurdles.

2.25 2m BAM Construction St Andrew’s Day Handicap Chase (87-115)

UN ANJOU raced close up, led four out and looked a likely clear winner at the last. He was idling on the flat and almost caused close home by a rallying second but had enough in hand to hold on. His early career in France was spent running in deep ground, but he looks a better animal on decent ground.
CHESTNUT BEN ran without his declared tongue-tie after problem with the equipment in the preliminaries. He was outpaced early in the straight but rallied and was staying on when making a mistake at the last. He finished with a rattle, just too late to pass the winner.
WOT A SHOT, who has had plenty of chances over jumps to date, could never quite get to grips with the leaders down the straight despite keeping on to the finish.
WHY BUT WHY had every chance four out and wasn’t far away at the last, but the tank was empty and he faded on the run-in. He needs the ground and stays only the minimum trip.
TWEEDO PARADISO was made joint favourite though I don’t have an earthly as to why that was. He unseated here on his last run and never got seriously involved in the contest on this his second outing over fences.
SADDLERS DEAL was beaten from three out.
REGAL D’ESTRUVAL has been well beaten in most of his chasing efforts. He led until five out but dropped away once turned for home.
BALLYCOOL and YOURHOLIDAYISOVER both jumped stratchily in rear and never got in a blow.

2.55 2m Be One Step Ahead Handicap Hurdle (66-99)

ENDEAVOR showed admirable resolution to take this. It was a contest where many had questions marks but the winner has been giving his running consistently of late and battled well to hold two serious challengers. He has 12 wins form 77 efforts which is creditable from one operating at this level.
CLAUDE CARTER wasn’t disgraced on follow up to his win here. He stayed on and was closing at the line.
DALSTONTOSILOTH looked to be going best of any approaching three out but didn’t find enough when asked. His jockey wasn’t very complimentary about this one’s attitude afterwards and you get the feeling he has more ability than he cares to let on. Not one to risk the mortgage money on.
PEGASUS WALK stayed on when the contest was over, but performed adequately on handicap debut.
VAN MILDERT was thereabouts for much of the way before fading from two out. Not a bad effort from out of the handicap but he will need a very weak race if he is to score.

3.25 2m Belmont Wallyford Maiden Open NH Flat (Class 6)

A few here that might make up into jumpers in time.

IM TOO GENEROUS built on a promising second to take this very comfortably. They went no pace early on and Stuart Crawford’s charge came clear under Crawford frere Steven once asked for an effort. He was second in a Bartlemy maiden point, and the other one from that contest to have come out under Rules won at Chepstow (and the second there has won since), so he’s likely to have a future over obstacles.
There is definitely a bit to work on with LEADING SCORE who battled on for second. He will step up on this in time.
CHAIN OF BEACONS looks a chasing type, so a staying on third place augurs well for the future. This was a satisfactory debut for Sandy Thomson.
MASIRANN didn’t look suited by the four furlong sprint that this turned into. He was under the pump much of the way up the straight, but did stick to his job and was never completely seen off.
ATTENTION PLEASE was well beaten back in last but I wouldn’t worry too much at this stage. He looks a jumping type who should develop with time and was rather green in the preliminaries. He’s a half-brother to a decent sort in Court In Session.

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