Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Kelso - Ladies Day closes the spring programme

KELSO – Sunday May 24th

Going – Good (Good to Firm in places)

A bright day for Ladies Day to finish the Kelso spring campaign, with a chilly stiff breeze blowing across the track with the going a tad on the fast side. Decent ground nevertheless though the bends had to sanded early on as they were just a little slippery.

Milnathort Racing Club’s The Village pitched up seeking to atone for misbehaviour at Perth when refusing to start.

2.10 2m ½f Lyntoun Taxis & Andersons Butchers East Lothian Novices’ Hurdle (Class 4)

He made little impact at Perth but RUNNING BROOK was presented looking a picture on this occasion and belied odds of 40/1. He raced handily, challenged two out and wore down the leader on the flat. A pleasing effort and this point winner should be capable of holding his own over the bigger obstacles.
ANGUS GLENS set the standard racing under a penalty and looked the likely winner approaching the last. He pecked and lost the initiative though keeping on to the line. There should be another event for him under a penalty before long.
ANOTHER BYGONES didn’t quite get to the front two but kept on for third place.
SO SATISFIED ran a satisfactory race, keeping on nicely to the line without being over punished. He has ability and chances will likely come once he has a handicap mark.
NABURN was left in the lead three out but held from two out. He would need a soft non-handicap but is another likely to show up well enough once handicapped.
SKY FULL OF STARS looks to need a bit of time. He was outpaced from two out.
VITAL EVIDENCE led until falling three out. He has ability but would be one of the lesser lights in the McCain set up.
PARKIE BOY is chasing type who will need time. He was well behind when unseating two out but should leave this from behind in time.

2.40 2m 7½f  Elliot Henderson Novices’ Handicap Chase (79-105)

JACK ALBERT is a keen going front runner and was always in the lead or near it. He pushed on from four out and was clear two out. What you see is what you get with this one.
VISION DE LA VIE stayed on for second without threatening the winner.  He has three years in hand on the winner and looks well capable of winning a chase or two.
KING OF THE DARK carried a bit of condition, but he ran recently so presumably it’s just how he looks. He challenged three out but was held from two out, just being denied second place. He’s unexposed and confirmed promise of his Sedgefield run.
EMKAE, a bit grinder who must wear his teeth down, was outpaced three out and then kept on again up the hill. A more forward from previous chasing efforts.
ACCORDINGSCRIPT led or disputed until falling away from four out. His jumping was not as flunet as that of the winner and it told in the last mile.
JUST AWAKE is capable at this level but has a tendency to miss out a fence or two. Ridden patiently, he looked to be going best of all when coming down four out.

3.10 2m 7½f  Elliot Henderson Novices’ Handicap Chase (75-101)

This race was run over two seconds a mile quicker than part one as it showed with only two horses in contention two.

LEANNA BAN was considered gifted the race at Carlisle, but proved he’s at least that good and better. Front running, he burnt off all the bar the second turning for home and went clear after his challenger hit two out.  He was impressive, looks better than this class and his trainer will presumably try to strike while the iron is hot.
BROTHER SCOTT got close to the leader two out having travelled well, but he hit the fence and his chance was lost. He beat the rest a long way and will not always run into one as sharp as the winner at this level.
TRIBAL DANCE was outpaced a mile out and eventually kept on past beaten rivals to take third. He tried to take on the winner early on and may have paid for that.
LOCHORE raced in rear and struggled from halfway.
COOLANURE was well outpaced going on to the final circuit and his trainer reported he had sulked.
WHERE’S MALACHY was outpaced from four out and has yet to make a significant mark.
BLAST MARTHA ran well for a long way and looked destined for third before being pulled up and dismounted before two out. If there are no serious problems she hinted at enough ability to get in the mix in similar contests.
DISCOVERIE was not on a going day, always in rear and pulled up before two out.

3.45 2m 1f KOSB Novices’ Handicap Chase (79-105)

The big event of the afternoon as far as some of us were concerned, but we managed to collect another last place, though not without some encouragement. A close contest with all in contention at the last.

BEIDH TINE ANSEO is a bit better than this level if he puts his best hoof forward. He was tapped for speed at the top end of the course, but stayed on well from two out to lead on the flat and on top close home. A nice performance which gave some in the Russell box cause to celebrate and he might score again while in good heart.
GREAT DEMEANOUR, a faller when looking destined for third of 4 at Perth, apparently improved on previous efforts. He had every chance and saw out his race well enough.
CLONLENEY race keenly, keeping on after being slightly caught for toe from two out. This run at least offered connections some encouragement on chasing debut.
SCORPIONS STING, a winner over hurdles last time, didn’t jump fluently and paid for that at the sharp end.
MWANGAZA led to two out and then faded on the run-in. She may be suited by more cut.
NO SUCH NUMBER raced close up but couldn’t raise his game from two out.

Finally to Milnathort Racing Club pride and joy THE VILLAGE who was just pipped for sixth place on the line and thus finished last…, again! With tongue-tie removed he was much better behaved that at Perth and jumped off nicely. He was too keen early on, and needs to learn to settle, but put in some decent jumps. Unfortunately he made mistakes four out and three out and was hanging right and difficult to steer around the final bend. He made up a fair bit of ground to the last and was in a line for third, but then either the petrol or resolve ran out and he was running on the spot going for the line.
Peter Buchanan report was fairly upbeat, that our gelding needs a right-handed track but the quick ground suits him. There are only two convenient right-handed tracks on the go in the summer, Market Rasen and Perth and he’s most likely to appear at the latter.
The jury are out, and possibly tending towards a ‘guilty’ verdict, but it’s no done deal and there might just be a competent chaser in there.

4.20 2m 2f Coppola Family Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (103-119)

Only six runners but a tight little contest won in taking fashion by MAKE IT HAPPEN. He made a bad mistake four out which set him back a bit. He had to work after that but stayed on well to win cosily. The ground here suited and he could be one to take forward for the summer campaign.
APACHEE PRINCE went on and looked the likely winner two out and kicked on but was worn down close home.
UN ANJOU wasn’t disgraced on his return to hurdling, holding a chance going to the last but then held.
CRINKLE CRAGS went up 11lbs for a Sedgefield win and hasn’t matched that form since. The Co. Durham course can throw up some specialist and it’s worth bearing in mind it was softer that day. He’s looked a long term project though and chasing will probably be his game.
SILVER SHUFFLE was put in his place before two out.
NINEPOINTSIXTHREE jinked an unseated his rider some way after the second flight.

4.55 3m 2f Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Challenge Cup Hunters’ Chase (Class 4)

Winner of the Heart Of All England chase at Hexham, CAVE HUNTER added some notable scalps in a better event here.  He raced in the lead or disputing most of the way and showed determination to rally and lead before the last. He hung left no the run-in, crossing his pursuer, but had the race won, though his jockey got 3 days off.
NOWURHURLIN is a consistent sort who unseated in the Aintree Foxhunters’. This trip stretches his stamina and he was held when switched run-in, his jockey spotting the opportunity and making a bit of a play. A sound effort.
YOUNG HURRICANE was behind for much of the way but stayed no well from three out to take third place.
KALASTAR was soon off the pace and never got into the contests but inherited fourth palce.
CHANCEOFALIFETIME is another whose stamina is stretched at this tri0p. He was weakening when taking a heavy fall two out.
DANNANCEYS HILL was getting outpaced when coming down four out.
ROCKITEER led to the thirteenth but dropped away once headed and dropped away before being pulled up.
BEGGAR’S VELVET was never seriously in the contest and pulled up before two out.

5.25 3m 2f Border Facilities Handicap Chase (101-125) – Patricia Crawford Memorial Trophy

BALLYBEN was progressive last year and picked up the thread after some disappointments. He raced prominently, led two out and forged clear to win with a bit in hand. He’s headed in the right direction again.
BUDDY LOVE made an effort two out but never got to the winner. This was a decent effort in the class and he can find a race if kept going into the summer.
BEEVES led for a long way before being held from two out and ran to his form.
LORD BRENDY kept on in the latter stages without threatening the lead.
FULL JACK raced prominently but faded from the home bend.
PURCELL’S BRIDGE didn’t get in a blow from three out. He has some decent form on right-handed tracks and might do better at Perth.
GENEROUS CHIEF wasn’t’ a factor, the novice MO ROUGE jumped slowly and deliberately which didn’t help in senior company and moody ACTION MASTER didn’t show much zest.

5.55 2m ½f Jane Sturrock 40th Birthday Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Class 5)

Karen Mclintock hasn’t had the flow of bumper horses of late that she has in the past. However, she has found a decent animal in BANKS O’ HOUXTY who came clear in impressive style from two furlongs out.
SHOW ON THE ROAD was rather green, but he stayed on well enough for second. He’s a four-year-old who should develop with time and this was a sound start.
BOOGIE LIFE, a winner last time, sets the standard after a Carlisle win. Under a penalty she saw her race out but was held once the winner forged ahead.
NUTS WELL ran a good second here but may have found this surface a little more lively than ideal.
Make a note of FAIRY THEATRE who was held up in rear, but made steady progress in the final half-mile to take fifth. This looked a step up on her previous effort and she might be one for mares’ hurdles in time.
BAYSBROWN looks a big baby and may well need time. However, he made some progress from three furlongs out before getting outpaced. He should make up into a jumper in time.

John Wade’s CORRELATE led for the first mile but weakened quickly once turned from home. He will presumably show up better in the long term if going chasing.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Kelso - First May Meeting

KELSO – Wednesday May 6th

Going – Good To Soft

A bit of rain about, but generally not too bad a day for Kelso’ penultimate meeting of the spring campaign. The ground was reported a shade on the dead side but generally riding quite well.

1.50 2m 1f Black Bull Inn Wooler Novices’ Chase

I worked the morning and then drove down to Kelso for the afternoon. I had expected the runners to be in the paddock when I arrived at 1.35, but none to be seen. They really ought to on view earlier and I do feel that racecourses should be making sure runners are on view as early as possible.

A close battle between two quite evenly matched animals, the fitness of PAIR OF JACKS possibly just making the difference in the closing stages against KATACHENKO coming off a break. Assuming they remain near to current marks, the winner may go up a pound or two, then both can be competitive in handicaps. Jumping from both was sound enough and Pair Of Jacks in particular seems an amenable animal.
The ten-year-old SILK HALL jumped the early fences well but wasn’t so sharp once the tempo increased. He’s rated 130 at the moment for handicaps and he doesn’t look that good as a chaser.

NEVILLE WOODS had much to find with the others but jumped around safely for fourth. He will be better off in handicaps having been given tough tasks, with our own enigmatic character The Village (rated 66) not too far behind in his race at Carlisle.

2.20 2m 6½f Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (81-107)

ISAACSTOWN LAD has never really stepped up to the mark after showing a little promise early in his career, though described to me as ‘a plank’ by a previous owner. Nicky Richards has obviously done a bit of streamlining to the piece of wood, since he travelled well, led two out and had the race in safe-keeping at the last. Taken at face value this race suggests more to come.
HURRICANE RITA moved to chase the winner from two out but couldn’t get close enough to challenge. This was only her fourth race and she appeared well suited by the step up in trip. Stuart Coltherd is shrewd enough to place her to win a staying novices’ event.
IORA GLAS chased the leader swinging for home but was found wanting from two out. He has to find extra off his current mark.
LORD USHER, stood down for what was deemed ‘an easy’ here over two miles last time, set sail for home after three out but found disappointingly little when challenged.
DUTCH CANYON struggled to get into the race on the final circuit. He looks a stayer without a deal of tactical pace.
SPOILS OF WAR led early jumping well and set a decent pace. His jumping went to pieces on the final circuit, but it turned out he had been seriously struck into and was pulled up. Lucinda Russell told me that things were touch and go for a while, but thankfully he has been treated and is now on the mend.

2.50 2m 7½f Anne MacDonald Birthday Bash Selling Handicap Chase (73-99)

For this type of contest it really wasn’t all the bad a race.

The in-form MY FRIEND GEORGE travelled well until briefly outpaced going to the open ditch two out. Driven back up to the leader he challenged at the last and gave generously when asked. He was rated 84 going into this, so will remain firmly below the top mark for the class, which has to be an advantage with an animal on good terms with the world.
Last year’s winner WINTER ALCHEMY looked likely to make it a double when taking up the running going well two out. To my eye he didn’t stop but just found the winner a little too good. Winter Alchemy has generally gone well in the warmer weather and is not a lost cause for upcoming engagements.
CHICAGO OUTFIT jumped really well in front but was held once passed two out. He hit the last when held and is difficult to win with.
BROKETHEGATE has had a few problems but wasn’t disgraced here and connections must take some encouragement. He was well there until weakening from two out.
PISTOL BASC runs a lot of passable race without visiting the winner’s place more than in his turn. He was under the pump four out and beaten by two out.
SADDLE PACK is normally held up and was never remotely competitive on this occasion. He has yet to prove he stays this trip under Rules.
WEST SHIP MASTER has run creditably over fences a few times but has yet to break his maiden. He weakened from three out on this occasion and was rather disappointing given recent efforts.
OXALIDO ran well at Perth but was never seriously in the contest here.
WAR ON is not good enough in hunters and struggled in this company.
ULTIEP pulled up having struggled from a mile out and of no account these days.

3.20 3m 2f Bedmax Handicap Chase (88-115)

WINGED CRUSADER’s form has been bitty, but he was impressive here, jumping really well and ridden clear from two out. A good spot by the Twiston-Davies yard to pick off this contest.
VIKING REBEL ran a creditable race insecond. He’s running well enough at this time, but time is not on his side at the age of 13. Not inconceivable that he could pick up a Class 4 or 5 event before retirement beckons.
REVOCATION ran a passable race in third if never looking the winner from three out. He’s lightly raced and will not always run into one such as this winner.
GIBBSTOWN was held from three out. She goes well at Hexham but I don’t think she qualifies for any staying chases at that course in the remaining meetings this spring.
STONEY has won a trio of points, but has been found wanting in this company since moving from Ireland.
ACTION MASTER was ridden as if needing kidded home. He made stealthy headway to be going as well as any on the home turn, but hit two out and quickly dropped out. There was no report of a physical problem and it looked to me as if he ‘jacked it in’.
RESOLUTE PERFORMER flattered down the far side for the last time but dropped away from four out. This was a step up in class on his previous wins and he was found wanting.
ROMANY RYME wasn’t totally disgraced when last of five finishers in the Highland National. That race may have left its mark as he made no show here.
FARMER MATT raced prominently early but struggled on the last circuit and was pulled up. He was coming back from a long break and the outing looked needed.
JEWELLERY struggled from halfway and pulled up before four out.

3.55 2m ½f Principal & Prosper Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (100-118)

TURTLE WATCH was well touted by a few reliable sources. He had been expected to do the business at Ayr but opinion was that he wasn’t given the best ride. On this occasion he travelled well throughout in the hands of Graham Watters, eased up to the leader going well two out and won with any amount in hand.
PETERS GREY showed promise here a couple of runs ago and was not disgraced in a better event at Ayr last time. He ran into one here and looks the right material to win a similar contest. He’s certainly one I would take out this meeting.
SURPRISE VENDOR is a fair measure in this sort of company and ran a sound enough race in third place.
CADORE disputed two out but weakened before the last.
SHANROE SOCIETY came here off a long break and was never put in a competitive position.
STENTORIAN challenged going very well two out, but was tiring when falling at the last flight.
KEALIGOLANE, returning after a long break, was revved up as ever and led but was spent by three out.

4.30 2m 5½f Berwick Speedway Novices’ Hunters’ Chase (Class 5)

This didn’t look an over strong contest.

CHANCEOFALIFETIME was presented with just that being rated significantly higher under Rules than his opponents. In the event he had to work at it, driven out from the last having travelled well enough.
MISTER D gave the race his best shot in second. He led from three out until the last and saw out the contest well enough. This appeared a step up on recent point and hunter efforts.
DARSI DANCER, pulled up in The Heart at Hexham, was comfortably put in his place from two out.
DURBAN GOLD was made joint favourite here. Given that he was down in distance after a second of a two at Balcormo when looking an out-and-out stayer, the reasoning of those backing him is obscure. He never went the pace and would have been suited by another lap.
The remainer pulled up with MR SHAHADY well outpaced on the final circuit, AFTERCLASS never travelling for Kit Alexander and HECKLEY HERBERT looking plain slow.

5.05 2m ½f Cheers Bar Standard Open NH Flat – Division 1 (Class 5)

A double dose of bumpers and plenty to take out from the two contests.

My paddock inspection suggested the Alan Swinbank trained newcomer MICKLEGATE RUN looked the one primed to win a flat race. His trainer apparently would have been pleased with ‘first four’ but rumour has it he’s a pessimist! In the event the winner led two out but then ran green and had to work hard to hold a fair opponent in second. A good start and there looks a bit more to come.
GULLY’S EDGE followed up a sound second last time with another decent effort. He kept the winner honest and a visit to the winner’s spot looks no more than delayed. One slight worry is that he races in a tongue-tie.
CATCHING SHADOWS was not disgraced in third under a double penalty. He was reported as hanging right down the straight.
One to note long term here is KALANITI. Travelling well enough most of the way, he hung left over one furlong out but stayed on steadily under gentle encouragement. He will make up into a jumper and I’d be surprised if he can’t win races.
As one who will turn into a stayer, BENNY’S SECRET was sent on by Lucy Alexander. He was outpaced by more speedy horses from two out, but once presented with a trip over hurdles he will be a better animal. He’s well regarded at Kinneston and worth placing on the list as a novice hurdler for 2015/16.
SEVEN DEVILS ran second to a bumper winner in his Irish point. He was held from two out but should do better in time.

5.40 2m ½f Cheers Bar Standard Open NH Flat – Division 2 (Class 5)

DANTE’S WAY is a nice sort who should make up into a jumper before long. It is pleasing that he showed enough pace to win this and he’s in the right hands going forward.
NUTS WELL progressed nicely from his Hexham debut. He led two out and, though given it his best, just had to give way in the final yards. A decent effort and his stable should place this half-brother to Runswick Royal to advantage in future.
DANMURPHYSDOOR probably needs obstacles in front of him to show his best, so a third here is a bonus. He raced prominently but was held in the final furlong.
LIMOS performed better than on his Hexham debut, if held from two out.
Jim Goldie’s THISULLDAEUS has plenty going for him on breeding but looks to need time and was well beaten after racing prominently early on.

A non-runner here was McGINTY’S DREAM, but note this one for the long term as he’s another animal well regarded by trainer Nick Alexander.