BALCORMO MAINS – Saturday April 23rd
Going – Good
A disappointing turn out runner wise at Balcormo for the Fife hunt point-to-point where ground judged on the quick side by some, despite watering, saw only 23 contest six races. I understand two horses travelled from Wales but were pulled out as trainer considered the ground too quick. Spectator wise it seemed busier than last year, but some seemed to pack up and go home early. My wife wasn’t impressed to note two and three runners in the first two races, but things did get a little better.
Weather was mainly dry, though a brisk north wind did bring in the odd wintry flurry.
2.00 Turcan Connel Fife Foxhounds Hunts Members, Subscribers and Farmers Race
Fife isn’t over-endowed with active point-to-point trainers at this time, so this event isn’t likely to yield too many runners unless the Alexanders turned up mob-handed. In the event the latter’s entries were selective and they gave this one a miss. However, the two that turned up were at least quite evenly matched.
Connor Wood, who looks a decent pilot in the making, set a sensible pace on the Russell’s BADGER FOOT and gradually wound the pace up in the final mile. Despite the best efforts from Gemma Cochrane her charge MILANO MAGIC was held from two out.
2.30 Subaru Restricted
A weak contest and not likely to produce a prominent contestant for the Stratford final.
Rodd Wilson set the pace on PHARAWAYDANTE and pulled clear from three out to win by 25 lengths. The grey stepped up on some lousy recent form and seemed happy being able to dictate the pace.
AFTERCLASS was held up, outpaced from three out and only kept on to pass a weakening opponent late on. He won an Overton Maiden last year, but his form is patchy and he has bled in the recent past.
FLYING CENTRAL won a 2m 4f Maiden at Hexham last year. On this evidence he struggles to see out three miles and he had called enough by the second last.
3.00 Lundin Homes Ladies’ Open
The field sizes were incrementing by the race and four turned up for the Ladies’ contest.
SHRIVARRY’s recent form reads well with wins at Overton and Dalston as well as a second to fair performer at Corbridge. Brought steadily into the contest down the far side for the last time by Aimee Waugh, he challenged two out, led at the last and forged clear on the run-in.
WHISPERDALE has run some fair races this season without getting his head in front. He disputed early and went on at the sixth, only being headed at the last and not having the resources to respond.
RAIFTIERI won races back in 2013 and 14 but has been generally toiling since. He was outpaced when the first two upped the tempo, but passed a toiling rival in the latter stages to gain a place.
THE SHRIMP was a winner of two handicap chases in 2014 when rated 81, but has shown precious little recently and hasn’t beaten another this year. He was before two out here and probably needs softer ground anyway.
3.30 Pentland Land Rover Mens Open
Nose bleed time as five pitched up for the fourth race, but it was not a strong Open race.
ALLTHEKINGSHORSES has some decent staying form to his credit and the surface here was just up his street. Veteran pilot Jamie Alexander was able to kick on from the fourteenth and his mount was always producing sufficient to hold his rivals.
FOR A FINISH was rated lowest of these but was well ridden by Phil Moore. Creeping gradually into the race on the final circuit his mount chased the winner from two out but was held by a better opponent. For A Finish was rated 127 when winning 6 races in Ireland up to 2012, but he’s nowhere near that level now and this was a best effort for some time.
OLDRIK is a non-stayer, so the quick surface will have helped. Given his problems with the distance he did well to hold a chance two out but is a weak finisher in these events.
HAVE ONE FOR ME set the pace early, but was struggling by three out and well held from that point. He won twice in 2014 but looks on the downgrade these days.
SUPREME REGIME has some form to his name, but was struggling from three out here and well beaten. He’s up against it in Opens.
4.00 Bruce Farms NPPA Members’
Jamie Alexander notched up a double as he rode ROYAL CHATELIER to win this event. Under a text book hold up ride, the winner came to challenge before the last and was ridden to hold the pace setter from the last. A decent enough effort from one that goes well in softer ground and is competitive in Opens.
Jamie’s nephew Kit set the pace on MR SHAHADY who saw out his race after being passed at the last. He’s inconsistent but runs the odd decent race.
PYJAMA GAME runs some fair races but is not prolific winner these days. He shared the pace for much of the way but gave way from before two out though still only beaten 5 lengths. For a Will Ramsay view of this race atop Pyjama Game, including his opinion on the going at around 1:56, check out:
SILENT SNOW didn’t jump with any fluency and his chance had gone by three out. He hasn’t sparkled in two efforts this term.
4.30 Rathbones Open Maiden
This race fell apart down the far side on the final circuit with three departing.
ELUSIVE CLASSIC was entitled to have every chance on the best of his Irish point form. He unseated on UK debut at Corbridge, but made up for that. Left disputing with a sole opponent at the sixteenth he forged clear from two out. What he actually achieved here is debatable as the second is a poor performer.
BURNETT’S JOINT is a non-stayer who is a frequent non-finisher. He did at remain competitive in a weak race but was held from two out and it probably isn’t worth getting carried away with a 2 in his form line.
Bruce Lynn reported that LOCKIESEDGE tried to run out at the sixteenth and unseated. This one was off the track for a long time before this season, hints at ability but clearly has quirks.
TIME FOR VINO hasn’t shown much but was still in contention when unseating midway round the final circuit.
DAPPER LADY has shown little ability, jumping poorly here and was well detached when unseating at the fifteenth.