Thursday, 21 March 2019

Haydock - March 20

A spring-like day greeted a healthy crowd, but a disappointing card run on drying ground...the forcast bog had become very dead and tiring.

A good big-un beats a good little-un as the old saying goes and never was it more true than in the opener when one of the biggest horses in training Captain Moirette took one stride for every two of his main market rival on the way to another comfortable victory.

The giant seven-year-old has a ton of speed and appears to take hurdles in his stride, unlike many more ignorant chasing types that can't get to grips with smaller obstacles.

Danny Cook got a nice tow into the race behind hot favourite Chambard, who never looked happy on the front end, jumping right most of the way, and this run probably came soon enough for him.

Skiddaw Valleys once again came in very late, hooded, but only seems to run on when the race is all over. Not bred to stay further, he's more than likely not one to trust.

A weak mares novice followed and I tried hard all day to make a case for Miss Delighted after her running on second at Huntingdon last time, and the disparity in the betting seemed too great.

However, odds-on favourite Viva Vittoria had taken a leap forward when winning a shade cosily last time out and has the size and scope to go on to even better things.

Contrast that to the rather unfurnished, backward looking Miss Delighted and it was hard to look past the jolly, but A Coleman never looked that happy on her and perhaps the tacky ground was not to her liking, as this was disappointing.

The winner can do better when strengthening up next season, but Belle Amis is only modest and she was well beaten off.

A four runner novices chase was another race where the favourite was by no means a good thing, Scorpion Sid having his own way of going about matters and requiring plenty of cut in the ground.

The drying surface may not have suited but he just keeps rolling along and you always had the feeling he would get to Whoshotwho, a horse that has never found much off the bridle.

Knockrobin looks increasingly quirky and the McCain yard remains very cold, while Cave Top looked strong and well, but was just starting to feel the pinch when crashing out at the fourth last.

Venetia Williams had Bonne Question yesterday and Chambard already turned over after a quick turnaround and Eceparti looked vulnerable nine days on from a one-paced second at Stratford.

C Deutsch was handed an easy lead on the well-backed jolly but even that wasn't enough and the five-year-old had nothing left after the final flight, where Destined To Shine took over under a patient ride from STD.

Ettila De Sivola looks the part but took a massive drift in the betting and never looked like getting to the front, a big track like Newcastle or Doncaster would be more up his street.

A weak veterans chase brought together plenty of out-of-form horses, and the two that were running well in Bob Ford and Dartford Warbler had been busy of late.

The former was never going after a hard race on Saturday, but Knockanrawley, who looked really well in the prelims, travelled sweetly throughout behind a strong pace and never looked like getting beat.

Hills Of Dubai didn't look great and was another McCain horse to show very little, those behind Dartford Warbler in third essentially disappointing.

The staying hurdle was a weak affair, notable for a market move on Leskinfere despite the fact the horse is painfully slow and would be off the bridle with a lap to go.

The other one to the fore in the betting was Hear The Chimes, who had no form at the trip and was high enough in the weights.

It meant the race was there for the taking and the R Menzies-trained Breizh Alko looked in great shape on just his second start, a compact athletic animal, and was another beneficiary of a patient ride as he was brought through late by C O'Farrell to defy a market drift.

Flemens Story looked to be in need of the run but was one McCain inmate that appeared to run his race, the rest were pretty modest and it's not brilliant form.

We didn't even give a thought to the bumper where Farrants Way was forced into 2/9 after recording a good figure at Ffos Las three weeks ago, he looks a decent horse but was very much on his toes and a shade quirky looking.

Foxey is very leggy and light framed, but Cheddleton is a nice type, costing 60k, although he looked a little burly and the yard hadn't had a bumper winner in five years.

The favourite never looked to be on great terms in the race, giving up loads of ground on the stable bend, and recalcitrant thereafter, completing a miserable day for Ms Williams and her backers.