Friday, 18 January 2019

Market Rasen - January 17

A brutal, icy wind blew down the track making life tougher than it needed to be for both human and equine participants, ground largely good to soft and dead.

The opener was effectively a match featuring a couple of above average types in Deyran De Carjac, whose form looked to have plateaued, and Garrettstown.

The latter is a big, tall youngster and every inch a future chaser, and this was just another part of his education, not really taking to the hurdles or the track but getting the job in the style of a decent horse.

Getting 6lb from his rival tipped the balance in his favour but the runner-up kept him honest all the way to the line and he didn't shirk the issue; the form is good and the winner has probably achieved a rating of about 125.

There were some okay sorts in behind but they were beaten a mile, Gold Fields fading after shaping well for a long way while Event Of Sivola is a tall chasing type that paid for going with the front pair.

Iwilldoit was 5lb well-in after waltzing to victory at Bangor but never seemed to find the same rhythm in a tight looking handicap hurdle and although this decent looking horse looked in good order you have to think it came too soon.

I've seen Weakfield a few times this season and he has slowly come to hand, looking a true stayer in his opening bumper and sure enough he improved greatly upped to 3m in line with his breeding - yet another Court Cave steeped in stamina.

Runner-up Ballyhome can consider himself a little unfortunate to have lost out again although he isn't the most straight-forward as he was on and off the bridle and may suit a pair of cheekpieces, and he went off line again on the run-in.

Let's Get At It picked up what looked a poor race here last time but even over this longer trip was  laboured and he's a workmanlike chaser in the making.

Twotwothree was all the rage ahead of another handicap hurdle but trainer O Greenall is still pretty quiet and the horse doesn't look the finished article by any means, a strong chase type but mentally edgy and another summer should see him better off.

Minella Fiveo was the outsider of the lot but appears to be transformed of late, in line with the Smith horses looking great in his coat and the stable will be piling in the winners if the rain ever arrives.

Ceara Be looks quirky with a high head and quite buzzy; she ran no sort of race and the Hales yard is under a cloud, Friday Night Lights looked in good order to land a bit of a touch and was produced to win the race but had nothing left after the last.

Three chases on the card and they were similarly wide-open, the first seeing Lisdoonvarna Lad backed throughout the day to an absurdly short price considering he has been stopping dead at the business end of his races, and once again his jumping did not look the most natural and he's a horse with issues.

Virnon looked out of his depth in a Class 3 contest but he went amiss by halfway, so this didn't take much winning and that proved perfect for the sturdy Skelton inmate Value At Risk to finally come good again under 10lb claimer W Marshall.

Coaxed into the race, the 10-year-old had enough fight in him to see off Terry The Fish, showing his first piece of form over fences in blinkers, the pair pulling well clear of The Winkler, a grey that may come on for the run but is probably on a regressive course.

One Forty Seven looked in terrific order but remains one to be cautious about.

The Listed mares bumper didn't bring together the cream of the crop but four of the six had won a race and were initially priced up accordingly, however an alarming drift on the four-year-old Who What When flew in the face of all evidence and an opportunity presented itself.

I've never come across trainer M McGrath but he produced this attractive daughter of 1,000 Guineas winning sire Champs Elysees in terrific order and as I've said before in these pages, if you get a mare with size beyond her age the allowance is a massive bonus and with an 11lb start I couldn't see her out of the three at worst.

Mrs Hyde is a strong looking mare but staying will be her game, by Flemensfirth, and it all happened a little quick for her, while Shantewe is a bit flighty and was messing about throughout the prelims, and while settled in the race itself she will improve with racing.

A Perfect Gift made the early fractions but that may not have suited this workmanlike staying type as she was looking about her for much of the contest.

Another handicap chase came next and once again there was a chance to get well ahead on the day with so many contenders unbackable the standout was Compadre, a son of Yeats lurking on a very dangerous mark after going downhill at Jackdaws Castle.

Volt Face, Reckless Behaviour and West Wizard never find off the bridle, Unzing didn't look fit and doesn't stay this far, while Overworkdunderpaid is a big, slow lump of a horse that might make a go of it time, but I'm not a fan of the Longsdon yard at this time of year.

With Ryalex looking high enough in the weights now, Compadre was the only one left and the clincher was his apparent well-being in the prelims, looking in good heart and plenty of size for this return to fences.

Clearly it didn't take much winning, but he looks a happier horse and he will remain on a good mark after this.

The finale wasn't much of a contest with plenty of out-of-form types, the late money understandably coming for Carlo Rocks who is on a good mark after two years on the sidelines, but he didn't look comfortable on the final circuit and may still have an issue, while all his form is going the other way round.

Robin Deuz Pois has looks way beyond her handicap mark but after seeming the most likely winner between the final two fences, didn't appear to go through with the effort and looks one to have reservations about at this stage.

Houndscourt, as inconsistent a performer as you'll find, nonetheless landed a seventh chase for trainer Jo Foster in another race where they finished well strung out, Gogo Baloo looking like she has physical issues, Cranbrook Causeway more likely mental ones.