Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Wetherby - February 19

Some difficult puzzles to solve on watered ground, the opening conditional jockeys hurdle falling to complete rag First Of Never, a 13 year old maiden. Good luck finding that one.

Runner-up Lostock Hall was given plenty to do but returned to form on favoured terrain, he may do better still although Dew Pond remains frustrating, looking tripless and not requiring excuses after leading two out.

Felix Mendelssohn looked really big and strong, very fit but somehow isn't putting it together, while Bit Of A Quirke was weak in the market and ran accordingly...he's surely better than this.

The trio of mares in the novice chase were hard to split, Jamie Snowden's Kalahari King arguably having most potential being so much more lightly raced and she has plenty of size; as such it was pleasing to see her jump well on the ground and stick on in the style of a three-miler in time.

Graded performer Coolanly was way ahead of a novice hurdle field on ratings but it looked a very deep race on paddock inspection and he's not the type to be taking short prices about, not being over-big and again failing to settle in the front rank.

Maybe Brennan should have let him stride on and the feeling remains this wasn't Paddy's finest hour, by contrast the 7lb claim of B Garritty looks increasingly useful and the youngster produced Schiehallion Munro at just the right time to win on merit.

Plenty worth a mention here, useful bumper winner Theatre Legend again looked a fine strapping chaser in the making and some rain would aid his cause, further back All Hail Caesar took the eye once more in the prelims and could be potentially the trainer's best young horse.

Well made with size and scope, he looked somewhat in need of the run while novicey on debut behind some with loads of experience; there was plenty to like about his effort.

Article Fifty cost plenty but is very in and out and I didn't warm to him, the odds are he's got some sort of issue and I wouldn't hold him to a rating of 120.

Thelongwayaround is quite leggy and made some notable errors here, time will see him in better light, while others including the fit Jamessaintpatrick give the form a solid look.

The 2m handicap was a really tight knit affair with plenty of them having interlinking form, and it was the often frustrating Movie Legend who found the necessary improvement following a small wind op to win again, beating my tentative selection Mixboy who ran yet another fine race from the front.

Yorkist looks increasingly difficult and will need a pace collapse to win again, Vendor looked to be carrying some condition while Generous Day was a bit disappointing, he has plenty of size and more positive tactics would have suited in this pace test, as would a drop of rain.

The 0-105 handicap was a dismal affair even before the disastrous injury to Magic Dragon after two out. The Skelton runner Rodeo Dodo is a nice big chase type that was produced fit and well after a lengthy lay-off and it wasn't much of a surprise that he was good enough in the end.

Debrouillard and Brigadier Bob are flat bred and not the type I want on my side going forward.

A staying handicap chase wasn't very enticing with Strong Resemblance heading the market, a worthy favourite without necessarily tempting us in.

Minella For Me hasn't been one for the faint hearted, often lacking resolution and not guaranteed to stay this longer trip, all reasons to oppose him but it was Brennan at his best this time to lift him over the line despite a late thrust from Lough Salt, another to be wary of.

All in all, not strong form with recent winner Itsamanslife looking very slow and Overworkedunderpaid once again failing to deliver after going well throughout - maybe he didn't stay.

The mares bumper was a good one and while Zoutoise didn't look straight when zooming in last time, she was in better shape here but then blew her chance by pulling too hard over this half mile longer trip.

There were some nicer types in opposition this time too, not least the winner Seaton Carew a nice lengthy mare with straight forward demeanour and a good bit of form in the book to boot.

She came home ahead of Miah Grace, an okay sort and one that should find a race in the north, and Legends Ryde, a nicely bred strong sort who will jump and stay.

Agent Valdez is big and strong but looked a bit wayward and was weak in the market, while the Greatrex-trained Escort'namix lacked size and scope, is bred to stay all day and didn't have the pace to keep with some nicer types.