Tuesday, 28 March 2017


Another jolly old trip south to the Rolleston venue where the ground had dried to good all round, the times backing that up.

The opening 0-100 was typical of the venue, being pretty low grade stuff, very few of the eight you'd back under normal circumstances.

But with a line through so many it was worth throwing money at the nicest looking pair in the field; Gorran Haven and Nobel Leader.

Both have the stamp of proper chasers, the former should start to get the hang of things as they move him back up in trip, as this looked on the sharp side.

Nobel Leader hadn't been getting home over longer trips so the drop to the minimum looked to be in his favour, as was the drop to C5 for the first time in a while.

What is more he had drifted to a very backable price and he duly delivered in the straight and thankfully he only had The Wexfordian beat; a horse that usually gives second best in a debate.

A staying chase followed and I just could not believe the drift on Dawnieriver, a light framed mare who probably doesn't take much getting ready.

She was spot on after a three month hiatus and with the ground in her favour she was a cracking bet against some disappointing animals.

Duke Arcadio was backed into a similar price but having pulled up the last twice, versus a horse who had done herself proud at Cheltenham no less last time out? Come on.

Fly Home Harry was fit but is probably weighted to his best and couldn't peg them back, while Make Me A Fortune was running one of his better races prior to exiting at the last. There's no doubting who would have won, however.

The novice hurdle was a poor race with several looking unlikely to play a part despite their each-way odds behind odds-on jolly Fattsota.

The veteran Flat horse hasn't exactly taken to hurdles like the proverbial D to W and good luck to those brave souls who rowed in at 1.5 on the machine.

He made very hard work of beating a leggy and backward Global Ruler, while Snow Castle is very immature mentally and physically, but was still one of the better sorts.

Zabeel Star is not a hurdler on looks and had no business here, while Hardrock Davis is a really rotund individual who could take a few runs to get his bearings. Cup Of Ambition showed more in fourth and he's a laid back sort so I'm not sure why he got stirred up last time out. He'll want a trip.

Derrick D'Anjou looked ready to roll from a mark of 99 in the next handicap hurdle over nearly 3m but they messed him about up front and went no gallop, Fifty Bob leading some of them out to the right.

It was really unsatisfactory to watch the cash go west on the well-backed runner-up, whose day will come. Ironically it was a horse that crashed out yesterday, Boher Lad, who spoiled the party.

He's not very big but crept into it as the rest got in each other's way, and it worked out well for the 10yro. Twist On Ginge again looked very one-paced, and he's not over-big. The proximity of the hard-pulling Honest Intent makes this hard to assess.

Brillare Momento had by far the best form heading into the mares novices hurdle and really she should have been a solid bet when she drifted out to over 3 on the machine.

All she had to do was repeat her previous efforts to collect, and she did so without much fuss. She's a nice type, but I was put off by the fact she'd had three months off and looked in need of the run. She'll improve again, without question.

Mariah's Legend again got worked up although it may not have affected her performance this time. She was fractious without going over the top, but she will need to calm down to fulfil her potential.

Runner-up Swatow is a nice embryonic horse, while the fourth home Sheneededtherun is another cracking chase type the trainer does so well with. She's already seven so they'll need to push on but I'm sure she'll be jumping fences in the autumn.

Goodgirlteresa is a lovely laid-back mare but when she hits the track she loses control. She almost carted N Fehily to post and refused to settle in the race, again failing to see it out. Switched yards, they punted her from double figures into 7/2 but it was the same old story.

Riddlestown defied a career high mark to win again at his favourite track in the next, defying top weight. Last week's runner-up Sauvignon looked a bit on edge and I suspect she may have bounced on this quick return.

North Hill was heavily supported and looked one of the more likely ones but again the race wasn't run to suit him, behind a wall of horses when coming down four out, possibly unsighted. The jockey probably had enough under him to come around horses and the six-year-old has the form to be much better than this mark.

Silent Encore is a nice big horse and I liked his finishing effort at Doncaster last time out. Without market support I passed him over and I'm glad he didn't win, although his runner-up spot as rather let the cat out of the bag.

The bumper looked a two runner race between market leaders Royal Ruby and Cabaret Queen, good looking horses from good stables that were ready for their debuts,

It was very hard to split them and it was Henderson's compact son of Yeats who proved best, staying on stoutly to beat Chesterman, a fair sort who looked to be carrying loads of condition. He's clearly talented and may prove the best of these in time. Indian Harbour is too big for this game, while Leodis is another big unit who will benefit from the experience.

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