Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Southwell, March 16

Pretty modest stuff all told, thankfully just the six races and still soft ground.

The 0-110 handicap chase featured a few of the usual suspects, the majority of whom are totally unreliable, headed by the well-backed Shanty Alley.

Only six, I thought he'd go well at Doncaster last time only to bomb out completely; this was much easier, and he gave a good account until crumbling on landing over the third last.

That left Inch Lala, a tall light-framed mare who looked well, in a clear lead but stamina wasn't entirely assured and she was paddling after jumping two out, where recent winner Silent Steps emerged from out of shot after tailing herself off with a lap to go.

Remarkable stuff, or maybe not so considering the standard, with The Ogle Gogle Man intent on taking as much birch home with him as possible.

A mention for Dee Star, who was quite strong in the market but almost certainly prefers better ground, and looked as though he would come on for the outing.

A four-runner handicap chase was taken in some style by Little Light, who looked to have been perked up by the new headgear and travelled extremely well throughout, not needing to come off the bridle.

The pair that chased her home are disappointing types, Twotwothree lacking somewhat in size and probably not that keen on front-running, while better ground may be more his bag.

Chozen was a favourite of this column for a time but this strapping chaser has a mind of his own, and is an absolute liability at the obstacles. Hold up tactics were deployed on this occasion and he settled as well as he ever has, but is bred to stay 3m+ and is essentially a slow horse that wants to go faster.

A weak 0-110 hurdle went to Haasab, who has hit a rich vein of form and was well handled by Jonjo jr, getting on top after the last ahead of the likeable Atomix, who looked a promising sort many years ago and may yet achieve something based on this solid effort.

Arizona Glory is a big lengthy gelding for a young horse, and should be able to build on this, but the rest weren't much to write home about.

Sheshoon Sonny had shown loads of promise in decent company despite looking novicey, and was strongly fancied to get off the mark in the novices hurdle, but although hurdling with greater fluency was woefully one-paced after taking up the running and has to go down as disappointing receiving weight.

Eventual winner Shantou View was hard to weigh up, and was on and off the bridle throughout, but was strong where it mattered having enough in hand to see off the rallying Exelerator Express after the last.

The winner, just medium sized at present, looks more of a hurdler for next season unlike the runner-up, who has plenty of size and is quite a nice sort in the making. Rintulla, back in fourth, is rather unfurnished and needs time.

Two to go...City Never Sleeps nearly got home under a much more positive ride than at Catterick but was picked off late by Shimba Hills, paddock pick First Assembly sticking on for third despite looking paceless...he has the size to go over fences and may do better as the ground dries out.

Two recent winners dominated the market in the closing 0-100, but Fizzlestix ran as though the race came too soon, while Hang Tough, a very big horse who will need a fence sooner rather than later, was asked to do plenty on the front end and was another to be run down in the straight, emerging amateur Liam Harrison again seen to good effect on the winner Oliver's Island.

Jour A La Plage is a big lengthy unfurnished grey and may be worth revisiting next season.