Tuesday 30 September 2014

Sedgefield - Times of Plenty

Back up the A1 under sunny skies once again for another largely uncompetitive afternoon's viewing - not that that made finding winners any easier.

In fact, it's fair to say I probably haven't backed two horses as short as they were today at a single meeting - yet the claims of Pair Of Jacks and Man Of Plenty were simply too obvious to ignore.

The former was surprisingly put in at 2/1 early morning with the layers initially favouring Sacred Square, but backers of M Jefferson's youngster got it right as he put his main rival in his place.

Pair Of Jacks has never looked better, clearly doing well over the summer and although fit enough should improve again. He enjoyed a solo out front and ought to be competitive when put back into handicaps as he can hardly go up much for this.

The runner-up does not have a great deal about him though and while he stayed on willingly there is some doubt as to whether he can go on from here.

Man Of Plenty faced three rivals as he looked to build on his shock victory over 1/4 chance My Direction here last time. Unpenalised for that and up against a pair with five penalties between them, I was surprised that he was odds against despite a slightly longer trip.

My veteran comrade Racing Ray was having palpitations as the beast came off the bridle at the top of the hill but just as I started to reach for the aspirin young Moore had the jolly back upsides and in the end all was well, with the extra weight clearly stopping both Mr Burgees and Alderbrook Lad in the final analysis.

Man Of Plenty - one to keep on the right side
The winner really is a likeable sort, quite keen again beforehand, and I expect him to continue to improve as he gains experience.

Proceedings began with a gritty win for Speed Check, who had little to beat in a hands and heels race.

Market rival Marlborough House - who looks far better than he clearly is - could have done with a good few slaps as he failed miserably to build on a promising run here last time.

Langley House did not take the eye at all, sparely made and sweating, and although she ran okay it's possibly a measure of the race that she was able to get so close to the winner, with the very moderate Beyondtemptation splitting the pair.

The handicap chase was arguably one for the in-running players as Peachey Moment was for the second time in three runs able to sit on an easy lead.

Everylasting was unable to lie up over a shorter trip than last time and was a disappointment although it has to be said it was overbet into 11/8 and although I'd nipped some 9/4 early doors I never really felt I was on the right one. There was little edge to be taken from the prelims here as they all looked okay - Mister Wall Street fit enough after an absence.

The same can be said about the handicap hurdle that saw Sendiym land a second touch in two weeks at the track for the red-hot Sayer yard.

Perennial was by far the pick, looking extremely fit and muscled up, so it was a surprise to see it take a huge walk in the market and run accordingly. He's regressive to say the least.

Front runner Jukebox Melody ran with some promise despite getting very warm beforehand, but the rest looked fine and it's a shame Amir Pasha didn't give me any signals of a form revival as I was looking for him to run a big race at the track in a couple of weeks' time.

The novices handicap chase over 2m was a farce with all fences down the far side dolled off due to the low sun.

That was never going to suit the strong staying, sound jumping Jewellery, who was run out of it close home. She's a bonny sort but has yet to win over the minimum trip.

Winner Keychain is on the weak side as you might expect for a four-year-old but took advantage of the situation - a remark that cannot be attributed to Brother Scott, who was awash with sweat before entering the paddock, a sure sign that he wouldn't be able to run his race. His day will come though I'm sure as will that of Verko, who ran in snatches once more on his chasing bow. He needs to settle down a bit, at which point he'll be ready to go.

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