Storm Of Swords was down in grade and trip in a very poor opener and there really didn't look much to oppose him with in the prelims, Scorpions Sting again playing up and he really does look a big baby. He's huge and chasing will be his game when he grows up mentally.
The mares race was also a gimme for Jennys Melody, who looked in great form once again as she easily followed up her facile Newcastle win. Again, this was dire stuff and the moderate looking Kilas Girl merely galloped round to collect second place prize money.
It was hard to find the winner of the novices handicap chase as Amethyst Rose looks an out and out soft ground performer, Light The City had never threatened to stay the trip before, Highlander Ted had yet to show much, Cross To Boston looked a dog here last time out and Forestside is useless.
You have to keep going over these races in your head but I still couldn't have Light The City getting home despite being in tremendous form, and yet he seemed to enjoy this belated chase debut and forget that he actually wants further than two miles.
It was a funny old race and pretty poor stuff, the two behind running in snatches, so once again the form is best treated with plenty of caution.
The next was little different as Kayf Blanco, with whom I had some history earlier this term, was a short priced favourite but didn't really look like one who was likely to defy such odds, without quite putting a finger on why.
|Not sure how Ivan Boru won but he did|
The Kempton form may not have been up to much but I thought at the odds A Little Bit Dusty might have a chance of reversing placings on this much better ground. He's quite a nice animal but he did look a shade quirky and he clearly didn't put it all in today.
I had backed Ivan Boru in a three mile chase last time when it turned upside down and thought strongly this 2m would not be anywhere near enough back over timber. The cash came quite strongly for him and under a fine ride from Reveley he turned up at the last staying on best.
Quick Brew's excellent effort could have been foretold as he looked in great order beforehand following a break, and looked unlucky to come unstuck at the last.
Why-oh-why they keep running Hartside over the minimum trip is beyond me. Every race he runs the same, staying on when it's all too late, and is surely worth a chance to prove he stays further. He looks very fit and in good nick right now.
There were a few scratchings as the day wore on and that meant some rearranging of markets. My original pricing up of the next would have put Crinkle Crags in at under 2/1 which made his SP of 5/2 look rather generous.
Sadly, I hadn't come to that conclusion beforehand even though the Richards horse is starting to gain a little strength on his fairly light frame.
This longer trip and better ground was sure to suit and it should have been a good bet against a diabolical field of horses who came into it in very poor form.
I thought Cara Court showed a little more last time and he looked okay today so was worth a small wager back over timber but they went too fast and Crinkle Crags was a worthy winner. Most Honourable looks woefully out of form right now.
|Crinkle Crags should have been a bet at 5/2|
I liked the shape of the handicap chase despite the market giving it a wide open look. I'd looked long and hard at the form of Gin Cobbler and felt his last run behind Degooch here was a fair effort and one that would put him in the mix here even over the shorter trip.
He was a jolly big price as was Hotgrove Boy who was bidding to win the race for the second time and frankly looked superb on this return to action from a long break. He looked fit enough to run his race and as I suspected the pair had the race to themselves from some way out.
Gin Cobbler was the big winner though and standing down by the last I was just starting to muse that Miss Todd was coming into it a tad hard and was muttering her to sit tight, when she made a right horlicks of it.
She would have got away with a mild blunder but this was a jolting error robbing her of all momentum. It was a bitter disappointment for nearby connections and Hotgrove Boy was left to pick up the pieces.
Reveley said he felt the winner would just come on a tad for the run, but I'd venture it's only a tad. Still, it was a career best effort from the pair who have come a distance clear of the rest and will now have to improve again.
I didn't like Devil's Dyke at all beforehand and along with fellow southern raider Home For Tea looks very doggy, while Pindar is who he is and not getting any younger while Rosquero looked worth opposing, as did the out of form Zazamix.
It was a race to get some confidence going though and that was handy going into the bumper where I was really keen on Libby Mae, whose Wetherby form is really hot. She is a really nice stamp of a horse who will go on to be a nice jumper, and had to be bet despite cramped odds owing to the defection of Now Let Go.
Just A feeling is a nice horse who looked pretty forward physically although she was very green on the way to post, while the only others worthy of any consideration where Soeur De Rois and Theatre Act. The rest were very poor.