Tuesday 24 January 2017


A couple of inspections were required to get the meeting on but by race time temperatures were pleasingly high and with little in the way of wind we were good to go.

It looked a very difficult punting card however, with the opening favourite Most Celebrated selling paddock watchers a dummy, the ex Godolphin gelding not really filling the eye.

He was allowed his head in the race and he simply kept galloping for an extraordinarily one-sided victory. The rest of them may not have been very good, but it was hard not to be impressed by this.

Getback In Paris looked a bit edgy on his debut and ran quite flat, but looks an ok sort of horse. Regal Gait and Gris De Pron looked alright but so easily were they brushed aside it's hard to get excited about them.

The next was horror of a handicap hurdle with Captain Mowbray made jolly on the back of a couple of placed efforts. He's got plenty of quirks though, and ran in snatches before filling a place behind the winner Tsundoku, and ex-Irish mare on a good mark. It was largely a race to forget although Knocknamona in fourth once again suggested he could win a race over further.

Fingerontheswitch was down in class for the handicap chase over 3m and if handling the softer conditions looked the one to beat. He looked really well, and the late slew of cash told its own story.

The market went off Dream Flyer and this very moody animal always looked a candidate to blow out after winning a very weak Musselburgh race, and I usually believe form from the Scottish course doesn't travel elsewhere.

Swing Hard looked well but doesn't stay, while Boric did prove he stayed 3m and looks like he's ready to win again back at his favoured Newcastle, with the yard's horses still in good form.

I went for a decent each-way punt on Sharney Sike, who showed up well last time after a lay-off and looked really well having dropped in the weights. He bumped into one, otherwise it wold have been pay day.

A handful appeared to have chances in the staying hurdle where Houndscourt finally came good from a much-reduced mark. The amount of chances I have given this horse down the years is off the chart, but for once he saw his race out well, thwarting another each-way go on Total Assets, another from the kennel of S Waugh to remain in top form.

Grand Enterprise, but looked held by the rise in weights, while Joseph Mercer again ran his race but is another to have been nailed down by the assessor. Ask Paddy was disappointing having looked and travelled well.

The feature was a cracker of a handicap chase with half the field looking to be well handicapped, three of them filling the frame.

The progressive Captain Redbeard looked a winner waiting to happen and backers almost certainly had young S Coltherd to thank for seizing the initiative at the top of the straight after Wells De Lune had predictably gone off quick. The lad has had a few easy unseats and looks a bit amateurish still over a fence, but knew what he was doing here as the others sat around watching each other.

Future Gilded, a nice looking horse on a good mark, appeared to be in pole position at the head of the chasing pack but got outpaced turning out of the back with his rider sitting motionless.

It was a queer ride as the horse rallied to chase the winner up the stretch, but they don't often come back here and the winner was away and gone. The Snowden horse should win again if allowed to bowl along, while Monbeg River added to a long line of solid efforts in third, without really looking threatening.

The last wasn't a great maiden hurdle and Mr Big Shot didn't need to be very good to take it. The huge animal can clearly gallop but the hurdles were getting in the way, and he could be one to take on in a stiffer contest as he'll only fulfil his potential when sent chasing.

Robbing The Prey once again proved he's not cut out for this game and I wouldn't be surprised if they upped stumps with him, while Rockportian looked a decent type but took a bit of a hold and didn't pick up - already seven he's clearly a slow learner.

Cousin Oscar ran a typically solid race for an average looking McCain horse while connections might be able to capitalise on a decent mark for Honest Intent, who could be a short runner but should appreciate better ground this spring.

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