Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Sedgefield

The ground was on the soft side of good but looked very patchy and bare in places.

It was quite hard to sift through the dross and I'm increasingly inclined to think that Sedgefield form, like that of Musselburgh, is unique to itself and the majority doesn't translate elsewhere.

As such, it's probably not worth writing much of a blog for these trips, especially as the standard is generally so poor.

But we're here now, and you never know there may be something to glean.

K Slack was back on song with Onwiththeparty in the opener after the big chasing type had run a stinker at Carlisle. He travelled as well as ever here and went through with the effort for a change, not that he was under much pressure to do so.

The challenge of Robin's Legend dropped away after he had run and jumped with much more zest than last time, while Houndscourt ran a strange race, looking set to take some pegging back until slowing into and crashing through the first down the back.

Hint Of Grey and Little Miss Poet are both light framed mares who didn't particularly appeal in a weak second race, eventual winner Hint of Grey getting warm beforehand but battling on best to land the spoils.

Boric had proved he can run to his Newcastle form away from Gosforth and now tried in different headgear he returned to his best in the handicap chase under a positive ride from the much-improved C Bewley.

Jac The Legend came in for strong support, with which I fully concurred, but he has turned into a right old thief and this was his last chance. Inchcolm also threw in a stinker and remains one to avoid, while Lakefield Rebel is another out of chances.

The big race of the day was an intriguing handicap hurdle in which Crackdeloust was an uneasy favourite.

The Ellison horse looked primed for the event and set to relish the extra yardage, but he did too much in the race and failed to get home. He's a nice big horse and shouldn't judged too harshly on this.

They went no pace and the front pair remained in position to the end, Mr Clarkson packing plenty of punch late on to deny the rejuvenated Bollin Ace.

Dear Sire is really small and I'm not sure he's going to progress a great deal, but Reverant Cust has strengthened up nicely and he is one to keep an eye on as he hasn't been ridden to best effect the last twice now.

A poor novice handicap followed where Whitsundays was made favourite but he looked vulnerable over the minimum trip despite having little in the way of opposition.

The poor Al Reesha took an horrendous fall in front of the stands which made life easier for the jolly, but he was nearly found out by the veteran Hi Dancer, who jumped and galloped with zest and deserved to take the prize, only denied on the short climb to the post.

A effective match came next and Bordeaux Bill was odds-on to beat Helmsley Lad after dotting up here last time out. I thought he looked smart that day and he backed up that view with a professional display of jumping.

He has plenty of scope to take high rank in the north, while the runner-up is also of a fair standard as he's still green and gawky and slow to learn the job in hand.

He has more size for fences and when the penny drops he'll leave his current mark behind.

The finale was a typical run of the mill handicap hurdle for the track won by Pikarnia for the useful Menzies yard. The youngster had looked amiss when punted (me included) in January but ran ok in a better race last time.

Up in trip and handily dropped 5lb, he came back to life and relished the extra yardage, to finally deliver on the promise he had shown before the turn of the year.

I wasn't on and frankly it was a nice feeling to jump in the car and head home.

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