Tuesday 23 January 2018

Wetherby - Tuesday Jan 23

Desperate conditions awaited runners after the meeting passed an early inspection, jockeys took their time in most races but with the additional yardage it was generally a struggle to get home.

The opening juvenile event was tricky with a big drifting favourite in Solo Saxaphone coming up against previous winner Oxford Blu and a big rangy ex-French bumper winner called Empire De Maulde.

Backers of the latter named were no doubt alarmed by the late drift and he seemed to run accordingly, although this was a falsely run race even by the standard of the day and the jocks were nearly caught out by D England on Titan.

The pair stole a couple of lengths early in the straight and with nothing immediately taking up the chase, for a moment the 50/1 shot looked home, but H Skelton roused the drifter just in time to get up close home in the style of an okay sort. For all that Titan was over-priced on looks, it would be hard not to say he's flattered by this.

A toxic-looking 0-100 handicap followed where Age Of Glory came home best despite having plenty of stamina queries against his name. This was not a strong race, with Cafe Au Lait setting the mark in a staying-on second.

Indian Reel and Chase Me were the paddock picks but the former in particular got a queer ride, held up early before making his move five wide on the turn, eventually fading tamely away.

Dick Darsie was made favourite for the staying chase which was truly astounding on two counts - primarily on the basis of form - his win here last time ain't worth jack - and secondly in-running players were surely aware this recalcitrant and downright slow animal would trade at biggers odds as soon as the flag went down.

Lunar Flow looked a more worthy jolly with valid excuses for his latest effort in a big-field marathon, and he was asked to make all at a rapid pace which had most of them beaten off a long way out.

The early fractions started to tell at the top of the straight though and Bassarabad, fresh from a wind op and with tongue tie added, came home stronger with nothing else left able to go a trot.

I gave Purple Harry a right chance so it was disappointing, to say the least, that he jinked and ditched the rider going to the first. He hadn't been quirky before and without seeing the replay I wonder if the flagman was partly responsible for not getting his arse out the way fast enough.

The big grey galloped and jumped round with the first two, and I would have expected him to have been involved in the finish with the jockey still in the plate. His day may yet come again.

I had given up on Final Fling long ago after he let me down on some big days and I didn't think he was capable of following up his latest win from a three-figure mark, but he's suddenly found a jolt of improvement and he saw off quite a decent field in the staying hurdle.

They went no pace at all here and the lengthy, chase type Asking Questions hit a wall before rallying for third, suggesting a stronger pace would suit, while Sounds Of Italy has no weight and while he isn't very good, his jockey wasn't harsh on him and a small race may not be out of the question.

Mad For Action is nice looking, a bit backward, and may well be one to look out for on decent ground.

Four came together for the handicap chase and it looked trappy on paper, but the market was solid all day long for the quirky looking Catamaran Du Seuil and when your tissue is all over the place it's sometimes best to stand aside.

Caraline, Wolf Sword and Clan Legend all had their chances but the likelihood is that the winner was simply the best handicapped horse in the race..and all the right people knew it.

The closing novice hurdle was a match in the market but sometimes you have to retain belief in what you're doing and while I hadn't got the previous race right, I strongly felt the market was wrong with Destrier weak in the betting in the face of support for debutant Klare Castle.

The Skelton horse is a beast, very strong and good looking, and with the form in the book looked hard to beat providing he settled on his first start in nine weeks.

He was rather keen but as the paddock view suggested, far too good for the opposition, the light framed filly Miss Tynte chasing him home.

Klare Castle is a nice enough type but still on the weak side, and his jumping left plenty to be desired.

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