Friday 2 November 2018

Wetherby - November 2

There were non-runners throughout the day and the going was changed to good, good to firm in places, making it difficult to discern which of the winter types would go on it.

Ballyhome stood out a mile in the opening novices handicap and this nice scopey individual instigated a double for quality claimer Connor Brace.

Askari didn't look up to much physically but that should never put you off if it's trained by G Elliott, and he looks like he needs an extra half mile.

There wasn't much depth to it but Northern Girl ran her race in second despite looking a shade burly and she should be up to gaining an overdue success.

The novices chase was effectively a match with Crucial Role coming out, and it was all about ability to jump and gallop on the ground which Rocky's Treasure did... and odds-on favourite Poetic Rhythm didn't.

A heavy ground winner of the Challow Hurdle, it's hard for this non owner/trainer to figure out why you would want to run such a horse in these conditions.

He's a strong sturdy type lacking a bit in height, and has the look of a mid-winter slugger. His market rival looked active and alert, and put up a pleasing performance giving 12lb, but the form is hard to rate in a literal sense.

Slanemore Hill nearly grabbed second and is a nice, strong looking horse that lacked in the fitness department. Lord knows how the assessor will judge this effort but I suspect he'll now need to build on this to prove he's a useful type in the making. I suspect he might be.

The Wensleydale Hurdle drew three fairly decent sorts and Cracker Factory made a big impression at Market Rasen last time out, and if jumping more fluently looked the one to beat.

The market agreed, and he delivered in good style to see off Chief Justice who to be fair was giving 3lb. I'd back the winner to finish in front if they met again, however. King D'Argent stepped up on his win here last time but came back blowing hard and may have an issue.

In fairness they weren't a bad bunch of juveniles, and those in behind should find races in time.

The big handicap chase cut up to seven with Copain De Classe heading the market, being 4lb well-in after winning at Kempton. He travelled too well here though on a steady pace and found nothing when let down.

Born Survivor was all the rage but he's a big unit that I'd always felt wanted softer, but is a sound jumper and that helped him get the job done. Guitar Pete wants a stiffer test but may not have finished winning, while Cracking Find looked out of his depth physically but ran his race as always, and as I've mentioned before I'm certain a step up to 3m would suit.

Kylemore Lough looked really fit and well. He's a confirmed mudlark and I've no idea why he lined up. Hopefully he'll come back sound after unshipping at the first, and he's handicapped to win.

Storm Rising did what he was supposed to do in following up his Cheltenham win off the same mark, in a nothing contest.

The Skelton team went for a double with Denmead in the closing novice hurdle but he was a very short price for one that didn't look entirely straightforward, the trainer popping in some earplugs late doors.

The gelding was keen during a slow run affair but wasn't in the minority there, and the even keener Skidoosh found most from two out to give Brace the double and put behind him a desperate return effort. He's a big lengthy sort that will jump a fence.

He's A Goer is probably a good benchmark for the form, the rest looked pretty backward on the day.

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