Wednesday 12 December 2018

Hexham - December 12

The first day of four on the bounce, a nice little card with soft ground, it looked a bit dead and certainly not heavy.

The opening novice hurdle saw the appearance of £380k purchase Know The Score from the Pipe yard, let's just say he's no great looker and you'd have to wonder if the owners saw him before writing the cheque.

On and off the bridle throughout, he looks a dour stayer in the making and while you couldn't say he struggled to defy short odds, he may be worth opposing under a penalty in better company.

Al Destoor is a pretty exposed eight-year-old off the flat and only went down by eight lengths, with Cloghouge Boy overcoming a monster absence to fill the places.

Disappointment, and not for the first time, was Baraculu, a burly type but not necessarily unfit and although he's sure to come on for the run, he doesn't have a great way of going, often hanging and generally looking paceless.

Warendorf and Rowdy Robin didn't look anywhere near being fit and will be of much more interest once handicapping.

The handicap chase saw the return of Well Above Par following an absence of a year but this big rangy son of Gold Well looked race-fit and was did nothing wrong with a positive ride by a decent young claimer.

Likely to stay further, the six-year-old had often looked difficult off the bridle prior to his sabbatical, but wasn't put under any pressure here. He's almost certainly worth keeping on side even with a hefty weight rise on the cards.

Royal Salute may yet come good for new connections, looking to remember his fall at Sedgie last week before warming to his task, and we know he stays well. Hattons Hill again showed glimmers of form over a trip too short, and there will be plenty of opportunities for him here this winter now back to a winning mark.

Rossmore's Pride was very fit but didn't appear to have a great attitude either before or during the race, while the normally consistent Paddling ran deplorably and wasn't beaten by stamina on this occasion.

Derriana Spirit bossed the paddock prior to a mares novice hurdle and faced a simple task dominating a slow pace, she jumped noticeably better here and can go on from this.

She beat a fair yardstick in Paper Roses, who must surely pick up one of these probably up in trip. Drumochter has probably gone into every notebook in the land following a trio of quiet efforts, her jockey doing only just enough to avoid the attention of the stewards. She's a fair sort and can win races now handicapped.

The resurgence of Inchcolm since his transfer from M Hammond to T Davidson has been something to behold and the previously recalcitrant eight-year-old completed a hat-trick with a gritty display in the staying chase.

McGinty's Dream had jumped his way to the front with the headgear discarded but his strong travelling ways just did for him late on, as he didn't have enough in reserve to repel the heavily backed favourite.

This was much better from McGinty's, whose jumping was notably slick and he could have a rewarding winter ahead if the penny has indeed dropped.

Cranbrook Causeway looked one to swerve beforehand, bandaged heavily on one of his back legs and generally looking awkward, while Dick Darsie continues to have jumping and attitude issues for all that he still doesn't look fit.

The staying handicap hurdle was a punting minefield where the winner Kalaharry was one of the nicer ones with scope, although with all his size looked the type to improve again for the outing. If that's the case he could defy a rise with he and Misfits nicely clear.

I really thought Kavanaghs Corner was poised to atone for what looked an unfortunate defeat last time as he dropped back to 2m in the 0-100 handicap chase, and kept going in even as his price drifted wildly late on.

Like at Uttoxeter, he was dropped right out in the early strides which is always irritating and unnecessary, but it's unlikely to have been a factor in the half-length defeat as he seemed to have every chance to put it to bed after the last.

The late money came for Echo Express in the first time headgear and it probably made the difference for a quirky sort, bred for the Flat and essentially lacking the size and scope for this game.

With that second near-miss behind us we ploughed on to the last where only Ask The Tycoon and Sheriff Garrett appealed, the former appearing poised to step up in a second-time visor and was accordingly backed 'at all rates' from an early 7/2 to 13/8.

Never going, he now looks one to cast aside and I wasn't that thrilled with him in the prelims, lacking the size and scope he appears to have on screen.

Sheriff Garrett has never taken the eye but his solid bank of form was there for all to see, and with a tongue tie in place for the first time he finally came good for the master of Habton Grange....however the manner of the success now means further success will be hard to come by.

Nothing else appealed, and duly shaped without any sort of promise.

1 comment:

  1. Appreciate the write up.. even if most of the card was putrid in the extreme