Thursday 13 December 2018

Newcastle - December 13

Some pretty uninspiring action on drying ground that didn't look anything worse than good to soft, and they were coming home pretty well.

They split the 0-100 handicap hurdle so 'not much to see here'. Kennedy's Field looked pretty straight but trainer G Bewley's always need it and he ran too free in any case, with a drop back in trip likely to help.

Le Gavroche isn't a bad sort and will have his day but his current mark of 97 appears to have been plucked from thin air; sympathies to those paying the bills.

Coisa Blanco looked the best of a modest bunch but stopped as if shot after Skelton had made a dash for it; the yard remains very quiet indeed but it's hard to figure out why he's never run over 2m on his Flat pedigree.

The Skelton machine got the better of Gold Chain at the second attempt and she fairly rattled home in what looked the weaker of the two divisions, that said Diggin Deep looks every inch an improver and got really unfortunate bumping into one - he was 11L clear of the third.

The novice hurdle lost some shine when Highland Hunter was pulled out, presumably on account of the drying ground, and it left three pretty similar types to fight out a gripping finale.

Court Master took the eye beforehand in size and well-being, but he lacked the tactical pace mid-race and may require proper soft ground. Diger Daudaie had shown plenty of promise in a deep Chepstow novice, but only looked workmanlike next to the other market leaders, however he was mentally more forward and got the job done landing some late cash.

Bubbles Of Gold wasn't beaten far but is almost too big for the time being, a leggy strong chasing type hopefully for next year. Manetti again showed ability and is another future chaser likely to pick up a hurdle race this winter.

The novice chase was a crackerjack of a race with five of the nine given chances, The Vocalist looking burly on her first outing for K Dalgleish despite morning support that dried up by post time.

Ravenhill Road and Hawk High reopposed from Wetherby, the former showing much more but again bleeding by the line and he is a horse with a few holes in him. Hawk High was reported by the jockey to be messing around at the start and was on his nose at that tricky fence in the back straight; he's not a straight forward animal.

Reivers Lad is a lovely chasing type that wasn't great in his coat and looked a shade on the big side. That didn't stop supporters piling in and the money proved correct as the soft ground lover stayed on best after travelling and jumping with fluency. With this behind him, he can really do some damage at a higher level this winter.

Cool Mix still has plenty to learn but clearly has ability, big and gangly he's sure to rate higher and softer ground will not be a problem. Stowaway Magic looked a vulnerable jolly in such a deep race as he lacks quite a bit of size, but was still very disappointing.

Choochoobugaloo looks as she can rate much higher than her current 76 and travelled all over her opposition in a poor handicap hurdle, but chucked the race away when hanging left on jumping the final flight. She clearly needs to come as late as possible in future but will continue to provide fun for the in-running players.

Blakerigg looks a real improver after a disappointing couple of seasons over timber and routed a field of staying chasers, held together throughout by B Hughes. Another 10lb rise awaits, but this track looks to suit and won't be easily opposable next time.

The consistent Orioinverness ran to form, while Fly Rory Fly still made mistakes but shaped with promise in fourth. Overworkdunderpaid went well for a long way and may need more time to strengthen into his frame.

The bumper looked quite deep on paddock inspection and the touted southern raider Bon Calvados appeared vulnerable, lacking the size of most albeit well prepared. With so many scopey individuals in opposition, and many with solid form, this took a bit of winning.

Corrieben Reiver took the honours and is a well-made animal, so his performance wasn't a huge surprise especially given the decent form shown in his debut at Ayr. Only four, he stayed on well after coming off the bridle early, and is a fair recruit for his small yard.

All Hail Caesar is from a stable in form and he was another to rally late on to back up a solid recent outing, while Bally Conor is a strong chase type who ran to form while once again proving how hard it is to defy a penalty in bumpers.


  1. Appreciate the write up.. hope u made it pay there.. a lot to be said to be on-course..many thanks

  2. Hi Adam as always, very much appreciated .Out of interest, what did you make of/what's gone wrong for Ravenhill Road? Many thanks, Chris

  3. Hi Chris, he bled here, not for the first time, and also has a wind issue. One to swerve for now I think. Adam