Tuesday 15 January 2019

Newcastle - January 15

A strong headwind and drying, dead ground in the main, the low sun meaning the cross flight and fence were not jumped.

A really fiddly, trappy card and not an awful lot to take from it.

The opening bumper was full of weak sorts that looked more like a collection three-year-olds, winner Basildon being much the biggest yet looked uncoordinated and babyish beforehand.

However he looked most straightforward during the all-weather race, settling nicely in behind runners before sweeping past his seven rivals to put the race to bed inside the final furlong.

Some good yards were represented and Mighty Meg and Elios D'Or looked fairly nice types albeit on the small side, while eventual runner-up Nikgarde is also a nice type but looked immature in the prelims.

The juvenile hurdle was a modest affair with only four of the eight having any sort of chance, drifting favourite I'm Improving looking a decent physical specimen but anything but straight forward in the race and one to swerve for now.

Tomorrow's Angel had caught the eye prior to a dismal effort at Doncaster but was fitted with a visor here and although his jumping was still very novicey, a forceful ride saw him to the fore throughout and in front up the straight.

It looked like he was going to hold on but French exile Fanzio, who was quite wound up beforehand and keen in the race, kept coming back while Dr Richard Kimble ran on well after taking a while to warm to the task.

Anyone who rates size and substance over anything else would have taken Debece against Jammin Masters in an effective match in the next, not withstanding that the former was proved to be the more talented of the pair thus far.

The rangy chasing type was sure top be suited by this test while the diminutive Jammin Masters faced an uphill task faced with big enough fences and he eventually came unstuck when the pressure was on, the T Vaughan inmate coming home in front.

The mares novice was arguably the highlight on the card featuring three nice types coming here in decent form, and the robust Derriana Spirit will continue to take some stopping in similar events as she proved too strong up the straight for in-form N Richards.

She can only improve for softer ground and further, and those chasing lost little in defeat - Hidden Dilemma producing a PB in staying on nicely for second looking like an improved animal.

Keep The River should be kept in mind as well, having been caught in a shemozzle with a circuit to go and looking green at times, but still ranging up at the business end before tiring in the closing stages.

A novices handicap hurdle was a dismal affair, Empire De Maulde coming home in isolation and looking like a type to do better in time, but this was poor stuff with favourite Murchison River running another moody sort of race and proving himself untrustworthy.

A very trappy handicap chase came next, Halcyon Days being the most solid performer but featuring from a mark he's yet to win off, and things didn't quite pan out for him as Mumgos Debut picked up another weak race.

Budarri came in close in third but he does not look straight forward, keen beforehand and taking a hold again in the race, he has the size to pick up similar races but may need to grow up mentally.

Magic Of Milan was odds-on to win the last from the same mark as her victory at Ayr, and she looked to have done enough after a protracted battle with Irish raider Allduckornodinner in the straight.

However, Wig Wam Wiggle, noted as a decent looking sort lurking on a good mark on earlier occasions, consented to stay on after putting in a more respectful round of jumping than previously, and nabbed the jolly close home.

After backing him to win a long holiday in the Caribbean the last day, it proved a longer journey back down the A1 than it needed to be after he was left out of calculations this time around.

But sometimes that's just the way it goes.

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