Friday 4 January 2019

Wetherby - January 4

Dry ground and they were barely making a print, but they weren't going quick and the times suggest it was a probably a bit dead.

I don't find juvenile hurdles a great betting medium and the opener probably confounded many judges as the market got it spectacularly wrong in what was in all likelihood a weak race.

Lisheen Castle took a hike from an opening 4/6 out to more than 3 on the machine at one time and didn't take the eye in a big way, but came home best in a messy race to initiate a Henderson double.

The Knot Is Tied was nicely backed but hesitated at many obstacles and will probably be better served by taking a lead next time, he was easily the paddock pick and should do better.

Qawamees is a poor mover but got into the race largely on account of the others messing about, but he did what he used to do on the flat and backed out of it after the last, and he is one to avoid.

Chingachgook had every chance and traded short at the top of the straight, but was put in his place without needing excuses. On the small side, they'll probably find a weak race somewhere.

Doctor Jazz had more scope than the others but was a bitter disappointment and may have been amiss.

Little interest in a mares handicap, Carrolls Milan a clear paddock pick and in good order but got outpaced at the wrong time and found Midnight Glory too good, but this was quite weak as nothing else really figured. 

The staying handicap chase for novices was quite easy to read with the morning favourites easily opposable; Grand Morning having shown nothing on chase debut and all his form being in the worst ground, while Abbreviate is exposed as modest, and very inconsistent.

Blue Flight is an enormous brute that should make his mark over fences, but took a big walk in the market and couldn't get his jumping organised under pressure. He looked pretty straight but must surely improve on this.

My Old Gold was an interesting runner on chase debut for the in-form Richards set-up and she has enough size for fences, fit for her belated reappearance. Hughes was always in the right place and made it look easier than it was, and a minor touch was landed.

Lough Salt isn't quite big enough for fences and continues to make errors, yet landed upsides after the last under a patient ride, but didn't go through with the effort and remains deeply frustrating.

Clarendon Street still looks a big raw baby but eventually made it 2/2 for Henderson/De Boinville in the maiden hurdle after a bit of cajoling, and it may have been a decent enough race with placed horses Est Illic and particularly Western Aussie likeable sorts for the future, the latter surely wanting 3m and softer ground.

Nortonthorpelegend was well-backed to supplement last week's Catterick win and probably would still have won had the revitalized Hattons Hill not crashed out when a length or two down two out. 

The blinkered stayer was the only one able to go with the winner and value seekers deserved better.

A terrific looking bumper concluded proceedings and not a single person present could have opposed the eventual winner Prince Llywelyn on looks, a lovely strapping chestnut that arguably had the best form in the book.

Bass sensibly dictated matters from the off and for a moment looked like being swallowed up by some really likeable sorts, but his partner rallied in the final furlong to withhold market rival Big Bad Bear by a neck, a huge effort from the runner-up considering the size disparity between the pair.

They were nicely clear in the end of I'm Wiser Now, living up to his name after a rather tame opening effort, and this weak looking son of Presenting is likely to be much better in 12 months time.

Enlighten was a springer in the market and the latest to come out of that excellent Ayr spring bumper, but he was keen to post and that continued in the race, effectively ruining his chance. He looked fit, but can do much better once learning to race better.

The Hemmings duo Askmewhy and Rare Clouds are really nice types for later on, as is Young Lieutenant who looks capable of picking up an average bumper...but this was better than average for the track.

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