Wednesday 6 March 2019

Catterick - March 6

Plenty of rain around before and during racing, officially the ground riding good to soft but it looked softer than that and plenty of them found it hard work.

A pretty poor seller to start the card, it had an open look to it from a betting point of view and it looked a guess-up, the 'money' horse was Hey Bob but he'd let supporters down many times before, however he was on a going day and wasn't for catching.

There were no positives from the paddock but the Smiths' Darsi's Jewel is very small and doesn't look like amounting to much, Terminal One is very light framed and no condition at all.

Debece wasn't entirely sure-footed in difficult conditions prior to his two laps of honour in the novice chase, but may have had a small fight on his hooves if Lord Du Mesnil stood up three from the finish.

The most interesting race of the day was arguably a mares novices hurdle with morning line favourite Via Delle Volte one to take on; a buzzy sort she seems to have gone backwards sharply and again looked an awkward animal in the prelims.

The one for money was Pink Legend and this well-made daughter of Midnight Legend looked in terrific heart, needing only to build on her previous effort which looked decent in the context of the race.

Lady Camelot also came in for support but she lacks a little in the way of scope, and she could be one that's hard to win with, again looking to be outpaced over the minimum trip while appearing for all the world like a non-stayer here last time.

Emma Lamb isn't a bad sort but the feeling remains she didn't want the ground this soft, and is another that may not be all that straight forward, while Graceland plodded on into third without ever threatening and doesn't have much substance for this game.

The handicap chase over 2m was a really difficult puzzle to solve, although a line went straight through Greybougg after he blew the start, he was fully revved up but wasn't on a going day.

Commis D'Office ran well in much better company at Chepstow last time but he was short enough and although he looked well was worth taking on with Pull Together, a well-made chasing type on just his second start this season.

The rain came in time for him but he got in a bit tight to a couple, allowing the admirably consistent Halcyon Days to take race-winning advantage.

A novicey crumple on landing at last denied us the chance to see if he would stay on again as he was threatening to do, and with the winner idling in front it may have been a close run thing.

Ubaltique didn't look especially fit and Las Tunas is too high in the weights now.

Iwilldoit is a nice stamp of a horse and it was hard to see what could beat it in the staying hurdle, his previous effort looked all wrong coming too soon after his Bangor win, and he was well backed to return to winning ways.

Same Circus was his chief market rival but she isn't an easy ride for an inexperienced jockey; what's more she wasn't carrying much condition and looked short of her best, running accordingly. Her best form remains over fences despite her lack of size.

French import Valence D'Aumont showed up better with a positive ride, he's a decent chasing type but a little on the weak side and his mark looks too high at this stage of his career, while General Allenby is not bred to stay 3m and there isn't a great deal of him.

The hunter chase for novices brought together some really nice looking horses and all the signs are that this was a decent race, the locals left scratching their heads as Path To Freedom was chinned on the line by Dave Maxwell's Diplomate Sivola.

Despite some hairy jumps, the eventual runner-up - a nice big stamp of a horse - surely deserved better luck and should make his mark under rules, given time to get over this hard race.

The winner looked a proper athlete and it's surprising he found it so hard to win, he's probably not the most straight forward.

Dance Of Time looked really well but his form is on better ground, while Wither Or Not and Ballinahow Bill got quite warm and didn't make huge appeal.

The form of Miss Heritage's previous efforts made her a worthy favourite for a mares bumper that didn't look like it would take much winning, although confidence was tempered when she went scratchily to post.

Figarella Borget came in for support but she looked quite small and weak, and the feeling was she didn't cope with the ground, while Eleanor Bob didn't look quite as green as on debut but again didn't show enough to suggest she can win one of these.

Jonjo O'Neill was an eye-catching booking for Slave To Love but this sizeable mare over-raced in the first half of the race and didn't get home.

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