Friday, 25 October 2019

Southwell - October 24

Unfortunate that Carlisle and Southwell often clash as they're two of my favourite punting tracks, and the decision to head south looked a bad call when the rain set in half an hour before the first.

That turned the ground much softer than they declared on, leading to a spate of non-runners and rendering a couple of races far less competitive.

However, it was still interesting stuff by and large beginning with Battleofthesomme making a mockery of his opening mark on debut for Jamie Snowden.

He looked a chaser in the paddock, and a very fit one too, and he was solid at the head of the market after being put in at double figures overnight. They'll need to get him out again next week but on this evidence he should have loads in hand and he jumped great.

Mac Cennetig was a huge drifter probably on account of the ground but this horse with a high head carriage is certainly not one to rely on and he turned it in pretty early on.

Just Call Me Al continues to frustrate and he put in a pretty lame shift after jumping and travelling well early on, a mistake on the far side seeming to bottom him out and he just plugged on.

Clondaw Storm and the size and scope for fences and will come on for this, as will Pardon Me who has plenty of strengthening to do.

They stood their ground in the novices handicap chase and there was a turn-up when Fortescue got up on the nod for the in-form H Daly.

This great big unit has all the hallmarks of his crazy siblings and it could be that they've done a fantastic job getting a win out of it. For my money the the run-in wasn't long enough for him to shirk it but the other one would have got back up in a stride or two.

Now that sounds a tad harsh, he clearly has the ability of Go West Young Man, let's hope he is able to build on this effort. But he won't carry my cash.

The other one was Notachance who has strengthened up in the last 12 months but remains a young horse with some growing to do, yet once again he showed loads of stamina and tenacity after a few untidy leaps. I like him and he should remain nicely handicapped.

Tractor Fred, running in the same colours as the first winner, looked for a while like he was able to land the double jumping and travelling like one ahead of his mark. He's a big strong individual and another young horse to keep firmly on side.

I was disappointed with Stop The World who doesn't have the size up close that he does on TV and like so often last season he proved very one-paced, and he may just be ordinary.

To be fair the ground may have gone against him and he may come on for this, but the jury is out and he needs to start winning.

Eclair De Guye is a nice athletic horse that looked over-priced being one of the fittest, he clearly lives on his nerves a bit but seemed to settle okay in behind. I was quite taken by his effort and a drop in trip might make him of interest.

Thomas Shelby looks a modest sort but probably wasn't fit and was one of three from the Bailey yard on the day to pull up.

Her Coole Lion set lively fractions in the following maiden hurdle but couldn't keep up when Winningseverything took over at halfway. The Fry yard has made a quite start and this gelding did not look that straight, which makes his victory all the more impressive.

Ridden with great confidence from the front, Bowen kept pouring it on and was strong at the line; make no mistake this was a performance of great merit and while he lacks a bit of height he's a good rangy mover and is very likeable.

I made Blackfinch one of the each-way bets of the day and he caught a tartar as they say. A strong staying type from a good family, he looked pretty straight and the rain was in his favour but to give age and experience to a very good winner is quite something and I'll be keeping a close eye on his progress.

The only other to finish in the same parish was Aintree winner Garry Clermont, another four-year-old sure to keep improving with experience.

Jonjo was on target in the next though when March Is On took a leap forward despite modest looks to land a weakish staying hurdle, beating Fontley House and For Jim who sets the standard for the race.

From The Heart should do better in time and probably on nicer ground, while Lord Sparky was the best of them but he wasn't fully fit and pulled far too hard. He's not one to write off by any means.

The mares hurdle frankly looked Oscar Rose's to lose on quite a big class drop on her overall form, a mark of 118 and first time out probably a good time to catch her.

Things weren't looking especially rosy at one point but with Paddy doing what he does best and skirting the whole field the frustrating seven-year-old eventually came away to land a bit of a punt.

As it turns out this might not be the worst race form-wise, The Kings Baby probably the right one following home while the third Coded Message will be winning again this season with this run behind her.

Oriental Cross is a nice big sort, pretty fit and ready to jump a fence, and there's a race in Splash the Cash don't worry about that.

The less said about the boys' race the better, Dariya probably unfortunate not to see it out after travelling like a dream.

The bumper was one of the main reasons for snubbing Carlisle and fortunately the paddock sorted them out with the hot favourite Gunsight Ridge a nice sort but looking burly on his first start O Murphy.

With more than 30% to play with there was value to be had and it appeared to lie with Brief Ambition, who had experience on his side via three runs in points, hailing from the F O'Brien yard that has great success in these races.

A great big horse, Brennan held him together on the ground and despite hanging managed to get him up on the line from Supamous, a nice horse but far more of a flat type from another stable that does well with their few runners.

The pair came a fair way clear of the others headed by Fort Summer, who looked quite backward, while Kemble's Cascade needed the run and looks more of a jumper. Will Sting looked a typically big Scorpion with the temperament to match.

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