Sunday 8 December 2019

Wetherby - December 7

Largely dry weather since the last meeting saw slightly better ground, to the eye it looked more like good to soft, possibly softer on the chase track.

The opening novice hurdle was a strong one for the track with the penalised Young Bull sent off a well-backed favourite, and justifiably so having shown a tremendous attitude on more than one occasion.

Some interesting, unexposed sorts were in opposition though and it was the multi-flat winner Maid In Manhattan who threw down the biggest challenge to the jolly from two out, neither horse giving way in a stirring finish.

Both come out of it having enhanced their reputations, as well as winning jockey Page Fuller who is looking increasingly polished and strong in a finish.

Western Aussie once again showed plenty of ability eight lengths back in third, a proper chasing type who looked pretty straight on his return from an 11-month absence.

Bumper winner Le Cheval Noir looked quite unfurnished and light-framed, weak in the market and in the race, but will do better in time, however the well-related Black Ebony was bitterly disappointing having looked the part beforehand.

The novices handicap chase saw some wild gyrations in the market, not least the unheralded Brandy Pad who was backed into 7/2 from 20s and above, but although he looked the part from a mark of 80 he was pulled up before the home turn.

Warendorf usurped Manofthemoment at the head of the betting and the stocky, sturdy individual avoided the errors that undermined previous efforts over fences under stand-in jock Ryan Day, holding the rallying Hard Knocks, who isn't anything to look at and was showing his first piece of form on soft.

What to make of Manofthemoment, just a medium-sized son of Jeremy who came out of a Chepstow race in which four of the first five won next time. T George's youngster was unable to add to the tally, although excuses could be made and he's not one to write off back at an easier track.

L'Attendue was representing a yard out of form in P Kirby, but he was quite weak in the betting and should benefit from this first start over fences, she has the size for the game and starts out on a very low mark.

A staying handicap hurdle was turned into a bit of a rout by Dubai Angel, who had promised so much more early in his career but hasn't looked straightforward in recent times.

A wind op seemed to have helped and this first go at three miles was no problem at all, although he was fiendishly well-handicapped if revitalised and looked just about ready in the prelims, being a big, strong chase type.

Electron Bleu traded low in running but has yet to transfer his decent French form to these shores, although time is on his side.

With Charmant out of the way and ground better than 10 days ago, Nuts Well had his best opportunity for some time having been given plenty of slack by the assessor plus the added assistance of ace claimer D McMenamin.

Always having the front runner Ain't My Fault in his sights, the little horse jumped much better than before and routed a weak field...stiffer tasks will once more await as the paceless leader weakened from two out.

There looked to be plenty of pace on in the 2m handicap hurdle with both Snookered and Fisher Green in opposition, and they appeared to cut each others throats early on as the field became fractured in behind.

However, while the effort took its toll on the latter, Snookered simply kept motoring and this wildly progressive five-year-old put up a frankly astonishing effort to land a fourth consecutive success.

Clemento didn't look fit, but Dear Sire did and he had a lot in his favour but didn't see his race out...I've a suspicion he's more of a summer horse and in need of better ground.

An interesting, albeit trappy, novices handicap chase came up next in which Cash To Ash was a nicely backed favourite, and he didn't do an awful lot wrong before knuckling on landing at the final fence.

The result wasn't cut and dried with three in hot pursuit, but it was Dino Boy who proved the step up to three miles on his chase debut was a right call despite reservations that such a test would come too soon in his education.

Definite Wisdom looked a potential improver over fences and although a bit on and off the bridle, he was left in front at the last only to tire and/or idle on the run-in - he's one to keep the right side of particularly when encountering better ground.

Shamilan looks a fair sort but doesn't appeal with the way he travels, already starting to look as though temperament could be an issue, while Shanty Alley is a big unit who ought to find a similar race, tiring late on after pressing the pace.

It was hard to enthuse about a junior bumper for fillies, the four market principles standing out in the paddock beforehand although Sazerak is rather small and not certain to have a future over timber.

Eventual winner Teasing Georgia had been a market drifter and came into the paddock very late, look rather green and on her toes, but she settled well enough in the race and this fair looking sort was far from a surprise winner, coming clear in the end to beat Red Dragoness who shapes like more of a stayer.

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