Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Doncaster - February 29

Regular followers will know I'm not likely to shirk the issue when it comes to battling the elements; they'll also be aware that I am no longer young, and so it was that I opted for the comfort of Norm Towers on Friday in light of the fiendish conditions outside. One can only apologise.

However, the sun was out on Saturday and despite a fierce headwind that could stop a train, racing went ahead, well, so did I.

The opener was a decent staying handicap in which strong chasing type Geordie B provided a potential class edge, only to turn in the first shocker of his career, sliding backwards through the field a mile out. He'd been off since November, and maybe he's not in a good place.

Market leader Blackjack Kentucky still looks quite unfurnished but should make into a decent handicap chaser next season, jumping notably boldly in the home straight.

However, Paddy Brennan, well known for exploiting any potential track advantage going, played a blinder by taking Cobden's slipstream all the way up the home straight, on both first and second circuits.

You'll be your own judge as to whether this made the difference between victory and defeat for Liosduin Bhearna, either was it was further evidence of the veteran's prowess. The horse is very much a chasing type, a thorough stayer who benefited greatly from the step up in trip.

Remastered caught the eye beforehand, a good tall sort, and it was nice to see him back to the form of earlier efforts; the right three came away from a form perspective, and they will all be worth following over fences.

Plunge horse Jerrysback was taken out of the open-ended handicap chase but it still had a wide open feel, another well-backed animal being Gino Trail who I thought was significantly persevered with by the owners, who had sent him on to Fergal O'Brien.

Why the horse didn't enter the parade ring I don't know, but I did catch a glimpse of him in the chute and he looked on terrific terms with himself, and with the likelihood of a solo lead he was the one to beat.

Again, Brennan was outstanding, they don't come from too far back at this turning track especially with that headwind - it was impossible to make up lost ground and Gino, game as they come, jumped and galloped to the line.

Katpoli held on for second but was similarly well positioned, while Nuts Well ran yet another blinder from a career high mark on ground that puts pressure on his jumping as he's not very big.

Destrier was given a curious ride, Skelton's early bid for the lead stifled by Brennan, and the horse ran no race. Better ground might suit but he has plenty to prove now, as does Joke Dancer who hasn't been campaigned intelligently and his jumping once again was a mess.

Cill Anna had the form to win a Listed mares novice hurdle and she scraped home from the enterprisingly ridden Ziggy Rose (Brennan), while leaving the impression she's better than the bare result. 

Aimee De Sivola has quite a bit of size and scope, so should jump a fence, and plugged on gamely in the straight as this was very hard work for the four that came clear. Easter Gold will be a stronger horse next season and shouldn't be judged harshly on her tame effort.

The Grimthorpe lived up to its name, not easy viewing in a last-man standing exhibition, Captain Chaos finding a good rhythm and he just kept going to beat Worthy Farm, both of whom should now be roughed off for the season. This was brutal.

I didn't much care for Firak in the paddock before a three runner novince hurdle but his chief rival Kepagge had jumped appallingly when landing a minor event at Leicester and had to concede the penalty.

Clearly well schooled during an 80-day sabbatical, the Pipe horse travelled and jumped like a decent recruit in the making and better ground should be no barrier to success. As for Firak, he might prove difficult to win with and I'm starting have reservations about the sire Fuisse, many of which look quirky.

A weak handicap hurdle went to Stonific, who was the chief beneficiary of the low sun with the last three flights being omitted, you couldn't have written a better scirpt if you fancied the horse. 

For Pleasure came in for late support but he proved very keen as before without the hood, however, he travelled quite deep into the race and this will bring him on a fair bit. On decent terrain, you could see him defying a mark of 110, for sure.

A tidy little bumper closed the show, and a 'surprise' result from the judge with the penalised Kearney Hill getting up right on the line to frustrate backers of the immature colt Nells Son, who travelled like a horse with a bit of class.

The Smith's North Parade once again shaped with a degree of promise but he's a chaser in the making and similar in size to the progressive sibling Billingsley, however Whitechurch had pretty weak form in Irish points and looks a little modest, weakening tamely away in the straight. 

1 comment:

  1. "GINO TRAIL (IRE) was given permission to go early to post and do a partial lap of the parade ring due to its known unruly behaviour."

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