Plenty of rain around overnight and in the morning but it looks as though they kept the ground as good to soft, good in places. As is often the case here it took some getting and although there were plenty of close finishes they were well strung out in behind. Fitness was the order of the day and those looking in need of a run or two were largely found wanting.
My first thought after the first was that Hexham scorer Tiger Jet should be given another chance after being sent on an awful long way out, in contrast to a fortnight ago when H Brooke seemed at pains to hang on to him as long as possible. This steady gallop did the horse few favours but it still seemed an impertinent move and one that failed spectacularly. It was an odd race with countless beaten along way out.
I don’t really do veterans races but one to take from today’s may be Le Patriote, who looked to be carrying plenty of timber on his return from an enforced absence. He popped away and travelled nicely before fading from the second last – he was no certainty to stay and he failed to get home, so bear him in mind over shorter next time.
The big race saw some really nice horses come together – paddock honours going to Do Your Job with eventual winner Riders Onthe Storm not far behind. The latter looked on good terms with himself and great in his coat – odds of 16/1 were an insult to his ability and connections had been vocal enough about his chances provided the rain got into the ground.
Soldier Of Destiny was popular but looked a bit out of place in this grade, and he’ll need his sights lowering. I don’t think it suited this enthusiastic mover being held onto and more forceful tactics should see him return to form. Stablemate Ga Law did not look at all wound up for this – he’s not filled out greatly and like his sibling may always be a little fragile... if they get him to the Paddy Power at Cheltenham in three weeks’ he could go well.
The most interesting formline of the day may come from the handicap hurdle won by Peking Rose with the right horses pulling clear. The winner and second, McCain’s A Different Kind, looked ready to roll while appealing as types to continue to pay their way. The nicest of the bunch came home next, Petit Tonnerre and Onemorefortheroad quite imposing chase types – particularly the former. He looked quite burly and defied market weakness to prove himself an interesting project for connections. Many will say the latter didn’t stay but he got there soon enough and he’s worth another crack at the trip as he’ll surely come on for the run. Bridge North is another to bear in mind – he’ll rate higher than this and he’d be interesting if sent over fences next.
The maiden hurdle is worth mentioning for the fact that the market principals all looked big chasing types in need of the run, not least the favourite Ginny’s Destiny who looked novicey at times in what turned into a messy race. Eventual winner Mahons Glory was the fittest in the line-up and I’d expect a very different result if this was run in a few months’ time. In that sense you’d have to give credit to Heezer Geezer who went down fighting and will benefit enormously from it.
Kinondo Kweto continues to defy the handicapper in a ‘low sun’ effected novices handicap, the interesting one being Your Own Story who looks an instinctive jumper and one to bear in mind next season when he gains strength and fills out. I’d expect him to do well this term, but will really benefit from time and I’m sure he’ll be sensibly handled.
The mares bumper wasn’t a great renewal – Bombay Sapphire looking fantastic in her coat as you’d expect emanating from Seven Barrows, I thought she was fit enough but she ran as though it was badly needed and the market drift told all. Money came for Harry Fry’s Credrojava – a trainer who targets this race – and she looked well forward for her stable debut and got the job done. It was a remarkable run though from runner-up Ruby Island who is most definitely the one to take from the race, as with many of her yard’s horses at present she looked in need of the run and not great in her coat, which has yet to be clipped out. To run so well under a penalty bodes well for her career over jumps, which she has the size for.