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RACING DEBRIEF – WEEK ENDING 04/11/12
By Dan Kelly – 28yo student of the Sport of Kings, Form-bookworm. Result is not only about who and the what, it’s just as much about the how and why – Author of http://racingtictacs.wordpress.com
HAYDOCK 31-Oct-12 Soft 7
3:35 2m4f Handicap Hurdle
I think there’s a lot to like about San Telm and Yesyoucan performances’ here and would think that even off their revised marks (San Telm – 126 Yesyoucan – 125, they both have a win or two in them. Haydock’s hurdle track most definitely favours the handy sort, and as such no surprise that both were mid-div at worst at any point of this race.
San Telm has form on easy ground, as shown by his win at Fakenham last season; following that win connections had EBF Final aspirations, but by a disappointing run on quicker ground put them to bed, and he ended season with a solid 4th over 2m again at Fakenham. This season we’ve seen him on his tours, a good 3rd to Tony Star at Fontwell shaping as though that he’d not only come on for the run, but further would suit also, here he travelled well through the race, jumping was far from perfect at the last two flights, but once ahead didn’t look like being reined in. 2m4f+ on easy ground seems ideal given he’s from same family as Moscow Whisper and Our Ben. Rated 126 means be looking at the better races, but there is a 2m6f handicap hurdle at Ffos Las which could suit given the ground usually rides soft.
Yesyoucan seemed well thought of in his younger days, €30k as a foal, €80k at 3yo, he was disappointing in his runs before coming to Ellison’s for £6k in June, and that is looking like a snip given the performances under his care. Winner on debut for the yard at Hexham on Heavy ground, he jumped well in the main, before rallying after his mistake at the last. At Bangor he did all the donkey work before Forgotten Voice, in receipt of 7lbs and a Royal Hunt Cup winner, put him in his place. Today against NH types, he was more at home, and had everything beat other than the winner. Again he showed a willing attitude, and being raised to 125 he will no doubt be well placed by connections to find a winning opportunity. Being able to run in 0-125 races gives them a few more options also, and there’s a race at Musselburgh over 2m4f on 10th Dec which is something they’d likely aim for unless looking at fences now for this son of Beneficial.
UTTOXETER 02-Nov-12 C: Soft H: Soft (Good to Soft in places) C: 5.0 H: 5.2
12:50 2m4f110y Novices’ Hurdle
Market leaders didn’t really fire here, with Up To Something never travelling on second circuit, Alpancho struggling down the back and Explained beat into the straight, but one that did fire was Coneygree to make it 2 from 2 here at Uttoxeter.
Here on debut he accounted for a fair field, San Telm was 6l behind him, and connections were raving about this half-brother to Carruthers; Trainer Mark Bradstock: “Coneygree´s a stronger horse at this stage than Carruthers ever was. We´ve already schooled him over hurdles and he´s dynamite. There are no firm plans but we´ve always thought he was a decent horse.” Decent enough to run him in one of the hottest bumpers of last season at Newbury, however he blew his chance after being keen early, was allowed to travel widest of all in the straight, and was looked after when chance was gone in the final few furlongs.
Here his hurdling was fluent, he was able to pull out that little bit more when required, and when he was driven at the 3rd last he put the race to bed. Connections kick to come out with the usual line; anything over hurdles is a bonus, but I think he could be something special. Carruthers ran in the Grade 2 hurdle at Warwick which has been won by Court In Motion and Cotton Mill in recent renewals, so be interesting to see if they give him a run out early December under a penalty with that race being a possible target.
WETHERBY 02-Nov-12 Good to Soft 6.4
2:00 2m4f110y Listed Handicap Chase
Fair renewal of this handicap chase there’s a number of horses in this race I want to flag up for differing reasons, starting with the winner.
Bless The Wings won this well enough after giving everyone a scare at the first. Seemingly connections think he is best fresh, however his one bad run in the formbook is that when 6th to Our Island over 3m+ on Soft ground back in Feb 11, still 2 of his 3 career wins have come on seasonal debut, and it looks like they will now look to 3m chases. This race was 0-150 race; he’s now been raised to 145 so 0-145 races are still an option, and if connections want a nice easy 3m 0-145 Chase for decent prize this side of Xmas, then the Tommy Whittle Chase has to be on the radar, as in recent years it has been far from a tough race to win. One doubt would be the ground, as Haydock can get very soft, and as of yet, bar the failed attempt mentioned above, he has not been tested on it.
Lease Lend came into this race on the back of a pleasing return to the course over course and distance two weeks previously, and he didn’t disappoint today with the usual aids back on; tongue tie and cheekpieces. 4 of his 5 chase wins have been over a trip shorter than this, and I just feel he doesn’t get home over 2m4f, still rated 132 he could come back here in January for a 2m handicap he won in 2011 off 133.
L’Eldorado has run well twice now this season, without ever looking like threatening. On seasonal debut he was iffy at a couple, but still finished a creditable 4th in a 0-135 race, and today in Listed Class he stuck on well enough in the straight. He has since been dropped to 120 and there are far easier assignments out there for him which Chris Bealby will no doubt look for. A t quick glance there is a 2m4f110y 0-120 Chase at Southwell on the 4th December which is a possible given he has placed form there, or a £10k race at Leicester on the 28th.
ASCOT 03-Nov-12 Good to Soft C: 6.5 H: 7.4
1:25 2m3f Beginners’ Chase
A fair bit of the attention was taken away from Kapga De Cerisy’s run by Hadrain’s Approach late rally to win in the shadows of the post, but I was very impressed with Kapga here. Travelled close up out wide he jumped well and coming into the straight he looked the likely winner, trading 1.7 in running on Betfair. However his jumping went to pieces over the last two fences, and I’m happy to put that down to tiredness as he did wander to the left under pressure, note he went left in his hurdle win too at Sandown. He was an expensive purchase from France, €300k, and connections did state from the outset that they’d expect better when sent chasing. I’d like to see him dropped back to 2m for his next start.
2:35 2m Listed Handicap Hurdle
A note on the start first, starter brought them back after a false start, but Fiendish Flame had went up half the straight, being lit up and took a while to get him back and settled well enough, he’s a good horse on Flat RH tracks, both fences and hurdles so even though conditions should have suited, I’d scrub this run off completely.
Raya Star is improving year on year, connections were thinking of sending him over fences, but now following this win they are looking at the Coral Hurdle on the 24th November. One of the reasons they are looking at this race also is because he has matured so much in last twelve months. Previously he was a bit of a tearaway, and unless getting the quick pace he was a goner, today he didn’t get it, but at Ayr there was a sign that he didn’t need it any longer and maybe the application of earplugs have had the desired effect. Still the Coral Hurdle will be a proper test for him, as not only will he come up against better opposition, it’ll be another test in just how he settles in a single figure field.
It’s A Gimme confirmed the potential he had shown when sent off 7/2f in a competitive race at Aintree Festival, but it’s definitely this trip which suits him best. Has some fair form in the book as a novice with the likes of Hazy Tom, Colour Squadron and Baby Shine and with Raya Star going for the Coral Hurdle, he’s the one likely to look at upholding the form of this race in the RP Hurdle at the Paddy Power meet if connections decide to run him rather than Darlan.
Emma Lavelle was worried about the ease in the ground for her runner Claret Cloak, but as the graphic shows he was up there throughout and deserves extra credit for his finishing position. Yard had this race mapped out a long way out, and they won it with Tocco Ferro back in 2010 before winning the Gerry Fielden at Newbury. Lavelle went easy on Claret Cloak after his win at Sandown as she thought he looked weak following that win, so be interesting to see if they go for that (4 week gap), or wait for the Ladbroke over course and distance in 7 weeks’ time.
Street Entertainer ran well here despite the ease in the ground, 2m on good ground looks his trip and be of some interest if he takes up his engagement in the Elite Hurdle this weekend, but that race looks a class above this one based on depth of entries.
3:10 Handicap Chase 3m
Disappointed by the performance of Ace High here, but Victor Dartnall mentioned this week that he wasn’t right when brought back home and is on the easy list. Fingers crossed nothing too serious, but looking like he is a very fragile horse.
Roberto Goldback’s jumping was a cut above his rivals here, and that’s what won him today, but it’s also worth noting that this was only his 3rd start in handicap company; other two being Spinal Research Gold Cup last December, and Leinster National in March, both runs were off a 6lbs higher mark. He was also suited by the make-up of the race with Alfie Spinner the best of those up with the pace. Duke Of Lukka was another to sneak into the race from the back, and Hobbs was far from confident he’d be ready for seasonal debut, so expect some improvement to come from him.
One that I do think deserves greater mention is Nataani, below is a comment I made about his win on the 11th October:
Nataani (4:00) has improved considerably for stepping up in trip, and given he’s a half brother to Patsy Hall, it’s hardly a surprise. Always looked like staying hurdler/chaser in the making when campaigning as a novice, it’s taken them a while to come around to this line of thinking with regards to trip. Has been known to hang left in his races, it is a worry that trainer has an Ascot race in mind next time out:
11Oct12 Worcester ( 23 Gd ,RPR136 )
The plan is to return to fences for the United House Chase at Ascot next month – Tony Worth, owner
Timmy did look to go on the inside after passing the winning post first time round, and I don’t think it was the case of better ground v shortest route debate, so looks like I’ll wait until he goes left handed.
Not entered in the Hennessy, Jo Davis has had a few runners at Chepstow in recent years, and there’s a 3m 0-145 Chase on the 8th December that would suit him as the rail is on the inside of chase track throughout, whereas at Haydock, where there’s a race on Betfair Chase Weekend, the hurdles track is on the inside.
Perplexed by Poquelin run here, wins off 151, 163, 170 in handicap company have always come when he has tracked leaders, today he was out the back. The above three wins came at Cheltenham, and this run has seen his mark drop back to 163. Harry Derham likely to keep the ride claiming 7lbs, he could be of interest in the Paddy Power.
WETHERBY 03-Nov-12 Good to Soft (Soft in places) 6.3
3:25 Charlie Hall Chase 3m1f
Not sold on the form of this race one bit. Race didn’t begin in earnest until the home straight, and the majority of these come out of the race with fairly big questions to answer.
Silviniaco Conti once again showed a liking to flat tracks, but connections were hardly bullish about targets for this son of Dom Alco. Brian Nicholls saying he may be next seen at Newbury, as he’s unsure whether he’s a King George horse after all last season saying it would be the target, either way, and in either contest, he’ll get more of a race than he got today.
Wayward Prince had been freshened up by Hilary Parrott, and previously, fresh seems to be the best time to catch him. Four of his career wins have come with a break of 45 days between his races, and this could arguably be rated a career best effort. What is worrying is that connections have him entered in the Betfair Chase and Hennessy which I would skip and keep him fresh for the Rowland Meyrick which he finished 4th in last year off same mark of 150. However, given that he showed an improvement in his jumping and travelled much kinder for Jack Doyle today, there is every chance that they have found the key to this quirky sort, and more could be expected next time out.
Time For Rupert has questions to answer now, more questions than previously, and that’s a lot of questions. Planet Of Sound would not have enjoyed the easier conditions (last fence omitted due to ground) and happy to give him another chance. Master Of The Hall has been beating up Veterans in small runner fields, but has not been given any respite for this poor run.
CARLISLE 04-Nov-12 C: Heavy (Soft in places) H: Heavy C: 6.1 H: 5.9
Bold Sir Brian put on a bold show of jumping today, connections beginning to look at loftier targets, and I note he’s been given a King George entry. He came back from his last start distressed, but after a summer break Lucinda saw him return to the yard looking better than ever and noticeably stronger, as they thought he looked unfurnished last season, doubting whether they went chasing a year too soon. He only had 3 starts over hurdles, so it’s understandable why they thought that, but now you can see that the experience wasn’t lost on him as his jumping is a marked improvement. King George maybe a step too far, so soon, but there is a Graduation Chase at Ascot on the 22nd December which may be of interest or an Intermediate Chase at Sandown over 3m, either race he’d be carrying a penalty due to this win.
Rival D’Esturval ran a solid race, yet today the smaller field would not have suited him, also he did seem to jump left at times. It will be interesting to see where connections go next with him.
HUNTINGDON 04-Nov-12 Soft C: 6.2 H: 6.3
1:15 Novices’ Chase 2m4f110y
Two horses re-opposed from run on the 16th October 2012; and these were my comments on that run:
0-140 Novice Chase, so this was bound to be a hot heat, and with all 6 rated 130+ over hurdles or fences, then this form is bound to hold through the winter. Every quote from Charlie Longsdon mouth when Hildisvini was winning over hurdles pointed to him being a chaser in the making, and he didn’t disappoint here. He had the run of the race here, but was impressive in his jumping, and looked to have more in the locker if required; quote from Longsdon’s blog following run:
Hildisvini put in a fine round of jumping yesterday to give Noel his first win back from injury. It was great for both of them – I know was desperate to get the first winner out of the way. Hildisvini was great considering the ground was a shade on the quick side and we know he wants further.
He disappointed early on last year, however since the application of a tongue tie his form reads 1511, that 5th was at Wincanton when he was held up, other starts he has sat mid div, prominent and here leading, so I’d look at that run more favourably. 8 of his 9 runs over obstacles have come on Right Handed tracks however I think this is more coincidence than anything else, yet if not it leaves with one option on horizon for next start and that would be the Rising Novices Chase at Wincanton on 10th November.
Well Regarded took a walk in the market, 12s out to 20s on course after drifting all day. As per Cheltenham Debrief I’m looking to back Lavelle’s on the back of a run, and this run was certainly encouraging. Didn’t get a fence right in the home straight first time around he was detached with 5 to jump, but made good headway into the straight, before again fiddling a couple. This experience would have helped no end, and he should find a 0-140 or 0-130 Novice Chase well within his compass.
Wasn’t blown away by Forgotten Gold’s performance here, and when looking through his form over timber, he looks flattered off a rating of 135. With just a win at Ludlow to his name, courses, and competition of that level will likely suit him.
Whereas that day we saw Hildisvini lead from the front, here it was slightly different:
Today Well Regarded was in receipt of 7lbs, but that did not seem to matter, nor did the crunching mistake 2 out, as Hildisvini continued on up the run and popped the last. He’s far from the biggest, but he has some engine. Form with tongue tie now reads: 15111, 5 of his 6 wins over obstacles have come on a right handed track, points to one thing; a tilt at Feltham Novices’ Chase.