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North’s notes

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  • #3596
    robnorth
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    Somewhat belatedly, after encouragement from our esteemed leader, I’m going to keep a thread with a few bits and pieces from my racing notes. Those more knowledgable than myself will tell us to ‘specialise’, so I’ll stick to my patch, which is now Scotland and the far north of England.

    AYR 2nd March 2007

    A low key day’s jumping at the west coast venue. Not too much to set the pulse racing, but one or two caught my eye, and I’ve got a couple to start off a list of horses to follow.

    2.20 2m 4f ‘Hands And Heels’ Handciap Hurdle

    A right old assortment of the old, the infirm and the incapable took part in this race but two ended up well clear.

    Something Silver had a miserable period chasing, but found some form on a return to hurdling and should offer some hope of another win in the future and at 6 years at least has a little time on his side. August Rose hurried the winner up, will no doubt be campaigned in  minor events in Scotland, and certainly has enough ability to win such an race.

    2.55 2m 4f Maiden Hurdle

    Double Default stayed on well to win this event but the one who caught my eye was the second BALLABRIGGS. The McCain gelding looked as if he would fall away after 2 out, but he battled on determinedly and was still chasing hard on the run-in. I’m sure he would benefit from a little bit further than this and is one to look out for in minor staying novice events.

    Scrappie kept plugging away in third and had the rest well beaten. Worth a glance in staying hurdles and if he were entered in a handicap or novice handicap might prove of interest.

    3.30 2m Nov Hcap Chase

    MARSHALL HALL jumped really well and scooted up in this 0-100 event. On this evidence he’s better than this level and will more than likely stand a rise in the weights. Stable is renowned for chasers, so he’s in the right hands.

    Not a awful lot else of interest on this card. Almire Du Lia won the staying chase and obviously relishes a real test, but his recent form is not impressive, which probably says much about the quality of the race. Nevada Red was easily held, will be 9lbs worse in next time, so has a real struggle on his hooves in future handicaps. Cash Bonanza ran a bit better than his Kelso effort, but still doesn’t inspire.

    Those of us who chatted to Lucinda Russell at Kelso will have been chuffed to see Quws Law win the bumper. It seems the Irish connections she told us about came up trumps here. I’m not sure about the quality of this field, although there was a Swinbank horse in second which can be a good marker.

    Horses To Follow

    BALLABRIGGS – Novice/Maiden Hurdle 2m 4f+, with a little more confidence if the stable step him up to 2m 6f+.

    MARSHALL HALL – Novice Handicap around the minimum distance. His jumping is good enough that a run in a non-novice race wouldn’t put me off.

    I can’t make it to Kelso tomorrow, but it’s a decent card so I’ll keep an eye on Attheraces for anything significant.

    Rob

    #86261
    robnorth
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    KELSO – Saturday 3rd March 2007 – Going Heavy

    This was probably Kelso’s best quality meeting of the year. I half expected to get some strong pointers, but in a lot of the races I feel there was confirmation of what we knew already.

    2.15 22.5f Handicap Chase

    Silver Jack won this easily going clear from Locksmith, the latter stepping up in trip and fading in the straight. The runners here were pretty well exposed and I can’t say I took a lot from the race. If Mr Smith takes his normal course Silver Jack will go up 10/12lbs which will finish his chances for the foreseeable future.

    Kadount didn’t go an inch and is really struggling at the moment.

    2.50 16.5f 4yo Nov hurdle

    Soubriquet was prominent all the way and kept on well. Solitary Palm in second didn’t do much wrong and just found one a bit better.

    Stainley’s disappointing show knocked the form of his race against Khachaturian here in January. Khachaturian was well held in better company so I’ll keep a watching brief on those two for now.

    Kalmo Bay was disappointing again. I didn’t think his French form amounted to much, and he’s done nothing in his two outings at Kelso to change my mind.

    Kevin’s mate’s horse Seeking Straight was more competitive here. He still looks a bit green to me, a  bit ‘at sea’ when asked to pick up, and he ran out of steam in the straight.

    3.20 2m 1f Novice Chase

    The runners practically walked to the first here, and it became a sprint over the last 3. Regal Heights and Percussionist were evenly matched and had a battle on the run-in won by the former. This didn’t tell us anything new. They can both jump well and look decent novices without being top class.

    3.55 4m Handicap Chase

    They went a good gallop which made it a battle of attrition, horses falling away gradually over the last mile and a half.

    Bellaney Jewel dug deep to hold on and will continue to be competitive in staying chases at this level.

    Keepatem made Bellaney Jewel pull out the stops, but the former is 11 so opportunities may be limited. If the ground comes up on the soft side at Cartmel in May he could be interesting in the Veterans’ National.

    The one that really interests me here is the 6 year old NUMERO UN DE SOLZEN who faded on the flat after being prominent most of the way. He jumped well and the step up in trip clearly isn’t too much of a problem. Possibly just needs to be dropped back in trip a little, but I reckon he’ll win a staying event before the season is out.

    Lucky Nellerie was moving up on the leaders when falling 4 out. I suspect he may have proved a threat to the first and second, won well here over 3m 4f in January, and is one to keep in mind for the staying chases particularly if dropped in grade.

    4.25 2m 2f Grade 2 Novice Hurdle

    Bywell Beau won this comfortably, setting a decent pace and stretching clear on the long run-in. He jumped badly right, so the fact that the hurdles in the straight were omitted probably helped him a bit.

    Best performance stepping up on previous form came from Open De L’Isle who didn’t quite get to the leaders, but plugged on for 3rd. Might be worth looking out for stepped up in  trip again. He ran poorly at Hexham over a longer trip, but that was poor enough to suggest something may have been wrong.

    5.00 3m 1f Novices’ Hunter Chase

    Waking Ned showed determination to get his head in front here. However, the form of the second and third isn’t inspiring.

    5.35 2m 6.5f Handicap Hurdle

    Generally an exposed lot.

    Peter Buchanan rode a nice race in front on Thatlldoforme. I suspect the turning track and longer distance may have helped the winner break his duck.

    College City ran his usual honest race. This one appears fairly often and presumably pretty tough, and will probably win another race or two, but tying down when is the problem.

    Horse To Follow

    NUMERO UN DE SOLZEN – Handicap Chase over 3m 2f or further.

    (Edited by robnorth at 9:33 pm on Mar. 3, 2007)<br>

    (Edited by robnorth at 9:35 pm on Mar. 3, 2007)

    #86264
    seabird
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    Good stuff, Rob, thanks.

    Colin

    #86266
    robnorth
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    • Total Posts 4729

    Thanks seabird.

    I compared yesterday’s summaries with those from the Racing Post. Unfortunately their man came to much the same conclusions as I did. I really need to be spotting different things, but maybe that’s the limitiation of working from a TV recording rather than being at the meeting.

    Rob

    #86270
    seabird
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    • Total Posts 2924

    It certainly isn’t the same as being there.

    I think I was more impressed than you were with Marshall Hall at Ayr. I thought he won with a couple of stone in hand. He had also been very impressive at Catterick a couple of days earlier.

    The handicapper will murder him now but he does have a chance to run off the old mark plus a penalty at Carlisle this week.

    Whatever they decide to do, he is a lot better than his mark of 89?!?!?!

    Colin

    #86273
    robnorth
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    MARSHALL HALL is in tomorrow off a mark of 111 at Ayr. It’s a 15lbs rise, but I reckon he’s a bit better than that mark. It’s a non-novice event, but his previous win was in a ‘full’ handicap chase so I’m quite happy to follow him in such events.

    Rob

    #86274
    robnorth
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    • Total Posts 4729

    MARSHALL HALL duly won doing handsprings at 4/7. He’s bound to go up by at least a double figure amount, but such is his jumping ability I don’t think he’s stopped winning yet. I’ve seldom seen a novice who jumps so well.

    Subsequent news is that he goes for a handicap at Punchestown in april. I’d be seriously interested as he’s going to be a much better price for that contest.

    (Edited by robnorth at 2:19 pm on Mar. 11, 2007)

    #86276
    robnorth
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    Yesterday’s racing at Cheltenham gave me a sharp reminder of a horse I’d noted at Kelso back in October.

    ANOTHER PROMISE ran a cracking race to finish 5th in the Arkle. He wasn’t really put into the mix until 3 out and just lacked pace at the business end in this high class 2m event. He wasn’t over-pressed by his jockey once fifth seemed his likely finishing spot. He jumps well and stays 3m, although still has pace to be competitive at 2m.  If he’s moved up to 2m 4f+ I think we’ll see him winning a decent event before the season’s out.

    One to Note

    ANOTHER PROMISE – Chase 2m 4f+

    #86277
    Aragorn
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    • Total Posts 2208

    I thought that also Rob. Definitely one to take out of yesterdays racing.

    Same goes for De Soto who ran on well after being left a bit at the start. Over 2m 4f I think he could run a big race if going to Aintree..

    #86282
    Young Mick
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    • Total Posts 203

    i backed that because looking at the form he had grade 1 success recently and I personally think that the trip was a bit to sharp for him, I shall certainly back him next time out but hopefully it will be a longer race as i think this will suit him a lot more

    #86283
    robnorth
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    • Total Posts 4729

    Chestnut Charlie, noted on our get-together day at Kelso, did the business once again at Limerick. His jockey was hardly moving in the straight and he won with a stack in hand. At Kelso when asked to battle he showed he’s got guts to go with the high cruising speed. I am really looking forward to seing this fella go hurdling, and bear in mind as well that his that his Kelso conqueror Steady Tiger is being saved for next season.

    Rob

    #86285
    robnorth
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    Kelso – Monday 2nd April

    2.20 3m 1f Beginners’ Chase

    A pretty predictable result and Noir et Vert won’t find it so easy against other winners. <br>The race was marred by Red Poker’s fatal fall at the fifth and the subsequent mayhem that caused.

    2.50 2m 1/2f Novices’ Hurdle

    This looked a decent novice event. Twice a course and distance winner, Smart Street was just pipped by Young Albert, both coming back after a few months off the track. There should be further opportunities for both of these.

    The one that caught my eye was the fourth, JIM  THE GENT, making his hurdle debut after an even longer lay-off. I saw him win a bumper at Perth last July, and his two wins on fast ground point to him being a summer horse. He was left flat footed between the last two, but kept on for fourth and I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t win a hurdle in the coming months.

    3.20 2m 1f Handicap Chase

    A moderate handicap chase. Winner’s nothing special and the only one that remotely caught my eye was thel ightly raced Annibale Caro, but he took a nasty fall at the last. If recovered he showed enough promise to suggest a similar race is within his compass.

    3.50 3m 1f Maiden Hunter Chase

    The winner True Temper did it well enough, but he’s well exposed and basically moderate, which suggests the rest have a dose of the slows.

    4.20 2m 1/2f Handicap Hurdle

    Lutea battled well to hold on from Dalucci and LITTLE BOB. The latter is steadily improving and didn’t do much wrong here. With any progress he will pick up a similar or lower class event in the near future. Dalucci came over from Ireland and is worth keeping an eye on in handicaps either side of the Irish Sea.

    4.50 2m 6.5f Handicap Hurdle

    A moderate event won by Kidithou who has had plenty of chances. One or two might pick up a race in their turn, but nothing special here.

    5.20 3m 1f Hunters’ Chase

    Natiain jumped nicely in front and won going away.  Another win must be on the cards before the end of the season. Watch out for the mounts of his promising rider Mark Ellwood in amateur events.

    <br>Horses To Follow

    JIM THE GENT – Novice hurdle on good or faster ground.

    LITTLE BOB – Handicap Hurdle up to level 0-110

    #86287
    seabird
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    • Total Posts 2924

    Thanks, Rob.

    Colin

    #86289
    robnorth
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    • Total Posts 4729

    BALLABRIGGS ran a respectable 8th in the Fixed Brush Final at haydock yesterday. The combination of a rise in class and faster ground probably went against him but he wasn’t disgraced.

    Word seems to be that the horse is thought to be more of a chaser. Unless we have some April showers fairly soon, I would imagine Ballabriggs is probably finished for the season, but I’ll keep him on the list for next season ,and add in novice chases as suitable races.

    BALLABRIGGS – Novice Hurdle or Chase, 2m 4f+

    #86290
    robnorth
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    • Total Posts 4729

    MARSHALL HALL ran a cracking race at Aintree to finish second to Bambi L’Orme in the Red Rum Handicap Chase. Jumped as well as ever, just held for pace on the run-in.

    I wonder if he might still go for Punchestown, as he’s taken races close together before now.

    Rob

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