Gordon Elliot may well have found the key to Sunday’s Moscow Flyer Novice hurdle winner Felix Desjy, who looked a different proposition when making all in Punchestown’s Grade 2 contest. The Gigginstown-owned novice had been frustrating so far this term, but a change of tactics saw him in a different light
It is not easy to make all in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, but Felix Desjy was cut from 33/1 to 16s with BetVictor for the Festival curtain-raiser – it will be interesting to see if he can back this performance up given he is unlikely to get a soft lead next time.
There is a rare runner over jumps for Middleham trainer Mark Johnston at Newcastle this afternoon when the horse who gave the trainer his record equalling 4,193rd winner in Britain Dr Richard Kimble (1.20) has his first start over timber. The selection is rated in the 80s on the level and made all to win at Ripon back in August. Connections have found a decent looking opportunity if he takes to timber.
Jammin Masters ran a cracking race to finish runner up in a listed handicap at Ascot last time, but he may need genuinely soft ground to be seen at his best and the vote goes to likely market rival Debece (1.50). The selection has not been seen for three months since he finished runner up at Chepstow to the mare Drinks Interval on his chase debut. Tim Vaughan’s 8-y-old certainly has the scope to make up into a better chaser than hurdler and he was slightly better over the smaller obstacles than the Warren Greatrex-trained runner.
At Lingfield Emitom (1.10) cannot be opposed despite having pulled out of a much better race than this at Newbury before Christmas with a bad scope. The unbeaten 5-y-old won both bumpers and a 2m 4f hurdle at Ffos Las earlier in the season – today’s drop back in trip should not be an inconvenience.
Air De Roc (1.40) was beaten a short head at Chepstow last week when he jumped and travelled like the best horse in the race – compensations surely waits from the same handicap mark.
Kalaskadesemilley (2.10) was nibbled at in the betting and run a very good when second at Uttoxeter on his chase debut from this mark last month. I hope to see jockey Tom Cheeseman give his mount a more positive ride this afternoon.
Clayton (2.40) would surely have won but for blundering two out over today’s C&D last week and he is taken to go one better for Gary Moore – another running from the same mark and in my opinion a winner without a penalty.
There is a twilight card at Kempton this afternoon and in the opening 32Red Casino Novice Stakes and I am looking forward to the second career start of Ramsbury (4.10) who is penalised for justifying strong market support at Wolverhampton on his belated racecourse debut. A draw out in stall 13 is a concern but he is bred to be decent and I feel he can make it 2 out of 2 for Charlie Fellowes in the famous Oppenheimer colours of the brilliant Derby/Arc winner Golden Horn.
I hope there is one last hurrah in the career of the 10-year-old Continuum who used to be trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil who I know thought very highly of him as a youngster. It may not be this evening, however, and the vote goes to Unit Of Assessment (6.15) who steps up to 12f for the first time having run a nice race here on his latest start when runner up over a furlong shorter under Adam Kirby for the first time.
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