Friday, March 26, 2010

Bangor and Newbury

It barely seems a week since Paddy Brennan rode Imperial Commander to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Tomorrow the first big race of the Flat season, the William Hill Lincoln, takes place at Doncaster racecourse while the Dubai World Cup takes place at Meydan racecourse - given the choice, where would you rather be? Presumably Paddy Brennan (7 winnners from 40 rides in the past fortnight) had the choice where to ride tomorrow and he's chosen to go to Bangor-On-Dee rather than Newbury, even though he rode a winner at the Berkshire track earlier today (Carlitos in the 2.20); does that suggest the yard fancy Made In Japan in the competitive-looking Tommy Shone Handicap Hurdle at 4.20? Made In Japan, once with Philip Hobbs, has never been easy to catch right but he has some decent form to his name - the second to Time For Rupert at Cheltenham last December reads well given the winner that day found only Big Buck's too good in the World Hurdle at the Festival last week. The tissue has the horse priced up at 10/1 - I'll have another look in the morning before deciding whether to take an each-way interest.

There are two listed mares finals at Newbury; several owners will be hoping to collect so their charge can then be sent to the paddocks in possession of the coveted black type. The hurdle race (2.15) is difficult with eighteen going to post but the chase looks fractionally easier with just nine set to face the starter. Likely favourite Carole's Legacy has won three over the larger obstacles this term - two of those victories have included the scalps of three of tomorrow's opponents - Cool Friend, Wychwoods Legend and Daraz Rose. Nicky Henderson's charge then went on to run a stormer in the mares' hurdle at the Festival ten days ago, finishing second behind Willie Mullins' Quevega; there must be a fair chance she will not have fully recovered from her exertions and therefore is passed over. Alan King's Over Sixty is respected but the yard has been in patchy form all season - King admitted on Monday he had lost owners and couldn't wait to start the new season with a clean slate. Calusa Crystal could be anything - she won easily at Warwick the last time and, according to her trainer, will be suited by a bit of cut; this will be the furthest she has tried. Cool Friend has a lot of seconds to her name but was beaten only a nose by Carole's Legacy at Exeter in December (weighted to turn that form around) and then ruined her chance against the same horse with a poor jump at the final fence at Ffos Las in January; since then she has run second to the well-regarded Awesome George. The bottom four race from out of the handicap - it's a close call but as Philip Hobbs' operation is in decent form, I'll take a chance with Calusa Crystal.

Back at Bangor the trade union Unison sponsors the opening and closing events - I considered ringing up the local branch for the inside word. On official ratings Santera looks the one in the claimer while in the concluding bumper the J P McManus owned Off Gallivanting has certainly been off a while - 332 days to be precise. Market rival Carribs Leap has to concede ten pounds (inclusive of the jockey's claim) so Off Gallivanting, who has missed a few potential engagements of late, gets the vote.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

3/1 favourite Penitent won the Lincoln while 16/1 shot Gloria De Campeao took the Dubai World Cup. Channel 4's World Cup coverage led viewers to believe 33/1 chance Lizard's Desire had pinched the World's richest race on the line, especially as the jockey raised his arm in triumph after passing the winning post. However the transmission plug was pulled before the official result of the photo was announced; midway through the ensuing commercial break, the Channel 4 programme announcer informed UK viewers that Gloria De Campeao was in fact the winner...
Channel 4's difficulties in finding the winner mirrored my own situation. Made In Japan, sent off at 8/1, was held up but found himself outpaced from the 8th and never really got into the race, finishing ninth - disappointing.
A decent effort from Calusa Crystal (3/1) at Newbury... The mare took up the running from the thirteenth to the third last but she failed to stay the trip and finished out of the placings in fourth - that was one of the worries beforehand; still, we know now for another day. Racing from out of the handicap Double Hit (9/1) took this by six lengths from Carole's Legacy (9/4f).
Back at Bangor Santera, having opened at 15/8, was backed in to 11/8 favourite and took the spoils by one and a half lengths from Dabarasta (9/4). Carribs Leap was withdrawn from the bumper so Off Gallivanting was sent off 11/8 favourite; the selection, together with the rest of the field, had no chance with Neltara (18/1) who set out to make all and did exactly that, beating OG 21 lengths into second. Neltara looks worthy of a place in the notebook on that performance.