Friday, April 02, 2010

Carlisle considerations

Lydia Hislop wrote a piece for Tuesday's Guardian in which she highlighted the fact that punters' distrust of going reports from racecourses had reached an all-time high. The forecast going for both Haydock and Carlisle tomorrow is heavy and, to be honest, I'm going to take those reports at face value because Newton Abbot's card has already been called off (waterlogging) and it has done little else here other than rain all day.

Heavy ground at Haydock is something else and, having looked at the card, I'm not keen to get involved. Carlisle host an all-chase card - the concluding hunter chase to be run over three miles and half a furlong at the end of the day will take some getting. Venetia Williams' two runners catch the eye - Ma Yahab (2.50) and Ginolad (4.00), Aidan Coleman riding both. Ma Yahab ran a fine race in the Kim Muir at the Festival; after appearing to hit a flat spot after the tenth, the chestnut gelding stayed on strongly to finish fourth behind Ballabriggs, beaten little more than four lengths. This looks very competitive though - there must be a fair chance Ma Yahab will not have recovered fully from his Cheltenham exertions and he has eleven stones eleven to carry in testing conditions. Other yards from the South have their eye on the £25,000 added prize money including Kim Bailey (Buffalo Bob), Paul Webber (Appleaday) and Jonjo O'Neill (Supreme Keano) while last year's winner Antonius Cesar merits respect with the jockey claiming a useful-looking five pounds.

I won't be tempted in that race but I am tempted by Ginolad in the two and a half mile novice chase. This gelding was one of Australia's top chasers - he has a Grand National at Flemington to his name (run over two and three quarter miles) and finished sixth in the Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan last April. Following a successful debut at Fontwell in December he has struggled a little but looked to be coming into form the last time at Newton Abbot where he went to win his race three from home but failed to see out the longer trip, finishing last of the four runners. The step back here to two and a half miles should suit, as should the small field, the going and the stiff finish. Having said all that, on official ratings there isn't much between the runners. Oliver Sherwood sends just one up from his Lambourn base, Trevor Hemmings' Finney, while Youngstown was never really travelling in the National Hunt Chase at the Festival. Mr Woods is a course and distance winner who has made the odd mistake in the past and likes to race from the front. Heez A Steel appears to have a stiff task on his chasing debut - Ginolad gets the vote.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Ginolad - disastrous pick; think I must have been the only punter who fancied the animal. Sent off at 7/1, he trailed in fourth of the five runners beaten a distance and some; awful run.