Friday, October 23, 2015

Brief notes from Ludlow's second October meeting 2015

I've only just returned home after a day's racing at Ludlow on Thursday so unfortunately I haven't had time to study form for Cheltenham's Saturday card.

Nonetheless I'll be interested to see how Michael Scudamore's Grand Annual winner Next Sensation fares in the opener while Parlour Games, second in the Neptune at the Festival, tries his hand over the larger obstacles at 4.30.

In recent years Johns Spirit has become something of a standing dish at the Costwolds track but connections have re-routed their charge to Aintree for Sunday's Old Roan Chase - it's difficult to see that particular venue playing to his strengths.

I include some brief notes from Thursday's meeting in Shropshire; three winners meant we walked away with a reasonable profit but we benefitted from a huge slice of luck in the finale - details below.

The official going was recorded as good; the day before saw some considerable rainfall.

In the opener Red Hammer, a 105,000 euros purchase from France, was sent off the 8/13 favourite. When push cam to shove, Nicky Henderson's charge found disappointingly little and was beaten some 22 lengths behind 16/1 chance Wolf Of Windlesham. I watched this race from the stand roof; the gent standing next to me had obtained 22/1 about the winner. The filly Fast Scat (33/1) did not handle the preliminaries well, looked as though she would plant herself at the start and then took a strong hold in rear. By the fourth flight she had started to work her way through the field and led after the sixth. The winner passed her coming to the penultimate flight.

An impressive performance from Leaderofthedance (5/2) in the mares' novices' hurdle. She made all and had her rivals in trouble coming off the home bend. There was a quick flash of the tail after the last but she ran on well to the line. Fizzy Dancer looked slow going to post and was slower still at the obstacles - she was practically beaten after the first flight and showed flashes of temperament during the race. 

Arzal (4/9f) brought the best form to the table for the novice chase at 3.10; he got the job done but it looked pretty hairy at times. He went to post like a bullet and set off in the same vein; going forward he will need to settle better. Sam Twiston-Davies carried our money on Lyric Street; this one attempted to keep tabs on the runaway leader but went quickly backwards four out and came home in his own time. Murrayana won a handicap hurdle here back in April so you could see why connections opted to start his chasing career at this venue; he jumped very badly left at several flights.

Kim Bailey's Ascotdeux Nellerie (8/11f) was the wager in the 3.45. In receipt of seven pounds from nearest market rival Angus Glens, he came away after the last to collect the spoils but it wasn't all plain-sailing and there were a couple of occasions during the race where he had to be ridden to hold his position. We had a saver on Golden Heritage (5/1) - his Sedgefield run looked too bad to be true, having previously come to grief behind Roadie Joe (wins Persian War) when running well. Bang there three out, Golden Heritage faded into third but this looked a better effort.

The handicap chase at 4.15 didn't look the best of races beforehand. Racing from the front Butlergrove King (15/8f) got into a decent rhythm early on and came home a deserved winner. I'd identified Kasbaldi and Victor Leudorum as potential wagers - the former was declared a non-runner so the latter carried the money and started to go backwards after the tenth. There were bits and pieces for Charlie Mann's charge - I briefly saw 8/1, obtained 7s and he was generally a 5/1 chance just before the off.

The two market leaders both unseated in the amateur riders' chase which left the door open for twelve-year-old Cool Bob (7/1) to win for the first time in 57 attempts... My wife had selected this one; needless to say I had no money on.

The opening shows for the finale looked distorted - 5/4 Makethedifference, 5/1 the field. We played Breaking Bits and eventual winner Watt Broderick but that's only half the story. It's not every day of the week you see a three-year-old running in a handicap hurdle - Impulsive American had taken a crashing fall at Huntingdon the last time and came into this sporting first-time cheekpieces. The aids certainly seemed to have done the trick as David Pipe's charge cruised to the front off the home turn and was seven lengths to the good coming to the final flight. A terrible mistake at the last allowed Watt Broderick his chance and he duly took it. Talking with a layer afterwards, he told me that 'I was a lucky boy' and that he'd backed the Pipe horse himself.

Marvellous stuff - a fine afternoon's sport in glorious autumnal sunshine.

Going forward, I'll monitor a tip I received in the evening for Henry Daly's Tara Mist.

To finish, a story that has slipped under my radar - owners Paul and Clare Rooney have moved their entire string from Donald McCain's yard.


GeeDee said...

Just three days later Impulsive American contested the Bruton Handicap Hurdle at Wincanton. Sent off the 11/8 favourite, the three-year-old led on the bit two out and was three lengths clear coming to the last but he went left at the final flight and then hung right under pressure, forfeiting the lead to 7/1 chance Polstar in the final 50 yards.

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