Out in the sticks

Jeremy Grayson of­fers a fur­ther se­lec­tion of po­ten­tial next-time win­ners in the sum­mer jump­ing sea­son

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Jeremy Grayson eyes up next-time sum­mer jumps win­ners

NEW­TON AB­BOT, AU­GUST 10 (GOOD, GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES) 2m167yds Maiden Hur­dle (class 4)

The third win­ner over hur­dles this cal­en­dar year for Michael Bell (the fourth would fol­low on the same card two hours later), TAPER TANTRUM had far too much class to spare on this first in­tro­duc­tion to jumps and would have obliged by far fur­ther than the even­tual length ver­dict had soli­tude not lulled him into mak­ing an inat­ten­tive mis­take at the fi­nal flight. The gelded son of Azamour, a very close sec­ond over 1m2f on Poly­track as re­cently as eight weeks be­fore­hand, ought not find a sharp 2m-2m1f be­yond him, but the mod­est early frac­tions and rapid sec­ond half of this par­tic­u­lar con­test played to his Flat-speed strengths in any event rather than test­ing his as­sumed stamina for this dis­ci­pline. A soft-ground nurs­ery suc­cess ex­actly two years pre­vi­ously sug­gests that a wet­ter sec­ond half of the sum­mer wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily pre­clude fur­ther gains.

2m2f110yds 0-140 Hand­i­cap Hur­dle (class 3)

The Tri­umph Hur­dle Trial win­ner in Novem­ber 2013 but be­ing seen for only the tenth time since then fol­low­ing some very light cam­paign­ing in the mean­time, Nicky Hen­der­son surely isn’t con­tin­u­ing to bring back ROYAL IR­ISH HUS­SAR if the now six-year-old isn’t show­ing him enough at home. While a re­fusal to drop the bit early on un­der am­a­teur Hugo Hunt was enough to con­demn the son of Galileo to an­other de­feat on this first hur­dles out­ing in al­most ex­actly a year, the 8lb drop down the weights he’d re­ceived ahead of it should prove em­i­nently ex­ploitable when as­sist­ing his rider more. He can still be re­garded as an open book where trips of 2m2f and be­yond are con­cerned, hav­ing never yet raced suit­ably tractably on his few starts over so far, and whilst lit up by the some­time ap­pli­ca­tion of cheek­pieces as of­ten as not, he could yet prove an ir­re­sistibly well-hand­i­capped propo­si­tion if any other head­gear can prove to have a more mol­li­fy­ing ef­fect.

WORCES­TER, AU­GUST 11 (GOOD, GOOD TO FIRM IN PLACES) 2m Mares’ In­ter­me­di­ate Na­tional Hunt Flat Race (class 6)

Mares’ bumpers don’t al­ways con­tain con­spic­u­ous strength in depth at this time of year, so Peter Bowen might con­sider LADY ROBYN a shade un­for­tu­nate to have hap­pened across a mid­sum­mer ex­am­ple con­tain­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Pipe, King, Greatrex and Skel­ton op­er­a­tions. A just over two-length third hav­ing been made more use of than on her Rules de­but (sen­si­bly so, con­sid­er­ing her stamina to spare as a four-time Ir­ish Point run­ner-up) might have been bet­ter still without Sean Bowen los­ing his whip a fur­long out, and this Robin Des Champs six-year-old clearly pos­sesses the abil­ity to oblige in most worka­day races of this type at this time of year. Wet­ter ground wouldn’t in­con­ve­nience.

2m4f 0-120 Hand­i­cap Hur­dle (class 4)

The hat-trick wasn’t landed, but ABLAZING isn’t one for writ­ing off on the ev­i­dence of this third place fin­ish, con­sid­er­ing both the Master­crafts­man geld­ing’s ut­ter dis­in­cli­na­tion to set­tle off the back of the ul­tra-se­date pace and a se­ries of early mis­takes (pos­si­bly also the re­sult of the slow early ex­changes, or the switch to brush hur­dles, or both). Johnny Far­relly’s charge, bred to be very classy over 7f but un­raced for Ai­dan O’Brien, has come a long way since fail­ing to land a blow in novice and claim­ing com­pany last au­tumn and ef­fec­tively re­mains an un­tried propo­si­tion at longer trips than 2m, to­day’s event serv­ing as no in­di­ca­tor at all of his likely ap­ti­tude for 2m4f. Good ground and the con­tin­ued ap­pli­ca­tion of blink­ers both ap­pear to be key.

MAR­KET RASEN, AU­GUST 13 (GOOD) 2m3f34yds Novices’ Chase (class 4)

As a four-year-old filly she might have been re­ceiv­ing 15lb from the pair of Nicky Hen­der­son in­mates that she split, but this was still a highly tak­ing first at­tempt over

fences for RE­JAAH con­sid­er­ing the busy spring/sum­mer itin­er­ary which had pre­ceded it. Four times a hur­dling win­ner on good or good to soft ground around sharp 2m-2m3f cour­ses since March, in­clud­ing once here, Nigel Hawke’s daugh­ter of Au­tho­rized didn’t find the fences fly­ing at her too quickly and in­deed took them with a more pleas­ing econ­omy than many chasers of twice her age and ex­pe­ri­ence. Age/sex al­lowances not with stand­ing, she might not have the sub­stance or class to defy some of the bet­ter novice chasers as they start to ap­pear in the au­tumn, but she’d be worth keep­ing out for one fur­ther chance at tak­ing an equiv­a­lent con­test to this be­fore tak­ing a well-earned win­ter break.

2m7f191yds 0-100 Hand­i­cap Chase (class 5)

Both of CASPIAN PIPER’s pre­vi­ous chase wins had been gained in sum­mer 2015 around gal­lop­ing 2m5f-2m6f left-hand cir­cuits, but a good head sec­ond here un­der his pre­ferred front-run­ning tac- tics served as a long over­due re­minder that nei­ther a trip this far nor a clock­wise circuit ought to hold any ter­rors – the sec­ond of his two Point­ing suc­cesses in 2013 for Hugo Froud had been gained over the full dis­tance around the sharp, right-handed Hol­ni­cote. Un­likely to be moved up much, if at all, from his cur­rent mark (2lb be­low his last win­ning one) fol­low­ing this nar­row loss to a ri­val from a yard just turn­ing the cor­ner, he shouldn’t be too hard to place to ad­van­tage in an­other low-grade event on his pre­ferred good or faster ground be­fore sum­mer’s end. 2m2f140yds 0-110 Hand­i­cap Hur­dle (class 4) Un­raced over this short a trip since her novice days but blessed with the stamina re­serves to see out an ex­tended 2m4f around a gal­lop­ing track on heavy ground, a slowly run event over this al­ready sharp test played right out of the hands of PIXIEPOT. A length sec­ond to a ri­val bet­ter suited to the tac­ti­cal af­fair which en­sued was no shabby ef­fort in the cir­cum­stances (not least as she was never go­ing the pace to get into a de­cent jump­ing rhythm), and at the same time rep­re­sented a big step up on the fairly anony­mous mid­field fin­ish on her sea­sonal reap­pear­ance three weeks pre­vi­ously. Peter Niven’s Alflora mare was be­ing beaten only marginally fur­ther than this off 4lb higher last De­cem­ber and is yet to miss the frame in five hand­i­caps when rac­ing off marks lower than 95; for so long as no puni­tive ac­tion fol­low­ing this ef­fort takes her to a dis­com­fit­ing mark, she has it in her to drop on a truer-run con­test of this or lower stature, re­gard­less of ground con­di­tions.

SOUTH­WELL, AU­GUST 14 (GOOD) 2m4f62yds 0-105 Hand­i­cap Chase (class 4)

Pa­tience will pos­si­bly be wear­ing thin with SONNE OF PRE­SENT­ING among some of his fol­low­ers af­ter this third con­sec­u­tive de­feat as a beaten favourite, this time a three quar­ters of a length

sec­ond to a rather more ex­posed ri­val, but there are grounds for tak­ing a con­cil­ia­tory view about all of those per­for­mances. Twice un­able to see out 3m on soft ground in novice hand­i­caps ear­lier this sum­mer, Kim Bai­ley’s six-year-old had the same course,dis­tance and ground at his dis­posal here as when a slightly for- tu­nate hur­dles win­ner in June. South­well’s por­ta­ble fences are not ev­ery horse’s cup of tea, how­ever, and the son of Pre­sent­ing fre­quently ap­peared to be strug­gling to take a cut at them. Switched to a Mar­ket Rasen or Strat­ford but kept to the same sort of dis­tance and un­der­foot con­di­tions, com­pen­sa­tion shouldn’t be far off in com­ing.

2m4f62yds Hand­i­cap Chase (class 2)

This not long es­tab­lished event is a wel­come ad­di­tion to the likes of the Sum­mer Plate, Lord Mild­may and 32Red Chases among the high-qual­ity 2m4f-2m6f chases to be staged dur­ing the sum­mer months, and for en­tirely hubris­tic rea­sons it was very pleas­ing to see Bal­lykan,fea­tured in Out in the Sticks last month, oblige in the lat­est re­newal at odds of 7-2! The out­come would have been closer, rather than dif­fer­ent, had WADSWICK COURT jumped the last straighter, but it still looked a clear per­sonal best over fences for Peter Bowen’s eight-year-old and got him back on track fol­low­ing his un­seat­ing in a rough Perth con­test five weeks pre­vi­ously. A fair sec­ond at New­ton Ab­bot in June without the ben­e­fit of a re­cent run au­gurs well should a tilt at the Lord Mild­may over the same C&D be in the off­ing,but there’s surely hay to be made in 2m2f-2m5f novice chases as well as or in­stead of that. The Court Cave geld­ing re­mains win­less on ground quicker than good to soft, but looked per­fectly ca­pa­ble here of be­ing able to put that right.

Wadswick Court

Royal Ir­ish Hus­sar

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