NIGHT looks ON SONG
Jeremy Grayson returns with more recommendations for next-time winners to follow on from his most recent successes Raven’s Tower (9/2) and Imjoeking (100/30)
formance over jumps, allowing him to stride on from the outset around a sharper 2m still very much looks worth a try next time. A return to a softer surface than this should hold no terrors judged on those Flat wins.
NEWCASTLE, NOVEMBER 11TH ( GOOD 2m98yds Novices’ Hurdle (class 4)
There must be at least some temptation on Peter Niven’s part to see whether ATOMIX would be best served by going the Clever Cookie route and switching to the Flat, not least as the five-year-old’s German Classic breeding makes him better suited to that vocation than his handler’s undoubted stable star. Nevertheless,it’s hurdles for now,and a 4l third here represented a far closer finish than on his jumping debut, if one a little deficient in the jumping department once or twice. Even deeper ground would suit on the evidence of the Doyen gelding’s best bumper form – as, for that matter, would a return to a course as sharp as the Musselburgh of his victory in that sphere last winter, where the innate Flat race speed of his breeding came to the fore.
2m75yds 0-135 Novices’Limited Handicap Chase (class 3)
Four from five in completed bumper and hurdle starts previously, and already a winner at this venue (albeit a three-runner end-of-term affair), LAKE VIEW LAD should find scoring opportunities over fences no less easy to come by on the evidence of this proficient chasing debut. Twice on the floor as a hurdler but by no means an erratic jumper in that sphere, only a sticky leap on the first in the home straight here blotted his copybook, and the drop back below 2m1f for the first time since his bumper days can’t really be said to have found him out. As such, Nick Alexander can look to plunder novice or novice handicaps up north as the winter progresses at trips of 2m-2m4f, with a return to deeper ground likely all to the good for this son of Oscar.
UTTOXETER, NOVEMBER 12TH (GOOD 2m4f 0-135 Novices’ Handicap Chase (class 3)
With a parallel point-to-point training operation still very much a going concern, the fact that Tom Lacey has brought BRANDON HILL back from a near twoyear absence to contest good novice handicaps like this rather than find him something simpler between the flags may suggest that all the Beneficial gelding’s ability is thought to remain intact. The signs for better next time were indeed promising, with the eight-yearold still meaningfully involved until fading from three out, and the assessor’s decision to keep him on the same mark he defied in a Ludlow handicap hurdle (3m, soft) when last seen could be make to look a mite foolish, regardless of whether this 47l defeat prompts any further clemency.
1m7f168yds 0-100 Handicap Hurdle (class 5)
GALACTIC POWER was never going to be seen to very best effect on this return outing after an absence of 17 months,and the effort launched mid-race couldn’t be