Musings From Carlisle

October 29th, 2018 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there

The fields for the jumps cards have generally held up quite well despite the absence of much needed rain.

There have been exceptions in the west of the country – Wincanton on Sunday and Exeter before that – but Aintree and Cheltenham put on good ground with competitive fields as a result.

I ventured to Carlisle last week for their second jumps meeting of the season. It proved more informative than I was expecting, with a handful of names to note for another day.

I spent a lot of the time with Nigel Hawke, who has done very well with his trips from the West Country. He ran a promising ex-Irish point-to-pointer named Tanrudy in the first, unlucky to come up against rivals trained by Kim Bailey, Warren Greatrex and a 114-rated Irish raider.

Tanrudy ran well for a long way until appearing to tire after the second last. He was beaten almost 60 lengths at the line but shaped better than his finishing position suggests. Nigel told me afterwards that he was surprised the horse stopped so quickly as he thought he had him fitter.

I expect the form of the beginners’ chase to hold up well. The 135-rated Delire D’Estruval kept on well to hold the late challenges of Stowaway Magic, rated 138, and Hawk High, on 130.

There were useful horses stretched out behind in a race that will pay to follow. Hawk High was a favourite of mine over hurdles, despite falling short on more occasions than not. He kept on well here at the finish and I expect him to reward support when he is stepped up in trip.

Maire Banrigh can progress to better things for Dan Skelton after beating the well-backed Cause Toujours but the horse to keep in mind from the day is Lord Ballim.

The eight-year-old won three times at the track early in 2017 and had never won off 127, but he would have gone very close here if his rider had managed to hold him. The horse is an extremely smooth traveller, and that was the case here, but he must be held up until the last moment.

Instead he moved smoothly into the lead turning for home, still cantering on the bridle, but that is no way to ride Carlisle and he was caught between the last two and done on the line for third.

The connections were mortified afterwards but the small consolation is that he will drop a pound or two for this. Kieran Buckley, who rode on this occasion, told me that he has looked after the horse for three years and perhaps next time he will try and hang on for longer.

Lord Ballim managed to pass three horses after the last fence when he won at Uttoxeter in May so let’s hope things will work out better for him next time.

Bye for now