More Observations From Carlisle

November 11th, 2018 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there!

The jump meetings at Carlisle are always in a different class to their Flat programme and the early meetings this autumn have, in my view, taken a further step up in grade.

I brought a handful of horses to your notice from the first meeting of the season and a few others caught my eye at the early-November meeting.

Nigel Twiston-Davies likes to bring his better novices here and One For Rosie, an attractive grey son of Getaway, did well to beat the well-backed Glen Forsa and Sue Smith’s promising Hill Sixteen.

This novices’ hurdle would not have looked out of place at Haydock and the form should hold up well. I had spoken to Mick Channon, trainer of the runner-up, from the car on my way to the track and he told me that Glen Forsa was quite a useful horse. Adrian Heskin confirmed afterwards that he will win plenty of races, while Hill Sixteen also has a future.

Count Meribel did well to defy top weight of 11st 12lb in the 0-135 novices’ handicap chase. They looked a decent bunch beforehand and the winner can run again from the same mark at Cheltenham this Friday.

Keep an eye on Bulls Head, who got no further than the first. Connections were hoping to see him run a good race at a long price.

Looksnowtlikebrian will be facing a hefty rise from his mark of 129 following his 10-lengths’ win in the 3m 2f 0-130 handicap chase. He looks destined for better things.

The highlight of the day was the success of Mister Whitaker in the Colin Parker Memorial Chase. Mick asked me to represent the owner in the paddock so it fell upon me to accept the trophy afterwards. I am not accustomed to such high-profile appearances but as you may know from the Dark Horses Guide I have a lot of time for the winner, who is progressing fast.

He needs to be held up until the last moment – tactics that were carried out with sublime skill by Brian Hughes when he won at Cheltenham in the spring.

Adrian Heskin told me on dismounting that despite not hitting the front until after the last, that was still soon enough as the horse started to pull himself up halfway up the run-in. Mick said afterwards when I rang him that the horse has one burst of speed which needs to be contained until the last possible moment.

By the way keep an eye on Raymond Anderson Green’s Saint Leo. The five-year-old was making his UK debut having won five of his nine starts in France, three over hurdles and twice over fences. Brian Hughes looked after him here.

Bye for now