Reflections On Carlisle

November 8th, 2016 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

I was at Carlisle races on Monday for what looked a fairly humbrum day’s action. The lack of rain has caused havoc with the field sizes, both up here in the north and the south, but rain is forecast today and later this week, with Cheltenham’s clerk of the course Simon Claisse on stand-by to water on Wednesday if the showers do not materialise.

As for Carlisle I usually come away with something of interest, however mediocre the day looks, and the one to keep in your notebook from Monday’s action is definitely Just Minded, who won the closing bumper for Sue Smith and Trevor Hemmings.

The clue that the owner was expecting to get a winner  came when his yellow and green liveried helicopter landed about half an hour before the first race. Most people were probably looking to his Vintage Clouds to win the 2m 4f novices’ chase, but the grey looked backward beforehand and did not jump particularly well. He will be seen to greater advantage over a longer trip on softer ground.

The mare Briery Belle made all to win this in good style, spring-heeled at her fences having looked in superb condition beforehand.

Onenightinvienna conceded 8lb to his sole rival Seldom Inn in the extended 3m graduation chase but the eye-catcher came in the last.

Just Minded stood out as an individual in the paddock for the bumper. An imposing son of Kayf Tara, he cost 40,000 Euros as a three-year-old and is closely related to the useful Diamond King and 3m chase winner Young Hurricane. He had shaped with a little promise on his debut at Market Rasen in April, plugging on to finish fifth behind Mount Mews, but the money spoke volumes for him here as he was supported from around 10/1 to 4/1.

He needed plenty of cajoling to assert his advantage in the straight, winning in the manner of a staying horse in need of further. I am not sure that he will find it easy to defy a penalty, especially if raised in class, but for the long term Just Minded has to be on our list as a long-term staying chasing prospect.

Bye for now