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Wednesday 27 April 2011

Up a bit, down a bit - 27th April

Come Racing Again on Easter Monday Handicap - Class 4 - 6f - Redcar
This was won by Doctor Parkes by a neck from Solar Spirit and the first 2 were raised 5lb and 4lb to marks of 89 and 82. A couple of David Nicholls horses namely the 3rd Karaka Jack and 5th Jarrow ran with some promise, Karaka Jack has been raised 1lb to 75 and Jarrow has been dropped 1lb to 76, however the former is unlikely to remain over sprint distances. Jarrow who is a half brother to both Cape Vale and Moss Vale with whom the stable has done so well with down the years is now 16lb lower than when running behind Nicholls Victoire De Lyphar last April and no doubt Nicholls will fancy a crack at one or two handicaps with this one.

Reading Post Handicap - Class 5 - 6f - Windsor
This was won in taking fashion by Spanish Bounty who had the field in trouble some way out and as a result of his 5 length win he has been raised 12lb to 87. Equuleus Pictor had shaped well on his previous run and ran encouragingly again to finish 4th and he has been dropped 1lb to a mark of 71 and he is well treated on old form.

Riu Palace Meloneras Handicap - Class 2 - 6f - Pontefract
It was dissapointing that Hoof It was a non runner for this given that he was also a non runner in his previous entry some weeks earlier. The race went to veteran Flipando and was dominated by horses who stayed further than 6f. Looking back through the field Wildcat Wizard ran slightly better for Nicholls and finished 6th in first time blinkers and it will be interesting to see how he is campaigned, he has been dropped 1lb to 90.

Investec Asset Management Handicap - Class 3 - 5f - Epsom
Falasteen blazed the trail here under a rare front running ride from Jamie Spencer to win by 1 3/4 lengths from Beat the Bell. Beat the Bell did well in the circumstances as he was drawn the widest of all in stall 1 of 14. The winner, like so many who run well here, had previous form at the course and looks sure to be gearing up to a run in the Dash on Derby Day, however he will have to cope with a 7lb rise for this win which takes him to a mark of 92. The race itself was a competitive one and was run in a similar time to last seasons Dash won by Bertoliver, he was having his first run of the season here and was never really in it and as a result he has been dropped to a mark of 84 which is only 1lb higher than his winning mark last June. Others to be dropped were sir Geoffrey down 3lb to 82, Best Trip (only won at Kempton)down 3lb to 77, Skylla down 2lb to 84(may fare better on a more conventional track) and Fratellino down 3lb to 90 (may head to Chester). Breathless Kiss remains on 93 after running on from the rear, she had beaten the first two at Beverley and can improve again maybe over 6f.

North Sea Logistics Handicap - Class 6 - 6f - Newcastle
A bit of a lowly race but there were a couple to catch the eye of racereaders notably Pitkin and Commander Veejay with the latter who was racing from 5lb out of the handicap and seemingly getting a sympathetic ride from his jockey.

Scottish Racing Conditions Stakes - Class 2 - 5f - Musselburgh
This went as expected to Hamish McGonagall who got the better of Waffle by 2 lengths and the second can probably be seen to better advantage in a bigger field were he can come with a late run. Their were 2lb drops in the handicap for Fitz Flyer (now 92), Elnawin (102), Striking Spirit (94) and Masta Plasta (96).

Calverts Carpets York Ltd Handicap - Class 6 - 5f 13yds - Nottingham
The winner Athwaab was raised 12lb for his win here, however it is the 3rd Yankee Storm who is potentially well handicapped on his All Weather form as he is 16lb lower on turf but he doesnt make many visits to the green stuff. He didnt start very well and got a bit detached before consenting to run on to finish a closing third.

Totepool Flexi Betting Handicap - Class 4 - 5f - Musselburgh
This was won by Mon Brav but the one that caught my eye was the Chosen One who ran on well towards the finish and he could be about to go one better. He won well last summer off a 1lb higher mark at Haydock and maybe stepped up to 6f.

Handicappers Comments
Inxile gained his second Irish listed success in as many weeks at Cork on Saturday, writes Chris Nash. When making a successful return from Dubai over 5f at Naas, Dandy Nicholls’ six-year-old gave 3 lb more than weight-for-age to the locally-trained runner-up Knock Stars and beat her by three lengths, running to a figure of 109 by my reckoning. At Cork he was giving 6 lb more than weight-for-age to that same rival yet beat her by half a length further as she came home fifth in the 6f event. I was tempted to rate the race through Knock Stars initially, which would have had Inxile running to a figure of 112, but after consultation with my Irish colleague I decided on a figure of 110 for the winner. This represents a career-best, and he might well turn out quickly again judged by his entry in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket this coming weekend.

Another Dandy Nicholls-trained sprinter worth a mention is Falasteen who won the first 5f race of the season at Epsom by a very decisive one and three quarter lengths. Not necessarily best drawn (stall 5 in a field of 14), he showed terrific pace to make just about all. Such a comprehensive margin of victory in a sprint handicap is hard to ignore and his mark will rise 7 lb from 85 to 92. His record at Epsom now stands at two wins from as many starts and the ‘Dash’ on Derby day looks an obvious target. Before then it would be no surprise to see him take in the Chester May meeting, with his pace likely to prove a potent weapon round there.

Finally a mention for the fantastically consistent ten-year-old Flipando. David Barron’s charge has been rated between 87 and 100 throughout the last five years. He won the 1m2f Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar in 2007 and the 1m1/2f Lincoln Trial at Wolverhampton in 2009 but is now being campaigned as a sprinter, securing career win number twelve over 6f at Pontefract on Tuesday from a mark of 94. The first six home in that handicap were covered by less than two and a half lengths and Flipando’s mark will rise 4 lb to 98 as a result.