Fontwell Race Preview, 12/09/2020

Fontwell
Saturday September 12th

Fontwell 3:25
Bet 10 Get 20 With MansionBet Handicap Chase Class 2 0-150
2m1f165y – Going: Good – 7 runners

Sizing Platinum
Doesn’t win much, but won at Chepstow in April 2019 and went in again at Worcester in September that year when last seen out, led, 2 lengths clear 1st, reached for 3rd, some 4 or 5 lengths clear after 4th, in close to 8th, travelled comfortably in a length-lead home turn, reached for 4 out, pushed along approaching 3 out, put under pressure approaching 2 out, stayed on, jockey at first steadied then saw a late stride last, narrowly headed, hard driven, found more last 150 yards, led again, changed legs last strides, sustained effort under driving to the line, found more than Theo to win  by 3/4 length. Not the most reliable of propositions, has been off a year and is 12 now, so perhaps a tall order
Mcgroarty
Yet to hit form since the resumption and weakened late to finish 3rd to Solomon Grey over 2m4f at Uttoxeter last time, but showed up well for a long way; prominent, tracked leaders from 4th, sent up to dispute lead 9th, definite lead approaching 10th, was joined turning out of back straight, moved comfortably home turn, not shaken up after 3 out (normally 4 out), pushed along approaching 2 out, headed, steadied into it and mistake, lost ground on 1st 2 quickly, reminders but made no ground approaching last, weakened further run-in. With no form over around 2m4f (unless you count his bumper win before he made up into what he is), his stamina expired in a stride at the second last in the Uttoxeter race – having shown up a long way though, he could be good to go over this shorter trip
Ballywood
No wins last season with best run his 3rd to Northern Beau at Cheltenham in December, edged closer and 4 lengths 5th 3 out, niggled along after it, soon more firmly pushed, stayed on home turn, closed on leaders approaching 2 out, ridden and one pace between last 2, wandered when ridden, picked up a little last 150 yards and stayed on same pace. Another slightly frustrating effort to finish his season in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival, about 5 lengths down in 10th jumping 3 out, poised on the bit approaching home turn, shaken up and carried head to one side before mistake 2 out, hard driven approaching last, hung left, looked held when mistake, driven and kept on, stuck to task but lost 5th close home, no impression on those ahead. Errors at the last two cost him a better finish; also he didn’t look straightforward under pressure. Chances here, but no certainty to go through with his effort
Chesterfield
Up to now hasn’t been as good over fences as he is/was over hurdles, and has it to do with King Alfonso on their form from Cartmel last month, in which he was hindered by minor errors; niggled along approaching 3 out, hit that, pushed along and outpaced going to 2 out, steadied into it, not hard ridden and detached before steadied into last, pushed along starting long run-in, took 5th fairground bend, run blocked on inside rail by weakening rival before the end of the bend, put under pressure, took 4th and closing on 2nd and 3rd approaching home turn, kept on and took 3rd final furlong, no more. It should have been better than it ended up – little mistakes over the last 4, also not knocked about and allowing the principals to get away going to the last, so should have done better there, and has a chance here dropped 2 lbs
Ashutor
After a defeat behind Beat The Judge at Newton Abbot (worse off at the weights here), this novice is finding his feet over fences and was successful in handicaps on his last two, last time over this course and distance when beating Master Work, but looking quirky, as he has in the past over hurdles: chased leader, steady pace, disputed lead 5th, definite lead 7th, took off too early 8th, increased pace, travelled best of the field bend before 3 out, not hard pressed to draw clear, niggled along approaching 2 out, was closed on, pushed along and wandered nearly hanging a left at the intersection, hard driven approaching last, clear jumping, ridden out, idled/wandered in the clear but never in danger. Wandered all over under a hard ride from the second last to the line, and while he has a chance, for me he’s not one to take at short odds
Beat The Judge
Fairly useful juvenile hurdler at one time. Won his second novice chase-start at Newton Abbot in July when last seen, defeating Ashutor; prominent, chased leader from 3rd, joined leader 8th, led 9th, headed 10th, led again 3 out and niggled along, pushed along home turn, 1st 2 started to draw clear, the better jump and led 2 out, hard ridden, stayed on, only just ahead when steadied into and mistake last, driven out, found more run-in, stayed on well. Got the worse jump at the last and still won, thanks to Ashutor’s after-you approach that time, and is now 5 lbs better off
King Alfonso
Exposed chaser whose connections have been chancing their arms in Class 2 handicaps, rewarded with a win at Cartmel last time: prominent to midfield, a bit less than fluent 1st, headway after 2nd, prominent 3rd, tracked leaders 7th, mistake 8th, travelled comfortably and edged closer before in close to 4 out, a length down 3 out, got a split and prioduced to challenge 2 out, soon led, ridden into last, went clear approaching fairground bend, stayed on under a ride, put under pressure 600 yards out, sustained effort, led 6 lengths home turn, ridden out, continued to stay on well, unchallenged from Demi Sang. That runner-up ran his race but it was more notable for those who weren’t at their best, which included Chesterfield in 3rd; off a higher mark and against five horses rated 140 or more (in contrast to 120- and 130-somethings that made up most of the field at Cartmel), surely lightning won’t strike twice – now watch him gag up…

Shortlist: Mcgroarty, Beat The Judge

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