Wincanton Race Preview, 09/11/19

Saturday November 9th
Some rain forecast
Saturday morning

* indicates Horses on Shortlist
** indicates Selection

Wincanton 1.50
Richard Barber Memorial Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Class 2
2m5f82y – Going: Good – 15 runners

Litterale Ci*
In this race last year ran 2nd to If You Say Run, headway after 3 out, chased winner under a ride from 2 out, no extra from last. Survived an early scare to get her first win over fences at Exeter on October 22nd, held up last, blundered 1st, detached by around 2 or 3 lengths after 4th, awkward 5th, closed up going comfortably home turn, a bit to do 4 out, headway going best 3 out, went 2nd 2 out, led last, shaken up, asserted last 175 yards, drew clear under a hand ride, readily by 2 3/4 lengths from Southfield Stone. Perhaps a bit surprising to see her back over hurdles, conceding 10 lbs to the rest (actually 5 lbs after regular rider Miss Aine O’Connor’s claim), but chances
Kalahari Queen
Won a 0-130 handicap at Exeter and ran 2nd to Roksana in Mares’ Novice Final at Newbury in February and March 2018. Over fences last season, posted best effrot when winning three-runner mares’ novice at Wetherby in February, mistake 11th, led 14th, pushed along home turn, headed, in close to 4 out, put under pressure, hard driven 3 out, effort and disputed lead 2 out, hard driven, led last, driven out, stayed on well, clear of Little Miss Poet at the line. Looks too high in the weights off 130
Progressive: had Midnightreferendum well behind at Taunton in February, and third win over hurdles at Ludlow on October 9th, midfield, keen, mistake 1st, closer order 3rd, lost ground and midfield when pace increased 7th, rear of main group and niggled along turning out of back straight, good grond on inner home turn, challenged and the better jump 3 out, ridden, led, was 2 lengths up 2 out, the better jump last, driven out, stayed on well to pull clear of Aweeminit run-in with reopposing rival Misty Bloom in 3rd. Not sure where the handicapper’s got her 129-mark from and Midnightreferendum is much better off at these weights, but comes into the race on the up so could well find the improvement she’ll need
Duhallow Gesture
Best to date when 3rd in Class 2 handicap hurdle at Southwell on June 23rd, went on, ridden into 3 out, moved comfortably after, travelled best home turn, hung left approaching 2 out, was joined there, hard ridden, stayed on, was strongly challenged approaching last, headed after it, weakened last 75 yards, 3rd to Zubayr beaten just over 3 lengths. Cut little ice tried in a novice chase behind If You Say Run at Worcester on October 10th when last seen out. Good claims on form back over hurdles
Danse Idol
Not out of the first two over hurdles so far, two wins to date; didn’t look entirely straightforward at Fontwell on April 12th when last seen out though, took off too early 2nd and nearly landed on it, headway from 8th, disputed lead and bumped rival 9th, ridden home turn, had a length to find as leader pressed on going to 2 out, effort and disputed lead there, soon went on under a ride, jumped slightly right last, ridden clear, hard ridden run-in, idled a little but stayed on well enough in the clear, beat Double Treasure 7 lengths. Chance but no stand-out, one of several in the field who has a bit to do at the weights
Kentford Heiress
After posting a hattrick from April to June starting with a lucrative success in Challenger Mares’ Final at Haydock (had 6 to 8 lengths to find home turn, moved comfortably, shaken up 3 out, stayed on, closed on leader approaching 2 out, led shortly after, ridden clear, stayed on well approaching last, was 6 lengths up jumping, ridden out, stayed on well to go 12 lengths clear of Misty Bloom), has gone off form quite badly, tailed off behind Field Exhibition over fences at Hereford on October 15th last time out. Seems very much best in the warmer months, all her career wins coming between April and October, and was tailed off in 3rd (beaten 39 lengths) behind On Demand when running in this race in 2016
Empreinte Reconce
Finding her feet and looks a progressive hurdler: won two at Newton Abbot in August and tried hard to land the hattrick at Fontwell on October 4th, finding all-the-way winner Harefield too good: closer order 5th, raced wide 6th, closed on them approaching 3 out, prominent turning out of back straight and moved largely comfortably, pushed along off home turn, ridden 2 out, switched inner to middle, within a length of leader last, drew upsides run-in, pair clear, put under pressure, stayed on till winner asserted and no extra last 100 yards. Although unproven at this trip she’s related to several who were effective at 2m4f and is one to consider
Sixty’s Belle
Finished runner-up to Annie Mc in Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Final at Newbury in March. First win over hurdles at Newton Abbot in May when last seen, on what turned out to be her last run for Alan King; prominent when blundered 4th, ridden into 6th, headway and with leader 7th, tracked leaders when pushed along turning out of back straight, chased leader and not going as well as Kissesforkatie home turn, hard driven, stayed on and drew upsides going to 2 out, led and the better jump, driven clear, stayed on well, steadied into and mistake last, ridden out, sustained effort run-in, unchallenged by 11 lengths. A £42,000-purchase at the Doncaster May Sales, joined Tom Symonds whose record since June 2016 with runners running for the first time for 170 days or more is one win from 48 runners (this one off the track 185 days)
Two hurdles wins last season, the first when beating the reopposing Outofthisworld at Fontwell in December – heading her at the last despite a mistake – and on last start at Warwick in April, midfield, mistake 1st, a little ground approaching 5th, tracked leaders 7th, niggled along 3 out, effort and challenged wide home turn, led straightening, 3 lengths up when in close to 2 out, ridden, stayed on though wandered, about the same ahead last, ridden out, stayed on well to maintain clear lead and beat Nigh Or Never 3 lengths. Better off at the weights with Organdi from when that one beat her at Taunton in February, has a good chance
Third hurdles win when posting a best performance to date at Fakenham in May, although it didn’t look like she’d prevail with two to jump: nudged along approaching 3 out, more firmly pushed after it, not going as well as the leader Tsundoku bend before 2 out, a length down jumping, hard driven, struggling home turn, began to stay on under a strong ride home turn, sustained effort to draw upsides and the better jump last, driven and led 75 yards out, won by a length. Was well held behind Organdi at Ludlow in October when reappearing, but ran better than her final position as she was bang in contention on the turn before colliding with a rival and stumbling at the third last, weakening after, and chance on the Fakenham-win. Yet to race on anything other than good ground in Britain, but proven on good to soft on the Flat (three times winner in Germany) before joining present connections
Best effort last season a close 2nd to today’s rival Midnightreferendum at Fontwell in December,  tracked leaders 3rd, further ground to lead 5th, pressed on before 7th, moved comfortably turning out of back straight, pushed along approaching 2 out, 1st 2 clear, hard riden approaching last, was joined and soon headed, switched outer to middle, no extra last 175 yards, kept on, beaten 3 1/2 lengths. Tailed off in Mares’ Final at Newbury behind Annie Mc when last seen, has a chance at her best
Deputy’s Oscar
On a hattrick after two Market Rasen wins, the most recent on October 19th; shied at the tape, went on and raced 6 or 7 lengths clear, not so far ahead approaching 4th, in close to 5th, drew a little way clear again by 8th but was soon closed on, shaken up off home turn, not going as well as Misty Whisky approaching 2 out, put under pressure, stayed on between last 2, the better jump last, driven out, stayed on well last 175 yards, workmanlike and decisive by 3 lengths. Won’t be able to dominate this in the same way but chances
Aimee De Sivola
Successful reappearance, and first win over hurdles, at Warwick on October 3rd, chased clear leader 5th, ridden into 6th, led 8th, pushed along from 3 out, disputed lead home turn, staying on when mistake 2 out, sustained effort, mistake last, hard driven, stayed on last 125 yards, asserted final strides, beat Torn And Frayed a neck. One of many with a chance
Misty Bloom
Three wins over hurdles, including at Warwick in September. Ran well in defeat last time at Ludlow on October 9th behind Organdi, pushed along turning in, taken wide, put under pressure 3 out, mistake 2 out, couldn’t go with 1st 2, took 3rd nearing last, pushed out, kept on, no impression on 1st 2, going on okay at the end, beaten just short of 10 lengths. Largely consistent and chances
Midnight Sapphire
Fairly useful mare on her day but lightly raced in recent seasons, only three runs since the beginning of 2017 and an absence since September 2018 to overcome. Off the track for 418 days, new trainer Gail Haywood (following this one’s previous handlers Victor Dartnall, and David Pipe for his last two runs) hasn’t had a winner with a horse off games for 170 days or more since May 2016 (13 such runners in that time)

Shortlist: Litterale Ci, Organdi, Midnightreferendum

Wincanton 3.35
Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase Class 1 Listed
3m1f30y – Going: Good – 13 runners

Cobra De Mai
Quick reappearance after flopping in Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot behind Vinndication, jumped left, mistakes 1st and mistake 13th, pushed along, struggling under a ride in Swinley Bottom, mistake 16th, tailed off 3 out, soon pulled up. Remains with no wins in fields bigger than ten, so expected to struggle again
Rock The Kasbah
Won the Grade 3 3m3f chase at Cheltenham last November beating Royal Vacation, chased leader from 11th, ridden into 18th, niggled along from the top of the hill, not fluent 3 out, ridden home turn, led approaching 2 out, asserted approaching last, driven, wandered a little up the hill, ridden out and stayed on well last 100 yards. No form in three subsequent starts, already hopeless when brought down 19th in the Grand National and pulled up 16th in bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last two. Dropped to 150, he probably needs to slip more in the weights, but has a good record in the months of October and November
Present Man*
This time last year he read the script and won this race for the second year running under Bryony Frost, looking well in the paddock, arguably going best off home turn, challenged leader approaching 3 out, led there, shaken up, stayed on in front, ridden into 2 out, put under pressure after last, stayed on well to beat the reopposing Sumkindofking. No other form last season, lost place 19th and tailed off when pulled up 3 out in bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April when last seen. We know that this is his Gold Cup and Grand National rolled into one, and that a big run is expected
Royal Vacation
Nowhere near as reliable as he used to be and disappointed at Chepstow on his reappearance behind Ballyoptic, mistakes, chased leader going to 13th where slow, every chance home turn, pushed along, faded approaching 5 out, put under pressure but lost ground on 1st 3, well held 4 out, hung left and tired from 3 out, tailed off. No knowing what we’ll get from him this time, but his sole victory last season was at right-handed Taunton
The Young Master
Good season last term, wins on first two runs and good 2nd to Talkischeap in bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown to round it off, the game looking up going to the second last and his measure readily taken from the last. Fit from an outing on the Flat at Kempton on October 2nd (down the field), starts this season off a stiff 144 as a result but is still well in on some back form
White Moon
Inconsistent but useful in novice chases last season. Might well have made a successful step up to handicap company but for falling last over 3m2f162y at Wincanton on October 27th, held up, mistake 7th, headway and chased leader 8th, ridden into 14th, disputed lead 17th, led 4 out travelling comfortably, sent for home 3 out and opened up a lead, mistake 2 out, sustained effort, half a length up when knuckled on landing and fell last, Wandrin Star beating today’s rival Beau Du Brizais in the end. Has a chance on that if he can keep his feet
Give Me A Copper
Form last season only on reappearance, when 4th to Classic Ben at Sandown in February: out of contention when falling behind Beware The Bear in Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival, niggled along approaching 17th, close enough but some going better at the top of the hill, ridden 3 out, no impression, lost ground, well held in midfield home turn, left alone 2 out, driven between last 2, making no ground when fell last. Distant 4th to Talkischeap in bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on last start, midfield, not fluent 9th, briefly niggled 10th, kept on a bit approaching 3 out but essentially struggling, no more, beaten 29 lengths. Not sure what, if anything, to expect
Walk In The Mill
Surprised a few by possessing enough stamina to win the Becher Chase over the National fences at Aintree last season, reminder with a bit to do after 3 out, good headway under a ride bend before 2 out and with leaders approaching it, only a length and a half down jumping, driven approaching last, a length down jumping, stayed on and led approaching the Elbow, hard driven, opened up a 5-length lead, ridden out from Vieux Lion Rouge. Best subsequent run when 4th in the National itself, ard ridden and lost ground on 1st 3 between last 2, driven out from last, kept on final 400 yards without making any impression on 1st 3, stuck to task and beaten 16 lengths behind Tiger Roll – but he was hard work from halfway, and it’s thanks to the jockey that he did that well. Has won when fresh in the past: doesn’t jump off the page, but is three wins from six starts going right-handed
Beau Du Brizais*
Has started the season in form with runner-up finishes behind Marble Moon at Ludlow and, taking advantage of White Moon’s fall, at Wincanton last time, headway 15th, dived at 16th, nudged along 18th, at most niggled along home turn, switched wide and pushed along, put under pressure 3 out, chased leader going to 2 out, stayed on, the better jump 2 out and only a length down, virtually upsides when steadied into last and left in front by White Moon’s fall, hard driven, stayed on, headed by Wandrin Star 75 yards out, no extra. He’s up 4 lbs for that but likely to still be competitive
In this race last year came relatively close to spoiling the Bryony-and-Present Man-show, pushed along off home turn, effort and stayed on into 2nd 3 out, hard ridden, was a length and a bit 2nd 2 out, switched inner, hard ridden, about the same down last, stayed on and held a half chance early on run-in, driven and one pace last 175 yards, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. That was off the back of a good run in the slightly longer handicap chase at the previous Wincanton meeting and that race was also his last stop before this renewal, started a move 18th and midfield by 4 out, ridden along with some 6 to 8 lengths to find approaching home turn, kept on under a ride from 3 out, little impression 2 out, hard ridden, was 8 lengths 5th when left 4th and slightly hampered last, no more – essentially not getting into it after a hold-up ride and 4th to Wandrin Star beaten 10 lengths, comfortably held behind Beau Du Brizais and also White Moon, if he’d stood up. Between a rock and a hard place – no reason to back him here, but no reason not to
Just A Sting*
Started last season with two wins in novice company, then better form when 2nd to Adrien Du Pont at Kempton over Christmas, although not impressing with his finishing effort: chased leader 12th, niggled along 4 out, disputed lead home turn, firmly pushed along and stayed on to lead going to 2 out, put under pressure and hung left between last 2, stayed on, was joined approaching last, headed jumping, ridden, no more run-in, was being closed on by the 3rd last 75 yards. No form in Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival, tailed off behind Any Second Now, or in bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown, held up, made no contribution, lost place final circuit, tailed off 4 out, pulled up straight. Possibly over the top by then (although he didn’t look it in the paddock at Sandown), and wearing first-time cheekpieces on this reappearance (his trainer Harry Fry is 5 wins from 18 runners – 28% – with horses on their first starts in the sheepskin, and they included If The Cap Fits at Aintree), a big run looks likely
Soupy Soups
Been active through the Summer and best performance to win weak Class 2 handicap at Perth in September, a race which rather fell to pieces; head of main group going comfortably when mistake 12th, leading pair came back to them 13th, led approaching 4 out, pressed on from 3 out, clear from 2 out, safe with the race last, stayed on well to beat Graineyhill 8 lengths. Showed improvement on that to run 2nd to Mellow Ben at Fontwell in October, a length down at the second last and never pulling him back, beaten 3 1/2 lengths – the winner was well held in a better race next time, and I have this one 11 lbs shy of his mark here: this’ll be too hot for him
Wicked Willy
Mostly campaigned over hurdles last season, landing a big pot when winning Silver Plate Handicap Hurdle at Kempton (consolation for horses balloted out of the Cheltenham Festival handicap hurdles). On what was his first chase start for over a year, cut no ice behind Bigmartre in Class 2 handicap chase at Perth in April, midfield 2nd, back in last pair 4th, last of all by 7th, struggling and pushed along 11th, some ground and midfield under a ride 4 out, ridden and weakened from 3 out, tailed off. Also tailed off over hurdles at Market Rasen behind Honest Vic on recent reappearance (detached last for most of it, firmly ridden along after 3 out, got in touch with the main group, hard driven coming off home turn, pulled wide, mistake 2 out, driven and weakened approaching last, hung right early on run-in), and with no wins over hurdles or fences in fields bigger than ten, nothing expected

Shortlist: Present Man, Beau Du Brizais, Just A Sting

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