Wincanton Race Preview, 16/01/20

Thursday January 16th
(Precautionary Inspection 08:00)

Wincanton 3:40
Wincanton Somerset National Handicap Chase Class 3 0-140
3m2f162y – Going: Heavy – 9 runners

On last start last season won at Exeter over 3m,  ridden approaching 4 out, led a length there, pushed clear before mistake 3 out, put under pressure before mistake 2 out, hard ridden and all out approaching last, led 7 lengths, ridden out to beat Garrane. After unseating early at Ascot on reappearance ran well to a point in the void London National at Sandown, up with the pace and the odd error, chased leader when mistake 4 out, moved comfortably turning out of back straight, quickly ridden approaching 3 out prior to bypassing it when field shown the stop-race flag, hard ridden and lost place quickly, tired and well held 2 out, no more, just about tailed off. This is a less deep race and, placed on heavy in the past, might be worth another chance
Pobbles Bay
After shaping very well over hurdles earlier this season, took his chance in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow but cut little ice, idfield, pushed along 15th, a little ground home turn and just about in contention in rear of main group, mistake 5 out, ridden and weakened approaching 4 out, well held from 3 out, pushed out run-in and not quite get modest 7th final strides. Dropped a bit in the weights and comfortable on the expected heavy ground, there is a query with the right-handed track – one decent placed effort when staying on well to close Like The Sound down at Taunton last season but no wins – but might run well
Yet to win a chase – his jumping often chancy – but a couple of decent placed efforts, including on reappearance when 2nd to Copper West over 2m5f at Market Rasen in October, led, niggled along from 8th, held place till ridden and lost place 11th, looked held 3 out, hard ridden, staying on when all over the place 2 out and landed on three legs, sustained effort under pressure, landed on all fours last, hard driven, stayed on strongly run-in, took 2nd close home – nothing finished better. Disappointing behind Crievehill at Haydock next time,  towards rear when pushed along after 12th, struggling turning out of back straight, last and tailing off when mistake 4 out, another mistake 3 out, continued to weaken, trailing in when in a heap last. Shaped as though he’d stay this sort of trip at Market Rasen and there’s nothing wrong with that form
Dawson City
Was 3rd in this race last year, but best effort last season when winning Devon National in dense fog at Exeter in February 2019, chased leader 14th to 17th, disputed it approaching home turn, hard ridden after 4 out, upsides 3 out, must have asserted from 2 out, was 5 lengths up last, driven out, stayed on well and maintained effort to the line. Has shown little in two races this season, in cross-country at Cheltenham in November and in Borders National at Kelso last time, although in the latter he was going okay till his jumping let him down; chasing leader when blundered badly 15th, ridden into and mistake 16th, hard ridden 17th, held place till ridden and dropped rear 4 out, trailed in behind Bigirononhiship. A lb higher than his mark when winning at Exeter, can’t be discounted
Christmas In April*
Progressing staying chaser, lining up on a hattrick after winning in a small field at Fontwell in December and following up in Sussex National at Plumpton on January 5th, chased leader, mistake 3rd, hit 5th, led 9th, hit 15th, was joined approaching 4 out and nudged along, ridden into it, led a length 3 out, nudged along home turn, ridden approaching 2 out, put under pressure between last 2, stayed on and was 2 lengths up last, ridden out, didn’t go further clear but stayed on well run-in to beat Uallrightharry. Obvious chance
Rathlin Rose*
Had been out of form for a while and wasn’t a factor in Welsh Grand National behind Potters Corner, struggling and looking held when mistake 4 out, tailed off in 10th. Turned out quickly, returned to his best in Sussex National at Plumpton when 3rd to Christmas In April, midfield 8th, nudged along before and after 12th, further ground and just about prominent 14th, moved comfortably enough approaching 4 out, ridden into it, every chance 3 out, chased winner approaching home turn, pushed along, ridden and couldn’t go with 1st 2 between last 2, kept on last 150 yards, stuck to task. Better off at the weights, and again turned out quickly (which hasn’t been an issue in his career to this point), could have a say
Morney Wing
Won the London National at Sandown in December 2018, put under pressure home turn, led a length 2 out, hard driven, stayed on, led a length and a half last, ridden out, got tired run-in and wandered, all out from Red Infantry. Placed twice subsequently, including in the 2019 Eider behind Crosspark, but nothing this season, last time at Exeter hard ridden and reminder after 9th, going worst of the field approaching 12th, not fluent 13th, couldn’t (or wouldn’t) go with leaders approaching 14th and lost place, tailing off when pulled up before 15th, race won by Belle Empress. Becoming well treated but is now the wrong side of 11 and, never the most reliable anyway, is hard to like on recent efforts
Moving In Style
Two chase wins last season and two good runner-up finishes so far this, at Haydock over 3m4f on November 23rd survived a couple of serious blunders, pushed along and tracked leaders turning out of back straight, kept on going to 4 out, put under pressure approaching 2 out, stuck to task but no impression on Perfect Candidate going to last, no extra run-in; and at Newbury on December 28th tracked leaders approaching 14th, ridden into 15th, niggled along and lost 2 lengths or so turning out of back straight, pushed along home turn, around 6 lengths to find , started to stay on when mistake 4 out, ridden, put under pressure approaching 2 out, closed on 1st 2 a little, hard ridden and closed on them noticeably approaching last, at most a length down when left 2nd last, outpaced run-in as Copperhead went clear, stuck to task last 175 yards – he ran into one at Newbury, the winner progressive. Proven on soft, he doesn’t yet have form on heavy, but chance on his last two runs 
Was 5th in this race last year. Exposed staying chaser; after starting his season over hurdles, returned to form on his first chase run of the campaign when runner-up to Hugo ‘N Taz in Lincolnshire National at Market Rasen on Boxing Day, disputed lead starting final circuit, ridden into and led 14th, disputed it when rider momentarily lost iron after 4 out, chased leader turning out of back straight, stayed on under a push home turn, upsides 3 out, hard ridden, led half a length 2 out, ridden, headed approaching last, put under pressure, one pace last 175 yards, stuck to task. Jumped soundly and put in a genuine performance; there are very few wins on his record, but on a good day he does little wrong

Shortlist: Theligny, Christmas In April, Rathlin Rose

Copyright Roy Waterhouse 2020. All rights reserved.