Wincanton Race Preview, 17-10-19

Wincanton
Thursday October 17th

Wincanton 3.20
Tribute To Marcus Trescothick Handicap Hurdle Class 3 0-130
1m7f65y – Going: Good – 13 runners

Innocent Touch
No wins since landing handicap hurdle at Wetherby a year ago, good ground to lead home turn and travelled best, pushed along and joined 3 out, firmly pushed along and not going as well as Midnight Shadow approaching 2 out, stayed on under a ride, every chance last, hard driven run-in, found extra last 175 yards, held on well by a neck. Not out again till falling at Cheltenham in April, then beaten double digits in four runs since (three of them chases), moved upsides leader early on final circuit, ridden into 7th, shaken up 3 out, looked to be going worst of the field, at most a neck down turning out of back straight, held place under a ride till weakened quickly home turn, soon dropped to last, tailed off behind Sizing Granite. Well treated on old form but wouldn’t win a seller on his latest, and no wins over hurdles in fields bigger than nine
Diamond Guy
Off since May 2018: best effort a defeat of Shoal Bay in novice at Wincanton on April 22nd that year,  took a little bit of a hold, not fluent 3rd, in close to 5th, led 6th, pace increased as 1st 3 pulled clear approaching home turn, travelled best approaching 2 out in a neck lead, ridden into it, drew 3 or 4 lengths clear without being asked a serious question, niggled along approaching last, ran down it to left and not fluent, was closed on, idled and driven out last 175 yards. Followed up at Ludlow when last seen out. Might pull hard but would be competitive if he’s at his best on his comeback
Flying Tiger
Lost his way since winning the 2017 Fred Winter, joined Philip Hobbs and little sign of getting back to his best at Fontwell last time,  keen hold and slightly detached in last over 1st, still pulling after 3rd, passed a couple of tailing-off rivals as pace increased before 6th, mistake there, good ground 3 out and in touch travelling comfortably, pushed along and didn’t find anything home turn, looked held when not fluent 2 out, no more approaching last or on run-in, 5th beaten 13 lengths behind Harefield. Well treated on old form, but then again was well treated at Fontwell
Grey Diamond
After leaving Alan King to join Nigel Twiston-Davies, went in at first time of asking though not doing everything right, allowed a clear lead, pulled hard, ran down 1st to right, mistakes 2nd and 3rd, led 2 lengths home turn, moved best approaching 2 out, ran down it and mistake, jumped right last, ridden out, stayed on well to maintain clear lead, beat Green Zone 5 lengths. Can be competitive but needs to settle and jump better
Gateway To Europe*
In good form over the Summer and comes here on the hattrick after winning a handicap at Fontwell in August – midfield, travelled best home turn, led approaching 2 out, not shaken up before last, ears pricked, a length and a half up jumping, hard driven run-in, idled but stayed on well enough in a clear lead, sustained effort to the line, workmanlike and decisive by 2 1/2 lengths from Melody Of Scotland – and followed up in a Plumpton maiden in September. Idles in front and probably had a bit in hand in the Fontwell race; won’t be inconvenienced by dropping in trip
Sebastopol
Bumper winner: twice-raced novice, but after promise at Cheltenham behind Thomas Darby failed to land the odds at Ayr in January on only other start, admittedly in probably a warm race: travelled comfortably, a little outpaced when jumped big 3 out, not asked for an effort before 2 out, pushed along after it, stayed on and closed on leaders, switched approaching last, 3 lengths down jumping, hard driven, one pace run-in, stayed on nicely last 175 yards  but unable to make a place, 3rd to Whoshotthesheriff beaten 3 lengths.. If fit enough could have a say
Highly Prized*
Progressive novice, won two out of three: second success at Newton Abbot in August, ent on, daisy-cutting action, hit 3rd, not fluent 6th, moved comfortably, niggled along approaching home turn, 1st 2 pulled clear, moved the better turning in, soon pushed along, hit 2 out, hard driven, stayed on, hit last, ridden out, sustained effort under a ride to maintain clear lead, workmanlike but decisive in the end by 5 lengths from Guns Of Leros. Accurately treated
Giving Glances
Best effort over hurdles when winning juvenile at Doncaster in January, a little keen, tracked leaders home turn at most niggled along, had 2 or 3 lengths to find approaching 3 out, shaken up after it, stayed on, closed on 1st 2 approaching 2 out, every chance jumping, hard ridden and led approaching last, led a length jumping, hard driven run-in, sustained effort, all out in the end but always holding on by just short of 2 lengths from Via Della Volte. Down the field in Adonis at Kempton in February when last seen over hurdles, fit from a good comeback on the Flat at Newmarket recently. Needs to improve but unexposed
Purple King*
Unimpressive when winning at Stratford in July, mistakes and all out from the closing Bathiva, but in terms of style marks more impressive at right-handed Perth later that month, led going best 2 out and drew clear without being asked a question, not at any point shaken up to beat Lake Baikal. A bit to find but is being claimed off and if Perth suits, then Wincanton is likely to
Fresno Emery
Unimpressive when winning Fontwell juvenile in December, raced wide, jumped left 3rd, headway and tracked leaders when not fluent 4th, in a bit of a heap 5th, niggled along before and after 6th, mistake 7th, headway home turn, chased leader approaching 2 out, was jumped across, pair clear, ridden along, a length down last, hard driven, stayed on, wandered under pressure, could have gone either way till asserted 100 yards out, just held on, all out by half a length from Tazka. Well tailed off in better races last two runs. A bit to find
Pagero
Best run over hurdles last season at Carlisle on April 20th, midfield, keen, mistakes 1st and 2nd, headway and tracked leaders approaching 4th, outpaced 3 out, bumped along, around 6 lengths to find bend before 2 out, closed up nicely approaching it under a hand ride, pushed along, outpaced approaching last, ridden out hands and heels, just kept on, 3rd to Whoshotthesheriff beaten 8 lengths. Reappearance, well held 11 lengths 2nd to Archimento at Fontwell in September. There’s probably a handicap win in this one if he can jump better
Excellent Team
Not the force of old, finds little, and it was only a 0-110 he won at Newton Abbot two starts ago: well beaten in 0-120 at Worcester last time and little expected in this 0-130
Ravenous
Maiden hurdler, first tried hurdling in 2014, record 0 from 12; best jumps run last season when 3rd to Tidal Watch at Kempton last May, sent on, at most a medium gallop, moved comfortably when in close to 3 out, niggled along home turn, ridden into 2 out, shaken up on landing, stayed on, led a length when steadied into it, quickly faded, no extra last 150 yards, lost 3rd post, beaten just short of 4 lengths. Had what seems like several thousand runs on the Flat, last winning on the level in September 2018. Wouldn’t be completely out of this

Shortlist: Gateway To Europe, Highly Prized, Purple King

Copyright Roy Waterhouse 2019. All rights reserved.