Sunday 19 January 2020

Richard Forristal's race reads: Day 3

1.30 Grade Two Jewson

Novices' Chase 2m 4f

Sir Des Champs proved far superior to the field here, with Peddlers Cross, now set to return to hurdling next term, looked after by Jason Maguire as soon as it became clear that he wasn't firing. Champion Court led at an honest gallop under Alain Cawley and had seen off Zaynar, which shared the lead with him for a spell, by the time they turned down the hill.

From there, Sir Des Champs looked his only danger and try as Champion Court bravely did, Davy Russell was simply toying with him. He eventually asked his mount to stride on halfway up the run-in and the issue was never in any doubt, with the six-year-old's agile jumping and easy cruising speed particularly striking.

Ruby Walsh settled Cristal Bonus at the rear, but the partnership struggled from the get-go. For Non Stop came from out of the pack to finish a clear third, nine lengths behind.

2.05 Pertemps Final

(Handicap Hurdle) 3m

Buena Vista and Palace Jester shared the lead for much of the way. Kayf Aramis sat closely behind, and Aidan Coleman tried to make a decisive move on him at the top of the hill, but couldn't shake off Palace Jester.

Eventually, Cantlow took over turning in, but Denis O'Regan had everything covered on Cape Tribulation. He had dropped his mount right out the back, and eased his way through at will to score with plenty in hand by three-parts of a length.

For the most part, the partnership was tracked by Catch Me, but AP McCoy just didn't have the horse underneath him to match the winner at the death. Cantlow held on to third.

Rick ran well from close to the pace, but didn't have the gears to challenge from the bend. He finished sixth, while Sergent Guib's never featured. Sonofvic fell at the last when held.

2.40 Grade One Ryanair

Chase 2m 5f

This had all the makings of a cracker, and it didn't disappoint. What a performance from the hat-trick-seeking Albertas Run in particular on his first outing since October for AP McCoy.

He made nearly every yard and looked as though he would fight everything off, until the first sign of weakness when he drifted right up the run-in. He, Medermit and Riverside Theatre had gone toe-to-toe over the last couple of fences, with Medermit veering left after the last.

That Albertas Run would carry Riverside Theatre off a straight line was in keeping with how the race seemed to go for Barry Geraghty. Riverside Theatre, settled just behind the leaders, was never that fluent at his fences and was repeatedly jumped into by Captain Chris.

He finally got up to prevail by half a length from the equally brave Albertas Run. Blazing Tempo and Noble Prince never went a yard, with Rubi Light faring best of the Irish.

He raced keenly and led briefly coming down the hill, but mistakes at crucial times didn't help his cause. Captain Chris did him on the line for fourth.

3.20 Grade One

Ladbrokes World

Hurdle 3m

Ruby Walsh doesn't do excuses, so when he felt the race was being run to suit those with a turn of foot, he grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck. He sent Big Buck's to the front alongside Mourad exiting the back straight and proceeded to make the best of his way home.

For a time, the brilliant hurdler looked vulnerable -- even as late as after the second-last -- but both Oscar Whisky and Thousand Stars emptied in the blink of an eye. They had raced in behind Big Buck's for a long way, loitering with the intention of doing him for toe.

In the end, neither saw out the trip, with Voler La Vedette emerging as the danger. Andrew Lynch had settled Colm Murphy's mare stone last, and travelled well into the straight.

He, too, delayed his run as late as he could and, in an effort to avoid a scrap with Big Buck's as he challenged on the run to the last when Walsh veered towards him, he switched to the outside. The result was a curious criss-cross before the obstacle, but the tactic proved in vain.

Walsh had enough horse to switch out alongside again to give Big Buck's a bit of company. They had a length in hand at the line, with Smad Place staying on for third well behind.

4.0 Grade Three Byrne

Group Plate (Handicap

Chase) 2m 5f

Salut Flo recaptured the Pipe family tradition of bold front-running. One by one they tried to tackle him, but Tom Scudamore executed the tactics to perfection.

Salut Flo made a mistake five-out, but thereafter it was the others that blundered their way through. Finger Onthe Pulse sat right on the pace the whole way.

He and Divers both pecked quite badly at the fourth-last and, in the end, Tom Taaffe's 11-year-old ran out of puff. Divers missed the next as well before finishing fourth.

The Cockney Makem travelled well from midfield before turning in, but he could only plug on for second, as Salut Flo picked up to win by a decisive six lengths. Glam Gerry, whose suspect jumping held up well, came from the clouds for third under Brian Hayes.

4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim

Muir Handicap Chase

(Amateur riders) 3m 1f

Becauseicouldntsee was cruelly denied by Sunnyhillboy here. Robbie McNamara got a wonderful tune out of Noel Glynn's horse from the front, and didn't panic when Benbane Head and Exmoor Ranger loomed around him turning in.

Becauseicouldntsee duly saw off those two, but simply had no response to Alan Berry's late flourish on Sunnyhillboy. Last year's Irish National third was never far off the pace, and credit must go to Berry for getting such a telling burst out of a horse that has often frustrated.

Patrick Mullins took his time on the novice Up The Beat. Coming from behind wasn't ideal off such a slow pace and their goose looked cooked before a mistake at the last.

Exmoor Ranger (third) came through from the pack, where he had raced on the rail. He looked the winner turning in, but didn't find much when push came to shove.

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