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Kingston Blount, 7/5/17

Kimblewick

The runner count was a bit below par for Kingston Blount, presumably due to a clash with Dingley. The crowd was a bit lower than usual as well, and given that it was a proper sunny and warm afternoon, that was a touch more mysterious. The dog count was also down, especially Black Labradors. They mysteriously appeared in big numbers early in the season without being seen attending as puppies in the past, and perhaps are drifting away just as unexpectedly, like inscrutable hairy messiahs that got fed up with Jack Russells fighting everything.

Going: Good to Firm, Good places

Race 1: French Horn Restricted

1: Dunara Castle     2: Spessartine     3: Allie Beag

Winner owned & trained: Tom Brockett, ridden: Jordan Nailor

A season consisting of three pulled ups, a refusal and a not terribly threatening third would actually be a dream for a fair proportion of the point-to-point horse community, but for Dunara Castle it is definitely underachievement. However, he does not see consistency as a key attribute in a racehorse, and today was the day that he took a sharp turn into the crazy world of the functional. A continual swapping of first and second positions with Chester Copperpot may have kept him interested, or perhaps it was just that the sun came out. Spessartine struggled to be a threat and ran in snatches like a horse not in love with the ground conditions. The same was true of pointing newcomer Pyrshan. It should also be noted that he gave away twenty lengths at the start, and despite some eyecatching hurdling form, he is still without a win of any type. This is now officially “ominous” statistically, when was just “concerning” before.
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Dunara Castle leads Allie Beag over fence eleven. Following on are Spessartine, Chester Copperpot and Pyrshan. Plus the head of Clive Clifton.

Race 2: West Berkshire Racing Club Kingston Blount Racing Club Members Conditions

1: Quick Oats     2: Tempelpirate     3: Brians Well

Winner owned & trained: Nigel Padfield, ridden: Gina Andrews

Only three took part in this, and the predictable consequence was a tactical cat and mouse game from a slow pace. The mouse, or possibly the cat (it is not clear how the metaphor works) burst into life when Quick Oats attacked at fence fourteen. Tempelpirate looked a big sluggish and below his best when beaten here last time, and the response was the same again. With Quick Oats now having won five of his last seven races, and been in the money for the other two, it would be harsh to say that Tempelpirate ran badly, but at his best he would probably have handled the challenge.
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Quick Oats has done enough winning to not get hysterical over it

Race 3: JRL Group Ladies Open

1: Start Royal     2: Golden Crisp     3: Letbeso

Winner owned: Stewart Nash, Alan Hill, Mrs H Nash & M Avery, trained: Alan Hill, ridden: Izzy Marshall

A few years ago the usual UK-Jumping report was pondering how Start Royal had won so many races, as almost every time we saw him he lost. The commentator noted that every season since 2008 he has won at least two races, and in recent years he has even cooperated when UK-Jumping was present. This was the twenty-seventh win in all, and it was shaping like a doddle with four to jump. However, he slipped slightly on the turn out of the back straight, allowing both Golden Crisp and Letbeso make serious inroads on the lead. Start Royal just about hung on, but the winning post came in time.

Race 4: Main Unit Chase Mens Open, 2m 5f

1: Horizontal Speed     2: Walkabout Creek     3: Vide Cave

Winner owned: Graham Henderson, trained: Alan Hill, ridden: Gareth Henderson

Having explored all avenues about being tactful, it is sadly necessary to report that this is one of the worst Open races of the season. Two of the four may possibly have made a positive response to a shorter race, but one of them, Vide Cave, somehow ended up at the three mile start anyway and the other, Walkabout Creek, got into a dreadful sweat. Coming off of the knoll for the second time, this fretting had not stopped Walkabout Creek being clear with Tajseer, and odds on favourite Horizontal Speed was toiling ten lengths back. Then it all changed. Tajseer fell at fence thirteen (stayed down a while, but turned out to be indignant rather than injured) and Walkabout Creek’s limited stamina imploded. So by the third last, Horizontal Speed had gone from seemingly beaten to in front and going clear. The number of Us in his form told us to take nothing for granted, but he was scare free here. Will he find more openings in Opens that take such modest levels in genius.
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The pinnacle of Horizontal Speed’s career?

Race 5: Cub Cadet Intermediate

1: Changeofluck     2: Cheltenham Mati     3: Seenigora

Winner owned: Mrs D Clark, Mrs H Munn & Alan Hill, trained: Alan Hill, ridden: Joe Hill

The incident factor in this race was a semi-exciting duel to try and make the running between Changeofluck and Conna Cloud, but once the latter drifted out of sight from the fourteenth, it was plain sailing for change of luck. Rather like stablemate Tempelpirate, Cheltenham Mati was not at her best and may have felt the effects of a busy season. It has been a successful one, so no reason exists for dismay, unless you have backed her in the last couple of runs. Changeofluck has now gone 3/3 this season, which is not too shoddy for a horse that could not get a win for love nor money under Rules. He showed that the ability was there, but at the age of nine it has all come together. In fact, it has all come together since the start of April, when he returned from eighteen months off. Seenigora could not get in contention to land a blow, much of it due to an inclination to stutter and go left at her fences.

Race 6: Lewis Open Maiden, 4-6 year olds, 2m 5f

1: Tangoed     2: Breakdown Cover     3: Ober Water

Winner owned: Francesca Nimmo & Charlie Poste, trained: Francesca Nimmo, ridden: Jordan Nailor

Experts rate it as unlikely that horses know when they have been Tangoed, but the four beaten ones here well and truly were, to the tune of fifteen lengths. On the plus side Tangoed being a four year old filly meant that she got a twenty-eight pounds total concession from the others. On the down side, she had no racing experience, and showed signs of inexperience in the paddock and early stages of the race. By halfway Tangoed had really got to grips with the job, and although the enemy was not too frightening, she should improve a lot for it. Breakdown Cover had pulled up in both earlier points, and whilst that was not enough cause to give up on him, the ability to finish here should not be overrated. Once last season The Land Agent hinted that he may be able to win a race like this at some stage. Looking a big threat at the top of the knoll, it did not take long for him to descend into one paced plodding. That was only enough for fourth.

Race 7: Richardsons Accountants Members

1: For ‘N’ Against     2: No No Bingo     3: Too Late To Sell

Winner owned & trained: Alan Hill, ridden: Joe Hill

A very uneventful closer. They started out in the order For ‘N’ Against, Too Late To Sell, No No Bingo, Vesperal Dream. The only change was when No No Bingo progressed to challenge For ‘N’ Against briefly and then settled for second when he decided that taking on the leader greatly increased the chance of the thing that he hates most – winning races. The race finished as No No Bingo would want it to and we all went home.
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