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Raceday Report – Friday 23rd November

Raceday Report – Friday 23rd November

 



Some taking performances enlivened an overcast day with a chilly breeze blowing up the straight. The going was soft, heavy in places, so it remains to be seen whether those who impressed can do so on better ground.

If you could ignore his form figures at the end of last season (FP4P) these conditions were ideal for Colmers Hill (5/1) in the 3m chase. Furthermore, his trainer Jeremy Scott was in form. He made a lot of the running and even though Strong Resemblance hit the front three out, Colmers Hill refused to give in and regained the lead with a superior jump at the last. Matt Griffiths kept him going to finish three quarters of a length ahead.

Al Dancer (30/100 fav) won the 2m novice hurdle easily, despite the winning margin being only two lengths. He made much of the running and once asked to go further ahead three out the result was in no doubt, and he was eased down at the end. Present Value ran extremely well for a debutant in such testing ground to finish so close. These are two good prospects. The winner is owned by the race’s sponsor Dai Walters, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and was ridden by his son Sam.

Hideaway Vic led for most of the 2m4f maiden hurdle, which set the race up for Emitom (5/2 fav), who’d travelled nicely throughout. Gavin Sheehan allowed Warren Greatrex’s dual bumper winner to take it up at the second last and he coasted clear, to score with consummate ease. He was value for at least double the five length verdict. Lisnagar Oscar ran perfectly well to be second and is another who should win races.

Five were in contention as they came up the straight for the 2m5f novice chase. Tom George’s Air Navigator (7/1) took the lead four out and fought off Overworkdunderpaid over the next two fences, only for Sir Egbert to throw down a determined challenge. At the post Ciaran Gethings had the game Air Navigator a neck in front. Back in third, Absolute Power came from a long way back under a never-say-die ride from James Bowen.

There was an even closer finish to the 2m6f hurdle. Penn Lane (5/2 fav) and Flashjack traded blows from the second last and passing the post they seemed inseparable. However, the judge ruled Penn Lane had won by a short head. Warren Greatrex and Gavin Sheehan were completing doubles.

Few will have found the forecast in the bumper, which paid £376.40 for a £2 stake. The Michael Scudamore-trained debutant Thor De Cerisy may have been returned at 20/1, but he won like a good horse. He cruised into a share of the lead with three furlongs to go, and his jockey Harry Reed could afford to look round two out before going well clear with little effort. Finishing nine lengths away in second was No Rematch.

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