Soft ground and some indifferent jumping rather hampered our chances of a winner at Perth this week, but there were still some promising performances, chief amongst them being the third placed finishes of Petite Rhapsody, Boy’s On Tour and Gripper on Thursday. Also finishing third yesterday was Izzy’s Champion, although in his case he inherited that position due to some late fallers and we’ll try a few different things at home to see if we can spark him back to form.
Others to take their chance on Thursday were Vino’s Choice, who ran well for a long way on ground that had gone against him, and Celtic Flames, who got tired and was understandably rusty returning from an absence in a competitive handicap hurdle. Bayfriars Bobby was a little disappointing in the conditional jockeys’ race and we also had the misfortune of Methodtothemadness unseating Derek at the first on what was her chasing debut, ‘Maddie’ following in the footsteps of Bialco, who had similarly decanted poor Derek to the turf, albeit at the fifth hurdle, the previous evening.
Wednesday evening had begun with Royal Reserve making his long-awaited return to action in the novice handicap chase where he shaped with promise despite some novicey jumping; he is sure to improve for the experience back on better ground. Our remaining runners on Wednesday, Brodick and Emirat de Catana, both found the going softer than ideal in their respective races and will hopefully leave the bare form of their runs behind back under quicker conditions next time.
The show moves on to Bangor on Saturday where we have two runners, Southern Girl and Voix d’Eau. Southern Girl makes her chasing debut fitted with first-time cheekpieces in the 3m handicap chase, and whilst she lacks experience in relation to her five rivals, she is a former Irish point winner and this does represent a drop in grade. Voix d’Eau is into the veteran stage of his career and needs to bounce back to form in the 2m4f handicap chase, but conditions look set to be perfect for him and he is very well handicapped if he can indeed show some of his old enthusiasm.