Wednesday Review (26/12/07)
Racing expert Dale McKeown gives an overview of Wednesday's action
Is greatness on the horizon for one of the most exciting chasers of our era? Kauto Star, after what can only be called a sublime performance in this year’s King George at Kempton. Eased into the race by Ruby Walsh it didn’t take long for the 7 yr old to put arch rival Exotic Dancer well and truly in his place, pulling well clear with consummate ease to record arguably his best ever performance.
Earlier on the Boxing Day card the somewhat untrustworthy Harchibald grasped defeat from the hoofs of victory. Cruising into the race he was led till approaching the last by AP McCoy on Straw Bear, jumping to the front it was a matter of how far, but once again either the gelding ran out of gas or he downed tools. He remains a wonderful horse to watch a nightmare to back.
AP McCoy was completing a double having won the opener on Song Of Songs in the familiar colours of JP McManus. A lightly raced novice, he showed good flat speed between the final two flights to get on top of pace setter, Polyfast with Otage De Brion the only other horse capable of staying in touch.
Joe Lively must get the recognition he deserves having won this years Feltham and in doing so took the scalps of some serious staying novice chasers in Here’s Johnny and Silverburn. Although a shade untidy at the last two, so were his main rivals and that could be put down to the speed they were travelling after a strongly run race. The winner is now one of the favourites for the Royal Sun Alliance at Cheltenham.
Boomshakalaka remains unbeaten this season with his best performance to date. Appreciating the extra distance of ground, the revitalised 7 yr old was allowed to bowl along on the lead. Jumping out of the hands of Mick Fitzgerald, the Festival bound gelding has the scope and attitude to improve from this and will be a lively contender possibly in a handicap.
The finale even though there were four non runners was still your typical competitive handicap hurdle. Run at a strong gallop set by Newman Des Plages, the principles made there way through the field to dual between the last two with the well handicaped Nycteos running out an easy winner. That completed a double for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh at the expense of Princelet.
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