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Improver Ready To Take Stayers' Race On Way To Better Things

Dumfries trainer Iain Jardine must have had a crystal ball when he bought SMART LASS from Ireland at the start of August as she had already run six races without a hint of ever getting her head in front where it matters. Indeed, she had in those events only beaten 14 competitors home and her jockeys had seen the backs of 80 others at the line, hardly the sign of a progressive individual.

On her first run for Jardine, however, she ran Ad Libitum to a couple of lengths at Newcastle in early September and followed up with runner-up spot in a photo finish to Beaufort at the same course three weeks later. Switched to turf at Musselburgh at the end of the month, she was clearly an improving type and ran on strongly over an extended mile and a half to get the better of Lincoln Tale, with previous scorer and odds on favourite Chica Buena back in third. She bolted up on soft ground at the same course four days ago and has a 5lb penalty for her troubles, but with her rate of improvement looks well up to the task. Seamus Cronin is on board and he is three from six at Catterick, whilst the progeny of her sire Casamento are 83% better than expected at the course.

NATALEENA looks the biggest danger after her win at Newcastle, but she is up 7lb and there is no evidence of her having the same ability on turf. ONLY ORSENFOOLSIES was third over hurdles a fortnight ago and will be suited by this test of stamina on soft ground. He had run poorly for a while on the flat until winning at Carlisle in May wearing cheekpieces for the first and only time in an eight year career of over 60 races. He has them on again today and is a live danger to improvers Smart Lass and Nataleena.

G Lees

Article Posted on Friday 18th October 2019 @ 20.30

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kelso Watch On Racing TV 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle (GBB Race) (Div 1)2m - £3769 - Good

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3 Fernhill Lad500/1

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