Peter Naughton's tracker column: More pace would yield an Oxford Blu

By Peter Naughton
Tue 30 Jan 2018

By Peter Naughton

Oxford Blu - third in the Juvenile Hurdle at Wetherby:

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Aidan Coleman's mount would have benefited from a faster pace.

Racing with a penalty for an easy Fakenham success on hurdling debut, the four-year-old, who had been beaten at Fontwell on his only subsequent start, tracked the leaders but hit a flat spot before the last.

He kept on gamely on the run-in and was not beaten far. He would have been closer with an end-to-end gallop, having lacked the winner's (Solo Saxophone)impressive turn of foot.

Kelka - second in the Racing Again 2nd February Novices'Chase at Catterick:

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Failed to justify very strong support but there were plenty of positives to take from the performance.

Malcolm Jefferson's talented mare was taking on geldings and led from the second before being pressed for the lead from three-out.

She was brave jumping two-out but was messy at the last and was outstayed in testing ground; the winner Totalize had won over further.

Kelka boasted three wins from seven starts over hurdles and can build on this chasing debut after a 278-day absence.

I liked the way she enjoyed herself in front with ears pricked and there's no doubting her good attitude.

Swaffham Bulbeck second Premier Thoroughbred Racing Juvenile Hurdle at Warwick:

Made a highly pleasing jumping debut when second to strongly fancied Mr Chow. In-form Olly Murphy bought this dual purpose gelding out of Ed Vaughan' yard and should pick up a race soon.

Lightly raced on the Flat when achieving a rating of 68, the son of Jeremy handled this heavy ground and wasn't given a hard ride when unable to make an impression on the Fred Winter-bound winner.

There is more to come from the runner-up.

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