Carlisle preview: Relic ready to Rock on chasing debut
Relic Rock can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to make a winning debut over the larger obstacles in the 2m novices’ handicap chase on today’s card at Carlisle (15.15).
The gelding was a very smart dual-winning bumper performer when trained by Steve Gollings and lowered the colours of the very smart 140-rated Fletchers Flyer when scoring at Uttoxeter.
Relic Rock also finished a cracking head second of 19 to Ballybolley in the Champion Bumper at Aintree, before going on to be placed in three runs over hurdles.
In the first of those, the seven-year-old ran a stormer to finish a 2 1/4 length second of 18 to Glingerburn at Doncaster. The winner went on to score three times, including in Grade 2 company, and is now rated 149.
That is top class form and makes Relic Rock, who is now in the care of Brian Ellison, look potentially thrown-in at the weights of an opening mark of just 120.
In the 3m handicap hurdle (17.00), Cooper’s Friend can provide red-hot trainer Charlie Longsdon with another winner.
The gelding won his final start in an Irish point before joining Longsdon and shaping with plenty of promise when runner-up on his hurdles debut at Southwell.
Cooper’s Friend duly built on that effort to make all and beat Monbeg Gold by 1 1/4 lengths at Uttoxeter last month.
The eight-year-old showed a good attitude to dig deep and find plenty when challenged after the last, and the runner-up is a well-regarded sort rated 115.
It was a most taking performance, and Cooper’s Friend looks the the type who should have plenty more to offer.
An opening handicap mark of 117 could well underestimate his ability, and with Aidan Coleman in the saddle Cooper’s Friend is going to be hard to beat.
14.10: Triple Eight
15.15: Relic Rock (NAP)
15.50: Shantou Village
17.00: Cooper’s Friend (NB)
17.30: Cloudy Dream