Kevin doesn’t have many horses that take to the NH scene but when they do people tend to take notice. Beyond The Clouds has proved to be a classy individual, winning bumpers before turning his hand to hurdles which he proved equally adept to. Bred and owned by Guy Reed Racing they decided to send his 1/2 brother to Kevin to train. Carry On has matched his elder sibling by making a winning debut in the 1m5 1/2f £50 Risk Free On Racing With Smarkets “Junior” Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
Like his brother, Carry On arrived into training later on, taking him until he was 3yo before he came to Hambleton Lodge. You could see why with his large frame it was clear that he must have benefitted from time to mature but he was also a fine individual who moved very well. Once Kevin got him into work he was quite surprise by the speed shown by Carry On. Although he knew that the gelding could easily have ability, it was presumed that he may well be a bumper horse in the making. The speed he showed convinced Kevin to start on the flat over a shorter distance. Unfortunately an incident in the stalls meant that he didn’t run as intended and so the original plan was back on the table.
Brian Hughes is the jump jockey that Kevin calls upon with his NH horses. As well as being one of the best around the pair are good friends and Brian rides out quite a bit for Kevin. He was called in to sit on Carry On and almost immediately knew the tracks and races that he should be heading to. With Brian’s knowledge Kevin made the plan and a junior bumper at Huntingdon would be the starting point for Carry On.
The race decided up into two divisions which meant that Carry On would only line up against 10 rivals. There was no form to go on but there was some nice flat pedigrees represented for some shrewd operators. Although he didn’t match some blue blood pedigrees, Carry On had a brother who showed his class in this sphere and so the punters latched on to that. He was backed to make a winning debut, going off as the 2/1f.
With a field made up of debutantes there was always a worry about how the race would be run. As the tape came down there wasn’t many willing to go on so Aerodrome took the lead and set a steady pace. Brian was always keen to get cover on Carry On and so settled his mount towards the rear but close to the inside so he would be taking the shortest route possible.
The 1m5f trip gave the inexperienced field plenty of time to sort themselves out and through the first part of the race they all raced well, taking to racing well. Carry On switched off nicely for Brian and was always travelling smoothly. With the steady gallop up from the field was well bunched up throughout so those towards the rear would be close enough to challenge when the time came.
Very little happened until the field got well inside the final 1/2 mile. Aerodrome had dictated throughout and was still going well in front. Now, having travelled very steadily, he could begin to wind things up ready to kick up the home straight. They were swinging right handed as the field raced between 4f and 3f marker. It was the first injection of pace and this caught a few of the runners on the hop. This actually helped Brian who could now loosen his grip on the reins and creep forward up the inside, inching closer to the leader.
Swinging off the bend and inside the 3f pole the race suddenly changed complexion. With he leader continuing to turn the screw and pace increasing, the field broke up quite significantly. One by one the field dropped out of contention, unable to match the speed shown up front. Carry On moved through smoothly, easily able to match the leader and Brian allowed him to get ever closer with every yard covered.
Moving on to the final couple of furlongs and Carry On had moved up to 2nd place, on the bridle like Aerodrome who still led. Peloric had made headway from the rear of the field and these three were suddenly out in the clear with nothing else able to go. The race was now just a three way tussle but that would be cut to two before long. Brian now just nudged Carry On along to get him lengthening before asking him to kick. Passing the 2f the pair were now upsides with neither all out but working to shift through the gears. Peloric had made a lot of ground up and this was just starting to show as the front two edged a little further clear with each stride.
Baring down on the final furlong and it was Aerodrome who was first to crack with his jockey first to get into full drive. Now Brian got low in the saddle and posed the first real question to his mount. Carry On changed his leg and quickened up to go a length up on his rival. The move had given him the edge but inexperience now kicked in. Changing legs and wandering round in front, Carry On just moved off a straight line. This gave hope to Aerodrome who was proving more straight forward and trying to rally. Brian now had to educate his mount so changing his hands and using his stick to straighten up Carry On he got the gelding to correct himself. Once balanced again and straightened up, Carry On quickened up once again to assert his dominance. galloping through the line he won by an impressive 1 3/4 lengths.
Carry On travelled well, made smooth headway and won with plenty in hand. This was an impressive display and he will have learnt a lot for the experience. It was nice to see him powerful at the line which shows that he can be a powerful stayer but he has the speed on the flat to make him dangerous in these types o races. It is always lovely to see a winner in the famous silks of Guy Reed Racing and they seem to have another nice NH horse top go with Beyond The Clouds. Time will tell where this fella can go but another bumper will be in order and hopefully he can continue his progression whilst learning on the job.