13.8.21. Noduff Aria (pictured) made his long anticipated debut over six bends last night in a 630m S3 contest at Monmore Green. Such is the current shortage of stayers at the track at the moment (widespread coughing isn’t helping) that there were three dogs in the race from Stuart Buckland’s kennel. It goes to show just how straight the kennel dogs run that it wasn’t the favourite who won! The favourite was Fred.
He appeared to have a chance on paper, running for the first time ever from trap four, as he would probably lead the five and six dogs to the bend which would give him first run on the leaders if he proved to stay. And so it was, in fact he exited the second bend in third place when the two swung off wide. A debut distance win seemed possible. Fred then had the chance to pass the one on the inside at the next two bends but checked outside twice forfeiting valuable ground. He loomed up to challenge for the lead at the penultimate bend only to run into one of the dogs in front and lost momentum. When he gathered himself again he was impeded and eventually finished fourth, beaten a total of 4.5 lengths in a time of 39.46 – well outside his trial time and reflecting the trouble he encountered.
Did he stay well enough to repeat the experiment? Certainly, he will be allowed another go when sufficient opponents can be mustered. Meanwhile thanks to the RM for putting the race on when it would have been easier not to.