Haydock Park,John Of Gaunt and Pinnacle Stakes Day
A very warm afternoon here for the second day of this two day meeting and with Royal Ascot slowly coming up it was a last chance for a few of these to put their credentials on the line on a competitive seven race card.
Today’s card involved a mixture of Handicaps,Listed,Group Threes and a Classified race from distances of 6f to 2m so a real mixture for flat fans.
2.05 The BetVictor Royal Ascot No Lose Hughes Stakes ,2m,4yo+ (81-100)
The day started with the longest event of the day over two miles with fourteen stayers, the early pace was set by Beyond Conceit until three furlongs out and he was tracked by Oriental Fox throughout most of the race until De Rigeur took over in the last furlong to hold off favourite Sun Central by 1.5 lengths with Beyond Conceit back in third.
The winner is a tough stayer and was winning his fourth race for Marco Botti,wether or not he makes into a Cup horse is another thing but he won well and could well be aimed at the Northumberland Plate in a few weeks at Newcastle,One horse who caught the eye was Apache back in fifth and could be suited by further so races like the Ascot and Goodwood Stakes later on may be ideal.
(Below) De Rigeur winner of the 2m H’cap.
2.40 The BetVictor Royal Ascot Money Back Pinnacle Stakes,1m4f,Group Three 4yo+ Fillies and Mares.
A chance for some black type here in what was an ok renewal with the highest rated being 107 and the lowest 97 and this went to the Newmarket trained Moment in Time from the David Simcock yard who was held up in the early stages before making ground up and taking over from long time leader Nymphea in the last fifty yard to record a victory by a head with favourite Ambivalent back in third who was keen in the early stages which didn’t help.
Moment in Time is lightly raced but consistent and this will have enhanced her paddock value by a fair amount,hopefully she will be back next month for the Lancashire Oaks and maybe Ambivalent will too, Nymphea was runner up in the German Oaks and fourth in the German St Leger,she is a lovely well built filly and can pick races up this year.
3.15 The Timeform Jury Stakes (Registered as The John of Gaunt Stakes) 7f,Group Three,4yo+
It was compensation time for Germany here as Amarillo just hung on from the fast finishing Pastoral Player by a very short head with Red Jazz showing his old sparkle back in third.
Red Jazz led for the first three furlongs until headed by the pack and Amarillo hit the front with a furlong left,Parstoral Player was held up probably a bit to far off the pace but made up ground when asked by Graham Lee and was a very unlucky loser but he will get a win at some point this season.
The winner looks a good horse but its hard to equate his German form but he’s an honest enough sort.
3.50 The BetVictor.Com E.B.F. Cecil Frail Stakes,6f,Listed,3yo+ Fillies and Mares.
Compensation here for Artistic Jewel who was runner up last year and got the better of another German raider Gracia Directa by 1.25 with Hoyam back in third faring the best of the three year olds on the race.
Artistic Jewel is an ideal filly for the smaller trainer and Ed McMahon will be delighted to get some Black Type with her and step her up in grade at some point while Gracia Directa will be winning soon.
4.25 The BetVictor No Lose Hughes Money Back Sandy Lane Stakes,6f,Listed,3yo
A nice looking contest on paper which was took my the hot favourite Professor who followed up a recent handicap win at Ascot with a nice victory here defeating Glass Office by 1.75 lengths while Mar Mar ran the best of all the Godolphin horses today back in third.
Professor is much better than this class and will be aimed at much better races at the bigger festivals and could even end up here in September in the Sprint Cup which would not surprise me at all.
Mar Mar was having her first run since being sixth in the Meydaan Oaks back in March and while she has ability it’s going to be tricky to place her at the correct trip.
5.00 The Download The BetVictor App Now Handicap Stakes,6f,3yo (66-85)
A trappy event on paper and so it proved to be with Shore Step getting his second win of the season with Robot Boy still in need of some fine tuning in second but seems much happier back at sprints.
Shore Step won here off a rating of 78 which will no doubt be raised but he can build of this and be a useful type during the summer.
5.35The Royal Ascot Money Back At BetVictor.com Classified Stakes,1m2f,3yo (0-80)
Only four for this race which was for winners of only one race but it was tight on paper with the four rated from 77-80.
As expected Enzaal made the pace but was headed inside the last two furlongs then favourite Double Discount took over and held on from the fast finishing Elhaame under a strong Kieran Fallon drive.
This was a much stronger performance from Double Discount and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here as the season progresses.
So a fair days racing then, not the biggest quality for a Saturday but with Royal Ascot on the horizon its not that surprising really, The crowd were treated to some good finishes with the judge having to be called upon a few times to work out the results.
After today my next blog review will come from the World Rowing Cup at Eton Dorney in Windsor which will be the semi finals of the World Cup events which is fourteen class of boat and the three finals of the International and the five finals of the Para Rowing which are at the moment scheduled to take place that day on the lake with the stars of the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming back to entertain.
Meanwhile Royal Ascot is approaching with the cream of flat racing taking part on the Royal course for five days of amazing sport.
Looking ahead the next racing will be the Lancashire Oaks,Old Newton Cup at Haydock in July followed by two days in Yorkshire at Pontefract and Ripon then Para Athletics at the Olympic Stadium.
Until then keep reading and thank you for doing so.