The third day of this three day meeting which was to celebrate one year since the 2012 Olympic Games were held in the city of London and the crowds flocked in their thousands to Stratford to have a final fling in the beautiful looking Olympic stadium before the place gets reworked to become the new home of West Ham United, all is not lost though because in 2015 the stadium will host five matches in the Rugby World Cup then in 2017 the World Athletics Championships will be held here as the track will be kept as one of the provisos of the legacy project.
The opening day of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival began at what is dubbed Yorkshires Garden Racecourse of Ripon in North Yorkshire.
Indeed if you are a lover of all things equine and horticulture then this is the place for you,the gardeners here deserve recognition for the hard work that goes in to making this a real traditional feel of a racecourse, the place has that sense of occasion about it like a social event or garden party with a bandstand that has the Ripon City Band playing tunes Inbetween races and before racing as the crowds enjoy their pre race luncheon and study the form before the racing begins.
It’s often said that York is the Ascot of the North and if that’s the case then in my view Ripon is the Goodwood of the North, the racing calendar here shows some good races with its two signature events being the 2YO Trophy on the August Bank Holiday and the famous Great St Wilfrid Handicap also in August which is the traditional pre cursor the the Ebor Meeting.
Below some of the flowers and arrangements including the Band Stand.
First race was a 6f 2yo Seller which was a poor looking race on paper and favourite backers got off to a good start as Lady Captain just held on by a head to beat Elualla and her previous experience helped and Jamie Spencer did a good job to get her in front where it mattered,the track didn’t suit her and at the auction no bids were received.
Second race on the card was a 5f 2yo EBF Maiden in which the cream came to the top as Complicit for Paul Cole under Graham Lee hung on by a neck from Genuine Quality and Jamie Spencer and while the rest of the field were all much of a muchness these two have a reasonable touch of quality about them,The winning ride was much deserved as Complicit was anything but being loaded up as he was on edge at the start and the handlers had a hard time getting him in then Lee lost an iron after the start but he cajoled Complicit and this was a quality piece of riding.
Third up was the first race on the round course a 1m Handicap for 3yo+ (66-85) which brought the double up for Paul Cole as Silverheels followed up from his recent Kempton second to land the spoils under useful 3lb claimer Ashley Morgan,he was keen early but settled down and did a professional job to hold off the fast finishing No Dominion with Flashlight in third spot, Silverheels is a tough sort and seems better over 1m while the runner up is better at this trip too and should win soon.
The feature race was the Fourth which was The Ripon Bell-Ringer Handicap for 3yo (85-93 over 1m4f, only five went to post but it was a good looking event on paper, one thing which happens in this race is that straight after the start the official bell ringer of Ripon rings the bell and does the usual shouting nonsense for a a few seconds before getting off the track, back to the race and the early pace was set by Contradict who seemed lit up and went on after 3f and was soon clear before getting headed 3f out and weakened out of it, it was Salutation who took the lead and went on to win readily for Mark Johnston’s inform yard and jockey Joe Fanning, the winner has been very busy of late but is keeping his form, he won here off 85 and could possibly be Melrose bound here as he looks a stayer in the making.
Fifth race was a 1m2f Handicap for 3yo+ (66-85) and another Mark Johnston winner here as Mushaakis stayed on stoutly to beat Its My Time by 2.75 lengths, rated 81 he is another improving 3yo and is still improving while Its My Time will be much better back at 1m, as for the rest of the field a lot of them are needed their ratings to go down a bit.
Race Six was a 1m4f Handicap for 3yo+ (58-77) and it was the two 3yo who shared first and second here as trainer Paul Cole got his third winner of the afternoon with Kuantan One who got his second win of the season from Wadacre Sarko who was 1.5 lengths in the runner up spot, the first time blinkers certainly helped his concentration and this trip seems his ideal distance, Wadacre Sarko was chasing a hat trick here and is probably not finished with yet.
The last race was a 6f Maiden Handicap for 3yo (51-70), not a good quality contrast it has to be said but it was Ruth Carr who trained the winner with Abraham Monro the bottom weight who ran on strongly to fend off Imperial Spirit and the favourite Rufoof who was back on third, this was the winners second start for Ruth Carr and she has a great knack of getting horses who can struggle into form and getting wins so expect more to come from this winner before the seasons out.
A nice pleasant and somewhat more cooler afternoon here in Ripon, a good crowd turned out to see some fair but competitive racing at what is one of the best looking courses in Yorkshire.
After a couple of nice days racing here it is a change of sport next Sunday as I am off to watch the Para Athletics at the Olympic Stadium which is the third day of the London Anniversary Games the last event before the builders come in to convert it to a Football,Rugby and Athletics event.
I am very much looking forward to it, seeing the heroes of 2012 such as Jonnie Peacock,David Weir,Steff Reid and Hannah Cockroft take to the track to a warm and amazing reception from a full house crowd.
Until then thank you for reading and hope to keep you entertained.
This meeting is a standing dish on the northern racing scene which has been organised by former trainer Jack Berry for many years and is also part of the fund raising to help build a house in Malton that helps injured jockeys and former ones with rehabilitation similar to Oaksey House in Lambourn.
Tonight was a competitive if somewhat tricky six race card at the course whose motto is “Real racing for real people”
First race was a 6f Maiden Auction Stakes for 2yo over 6f and the red hot favourite Treaty of Paris did what was needed to follow up from an unlucky Salisbury second,he has an entry in the Gimcrack next month and should give a good account of himself in that race,the eye catcher for me was Aeolus of Ed McMahon who was a bit green but finished fifth,he will have learnt from this and will be winning soon.
Second race was a 1m4f 3yo Fillies Handicap (66-85)only five in this and it was a fourth win of the season for Special Meaning who in typical Mark Johnstone fashion made all and held off Java Rose by 3.75 lengths with Playbill back in third, Special Meaning continues to improve and at the moment shows no signs of stopping while Playbill is proving to be a costly to follow type.
Third up was the feature event a 5f Handicap for 3yo+ (76-95), a decent field for this which brought a back to form win for Another Wise Kid who made good headway over 1f out to take the £7284 prize for trainer Paul Midgley with Singeur in second and the veteran 9yo Oldjoesaid in third, This was a fair race but the favourite Captain Dunne ran flat and struggled and needs a decent drop in the weights.
The Fourth race was the Colstrope Cup over 1m for 3yo (66-85) and another all the way win for the still unexposed Henry The Aviator who made all under Silvestre de Souza for the Mark Johnstone yard with Ready and Bold Prediction filling in second and third positions. The winner like in the second race has got plenty improvement left and could be picking up a bigger prize before the seasons out and is a very likeable sort.
Fifth race was a Maiden Handicap over 1m2f for 3yo+ (51-70) and this was a very poor contest, the drama was at the start as favourite Peter’s Friend twice threw off jockey Paul Mulrennan but he got back on and probably wished he hadn’t bothered as the horse came in seventh of the eight runners, The race went to Arlecchino who was probably fortunate to win a race as bad as this,Qibtee came second and improved a bit now going into a handicap and could pick up a win somewhere.
Last race was a 6f Handicap for 3yo+ (56-75 and it was cheers all round for Adams Ale who hacked up at 16-1 with Holy Angel second, Adams Ale was recording his second win of the season since landing a Redcar race in May, he’s one of these typical sprint handicappers who wins in turn and it gave Paul Midgley his second win of the day.
A nice evenings racing,quite warm but it cooled down a bit later on which was very welcome by the crowd.
Tomorrow it’s Ripon and the first day of the Yorkshire Summer Racing festival whose feature race is the Ripon Bell-Ringer Handicap.
A gorgeous sunny afternoon here at Haydock,so warm that before racing I purchased a new Panama hat to make up for the one that got swiped from my head last year when being passed by a minibus full of ejits who don’t deserve to be allowed on a racecourse and really should know to behave in modern society.
Ladies night at Haydock which brought its usual mixture of outfits that look classy to those which clearly should have never been bought in the first place and refunds should be issued at once.