Haydock Park,Rose of Lancaster Day,Saturday 10th August 2013

After the past few weeks of travelling to Yorkshire,London and Scotland it was great to be much closer to home at my local course for a change. 

 A mixed day of being overcast with sunny spells was the order of the day here with a seven race card to be enjoyed on the third day of the newly rebranded August Festival. 
The quality was pretty decent considering this meeting falls Inbetween Glorious Goodwood and the York Ebor meeting and it attracted a good selection of riders here today including a three pronged contingent from Ireland of Johnny Murtagh,Joseph O’Brien and Pat Smullen who all got rides due to there not being any flat racing in Ireland today just an evening jumps fixture at Kilbeggan. 
1.45 The Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap Stakes, 1m,3yo+ (76-95)
This was a qualifier for the London Mile Series the final of which is held next month at Kempton which of course will be a right handed mile on polytrack where as this was being run left handed on turf still that’s British racing for you!
It was Graphic who ran out a ready winner here to record a two length win over Ascription under a good ride from Joseph O’Brien who made his first ever ride at Haydock Park a winning one, always well to the fore he went on with two furlongs to go and recorded his first win since 2011, the final at Kempton could be next with maybe the Cambridgeshire a likely target as he is likely to go up from this rating of 82. 
2.20 The Betfred Prices on Goals Galore Handicap Stakes,1m2f 95yds,3yo+ (86-105)
A wide open looking handicap on paper and a bookies benefit in the end, the favourite was the Mark Johnston trained Sennockian Star who has bee very consistent this season with never being out of the first two of ten of his eleven starts prior to today and he was in the runners up spot after having the winning pot grabbed from him in the last half furlong by Robin Hoods Bay who obliged at 25-1 and ironically kept the rich bookmakers richer. 
This winner has won five races all on the polytrack and did have useful form in the winter most notably being runner up in the Winter Derby, going in off 101 connections will feel that Dubai will be the best place to go in the winter unless France hold some good events on there artificial surfaces. 
The runner up is not finished with yet and is very tough while Educate back in third needs dropping a few pounds possibly. 
2.55 The Betfred Rose of Lancaster Stakes,1m2f 95yds,3yo+,Group Three. 
All eyes were on Telescope here,one time Derby hope in the winter but missed the race after a lacklustre gallop at Lingfield he won an egg and spoon race at Leicester and came here with a huge reputation to live up to as he took on older horses in this trappy looking Group Three contest. 
Area Fifty One set the pace until overtaken with two furlongs to go by David Livingston under Johnny Murtagh who battled on to take the victory with Telescope back in second by one length and he in turn just hung on from Noble Mission in third spot. 
This was a confidence boosting win for David Livingston,formerly a decent 2yo for Aidan O’Brien he is trained by Mike de Kock in South Africa but has raced in Britain this season,fifth in the Royal Hunt Cup and fourth in the Gala Stakes at Sandown this win was much needed and he can go on from this and will be upped in grade no doubt, Telescope still has ability but will be better as a 4yo in the major middle distance events so he is not one to write off just yet while Noble Mission is consistent and could be better over 1m4f. 
One interesting note to this race is that the first three were all sired by Galileo. 
3.25 The Betfred/E.B.F. Stallions Dick Hern Fillies Stakes,1m,3yo+ Fillies and Mares,Listed Race
A chance for some much needed Black Type here and it was a seasonal debut success for Amazonas from Ed Dunlops yard with Pat Smullen on board to defeat Reyaadh by a neck with short priced favourite Ultrasonic back in third position. 
Amazonas had some fairly good 2yo form and finished off last season being third in the Group One Fillies Mile at Newmarket, she will come on for this run a lot and was very gutsy in the last furlong, no doubt Amazonas will be targeting some bigger pots from this with Longchamp being a target no doubt and a step up to 1m2f will be happening sooner. 
Ultrasonic is a tricky customer and will probably make you poorer a lot easier than getting you richer but she always runs an honest race. 
4.00 The Betfred Double Delight Nursery,5f,2yo 
Again like in the other two nursery races I’ve seen this year it’s hard to equate the form but this was a case of bottom weight beating the top one as Touch the Clouds took his third win on the bounce from top horse Suzi’s Connoisseur by half a length. 
Only five went to post here but the winner is still improving while the rest are consistent in their form.  
4.30 The Betfred Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry Handicap Stakes,6f,3yo+ (51-70)
A poor looking race which really had no business being on a card like today but a race is a race and while this was run over the same course and distance as next months Group One Sprint Cup it’s fair to say none of these will be taking part. 
Ambitious Boy bounced back to form here under Tom Queally to hold off favourite Rich Again by 0.75 lengths with Holy Angel in third while Southwell specialist Pull the Pin ran a respectable fourth. 
Ambitious Boy is lightly raced and still has improvement in him while Rich Again is proving a tricky customer this summer. 
5.05 The Betfred ‘Hat Trick Heaven’ Levy Board Handicap Stakes,1m4f,3yo. 
A cracking looking race as far as last races go,this could be a feature on a midweek card it looked that good. 
Some lovely types on show here and it was one for the bookies as Glenard took the spoils under Mickael Barzalona from Renew in second position by a very short head while Salutation who you may remember won the Ripon Bell Ringer last month was an honourable third. 
Glennard deserved his big payday, he has improved in his races this year and took his first win on what was his fifth start of the season, a few of these could be Melrose bound at York or aimed at late season prizes. 
One thing which I think will happen is that Big Thunder who is trained by Sir Mark Prescott will be fought over like mad by the jumps brigade should he end up at the sales in October, he looks like he could jump a hurdle plus he is a gelding so I’d keep an eye on him. 
A nice days racing, of course the main talking point was all about Telescope who came in with a huge reputation but will no doubt be much better as a 4yo as I alluded to in the review of that race. 
The next meeting after this will be at Beverley at the end of the month with the feature being the Listed Beverley Bullet over 5f. 
In the meantime I hope to get to a football match before that hopefully on the 24th with a non league game being the most likely to be covered. 
Until then goodbye. 

Hamilton Park,Saturday 3rd August 2013

It was Ladies Night here in Lanarkshire and while all the top horses and jockeys were in action at the last day of Glorious Goodwood today was more of Happy Hamilton as a pretty huge crowd turned up which was very good to see seeing it was also the start of the football season and with Celtic being at home with a 5.15 kick off that didn’t detract the punters from having an evenings racing. 

Not a high quality card but this is one of the joys of racing, I was watching Lord March who is in charge at Goodwood being interviewed on Friday on C4 Racing and I listened as he said that he wants only the best horses at Goodwood and it appeared he would be happy to see fewer courses with a cull in the fixture list. 
Ok this meeting had some poor quality contests but the thousands who turned up didn’t seem to care and were just glad to have some racing and a chance to socialise with their friends. 
Hamilton is a very go ahead course and for me one of the best of the little courses plus having a Class 3 Handicap with a prize fund of £15k was a real bonus when you look at most Saturday evening cards in the summer months so fair play to Hamilton. 
Anyway to the action, First race was a 6f Nursery for 2yo (0-65) which was taken by the first time visored Its All A Game, trained by Richard Guest who made all to comfortably hold off Bandolier by 3.25 lengths, The visor certainly helped him to concentrate but wether he can improve of this is another thing. 
Second contest was a 6f Maiden for 3yo+ which produced an 80-1 shock with Stoneacre Oskar from the Peter Grayson yard, having shown nothing in four starts on the AW he seemed to relish the switch to turf and picked up coming up the hill to deny Pilates who looked all over the winner until going down by a head, The winner had a rating of 39 so expect that to change, Pilates will win a race soon but now qualifies for handicaps while debutant Yarn would certainly come on for the run. 
Third race was a 5f Handicap for 3yo+ (56-75) and a lot happened before the off, firstly the favourite Findog unshipped his jockey JP Guillambert before galloping off around the loop and got withdrawn on vetenary advice then when being loaded up the new favourite Chasing Dreams began to play up and go a bit loopy so the starter decided not to start him, In the end the race went to Chasing Dreams under Duran Fentiman who kept him alone on the stands side and he picked up well to beat Tom Sawyer and could now build from this.  
Below,Chasing Dreams after his win. 
The feature race was next a 6f Fillies Handicap 3yo+ (71-90) and a good field assembled here which was taken by course specialist Hopes N Dreams, a 5yo mare she made all the running and won readily from Dartrix in second and Meandmyshadow back in third spot, This was a fifth course win and rated 79 no doubt trainer Kevin Ryan will try to get her some black type before she retires to the paddocks but its Hamilton where she truly feels at home. 
After four sprints it was up in trip for Race Five a 1m Handicap for 3yo (56-75) which gave a second win for the Richard Guest stable with Ted’s Brother getting the better of Satanic Beat by a neck in a pulsating finish up the Hamilton Hill, the winner is a very tough and consistent horse and probably will win another race before the seasons out, the disappointment was the 3yo Wellingrove who came in a sorry last place, If he ends up at the sales I’d expect a good battle for him by flat and jumps trainers as he is not one to ignore just yet. 
Below, Teds Brother had a well earned drink. 
Final race was a 1m3f Handicap for 3yo+ (56-75) and another reason why course specialists should be followed here as the 3yo Corton Lad obliged at 14-1 for trainer Keith Dalglish who trains in Carluke which meant this was the only win on the night for the “home” team, another horse who is holding his form well and just hung on by a neck from Cosmic Halo who also is holding his own quite well at the moment, The disappointment of the race was Calculated Risk who was potentially thrown in here but never showed much, he will be a lot better when hurdling again so don’t write him off after this run. 
A nice evenings racing then, nothing special but you don’t need top class horses to enjoy it, We saw some good tight finishes and a well behaved crowd. 
Special praise must go to raceday presenter John Sexton who kept the crowd informed without going OTT and talking constantly and handled the Best Dressed Lady contest very well indeed without turning into Cosmo Smallpiece which another certain person does on the racecourse, I won’t name names but I’m sure you know who I am referring to if you do plenty racing. 
Next Saturday is Haydock with the Group Three Rose of Lancaster Stakes so the smarter looking full service review will be used for that event.