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.