Surprisingly it was quite warm here today, I have only been to Catterick in the past for jump meetings when it’s been raining and quite chilly but on this late summer/early autumn September afternoon it was a pleasant day and a small but fair crowd turned up,whilst it was not the size that had turned up at Doncaster the week before for the Leger it was still busy without being too packed.
Eight races on today’s card with the feature being the finale of the 12f Series which was part of a series of races which began from the first flat meeting of the season in April and through a series of qualifiers resulted in today’s final,like how the Pertemps one over the jumps works with their final at the Cheltenham Festival.
Today also had the news that trainer Mick Easterby was going to retire and hand over to his son David,racing needs characters and Mick has been one of them and no mistake,just how much of Yorkshire he actually owns is something we will never know but like many I wish him a grand retirement at the young age of 82!
2.10 British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes,6f 2yo.
A race in which class and experience helped here as the the 72 rated State Anthem just held on in a dramatic finish from Royal Connoisseur.
The winner is not the classiest 2yo in the Mick Channon camp but she is tough and deserved to finally shed her maiden tag while the runner up will be better suited by further in time while Breakable back in third place is slowly learning what this racing game is all about.
2.45 33 Races Live On Sky 432 Nursery Handicap,7f 2yo (64-84)
A very competitive race on paper,so wide open that for a ten runner event they went 6-1 for three co favourites it was that tricky.
Another tight finish here which kept judge Jonathan Dimsdale busy as Al Baz under promising apprentice Thomas Brown (3) (wonder if he will ever write about his schooldays) held on by a nose from the Sir Mark Prescott filly Thretimesalady.
This is a race to keep an eye on,expect a few winners to come out of this contest.
3.20 Pin Point Recruitment Handicap,1m6f 3yo (54-71)
A wide open contest here which went to the aptly named Duke of Yorkshire who just held on from the fast finishing Sunblazer,The winner was all out to hold off Sunblazer and the runner up could be suited by 2m in the future,he is one to keep an eye on.
The disappointment for me was handicap debutant Samoset who looked lovely in the paddock and has the size and scope to be a hurdler in the future.
3.55 Racing Replay All Today’s Racing Sky432 Maiden Stakes,7f 3&4yo
A poor maiden here which was won very easily by Dawn Calling from the Mark Johnston yard,making all he was eight lengths clear at the line and finally won on his third start and looks likely to go down the handicapping route depending what rating he gets, Odds on fav Red Warrior was never travelling and is a frustrating sort while the rest of the field were average at best.
4.30 2013 Catterick Twelve Furlong Series Final Handicap,1m4f 3yo+ (67-89)
A one two for the girls here as jockeys Samantha Bell (7) and Shirley Teasdale (3) came first and second on their mounts Dolphin Village and Tinseltown respectively,both were in the first two throughout the running with Sammy Jo Bell getting the better on Dolphin Village to give her only her third winner in Britain but also her biggest win to date for the Richard Fahey yard.
This race had several course winners in it and the winners likes Catterick,be interesting to see if he finds more improvement next season as he has a tough attitude to the game and loves his racing.
5.05 Catterickbridge.co.uk Handicap,1m6f 4yo+ (55-65)
Thirteen went to post for this staying event and a commanding performance from Naburn who stayed on well to defeat Danceintothelight by 3.5 lengths,Naburn deserved this win after getting trouble in running on his previous start at Redcar and will be going over timber in the winter,I expect 2m4f will be his trip over jumps.
During the day I noticed trainer John Berry had turned up with Zarosa and she travelled well before struggling to pick up,the track probably didn’t suit and will be better on a flatter surface.
5.40 Book Now For Saturday 19th October Handicap (Div 1) 7f 3yo+ (52-64)
Probably the better of the two divisions this was lucky on race number thirteen of Lil Sophella’s career to break her maiden tag under Jack Garritty (7) who kept clam having missed the break to get the better of Red Cobra by a half length.
6.10 Book Now For Saturday 19th October Handicap (Div 2) 7f 3yo+ (52-64)
An eventful event race here as three of the fourteen missed the break and had little chance of doing anything while Dhhamaan stumbled and fell with 1f left but got up ok as did jockey James Sullivan.
At the business end it was George Fenton who won off a career high mark of 69 and seems happy with cheekpieces while short head runner up Dance for George almost made all only to be nabbed on the line while third placed Graceful Art remains a maiden after 22 starts and an eye catcher for the future is Meshardal who was fourth on his third start here for Ruth Carr and is one to watch although what his ideal trip is has yet to be discovered.
So a nice enjoyable afternoons racing here,not the most high quality card but for me that does not matter as I will go to a meeting no matter the grade or surface.
Catterick is a course I really like,the stands are old but that is part of its charm and when they say it is the course with character they really do mean it,You won’t necessarily see any superstars but what you do get is a real old time atmosphere with staff that make sure you have a good day out.
The next Saturday meeting here is on the 19th October but I shall be at Cheltenham that day,the one here features the Catterick Dash over 5f which is a Class B race and should have some useful speedsters in it while jumping fans have the North Yorkshire Grand National in January over a gruelling 3m6f.
Looking ahead this Saturday coming I shall be at Haydock for my turf flat season finale.
Until then thank you and goodbye.
The stands at Catterick
Dawn Calling and Adrian Nicholls coming back in.
Dolphin Angel and Samantha Bell (7)