The flat returned to Haydock on a very damp and slightly chilly day,certainly nothing like the wonderful weather that was bestowed upon Aintree a few weeks ago.
It was also an emotional day for the sport as AP McCoy departed the stage for the final time,Twenty times champion jumps jockey he is a rider the like of which we will never see again or if we do it will be like Lionel Messi replacing Pele or George Best.
All that has been said has been said about this amazing sportsmen,everyone has a favourite AP ride,mine for the record is when he rode a horse called Shingle Stree back in October 2006 in a Selling Hurdle, not the classiest race but it was a fine example of his dedication as he rode it with the same determination and will to win that he would in a big race at Cheltenham or Aintree.
Here though it was a seven race card,some trappy looking races as the flat slowly gets into top gear.
1.50 Find Staff At GPWRecruitment.com Maiden Stakes,Class 5,1m4f,3yo+
A mixed bag here with horses holding Classic entires,exposed maidens and a few making their flat debuts from the winter game.
3yo The Lampo Genie made all on his fourth start and hung on by 0.75 lengths from debutant Barefoot Dancer who holds a Derby entry, rated 75 he should pick a few middle distance handicaps during the year, Barefoot Dancer missed the start and was a bit green but he picked up towards the end and should find a maiden soon, back in third was One More Go a 4yo who has kept good form in bumpers and has a fair future on the level.
This may have been a flat meet but Chorus Of Lies in the Godolphin blue may end up at John Ferguson’s in a few months time.
2.20 888Sport Handicap,Class2,1m,4yo+ (0-105)
A top notch handicap with plenty having an eye on races like the Royal Hunt Cup later in the season.
Wilde Inspirstion came on for his recent fifth at Leicester over 7f with a Stoute performance here,a bit slow coming out he responded to pressure and easily went past runner up Capo Rosso in the last furlong, Master Of The World was keeping on into third.
Favourite Extremity came in last about thirty lengths behind the winner,he can be forgiven for this but is one to treat with a bit of caution at the moment.
The winner went in off 86 here so could face a fair hike,he could turn up at Chester or York in the next few weeks.
2.55 EBF GPWRecruitment.com Maiden Fillies Stakes,Class 5,1m,3yo+
A classy enough win here for Mothers Finest to give trainer Karl Burke a second winner of the day under Silvestre De Sousa,quite keen early she led just over a furlong out and quickened nicely to beat joint favourites Gold Sands and Sharqeyih by 1 length and 3.25 lengths respectively.
Mothers Finest holds entries in the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Coronation Stakes,she should pick some Black Type up at some point.
Sharqeyih now qualifies for a handicap mark and could be interesting to see what rating she gets.
3.30 GPW Recruitment Handicap,Class 2,7f,4yo+ (0-105)
A good quality race although plenty of them had questions to answer.
One for the bookies here as Emell delivered a 25-1 shock for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Kieran O’Neill, only his second win from his twenty first start he has kept good form most notably being a runner up in last seasons Celebration Mile, this was his first start over 7f for two years.
The Victoria Cup at Ascot in a few weeks would be the ideal race unless connections go back up to a Mile.
Runner up was Professor who much preferred the Haydock air than the heat of Dubai this afternoon,Lincoln and Alejandro back in third and fourth ran good races and should find some more pickings in the summer.
4.05 Follow GPWRecruitment.com On Twitter Handicap,Class 2,1m,3yo (0-75)
Volunteer Point made up for his recent effort at Windsor when being denied a clear run going in here off the same make of 74,getting up the inside of top weight Spryt in the last furlong he is an improving 3yo and looks like he will get suited by even further,1m2f looks well within reach.
Spryt having his third start for David O’Meara has been second now on all three of them,maybe some headgear will help him, Resonant was third and looks capable of picking something up.
4.40 Diane Smith Birthday Handicap,Class 5,1m,4yo+ (0-70)
Karl Burke got the hat trick up as We’ll Shake Hands bounced back from two poor runs with the first time visor and just got up under Ben Curtis to deny Ferdy by a neck,Gambino and Lil Sophella filled the minor honours.
This was much better from the winner,the equipment seemed to work the oracle today,wether he can follow up is another thing,Ferdy was a very unlucky loser and connections will be hoping the handicapper doesn’t overreact.
5.25 Send Your CV To Jobs At GWPRecruitment.com Handicap,Class 4,1m2f,4yo+ (0-80)
A nice handicap to finish the day which sent punters home happy as Final Countdown just hung on under Joe Doyle (5) to follow up a recent win at Pontefract,it was a brave move by Doyle to go up the inside and he managed to hold off Ninety Minutes at the very end,the leading pair finished a couple of lengths ahead of Jamhlori and Kinema.
Final Countdown will end up over hurdles eventually but it pays to strike on the flat and he is a nice horse in good form.
Ninety Minutes ran his best race on turf for a good while but he remains a better horse on the sand.
An ok start to the turf flat season,Saturday coming its Doncaster but due to other things the review will be on Monday.
Until then thank you to you all for reading.