Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games,IPC Grand Prix Final,Sunday 26th July 2015

The Paralympians came to town for the closing day of the 2015 Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in the shape of the IPC Grand Prix Final. 

On a very rainy afternoon as like Friday evenings action today was a real mixed bag of celebrating and paying respects to the current crop of defending Paralympic champions but also seeing some of the new talent that has emerged from over the past few years and who many are hoping to spend next summer in the warmer climes of Rio. 

Stadium,Pre Action

 

Inside the Olympic Stadium

 
Team GB had a real mix of the good and the bad but thankfully nothing ugly during the afternoons sport in Stratford, a passionate and loyal crowd though made sure that all their efforts no matter what the result,did not go unnoticed. 

On the bad front the finale of the day the Men’s T54 1500m saw David Weir unable to peg back the Swiss wheelchair racer Marcel Hug as the world champion led from start to finish, Weir was always in a prominent position but couldn’t find anything when needed as Hug broke the stadium record of 3.11.17 by going in off 3.04.15, Weir came in fifth but he will head to Doha in October in a much stronger position. 

Jonnie Peacock in the Men’s T44 100m was just edged out by American runner Richard Browne,both recorded times of 11.02 for Peacock and 10.96,it appears that the Peacock feathers were well and truly ruffled, Browne is a class act and a showman to boot,it will take a good one to beat him. 

James Arnott and Kyle Powell came second and fourth respectively in the Men’s T47 100m behind Poland’s Michal Mateuzs, both ran very well in a very fast race. 

In the Women’s T44 100m race both Sophie Kamlish and Laura Sugar had to settle for second and third behind the excellent Dutch runner Marlou van Rhijn in 13.05,Sugar took the early pace on but once the Blade Babe hit her stride it was all over. 

The Women’s T54 1500m race was another in which like the Men’s race the race was won from being up with the early speed as Manuela Schaer gave the Swiss a metric mile double, taking over with 800m to go she pulled clear of American Chelsea McClammer to win in 3.38.50, the British trio of Jade Jones,Sam Kinghorn and Shelly Woods were left to have their own private battle for bronze which was eventually took by Jones. 

However despite a few below par performances on the track their was plenty of high quality ones that got the crowd rocking. 

First up was 18yo T38 sprint sensation Sophie Hahn, after many months of dreaming about what it would be like to win in the Olympic Stadium, the Speedy Ginge who took up athletics after watching the Paras in 2012 has quickly developed into one of the best in this grade and this afternoon broke the world record that she currently owns by winning In a time of 13.00 from second placed Paralympic Champion runner Margarita Goncharova in 13.07, Hahn will almost certainly be one of the favourites for the Worlds in October and next years Paralympics in Rio. 

 

T38 Girls celebrate

 
Georgina Hermitage was another World Record breaking athlete in the Women’s T37 400m as she blitzed the field in 1.02.48 finishing over four seconds clear of France’s Mandy Francois Elie, taking over with 120m to go she was simply in another league from the rest. 

In the Women’s T12 200m only four went to post and with 50m to go all four had a chance, Libby Clegg and her guide runner Mikail Huggins suddenly found an extra gear and went on to win from Chinese runners Liu Cuiqing and Zhou Guohua, Both Clegg and Huggins have a real bond on the track and this is so evident when they race, a fine example of trust and respect for each other 

Richard Whitehead took the Men’s T42 200m in his usual style,always a slow starter he picked up off the bend and flew down the lane in 25.79, Runner up was David Henson for a GB 1-2, Henson took part in last years inaugural Invictus Games and has a bright future in the sport, Rio could be calling for him and nobody would begrudge him a chance of glory. 

 

Richard Whitehead

 
The star of the show was no doubt as expected the hurricane that is Hannah Cockroft the dual Gold medalist in 2012 she went in the Women’s T34 400m to which as expected Hannah won but it wasn’t as dominant as we have expected  to see from the Golden Girl of British Wheelchair Racing as 14yo Kare Adenegan went with her for a lot of the race until the class of Cockroft showed and she pulled away to win in 1.03.67 from Adenegan in 1.05.68. 

Hannah will be aiming for a triple assault on Rio next year in the 100,200 and 800 metre races, trying to stop her will be difficult as she simply oozes class and is everything a champion should be. 

Kare Adenegan has a huge future ahead of her and looks a natural successor to Cockroft, She will have learnt so much from this race. 

Hannah Cockroft warms up

Field wise Joanna Butterfield F51 won the combined F32 & F51 Club Throw with a total combined score of 1172 points which set a new National and Stadium record,her best throw of 21.50 on her third attempt of six was her best throw with four of her throws going over Twenty metres, she was comfortably clear of Americas Rachel Morrison in second place. 

Abbie Hunniset and Gemma Prescott came fourth and fifth in the field of six,both are F32 class and Hunniset set a new National record with 937 points and a top distance of 21.01. 

Club Throwers on their way out

A fine afternoon of Para Athletics in the Olympic Stadium, expect plenty from today to be on the plane to Doha in October and for Rio next year. 

Since 2012 the quality of athletes coming through has improved,established competitors such as Hannah Cockroft and David Weir can be proud of the fact that what they did has paved the way forward for athletes like Sophie Hahn and Kare Adenegan to be the new generation of Paralympic stars. 

As usual much credit must go to the people of British Athletics for putting on a top show and of course the 20,000 or so people who turned up to witness some excellent action. 

Until the next event,Thank you and keep reading and spreading this blog. 

Ripon Races,Saturday 18th July 2015

After a busy Friday night at Pontefract the racing roadshow moved up the A1 to the Cathedral City of Ripon for the first day of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival which involves racing every day until next Sunday at all of the Yorkshire courses including Wetherby who have their final flat meeting of the season on Tuesday evening. 

A competitive seven race card was on offer here with the feature racing being the Ripon Bell Ringer Handicap over 1m4f. 

2.10 Dobsons Gaskets Selling Stakes,Class 6,6f,2yo

A poor contest that was taken by the filly Whispering Wolf who jumped out and made all just holding off the staying on Scarlet Pursuits into second with favourite I T Guru in this spot. 

The winner had been placed last time out over 5f at Beverley so appreciated the extra furlong,she received no bid at the auction although the runner up was claimed for £6000, she should find some improvement off this confidence boosting win. 

2.45 Sailun Tyres EBF Maiden Stakes,Class 4,5f,2yo

Ornate made it second time lucky here having clearly learnt his job on his first run at Windsor a fortnight ago, always travelling well this Cheveley Park owned,William Haggas trained and Graham Lee ridden colt did it more akin to a horse doing a piece of work as he didn’t break sweat. 

He looks to have a fair future and could be found a nice novice event or maybe something bigger. 

In second some five lengths behind was the filly Crombay,she ran well but will be better in nurseries,Sign Of The Kodiac was three lengths back in third who continues to find or two too good in this races. 

 

Ornate

 
3.20 VW Van Centre (West Yorkshire) Handicap,Class 4,1m,3yo+ (0-85)

Expeirience triumphed over youth here as the evergreen 10yo Dubai Dynamo recorded his 16th career win on his 138th start under rules for trainer Ruth Carr. 

Making good headway down the straight he went on in last three furlongs and powered away from Johnny Cavagin who chased him but it was all in vain, Lazarus Bell was third and Father Bertie fourth. 

Dubai Dynamo is a popular old sort who always runs his race,he loves Ripon and could be back here next month for the Ripon Rowells,if not then the Thirsk Summer Cup is a possibility. 

 

Dubai Dynamo

 
3.55 Ripon Bell-Ringer Handicap,Class 2,1m4f,3yo+ (0-100)

Now open to older horses and despite having five non runners this was still a nice little contest for good quality middle distance types. 

Ebor hopeful Pressure Point did his chances no harm here as he went in off 89 and managed to hold on from the fast finishing Kinematic a neck back in second place with two David O’Meara horses Hit The Jackpot and Chancery filling the minor spots. 

They went a fair clip in this due to the gallop set by the Mark Johnston trained Triple Dip but she folded in the last furlong and could do with a rest. 

The winner Pressure Point was winning his third race from his sixth start this season,he is thriving at the moment for Keith Dalgleish,the Ebor is a race he is in but should he miss the cut he could go to Haydock for the Old Borough Cup or possibly the Mallard at Doncaster. 

Kinema won the Cumberland Plate two starts back and showed nothing in the Old Newton Cup,he was an unlucky loser here off the same mark as the winner and it will be interesting to see if they both get raised the same. 

Pressure Point

4.30 Skybet Supporting The Yorkshire Racing Summer Festival Handicap,Class 4,1m2f,3yo+ (0-85)

Yet again the oldest horse in the race did the job here, 7yo Save The Bees took the honeypot by making all at an ok gallop but he had to work for it to just hold off the challenge from Primogeniture who gave chase and was going hammer and tongues with the winner in the last furlong but only a neck separated them. 

Save The Bees was following up from wins at Carlisle and Chester,going in off 73 which is his joint highest winning mark at Wolverhampton in 2013,wether he can follow up off a higher mark is another thing but he is thriving at the moment. 

Primogeniture only has one win to his name in Ireland last year,he is consistent and deserves to win again,he might be worth thinking about sending over hurdles to get him winning again. 

5.05 Happy 70th Birthday John Ward Celebratory Handicap,Class 4,1m4f,3yo+ (0-80)

A few of these had plenty of questions to answer in a trappy looking event. 

Judge Di Clark was busy this afternoon and eventually she called Sea The Skies in first place by a head from Endless Credit in a tenacious battle up the Ripon straight. 

Sea The Skies made his first start here since being gelded and it looks to have worked the oracle under the steering of Tom Queally for Mark Johnston, quite lightly raced this season he ran a lot better over this trip than last time out at Thirsk, he should offer more going in off 79 here. 

Endless Credit was gallant in defeat and running off 76 he is much lower than his hurdles rating of 132  

 

Sea The Skies

 
5.35 Kevin Kai Lowery 10 Year Memorial Maiden Handicap,Class 5,6f,3yo+ (0-70)

Not the best sprint you will see this season but someone had to win it and at the eleventh attempt Ettiene Gerard finally got his head in front, fourth here last  time out he took over in the last furlong and scooted ahead from Diatomic and the third placed Farrah’s Choice. 

Rated 51 he should pick some more low grade events like this but he was the best of a poor bunch. 

 

Brass band and flowers in bloom

  

Down to post for the first

 

Two enjoyable days in Yorkshire come to a close then. 

For me the two highlights of the day were Ornate in the 2yo Maiden race,he looks a nice type and Dubai Dynamo in the mile handicap, both lovely horses to see on the track 

A change of scenery and sport next weekend as we go to the Olympic Stadium for the final leg of the IPC Grand Prix Series at the final day of London Anniversary Games with some of the finest Para athletes around. 

Until then thank you for reading

Pontefract Races,Friday 17th July 2015,Red Shirt Night

The ever popular Red Shirt Night was leaving Pontefract packed to the rafters as it usually is on what was a lovely warm summers evening in this industrial part of Yorkshire. 

Six races with a couple of quite high quality handicaps on show was the fayre on offer,the Colstrope Cup being the feature event. 


6.30 Countrywide Freight Maiden Auction Stakes,Class 4,6f,2yo

Not a strong contest and the bookies were very pleased as the two market favourites Bing Bang Bong and Lady Argentum got robbed by 22-1 outsider Quoteline Direct from the Micky Hammond yard. 

Despite being very green in the paddock he got the idea of what to do,hard to know what his future is, Bing Bang Bong was another debutant and will have learnt what to do, Lady Argentum is a frustrating type who always looks to find one to good.  

7.00 Totepool Supports Jack Berry House Maiden Auction Stakes,Class 4,1m4f,3yo 

Four fillies went to post here in which the two market protagonists came first and second. 

Twitch from Hugo Palmers yard in Newmarket had to work a bit but got the job done to win at the sixth attempt, rated 77 she might pick the odd handicap up and benefitted from the step up in trip, Kelly’s Finest in second ran to her usual best but again still comes up against ones better than her. 

 

Twitch comes back in

 
7.30 Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap,Class 3,5f,3yo+ (0-95)

Trainer Paul Midgley scored in this race for the fourth consecutive time as the 10yo Silvanus under Dougie Costello bounced out from box two and tenaciously fought off the other horses, winning his second race of the season he seems to like tracks with a bit of turn in them,he was turned out quickly after being fourth at York last week.  

Mukaynsis came second and ran to his form off a mark of 81,he should win races again soon,Singeur back in third may just be getting held now by the handicapper. 

8.05 Colstrope Cup Handicap,Class 3,1m,3yo+ (0-95)

A very good race here which would not look out of place on a big Saturday race day. 

After a little rest from a busy spring period the popular Yourartisonfire picked his second race of the season, travelling well behind the early speed he led coming in off the turn and got the verdict as Kiwi Bay joined him on the line, the very unpronounceable Bancnuanaheireann came third. 

Yourartisonfire clearly benefitted from a little holiday,he could go to York for a race and in the long term might be a Cambridgshire type, Kiwi Bay is still running well at the age of 10,he keeps his best for Pontefract and Redcar 

Yourartisonfire

8.35 Injured Jockeys Fund Maiden Handciap,Class 5,1m2f,3yo+ (0-70)

A poor race here but it gave jockey Graham Gibbons a nice win for Sir Michael Stoute as he jumped out and made all on the filly Enitiy in the Chevley Park colours, the drop back to 10f helped and now she has had her head in front it will be interesting to see where she goes from here. 

No Backchat came second,this was his first run in her handicap and should pick a small event up soon. 

  
9.05 Jack Berry House Handicap,Class 5,6f,3yo+ (0-75)

Be Lucky showed her liking for this place by winning her second race here and giving Graham Gibbons a treble following his wins on Entity and Twitich. 

Jumping out from box three she got the inner and fought off all the others despite hanging to the right in the last furlong, she should be able to find more improvement here off her mark of 72 and is thriving with her racing. 

Runner up Sweet Missi is lightly raced but not quite exposed just yet,Teetotal back in third is currently driving her followers to drink which is a bit ironic!
 

Looking over Ponty Carlo

 
Some fair if not top quality racing then, highlight has to be Graham Gibbons getting a three timer, a very underrated jockey for me and always gives a horse a good ride. 

Next up racing wise is Ripon on the Saturday for the first day of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival. 

The review for that should be online tomorrow. 

Until then thank you for reading and keep spreading the word. 

Haydock Park,Saturday 4th July 2015,Bet365 Lancashire Oaks and Old Newton Cup Day

The sun shone down Haydock this afternoon as the ladies took centre stage with the Lancashire Oaks and the handicappers with the Old Newton Cup being the two main races on a competitive card. 

It was also a time of reflection with four time Betfair Chase winner Kauto Star sadly being put down during the week and a few people,myself included left one of the most popular and classiest steeplechasers of our time some flowers by his statue. 

 

Kauto Star,R.I.P.

 

1.45 Bet365 Handicap,Class 3,1m2f,3yo

Just a field of five and trainer Tom Dascombe got the first of his two winners here with Cymro bouncing back after a poor run at Epsom last month and he just clung on by a neck from the staying on Lord Ben Stack,the smaller field and slightly softer ground helped,he has a fair amount of improvement still in him. 

Lord Ben Stack was running on well,he was last sighted when outclassed in the Dante and can pick races up,maybe the Bell Ringer at Ripon in a few weeks will be his race,Subcontinent back in third looks to be handicapped to his best. 

2.15 Bet365 Lancashire Oaks,Group 2,1m4f,3yo+ Fillies and Mares

Five of this eleven strong field ran here over course and distance in last months Pinnacle Stakes and it was that form which was the best on offer today as the first three home ran in that race previous. 

Lucy Wadham gained her first big race win on the flat as Lady Tiana reversed the form with Pinnacle winner Miss Marjurie back in third and Lustrious putting in a PB for the season by being second. 

No doubt that Lady Tiana deserved a big win here,unlucky in running last month Graham Lee gave her a grand ride and some really valuable Black Type. 

The Filliy and Mare race at Ascot on Champions Day is looking like the intended target as she should get her soft ground, Lustrious was staying on well and could be a Park Hill type, Miss Marjurie ran well only a length beaten into third and should win more races, Jordan Princess in four ran well but she could be better come the second half of the season 

 

Lady Tiana

 

2.50 Bet365 Old Newton Cup,Class 2,1m4f,4yo+

Haydock Parks oldest race was taken over the border into Yorkshire as trainer Mark Johnston saddled a 1-2 here, Notarised who was quickly turned out after finishing down the field in last weekends Northumberland Plate landed the spoils just half a length ahead of stablemate Watersmeet. 

Notarised clearly thrives on his racing,it’s possible he could go to Goodwood for a big race but he stays further so the Ebor would be the most obvious target, Watersmeet is another busy horse and will be turning up at the big summer festivals too but 1m4f is about his limit trip wise. 

Back in third we had Farquhar who could also be Ebor bound as he was staying on nicely at the end too. 

3.25 Casino At Bet365.com Handicap,Class 4,5f,3yo

Only four here but Bapak Asmara easily took the spoils here,taking over from pace setter Snow Cloud he ran on readily here from his mark of 73,he is finally getting the hang of things and is going the right way. 

Snow Cloud back in second has won two races at Redcar so may be better should a race be found there. 

4.00 Bet365.com Conditions Stakes,Class 2,6f,3yo+

The second win of the afternoon here for Tom Dascombe as Angelic Lord ran on well despite being carried to the right by second placed and long time leader Intibaah to win by a length, Musical Comedy was a half length third. 

Angelic Lord found this company much easier than recent races,he is expected to improve a lot more next season, Intibaah was fifth in last years Champions Sprint and was runner up behind fifth placed Clear Spring in a similar race over  course and distance in May, he is lightly raced for a 5yo. 

Toofi back in four was making his seasonal debut here,he will come on for the run. 

4.35 Bet365.com Handicap,(Jockey Club Grassroots Flat Sprint Series Qualifier) Class 4,6f,3yo+

Bit of irony here as a race series designed to help the more lower league of racing owners and trainers had two horses running in the colours of Godolphin and Al Shaqab Racing, these poor struggling owners eh!

As for the race Fleixible Flyer flew to victory here under Silvestre de Souza,leading with 4f to go he ran on very readily indeed, the Ayr Silver Cup was mentioned as a target in September. 

Back in second spot was top weight Mukaynis,it would be no shock if he went to the final in September at Nottingham,New Strategy for Godolphin in third has tried all sorts of trips this season but off this run 7f might be his forte now. 

5.10 Bingo At Bet365 Handicap,Class 2,7f,3yo+

A top quality race here went the way of Above The Rest for apprentice Jordan Vaughan (5) and Tim Jarvis, travelling well he got the lead from Royal Seal in the last half furlong and held on by three parts of a length, Georgian Bay and Alejandro were back in third and fourth. 

Above The Rest got due compensation after being caught on the line at Doncaster last month which got his mark raised by 4lb, that raise proved to be justified here as he is clearly thriving and a 7f specialist,the big 7f race at Ascot on King George Day could be up next. 

Royal Seal is also a 7f horse and she will no doubt pick up something,owned by Cheveley Park they will expect some Black Type to be sought after. 
  
Some fine Summer Saturday racing then,highlight of the day had to be Lady Tiana taking the Lancashire Oaks for Lucy Wadham, she has had plenty of big race wins over jumps and Lucy fully deserved to take this race. 

Over the next few weeks we will have reviews from racing in Yorkshire and Para Athletics from London plus maybe something else if it can be found in the calendar. 

So until the next review,thank you and keep reading.