Haydock Park,Saturday 28th May 2016,Sandy Lane Stakes Day

The old saying “A week is a long time in politics” can often be used alongside the weather in racing as Saturday afternoon saw Haydock bathed in beautiful sunshine after last weekends downpour which drenched many a racegoer. 

Today was also a domination of northern racing with meetings at Chester,Catterick,Beverley and Carmel all offering something for racing fans to head to. 

Seven races on a very competitive card comprising of three Group races and four very tricky handicaps to try and decipher 


2.25 Free Bet At 188Bet.co.uk Handicap,Class 3,1m,4yo+ (0-90)

A battle of the Ryan’s in this competitive opener as Messrs Tate and Moore fought out a game finish requiring a photo with Tate just getting the nod as Ice Slice,winner of his last three races just got the nod by a head from Clotilde who was also a thrice winner this season coming into this event. 
Ice Slice took full advantage of his inside draw and led going into the turn,still ahead with 2f left,Tate began to get serious but those behind him couldn’t bridge the gap,Clotilde was running on and was an unlucky loser, Ice Slice does have a Hunt Cup entry and he would have a good a chance as any,Clotilde still looks ahead of the handicapper 

2.35 188Bet.co.uk Stakes (Pinnacle) Group 3,1m4f,4yo+ Fillies and Mares

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori clearly don’t stop believing in the talents of Journey as she picked up her first Group win here,runner up in the filly and mare race on Champions Day last year she had to work to get past leader Sweeping Up who set a fair pace and did keep on for second, Journey led over a furlong out and this will enhance her paddock value no problem. 

Journey looks to still be improving,winner of two listed races at Newmarket and Salisbury last year she was the classiest runner in the field,holding the highest rating she was expected to win and holds entries in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot and the Pretty Polly at the Curragh,it’s possible she may come here for the Lancashire Oaks and the Yorkshire one as this trip suits her more than 10f. 

Sweeping Up did her paddock value no harm here but may be better over further,Itish raider Lagankre back in fourth probably found this company a touch tougher. 


3.10 Timeform Jury Stakes (John Of Gaunt) Group 3,7f,4yo+

Home Of The Brave made it two from two this spring and followed up his Leicester Listed win but only just as he held off the fast finishing Convey by a neck. 

This horse loves his front running tactics which were used well at the Curragh last season until he got disqualified, the Hungerford and Lennox are the only feasible options unless a chance is taken in sprints or one possible idea mooted by trainer Hugo Palmer is a trip for 1m races in America, Convey clearly has ability and his time will come,he needs a small confidence win somewhere but he has class. 

Last months Sprng Trophy winner So Eloved was third,this company was much tougher than that race but he ran respectively,Bretton Rock who loves it here but would have preferred a softer surface. 

Home Of The Brave

3.45 188Bet Sandy Lane Stakes,Group 2,6f,3yo

Lots of quality on show here in the second running of this race in its new guise. 

One for the girls here with Quiet Reflection running out an impressive winner in some style under Dougie Costello who rode plenty winners here as a jump jockey but today recorded his biggest domestic win as a flat one, travelling behind the speed she struck the front 1f out and cleared away from runner up Donjuan Triumphant who in turn was involved in a blanket finish but got the verdict ahead of favourite Gifted Master and Buratino 

Next months Commonwealth Cup is surely the plan after this,she is full of speed and heart, Donjuan Triumphant stayed on well on unsuitable ground as he prefers it soft,Gifted Master tried to do it from the front but found this too tricky and a return to a stiffer course may suit, Buratino did lead with a furlong left before getting headed,he might do better in the second half of the season if given a break. 

4.20 Free Spins At 188Bet Casino Handicap,Class 4,6f,3yo (0-85)

A top notch 3yo sprint handicap with plenty of potential improves on show. 

Zebedaios from Brian Ellison’s yard followed up his Pontefract maiden win here,responding to Adam Kirby’s urgings he picked his way through the field and gamely beat Andar by a length ahead of Nisser, Mustallib and Dollar Reward all covered by 2.75 lengths 1st to 5th. 

Zebedaios probably won’t go to York for the big 6f race in two weeks but he is held in high regard, Andar is still a maiden on his sixth start here but runs an honest race as ever,Nisser got denied a clear run before staying on and maybe a step up to 7f will suit,Mustallib has plenty to offer despite being fourth. 

4.55 Mobile Betting At 188Bet Handicap,Class 4,1m2f,3yo

This was an ok race but not one to take the form on trust. 

Clayton Hall won his first race for new trainer Brian Ellsion since being switched from Richard Fahey and the experience of Kieren Fallon helped him land this as he had half a length in hand of runner up Daisy Bere. 

The winner could and should build on this now and his mark here of 72 will be workable after probably getting a 5-7lb rise, Daisy Bere tried to follow up a recent Nottinham win and she should win soon possibly in fillies races. 

5.30 Best Odds Guaranteed At 188Bet Handicap,Class 4,7f,3yo

A very useful race which should throw up more winners from it in the future. 

Ryan Moore made sure he didn’t leave Lancashire empty handed as Out And About began his 3yo campaign with some authority,making good headway past halfway he picked up well and ran on very well in the last furlong beating top weight Fighting Temeraire by a length ahead of George William and Maximian. 

Out And About is clearly ahead of the handicapper here,going in off 84 he’s a horse going places and should make into a nice type, Fighting Temeraire pulled a bit early and may be better back over 6f, George William looks to be a much improved horse at three and should pick some races up in the summer,Maximian should do the same too. 



Dollar Reward,3yo Colt trained by Sir Michael Stoute,5th in the 6f Hcap but has something in him

La Rioja,3yo Filly trained by Henry Candy,5th in the Sandy Lane,yard isn’t in great form but she should come on for the run. 

Next weekend it’s off to the Saturday evening meeting at Lingfield for racing of slightly lesser quality. 

Till then,Goodbye

Haydock Park,Saturday 21st May 2016,Temple Stakes Day

The rain gods answered the prayers for those wanting soft ground at Haydock Park as a huge downpour after 11am helped change the ground to Good to Soft,Soft in Places for the first big flat Saturday of the 2016 season  

For sports fans the North West was the place to be this weekend with the Great City Games and Manchester 10K,not to mention the international football taking place in the blue half of the city. 

Equine fans had plenty of tough handicaps and some pattern contests to get stuck into whilst managing to keep dry at the same time. 

1.55 Choice Teachers Handicap,Class 3,1m4f,3yo 

Red Verdon followed up his recent Chester win in emphatic style here as George Baker rode a very comfortable win,on the bit with 2f left he came home five lengths ahead from Rainbow Dreamer and was eased over the line 

Their looks to be plenty more to come from this winner and made his 88 mark a mockery,he has the look of a pattern horse for Ed Dunlop and is one for the notebook,it’s possible a trip to Royal Ascot is on the cards,Rainbow Dreamer back in second from the Alan King yard stayed on well. 

2.30 GPW Recruitment Handicap,Class 2,2m,4yo+ (0-100)

A reasonable staying race here with a couple of jumps trainers looking for a plunder but Tim Easterby and David Allan picked up a nice win here as My Reward jumped out and made all the running to win on his second start since leaving Lambourn for Malton, he came home 1.25 lengths ahead of Moscato from Sir Mark Prescott who ran a game race in defeat with the filly Vive Ma Fille  in third who could have been closer had she not been stuck in a pocket up the inside rail

My Reward had only won two 2yo races over 1m before this,he looked to benefit from the step up in trip which Tim Easterby had decided on this season,he could go for the Northumberland Plate or Ascot Stakes and eventually the Cesarewitch in the autumn, Moscato will have plenty jumps trainers salivating should he end up at the Sales towards the end of the season. 

My Reward

3.05 Silver Bowl Stakes (Hcap),Class 2,1m,3yo

Four non runners but a typically competitive running of this famous handicap. 

A photo and a stewards were needed before the Highclere mob could celebrate Garcia being given the verdict from Chief Whip in a thrilling crushendo up the Haydock straight. 

Both came through to lead in the last furlong and it was a real head bobber,on the head on Garcia did shift left but he had just enough to suggest he would have been the winner on merit,upped 6lbs from a win at Beverley last month he had to fight for this and should head off to Royal Ascot next for the Brittania as could runner up Chief Whip,these two look like decent milers with plenty of scope


3.40 EBF Stallions Cecil Frail Stakes,Listed,6f,3yo+ Fillies and Mares

Not quite in the same league as Dafne Schippers’ race in Manchester on the Friday evening but a good race anyway 

Jane’s Memory sprung a 20-1 shock here as she bounced back from a poor run at Chester to beat Ridge Ranger by half a length, she did have some black type already having been placed in a couple of Chantilly events as a 2yo,missing all of 2015 she took this like a fresh horse and could have more to offer providing this was no fluke. 

Ridge Ranger gave the winner 4lbs for a recent Nottingham win so in all fairness ran a game race in defeat and this run will only enhance her paddock value,Interception back in third could not keep with the front two but should come on for the run. 

4.10 Temple Stakes,Group 2,5f,3yo+

Eleven runners rated between 105 and 120 meant this was a high class renewal. 

All eyes were on the mare Mecca’s Angel,last seasons Nunthorpe winner had got the desired soft ground that she prefers. 

However she had to suffer the narrowest of defeats by a neck and a stewards by recent Palace House winner Profitable who just got on top to make it 2-2 this season in an enthralling finish,despite giving a slight bump to the runner up right towards the end he looked to have the edge and will no doubt be off to Royal Ascot for the Kings Stand,5f is his trip which showcases his best talent. 

Mecca’s Angel lost nothing in defeat but she is ground dependant,It’s possible that Royal Ascot won’t be on the cards but the big Autumn races could be ideal,Waady back in third ran very well on ground which was far from ideal. 

4.45 Walsh IBS Handicap,Class 3,6f,4yo+ (0-90)

A competitive sprint handicap which might have unveiled a nice sort in the offing as top weight Mehronissa picked up where she left off last season under Oisin Murphy,despite missing the break she moved from the near side group and moved into the centre and had a nice lead of a length ahead of Shipyard who was the first home of the far side group of seven. 

Mehronissa hadn’t been racing since winning over 6f at Newmarket in September,she has a bit more in her,connections will no doubt be after some black type,the Wokingham might be ambitious but something like the Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle on the AW might be an idea, Shipyard in second is weighted upto his best and 2lbs above his last winning mark. 


5.20 Racing UK Now In HD Handicap,Class 3,7f,3yo (0-95)

A competitive race on paper which became an all the way win for Calder Prince from the Tom Dascombe yard as he made all from box 6 under Richard Kingscote to score quite readily,fit from a spell in Dubai which included a third in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial he appreciated the return to handicaps and being allowed to front run, his mark of 94 here looks set to hit three figures now. 

Lagenda back in second place ran a game race,he will clearly benefit being moved up to a mile,Young John back in third has a race in him but might be better dropped back to 6f. 


Rainbow Dreamer,3yo trained by Alan King ran a fine second in the opener and he should be over hurdles in the autumn 

Moscato,5yo trained by Sir Mark Prescott,second in the 2m handicap will have lots of jumps trainers hoping they get him should he be sold  
Back at Haydock again next weekend,until then Goodbye

Haydock Park,Saturday 7th May 2016,Swinton Hurdle & ┬áSpring Trophy Day

The two codes came together on the only afternoon of mixed racing in the UK as the first big race of the new jumps season arrived on the scene with the Swinton Hurdle. 

Seven races were on the card with big field handicaps along with some tight looking Pattern events on the flat being on offer for the brave punters who had to switch the jumping and flat caps near enough every half hour. 

Down the straight

1.40 Pertemps Network Handicap,Class 3,1m,3yo (0-95)

A useful looking 3yo race which despite being very messy when some of the field bumped into each other around the bend resulted in a 1-2 for Richard Hannon. 

Shaiyem came into this race off the back of a good second at Lingfield over 7f,he relished the extra furlong and kept up to his work to beat stablemate Steel Of Madrid by 1.25 lengths,he did hang to his left so maybe headgear will help, he is still green and learning, Steel Of Madrid found this much easier than the Craven,both might come back in the Bowl here in two weeks time. 

2.15 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Swinton Hurdle) Grade 3,2m,9 flights,4yo+

Not a bad renewal of this famous handicap,the top weight was rated 149. 

Gwafa in the colours more known by former Derby winner Authorised duly went in on his handicap debut here,last spotted when unseating at Aintree last month he duly repaid his faith seen in him,leading over the second last hurdle his rider Richie McClernon got him to find more on the run in when the cavalry tried to swamp him after the last flight,he has plenty of ability to improve in this sphere,his flat mark of 92 also means he could pop to Royal Ascot in June for the Ascot Stakes. 

Runner up All Set To Go from the Paul Nicholls yard ran a credible race in defeat,he may end up being aimed for the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen, Ch’tibello in third ran honourably but maybe the Scottish Champion Hurdle win left its mark. 

Sadly Cheltenian was fatally injured after being pulled up jumping the sixth,condolences to all involved. 

2.45 Pertemps Network Spring Trophy,Listed,7f,3yo+

A wide open event with the seven runners rated between 105 and 113

Smooth is as smooth does for the David O’Meara trained So Beloved as he began his season in fine style here,tracking the front two he lead coming to the last furlong and ran out a ready winner, a winner of a Group 3 at Goodwood over 7f in the summer last year he will be in the big 7f,1m races and should pick nice bits of money up. 

Two lengths down in second spot was You’re Fired,a ready winner here last month over 1m he will be better back over that trip and lost nothing in defeat,Markaz back in third tends to need a few runs before he hits top form   

3.20 Pertemps Network Long Distance Handicap Hurdle,Class 2,2m7f,12 flights,4yo+

Jockey Aidan Coleman continues his flying start to the new campaign here as he produced Whataknight at the right time to secure this ultra competitive long distance hurdle,bang up the inside from flag fall he got the lead over the last and moved away very readily by five lengths from the second placed runner Minella Daddy  who in turn just got the edge over Lamool. 

Ex pointer Whataknight has had a fair season over hurdles,he will be chasing next season and should make into a decent staying chaser, Minella Daddy was staying on at the end,dropped 4lb from his recent start at Aintree he has plenty to offer,Lamool in third dos his usual make all tactics but will be better dropped back in trip. 

3.55 Pertemps Network Conditions Stakes,Class 2,6f,3yo+

Don’t Touch picked up where he left off last season as he resumed his progress by beating former Wokingham winner Baccarat by 1.25 lengths. 

Tracking the early pace he led with 75yds left and probably needed the run,rated 106 he should go over 110 after this,The Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot may be next up but he could be sent to France for some big sprint races too, Baccarat clearly bumped into a good one here but still retains his ability

Don’t Touch

4.30 Pertemps Network Intermediate Handicap Chase,Class 2,2m5f 64yds,18 fences,5yo+

A good looking chase although a few of the runners have had issues with their jumping. 

Javert found this much easier than his most recent outing at the Cheltenham Festival,taking over the lead after the fifth fence he made the rest under Daryl Jacob to score very comfortably by 4.5 lengths from Kilane and another 5 ahead from favourite Voix D’Eau. 

Lots to like about this horse,twice a winner on his two completed starts over fences he races better when up with the pace,he’s likely to go for a summer break before a crack at bigger pots,maybe the Paddy Power or the Sefton Chases will be on the radar, Kalane ran a fair race in defeat and she can improve a bit more,Voix D’Eau would have been DQd if this was show jumping given his errors over the last four fences. 


5.00 Pertemps Network Handicap Chase,Class 3,2m3f,15 fences,5yo+ (0-130)
A fair race,plenty of these came in under the grip of the handicapper. 

Purple N’Gold broke the heart of outsider Ballybogey as jockey Tom Scudamore galvanised him to get up by half a length, both were 12 lengths clear from Domtaline who would have been closer had he not made so many errors. 

Purple N’Gold was turned out pretty quick after finishing down the field at Kempton on Monday,he will probably be mixing between jumps and flat this summer, Balleybogey was really unlucky here and will be a regular at Southwell,Uttoxeter and Market Rasen this summer. 


Bell Heather,4th in the 1m Hcap,she will be better upped in trip. 

Next up here will be Temple Stakes Day in a fortnight unless anything this Saturday occurs. 

Till next time Goodbye

Doncaster Races,Saturday 30th April 2016

A real mix of horsepower in Doncaster as the Town Moor played host to a seven race evening card whilst in the town the people of Doncaster awaited the arrival of stage two of cyclings Tour De Yorkshire from Otley to Doncaster part of which included the race passing the racecourse down Bawtry Road and into the finish area just before the town centre

Seven races on a day which had all seasons going for it weather wise with sun,rain and wind combining to make for hardwork for horse and jockey alike. 

5.15 William Trueman Handicap,Class 5,6f110yds,3yo,(0-75)

A competitive race which should have plenty winners to come from it. 

Mywayistheonlyway was slow out of the gate but found plenty under Fergus Sweeney to just get his head in front of Willsy by half a length,having dwelt at the start he was switched to the outside of the pack and has the look of a fair type,he could be better at 7f too judging by the way he stayed on,his winning mark of 73 will certainly be much higher in a few races time, Willsy was unlucky in defeat and should get another chance. 

Sprinters return

5.45 Trueman Family Handicap,Class 3,6f,4yo+, (0-90)

Fifteen went to post but only one horse mattered as the Tim Easterby trained See The Sun scampered away from the gate and never saw another rival, he had to be kept up to his work with 1f left but even then runner up Soie D’Leau couldn’t bridge the 1.5 length deficit but had second place Brooke ahead of God Willing and Tiger Jim. 

See The Sun was back to his lowest winning Mark of 82 as a 2yo,he’ll be playing his trade in the usual Yorkshire sprint handicaps,Soie D’Leau came here off the back off a good second at Newmarket and has a bit of scope still,God Willing back in third still hasn’t added to his sole maiden win as a 2yo 

6.15 Doncaster Racecourse Welcomes Tour De Yorkshire Maiden Stakes,Class 5,6f,3-4yo

The cream readily rose to the top here and the Godolphin blue took this but only just for Charlie Appleby and Martin Lane as Maximian just repealed Foresight by the shortest of short heads. 

Both travelled well,Maximian took the lead with 2f to go then Foresight joined in but he just couldn’t get past the winner,the pair were five lengths ahead of second favourite Mazzini. 

Plenty to like about the winner,he should make into a very nice sprinter,Foresight who ran here on November Handicap day should find an easy maiden soon, Mazzini looks the type to do better when sent handicapping. 


6.45 Walter Crooks No Longer A Novice Stakes,Class 5,5f,2yo

Hugo Palmer who had already taken the 2000 Guineas this afternoon added to his tally as Afandem won very nicely on debut in what looked a no more than ordinary juvenile race. 

Close to the pace he ran on well and looked to know what the game is about he in turn dealt runner up Rusumaat a 3.25 length thrashing,hard to say where he could go,maybe a run in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot might be a target,back in third Northen Thunder from the Hannon yard showed he has a bit of ability

7.15 Wheatley Pallets Handicap,Class 2,7f,3yo,(0-105)

A double up for Godolphin on the Town Moor as Carrington began his 3yo campaign in style,like in the opener he missed the kick and had to be brought around the houses to get the better of Another Touch by half a length with Dream Mover behind in third spot. 

Another one with potential this season,going in off 87 he should be able to get 1m and could go to York for a good 7f race on Musidora day or maybe a crack at the Silver Bowl at Haydock,this is a race to keep an eye on 

7.45 1stSecuritySoloutions.co.uk Handicap,Class 4,1m6f132yds,4yo+,(0-85)
Braces Of Lochalsh gave Jim Goldie a nice raid on the English here as he was given a canny ride by Danny Tudhope, held up early he made his move down the long Doncaster straight and led just over a furlong out,he had to fight to get the better of runner up Rock On Bollinski by a head. 

Twice a winner over 1m5f at Ayr last summer this is about his best trip,he’s a hardy stayer and not afraid of a battle,Rock On Bollinski has winning form over this trip and 2m,he should win his share in the summer

Braes Of Lochalsh

8.15 SIS Apprentice Handicap,Class 4,1m4f,4yo+,(0-85)

The unexposed 4yo Desert Encounter picked up where he left off last season and took the victory in this fair looking handicap in his stride, travelling smoothly he was still on the bridle with 2f left and jockey George Buckell had a very easy victory here for trainer David Simcock, on a very workable mark of 82 there is definelty more to come from this winner who looks to have a big race in him during the summer,possibly a Cumberland Plate type or maybe even an Old Newton Cup

Craggaknock was over two lengths down in second place,he’s an early season type and should be winning soon

Last race runners


Dawaa,3yo trained by Mark Johnston was fourth in the 5th race,will do better when he gets the run of the race. 

Next racing on here will be Swinton Hurdle and Spring Trophy Day at Haydock on Saturday,the only mixed meeting in the UK