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.
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.