York Races, Friday 23rd August 2019, Ebor Festival, Coolmore Nunthorpe Day

Third Time Lucky For Battaash

Unlike the well known and famous highway man Dick Turpin, Battaash finally earned his redemption from the York crowd as at the third attempt he scorched up the famous Knavesmire sward to land the fastest Group One race in the country, the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes over the flying five furlong trip breaking his owner Hamdan Al Maktoum’s 1990 former winner Dayjur’s course record in the process.

In what looked a strong renewal on paper, the race was literally over at the 2f pole when Battaash breezed into the lead under Jim Crowley who released the hand brake and by then he easily put plenty of distance between him and the runner up Soldier’s Call with So Perfect behind him in third place.

Nobody could begrudge this horse his day in the sun finally, he is the best 5f horse in the country at the moment and looks set for a nice autumn campaign now with trainer Charlie Hills who himself deserves plaudits for brining the horse up on the day as opposed to the night before as in previous years to land the big pot.

A trip across to Ireland for the big 5f sprint at The Curragh on Champions Weekend is in the suggestion box along with the Abbaye at Longchamp and possibly a trip to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Big favourite for the race Ten Sovereigns was a few lenghts down in sixth but its highly likely the sharp 5f here didnt suit and should the ground be soft at Haydock for the Haydock Sprint Cup then he is highly likely to try and gain compensation in a fortnights time.

Banks A Million Stradivarius

As like last year Stradivarius pocketed his owner Bjorn Nielsen another £1,000,000 to his bank account when landing the Lonsdale Stakes over two miles and in the process getting his second victory in the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Million following his wins this summer in the Yorkshire,Ascot and Goodwood Cups respectively.

Only four turned out for this years race and Frankie kept the odds on favourite behind the early pace before moving Stradivarius to the stands side rail then asking him to go and win swooping past Il Paradiso to a hearty reception from the York crowd.

We already know Stradivarius is one of the best stayers seen in this country for a long time and this just proves it, he looks likely to be given a little break now and probably wont go to Doncaster but instead be saved for his season swansong at Ascot on Champions Day instead before his winter holiday and a chance to do it all again next season.

Il Paradiso ran a fine race in defeat and could be one of many Aidan O’Brien runners in next months St Leger, he is an improving stayer and should be even better next season as a 4yo, he is one for the tracker for sure.

Gimcrack Glory For Threat

A nice pot of just over £100,000 and some lose change plus a free meal at the December Gimcrack Dinner was picked up by the Newmarket based Chevley Park Stud as the Richard Hannon trained Threat demolished what looked a good quality field in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes over 6f with relative ease.

Bringing top class 2yo form to the table with silver medals in the Coventry and Richmond Stakes this summer, Threat was fully entitled to win this which he did very nicely from Lord Of The Lodge back in second place.

Newmarket will beckon now in October you would imagine with the Middle Park a more likely next outing before connections will decide wether to go for next seasons 2000 Guineas or head down the sprit division in 2020, he is bred to stay the mile although you never can tell until the spring just what will lie instore for him next season.

Molatham Maiden Over

Finally the countries most valuable maiden, the Convival Maiden over 7 furlongs for 2yo proved to be a thrilling contest and was just won by the Roger Varian trained Molatham who just edged out Celtic Art in yet another pulsating finish on the Knavesmire.

Runner up on his first start behind exciting Thursday winner Mums Tipple at Ascot he showed plenty of guts under Jim Crowley to go one better and should prove to be a nice type next season, as for his next outing its possible a nice little novice somewhere could be sought after before a step up in grade but he looks a real battler in the making.

This race should throw up a few winners in time and is one to keep an eye on.

Round Up

It’s easy to say that Yorkshire has had possibly the best week of sport it as ever held for obvious reasons and that the Ebor Festival remains the peoples flat festival and the crowds flocked to this famous expanse of turf to enjoy some of the finest racing on offer.

Next up in a couple of weeks the roadshow moves on to Haydock for the three day Sprint Cup Festival, till then goodbye

Haydock Park, Saturday 10th August 2019, Rose Of Lancaster Stakes Day

Lancaster Glory For Haggas

The colour may have been red as opposed to his native white but on a stellar afternoon for Yorkshire born and Newmarket based William Haggas he was riding on cloud nine after Addeybb picked up his second win of the season when landing the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes in decent style in what looked in all honesty a fairly average renewal.

Successful in the Wolferton at the Royal meeting he found one too good at York last month but this will have put him back on track as he powered his way through the Haydock mud on what was a testing afternoon for horses, jockeys, stable staff and racegoers as the rain lashed down for most of the day.

Picking up his 7th career win he looks sure to be stepped up in grade again and was given a peach of a ride from top Haydock jockey Richard Kingscote, back in second was Pondus who looks to be going the right way and will certainly have more to offer as a 4yo.

As for Addeybb a Group 2 somewhere may be next, possibly a trip to France may suit as he loves soft ground unless a step up in trip for something like the Cumberland Lodge at Ascot in October or maybe the September Stakes at Kempton may be at the forefront of the trainers thoughts.

Murphy At The Double

Oisin Murphy had a couple of winners to keep himself at the top of the flat jockeys table during the afternoon.

His first one came on the afternoons opening contest when he bagged the golden highway down the stands side rail in the 1m handicap for 3yo when Barossa Red finally shed his maiden tag for trainer Andrew Balding, consistent this season without winning he kept up the gallop when picking up to lead with a furlong to go and looks like he will easily stay further, winning in the colours of Another Bottle Racing 2 it was definitely a case of a few bottles would have been opened in celebration.

Murphy’s biggest winner of the two came in the Listed Dick Hern Stakes also over 1m as Miss O’Connor made the step up from novice to listed class very easily as she followed up her recent Nottingham win 9 days before in fairly decent style to maintain her unbeaten record.

Getting some black type in early will have certainly pleased her owners Lael Stable and the next step will be to find some more and all being well with her that wont be a problem and she remains one to keep onside as she progresses.

Best Of The Rest.

Arguably one of the other eyecatching performances of the day came in the 6f Duke Of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry Handicap as Last Empire routed a field of far more experienced sprint handicappers pretty readily under Sam James for trainer Kevin Ryan.

A dual winner at Hamilton this season after making her course debut here in October last year, Last Empire easily made light of her opening handicap mark of 80 and looks to have plenty of ability in her to say the least with gaining black type the main objective, she is one to keep in the trackers

Our next review will be in a fortnight or so when we pop across the Pennines to York for the Nunthorpe on day three of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Till then goodbye

Thirsk Races, Saturday 3rd August 2019, William Hill Thirsk Summer Cup Day

Wow Wow Wow Wow for Carr

It was pretty fair to say that Stillington based trainer Ruth Carr was spinning around the Thirsk winners enclosure yesterday, first up when Poyle Vinnie took the Stewards’ Cup Consolation race down at Goodwood and secondly when Kylie Rules was anything but slow as she resumed winning ways in taking Thirsk’s feature race of the afternoon in the 1m Summer Cup.

Already a four time winner at Beverly this season it had appeared that the handicapper had her measure but she stayed on really well no doubt to the delights of her owners who most definitely had their hands on their hearts in the last half furlong as she reeled in Lord Of The Rock to land the spoils.

Expect her to be aimed at a bigger target from this with her mark of 81 expected to move up a few more lbs but she remains in excellent form, its just a case of in form trainer Ruth Carr making sure shes got to be certain of getting the right race in mind.

Remembering Laura

Arguably the best story of the day came up in the 1m Novice Stakes for 3yo named in memory of jockey Laura Barry who sadly passed away last year from cancer the day before she was meant to be getting married, attached to the Richard Fahey yard she had a career in the saddle that yielded 18 winners from 193 rides.

Poignantly it was her former guvnor Richard Fahey who saddled the winner with the filly Eva Maria under Paul Hanagan winning the race very nicely in the Gredley colours and looks one to keep in the notebook for the rest of the season finishing four lenghts ahead of Critical Time, she will stay further than this mile trip with connections hopeful of getting some valuable black type for her.

Critical Time back in second now qualifies for handicaps and should pick one up sooner rather than later as will Beauty Of Deira back in fifth spot.

In the winners enclosure lots of Laura’s family and friends were on hand to make the presentation with a couple of them shedding a few tears given the circumstances but they all did her proud and hopefully some of them had a few quid on the winner.

Rest Of The Card

Shawaamekh continued his rise up the weights under David Nolan to bag the valuable 7f Tomahawk Handicap, in what looked a competitive event despite only 8 of the 15 runners having actually won over this trip the lightly raced 5yo making only his ninth career start he is still improving as time goes on.

In the 2yo race over 5f that began the card, Karl Burke unveiled a nice sort in Wonderwork who near enough made all under Clifford Lee to win pretty nicely, this Night Of Thunder colt looks all speed and while probably something like a race at York’s Ebor Meeting might be too soon something like the Ripon 2yo Trophy could come under active consideration next time out.

A sunny afternoon was had by a good crowd in Yorkshire with the plaudits definitely going to Ruth Carr having two big winners up and down the country here at Thirsk and down at Goodwood which was great to see.

Next up is Haydock this Saturday for the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes, till then goodbye.