Haydock Park, Saturday 25th September 2021, Betway Summer Season Finale

Quite unusual for Haydock we had good to firm ground going into the last Saturday flat meeting of the season which produced some small fields which isn’t quite a shock to be fair and while the card didn’t have any black type races there was a mix of trappy Haydock handicaps and some 2yo races for punters to solve on a warm early autumn afternoon.

Dammej Limitation

Mondammej has had a very busy September with winning here last month when taking the Be Friendly Handicap then after a two week gap in which he was down the field in the Portland he boucned back to form with a real rattle as he just got up to get the better of speedy rival Copper Knight.

Copper Knight as expected on this very fast surface bounced out and the race nearly looked like it was Malton bound for Tim Easterby, however Cam Hardie was getting a real tune out of Mondammej who got past him in the last 50 yards to get the better of him once again.

These two are typical northern sprint handicappers and doubtless both will head to York next month for their valuable 5f handcap, expect them to be battling it out once again.

Mondammej

Golden Nugget For Hannon

After missing most of the summer Nugget picked up where he left off by just landing the 1m handicap under PJ McDonald but its was very close.

In what looked a tight race on paper despite only six runners Nugget whose previous three wins had all been on straight miles got to the front but couldn’t shake off the attentions of third placed Latest Generation and runner up Afaak who very nearly landed the spoils.

Nugget has improved plenty this season most notably when landing the Spring Cup at Newbury back in the spring, taking this off 101 this entire will almost certainly go up in grade although next months Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day will doubtless be a target.

Knight Wins For Knight

Visually the most impressive winner of the afternoon came in the 1m6f handicap as the Sir Mark Prescott trained Summer’s Knight cruised home as he resumed winning ways following his recent effort in the Melrose.

Already a winner of four races this year he found the York race a bit too much but against some very exposed horses he made light work off his 88 rating to land this nicely.

Like many others he will no doubt end up at the sales and the jumping trainers will queueing up like the many idiots who queue up outside Next on Boxing Day to try and grab a bargain for the winter season, he is a horse worth sticking in the trackers.

2yo Races

It was hats off at Haydock and no doubt up at Balmoral Castle the dubonet and gin was poured very quickly as Educator broke his maiden tag at the third time of asking when winning the 1m novice race for juvenile colts and geldings although the line just came up in time for him from the fast finishing debutant Asean Legend.

He holds an entry in the Futurity at Doncaster but that may be a bit much and William Haggas could be better off finishing him for the season and going down the handicap route next season in middle distance races which is where his future most certainly will lie.

In the fillies race for the youngsters we saw an impressive all the way win for Kick On Girl from the George Scott yard who made all to win in what looked a pretty decent contest, she found the step up in trip to 1m no trouble and should make into a good 3yo in 2022.

So another year of flat racing is at an end here, although due to recent events it has been a much shorter one than normal it’s still been great to be back on course after like many being confined to barracks in unsual circumstances.

All being well in October we will be back racing over the sticks and i look forward to you joining me on the journey for that.

Haydock Park, Saturday 4th September 2021, Betfair Sprint Cup Day

Cup Glory For Ryan

It begins briefly in Golborne and crosses over where Sandy Lane ends and Harvey Lane starts but that was probably not to the knowledge of Andrea Atzeni as he picked up his first win and gave trainer Kevin Ryan his second win as Emaraaty Ana landed the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup by the shortest of short heads in pulsating fashion.

Run on ground which for the first time in quite a while on this day was Good to Firm, he used his speed to good effect and had red hot favourite Starman in a bit of trouble as he had to be cajoled along to bridge the gap and while the deficit was being eaten away at very quickly the line came just in time for Emaraaty Ana to land the spoils.

This looked a fair renewal but probably not a top class one, the winner looks set for an autumn trip to the Breeders’ Cup, while Haydock isn’t known as “Where the turf meets the M6”, Del Mar which goes by the saying “Where the turf meets the surf” will be the next stop for Emaraaty Ana on her travels.

Starman lost nothing in defeat and certainly saved the bookies from a big payout on an afternoon where many favourites got turned over, he should probably have his season finale at Ascot on Champions Day where he will take all the beating provided he hasn’t gone over the top by then.

Atzeni On Fire At Haydock

Andrea Atzeni had a fine afternoon on Merseyside and picked up the other two black type races on the day for the thoroughbreds.

In the opening race, the Ascendant Stakes for 2yo he had a lovely win on Triple Time for Kevin Ryan as he won in the manner of a decent horse, only four may have turned up but he took up the running after a furlong of this 1m contest and had the race put to bed fairly easily, keen early on he probably is better going from the front.

Holding a Royal Lodge entry at Newmarket in a few weeks time he will almost certainly be aimed at the 2000 Guineas next spring.

Artistic Rifles was the other winner of the Atzeni treble as the 5yo continued his run of fine form by making all to win the G3 Superior Mile.

In what was probably not a strong looking race for the grade this very likeable horse won very readily for trainer Ed Bethell who trains in North Yorkshire but wasn’t present due to being at a wedding in Ireland but he’d have had a little portable tucked away although hopefully not making a noise when the vicar asked about the objections to the wedding taking place!

Dubai has been touted as to where he could head over the winter and that would be a good call for this horse who seems to like hearing his hooves rattle on the turf.

Arabian Glory For Marquand

Arabian racing made it’s debut at Haydock Park with the Group 3 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Cup over 1m which went to the way of the favourite in Bayan Athbah trained by top arabian trainer Philip Collington under Tom Marquand

Hard to digest the form of this race but they went a decent enough clip as Abiyah Athbah made the early pace and was still in with a shout getting to the business end, the favourite did have a spot of traffic problems but got out and came through in the end and showed her class to win.

A reasonably good afternoon then in what for once was summerlike conditions.

It was certainly an afternoon where the bookmakers were on top with plenty well fancied horses being beaten but as some of the major summer flat festivals like Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood took place on soft and sometimes heavy going it was probably no shock to see things like this happen as plenty horses finally got the going they had been waiting for all season.

Without a doubt the addition of the arabian race was nice to see and who knows maybe in the future more can be added to future race days here and it helped provide a new challenge for those of us who don’t really follow the scene that much but they were very welcome indeed.

Till next time, Goodbye