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

Haydock Park, Saturday 7th August 2022, Rose Of Lancaster Stakes Day

Fox Power To Lancaster Glory

Just like the 2015-16 Premier League season which saw Leicester City crowned Champions, trainer Andrew Balding continued his assault on the top of trainers title with Foxes Tales topping up the prize money by adding £36648 to the coffers with a hard fought win in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes.

Run on what became heavy ground as were almost all races due to persistent rain showers Foxes Tales has had a steady season winning a maiden at Newbury and a handicap at Royal Ascot, he was one of first off the bridal under Silvestre De Sousa but kept finding for pressure and the 3yo just held on from the strong finishing Fancy Man by three parts of a length.

Foxes Tales is one of those likeable types and has been brought along nicely by his trainer, still with more to offer he could end up Ascot bound in October and given the likely conditions they’ve had over the years on Champions Day where he would have a good chance as any but should stay in training next year as he looks the sort to make a high quality middle distance 4yo.

Fancy Man back in second ran a far better race than he has all season and travelled well before being asked, he looked to stay 1m2f and might even get furthern in time.

Waliyak In Hern Romp

Waliyak took full advantage of the decimated field for the Listed Dick Hern Stakes to easily land the spoils and justify favouritism for the Roger Varian and Jack Mitchell combination.

Rated 98 she was fully entitled to win this race and unlike at Royal Ascot where she was giving weight away to Lola Showgirl, both faced off on levels and Waliyak relished the soft conditions she gained some valuable black type and no doubt the Varian yard will be perusing the race book to seek some more out to add to her eventual paddock value, the Superior Mile here on Sprint Cup day would be a reasonable target unless the cards at York or Goodwood towards the middle and end of August have something more suitable.

This race was depleted with six of the originally declared runners being taken out on account of the ground but take nothing from the winner, she could only beat what turned up and that did include a Royal Ascot winner too.

McCain Flat Raid

Songstress Rihanna might not be short of a few bob but this afternoon if she’d have opened a stall at the back of the Makerfield Stand selling brollies shouting out “By my Umbrella ella ella” as she did in her 2007 hit single “Umbrella” (Many were certainly needed here!) then she could have easily had a few quid on Russco and cheer home the Donald McCain trained horse under her daughter Ella with chants of “Come On Ella,Ella,Ella” who landed one of the 7f handicaps that book ended the card.

Having landed his two previous races over 7f down the M6 at Wolverhampton it’s clear this step up in trip has brought out the best in Russco who landed this off a recent 7lb rise to 70, the handicapper hasn’t quite got to him yet and he’s a nice fun horse for his owners.

This was also Ella McCain’s third win from fifteen rides at Haydock and with some real high quality northern handicaps coming up in August and September hopefully many trainers will use her current 5lb claim.

Elsewhere on the card the popular Middleham Park Owners were heard in fine voice as Cold Stare bounced back to form in the 3yo+ handicap over 7f, what looked a competitive race on paper turned out to be just that as he managed to hold on from the fast finishing Edgewood back in second.

He was winning here on 85 which was 4lbs off his last winning mark of 89 back at Goodwood last year and has won one race each season since his racing career began back in 2017 so now it is time to avoid him until next year unless he defies his current trend and goes in again before the season is done with.

So not the best weather for summer flat racing although Foxes Tales is certainly one to keep on side, Andrew Balding is having a real go at what looks a wide open champion trainers title and wuth the top six past the £2,000,000 mark it should make for a pulsating run upto Champions Day in October

Next up we go on our travels as Nunthorpe Day at York will be the first post lockdown awayday, till then it’s goodbye.

Haydock Park, Saturday 22nd May 2021, Casumo Temple Stakes Day

Finally after a long fifteen month absence during which the world as we know it had a bit of fisticuffs with a virus that could potentially have wiped humanity off the face of the earth, racegoers finally returned to the North West as Haydock Park opened the gates to a decent seven race card on day two of the second May meeting.

Beach Asscends To Temple Summit

John Quinn has been no stranger to the Haydock winners enclosure in recent years and this afternoon proved no exception as his 4yo filly Liberty Beach put in a power packed performance to land the feature G2 Temple Stakes over 5f, straight out from the stalls she was head down and went through the soft Haydock ground at full pelt, she did have to fend off the attentions of Ainsdale in the last half furlong or so but the line just came in time win by a diminishing neck.

Liberty Beach,2021 Temple Stakes

She will most definitely head off to the Royal meeting next month for a face off with Battaash in the Kings Stand and while she has a few lengths to make up on him from Goodwood last year she will give a good account of herself but ground wise Liberty Beach definitely prefers some juice in the ground, Longchamp in October will also be another main aim for her in the autumn.

Ainsdale back in second was very unlucky not to get up on the line just going down by a neck and can certainly take a hand in the big sprints this year although going off this race he will be far better at 6f.

Rohaan Hits The Note In Sandy Lane

To those probably of a more younger generation Rohaan is a musician from Manchester whose links to his very good tunes can be found here in this link https://linktr.ee/rohaanmusic

On the equine front Rohaan was very lucky not have been robbed of the Sandy Lane Stakes as he made it a second turf win of the season just hanging on from the fast finishing Dragon Symbol in a thrilling finish.

David Evans is always someone who can produce a quality horse when given one and Rohaan was following up from his recent win in the G3 Pavilion Stakes at Ascot, sadly he isn’t eligible for the Commonwealth Cup due to being a gelding but other options will certainly be available later on with possibilities of the Wokingham and the Jersey Stakes being mentioned in dispatches.

Rohaan, 2021 Sandy Lane Stakes

Jack Bowls Perfect End In Bowl

Haydock’s Silver Bowl is always a competitive race for three year olds and this years proved to be just that as Roger Varian landed his second winner of the meeting here with Raadobarg who made his handicap debut a winning one with an excellent win in the race, always going kindly in the heavy ground he put the race to bed in the last two furlongs keeping runner up Seasett firmly at bay.

Already a winner of two novice events at Leicester and Thirsk this term Raadobarg is clearly worth more than this winning mark of 88 and will be in the mid 90s for sure when he gets reassessed, Royal Ascot looks to be his next stop for the Brittania should the rain keep itself in the UK and still being an entire some black type will be sought after too.

Raadobarg, Silver Bowl winner

As for the best of the rest, Oisin Murphy rode a double on the day in the first two races, in the opening 1m4f handicap for 3yo he rode Classic Lord to victory in what looked a tight race then thirty minutes later performing miracles to get Molls Memory on the line in the 7f handicap and in the staying handicap over 2m jockey Jason Hart who was successful in the Temple Stakes landed the spoils on Frankenstella.

For sports fans from this part of the world though it was just good to be back on a racecourse again, it will be a long way till full normality is resumed but with the vaccination programme going great guns at the moment then come mid summer more people will be allowed to dig out the summer dresses and smart suits which for most of 2020 were all stuck in hibernation and saw less daylight than Count Dracula on a summer holiday in Ibiza!

Providing the weather stays good after a deluge that sent the local animals down to the local DIY centre to start building a big ship and put an advert out for experienced sailors, we will be back at Haydock next Saturday afternoon, till then goodbye and it’s just sooo good to be back!

Haydock Park,Sprint Cup Day,Saturday 7th September 2013

The big flat meeting of the whole season at Haydock,some think of the whole year but anyone with a bit of intelligence will tell you that the big one of the year is of course the Lancashire Chase in November

The sun was out occasionally here but it was also pretty overcast with an odd drop of rain and wind which made it feel more like National Hunt conditions rather than summer flat which brought a few non runners out including making the Old Borough Cup a 14 runner handicap as opposed to a 16 runner one.

Card wise this was excellent quality,Four competitive handicaps mixed in with Three pattern races comprising of Group One,Three and Listed class.

2.05 The Betfred Mobile Be Friendly Handicap 5f,3yo+ (86-100)

A tricky looking handicap on paper with many looking for a return to form and with bigger races in the next few weeks such as the Portland at Doncaster and the Gold,Silver and Bronze Cups at Ayr (Why not have a Copper one too!) a few of these could be going their no doubt.

It was a back to form win for a Confessional who this back in 2010 and only had a win at Chester last year since,winning off 94 he was 1lb lower today and that seems to be his mark,Harrison George was only a length in second and is not finished with yet and order was firmly put in place as Jedward was right down in third last,it’s not only in music but in horse racing that Harrison George is rated much better than Jedward!

2.40 The Betfred.Com Superior Mile,1m,3yo+ Group Three.

So far the only top quality miler i have seen was David Weir in the Olympic Stadium back in July but this is a race that’s slowly increasing in Group quality and surely will be a Group Two in a few years time but with the field rated from 95 to 115 this was a nice renewal with a mixture of horses going up in class and some coming down to try and pick some black type up.

The red hot favourite in this was the Richard Hannon trained Montridge,a 3yo who has been slowly climbing the ranks during the year.

However it was a 22-1 shocker here as Top Notch Tonto from Brian Ellison took the prize to Malton under a canny ride from Dale Swift who got his first Group winner as a jockey with Anna’s Pearl who made most of the early running fading as Hay Dude who has a real liking for Haydock stayed on into second place with Gabriel who always gives his best back in third spot.

Montridge was very keen early and struggled to pick up when needed but could be better going up in trip to 10f in time while the winner is improving from handicap company but could be tricky to place after this and may find himself going to France for races unless the Cambridgeshire becomes the next port of call.

3.15 The Betfred ‘Goals Galore’ Old Borough Cup Handicap,1m6f,3yo+(0-105).

Always a competitive race which is like division two of the Ebor,quite a few well fancied horses turned up for this long distance event which was run a good pace from gates opening.

It was a decent pace set by Scatter Dice and Clowance Estate until both were headed in the last furlong or so by eventual winner Platinum who continues his fine run of form and took this prize from Clowance Estate who is very lightly raced on what was only his sixth career start and could be tapped up by a few jumping trainers as he looks the type to leap timber while the big gamble of the race Pallasator could only finish third but was running on at the finish.

Platinum will no doubt end up in the Cesarewitch and will be in with a fighting chance in the Newmarket marathon

3.50 The Betfred Sprint Cup,6f,3yo+,Group One.

The feature flat race of Haydock Park’s year and the question one everyone’s mind was could Lethal Force follow up from his Group One wins at Royal Ascot and Newmarket,this was a truly international sprint with runners from England,Scotland,Ireland and South Africa taking part in this race.

During the week Society Rock had a nasty head injury and was ruled out and Reckless Abandon was also an absentee which did take the shine off but it was still a cracking looking contest.

In the end it was Ireland’s year as Gordon Lord Byron under a Johnny Murtagh ride took the contest keeping over on the far side from Slade Power who was staying on in second but was three lengths down while Hoof It ran a P.B. for 2013 back in third and seems to be coming back to something near his best.

The eye catching run for me came from Garswood who was running on late into sixth place after a tardy start but will be suited over 7f next season and maybe Longchamp could be his next race as that seems the logical option.

Lethal Force was prominent but soon weakened and came ninth,the ground could have been against him in this,wether or not he goes to Ascot or Santa Anita is another thing.

4.25 The Betfred “Treble Odds On Lucky 15’s” Nursery Handicap,6f,2yo

An odds on turned over here as Musical Comedy owned by The Queen got floored by Kickboxer who just hung on by a neck to win with Belayer in third position.

Musical Comedy was very green in the paddock but is still improving and will be better once he grows up a bit while Kickboxer is a very tough and genuine horse and could gain another win before the seasons out.

5.00 The Betfred TV Stakes (Ascendant Stakes) 1m,2yo,Listed.

Only five went to post for this contest which had a first prize of £11363 to the winner and for an early evening/late afternoon race the crowd were treated to two great displays of riding from Richard Hughes and Gerald Mosse from France as Chief Barker and Chriselliam fought tooth and nail up the straight in the last half furlong with Chief Barker giving a much needed change of luck on the day for Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes just prevailing by a neck.

Chief Barker is on the upgrade and will be much better suited by further as a 3yo and has multiple Group One entries,he could end up either in the Royal Lodge or the Racing Post Trophy.

5.30 The Betfred Double Delight Hat Trick Heaven Handicap,1m6f,3yo (81-100)

A cracking finale here with a last race double for Richard Hughes on Nearly Caught who like a few of these was trying a new trip after winning at Kempton over 1m3f last time out.

Lemon Pearl set the early fractions until getting headed over 2f out and the winner took over despite drifting markedly to his right he kept going and stayed on stoutly to hold off Alwilda from Sir Mark Prescott’s who is a tough battle hard filly and remains open to more improvement while Renew back in third is probably better over 1m4f.

Some nice stayers in here who could be challenging in Group events next season.

A cracking afternoons racing at Haydock,racegoers treated to some nice finishes here,the start act was no doubt Gordon Lord Byron in the big sprint and the end of the Ascendant Stakes showed the quality of Richard Hughes and Gerald Mosse at their very best.

Just two more days on the flat for me for this year,In a fortnights time it is off to Catterick then Haydock again the week after.

Below,Be Friendly,First ever winner of the Sprint Cup,Winners Trophy and Old Borough Cup

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Haydock Park,Rose of Lancaster Day,Saturday 10th August 2013

After the past few weeks of travelling to Yorkshire,London and Scotland it was great to be much closer to home at my local course for a change. 

 A mixed day of being overcast with sunny spells was the order of the day here with a seven race card to be enjoyed on the third day of the newly rebranded August Festival. 
 
The quality was pretty decent considering this meeting falls Inbetween Glorious Goodwood and the York Ebor meeting and it attracted a good selection of riders here today including a three pronged contingent from Ireland of Johnny Murtagh,Joseph O’Brien and Pat Smullen who all got rides due to there not being any flat racing in Ireland today just an evening jumps fixture at Kilbeggan. 
 
1.45 The Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap Stakes, 1m,3yo+ (76-95)
 
This was a qualifier for the London Mile Series the final of which is held next month at Kempton which of course will be a right handed mile on polytrack where as this was being run left handed on turf still that’s British racing for you!
 
It was Graphic who ran out a ready winner here to record a two length win over Ascription under a good ride from Joseph O’Brien who made his first ever ride at Haydock Park a winning one, always well to the fore he went on with two furlongs to go and recorded his first win since 2011, the final at Kempton could be next with maybe the Cambridgeshire a likely target as he is likely to go up from this rating of 82. 
 
2.20 The Betfred Prices on Goals Galore Handicap Stakes,1m2f 95yds,3yo+ (86-105)
 
A wide open looking handicap on paper and a bookies benefit in the end, the favourite was the Mark Johnston trained Sennockian Star who has bee very consistent this season with never being out of the first two of ten of his eleven starts prior to today and he was in the runners up spot after having the winning pot grabbed from him in the last half furlong by Robin Hoods Bay who obliged at 25-1 and ironically kept the rich bookmakers richer. 
 
This winner has won five races all on the polytrack and did have useful form in the winter most notably being runner up in the Winter Derby, going in off 101 connections will feel that Dubai will be the best place to go in the winter unless France hold some good events on there artificial surfaces. 
 
The runner up is not finished with yet and is very tough while Educate back in third needs dropping a few pounds possibly. 
 
2.55 The Betfred Rose of Lancaster Stakes,1m2f 95yds,3yo+,Group Three. 
 
All eyes were on Telescope here,one time Derby hope in the winter but missed the race after a lacklustre gallop at Lingfield he won an egg and spoon race at Leicester and came here with a huge reputation to live up to as he took on older horses in this trappy looking Group Three contest. 
 
 
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Area Fifty One set the pace until overtaken with two furlongs to go by David Livingston under Johnny Murtagh who battled on to take the victory with Telescope back in second by one length and he in turn just hung on from Noble Mission in third spot. 
 
This was a confidence boosting win for David Livingston,formerly a decent 2yo for Aidan O’Brien he is trained by Mike de Kock in South Africa but has raced in Britain this season,fifth in the Royal Hunt Cup and fourth in the Gala Stakes at Sandown this win was much needed and he can go on from this and will be upped in grade no doubt, Telescope still has ability but will be better as a 4yo in the major middle distance events so he is not one to write off just yet while Noble Mission is consistent and could be better over 1m4f. 
 
One interesting note to this race is that the first three were all sired by Galileo. 
 
3.25 The Betfred/E.B.F. Stallions Dick Hern Fillies Stakes,1m,3yo+ Fillies and Mares,Listed Race
 
A chance for some much needed Black Type here and it was a seasonal debut success for Amazonas from Ed Dunlops yard with Pat Smullen on board to defeat Reyaadh by a neck with short priced favourite Ultrasonic back in third position. 
 
Amazonas had some fairly good 2yo form and finished off last season being third in the Group One Fillies Mile at Newmarket, she will come on for this run a lot and was very gutsy in the last furlong, no doubt Amazonas will be targeting some bigger pots from this with Longchamp being a target no doubt and a step up to 1m2f will be happening sooner. 
 
Ultrasonic is a tricky customer and will probably make you poorer a lot easier than getting you richer but she always runs an honest race. 
 
4.00 The Betfred Double Delight Nursery,5f,2yo 
 
Again like in the other two nursery races I’ve seen this year it’s hard to equate the form but this was a case of bottom weight beating the top one as Touch the Clouds took his third win on the bounce from top horse Suzi’s Connoisseur by half a length. 
 
Only five went to post here but the winner is still improving while the rest are consistent in their form.  
 
4.30 The Betfred Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry Handicap Stakes,6f,3yo+ (51-70)
 
A poor looking race which really had no business being on a card like today but a race is a race and while this was run over the same course and distance as next months Group One Sprint Cup it’s fair to say none of these will be taking part. 
 
Ambitious Boy bounced back to form here under Tom Queally to hold off favourite Rich Again by 0.75 lengths with Holy Angel in third while Southwell specialist Pull the Pin ran a respectable fourth. 
 
Ambitious Boy is lightly raced and still has improvement in him while Rich Again is proving a tricky customer this summer. 
 
5.05 The Betfred ‘Hat Trick Heaven’ Levy Board Handicap Stakes,1m4f,3yo. 
 
A cracking looking race as far as last races go,this could be a feature on a midweek card it looked that good. 
 
Some lovely types on show here and it was one for the bookies as Glenard took the spoils under Mickael Barzalona from Renew in second position by a very short head while Salutation who you may remember won the Ripon Bell Ringer last month was an honourable third. 
 
Glennard deserved his big payday, he has improved in his races this year and took his first win on what was his fifth start of the season, a few of these could be Melrose bound at York or aimed at late season prizes. 
 
One thing which I think will happen is that Big Thunder who is trained by Sir Mark Prescott will be fought over like mad by the jumps brigade should he end up at the sales in October, he looks like he could jump a hurdle plus he is a gelding so I’d keep an eye on him. 
 
 
A nice days racing, of course the main talking point was all about Telescope who came in with a huge reputation but will no doubt be much better as a 4yo as I alluded to in the review of that race. 
 
The next meeting after this will be at Beverley at the end of the month with the feature being the Listed Beverley Bullet over 5f. 
 
In the meantime I hope to get to a football match before that hopefully on the 24th with a non league game being the most likely to be covered. 
 
Until then goodbye. 
 
 
 

Haydock Park,Lancashire Oaks and Old Newton Cup Day,Saturday 6th July 2013

A gorgeous sunny afternoon here at Haydock,so warm that before racing I purchased a new Panama hat to make up for the one that got swiped from my head last year when being passed by a minibus full of ejits who don’t deserve to be allowed on a racecourse and really should know to behave in modern society. 

 
Anyway rant over,today saw the 216th running of what is one of Haydocks signature flat handicaps of the season and always a useful contest to watch with traditionally big fields over the tricky 1m4f course here at Haydock. 
 
Below a collection of some of the various Old Newton Cups. 
 
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Today was also featuring the Lancashire Oaks which is now a Group Two race and this race has been run at Haydock since its inception in 1978 apart from the 2007 running which was run at Newmarket by Turbo Linn after Haydock was waterlogged.  
 
Seven races on the card for the huge crowd here today who were welcomed by the Haydock Band who were knocking a few tunes out to entertain racegoers as they made there way in. 
 
Below the Haydock Band. 
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1.45 The Casino at bet365.com Handicap Stakes,5f,3yo 66-85
 
Only six went to post in what was a very competitive handicap and the victory went to Smart Daisy K who led in the last half furlong to record a 1.75 length win from Holley Shiftwell in second and Dusty Storm in third. 
 
This looked a useful race and expect some winners to come out of it as it has the look of a race that will throw up future winners during the season. 
 
2.20 The bet365.com Conditions Stakes,6f,3yo+
 
Just the six in what was a real mixed bag of horses,most of the field looked out of form and in need of a confidence boost to kick start their 2013 campaign. 
 
It was a strong drive from Kieren Fallon which got Louis the Pious up on the line to deny Masamah who made almost of all the running by a short head after a photo finish which the judge sorted out.  
 
The finish was a bit reminiscent of the 2012 National in that the winner only led once in the race and that was bang on the line. 
 
Hard to know what to make of this contest to be honest so the form should be treated with caution but the winner deserved his day in the sun and this is probably about his level. 
 
2.55 The bet365 Lancashire Oaks,1m4f,3yo+,Group 2
 
An ok but not high quality renewal of this years running of the Lancashire Oaks, the bookies had priced up unlucky Royal Ascot runner Albasharah as the favourite. 
 
It turned out to be a bookies benefit as 20-1 shot Emirates Queen won for trainer Luca Cumani who normally does better in the Lancashire Oaks to hold off Pinnacle Stakes winner Moment in Time in second by 0.75 lengths with Albasharah in third. 
 
Wannbe Loved made most of the running before fading in the last furlong while the only 3yo in the contest Banoffee struggled at the business end but maybe back in 3yo company she could do better although it really is hard to see where her next win will come from. 
 
Albasharah ran a lot better than her run at Royal Ascot as today she was able to run her true race with no blockages but I think a return to 1m2f will suit her much better and its quite possible the Nassau at Goodwood could be on the cards. 
 
3.30 The bet365.com Old Newton Cup,1m4f,4yo+
 
The full declared field of 17 set off in this years renewal and it looked fairly wide open on paper and it was a raid by Yorkshire as the Mark Johnston trained Star Lahib stayed on to get the better of Tepmokea by 0.75 lengths with Fennel Bay in third spot. 
 
The favourite for this was recent Royal Ascot winner Opinion who was staying on at the end in fifth which he dead heated with Franciscan the recent Cumberland Plate runner up,Opinion could well be Ebor bound and he looks like he wants a bit further while Franciscan was being pushed along after halfway. 
 
Star Lahib is a tough filly and no doubt she will be aimed at getting some black type before the seasons out and she should be capable of that while Tepmokea runs to a consistent level but at 7 won’t be improving that much I’d think. 
 
4.05 The Mobile Bet at bet365.com Nursery,7f,2yo
 
The second nursery of the season which went to Culdaff who justified favouritism who beat Lily Rules by 1 length with top weight Tanseeb in third. 
 
As this was a nursery its hard to equate the form and value of this race, These aren’t the best two year olds around I think but they are also not the worst, time will tell as the season develops. 
 
4.40 The bet365 Handicap Stakes,7f,3yo+,86-105
 
A good high quality handicap here with the the 3yo Ashaadd regaining the winning thread back over 7f which is his best trip being as he didn’t stay 1m on his previous run but went in here of a rating of 95 so now a step up to pattern company will be expected and trainer Roger Varian carrying on from his much missed old boss Michael Jarvis in having good quality winners at Haydock. 
 
Mabbait ran a seasons best in second but this 7yo has not won since 2010 while May’s Silver Bowl winner Shebebi ran a lot better than when in the Britannia at Royal Ascot and has still got more improvement in him. 
 
Below Ashaadd having a well earned drink 
 
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5.15 The bet365.com Handicap Stakes,1m2f,81-100
 
Only three went to post for this race which had £12660 to the winner (I won’t moan about people who moan about prize money) 
 
Broughton made the running before getting overtaken by eventual winner Red Avenger at the 2f marker who went on to score by 3 lengths while Grandorio brought up the rear and showed that his recent 12lb rise after winning at York was probably a bit harsh. 
 
Red Avenger found this much easier than his recent runs in the Silver Bowl here and in the Britannia at Royal Ascot, small fields suit him and he benefitted going up in trip which may be the making of him. 
 
Two good days of racing then which saw some good racing and decent crowds benefitting from the sun which always brings the crowds out. 
 
Next up for me is a two day Yorkshire tour taking in Friday evening racing at Pontefract and Saturday afternoon at Ripon then after that its off to the Olympic Stadium for the Para Athletics. 
 

Haydock Park,July Festival Day Two,Friday 5th July 2013

Ladies night at Haydock which brought its usual mixture of outfits that look classy to those which clearly should have never been bought in the first place and refunds should be issued at once. 

 
Tommo was on duty tonight with his roving around the course chatting to the ladies and giving out prizes from losing betting scripts, Yours truly won myself a £10 voucher from a well known clothing store,as I don’t get paid to advertise I won’t but if you need a clue the store is an anagram of the word Lataman! 
 
Six races on what was a lovely sunny evening here with a different sort of crowd than a normal fixture but it added a nice bit of atmosphere which is always needed at any sporting event. 
 
First race was a 5f H’cap for 4yo+ (56-75) for apprentice jockeys and today’s running went to the 4yo Chunky Diamond for the Ruth Carr stable who bounced back to form after a string of poor performances to fend off Wild Sauce by 3 lengths, The winner drifted in the last furlong but the victory was never in doubt, this was a poor race though and the form should be treated with caution. 
 
Below,Apprentice jockeys before getting mounted for the first. 
 
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Second race was the first Nursery of the season over 6f for 2yo that went the way of Woodland Girl trained by Richard Fahey and ridden by Patrick Mathers who just hung on by a neck from Bounty Hunter with Centre Haafhd back in third spot, Hard to know what to make of this race but these aren’t the best 2yo around so I’d be a bit wary when looking back at this race. 
 
Third up was a 1m4f H’cap for 4yo+ (66-85) and two well fancied horses here Continuum and Semeen were both royaly stuffed here by Chancery,a useful ex bumper horse who once got beat by The New One at Cheltenham in a junior bumper back on New Years Day 2012 and this was only his second run in a handicap and he seems happier back at 1m4f and can improve off this race and I’d love to see him back here in September for the Old Borough Cup. 
 
Continuum has still got lots of improvement and like Semeen both should not be written off just yet at this stage of their careers. 
 
The Fourth race was a 2yo Maiden over 7f and given as its summer it was an ironic win for the Godolphin trained Snow Squall on his debut start and being the stables second string wore the white cap and hung on by 0.75 lengths from Peak Royale who led with 1f to go but soon lost it with Diplomatic Force staying on and will be much better suited by further in time, The disappointment of the race was Stars Over The Sea who missed the break and was soon twelve lengths down but he will have his day in time. 
 
Fifth race of the night was a 3yo Maiden over 1m, only four but a tight heat on paper with Disco Inferno going off the 8/13 favourite but value backers were rewarded as Godolphin got their second winner of the night with debutant Mulakim to give Harry Bentley his second winner of the night and he looks a fair sort who will improve from this race, Disco Inferno could be one of those expensive to follow horses but is worth chancing when he gets a handicap rating after his third run. 
 
Special praise should go to jockey Paddy Aspell for his tender handling in the parade ring of Court Life who was very green and the way he was half mounted and patting his side to keep him calm was an amazing piece of horsemanship to watch 
 
Below Paddy Aspell on Court Life before racing. 
 
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Final race was a 1m2f H’cap for 3yo (66-85) which saw Double Discount follow up his win here back in June with another victory from the fast finishing Velox who was slow out of the gate by a couple of lengths and only went down by half a length with Playbill back in third. 
 
There could be a few winners to come out of this race in time,The winner is clearly useful and will probably be stepped up in grade while Velox stayed the 1m2f trip quite well while Playbill was a bit one paced and may be suited by further in time. 
 
Day two of this meeting done then and tomorrow is another one of Haydocks feature Saturday meetings with the Group Two Lancashire Oaks and its oldest race The Old Newton Cup being the feature races both over 1m4f with some good quality supporting races on the card too. 
 
As its a feature race the review will be in the more bigger style as seen in other reviews. 
 

Haydock Park,Betfred Bowl and Temple Stakes Day,Saturday 25th May 2013

Quite a rarity today as my local course Haydock Park was bathed in beautiful sunshine for this Bank Holiday weekend Saturday meeting which was the third day of the May Festival here and a decent crowd turned up which was very good due to racing also being held in the North and North West at Chester,Cartmel and York today also. 

 
It was a marathon eight race card here on one of the signature big flat Saturday meetings at Haydock with the feature race being the Group Two Temple Stakes which was the first leg of the sprint division of the QIPCO British Champions Series over the flying 5f which attracted a good quality field of the speedsters. 
 
Also it is worth noting that this meeting today had 23 non runners,many due to the state of the ground which changed from Good to Firm to Firm after race one. 
 
2.10 The Betfred ‘Still Treble Odds’ Handicap 1m 4yo+ 66-80
 
A decent if trappy looking handicap on paper and certainly one that caused a bit of controversy. 
 
First of all the race went to the 8yo Albaqaa who held on by a head in what was a busy day for judge Di Clark as a few photos were called for during the day, Classic Colouri was back in second but was in the eyes of many the winner had jockey David Begin (5) not dropped his hands after mistaking the 1/2 furlong pole as the winning line which meant losing the race with Albaqqa benefitting from the riders lapse in error. 
 
I will happily go on record here and say I backed Classic Colouri so was very annoyed by what the jockey did but the thing with racing is you pay your money and take your chance with every race, the jockey got a 28 day ban for this so he will learn but people makes mistakes in life and lets face it if making mistakes was a sackable offence then everybody would be sacked after about an hour at work. 
 
2.40 The Betfred TV Handicap 1m4f 3yo 86-100 
 
Only five took part but plaudits must go to jockey Cathy Gannon here on her winning ride on Van Percy who came from an unlikely position with a furlong to go after being stuck behind long time leader Blue Wave to just get up on the line to deny him by a nose. 
 
This was a good looking race on paper and so it proved to be, the winner has a good record in the north as his only other win was a 1m maiden at Carlisle and was beaten by Red Runaway who finished fourth back at Chester 15 days ago. 
 
The winner will probably be aimed at Royal Ascot but will probably get further than the 1m4f trip and could be an ideal Melrose type while Blue Wave will be happier in smaller fields like this one today. 
 
Cathy Gannon below with myself after getting her prize from the presentation. 
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3.15 The Betfred Silver Bowl 3yo Open Handicap
 
Five non runners made this just a 10 runner race but still a competitive race in what is always a good quality contest. 
 
After being unlucky in the previous race it was much better fortunes for the Mark Johnston  yard as bottom weight Shebebi made all the running to hold off the challenge of the hat trick seeking Newstead Abbey and Mocenigo in a finish the handicapper would have been proud of. 
 
Code of Honour who was well fancied was slow coming out of the stalls and was never really travelling but he is not one to write off and still has plenty to offer maybe on a surface with a bit of juice in it. 
 
The winner will no doubt be sent to the Brittania at Royal Ascot in which he will have a fair shout in what is always a tough handicap over that straight mile. 
 
3.50 The Betfred Temple Stakes 5f 3yo+ Group Two
 
Two former winners in Sole Power and Kingsgate Native plus top 2yo sprinter from 2012 Reckless Abandon were part of a star studded line up in this fast and furious contest which was the beginning of the sprint division of the British Champions Series. 
 
It was former winner Kingsgate Native who took this on the stands side group of runners to deny Swiss Spirit who was finishing with a real rattle at the end under William Buick who missed the start but made up plenty of ground and only lost out by a neck with the highly regarded 3yo Reckless Abandon back in third and red hot favourite Sole Power back in fourth no doubt to the delight of the bookies. 
 
Kingsgate Native has always been a quality horse but has struggled to hold his form at times and this showed as this win was his first in three years. 
 
The second Swiss Spirit seems to have found improvement for John Gosden and could well be joining Sole Power in the Kings Stand on Day One at Royal Ascot where no doubt a good contingent of sprinters from the UK and all over the world will be having a go at picking some serious dough up. 
 
Reckless Abandon ran a cracking race back in third for his first go at dining at the top table and it is highly likely he will end up in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 6f which will be his ideal trip in sprints and is one to keep an eye on. 
 
4.20 The Betfred Mobile Lotto Handicap Div 1 6f 4yo+ 71-85
 
A local winner here for Eric Alston as Chester Arostocrat took the first division of this contest just by holding off the challenge of Saloomy by 0.5 lengths with Taurus Twins running a PB for 2013 who deserves a win but the handicapper needs to drop a few more pounds to do so. 
 
The winner is a nice type and only 4 so can still improve off this although his rating of 74 will be going up very quickly. 
 
Back in fifth was the well fancied Polar Venture who is better than this run but has much better form and has indeed done all his winning on the Polytrack at Lingfield. 
 
4.55 The Betfred Mobile Lotto Handicap Div 2 6f 4yo+ 71-85
 
One for the bookies here as Bonnie Charlie won at odds of 33-1 to hold off the consistent Meandmyshadow by a short head with back in third the winner of this division as this race was split last year Mappin Time who ran a cracker off a 1lb lower mark than when winning this last year. 
 
This was a typical northern sprint handicap with the usual whose turn is it today look to it. 
 
5.30 The Betfred Mobile Casino Handicap 7f 4yo+ 76-90
 
A nice looking race here which went to Redvers from the Newmarket yard of Ed Vaughan on his second start of the season after running a credible fifth in the Victoria Cup at Ascot just two weeks ago, he met trouble in running but got out in time and booked himself a shot at the Royal Hunt Cup at the Royal Meeting should he get an entry for it. 
 
Back in second was Zacynthus who has good form over 7f and could be aimed for the Carlisle Bell over 1m which could be tailor made for him with Al Muheer in third who stayed on well but still needs dropping a bit in the weights to get his win. 
 
6.00 The Betfred ‘Bonus King Bingo’ Handicap 7f 3yo 81-95
 
Just the six in this and it was the first time hood which helped the Roger Charlton trained So Beloved get his first win of 2013 here to hold off Capo Rosso by 0.5 lengths. 
 
Held up off the pace he got involved after 2f out and did the job well and will be even better when he goes up to 1m which will suit him even better. 
 
The disappointment of the race was favourite Enobled who tried to follow up his recent Goodwood win but struggled to pick up when needed, he is not one to write off but will be better when upped to either 1m or 1m2f. 
 
So a really good days racing at Haydock, the crowd where treated to some exciting races with tight finishes which kept the judge busy and earning her money. 
 
After many months spent shivering at many jumps meetings with occasional trips to local football and rugby matches it was really nice to have the sun out and see racing in its more purer form on the flat. 
 
Next week is the Epsom Derby but for me I shall be spending Saturday with the jumpers at Hexham where the first 3yo Hurdle of the season will be run then its back to Haydock the following week for the John O’Gaunt Stakes then we change turf for water with an afternoon at the Rowing World Cup at Eton Dorney a couple of weeks later. 
 
Thank you for reading and please spread the word. 

Haydock Park,Jockey Club Grassroots Final Day,Saturday 30th March 2013

The last full jumps fixture of the 2012/13 season at Haydock today with the exception of the mixed Swinton Hurdle meeting in May and on paper it looked a very competitive card on this Easter Saturday and with Aintree just around the corner it was the big stables lesser lights who had the chance to get themselves a big payday and get noticed on what was a day with sun but still that little bit of cold from the last throws of winter. 

 
Today was also a family raceday with this being the Easter bank holiday weekend but thankfully all that was kept down in the Newton Stand so those of us who where their purely for the racing were not going to be annoyed by the entertainment laid on for the families who want a different kind of day at the races. 
 
The first race of the seven was the long distance Tim Molony Handicap Chase over 3m4f with twelve going to post and four of them had course form going into it and so it proved vital as previous course and distance winner Monsieur Cadou recorded a 10l victory from King Fontaine who was putting in a seasonal best on his fourth start of the campaign,back in third was Handy Andy who has only won three times all of them at Newbury but ran a fair race, The winner is a quality stayer and could be aimed at the Welsh National or Becher Chase next season and has the ability to run well in the National next season should he be aimed for it. 
 
Second race was a 2m4f Handicap Hurdle and was the final of the Jockey Club Grassroots Series Final for Hurdlers, just the nineteen for this and like last year it went to trainer Brian Ellison who again was mob handed with five and he took this with the 7yo Fleet Dawn who certainly benefitted from the crashing fall that Landscape took at the last flight of hurdles when getting involved with the finish and In turn brought down Cloudy Bob who was right behind with nowhere to go but down, this left Fleet Dawn who held on in a battle Master Benjamin up the run in to just hang on and collect the £24765 prize for first place, The Ellison yard also took third money with Mubrook who ran well on his first start over this longer trip and is worth keeping an eye on. 
 
All horses who fell in that race got up safely. 
 
Third race was the Levy Board Handicap Chase over 2m4f and a really good quality field went to post for this, After a poor show at the Cheltenham Festival it was a confidence boosting win for the Paul Nicholls stable with 6yo Cedre Bleu getting the prize in a pulsating finish with three in line at the last of the fifteen fences to hang on from the gallant mare Pepite Rose by the shortest of short heads in second with Cloudy Too who has been mentioned in previous reports this season back in an honourable third  This was a cracking finish and worth the entry fee alone, The winner took an Ascot Graduation Chase in December and after that fell at Chepstow so was having his first start in 84 days and was given a cracking ride by last years Grand National winning jockey Daryl Jacob and he must have had Deja Vu from twelve months ago as his mount held on to claim the loot, Pepite Rose is a lovely mare and deserves a big race and Cloudy Too is still improving and could be aimed at the Ayr or Perth festivals with another go at Three Miles next season being a distinct possibility. 
 
As for the winner he battled and fought tooth and nail up the run in and being a 6yo still has lots of racing in him. I can imagine the Paddy Power being an early season target and may be even better going up to Three Miles as time progresses.  
 
Fourth contest and it was a 2m6f Handicap Chase which was the steeplechase part of the Jockey Club Grassroots Series Final which went to the Northampton yard of Caroline Bailey with her stable star the 6yo Noble Legend under Andrew Thornton who was already a course winner over two furlongs shorter back in October and warmed up recently with a win at Southwell and fought off the attentions of veteran Patsy Finnegan to win by 5l with Frontier Spirit back in third place. The favourite Balinroab was back in seventh and struggled under his 10lb higher rating for his recent win at Leicester, Noble Legend is a nice horse and the ideal type that a smaller stable needs during the season to take on the Henderson and Nicholls horses and will no doubt be back at Haydock next season maybe in a Peter Marsh Chase should he get a nice weight but before that could be Grand Sefton bound at Aintree 
 
It was a Novices Handicap Hurdle next over the Fixed Brush Hurdles with a distance of 2m4f to cover for race five and in the week that Imperial Commander begins his a Grand National preparations it was trainer Nigel Twiston Davies who finally got Oscar Magic to win after three second places this season with son Sam on top in a driving finish to see off Valleyofmilan in second and back in third was Bathwick Brave who was given a typical tough ride from AP McCoy but could never get past the first two, Oscar Magic had ability but has found one too good in his three starts prior to this but showed his metal on his handicap debut and could make into a fair chaser next season. 
 
Race six was the smallest field of the day in the 2m Novices Chase and an all the way victory for Dare Me who was backed into favouritism following the defection of Kandari to win fairly easily in the end from Shadows Lengthen who was giving the winner 4lbs at the adjusted weights as jockey Jake Greenall took 3lbs off with his claim but even on level terms he would not have beaten Dare Me who was the better horse throughout the race and it will be interesting to see what the handicapper does to him. 
 
The final race of the day was one I couldn’t see due to a later engagement but it was a Bumper over 2m and a much welcome winner for the Donald McCain yard who have some serious chances in next weekends Grand National with the 5yo Salto Chisco who came into the race with two second places so deserved to go one better today beating Jean de Florette by 3l, The winner looks nice enough and will be one to follow when going over timber next season and could become one of their leading novices. 
 
So a good end to Haydock Parks jumps season which saw some cracking races as always with highlights being Silviniaco Conti getting the big pot in the Lancashire Chase and Well Refreshed taking the Grand National Trial.  
 
We did lose just the two fixtures but with the weather being largely wet and cold since November it is expected as that’s the unpredictability with jumps racing. 
 
So now the roadshow moves down the East Lancs Road to our sister course Aintree and I shall be there for the first two days of the Grand National meeting for what looks like being some of the best jump racing the course will have seen for a very long time, Their may be no Big Buck’s but Sprinter Sacre will be an able deputy for what looks like one of the races of the season should he do battle with Flemenstar and Cue Card in the Melling Chase on Friday. 
 
Before that their will be a preview on Monday, Bye until then.