Hamilton Park,Saturday 3rd August 2013

It was Ladies Night here in Lanarkshire and while all the top horses and jockeys were in action at the last day of Glorious Goodwood today was more of Happy Hamilton as a pretty huge crowd turned up which was very good to see seeing it was also the start of the football season and with Celtic being at home with a 5.15 kick off that didn’t detract the punters from having an evenings racing. 

Not a high quality card but this is one of the joys of racing, I was watching Lord March who is in charge at Goodwood being interviewed on Friday on C4 Racing and I listened as he said that he wants only the best horses at Goodwood and it appeared he would be happy to see fewer courses with a cull in the fixture list. 
Ok this meeting had some poor quality contests but the thousands who turned up didn’t seem to care and were just glad to have some racing and a chance to socialise with their friends. 
Hamilton is a very go ahead course and for me one of the best of the little courses plus having a Class 3 Handicap with a prize fund of £15k was a real bonus when you look at most Saturday evening cards in the summer months so fair play to Hamilton. 
Anyway to the action, First race was a 6f Nursery for 2yo (0-65) which was taken by the first time visored Its All A Game, trained by Richard Guest who made all to comfortably hold off Bandolier by 3.25 lengths, The visor certainly helped him to concentrate but wether he can improve of this is another thing. 
Second contest was a 6f Maiden for 3yo+ which produced an 80-1 shock with Stoneacre Oskar from the Peter Grayson yard, having shown nothing in four starts on the AW he seemed to relish the switch to turf and picked up coming up the hill to deny Pilates who looked all over the winner until going down by a head, The winner had a rating of 39 so expect that to change, Pilates will win a race soon but now qualifies for handicaps while debutant Yarn would certainly come on for the run. 
Third race was a 5f Handicap for 3yo+ (56-75) and a lot happened before the off, firstly the favourite Findog unshipped his jockey JP Guillambert before galloping off around the loop and got withdrawn on vetenary advice then when being loaded up the new favourite Chasing Dreams began to play up and go a bit loopy so the starter decided not to start him, In the end the race went to Chasing Dreams under Duran Fentiman who kept him alone on the stands side and he picked up well to beat Tom Sawyer and could now build from this.  
Below,Chasing Dreams after his win. 
The feature race was next a 6f Fillies Handicap 3yo+ (71-90) and a good field assembled here which was taken by course specialist Hopes N Dreams, a 5yo mare she made all the running and won readily from Dartrix in second and Meandmyshadow back in third spot, This was a fifth course win and rated 79 no doubt trainer Kevin Ryan will try to get her some black type before she retires to the paddocks but its Hamilton where she truly feels at home. 
After four sprints it was up in trip for Race Five a 1m Handicap for 3yo (56-75) which gave a second win for the Richard Guest stable with Ted’s Brother getting the better of Satanic Beat by a neck in a pulsating finish up the Hamilton Hill, the winner is a very tough and consistent horse and probably will win another race before the seasons out, the disappointment was the 3yo Wellingrove who came in a sorry last place, If he ends up at the sales I’d expect a good battle for him by flat and jumps trainers as he is not one to ignore just yet. 
Below, Teds Brother had a well earned drink. 
Final race was a 1m3f Handicap for 3yo+ (56-75) and another reason why course specialists should be followed here as the 3yo Corton Lad obliged at 14-1 for trainer Keith Dalglish who trains in Carluke which meant this was the only win on the night for the “home” team, another horse who is holding his form well and just hung on by a neck from Cosmic Halo who also is holding his own quite well at the moment, The disappointment of the race was Calculated Risk who was potentially thrown in here but never showed much, he will be a lot better when hurdling again so don’t write him off after this run. 
A nice evenings racing then, nothing special but you don’t need top class horses to enjoy it, We saw some good tight finishes and a well behaved crowd. 
Special praise must go to raceday presenter John Sexton who kept the crowd informed without going OTT and talking constantly and handled the Best Dressed Lady contest very well indeed without turning into Cosmo Smallpiece which another certain person does on the racecourse, I won’t name names but I’m sure you know who I am referring to if you do plenty racing. 
Next Saturday is Haydock with the Group Three Rose of Lancaster Stakes so the smarter looking full service review will be used for that event. 


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. 
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. 
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.