Recent rain helped ease the going for this Monday meeting to good all over.
The 5f nursery that began proceedings consisted of nine fillies out of the ten runners. None had won before, though David Loughnane’s Prissy Missy (5/2 fav) had finished second three times and that form was good enough to beat this lot. Blue Venture took an early lead and looked like holding on, but Prissy Missy stayed on well under Thomas Greatrex to get on top in the last 50 yards and win by a neck.
Chasanda tried to make all the running in the next, a 5f race for two-year-old fillies. Two furlongs out she had to give way to Band Practice (11/4), who galloped on strongly to the line to finish almost three lengths up. It was another juvenile winner for Archie Watson, who has her entered in the Cheveley Park. Oisin Murphy did the steering.
A 7f handicap for three-year-olds went to the unfancied drifter in the betting, Molaaheth (12/1). A Sheikh Hamdan cast-off, he was winning on his debut for the Alexandra Dunn stable, ridden by Rossa Ryan. Appreciating the step up in trip, he challenged and passed the leader, Plumette, a furlong out, and was holding that one at bay in the closing stages with a bit in hand. There was half a length between them at the line.
Sheikh Hamdan’s disappointment didn’t last long, as his Alrajaa (2/13 fav) landed the odds in the next 7f contest. John Gosden’s maiden had some good placed form, and here he cruised to the front two out, after which Jim Crowley rode him right out to score by nine lengths. In the same colours, the slowly-away debutant Edraak got to within a few lengths of the winner before his rider accepted defeat was inevitable. He will be better for the race.
Next came a 7f handicap for older horses. Grace Harris’s Bungee Jump (9/1) led all the way to achieve her fourth course win from five starts here. Sir Roderic was second throughout, pestering the filly in the last quarter of a mile, but to no avail. Rossa Ryan was completing a double. The winning margin was three quarters of a length.
The 1m2f handicap was a golden opportunity for the Marcus Tregoning-trained Freckles (8/11 fav) to record her second victory of the season. She travelled nicely for much of the way and hit the front a furlong and a half out. She was soon in control, giving Oisin Murphy his second winner of the day. Arctic Sea made late progress to finish second, a length and a half behind.
Bug Boy (4/1) has been running well for Paul George’s Devon yard this summer and took the 1m4f apprentices race in great style. He’d been awkward going to the start but Rhiain Ingram got him settled at the rear of the field before coming with a steady run on the outside. Once he took the lead a quarter of a mile out, the race was in the bag and he came in almost four lengths ahead of the rest, who were led home by Mr Nice Guy.