The going was good to soft for this sunny Gin and Jazz-themed evening meeting. The principle of “horses for courses” didn’t work tonight, as none of the races went to previous course winners.
Bond Angel was the big gamble in the first race, over a mile, and she gave hope to her supporters when taking the lead with more than two furlongs to go. Those hopes were soon dashed when Jenoow (7/1), who had been dropped a stone by the handicapper, came out of the pack and passed her approaching the final furlong. Richard Kingscote was keen to nurse the filly home, keeping the rallying Bond Angel at bay by a neck. The victorious trainer, Karl Burke, had winners at two other courses today.
Another handicap over a mile followed. Martin Dwyer quickly pushed Woody Bay (9/2) into a clear lead, and though a few rivals closed slightly a quarter of a mile out, he then streaked away to score by nine lengths. Jumira Prince was second, just ahead of the enigmatic Berkshire Boy, who did well to get third place after being reluctant to leave the stalls. It was the second winner on the card for North Yorkshire stables, this one coming from Mark Walford’s yard.
A 7f race for two-year-olds came next. Dancing On A Dream, with a win-to-run record of 0-7, was made a surprisingly short 8/11 favourite. She led early, and looked good in front for a long time. However, she couldn’t completely see off John Betjeman until the closing stages, and by that time she had nothing left to withstand Hackle Setter (14/1). This Sylvester Kirk-trained colt stayed on well to collar the favourite in the last 50 yards under a patient David Egan ride. Half a length was the winning distance.
There was a great finish to the 7f handicap, with three of the seven runners striving for the lead in the final two furlongs. Lamb Chop was narrowly in front for most of that time, only to be run out of it by the persistent Teenage Gal (9/2) in the last few strides. Ridden by David Probert, it was the Ed Dunlop-trained filly’s first success. She won by a short head, with Slipstream only a neck away in third.
Ed Dunlop’s brother Harry supplied the winner of the next, a 6f handicap. Just An Idea (6/1), dropped from a Class 2 last time to a Class 5 tonight, was always prominent and took a lead of about three quarters of a length at the furlong pole. Despite wandering left and right he retained that advantage all the way to the post under strong driving from Nicola Currie.
Milton Bradley’s Indian Affair, having his 119th race, was second.
The outsider of five, Gang Warfare (11/1), made all the running to win the two-miler. His big early lead was eaten away by the turn into the straight, but jockey Rossa Ryan had something up his sleeve. The front-runner kept pulling out more and more and in the end the Alexandra Dunn-trained seven-year-old had a length and a quarter to spare over Sky Marshal. The favourite, Talent To Amuse, did himself no favours by rearing up as the stalls opened, and forfeiting ground.
The only favourite on the card to win was Starcaster (11/8) in the finale, over a mile and a quarter. His rider Richard Kingscote completed a double by tracking the leader before asking for an effort three out. He gained the initiative by the two pole and from there gained a decisive advantage, coming in a length and three quarters ahead. Dorella ran on late to finish a never-nearer second. Hughie Morrison trained the winner, a few hours after getting one at Salisbury.