24 June 2019
The going was good and the weather hazy and humid for Monday afternoon’s meeting.
The 1m2f handicap for three-year-olds went to a fairly unexposed Sir Michael Stoute colt who was wearing a first-time visor. El Picador (8/1) took over in the lead after a few furlongs, extended it half a mile out and had the race in safe keeping soon after, despite tiring in the final furlong. The favourite Starczewski blew the start, but stayed on steadily to get to within three quarters of a length of the Kieran Shoemark-ridden winner.
An interesting bunch lined up for the 1m2f novice stakes. Train To Georgia, the winner of his only start, took the lead about 6f out and made a bold bid to see off the rest of the field. He saw off all but one, Simon Crisford’s Saffran (evens fav). He loomed alongside entering the final quarter mile and came right away for an impressive four and a half length success under Dane O’Neill.
Another novice stakes, this time over a mile, was all about Clive Cox’s Red Armada (4/7 fav). He’d been placed in all four of his races without winning. Today he ran prominently for Hector Crouch before taking a narrow lead two out. Bint Soghaan mounted a challenge, but that came to nothing, as Red Armada asserted in the final 150 yards to score by a length and three quarters.
Eight closely-matched horses contested the one mile classified stakes and many had chances approaching the last quarter mile. A few weaved about a bit as they came under pressure, one of which was Starlight Red (7/1) on the far side. This filly, dropped markedly in trip, took the lead about a furlong out and battled on gamely to repel Orliko and other challengers. She went away in the final stages to win by a length and three quarters. She was trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Robert Winston.
The last three events on the card were extremely tricky big-field sprint handicaps. The 7f race for three-year-olds featured quite a few making their handicap debuts, but it was the experienced Glamorous Rocket (4/1 fav) who took the honours for Grace Harris and Jimmy Quinn. The filly led two and a half furlongs out and was always doing enough to fend off the opposition. Immoral ran on best of the rest to finish half a length in arrears.
The 6f race was held up because Gold Hunter wasn’t wearing the advertised cheekpieces, and was still in the paddock when the others were at the start. His jockey Josephine Gordon took the initiative to run off and find the necessary equipment and fit them herself. In the race itself, Somewhere Secret (6/1) hit the front just over a furlong out and though he drifted to his left, Andrew Mullen kept him going well enough. He came in half a length ahead of a group involved in a blanket finish for second, which was led by Gold Hunter. Cheshire-based Michael Mullineaux trained the winner.
The finale was over the minimum distance of 5f. Broadhaven Dream’s rivals never saw which way he went. When the stalls opened Kieran O’Neill took the 7/2 joint favourite over to the far rail, where he ran solo. He has ahead fully three furlongs out and soon clear, winning by two and a quarter lengths. The Ron Harris-trained three-year-old was having only his fifth outing. Another local horse, Aquadabra, showed her first form for ages, running on for second place.