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Track Talk - 20/06/23

Racing
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20 June 2023

The death was announced at the weekend of Paul Barber (photographed), one of the leading owners of jump horses in the last 30 years. In 1991, Mr Barber appointed the retired jockey Paul Nicholls as a trainer at his yard in Somerset and the pair forged a hugely successful partnership with memorable big race winners including See More Business, Denman and Clan Des Obeaux. Mr Barber has been a regular owner at Chepstow and last October saw his gelding Knappers Hill win the £75,000 Wasdell Group Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle. He will be greatly missed. 

Next Monday sees the start of National Stable Staff Week which recognises the work that goes on behind the scenes in horse racing. As part of the week’s activities, organised by Racing Welfare, twelve members of stable staff from across the country will be riding in a charity race at Chepstow on Monday 26th June. This fundraising event will take place before the official seven races which start from 2.10pm. Gates open at 12.10pm. 

David Evans’ Royal Ascot entries are led by Rohaan, his dual Wokingham Handicap winner. He goes for Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, a race that has had several name changes this century, but is a Group 1 event for six furlong horses aged four and above. Though he prefers soft going Rohaan has won on good to firm and his Ascot record is 110114. On previous form he isn’t quite good enough to win a Group 1 but he’s only five and sprinters can still improve at that age. It would be dangerous to write him off entirely. 

Radio Goo Goo has been transformed since her bout of seconditis last year, when she was kept at the minimum trip and filled the runner-up berth five times in ten starts. This season she has run over six furlongs and won five out of six, four of them on turf. The latest two were by a neck and a nose. “She’s tough as nails,” said Ben Curtis, her jockey last time. She is entered in the finale on Friday, at 6.10, a non-handicap over five furlongs. 

David Probert was at Salisbury on Sunday. The first of his two mounts, Under The Twilight, bolted up by five and a half lengths, a huge margin for a seven furlong race. She won there last month over six on contrastingly soft ground and finished third of 18 in a better race since. The handicapper will take note, so this filly may have to run again in the next week or so under a penalty. 

Sean Bowen’s double at Uttoxeter on Saturday evening kept him eleven winners ahead in the National Hunt jockeys’ championship. Though some people dismiss summer jumping, it’s a treat for aficionados at the moment to see him, Brian Hughes and Harry Cobden at the smaller tracks going all out for winners. 

After three runs in two mile hurdles Peter Bowen’s four-year-old Karavomylos has improved markedly for stepping up to three miles. Carrying only ten stone three against older horses at Uttoxeter, his finishing effort was interrupted by getting in too close to the last flight but under a vintage effort from Sean he battled back bravely to take the lead in the final few strides. 

Another excellent ride half an hour later rewarded backers of Unwanted Attention over 2m4f. Low sun meant only the two hurdles in the back straight were jumped. When asked whether that was a disadvantage, Bowen replied “no, because he smashed his way over the four they had to jump.” Struggling after the last mistake six furlongs out, the horse responded well to his urgings and he reached the front surprisingly quickly – too soon to be ideal, Bowen said – and he had to keep his mount up to his work to stay in front of the sole rival within hailing distance.

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