Track Talk From Executive Director Phil Bell


06 September 2022

We have two fixtures in the next week starting with seven races this Thursday 8th September starting at 1.50pm. Tickets are £17 in advance and £22 on the day.  

On Sunday, we have an additional fixture which has been transferred from Bath where the track is currently unfit for racing. The first race is off at 1.40pm. Tickets are just £10 in advance and £15 on the day. The card features the £25,000 Summer Series Sprint Final sponsored by Vickers Bet. 

The John Flint-trained Blaze A Trail (photographed) completed a hat-trick of wins at Stratford on Saturday.   

When his current owners (which include me!) bought him just over a year ago it was apparent that he was well named, having a big white face and a headstrong nature.  He then started breaking blood vessels, and after pulling up at Exeter in October was given a long time off.   

During his recuperation he gradually learned to become more tractable at home.  His first run back, in May, ended in another pulling-up, but fortunately this was due to a short-term lung infection.  A corner was turned when a hood was tried, calming down the horse in the preliminaries, and dramatic improvement was forthcoming.  He is now able to run prominently in his races without being overkeen, and three wins in just over five weeks are a testament to Flint.  Connor Brace has been on board each time. 

Also on the Stratford card, Robert Stephens was on the mark with Turpin Gold, who has been knocking on the door in bumpers and novice hurdles.  He was a comfortable six length winner.  It was the Penhow trainer’s first success over obstacles for a year, but he doesn’t have as many jumpers as he used to.  The yard has had seven winners on the level in that period, three of them coming at Lingfield last winter with Melakaz.   

David Probert got the Johnstons’ Urban Sprawl home in a desperately close finish to an Ascot nursery on Saturday.  Typical of a horse from that stable, he led some way out and kept on gamely when challenged on both sides.  He held on by a nose. This was his third win. 

Rohaan was third in the Group 1 Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock, which is his best placing at the very top level.  He received a bump early on and never threatened to win, though he had nine serious sprinters behind him. He’s likely to head to the Champions Day sprint next month.   

Sean Bowen moved on to 53 winners for the season when The Friday Man was successful at Perth on Monday. He trails Brian Hughes by 17 in the race for jump jockeys’ title. Hughes rode five winners at Sedgefield last week and is in superb form.

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