HAMILTON – Friday May 15th
Going – Good To Firm (turning Good with rain falling)
The rail was moved out on the loop and I’ve allowed for the extra distance in the longer races.
I can’t ever recall Aidan O’Brien having a runner at Hamilton but he made the trip for ‘Braveheart Day’ at the Lanarkshire track. Two Listed races for decent prize money featured on the card.
6.20 5f Class 5 2yo Maiden
An ordinary maiden won comfortably by CORPORAL MADDOX who will be given another outing in a conditions race before a decision is made on participation at Royal Ascot.
TRINDER, who is blind in one eye, made a satisfactory debut in second. He is bred to go a bit so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him take a race soon.
6.55 6f 0-80 3yo Handicap
Not a particularly strong event, though the winner ALL THE NINES put up a decent handicap debut, following up a Southwell maiden win. She showed plenty of determination up the hill to hold on.
AL MUGTAREB performed moderately on his handicap debut but bounced back to some sort of form here. He probably sets the standard off a mark which looks to reflect his Catterick maiden win reasonably accurately.
RED KYTE stayed on up the hill for third and may benefit from a move up in trip.
7.30 1m 3f 41yds Glasgow Stakes (Listed) 3yo only
The Hamilton Executive must have been very pleased with the quality of this field, with Aidan O’Brien and Saeed bin Suroor both putting forward runners. In the event though it was Mark Johnston, often a visitor to Hamilton Park, who took this race with the promising PARTHENON. He set the pace and gradually wound things up once turned for home. He simply galloped the remainder into submission, staying on relentlessly up the hill. His attitude looks very good and he should be capable of making the move up to Group level. I would imagine the King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot might be a target.
Aidan O’Brien’s STATELY HOME was the only one to challenge Parthenon, but his head carriage didn’t impress once the pressure was applied. He has a load of decent entries, including a Derby place, but he has a bit to prove after this performance.
HOLBERG kept on for third without threatening the winner. He looks pretty decent and should rate higher than his current level of 90.
POPMURPHY was outpaced up the straight. He is one who may improve for a bit more experience.
EMIRATES CHAMPION was well held from the junction of the loop. This was only his second run after a maiden win first time out and he’s another who should improve with racing.
BOTHY was left behind in the straight, but not punished once his chance had gone. He was aimed high here after a win last time and will benefit from a drop back in class.
8.05 1m 1f 61yds Class 5 Maiden
Last seen out running in bumpers, and a winner at Musselburgh in December, HILLVIEW BOY made a pleasing Flat debut here. He finished with a fair rattle and won the race with a bit to spare. He’s shown enough ability to suggest he can make a mark at handicap level and his bumper experience may give help.
MATRAASH looked to have the race won two out but was caught close home. Bearing in mind this was a maiden, he was unlucky to come up against a previous winner and saw off the remainder well enough to suggest his place in the winner’s slot is only delayed.
HIGH SEVERA stayed on for third and may benefit from a step back up in trip.
DUBAI ECHO ran well below the level of his Windsor form here. That was on good to firm ground and it could be that the rain here didn’t help.
8.35 1m 4f 42yds Listed Handicap
My impression was that this was a decent field, but ALLIED POWERS put them to the sword comfortably. He challenged two furlongs out and then went clear. The problem for his trainer is that he is now going to be right at the top of the weights in handicaps and will have to tackle non-handicap Listed or Group company. He has to continue improving to make a mark at a higher level.
LADY JANE DIGBY was the only one to chase the winner seriously in the final two furlongs. She saw out the trip well enough and shouldn’t be hampered by a weight rise given the distance beaten by the winner.
DRILL SERGEANT was comfortably held in third and may be a little high in the weights currently.
The remainder were strung out, but it may be worth noting AMANDA CARTER, running from 4lbs out of the handicap, who got to a challenging position three out before giving way. The task was well beyond her in this company, but she would be worth a glance at a lower level.
9.05 5f 0-75 Handicap
The card finished with a ‘whose turn is it tonight?’ sprint handicap, and the form book went out of the window as the Alan Berry trained 50/1 chance ANDRASTA won from 5lbs out of the handicap. The drop back to 5 furlongs may well have helped since her recent record at the minimum trip seems a bit better than at 6 furlongs. Not one I would trust to repeat the win in the near future.
Those following finished in a heap and it’s difficult to pick up any particular pointers for future winners. They are exposed and the handicapper has a pretty good handle on them.