HAMILTON – Thursday June 4th
Going – Good to Firm
Dolling out on the loop added 25 yards to the longer races. Distances have been adjusted in this report.
The racing was delayed by an hour following a serious accident which closed the M74 to the south of Hamilton.
Nothing of any great standard appeared on the day’s card, but a group of 16 of us from work had booked a box for the day and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. Sadly the office ‘racing expert’ could only manage one winner in Tangerine Trees, and before you ask I passed on short-priced Legal Eagle, but as I said to my colleagues I’d feel more at home if they put up a few hurdles or fences! My thanks to Keith the 'upstairs racing expert' who did the organising for the event, and is much too good at it to lose the job. Here's to next year, Keith!
2.10 (3.10) 6f Class 6 2yo Maiden Auction
WHISPERING TIMES is a ‘short walker’ and gives the impression of one who would favour fast ground. The conditions duly suited as the colt les two furlongs out and forged clear in the final furlong. Nurseries will prove his level.
MAGIC FOOTSTEPS made a significant improvement on his Haydock debut, staying on to pick up second in the final 100 yards. He’s related to sprint and two-year-old winners and should pick up a race along the line.
ROCK OF LOVE was the most exposed of these. He’s a small, strong colt who understandably looked as forward as anything in the race. He was tapped for speed in the final furlong, but might be worth keeping an eye on since the progeny of Rock Of Gibraltar progress with time.
SANDS OF DEE, a slow starter on debut, got away with them this time, but was outpaced on the downhill section. He picked up again late on and this was an improvement on Ripon form.
UNSHAKABLE WILL was very green in the preliminaries, rearing in the paddock and generally uncooperative. The impression was that there is still a bit to work on. Taking everything into account he did quite well to go the pace for four furlongs before giving way. He will need time and probably a longer distance, but is worth keeping in mind for later in the season.
2.40 (3.40) 6f Claimer
This was an uncompetitive race and a sound opportunity for LEGAL EAGLE, rated well in advance of the remainder and showing it. He led and forged clear from two furlongs out. Paul Green claimed him for £12,000 and this confidence booster might help him to go on to better things.
AAHAYGIRL was held by the winner, but pleased with her attitude in the closing stages, chasing the winner determinedly. She might find one or two too good in claimers but should manage a handicap win.
DIGIT improved a bit on seasonal debut form, but was well held.
SECRET DUBAI wore padded sticking plaster on the inside of his hocks, possibly because one of his hock joints seems enlarged and may rub. He doesn’t walk well which is a bit off-putting and has been below his best form in recent times.
3.10 (4.10) 5f 46-65 Handicap
There were plenty of possible winners going into this event, and it’s often the case of ‘whose turn is it?’
John McShane taken up a license from his stables near Dalkeith and recorded a second stable winner with ARGENTINE. This one is consistent at this level and was recording a 3rd win in 27 attempts. He was calm in the paddock, but proved very fizzy when mounted to be taken down early. He picked his way through in the last two furlongs and ran on well for victory. He seems honest enough and is suited by five furlongs on quick ground. He won’t go up far and will remain in a class he can handle.
HOWARDS TIPPLE is often thereabouts but not the easiest to win with. He led briefly inside the final furlong but was collared close home. He is on a good mark and will be competitive in these events but often gets worried out of it near the line.
THE HISTORY MAN stayed on but didn’t get to the leaders. He sees out six furlongs, but a fast run stiff five is probably his best and he’s on a reasonable mark and in form.
ROCKETBALL led until inside the final furlong and offered no extra after that. It was fair enough effort but with a few in form he couldn’t hold them.
HANDSINTHEMIST had every chance one out but couldn’t find the necessary to challenge close home.
COMPTONSPIRIT raced wide and never got to the leaders.
3.40 (4.40) 1m 90yds 51-70 Handicap
MOUNTAIN CAT was out of sorts in a truncated campaign last season. He has progressed nicely this season and beat these with a bit to spare, galloping clear with enthusiasm. He will go up in the handicap but, having won off 73 on the Polytrack (59 here), might have enough in hand to win off an adjusted mark.
THIS ONES FOR EDDY runs well often enough that he doesn’t get respite from the handicapper. He’s a sound measure of the form.
SINGORA LADY stayed on from the rear without ever threatening. A slight drop in class would help.
FORZARZI was late into the paddock and the preliminaries all seemed a bit rushed. He stayed on late and showed better than he has recently. A slightly less rushed pre-race would probably have helped.
BOLD INDIAN often impresses in the paddock, but has yet to win a handicap and is frustrating.
4.10 (5.10) 1m 3f 41yds 46-65 Handicap
This was a very ordinary contest with many having spent their qualifying time running down the field. As it was, what little established form that had been shown turned out to be the key.
NEW TRICKS cast aside a disappointment over 14 furlongs last time and was blinkered for the first time. Dropped back to a more suitable trip he set a steady pace, kicked on five out and was clear and away by three out, galloping on to the line. The problem is that he may not have achieved a huge amount in beating these and much depends on what the handicapper makes of it.
BLACKSTONE VEGAS kept on for a clear second having raced keenly. On available evidence he ran to his previous level.
SYDNEY COVE stayed on for third but the leader was well gone by the time he started to pick up. I noted he had a bit about him and might be competitive at a lowly level.
TILLIETUDLEM got going late on and finished fifth having been outpaced entering the straight. He is quite a nice sort who may improve with age as the family generally do, and this trip would be a minimum.
4.40 (5.40) 6f Class 5 Handicap
Not the most difficult contest to analyse pre-race, and it could be knocked down to no more than three with a real chance. Those three filled the frame.
There was no pace early on, and things only picked up hitting the up slope. TANGERINE TREES was prominent at that point and kept on well enough, though the margin was decreasing close home. He carried his head rather awkwardly under pressure and is not one I’d be madly keen on in a more competitive race.
ATLANTIC BEACH wasn’t helped by the slow early pace but stayed on late and was just held. His turn is only delayed in a handicap, though it will help if the handicapper keeps him to 69 or 70 for now since he should win at this level.
MAISON DIEU made progress to go through a gap between the first two half a furlong out, but the gap closed and his jockey had to stop riding. He might have been closer but I’m not convinced he would have got in front. For all that this was a good effort, he’s basically frustrating.
MR LU stepped up on recent form in fourth. He had gone out early, then dumped his rider and returned to the paddock entrance and he did seem to shirk the issue in the latter stages of the race. Not one I would trust with my money.
The other four were largely ignored in the betting and well held on the course.
5.10 (6.15) 1m 5f 34yds 51-70 Handicap
Seven pound claimer Paul Pickard showed up his more experienced rivals here on BAIZICALLY, setting a steady pace on his keen mount and then kicking clear four furlongs out. Nothing got near him after that. It’s difficult to judge the value of this form in a small field, but he didn’t look like stopping and appeared to see out this trip.
FENNERS stayed on for second without getting anywhere near the winner.
FORREST FLYER couldn’t go with the winner when he kicked on, and was outstayed for second.
SHEKAN STAR improved to win first time out but now looks held.
HILL BILLY ROCK comes from the Bradburne stable more associated with jump racing. His chances would look better in a maiden hurdle at Perth.
DIMASHQ was well held from 3lbs wrong in the handicap.