HAMILTON – Tuesday June 30th
Going – Good To Firm
Rail movement reduced round course distances by 30 yards and this is allowed for in quoted race distances.
I had been asked on the Racing Forum about the watering at Hamilton. Although I haven’t seen them watering the growth pattern suggests they use a boom, and coverage would seem to be quite even up the straight. However, the loop seems to have had less water and I would imagine it would be a bit firmer than the rest.
An eight race, tough quite run of the mill fare. However, there may be one or two significant pointers to carry forward.
2.15 5f Class 5 2yo Maiden
EXGRAY built on a promising debut to win here. It was hard work but she did well enough to hold off her nearest challenger close home. The form is no better than average for this level but she shouldn’t be over penalised for handicaps and nurseries would seem her target.
MELODY OF THE MIST stepped on debut form to push the winner all the way. There’s nothing wrong with her attitude and she should pick up a similar event.
YESNABAY, from a stable not renowned for sharp two-year-olds, put up a creditable debut performance in third. He made some progress to the furlong pole but couldn’t raise his game from that point.
Mark Johnston has been very strong in Scottish maidens recently, but WAVEBAND might need a little time to get her act together. She was slow away and used her energy to get into contention two out before being held.
2.45 5f Claimer
This was not a particularly strong claimer and the presence of a 40-rated performer in fourth doesn’t inspire.
GAP PRINCESS is essentially a six and seven furlong performer, but the pace was strong here and the leader came back to her up the hill. She was entitled to have every chance here at the weights but it does at least confirm her well being. I’d want to see her upped in trip in more competitive company.
CAYMAN FOX blitzed out of the gate and was clear after two furlongs. She was caught in the final furlong but had seen off the remainder. She won a weaker claimer here last time, but I’d be looking for a sharper track in handicaps.
SILVANUS kept on without threatening the first two and continues in fair form.
RIGHTCAR LEWIS apparently performed well above herself in fourth. I suspect the way the race was run helped her get close and I’d take the form with a pinch of salt.
3.15 1m 35yds 51-70 3yo Handicap
ALDAADO looks progressive at this modest level and landed the odds against moderate opposition here. He picked up nicely once the runners hit the hill and it appears he relishes the stiff finish since his previous win was at Beverley. Carefully placed he should pick up another race even with a forced rise in class.
PETSAS PLEASURE picked up late and looks to need further. He did come last over ten furlongs earlier in the season, but that was on seasonal debut and another try may be worthwhile.
LIBERTY TRAIL kept on once passed having set the early pace but has to find more to win a race, and GREEN DYNASTY pulled much too hard in first time blinkers and doesn’t look encouraging.
3.45 1m 1f 35yds 56-75 Handicap
STATESIDE stayed on up the hill, just holding on from the fast finishing Talk Of Saafend. That said she wasn’t stopping a step back up in trip may eke out a little more improvement. She certainly saw of all bar the runner-up comfortably and her attitude looks sound.
TALK OF SAAFEND blitzed up the hill and would have won in another ten yards. His overall win/place record is very good, and now he’s hit form he’s worth putting in the notebook as he has plummeted in the ratings and is probably a good deal better than his current 60.
DOON HAYMER was always thereabouts on seasonal debut and kept on to take third. It would be hoped that this pipe-opener would do some good.
REGENT’S SECRET stayed on from well back, but ‘what you see is what you get’ with this one and he needs a fast pace and the rest to come back to him. His best chance would be if there were a number of keen types to take each other on, and race shape analysis seems a key
4.15 1m 3f 197yds 46-65 3yo Handicap
This was a poor looking event won by a sprint bred performer in SUITABLY ACCOUTRED who had not shown much previously. He did at least show plenty of commitment at this lowly level, seeing off a previous winner. My tendency would be to oppose next time.
OUTLAND kept on for second. His win came off 46 at 50/1 which I suspect tells us all we need to know about this contest.
TILLIETUDLEM built on the spark of promise shown here previously. He stayed on from the back. He definitely needs further as he does nothing in a hurry.
4.45 5f 56-75 Handicap
ARGENTINE has done Dalkeith based ‘fresher’ John McShane proud in the first half of the season and produced another determined performance here to catch the front-running Raccoon. He picked up from two furlongs out and stayed on up the hill. He will eventually be forced to take on stiffer company, but should get a chance to pick up another race in 0-80 company. Given his attitude I wouldn’t be frightened in higher class than that. He’ll be kept on the go as his trainer reports that he would be knocking the box door down if he had a break.
The veteran RACCOON has produced a succession of honest performance this season. He just fails to see out the race up the hill here and I’d be watching for opportunities at sharper tracks, Musselburgh in particular.
JOYEAUX stayed on well for third, a season’s best, and is probably somewhere near a winning mark again.
SIR NOD was denied a run and would have been in the mix with a clear passage.
MANDALAY KING was taken off his feet early on and his late effort only caught up the backmarkers.
5.15 6f 46-65 Handicap
OPTICAL ILLUSION won this event last year off a rating a pound higher and had to work hard for this one. I wouldn’t want to see him go up too much for this win.
HANSOMIS continues in good form for Bruce MacTaggart and was unlucky not to win as this as she was blocked in her run two out, then got to the front only to be ‘done’ in the shadow of the post. She has a more progressive profile than the winner and would be the one I’d take as more likely to win up in the weights.
The rest are pretty much a ‘win occasionally’ bunch and much of a muchness, headed on this occasion by ELKHORN and SUNLEY SOVEREIGN. The latter finished well but it’s not an unusual occurrence.
5.45 1m 35yds Class 5 Maiden
DRUM DRAGON is rated 73 which sets the level for this contest. He worked hard from two out to take this event and is well exposed now.
JEUNOPSE kept on although held by the winner. She would be an interesting prospect in a low class fillies’ maiden or handicap.
ACQUAVELLA kept on from the rear for third on debut and showed there is a bit to work with.
If you are going to name horses after international sports stars it does help if they have a fair bit of ability. FERNANDO TORRES definitely doesn’t look as talented as his Liverpool FC namesake and will now settle into handicaps, probably off a mark in the low sixties. He led until one out but could not offer any more once headed.