A summary of May Bank Holiday weekend flat fixtures:
MUSSELBURGH – Friday April 30th
Going – Good / Good To Firm
The opening three-year-old handicap looked an ordinary event. The winner LEES ANTHEM is well exposed as ordinary, though JIGAJIG has at least shown a little form of late and ran creditable under a penalty.
The following two-year-old race was run only 0.36s slower which marks it as a fair early season race. DOLLY PARTON set the pace before being held in the final furlong. She’s clearly getting the hang of the game and has the pace to win a race, particularly if pitched against maiden fillies. MAJESTIC MYLES picked up nicely to take charge from the furlong pole. He has enough about him to progress form this and should pick up another race. KASSSAAB showed fair speed in third.
FUJIN DANCER looked rather awkward early on in the nine furlong handicap but stayed on through the field in the straight. He arrived just too late to foil SAND TIGER who took over inside the final furlong and ran on for victory. This one has been lightly raced since leaving Andre Fabre and might just be quietly progressive.
GRAND DIAMOND is consistent and underpins the form in third place. CHARLIE COOL led until the final furlong but looks to be sharp enough more Mrs Carr to place him off a low mark.
The feature event, a Class 2 sprint, attracted five runners rated from 90 up to 98. The highest rated runner was the winner, MOORHOUSE LAD making the running and holding on under pressure. JARGELLE was theoretically best weighted but gave way tamely in the final furlong. REBEL DUKE, just pipped for second by STRIKING SPIRIT, will have tough tasks off 94 and may be better suited if Ollie Pears can seek out similar events just now.
ODDSMAKER does well here, his tried and trusted ‘kick off the final bend’ tactics employed once again. He kept on under pressure from quite a way out, but couldn’t resist PARK’S PRODIGY who outstayed him and should be a factor in similar contests. The remainder were well held, the lowly rated PETELLA staying on for third.
A mixture of exposed and progressive appeared for the 0-95 seven furlong handicap which was won by far from straight forward type EZDEYAAD. CAMEROONEY has continued solid all-weather form on to the turf and put up a decent effort in second, gaining at the line. Brian Ellison can place him to win again particularly in a lower class. BECKERMET isn’t the horse he was. I saw him win the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury back on a very warm day in 2005, but he has regressed steadily since although he ran a fair race for third here, dead-heating with generally consistent but exposed DUBAI DYNAMO.
The card closed with a 0-65 handicap over the seven furlongs, won by NUFOODH who isn’t bad at this lowly level, particularly at Musselburgh. JONNY LESTERS HAIR chased him home but is frustrating, winless since 2008. MISTER JINGLES stayed to be a never nearer third with FINSBURY running a similar race in fourth.
HAMILTON – Sunday May 2nd
Going – Good
Hamilton Park attracted a very healthy crowd for their first meeting of 2010. The cars itself was fairly average though and there will be better fayre to come in the next few weeks
FUJIN DANCER found a softer event than at Musselburgh a couple of days earlier, staying on under pressure to win the Scottish Trophy Series handicap over the extended mile. His running style is probably a little better suited to Hamilton than Musselburgh, since the front runners stop up the hill at the Lanarkshire venue. The rest were much of a muchness, though lightly-raced GEORGE ADAMSON staying on for second offered prospects for the near future. Newcastle winner SAVING GRACE was held in the final furlong having led three furlongs out. BOTHAM kept on up the hill and should figure in similar races at this course.
Progressive FIBS AND FLANNEL was pushed out to win the extended mile three-year-old handicap for those rated 0-85. He looked to have a bit more in hand than the ¾ length winning margin. He could well continue his winning run. The form looks rock solid with Thirsk winner DOLPHIN ROCK running on for second and double nursery winner WILLIAM MORGAN filling the third spot. Local runner SUNNANDDAEG ran passably back in fourth if held form the furlong pole.
A number of familiar ‘old suspects’ lined up for the six furlong 0-70 event and they will no doubt clash a few times over the course. TOP BID came clear in the final furlong, but as a six-year-old with only one previous win I do wonder if things just came right on the day. WHERE’S REILEY carried forward Southwell form to finish best of the rest. MANDARIN SPIRIT needs to dictate and couldn’t get enough air between himself and the remainder, though he managed a respectable if one paced third.
PRINCE PICASSO came clear to win the thirteen furlong handicap (0-89) getting the run of the race in front of GORDONSVILLE. The latter’s jockey, Danny Tudhope, appeared to exchange words with Andrew Heffernan on Valdan as the latter kept him pinned on the rail at the three furlong marker. Whether Tudhope liked it or not it’s a legitimate tactic, and Gordonsville got out too late to make up ground. Given the run of the race I would expect GORDONSVILLE to pick up a staying handicap soon as he seems in good heart. VALDAN put up a fair effort, keeping on for third off bottom weight and would offer hope lowered in class.
RAWNAQ was comfortably winner of the eleven furlong maiden, pulling clear from three out. PALAWI chased the leader from the bottom of the hill but was well held, while I’M FRANK could make no impression kept on without making an impression and may benefit from a longer distance. The other two. LE VOLCAN D’OR and HAUNTING, are both well bred but have shown little to date.
CAWDOR beat INGLEBY STAR as the two best rated field top spots in the claimer. Five-year-old mare DOLLY ROYAL, making only her third appearance, was slow away and struggled to go the pace in the six furlong contest, but she picked up nicely up the hill and stayed on for third. Given the ratings of those behind her she is no lost cause.
The card finished with a very ordinary five furlong handicap, with inconsistent ACE OF SPIES emerging best on this occasion. WELCOME APPROACH, normally seen on the all-weather, is consistent at this level and finished well for second. MEGALO MANIAC stayed on late for third. TONGALOOMA showed good speed and kept going well enough for fourth. The latter is lightly raced and she would likely have more going for her than a few of the rest.