HAM ILTON – Saturday July 31st
Going – Good
Apologies for a delay in posting this report, and you’ll note that a few mentioned have come out once or more since. I’m struggling to fit reporting around other commitments right now since my job changed, so there maybe a few catch-up articles spaced out a bit, unless someone sees fit to pay me for this drivel…
Ladies’ Day at Hamilton saw a very healthy crowd in attendance, officially a shade under 7,000, despite some damp weather. Rain fell for about an hour leading up to racing, with a particular downpour arriving just before 6 o’clock. The going description remained ‘good’ though I suspect the downpour might have inconvenienced one or two needing a fast surface.
I was attending along with my wife and a couple we are friends with. This does tend to cramp my style a bit, and for a rare event see race 2, but everybody enjoyed the evening and three of us managed to come away in front on the night.
6.40 5f Champagne Cocktails at Hamilton Park 0-76 Nursery Handicap
This was an average little nursery that offered a good opportunity to the dropped in class NASHARRA. He had run in Listed company and then finished in the ruck of the Weatherbys’ Sprint, though not disgraced on either occasion. This looked a much more reasonable target and Kevin Ryan’s colt proved equal to the task. Shaken up to lead a furlong and a half out, he ran on well up the hill to win with just a little in hand.
INTRUSION was a rather spooked as she entered the paddock, needing a fair bit of encouragement to pass into the ‘arena’. She looked very well and ran to his form, chasing the leader in the final furlong without being able to make an impression. Previous evidence suggested a step up in trip will do no harm and she looks likely to benefit from a move up to seven furlongs.
FAST SHOT was held in the final furlong but made a satisfactory handicap debut and doesn’t look over burdened on 59, a minor nursery win being a possibility.
NOVABRIDGE looked best in the paddock but was held up the hill and has not moved forward an awful lot from two early season wins.
CRIMSON KNOT was outpaced up the hill and a sharper track would appear to suit better.
MEMORABILIA was prominent in the betting, but he looks to have some growing to do. He’s a sort who is bred to better in time, and leading this field for a way burst him inside the final two furlongs.
7.10 1m ½f Avia Signs 3-4yo 0-65 Claiming Stakes
The commitment to out party meant that I managed something I had seldom done in 30 odd years of regular race-going. I missed the race queuing for drinks! At such a meeting you can be sure there will be huge queues for over priced beverages. Out of sight of TV monitors, I caught snippets of the commentary over the PA and did at least have the consolation of backing the winner, as did my wife who managed to beat SP in the process. I caught up with the replay once I got home.
I find claiming races straight forward contests to analyse as they can readily be reduced to no more than a handful of contenders. Often it’s just a question of listing previous winners, of which there were three in this race, and all qualifiers here finished in the first four.
MIAMI GATOR generally runs fair races and had managed three wins before this. He was jumped out in front, kicked on from three out and held on well up the hill. He followed up in claiming company at Carlisle three days later, subsequently finishing third at Redcar where the track doesn’t play strengths so much.
ISLAND CHIEF, a previous winner of two, chased the leader over the final two furlongs having been squeezed up as he came to challenge. He followed up with a double at Thirsk(claimer) and Ayr(selling handicap), suggesting that the form here was decent.
NORTH CENTRAL stayed on for third, running a similar sort of race to those he had run at sprint distances.
KING’S SABRE kept on in the closing stages to finish a never nearer fourth.
Postscript to the drinks queuing was that I settled for a coffee. No queue at the coffee stall…
7.40 1m 3f MacGregor Flooring 0-60 Handicap
Paddock inspection here threw up a ‘stand out’ in SHORT SUPPLY who was produced in tip-top condition by Tim Walford. I informed our party that I thought Short Supply would show up well but sadly I couldn’t find enough in her form to justify even a small stake. Mixed feelings then as the Sheriff Hutton trained filly forged ahead from two out. She gave the impression of idling when in front and, while this event was no great shakes, she should prove a bit better than the 46 she ran off here.
The stewards enquired into short supply’s improvement. The gist of the story was that the stable had previously been under a cloud and that the filly had been in good form of late. It’s not untypical for fillies to make forward progress at this time of year anyway.
AMICAL RISKS kept on for second without threatening the winner. He has run some fair races but a tally of 1 from 26 runs sums up his level.
SHARP SOVEREIGN led from three out until the winner took over, coming home at one pace in third.
REGENT’S SECRET worked his way through the field late on in typical style. He needs a cut-throat pace up front in order to pick off weakening rivals.
The remainder were seven lengths or more back and offered little immediate encouragement.
8.10 5f European Breeders’ Fund Fillies’ 0-82 Handicap Stakes
MEY BLOSSOM was finding it hard work down the hill but picked up well up the slope, leading around the furlong pole and staying strongly. She has won on fast ground at Beverley since and wouldn’t want the ground any slower than it was here. Her two wins haven’t been by far, but she is tenacious and that could be useful while she is in good form.
The form is working out well and the only one who hasn’t appeared since as I write is BRIERTY. She kept on under a pushed out ride, her jockey having lost his whip in the final furlong.
WICKED WILMA has run a succession of decent races in the last couple of seasons. Leading until the final furlong, she kept on for third.
GAP PRINCESS looked to be in trouble two out but kept on late. She wasn’t suited by the slightly softened ground and is better at six furlongs anyway, both proven by her Ripon win a couple of days later.
BASLE couldn’t make an impression from two out. She has run well on the all-weather and may well take a chance or two on the sand in the coming months.
8.40 6f The Kane Gang (Class 5) Maiden Stakes
Sprint maidens for older horses are not typically well contested at this stage of the season. Anything with speed will have likely shown something earlier.
HENRY MORGAN seems to have had his problems but followed up his promising debut with a win here. He has been tubed and I have not seen many such runners in recent times. He’s bred to be a bit better than this level, though it remains to be seen if his breathing problems ultimately hold him back.
RED ROAR chased up the winner in the final furlong, showing more than she had in two previous efforts.
KRISTEN JANE was a right pain at the stalls and was ordered to have to pass a stalls test before running again. She was in the firing line approaching the final furlong but couldn’t produce nay extra. She runs consistently but is only rated 47.
BILLIONAIRE BOY briefly threatened two out but was one paced up the hill. He gave just a glimmer of hope.
JEMIMA NICHOLAS disputed the pace, but gave way approaching the final furlong and was disappointing.
9.10 1m 1f Dulciano Restaurant And Bar 0-74 Handicap Stakes
The value of a sharp burst of pace in an improving handicapper was amply illustrated in this race. HIGH RESOLUTION, a double winner here recently, had to be rousted to challenge approaching the final furlong, but once he quickened the race was quickly in the bag. An improving three-year-old, he looks well capable of continuing his winning streak.
STARRY MOUNT led after the two furlong pole but couldn’t respond to the winner’s acceleration. He won in heavy ground last autumn so could be one for the notebook in the next month or two.
Top weight VEROON stayed on well but his recent runs suggest the handicapper has him at his level.
CARACAL led briefly approaching the final furlong but was one paced once headed.
TALK OF SAAFEND was held in the final furlong though she does at least get in the mix in the latter stages.
ZAMBUKA couldn’t repeat her York win and was well held from two furlongs out.