HAMILTON – Saturday August 3rd
Going – Good (Good to Soft in places)
6.15 Avia Signs Nursery Handicap (43-64)
A moderate handicap to start the evening with only one previous performance better than fourth place between them.
Visored for the first time and dropped back a furlong in distance, ALL IN A GAME broke well, led all the way and was driven out to win with a few lengths in hand. This wasn’t a strong event but this one showed speed and a decent attitude.
BANDOLIER played up in the stalls. He made progress up the hill to chase the winner in the closing stages and may have enough in him to challenge for a lowly nursery maybe over seven furlongs.
CLAUDIA OCTAVIA had not shown much in three runs in the spring, though on one occasion hinting that a step up from five furlongs would do no harm. She came with a late rattle to take third, admittedly well held and will surely benefit from seven furlongs or a mile.
The favourite TAMAYUZ DREAM is a half-brother to a Chester Cup winner though apparently not seeing out the trip over seven furlongs last time. He was struggling before halfway and seemed up against it in a sprint event.
6.45 6f McGuire On Fire Maiden Stakes (Class 5)
Apparently a three runner contest with the rest in as fillers, but the winner came from well back to win at 80/1.
STONEACRE OSKAR, debuting on the turf having been well held in four all-weather outings, responded to pressure throughout the final two furlongs to get her head in front on the line. It’s difficult to weigh the form up but the third and fourth had shown enough speed so far to suggest this isn’t a contest full of duffers. If we believe that then the winner may just be much better on turf than the artificial surfaces.
PILATES, off the back of fair runs at Doncaster and Newmarket, took over a furlong out and looked the likely winner only to be collared in the shadow of the post. She now qualifies for handicaps and shouldn’t be over-burdened given that the winner is only rated 39.
Newcomer YARN, from the yard of William Haggas, showed good speed. She showed some greenness on the run to the line and was held in third. She will improve for this, has some basic speed and looks capable of winning a race.
MEETING IN PARIS was up with the pace for much of the way but was found wanting in the final furlong. This form didn’t build on a promising effort at Beverley though that was over the minimum trip.
There was market interest for ROUAL DUCHESS who showed good speed for four furlongs before giving way. She looks like one for a bottom level five furlong handicap at a sharp track.
7.15 5f Freebets.co.uk Handicap (56-75)
The field lost two at the start as both Chasing Dreams (refused to enter stalls) and Findog (after getting loose) were withdrawn. Both were amongst the leaders in the market. And the way the race panned out the form is at best of somewhat dubious value.
Duran Fentiman stuck to the stands’ rails on PERFECT PASTURE, raced up with the pace and was well in command in the final furlong and a half. I presume that Fentiman had someone to do his pre-meeting work to check on the course condition as he was late arriving from Thirsk. He may indeed have taken a flyer at the rails course, but his mount gave plenty in a first time visor. The winner had shown ability on a couple of occasions previously. Only concern is that maybe the race fell for him.
TOM SAWYER was best of the rest down the centre and saw off his rivals in their own race. He won at Sandown last August but has struggled in the main this season.
DA’QUONDE had every chance down the centre two out, and might just have led the field, but was one paced in the final furlong.
7.45 6f TBA British Stallions EBF Fillies’ Handicap (67-88)
Four sprints in a row might save on stalls shifting, but it doesn’t show an awful lot of imagination in race programming! The fourth however was the feature race and run for decent prize of £9,704 to the winner.
HOPES N DREAMS made her record 5 wins from 6 starts with a convincing win. She made the pace and wound it up from halfway, having the race won at the furlong pole. She will go up to a mark in the mid to high 80s and her opportunities at Hamilton might be reduced a bit. That being said, she’s been placed in her only runs at Carlisle and Beverley and would surely go well if tried at those two tracks more often.
DRATRIX made progress from the rear but could make no impact on the winner. She was clear of the remainder though and she ran well enough off her new mark to suggest she can take another race this season.
The ‘peloton’ was led home by DREAM MAKER who needs dropping in the handicap, but on the basis of two consecutive thirds probably won’t be, and ECONOMIC CRISIS who once again ran passably well but previously recorded by your correspondent as ‘runs often, wins seldom’. The latter does at least add regular prize money to keep costs!
8.15 1m 65yds IHE Stainless Ltd Handicap (Betfair Scottish Mile Series Qualifier) (65-75)
TED’S BROTHER joined the issue two furlongs out and wore down the runner-up in the closing stages. He is regularly competitive in this class and favoured by a stiff finish, so his trainer might be a bit frustrated that the final of the Scottish mile Series is to be held at Ayr!
SATANIC BEAT tracked the leader and kicked on over two out. He battled hard to try to fend off his challenger and was only mastered close home. This hints that he’s back in the same form he was last summer and he has won off 8lbs higher than his current mark.
HIGH RESOLUTION is exposed but kept on into third.
JEBEL TARA was the subject of new tactics. He led until headed after three furlongs out, at which point he seemed he might capitulate. To his credit he stuck to his guns and kept on to fight for third if held by the first two.
DARK OCEAN finished with a rattle but way too late to trouble the leaders. He has done this before which hints at needing a longer trip.
ARGAKI has been consistent of late but never got into this contest.
A winner here last time, WELLINGROVE was never better than midfield and faded tamely. He looks one to be wary off.
8.45 1m 3f Margaret Smith Memorial Handicap (63-75)
The pace was steady here and the race turned into a ‘three furlong burn-up’.
CORTON LAD had been thereabouts a few times of late and showed plenty of determination to hold on here. He has done well at Hamilton, but most of his racing has been in Scottish or nearby so I can’t see any particular pattern to his performances other than he’s an honest handicapper.
COSMIC HALO pushed the winner all the way and is another who generally runs his race.
It’s worth noting that WOODSTOCK came from the rear to fill third, not an easy task in a slowly run race. An all-weather winner earlier in the year, he’s dropped down the handicap and this performance does at least hint that he retains that ability.
KING KURT set the pace but couldn’t up his game sufficiently having increased the pace three out. He kept on at one pace for fourth place.
KING OF PARADISE pulled too hard off the slow pace and didn’t have the pace to match the principals in the final two furlongs. He has made the pace recently, including when successful here and appeared to resent the restraint.