HAMILTON – Saturday July 11th
Going – Good to soft (Soft in the loop)
A busy Saturday evening, proving that moderate racing and chilly, damp weather doesn’t stop the crowds coming along, and 4,200 were present. There was a concert afterwards by Sam Bailey and Jay James, who I must admit I had never heard of, though mention of the latter having worked with Booker T Jones did at least ring the right bells with me!
6.15 5f Class 5 2yo Maiden
A moderate contest with MR CHUCKLES winning a duel against a persistent runner-up. Not a strong race but the pair were clear and the winner showed speed and determination.
CANDY HILL still doesn’t look fully wound up with a bit to work on. However, there were plenty of encouraging signs as she showed speed and plenty of determination once the winner headed her.
The favourite SEARANGER didn’t fire and was reported as unsuited by the ground.
GRIFFIN STREET looks too keen and will probably benefit from a return to a sharper track, having shown up well at Musselburgh on debut.
6.45 5f 38-60 3yo Handicap
A moderate race won with any amount in hand by ALASKAN WING. He was quick out of the stalls and effectively had a free run up front as Macarthurs Park, rated only 38 was flat out to match him. He had the race won with over a furlong to run. He was a close third at Hamilton in a contest which probably didn’t have the same make-up, again since but should have more races in him.
COMPTON RIVER ran up to his form to take second without threatening the winner.
MILADY EILEEN was outpaced in the early part of the race but kept on to take third.
PANCAKE DAY struggled off a career high mark, briefly threatening over a furlong out but not able to get in a blow.
7.15 6f 53-68 Handicap
The third of four sprints in a succession on a card which needed mixing up a bit.
OCEAN SHERIDAN was the three-year-old taking on a generally exposed bunch and won this cosily, taking command in the final furlong. There may be a bit more to come.
ORIENT SKY doesn’t look the most straightforward character, but he saw out his race well enough having been done for pace early on. He’s hinting that a try at seven furlongs might be worth a try, though I suspect eh will be difficult to win with.
INDEGO BLUES led until one out and kept on for third. As fair enough effort but he’s vulnerable to anything progressive or given a chance by the handicapper.
MUNJALLY had the race run to suit when winning here a while back and probably isn’t as good as that race suggested.
PABUSAR has never won on ground this slow and was held from two out.
7.45 6f 47-58 Handicap
AFFECTIONATE LADY was sweating and rather fizzy in the paddock, and not madly co-operative at the stalls, but managed to point her energies in the right direction when it counted. She was outpaced early and ridden after two furlongs, but responded well up the hill and led inside the final furlong. Given that there were so many negatives this was a fair effort and she may be able to move forward from here.
PULL THE PIN was made favourite, the cliff jumpers love this one, and once again managed to lose a race he looked likely to win. Generally thereabouts he does at least keep Placepot punters happy.
GRUMPY ANGEL performed well enough on handicap debut, following three anonymous runs on Tapeta. She had every chance one out but was just held. She’s on a low mark but hints at ability.
STRATEGIC ORDER kept on without threatening, and whenever he has seen out his race has suggested he needs a bit further.
8.15 1m 3f 51-72 Handicap
TRIPLE EIGHT was tapped for pace three out, but stayed on up the hill to take charge inside the final furlong. He saw out the trip well enough and has won off a significantly higher mark than this. The negative is that his overall win rate is not great.
The one to take out of this is DIDDY ERIC. He needs the cut in the ground and ran a cracker from out of the weights. He was travelling really well over two out and hit the front, but flattened out in the final furlong. Dropped in class on similar ground and maybe back to ten furlongs he may well be a good thing. His jockey said ‘he was travelling and I didn’t want to disappoint him, but probably hit the front too soon’.
NORTHSIDE PRINCE stayed on well in the latter stages to challenge for second. He’s well exposed but mixes it at this level.
PIXIE CUT had her chance but was held in the closing stages and is a tad frustrating.
8.45 1m 57-69 Handicap
SAKHALIN STAR finally ended a run of places, whizzing clear once hitting the front. Assuming he enjoyed the experience then a follow up would seem likely, but he does need to come through horses.
The handicapper keeps tabs on PADDY’S ROCK who is running well.
RIOJA DAY is consistent but frustrating, running a sound race but possibly a bit keen and, though leading three out, found wanting close home.
ECHO OF LIGHTNING has been in good form but didn’t find as much as may have been expected, while CADMIUM looks held by the handicapper after a decent burst of runs.