ON a sunny, warm Tuesday evening (4th July) the ground had dried out to be good, good to firm in places. The bookies didn’t have a good night, as several fancied horses won and in the penultimate race they had to pay out on two of them, as it ended in a dead heat.
The card began with a race for two-year-olds over 7f. The Andrew Balding-trained Fortune’s Pearl (11/2) was always among the first half dozen and when shaken up by Oisin Murphy made good progress and moved into the lead a furlong out. The jockey had to get increasingly serious with him to keep him straight and in front, and Ferik ran on well to join him as the passed the post. The leader, who was having his first race, held on by a short head.
Another race for juveniles followed, this one over a furlong shorter. Brian Meehan’s record here is 2-5 with two-year-olds and his Barraquero (7/4 fav) was well supported to improve on that. He travelled well just behind the leaders and when Tom Marquand asked him to go on with a furlong to go the response was immediate. He put six lengths between himself and Airshow, who was a runner-up at Chepstow last month. He looks like a horse to follow.
Titus Secret looked all over the winner of the 6f handicap, going into a definite lead a furlong out, and seemed to be lasting home well enough to deny the late run of Champagne Bob (4/1), who came alongside at the winning post. To the surprise of quite a few the photo revealed that Katherine Glenister had got Bob’s nose in front just in time. After finishing third in his last two races his turn had looked near, and his was a welcome success for Herefordshire trainer Richard Price.
The Clive Cox-trained See The Master (6/4 fav) broke his duck at the fifth attempt in the mile handicap. He took a narrow early lead under Adam Kirby and when asked to quicken two and a half furlongs out got first run on his rivals. He outsprinted his rivals and led all the way, coming home a length and a half ahead of Procurator.
Race five was over a mile and a half. The Detainee (4/1), having his first run for Neil Mulholland, was the paddock pick, but when he dropped back from a good position at halfway his prospects didn’t look great. Adam Kirby was unperturbed, and he made steady progress coming up the straight to take command from Miskin with a furlong to go and score by a length and a half.
The mile and a quarter handicap resulted in a dead heat. Ya Jammeel (15/8 fav) led three out and Rahmah (3/1) soon emerged as his principal challenger. They ran neck and neck through the last furlong and the judge could not separate them as they passed the post three lengths ahead of Distant High. The trainer-jockey combination involved with Rahmah was Geoffrey Deacon and Timmy Murphy; with Ya Jammeel it was Mick Channon and Franny Norton.
The finale was over two miles. Hawkerland (5/2 jt fav) won last time out over half a mile less but proved his stamina in no uncertain terms, leading two out and winning fairly comfortably. His jockey Tyler Saunders saw on the big screen that he could afford to take it easy in the closing stages and Wordiness reduced his advantage to one length. The winning trainer, Marcus Tregoning, thought that his late-developing horse might make up into a contender for the top long distance races eventually.