Away from the testing conditions at Royal Ascot, it was a different scene on the North East coast at Redcar on Friday where I enjoyed a productive day at the office with a couple of winners - Southern Voyage and Boltaway - and I’ll be heading straight back there for five more rides on Saturday.
Southern Voyage and Boltaway are still quite babyish but are clearly nice prospects, and importantly are improving steadily with racing. Both horses displayed a thoroughly willing attitude, putting their heads down where it mattered most in tight finishes.
We were reasonably close to completing the treble with Covert Mission. He travelled nicely through his race on his first start for James Ferguson, merely bumping into one in the shape of Hear Me Roar, and I’m fairly certain that he’ll be winning soon.
Saturday commences with a ride aboard the Dandy Man colt Texas Man in the opening 6f novice (1.20pm). As it’s his first day at school, we’d be hopeful more than expecting.
Ezanak goes for John Wainwright in the next (1.50pm) seeking to build upon his recent win in a female amateurs’ race at Ayr. He likes that particular Scottish track, albeit as I’ve also won on him before I’d be hoping that he’ll run well here after a fairly insignificant rise in the weights.
Shine On Brendan (2.20pm) ran well with me aboard on his first run back this year, and he’s in the right race tomorrow – a maiden handicap – so assuming that he can put his best foot forward he should be thereabouts.
We conclude the afternoon with a couple of mounts for Michael Dods. Cleveleys (4.10pm) was disappointing the last day but it was very soft ground up at Carlisle. He’s run well at this track previously (7f) and with the headgear added this time in order to help him concentrate, he should have a say.
Michael’s other runner Three Hat Day (4.45pm) also encountered very soft ground on her handicap debut at Nottingham. Frankly, we discovered that it was far too soft for her there but she’s just coming to herself and despite being a relative outsider I do think that she can outrun her odds on ground that should be perfect.
Reflecting on events at Royal Ascot, and despite not getting the rub of the green, I thought that Euchen Glen ran a great race in Tuesday’s Wolferton Stakes. He was drawn a little wide and the ground was continuing to dry, yet on another day I’d have finished a whole lot closer.
He’s a legend of a horse – he’s on 115 now – and that’s after having two full years off the track. He’s an absolute credit to Jim Goldie and his team, so there’ll be plenty of other targets ahead. He really kept going inside the final furlong and could easily step back up in trip if Jim decides to take that route moving forward.
More broadly, it was fabulous to see Joe Fanning, Paul Hanagan and Jason Hart – three good lads; three very good jockeys – all have a winner a piece on Thursday. Furthermore, in terms of the trainers, Kevin Ryan, John Quinn and Mark Johnston all enjoyed high-profile success which undoubtedly meant plenty for the people of the North.
Speaking of the northern scene, there’s a good fixture at Carlisle next week (Wednesday), featuring the Carlisle Bell and the Cumberland Plate in addition to successive days of racing at Newcastle (Thursday to Saturday). Plans are fluid at this stage but hopefully I’ll have plenty of rides at those meetings.
However, onto the most immediate and pressing matter it’s time to head for home for the continuation of Euro 2020 where England will be far too good for Scotland! Enjoy the weekend.Start your free one month trial of Racing TV now and enjoy all the action from Britain and Ireland!
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