Fabulous Friday delivers a double!
The rain may have dampened a few spirits, changed the going reports and called for summer rain macs and umbrellas to be brought out of our coat cupboards, but the horses still did us proud on the turf yesterday!
MARIE'S DIAMOND won the 7f Conditions race at Haydock on unfamiliar ground - he has been known to prefer better under hoof conditions, but yesterday he really showed his class to win under Joe Fanning for Mark Johnston. Mike, his syndicate manager says: "After they announced that it was Good to Soft and the rain was coming down we had to look again, but with the times of the two 6f races and the 7f race half an hour before, I was confident that it was no worse than Good ground. Joe said afterwards that he was a little bit tapped for toe early in the race but finished the race out strongly. We’ve put him in a Listed race at Deauville on 28th July and there’s also the Pomfret Stakes at Pontefract on the same day, in addition to his early closing entries, so plenty of options coming up for him, but it would be good to see him on some proper fast summer racing ground."
Watch the race replay here: https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/the-racing/race-replays/#marlen_roberts_conditions and here are the official photos: https://www.grossick.co.uk/v/photos/80532khg/C337265204/x6-marie-s-diamond
STAR OF SOUTHWOLD won the feature race on the card at Pontefract: The £30,000 Optional Claimer, won last year by Waarif! Tim, his syndicate manager says "Well it was worth putting the 5lb claiming apprentice Theodore Ladd on, as he really gave him a great ride and the weights and measures meant it was the right decision. Star Of Southwold has showed us just how versatile he is both ground and trip wise. He could well cope with one of the big 7f Heritage Handicap races, such as the Gigaset International at Ascot (won last year by our very own Burnt Sugar) or 1 mile races on big festival days. We'll see what the handicapper does and look at the programme for him throughout the summer. We have had a great season so far and Mick Appleby really has him loving his racing, when you look at his form this year: 3,2,1,2,2,0,4,1,2,1." Timeform rate his performance as 101, which is impressive!
See the official photos here: https://www.onlinepictureproof.com/officialphotographersonline/albums/Pontefract/721883/browse/
Congratulations to both sets of owners. We must say a special well done to one owner, who has shares in both horses and took the beautiful glass trophy home with pride from Pontefract - great!
2 YEAR OLD DEBUTS: We also saw two very promising debuts from 2 year old colts. Richard Hannon's VENTURA BOUNTY showed a lot of greenness at Nottingham, yet still finished 2nd to the hot Godolphin owned favourite. The son of Dabirsim has been mentioned a lot by Richard in his blog as being talented and we think this race experience will bring him on very well.
SPIRITOFTHENORTH - a giant son of Bated Breath finished 3rd for Kevin Ryan (in fact you can see him in the Pontefract photos above), even though Kevin said he still needed to fill into his frame and would need the experience!
So we head into another Saturday with runners at top tracks, on 49 winners and needing £14,800 of race prize money to pass the £700,000 total for the year, so fingers crossed for another superb days racing for everyone.