WINNER 1 OF 2022: NOLTON CROSS, trained by Hugo Palmer and ridden by Ross Coakley: 'The Watch Racing Free Online At Coral Novice Stakes' over 1m 1/2f at Wolverhampton.
Having his third start, after taking a 1/2 a length second to a Golden Horn, Godolphin colt last time out, this time he lined up over 1/2 a furlong further, at Wolverhampton. The issue was, that he was drawn wide in 10, but the only option that Hugo and syndicate manager Tom could opt for, was to be positive - and that's exactly what Ross did!
He got him out sharply and into stride, gradually moving across from out wide so that, at the bend, he was in the lead. Ross slowed the tempo after 1f, with Nolton Cross pricking his ears, as he took the field along. Then, shaken up to increase the tempo 2f from home, he was soon hard pressed, but stayed on well, to to win by a neck, with the pair pulling 4 and a 1/4 lengths away from the third horse.
"Nolton Cross got there!" Watch the full race replay here: https://www.attheraces.com/racecard/Wolverhampton/03-January-2022/1630
Timeform rated it as a t78 performance, saying: "Didn't need to improve to get off the mark, having the run of things once he got across to lead from his wide draw; soon led, pushed along 2f out, kept going well; well bred so may have more to come in handicaps.”
Ross said in his Sky Sports Racing interview: "I managed to get him across from the wide draw and he pricked his ears when we got to the front. His 2 previous runs helped, but he has a great appetite for racing. He grinds it out at the finish and we did a lap of honour after the line!”
See the official photo gallery here: https://www.jahphoto.co.uk/-/galleries/wolverhampton-horse-racing-2022/january-2022/3rd-january-2022/race-2-430-winner#media_628d8850-6117-468d-b759-a510a07afdc7
Syndicate manager Tom says: "Congratulations to his owners on their win. He toughed it out there from a less than ideal draw, but fair play to Ross Coakley for a superb ride. He will have a break now and come back for the turf and the way he ran though the line, it is looking like he will relish further. It's great that we are already off the mark for the year, as we have that big 2021 winners record (109) to chase now!”