Two Runners, Two Codes: Two Wins!
OUR 20th WINNER OF 2021: VENTURA RASCAL, trained by Kevin Ryan and ridden by Kevin Stott: 'The Napoleons Casino Bradford Handicap' over 1m at Pontefract.
Ventura Rascal was our first of two runners yesterday and in the race preview that was sent to his owners, Tim reminded them that he had the outside draw in 11, which was not ideal. But he started quickly and Kevin did a great job of getting him across steadily - looking over his left shoulder at every other stride, as he was 'changing lanes'. As they came around the bend, he was at the front and we were all wondering if he had done to much to stay there, but NO! When Kevin asked him to quicken 2f from home, he soon went clear to win by a length.
In his post race interview, Kevin Stott said: "We had a wide draw and I had to go out and be prominent, but I didn't want to use too much of him to get there. When I asked him he quickened away and was getting a bit lonely out in front, but if something had got to my girth, I think he would have gone again. He's on a career high mark and he has proved that he is better than that."
Timeform awarded him a career best rating of 81 and he is certainly a horse in form for his syndicate of owners: His last 6 runs read: 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 3rd and 1st! They say: "He's developed into a straightforward type who should continue to give a good account."
Watch the full replay here (with a nice "Another one for Middleham Park" at the end!): https://www.racingtv.com/videos/watch/horse_racing_replays/325419-napoleons-casino-bradford-handicap-5
See the official photos here: https://www.onlinepictureproof.com/officialphotographersonline/albums/Pontefract/778978_349531/browse/
and the fine form carries on, as our second of two runners yesterday, also won....
OUR 21st WINNER OF 2021: GRAND DU NORD, trained by Micky Hammond and ridden by Billy Garritty: 'The Follow HexhamRaces On Twitter Standard Open NH Flat Race' over 2m at Hexham.
The giant of a horse, by Montmartre and affectionally known as 'Grandad' at home, was having his third bumper start. The delay to the start of the race wasn't in his favour, as he is a horse who likes to get on with things - both at home and in the preliminaries. But Billy held him comfortably in midfield, with his big long stride easy to spot! He had to give him the push along 3f out and when he got him going through the gears, he went fourth coming into the home turn. The turbo then kicked in and he took the lead at the furlong pole, keeping on strongly to pull 4 lengths away from the favourite in 2nd.
In his post race interview, Billy said: "He has run a cracking race and gave me a great feel and picked up really well; pricking his ears coming to the line. He will make a nice hurdler and chaser and I am really looking forward to him."
Timeform say: "longer trips are bound to suit" and have given him a 98+ for the run.
Watch the full replay here: https://www.attheraces.com/racecard/Hexham/19-April-2021/1705 and we send thanks to Mick Fitzgerald, the raceday presenter, who remarked: "You see the Middleham Parl Racing silks more and more, on the flat and the jumps. Their syndicates are really well run."
See the official photos here: https://www.grossick.co.uk/p/80532khg/C385151477/x8-grand-du-nord
Syndicate manager of both horses, Tim says:"Congratulations to both sets of owners. We have been pinching ourselves at MPR HQ this month, as that's now 9 winners in April and 21 so far this year. We checked our stats last evening and it is our best ever start to a year across both codes, which is a great boost after the constraints of the past difficult year. We have so far unleashed two 2 year olds, THE GATEKEEPER (1st) and TOTHENINES (2nd) so a great start for the juveniles. The Racing Post picked The Gatekeeper as a potential Royal Ascot colt and that's got owners dusting off their toppers! Another exciting owner update this morning, was that we have kept THE ROSSTAFARIAN in the 2,000 Guineas after his eye catching run in The Craven. A 'rest' day on the track tomorrow, so we will be concentrating on viewings at the Goffs Breeze-Up Sale - we watched the breezes live this afternoon and have a few on our list."