Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Weekend Review

08-July-2018 18:44
in General
by Admin

I was working at Haydock Park on Friday and Saturday with the feature events being the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks Stakes and Old Newton Cup. The former event went the way of Horseplay who backed up her fine reappearance in the Middleton Stakes at York in May. Andrew Balding's four year old lost her way last term having won the Pretty Polly Stakes at HQ but has returned better than ever in 2018. David Probert's mount just got the better of the front running God Given, who was attempting to supplement her win in the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes over the same course and distance last month. The third home Precious Ramotswe was beaten a length and three quarters and, having been tapped for speed, she stayed on again at the death. A Group 3 winner at York earlier this year, she will appreciate a return to a mile and six with the Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood an obvious target. However, I think the filly to take from the race is the fourth, namely Mrs Sippy, who is featured in the Top 40 Prospects. David Simcock's daughter of Blame had caught the eye on her belated reappearance at Newbury last month when staying on well to chase home Sea of Class in Listed company. Stepping up in class and trip, she fluffed her lines at the start and was detached early on. While allowed to creep into contention, forfeiting six or seven lengths in Group 2 company is never ideal. Having made smooth headway with two furlongs to run, Mrs Sippy's finishing effort flattened out and she was three lengths in arrears of Horseplay. Despite receiving a twelve pounds age allowance, she lacked the experience of the front trio who are all four year olds. There will be other days of Mrs Sippy and she remains very much a middle distance filly to follow.

Mark Johnston won his third Old Newton Cup courtesy of Rainbow Rebel, who was having his fourteenth race of 2018. The gelded son of Acclamation scored off a career high mark of 92 having already won on the Braveheart Stakes at Hamilton in May and, more recently, at Pontefract. The performances of the Roger Charlton trained pair Atty Persse and Blakeney Point, who finished fourth and fifth respectively, are worth noting. Atty Persse was having his first start since finishing last in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York in August. Gelded since and fitted with a tongue tie, Jamie Spencer's mount travelled strongly but didn't encounter the clearest of passages when mounting his challenge. Staying on again once in the clear, he isn't badly handicapped off 99 and looks well worth a try over further. I will be surprised if he isn't entered in the Skybet Ebor at York. The same valuable contest is likely to be on the agenda for stablemate Blakeney Point, too. Racing off a ten pounds higher mark than when finishing fourth last year, the five year old was the hard luck story of the race. Partnered by apprentice Harry Burns, he was very slowly away and, rather like Mrs Sippy in the Lancashire Oaks, was detached during the early stages. Staying on strongly at the finish, he was beaten less than five lengths. The son of Sir Percy doesn't want rattling fast ground but he looks one for the shortlist for the Ebor even at this relatively early stage. Rated 105, it worth recalling Mutual Regard won the race as a five year old off a mark of 106 four years ago.


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