Catterick Review – 3rd July 2013
It had been a number of years since I last visited Catterick races with my late father and I was immensely impressed by the facilities and general upkeep of the track yesterday. The sunshine certainly helped but there was no mistaking the feel good factor that resonated around the course.
The Bridge House Hotel across the road has probably seen better days but nonetheless provided a fine pint of Black Sheep Ale to steady the nerves before the punting began. I was certainly amongst some wise old racegoers judging by the craggy Yorkshire features of some of the fellow drinkers.
The meeting began with the British Stallions Maiden Fillies Stakes over 5 furlongs for 2 year olds. I’m not usually persuaded by looks over the form book but there was no mistaking that David O’Meara’s Madagascar Moll was a good-looking filly complete with trademark shamrock on her quarters. Always handy she won with a little bit to spare in the end. Ridden by Daniel Tudhope she looks one to keep on the right side of in the weeks to come. Her closest rival was Richard Fahey’s Birkacre who after dwelling at the start ran on pleasingly with a promise of better things to come. Jamboree Girl of Tim Easterby’s split this pair at the line whilst 3rd favourite Flair for Fashion played up in the paddock and was slow into her stride and may improve markedly for the experience.
The second race was another 2 year olds event (6 furlongs) where recent Royal Ascot 7th Oriental Reaction trained by James Given and ridden by Graham Lee was odds on to win his first race. However Richard Fahey’s Regiment look sure to improve for his first run at Doncaster and so it proved as he saw off his market rival after the favourite had looked to be going the better entering the straight. The pair drew nearly 4 lengths clear of the 3rd Street Boss who incidentally unshipped Duran Fentiman after the post.
Next up was the St Teresa’s Hospice Handicap over 2 miles. This saw an extraordinary pillar to post performance by the in form Mark Johnston’s Tartan Jura. Rider Joe Fanning had the his mount at it from the off and they were 6 lengths clear going down the back straight. Just when the gap closed entering the straight the pair found plenty and in hindsight never looked like being caught although Amir Pasha ran on well from off the pace to finish 1 and a half length second. The favourite Miss Macnamara failed to repeat her improved form here last month to finish fourth.
There then followed a very tricky 15 runner 7 furlongs handicap. Llewellyn set a furious pace but just when 2nd favourite Our Boy Jack looked set to land the spoils David Nicholls West Leake Hare swooped late from a bad draw with outsider Kung Hei Fat Choy splitting the pair at the line. I though David O’Meara’s Berlusca looked particularly well although only finishing 8th whilst Charles Hills Complexity got rather warm in the parade ring and finished two but last.
The penultimate contest was a 7 furlongs stakes won by the Charlie Hills trained Mrs Warren who took it up just inside the final furlong and held off the fast finishing My New Angel with second favourite Legal Bond in third. Winning rider Robert Winston had looked a bit of a Billy no mates in the parade ring with just a single stable representative from Newmarket to talk to but it only went to prove that an apparent lack of interest from connections doesn’t necessarily reflect the horses chances. The 6/4 favourite Duke of Destiny finished a well beaten sixth and is proving expensive to follow.The lucky last was a 12 furlong handicap in which Jason Hart on Apolskapart tried to emulate Joe Fanning earlier by setting a furious pace. This time it proved to no avail as he was overhauled entering the straight. Petrol looked set to land the odds until 15/8 favourite Slide Show completing a double for David Nicholls and ridden by Paul Quinn swooped readily in the final furlong to win by an impressive 6 lengths. The biggest cheer in the parade ring was however from the many syndicate owners of Brunello (Ownaracehorse) who finished third proving that the fun of racing is not all about winning.
So ended a highly enjoyable afternoon (and for me successful – 4 winners!) on the first of 4 Wednesday meetings at the track this July.
Sadly I will be at work now until August but I can highly recommend the track for a fun day’s racing.