Haydock Park specialist Number Theory landed the biggest win of his career at his beloved track, holding on by a neck to claim the 215th renewal of the bet365 Old Newton Cup. It is fitting that one of Haydock’s most popular, important and oldest races should go to this progressive four-year-old, trained in Leicestershire by John Holt.
Holt himself has a superb record at Haydock – now ten of his last thirteen runners have won or been placed in the last five years. This win was never really in doubt, despite the quickly diminishing and narrow victory. Number Theory was always travelling well under Russ Kennemore, regardless of being a pound overweight. He emerged just over a furlong out and held on well from the unexposed Quiz Mistress and the evergreen Tepmokea.
Dreamspeed was the rank outsider and was tantalisingly close to a place, finishing fourth of the fifteen runners. He travelled up strongly to join the leaders down the straight, but with a big weight, was unable to go with the front three. This was only his second run back from a lengthy layoff and with some smart form to his name, 40/1 was too big a price.
The hero of the hour was Number Theory however, who was notching up his fourth course win. He has also finished placed on his other three starts at Haydock and will surely be back chasing that fifth success.
There were two sets of doubles in the supporting card. Atlantic Sport finally gained a deserved win in the opening bet365 Handicap and was the first leg of a brace for Mick Channon and Martin Harley. Atlantic Sport was an excellent third in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last time and just prevailed in this easier contest. It was the seven-year-old’s first win in almost three years.
Harley and Channon completed their double with Rated, who won the Mobile At bet365.com Nursery. It was the very first nursery of the season and it produced an exciting finish, the winner prevailing by a head from favourite Steer By The Stars. Rated raced really freely in the early stages but was clearly travelling the best throughout the contest. With time, he should be able to improve further.
Jamie Spencer gained compensation for Set To Music’s defeat in the bet365 Lancashire Oaks, with a double courtesy of Gabrial The Great in the bet365.com Handicap and Alben Star in the bet365.com Conditions Stakes. The former was a disappointing favourite at Royal Ascot, but comfortably bounced back today for local owner Dr Marwan Koukash. Alben Star was stepping down in grade and tactically got the better of warm order favourite Morache Music.
Racing returns to Haydock on Friday 20th July and Steps will be in concert on Saturday 21st July, following an evening of action packed sport.
Image courtesy of racingpost.com